NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • The Neocons and 9/11


    Robert Parry: The emerging history of 9/11 reveals that President George W. Bush’s failure to protect the nation resulted from neocon insistence that Iraq was the real threat, not al-Qaeda. The political relevance today is that the neocons want back into power under a Mitt Romney presidency -   September 21, 12
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter




    I support The Real News Network because it lets viewers voice their uncensored opinions. - David Pear
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Robert Parry is an American investigative journalist. He was awarded the George Polk Award for National Reporting in 1984 for his work with the Associated Press. In 1995, he established Consortium News as an online ezine dedicated to investigative journalism. From 2000 to 2004, he worked for the financial wire service Bloomberg. Major subjects of Parry's articles and reports on Consortium News include the presidency of George W. Bush, the career of Army general and Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell (with Norman Solomon), the October Surprise controversy of the 1980 election, the Nicaraguan contra-cocaine investigation, the efforts to impeach President Clinton, right-wing terrorism in Latin America, the political influence of Sun Myung Moon, mainstream American media imbalance, United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates, as well as international stories . Parry has written several books, including Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & "Project Truth." (1999) and Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq (2004).

    Transcript

    The Neocons and 9/11PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.

    Just a few days past another 9/11 anniversary, and the debate continues about just what did President Bush and Vice President Cheney and the leadership of that regime know about the events that took place on 9/11 before they took place. How much warning was there? What was the intelligence? And, of course, there's an increasing amount of information that says American intelligence agencies had quite a bit of evidence something was coming.

    Now joining us to talk about this is Bob Parry. He's the editor of ConsortiumNews.com. Thanks for joining us, Bob.

    ROBERT PARRY, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Thanks, Paul.

    JAY: And for people that don't know, Bob Parry is a renowned investigative journalist. He broke a lot of the Iran-Contra scandal stories. And he's author of the book Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George Bush.

    So you wrote a piece recently about this, Bob. What did you find?

    PARRY: Well, basically, the emerging history on 9/11 indicates that there was a great deal of information that was being funneled to President Bush and to his inner circle about the coming attacks. And sort of the new element is—that's coming into focus is that the neoconservatives in his administration appear to have tried to dissuade him from taking it seriously. The point the neocons were making was that the real threat was from Iraq and Saddam Hussein. And they were essentially dismissing or downplaying these warnings that they saw coming from people who were holdovers from the Clinton administration, people at the CIA under George Tenet, people like Richard Clarke.

    JAY: Who was demoted. He essentially had—was the terrorism czar, antiterrorism czar, and was demoted from what essentially was a cabinet-level position under Clinton to a position where he could barely get a meeting with Condoleezza Rice.

    PARRY: Right. So basically there was this idea that these guys didn't know what they were talking about, they were overreacting to these supposed threats, that al-Qaeda was not a big deal, that this wasn't really where the real threats were coming from. And so the intelligence people and the counterterrorism people kept running up against this brick wall, and they kept providing more and more information, a lot of it coming into focus in June 2001 and early July. That's when Tenet described himself running around with his hair on fire trying to get the president to react.

    JAY: Tenet or Richard Clarke?

    PARRY: What's that?

    JAY: It was Richard Clarke with the hair on fire, no?

    PARRY: No, it was also George Tenet. There seemed to be a lot of people with—

    JAY: Yeah, a lot of hair on fire.

    PARRY: —hair on fire at the time. But no one seemed to notice, at least not at the highest levels. But Kurt [ˈaɪkənwɑld] did a piece for The New York Times this week where he brings a little bit more of this focus on this issue of the neoconservatives trying to push aside these warnings. And also, that led Bush to think, well, maybe I need more history. And so the famous presidential daily brief of August 6, 2001, was somewhat historical. And that's been one of the arguments the Bush people used, that, oh, it was too historical, that—.

    JAY: Yeah, this is the one titled "Bin Laden plans to attack America".

    PARRY: Correct. But the point was that Bush apparently asked for some historical background because there were all these other reports that were coming in on more current things. So to put that August 6 PDB into context, it was giving Bush more of a feel for the larger picture. It wasn't the only thing they had. Some of those earlier documents remain classified.

    However, we know from the statements of Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism czar at the time, and George Tenet from his memoir, that there were a lot of efforts made by people in the intelligence community to get the attention of Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, and Bush himself, and that that failed, that basically they never were able to overcome this resistance from the neoconservatives, and the country remained vulnerable going into 9/11.

    JAY: And one of the points you made in your piece was that there were other memos that got to Bush that were very specific. I mean, even the one that you talk about, which Condoleezza Rice argued was more historical, wasn't completely historical. There were some sentences in that memo that were quite specific about an imminent attack. But you're saying there's now evidence that there's other memos that were directly saying that attack could be imminent.

    PARRY: Right, and that there were repeated efforts, including there was a follow-up that George Tenet described in his memoir after the August 6 PDB, where he goes down to—Bush is at Crawford Texas on vacation for the month, and Tenet goes down there to try to follow up and warn the president, and they end up taking this ride around in a jeep, where Bush is describing the different fauna of his ranch, which Tenet says is not something that he had where he grew up in New York. So they basically ended up doing smalltalk rather than get [seriously] focused on this emerging national security threat.

    There were also warnings, of course, from the FBI in Minnesota, where Moussaoui had been arrested, and the concern about his—why he was taking these flight courses. There were reports from FBI agents in Phoenix Arizona along the same lines, that they felt that al-Qaeda and bin Laden were placing people in flight schools so they could learn how to run some kind of hijacking attack. So there was a great deal of evidence that was funneling into Washington, except that President Bush and the people around him, the neoconservatives, just didn't want to take it seriously.

    JAY: Now, and most people when they try to explain why the Bush administration reacted this way, they usually talk about they were focused on Russia and they were—on the rivalry in Europe. But in your piece, you talk they were more already focused on Iraq, and that's really what this was about, because focus on al-Qaeda and bin Laden leads the attention to be in Afghanistan, and they wanted eyes on Saddam Hussein.

    PARRY: Right. The neoconservatives already have their plan, and we now know much of what that was. If you go back into '96 when some of them worked for Benjamin Netanyahu's prime minister's campaign and they did the report about protecting the realm of Israel and how—get rid of this idea of peace talks, you have to go after these—have regime change, and Iraq was one of the key ones. Then you had in '98 the Project for the New American Century, which was urging President Clinton to go and do regime change in Iraq somehow. And so that was their—that was already their plan. So—and once Bush got into the White House in 2001, they already knew what they wanted to do: they wanted to go ahead and take out Saddam Hussein in Iraq. And these complaints or concerns raised by the old Clinton people that al-Qaeda's about to attack seemed to the neocons, at least initially, as something that would divert the attention of the administration.

    JAY: I mean, as you know, some people argue this was not just a question of wanting a different attention or focus. In that Project for a New American Century they talk about needing a new Pearl Harbor moment in order to assert the kind of projection of U.S. military might that this document called for. And a lot of people have suggested, well, maybe they knew something was coming and didn't want to do anything about it, 'cause it gave them their Pearl Harbor moment, and that's, of course, a matter of their intent, which is a matter of a lot of debate. But one thing's for sure is even after 9/11 they weren't very interested in Afghanistan; it was all about Iraq.

    PARRY: No, they quickly realized that this was a great opening for them. I mean, I know some people suggest that there was this intent. I don't see any evidence of that. But, you know, certainly the facts, if you just look at them objectively, would not dissuade you from thinking they might have wanted this to happen. But I don't personally think that the evidence says that.

    But I do think that once 9/11 occurred, you saw that the neocons very quickly understood that the anger and fear that was—existed in the United States at the time was something they could turn to their advantage and go after Iraq finally. So they did the Afghanistan thing quickly but already were beginning to move the attention of the president and the U.S. military down to Iraq.

    JAY: Yeah. One of the points of your piece is that a lot of these players, either the same people or people linked to the same people, are now forming Romney's foreign-policy team. So who are we talking about and what might the implications of that be?

    PARRY: Well, Romney has surrounded himself with many key neocons. His book, No Apology, was—he acknowledges the assistance he got from Robert and Frederick Kagan, who are, of course, very prominent neocons who've been involved in things like the surge in Iraq. Then you have Eliot Cohen, who was a Wolfowitz protege, who largely wrote the white paper that represents Romney's foreign policy. Cohen authored the prologue or preface to the white paper. And you have people like Dan Senor, who was another prominent neocon, who was with Romney a lot and now has been sort of shifted over to work with Paul Ryan. So you had them—so, basically, Romney has surrounded himself and has taken the tone of the neocons.

    The whole No Apology idea is this sense that gets back to this idea that there should never be any apology for using American power, that American power is always used for good, and that anyone who thinks even mildly critically of how the U.S. has used its power is somehow disqualified to be a leader of the nation. So Romney has taken on both the people who are part of that neocon framework, but also has taken on their overall view of the sort of hard-line America should get involved, intervene in the Middle East again, and he's talked aggressively about what to do even in the current problems, where there have been these riots, and how the U.S. should react very harshly and in a military fashion toward that, apparently. So what you've got is in many ways almost a more pure version of George W. Bush without—with even fewer subtleties than George W. Bush brought.

    JAY: Thanks for joining us, Bob.

    PARRY: Thank you, Paul.

    JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting