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July 22, 2004
9/11 Download Complete

I've downloaded my copy of the 9/11 report and will read it in its entirety before commenting on it in my blog. However, if you'd like to see some interesting commentary on the report, check out The Corner at NRO, as they are tearing through it right now. One passage that they excerpt seems to demolish Richard Clarke as a credible commentator on security issues:

We apparently identified bin Laden at a camp, but held off an attack partly because of worries that a member of the UAE royal family was there too. But we hoped bin Laden might return to the camp and we would be able to target him then. Enter Richard Clarke and here is the commission's narrative:

Even after bin Ladens departure from the area, CIA officers hoped he might return, seeing the camp as a magnet that could draw him for as long as it was still set up. The military maintained readiness for another strike opportunity. On March 7, 1999, Clarke called a UAE official to express his concerns about possible associations between Emirati officials and bin Laden. Clarke later wrote in a memorandum of this conversation that the call had been approved at an interagency meeting and cleared with the CIA. When the former bin Laden unit chief found out about Clarkes call, he questioned CIA officials, who denied having given such clearance. Imagery confirmed that less than a week after Clarkes phone call the camp was hurriedly dismantled, and the site was deserted. CIA officers, including Deputy Director for Operations Pavitt, were irate. Mike thought the dismantling of the camp erased a possible site for targeting bin Laden.

It seems that Sandy Berger isn't the only Clinton-era national-security professional who got sloppy. More later.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 22, 2004 11:27 AM

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» 9/11 Commission: "we believe we are safer today" from QandO
There's a great deal more, both critical and otherwise, but I'll post one small bit from the Executive Summary of the 9/11 Commission Report.... Are We Safer? Since 9/11, the United States and its allies have killed or captured a... [Read More]

Tracked on July 22, 2004 1:38 PM

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