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It’s astounding what so many of us didn’t know nine days before 9/11

September 11, 2011

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IN RESPONSE to Joan Wickersham’s perusal of Globe articles just prior to the events of Sept. 11, 2001 (“Nine days before the sky fell,’’ Op-ed, Sept. 2), it would be instructive and far more relevant to also remember what didn’t appear in the Globe.

For instance, we later learned that just prior to 9/11, CIA director George Tenet had advised President Bush that “the system was blinking red’’ that an attack on US soil was imminent. Richard Clarke, the chief counterterrorism expert on the National Security Council staff, was issuing numerous similar warnings as close to Sept. 11 as July 2, 2001.

Under questioning by Richard Ben-Veniste of the 9/11 Commission, a commission that Bush and Vice President Cheney initially vehemently opposed, Condoleezza Rice reluctantly admitted that the title of the Aug. 6, 2001, Presidential Daily Briefing, as prepared by the CIA, was “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the United States.’’ Rice then said, incredibly, with regard to the confirmation of Al Qaeda cells in the United States, “I don’t remember the Al Qaeda cells [in the United States] as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.’’

These confirmed facts were discovered after the event due to the diligence of the 9/11 Commission, and are far more relevant to a discussion of events preceding 9/11 than Wickersham’s scanning of headlines.

Bill Prindle