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EXCLUSIVE: Obama Got Pre-Christmas Intelligence Briefing About Terror Threats to "Homeland"

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posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 10:16 PM
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Amazingly this story is from Newsweek. Let's see if it grows any legs.


President Barack Obama received a high-level briefing only three days before Christmas about possible holiday-period terrorist threats against the US, Newsweek has learned. The briefing was centered on a written report, produced by US intelligence agencies, entitled "Key Homeland Threats", a senior US official said....

In a background briefing for reporters on December 29, also attributed in an official White House transcript to a "senior administration official", that official asserted that in the wake of the attempted underpants attack, it had become clear to the President and top advisors that before Christmas, the US government was in posession of "bits and pieces" of information, which, if they had been properly knitted together, "could have...allowed us to disrupt the attack or certainly to know much more about the alleged attacker in such a way as to ensure that he was on, as the President suggested in his statement, a no-fly list." In the briefing, the official identified three rough categories of information that the government had which could have been relevant to foiling the attack: information about Abdulmutallab and his plans, info about Al-Qaeda and their plans, and info "about potential attacks during the holiday period."...

Presidential aides are concerned that Obama will somehow be unfairly accused of dropping the ball on the fight against terrorist in Yemen -- a country where, in fact, the evidence suggests Obama, as early as last summer, ordered a significant increase in US intelligence activity. In the weeks before the Christmas attacks, several US officials have told Newsweek, Obama authorized a major expansion in US intelligence, military and material support to Yemen's government -- an escalation which some officials acknowledge could be characterized as a new covert war.


blog.newsweek.com... d.aspx




posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 11:01 PM
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Sorry! All I can think of to say right now is,"Nice pants!"

What was your opinion about the significance of the article?



posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 11:27 PM
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Small potatoes. The real meat:

www.slate.com...

www.cnn.com...

The Out-of-Towner While Bush vacationed, 9/11 warnings went unheard.
By Fred Kaplan Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004, at 7:54 PM ET

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ... Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...In an otherwise dry day of hearings before the 9/11 commission, one brief bit of dialogue set off a sudden flash of clarity on the basic question of how our government let disaster happen.

The revelation came this morning, when CIA Director George Tenet was on the stand. Timothy Roemer, a former Democratic congressman, asked him when he first found out about the report from the FBI's Minnesota field office that Zacarias Moussaoui, an Islamic jihadist, had been taking lessons on how to fly a 747. Tenet replied that he was briefed about the case on Aug. 23 or 24, 2001.

Roemer then asked Tenet if he mentioned Moussaoui to President Bush at one of their frequent morning briefings. Tenet replied, "I was not in briefings at this time." Bush, he noted, "was on vacation." He added that he didn't see the president at all in August 2001. During the entire month, Bush was at his ranch in Texas. "You never talked with him?" Roemer asked. "No," Tenet replied. By the way, for much of August, Tenet too was, as he put it, "on leave."

And there you have it. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has made a big point of the fact that Tenet briefed the president nearly every day. Yet at the peak moment of threat, the two didn't talk at all. At a time when action was needed, and orders for action had to come from the top, the man at the top was resting undisturbed.

Throughout that summer, we now well know, Tenet, Richard Clarke, and several other officials were running around with their "hair on fire," warning that al-Qaida was about to unleash a monumental attack. On Aug. 6, Bush was given the now-famous President's Daily Brief (by one of Tenet's underlings), warning that this attack might take place "inside the United States." For the previous few years—as Philip Zelikow, the commission's staff director, revealed this morning—the CIA had issued several warnings that terrorists might fly commercial airplanes into buildings or cities.

And now, we learn today, at this peak moment, Tenet hears about Moussaoui. Someone might have added 2 + 2 + 2 and possibly busted up the conspiracy. But the president was down on the ranch, taking it easy. Tenet wasn't with him. Tenet never talked with him. Rice—as she has testified—wasn't with Bush, either. He was on his own and, willfully, out of touch.

A USA Today story, written right before Bush took off, reported that the vacation—scheduled to last from Aug. 3 to Sept. 3—would tie one of Richard Nixon's as the longest that any president had ever taken. A week before he left, Bush made a videotaped message for the Boy Scouts of America. On the tape, he said, "I'll be going to my ranch in Crawford, where I'll work and take a little time off. I think it is so important for the president to spend some time away from Washington, in the heartland of America."

Dana Milbank and Mike Allen of the Washington Post recently wrote a story recalling those halcyon days in Crawford. On Aug. 7, 2001, the day after the fateful PDB, Bush, they wrote, "was in an expansive mood … when he ran into reporters while playing golf." The president's aides emphasized that he was working, now and then, on a few issues—education, immigration, Social Security, and his impending decision on stem-cell research. On Aug. 29, less than a week after Tenet found out about Moussaoui, Bush gave a speech before the American Legion. The White House press office headlined the text of the address, "President Discusses Defense Priorities." Those priorities: boosting soldiers' pay and abandoning the Anti-Ballistic-Missile Treaty. Nothing about terrorism, Osama Bin Laden, hijackings. Nothing that reflected the PDB or Moussaoui.

Anyone who has ever spent time in Washington knows that the whole town takes off the month of August. Despite the "threat spike," August 2001, it seems, was no different.

Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer and the State Department's counterterrorism chief from 1989-93, explained on MSNBC this afternoon, during a break in the hearings, why the PDB—let alone the Moussaoui finding—should have compelled everyone to rush back to Washington. In his CIA days, Johnson wrote "about 40" PDBs. They're usually dispassionate in tone, a mere paragraph or two. The PDB of Aug. 6 was a page and a half. "That's the intelligence-community equivalent of writing War and Peace," Johnson said. And the title—"Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US"—was clearly designed to set off alarm bells. Johnson told his interviewer that when he read the declassified document, "I said 'Holy smoke!' This is such a dead-on 'Mr. President, you've got to do something!' " (By the way, Johnson claimed he's a Republican who voted for Bush in 2000.)

Bush got back after Labor Day. That first day, Sept. 4, was when the "Principals Committee"—consisting of his Cabinet heads—met in the White House to discuss terrorism. As Dick Clarke has since complained, and Condi Rice and others have acknowledged, it was the first time Bush's principals held a meeting on the subject.

This morning, Roemer asked Tenet if he brought up the Moussaoui briefing at that meeting. No, Tenet replied. "It wasn't the appropriate place." Roemer didn't follow up and ask, "Why not? Where was the appropriate place?" Perhaps he was too stunned. He sure looked it.

The official story about the PDB is that the CIA prepared it at the president's request. Bush had heard all Tenet's briefings about a possible al-Qaida attack overseas, the tale goes, and he wanted to know if Bin Laden might strike here. This story is almost certainly untrue. On March 19 of this year, Tenet told the 9/11 commission that the PDB had been prepared, as usual, at a CIA analyst's initiative. He later retracted that testimony, saying the president had asked for the briefing. Tenet embellished his new narrative, saying that the CIA officer who gave the briefing to Bush and Condi Rice started by reminding the president that he had request

Best,
Skunknuts



posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 11:59 PM
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The president complained that a warning from the former London engineering student’s father and information about an al Qaeda bomb plot involving a Nigerian were not handled properly by the intelligence networks.

But CIA officials say the data was sent to the US National Counterterrorism Centre in Washington, which was set up after the 9/11 attacks as a clearing house where raw data should be analysed.

Agents claim that is where the dots should have been connected to help identify Abdulmutallab as a threat.


www.dailymail.co.uk...

Seems like CIA says they forward info. Yet, the administration makes it sound like the CIA dropped the ball.

Probably will never know what the whole truth is.



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 12:56 AM
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reply to post by skunknuts
 


Your whole post is off-topic. Might be good info, but what does it have to do with the OP?

In regards to the OP, the title on the article is highly suggestive and misleading. The article itself shows no real information nor any direct information in regards to a threat. I am not a fan of President Obama, but Newsweek is just using sensationalism regarding an event to sell some magazine.

The president gets these briefings probably weekly if not a brief one daily. That doesn't mean there were not failures, but this news piece actually shows nothing except that the president was briefed prior to going on vacation.



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 01:05 AM
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Originally posted by ownbestenemy
reply to post by skunknuts
 


Your whole post is off-topic. Might be good info, but what does it have to do with the OP?

In regards to the OP, the title on the article is highly suggestive and misleading. The article itself shows no real information nor any direct information in regards to a threat. I am not a fan of President Obama, but Newsweek is just using sensationalism regarding an event to sell some magazine.

The president gets these briefings probably weekly if not a brief one daily. That doesn't mean there were not failures, but this news piece actually shows nothing except that the president was briefed prior to going on vacation.


My post is directly on target. It referenced how the previous president was warned of the threat before 9/11, in a PDB, a real news story. Like I said, the small sensationalized BS they are trying to smear Obama with is infinitesimally minuscule compared to the real dereliction of duty demonstrated by Bush. Definitely not off topic in my opinion.

Best,
SN



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by skunknuts
 


That is the thing though. This is just a sensationalist article, not one that is trying to smear anyone. People will undoubtedly use just the title of the article to push their views that they do not like President Obama, but that is them and their arguments will have holes in them.

I see the connection you are making and on second look for me to say you are off-topic was a bit premature. I believe in an indirect way it is relevant, but still, the Newsweek article says nothing really. Nothing new, nothing shocking nor anything about What They Knew and When Did They Know It kinda stuff.



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 01:54 AM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


I agree with your assessment, but I do think they are trying to get on the blame Obama band-wagon to sell magazines. Seriously, though, what could Obama do about this one guy? I thought the last 8 years was all about spending billions of dollars on protecting the homeland, and giving-up civil rights as a calculated trade-off to capture the bogeyman.

Obviously the watch lists and intelligence agencies need to be overhauled and updated, and this has been ordered, but we will never be able to stop EVERY single crazy idiot terrorist.

I'm glad Obama didn't jump up and down and try to scare the s# out of the public. What happened happened, and the systems are being tweaked. But Americans need to stop being so fearful, and realize that the only way the terrorist succeed is if they get us all to freak out and change how we live at home in a negative way. Also, we need to realize that the strongest offense is a solid defense. What I mean, is if they execute an attack, we need to bounce back, and have the strong infrastructure that allows us to quickly rebound.

Obama is NOT god, he can't micromanage every tiny situation. Like I said, I'm glad he doesn't fear-monger on the terrorism issue as much as Cheney/Bush, and despite escalation in Afghanistan, does not seem as hell bent on war mongering 24/7/365. Let's hope that when he decides to pull-out, they don't do to him what they did to JFK when he was ready to pull out of Vietnam....

Best,
SN



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 06:53 AM
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I find this article interesting for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it hales from Newsweek. A publication that undeniably fawned over Obama during the campaign and eversince. Furthermore, Newsweek changed its format back in 08 to opinion/commentary rather news and journalism. Perhaps they are trying to win back readership by reporting on this story.

Second, this article alludes to what has been discussed since this event happened. A potential Cover Up.

We have multiple witnesses that stated the bomber boarded the plan as a Somali refugee under the escort of a well dressed Indian man. Other eyewitnesses attest to seeing a man dressed in orange being escorted away in handcuffs. The same witnesses saw a drug/bomb dog alert to a bag. One of these witnesses has been visited and thoroughly questioned by the FBI. Another witness claims to have seen a man calmly video record the whole incident on the plane.

Anyway, it goes on and on. Let's just see how the stories change over time and influence.



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 08:56 AM
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Originally posted by jibeho

We have multiple witnesses that stated the bomber boarded the plan as a Somali refugee under the escort of a well dressed Indian man. Other eyewitnesses attest to seeing a man dressed in orange being escorted away in handcuffs. The same witnesses saw a drug/bomb dog alert to a bag. One of these witnesses has been visited and thoroughly questioned by the FBI. Another witness claims to have seen a man calmly video record the whole incident on the plane.

Anyway, it goes on and on. Let's just see how the stories change over time and influence.


I have this lousy feeling that this bomber was never in touch with "Al Qaeda" at all, but honestly believed he was. I also have this feeling that his bomb was supposed to work, and that the back-story that we have now was supposed to indicate that the Obama Administration sucks at terrorism prevention.

The pre-marketing for this attack was well established, and put out there by the folks who brought us the last major terror attack against the homeland. We lucked out, but I don't expect our team to be capable of actually connecting the real dots in this case, to run it down to where it actually originated. That said, it'll be another six months to a year before the perps get another bite of the apple. Look for the Cheney Troll to come out from under the bridge again and start with the dire warnings to lead up to the next offensive. Then, when he lays off for a month or so, watch out.

Expect the next attack on a date that will be really easy to market in our society (July 4, Sept 11, Christmas, Easter, any 11th of a month) and expect it to be another convoluted "masterpiece" as opposed to a simple Al Qaeda car/truck suicide bomber in downtown Manhattan - which is the classic Al Qaeda attack MO in every other country on Earth. But then, this is the corporate version of Al Qaeda. They attack with daring and imaginative super-plots, and honor our most important - and therefore, easily marketed - dates of the year. There are also the opportunities for heroes and villains, and all the stuff that makes for good media copy. No quick, easy hits for the US homeland. Our public gets bored with quick, easy kills.

Expect the next attack to also involve airplanes (or mass transit of some sort - trains/subways) so that Obama can be given his own 9/11 failure to live down. Expect a lot of dropped balls and unconnected dots, regardless of how hard the intelligence community works to get it right. The holes will just be there, and it will make the Obama folks look like either idiots or conspirators. Then immediately expect the mainstream media to put a lot of GOP Senators and Reps on camera, and plenty of similar news scoops like this one to show up.

Keep in mind that the CIA created Al Qaeda from the 1970's Afghanistan resistance, and that the top level bureaucratic tier in the CIA is made up almost exclusively of ex-Wall Street brokerage house executives. Terror is big business, and will be for the foreseeable future.



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