Origin of 6 August 2001 PDB terrorism item
SWaterman at upi.com
Mon Apr 19 01:19:57 EDT 2004
Jesus Oquendo writes: "I cannot find any National Security Directive
for the 4th or 10th of September so am I wrong to gather Ari was
speaking of the actual PDB afterwards when he stated "In fact, the
label on the President's -- the PDB was, 'bin Laden determined to
strike the United States.'"
Fleischer in fact is referring to two different documents. The PDB --
of which he misidentifies the headline, dropping the vital word "in"
-- and the NSPD considered at the Deputies Committee of Sept. 4 and
the Principals' Committee meeting six days later, but not actually
signed by the president (according to Rumsfeld) until Oct. 25. This
latter document has NOT been declassified, except selectively,
according to our invaluable Mr. Aftergood.
Allen Thomson writes: "Anyway, it would be interesting to know the
history and origins of the questions that led to the 6 August PDB
Here is Commissioner Ben Veniste, talking to Tenet last week:
On March the 19th, you said to us, "The author of this piece (the
PDB item), and others familiar with it, say they have no information
to suggest that this piece was written in response to a question from
the president. We do not know who reported that to the commission (it
was Condi Rice, actually), but we do not believe it's accurate. The
information we have is that it was prompted by an idea from another
Subsequently, you wrote to us, "The PDB article was in response to
a series of events. Throughout the spring and summer the president
was shown a number of pieces outlining intelligence indicating that
al Qaeda was planning a large attack. During these discussions, the
president raised questions about whether the intelligence pointed to
threats inside the United States. Although there was no formal
tasking, the president's questions were discussed at a PDB planning
session. At that time it was decided to do a piece laying out what we
knew about Osama bin Laden's interest in striking inside the United
When this item was presented in the PDB on August 6th, with Dr.
Rice present, the briefer introduced the piece by referring to the
president's earlier questions. In summary, although the August 6th
PDB piece was technically self-initiated, it was prompted by the
president's questions and interest."
I tell more of this story in a piece UPI will publish Monday.
UPI Homeland and National Security Editor
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