Note again that Rice stated, in explaining the August 6, 2001 Daily Brief, that it addressed Bin Laden's "methods of operation from a historical perspective dating back to 1997."
What exactly did it say? We cannot know. But the Inquiry's 9/11 Report lays out all such threats, over that time period, in thirty-six bullet point summaries. It is only necessary to cite a few of these to see the problem:
- In September 1998, the [Intelligence Community] obtained information that Bin Laden's next operation might involve flying an explosive-laden aircraft into a U.S. airport and detonating it. (Emphasis added.)
- In the fall of 1998, the [Intelligence Community] obtained information concerning a Bin Laden plot involving aircraft in the New York and Washington, D.C. areas.
- In March 2000, the [Intelligence Community] obtained information regarding the types of targets that operatives of Bin Laden's network might strike. The Statute of Liberty was specifically mentioned , as were skyscrapers, ports, airports, and nuclear power plans. (Emphasis added.)
In sum, the 9/11 Report of the Congressional Inquiry indicates that the intelligence community was very aware that Bin Laden might fly an airplane into an American skyscraper.
Given the fact that there had already been an attempt to bring down the twin towers of the World Trade Center with a bomb, how could Rice say what she did?
Certainly, someone could have predicted, contrary to Rice's claim that, among other possibilities, "these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon."
This extract from John Dean's piece is crucial. The White House defence of their performance on 11 September has always been that no-one could foresee the attack. That is untrue as shown by the Joint Inquiry.
Its untruth is also proved by the security planning for the Sydney Olympics which included the possibility of terrorist attack using a hijacked plane. A report from the Australian Parliament's library canvassed the use of a hijacked Jumbo as a weapon in 1998. If Australia and New South Wales have the resources to envisage such things, why not the White House?