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High-Ranking Officials Admit 9/11 Could've Been Prevented
"This was not something that had to happen."
"They simply failed."
— Thomas H. Kean, Chair of the independent commission investigating 9/11. Kean is a Republican appointed by Bush
"They don't have any excuse because the information was in their lap, and they didn't do anything to prevent it."
— Senator Richard Shelby, then ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee; member of the joint intelligence committee that investigated 9/11
"I don't believe any longer that it's a matter of connecting the dots. I think they had a veritable blueprint, and we want to know why they didn't act on it."
— Senator Arlen Specter, a Republican member of the joint intelligence committee that investigated 9/11
"There were lots of warnings."
— Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
"Should we have known? Yes, we should have. Could we have known? Yes, I believe we could have because of the hard targets [CIA operatives were tracking]."
— Representative Porter Goss, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Republican co-chairman of the joint intelligence committee that investigated 9/11
"I cannot say for sure that there wasn't a possibility we could have come across some lead that would have led us to the hijackers."
— FBI Director Robert Mueller
"As of September 10th, each of us knew everything we needed to know to tell us there was a possibility of what happened on September 11th."
— Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff (described by the Associated Press as "the Bush administration's top anti-terrorism prosecutor")
"Had one human being or a common group of human beings sat down with all that information, we could have gotten to the hijackers before they flew those four airplanes either into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or the ground of Pennsylvania."
— Senator Bob Graham, then Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Democratic co-chairman of the joint intelligence panel that investigated 9/11
"If you put all those pieces together, I don't say you could have prevented September 11th, but there might have been some warning, had it been handled properly."
— Vice President Dick Cheney