Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Sunday, April 11, 2004

"Phoenix Memo" + Moussaoui + August 6 PDB = X 

Two months before 9-11, Phoenix FBI agent Kenneth Williams wrote a memo to FBI HQ, reading in part,

In the version of William's memo made public, most all names are blacked out: if any of the 19 hijacker's names were mentioned in this memo, it means that the FBI HQ knew the identities of terrorists who two months later would hijack four airplanes within the United States - and had been warned of the possibility of specific individuals who were feared to be at some point in the development of a plot to hijack airplanes.

On August 15, 2001, Minneapolis FBI agents took Zaccharias Moussaoui into custody . Here is Colleen Rowley's May 21, 2002 memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller concerning Moussaui: Rowley writes,

Between these two events, President Bush received the now famous August 6 Presidential Daily Briefing which stated,

Rather than point out absurdities such as Bush claiming that the memo "said nothing about an attack on America," I'll present the nutshell timeline:

The significance of the August 6 memo reaches beyond the loose warnings it describes by establishing the intelligence failures reached all the way up to the Oval Office - the President was made aware that an al Qaeda plot to hijack airplanes may be in the works. Shortly before the President received the August 6 memo, an FBI agent had alerted FBI Headquarters of suspected terrorists taking flying lessons at US schools. Shortly after the President had definitively been made aware of al Qaeda's active desire to attack within the US, the FBI obtained definitive and specific information about Zaccharias Moussaoui - and indeed had him in custody. It's now the JD's contention that Moussaoui was the 20th hijacker, which is a reasonable assumption.

The August 6 brief means much more when looked at along side Kenneth Williams' memo and the arrest of Zaccharias Moussaoui. A presidential directive to vigorously pursue leads on suspected al Qaeda operatives within the US - particularly those suspected of planning a hijacking - could have turned over some rocks and shook some trees that were known of, but left unexamined until it was too late.

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