Common Dreams NewsCenter

We Can't Do It Without You!

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

Home > Progressive Community > NewsWire > For Immediate Release
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
MARCH 26, 2004
2:53 PM
Jessica Smith or Trevor FitzGibbon (202) 822-5200
Bush Downgraded Bin Laden as a Threat in 2001 - Report Corroborates Richard Clarke’s Testimony

WASHINGTON - March 26 - On April 30, 2001, CNN reported that when the new Bush Administration released the government’s annual terrorism report, it made a serious change: “There was no extensive mention of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden,” as there had been in previous years.

When asked why the Administration had reduced the focus, “a senior Bush State Department official told CNN the U.S. government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden.”

The report directly contradicts the White House’s continuing assertion that fighting terrorism was its “top priority” before September 11th.

The move to downgrade the fight against Al Qaeda before 9/11, despite repeated warnings that an Al Qaeda attack was imminent, is consistent with other Administration behavior. Specifically, the Associated Press reported in 2002 that “President Bush’s national security leadership met formally nearly 100 times in the months prior to the Sept. 11 attacks, yet terrorism was the topic during only two of those sessions.”

Meanwhile, Newsweek reported that internal government documents show that, before 9/11, the Bush Administration moved to “de-emphasize” counterterrorism. When “FBI officials sought to add hundreds more counterintelligence agents” to deal with the problem, “they got shot down” by the White House, the magazine said.

For full citations and links to the cited documents, visit:


Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
Read our Guidelines for Submitting News Releases is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.