Origin of 6 August 2001 PDB terrorism item
thomsona at flash.net
Fri Apr 9 11:56:02 EDT 2004
Ah, reading further, I see that Mr. Ben-Veniste did pick up on the point.
Reflecting on this, I'd think that the production logs of the PDB staff in
CIA/DI/CPAS might be informative.
BEN-VENISTE: I want to ask you some questions about the Aug. 6, 2001, P.D.B.
We had been advised in writing by the C.I.A. on March 19, 2004, that the
Aug. 6 P.D.B. was prepared and self-generated by a C.I.A. employee.
Following Director Tenet's testimony on March 26 before us, the C.I.A.
clarified its version of events saying that questions by the president
prompted them to prepare the Aug. 6 P.D.B. You have said to us in our
meeting together earlier, in February, that the president directed the
C.I.A. to prepare the Aug. 6 P.D.B. The extraordinary high terrorist attack
threat level in the summer of 2001 is well documented. And Richard Clarke's
testimony about the possibility of an attack against the United States
homeland was repeatedly discussed from May to August within the intelligence
community and that is well documented. You acknowledged to us in your
interview of Feb. 7, 2004, that Richard Clarke told you that al Qaeda cells
were in the United States. Did you tell the president, at any time prior to
Aug. 6, of the existence of al Qaeda cells in the United States?
RICE: First of all, yes, the Aug. 6 P.D.B. was in response to questions of
the president. In that sense, he asked that this be done. It was not a
particular threat report. And there was historical information in there
about - about various aspects of al Qaeda's operations. Dick Clarke had told
me, I think in a memorandum - I remember it as being only a line or two -
that there were al Qaeda cells in the United States. Now, the question is:
What did we need to do about that? And I also understood that that was what
the F.B.I. was doing, that the F.B.I. was pursuing these al Qaeda cells. I
believe in the Aug. 6 memorandum it says that there were 70 full field
investigations underway of these cells. And so there was no recommendation
that we do something about this - the F.B.I. was pursuing it.
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