April 14, 2004

What If...

...say, Maureen Dowd (or some like-minded soul), in full-quotes-be-damned; long-live-endless-ellipses glory--had the run of the August 6th PDB?

She might have come up with something like this:

"...Bin Ladin wanted to hijack...US aircraft to...attack...World Trade Center...with explosives..."

I mean, the recriminations would almost be "thermonuclear" or some such.

(Hat Tip: A commenter at The National Debate)

Come to think of it, having just returned from a weekend in France, I can report that that's pretty much how august outlets like Le Monde have been reporting the August PDB.

And, of course, it's not just in France.

Small wonder significant segments of the German public believe the U.S. government had a hand in orchestrating 9/11.

With all the hyperbolic claptrap about the August 6th PDB being fanned in the predictable quarters--expect such lugubrious conspiracy-think to flourish further amidst the fecund fields of the America-bashing gruppen.

A quick related note on this August 6th PDB business:

Remember this part of the PDB?:

"We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (redacted portion) ... service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists."

I ask you: how would a typical POTUS digest this information?

That the likelihood of a hijacking occurring (even of the straight-forward, plain vanilla variety, mind you) was, by itself, deemed to be uncorroborated and "sensational" in nature.

Put differently, a rational consumer of the intel would conclude that Langley didn't consider it likely to happen.

And recall, hijacking (not the suicidal missile kind but the take hostages and extract concessions kind) was at least a two decades old phenomenon in international terrorism.

So Bush, even if he decided the threat report wasn't "sensational" would then, reasonably, have thought UBL and Co. might simply try to hijack a flight and then use the passengers/aircraft as collateral to blackmail the U.S. authorities into releasing Sheik Rahman.

But how could his imagination be so greviously limited?!?

Surveillance was underway at "federal buildings in New York" (city, ostensibly)!

"Explosives" use might be contemplated!

Ergo, of course, two planes would be used as missiles to reduce the World Trade Center to the rubble that was Ground Zero (and, for good measure, one would bang into the Pentagon too!)

It was all so clear--had hapless Georgie not been so dim, so AWOL, so dismissive of the bureaucratic uber-mensch (turned consultant!) Richard Clarke.

Bottom line about the August 6th PDB: much ado about nothing folks.

That's why John Kerry doesn't talk about it.

He's smarter than those on the Left rattling on about it.

Posted by Gregory at April 14, 2004 12:18 AM
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