Ashcroft Slammed Over Sept 11 

  Ashcroft Slammed Over Sept 11 

Posted by CN Staff on April 13, 2004 at 09:17:19 PT
By Alan Elsner  
Source: Reuters  

Washington -- The U.S. Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft failed in 2001 to treat counterterrorism as a top priority, says the commission on the September 11 attacks. The commission staff statement was issued before the start of two days of hearings on the failure of the FBI and other agencies to prevent the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington that killed around 3,000 people.It focused on a May 10 Justice Department document that set out priorities for that year. The top priorities cited were reducing gun violence and combating drug trafficking. It made no mention of counterterrorism.
When Dale Watson, the head of the counterterrorism division, saw the report, he "almost fell out of his chair," the report said."The FBI's new counterterrorism strategy was not a focus of the Justice Department in 2001," it added.Then-acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard said he appealed to Ashcroft for more money for counterterrorism but on Sept 10, 2001, one day before the hijacked airliner attacks, Ashcroft rejected the appeal.Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, testifying before the commission, said the bureau's counterterrorism operations were severely underfunded and understaffed in the years leading up to the attacks."In the budget years 2000, 2001, 2002, we asked for 1,895 people -- agents, linguists, analysts. We got a total of 76 people during that period," Freeh said."That's not to criticise the U.S. Congress. It's not to criticise the Department of Justice. It is to focus on the fact that that was not a national priority."Freeh, questioned by Democratic commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste, later said intelligence services were aware of the danger that a terrorist might use a hijacked plane as a weapon.He acknowledged steps were taken to protect the White House as well as special events, such as the 2000 Olympic Games and meetings of world leaders, against such a threat, but nothing was done to protect the country at large. 'WELL-KNOWN THREAT' Ben-Veniste asked: "So it was well known in the intelligence community that this was a potential threat?"Freeh responded: "It was part of the planning for those events, that is correct."The commission was to hear later from Ashcroft, and his Democratic predecessor, Janet Reno.The staff report also focused on FBI failures to detect the 9/11 plot, amid new revelations contained in a presidential briefing that the bureau had some 70 separate investigations related to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network underway a month before the attacks.The newly declassified August 6, 2001, briefing said the FBI had detected suspicious activity "consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks."The report found the FBI was hampered by a culture resistant to change, inadequate resources and legal barriers.Despite significant resources devoted to investigations of major terrorist attacks that resulted in several prosecutions, FBI attempts to prevent such attacks failed to make changes across the bureau, it said."On September 11, 2001, the FBI was limited in several areas critical to an effective, preventive counterterrorism strategy," the report said, citing limited intelligence collection and analysis capabilities, limited information sharing, insufficient training, an overly complex legal regime and inadequate resources.Although the FBI's counterterrorism budget tripled during the mid-1990s, its counterterrorism spending stayed fairly constant between fiscal years 1998 and 2001, it added.On September 11, 2001, only about 1,300 agents, or 6 percent of the FBI's total personnel, worked on counterterrorism."Former FBI officials told us that prior to 9/11, there was not sufficient national commitment or political will to dedicate the necessary resources to counterterrorism," the report said. Source: Reuters Author: Alan Elsner Published: April 13, 2004 Copyright: 2004 Reuters Related Articles:Sept. 11 Commission Savages FBI on Drugs No Longer Feds' Highest Priority

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Comment #30 posted by FoM on April 15, 2004 at 13:06:22 PT
A Question About The War
I've been watching the news and what comes to my mind is that the war is really escalating. Could this be the beginning of WWIII?***Bin Laden Message May Suggest Attacks Planned 
By Tabassum Zakaria April 15, 2004WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A taped message purportedly from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden that sets a 90-day deadline for European countries to agree to a truce suggests his followers may have attacks planned in case the demand is rejected, some U.S. analysts said on Thursday. The CIA said its technical analysis determined the voice was "likely" that of bin Laden on the audiotape aired by Arab television stations earlier in the day. The message offered a truce with European countries if they stopped attacking Muslims, and vowed revenge on the United States for Israel's March 22 assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas. "And the announcement of the truce starts with the withdrawal of the last soldier from our land, and the door is open for three months from the date of the announcement of this statement," said the voice on the tape. Roger Cressey, a former White House counterterrorism official, said the assumption should be made al Qaeda had "a variety of operations in the hopper right now planned." Complete Article:
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on April 14, 2004 at 13:58:29 PT
I watched it but found it hard to handle and I needed to do some work so I was hurrying so I could see Ashcroft but he never spoke. Did I read it wrong or was Ashcroft to be back there today?
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Comment #28 posted by BGreen on April 14, 2004 at 13:42:19 PT
Anybody notice how tense the 3 stooges got
towards the end of the shrubs' miserable Q&A period last night?Of course I'm talking about andrew card, condi rice and the third guy (I don't know who's playing Curly this month.)The looks on their faces were strained by, uh, uh (lick lips,) uh, uh (lick lips,) uh (lick lips,) forty minutes of shrub looking down at answers on the podium, and using those answers regardless of what the question was.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #27 posted by goneposthole on April 14, 2004 at 08:55:15 PT
new threat
9/11 was not a conspiracy. so you know that there is no conspiracy going on at all.If you go after the cannabis users, you reduce the terrorist threat.Everybody knows that.
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Comment #26 posted by kaptinemo on April 14, 2004 at 08:05:51 PT:
And one more thing...
To all and sundry, including the antis reading this:Remember: It was the *antis* who wanted to spot-weld the War on Drugs to the War on Terror...and they've been found incompetent in both fields.For those who need their memories refreshed, I will repost a comment made by a DEAWatch poster THE VERY NEXT DAY AFTER THE TRAGEDY to illustrate just how ghoulishly self-centered these putative 'public servants' were about the prospects: 12 Sep 2001, 14:09 PST, 5th Edition
"N.M. Gov. Debates Legalizing Drugs with DEA Boss, con't:Instead of screwing around with Gary Johnson Asa should be making public statements equating community drug dealers with terrorists.(Emphais mine. -k.) We all know that a good portion of drug money is going to terrorist organizations. Drug dealers and terrorists are one and the same: they both work to undermind our national security. Somebody should tell Asa to leave the debates to ONDCP and start acting like a law enforcement executive. He is missing a good media opportunity to raise the drug war issue. Terrorists and drug dealers are one and the same... or is it only the flower part of the poppy that Afghanistan ships to the U.S.???See what I mean? Barely concealed greed at the opportunity to capitalize on the deaths of thousands of innocents. Disgusting. And all too typical.
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Comment #25 posted by kaptinemo on April 14, 2004 at 07:37:36 PT:
Billos, I'm no mindreader
But I'd bet good money ol' Johnny Pee is fervently wishing the Feebs would STFU(!) about the DrugWar taking so much time and money that the LEO apparatchiks were caught with their pants down by (putative) primitive 'ragheads' armed with (equally putative) boxcutters.Doesn't make the (Superhero echo voice) "DruuuuuugWarrrrriors!" look terribly good, since they've already taken TWO hits by both the OMB (as being incapable of stemming the flow of the really dangerous poisons into this country) and Georgie, Hisself, has slapped them with a 'poor performance' rating.To call attention as to all those HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of taxpayers dollars wasted in this DrugWar monkey-motion when they could have been used for proper counter-terrorism measures can't be helping his digestion any. Congress is in an uncharacteristically feisty mood right now, and such attention is like throwing chum in shark-infested waters. 
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Comment #24 posted by billos on April 14, 2004 at 04:31:21 PT:
I wonder where Jonny Pee is...................
while all this comes down. Maybe squirming in his wet stinking seat??
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 20:52:22 PT
Hello and thank you for your comment. I wanted to mention something because you are new here. You don't have to post your email address to post a comment. Email is only used for registration unless you really want to post it publically. It's up to you. Thanks!
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Comment #22 posted by Aragorn on April 13, 2004 at 20:33:11 PT:
    Watching him tonight, and it really is the first time I've ever forced myself to watch him speak "at length"-if that's what you can call it-because I so loathe the man, I'm reminded of Voltaire's comment about the Bourbon kings, "They never learned anything and they never forgot anything"! The same applies to W & the Neo's.    "Apres moi, le deluge"
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Comment #21 posted by MikeEEEEE on April 13, 2004 at 18:46:01 PT
Incompetence and stupidity
Incompetence and stupidity are probably helping Al-Qaida."the Bush administration fell neatly into the trap."
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Comment #20 posted by BGreen on April 13, 2004 at 18:37:50 PT
He sure did
The reporter asked the question that when he ran in 2000 he was asked the biggest mistake he had made. He joked that it was trading Sammy Sosa (sp). The reporter asked what his biggest mistake since 9/11 had been and what he would have done differently. bush never admitted anything, but in his verbal stumbling he said exactly what you said.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #19 posted by kaptinemo on April 13, 2004 at 18:37:27 PT:
No banana for Bonzo, tonight, I'm thinking
Rove and the other handlers must be holding their guts and screaming silently. 
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 18:21:56 PT
Did He Say What I Think He Said
Did he just say that he would have gone into Iraq even if he knew about the WMDs? I might not be saying it word for word but I hope someone can clarify what I thought he just said.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 18:14:14 PT
You're right. I have really tried to listen to the hearings on tv today and now Bush speaking and I still haven't heard anything profound just scape goating by everyone. If it wasn't so serious it sounds like how kids act when they are trying to not get in trouble with their parents. You know how it goes. I didn't do it, he did it. No I didn't do it, he did it. Over and over. No one will take even a little responsbility even though so many died that terrible day in September.
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Comment #16 posted by BGreen on April 13, 2004 at 18:07:31 PT
He's looking down at his scripted answers
but he's not answering ANY of the questions.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 17:55:34 PT
You know I'm not too critical of Bush but the word Ah over and over again really is hard to listen too. I want to help him find words to speak. 
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Comment #14 posted by mayan on April 13, 2004 at 17:49:04 PT
Ashcroft is a Terrorist
Bush is now giving his press conference. He is terribly desperate."Oh Lucy! - You Gotta Lotta 'Splainin To Do" - A TIMELINE SURROUNDING SEPTEMBER 11TH - IF CIA AND THE GOVERNMENT WEREN'T INVOLVED IN THE SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS
WHAT WERE THEY DOING? by Michael C. Ruppert:
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Comment #13 posted by AlvinCool on April 13, 2004 at 15:37:15 PT

Drug time
I agree. The light has not directly focused on it but it's going to soon in a big way. The question of how many people that worked, both the CIA and the FBI, daily on the Drug War. Since 9/11 how much of that task force went back to actual FBI and CIA related work?So how is the current drug situation any worse than it was when they had all those people on drug cases??? Excuse me but I think I also remember Bush touting a major reduction of drug use, with how many less people did it take to get that reduction? And if we have less and less people from the government involved with the Drug War will that make things better? I just wonderThose will be the questions that will hurt them. I can't wait to see the spin they put on it.

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Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 12:09:38 PT

Kapt and Everyone Check This Out!
 Drug War Led Bush Astray Before 9/11 
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Comment #11 posted by kaptinemo on April 13, 2004 at 12:03:37 PT:

This is gonna get interesting
Friends, don't be surprised at all if this particular angle - Feds cracking down on MMJ patients when resources were cryingly needed for couterterrorism - gets even more dissemination in the conventional media.Why? Because we know the journos read CNEWS...and they love such wild inconsistancies.That's right. This site and others like it, like DrugWarRant and LastOneSpeaks and the other sites and blogs that regularly rake the Feds over the coals for their rampant stupidity vis-a-vis the DrugWar, get attention. The LEOs aren't the only ones providing the hits, oh no, not by a long shot.And stuff like this, which graphically portrays a government with insanely divergent priorities, afflicting the helpless while enabling murderers, is juicy meat. Keep it up!
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 11:23:00 PT

EJ a Couple Links
I've been looking for articles to post about LACRC but most of them were snipped but I found these two that work.DEA Marijuana Madness: US Marijuana Clinics Raided in Crackdown:
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Comment #9 posted by E_Johnson on April 13, 2004 at 11:04:27 PT

LACRC-- 10/25/01
This was during the peak of the anthrax attack: was so insulting to America not just us.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 10:53:11 PT

Ashcroft's Errant Hammer
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 10:42:01 PT

Ashcroft and Tommy Chong
Washington Cracks Down on Tommy Chong September 12, 2003 Although we couldn't find Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden if we attached an $87 billion LoJack to them, at least that evildoer Tommy Chong isn't still smokin'. 
Chong, Cheech Marin's 65-year-old sidekick from the evergreen '80s movies that bear their names, was sentenced to nine months in federal prison this week for conspiring to sell marijuana paraphernalia. Snip: 
Washington Cracks Down on Tommy Chong:
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Comment #6 posted by Truth on April 13, 2004 at 10:29:20 PT

A. croft
We all know he is unwanted BUT that is exactly what Bush wanted or he wouldn't have put in a man that lost an election to a deceased person, I mean come on, what a joke.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 10:28:56 PT

5 Months After 9-11
DEA Raids Medical Marijuana Club:
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Comment #4 posted by Max Flowers on April 13, 2004 at 10:23:50 PT

Ashcroft's an idiot and should be removed
Yeah we know damn well what he was so preoccupied with and spent so much time and money on in 2001---it was in persecuting harmless medical cannabis patients. While he was obsessing over law-abiding American citizens who just want to be left alone to try to treat their pain and illness, he ignored an actual and dangerous terrorist threat. He should be fired and held partially liable, or burned at the stake, or whatever the process is for punishing an unscrupulous AG.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 10:22:13 PT

WAMM Raided On September 5, 2002
One year later the priorities still were about marijuana.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 13, 2004 at 10:18:29 PT

FBI Activity Between September 3 and 6th 2001
FBI, Michigan State Police Probe Stalemate Deaths: Agent Kills Rainbow Farm Owner: Owner Shot Dead by FBI: Tom Crosslin & Rollie Rohm Memorial Page:
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Comment #1 posted by goneposthole on April 13, 2004 at 09:29:29 PT

Must be time for it all to unravel
Given the fact that in July of 2001 Mr. Ashcroft stopped flying commercial airline flights and switched to chartered.'Forget about those terrorists, keep chasing down pot users'This stuff is more like a movie than real life.

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