September 18, 2002


GET ME REWRITE!
Karl's post-9/11 script undergoes revision.

WASHINGTON (AP) - American intelligence agencies received far more reports of terrorist plotting to use planes as weapons before Sept. 11 than the U.S. government has previously acknowledged, congressional investigators said Wednesday. Well, there's a surprise.

Eleanor Hill, staff director for the House and Senate intelligence inquiry, outlined 12 examples of intelligence information on the possible terrorist use of airplanes as weapons, dating back to 1994. The last example occurred a month before the attacks, when intelligence agencies were told of a possible bin Laden plot to bomb the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, or crash a plane into it.

In August 1998, U.S. intelligence learned that a "group of unidentified Arabs planned to fly an explosive-laden plane from a foreign country into the World Trade Center," says the report. Other intelligence suggested that bin Laden supporters might crash a plane into a U.S. airport, or conduct a plot involving aircraft at New York and Washington, the report said.

With revelations in the spring that George of the Bungle had learned a month before the attacks that that bin Laden wanted to hijack airplanes, White House nursemaids used doubletalk as a pathetic defense, saying Chimpy the Red-eyed Boozer's comic books briefing detailed plans for traditional hijackings, not the use of airplanes as weapons. Ohhhhhhhhh.

"I don't think anybody could have predicted ... that they would try to use an airplane as missile," Condoleezza Rice said after the attacks. Sure. It's understandable - having to count on only 12 intelligence reports is a bit much to ask for. If you're a dumbass. But I guess it wasn't as obvious as predicting that Chimp and Cheney would use war talk to prevent coverage of the Harken and Halliburton scandals, their buds at Enron walking around free, and the economy being in the crapper.

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