Complete 911 Timeline
Open-Content investigative project managed by matt, Derek, Paul, KJF, mtuck, paxvector
This is a news item pertaining to the Complete 911 Timeline investigative project, one of several grassroots investigations being hosted on the History Commons website. The data published as part of this investigation has been collected, organized, and published by members of the public who are registered users of this website.
1/11/2009: 9/11 Commission, 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US' PDB - Additions as of January 11, 2009
Most of this week’s additions to the 9/11 Timeline focus on the 9/11 Commission, in particular its treatment of the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) item entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” Philip Zelikow, the commission’s executive director, allegedly pressured one of the CIA analysts who wrote the PDB to accept the White House’s interpretation of what it said, but this conversation was overheard by a staffer, who reported it through a back-channel network used to monitor Zelikow’s behaviour. Zelikow tried to prevent a formal interview of the CIA analysts who wrote the PDB item, but was unsuccessful and they told the commission the PDB was neither “historical” nor ordered by Bush.
By May 2004 the commission’s staff had found that New York’s was ill-prepared for a terrorist attack, but realised this information needed to be handled sensitively at public hearings in New York. However, a row between commissioner John Lehman and former New York officials on the first of two days of hearings completely derailed the commission’s approach.
FBI director Robert Mueller conducted a charm offensive against the commission, leading to a public hearing at which the commission showered him with praise instead of asking hard questions.
Former Attorney General John Ashcroft was not very interested in terrorism in his very first briefing from Acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard, but issued a vague terror alert in October 2001 and claimed the US was “victorious” in the “opening battle of the war on terrorism” shortly afterwards.
Historians questioned President George Bush’s failure to return to Washington start of the attacks, but Bush later proposed a volunteer civil-defense service and a docudrama later portrayed him as an “action movie superhero.”
Finally, a special forces commander was appointed FAA security chief in late 2000 and on September 12 the Wall Street Journal called for attacks on Syria, Sudan, Libya, Algeria and Egypt.