The Commission – The Uncensored History Of The 9/11 Investigation by Philip Shenon (Little, Brown, $35) is published on Monday.
It would later be revealed by the 9/11 commission into the September 11 attacks that more than 40 presidential briefings presented to Bush from January 2001 through to September 10, 2001, included references to bin Laden.
Hypotheses about Bush and Saudi Arabia
- Saudi Arabia didn’t know and Bush and SA were both surprised on 9-11 including Saudi ambassador’s wife who is said to have given money to groups or associates of the Magnificent 19.
- Saudi Arabia did know but pegged Bush as weak and inexperienced. This was the same as Khrushchev thinking Kennedy was weak, except this time they were right.
- Bush was not properly served by subordinates who needed to recommend specific actions both before and after 9-11, such as round-up and keep the Saudis. The Director of FBI should have put this in writing. So should the DOJ.
- Bush from the briefings expected that something would happen but he didn’t actually plot with the Saudis. Bush thought it would be another “small” attack. Bush thought it was not his job to take actions to respond to a small attack.
- Bush had had prior discussions with the Saudis about al Qaeda. This was not a plot to attack the United States but simply that they as wise men knew such an attack would come and it would indicate the US would take a more active role in the Middle East. During that they discussed the 1998 law signed by Clinton to make regime change in Iraq a goal. They discussed that such an attack would help. During these discussions, they also may have said that the oil industry and the oil producers would ultimately not be harmed by such an attack.
If anyone on the White House staff had responsibility for making Bush’s blood “boil” that summer about Osama bin Laden, it was Rice.
The members of Mike Hurley’s team were also alarmed by the revelations, week by week, month by month, of how close the commission’s chief director, Philip Zelikow, was to Rice and others at the White House.
Bush made Condoleezza Rice Secretary of State in his second term. Rice appointed Robert Zelikow to be Counselor of the Department of State. Rice is using the Zelikow Solution, bury your problems.