News Release

Scrutinizing Bush’s Claim That NSA Spying Could Stop More 9-11s

In attempting to justify the government’s use of warrantless domestic spying by the National Security Agency, Bush administration officials have argued that such surveillance would help prevent another attack comparable to 9-11.

MELVIN A. GOODMAN
Now a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, Goodman was with the CIA for 41 years, serving as a senior analyst and a division chief. He is currently working on a book titled The Decline and Fall of the CIA. He said today: “What was needed to prevent 9-11 was in place before 9-11. If what should have been done had been done, 9-11 would certainly have been postponed if not canceled, and law enforcement and intelligence would have been able to catch up to Al Qaeda. You had FBI field offices pointing to crucial information, but it was ignored by headquarters. Coleen Rowley wanted to use FISA authority against Moussaoui but this was rejected by headquarters; she was told ‘it ain’t going to happen, baby.'”
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JAMES RIDGEWAY
Bush stated while addressing the NSA last week: “We know that two of the hijackers who struck the Pentagon were inside the United States communicating with Al Qaeda operatives overseas. But we didn’t realize they were here plotting the attack until it was too late.”

Ridgeway is the author of the new book The 5 Unanswered Questions about 9/11 He said today: “In fact, the government ought to have been fully aware of the two hijackers, since the FBI’s main informant in the Muslim community in San Diego was socializing with them, and actually rented an apartment to one of them. Why didn’t the FBI know what was going on? When the Congressional Joint Inquiry sought to find out what was going on, the FBI refused to produce the informant to testify and blocked all attempts to bring him forth into the public. The government didn’t need any NSA surveillance program to find these hijackers.”

Ridgeway added: “The administration had other priorities — domestically the interests of the airline industry, internationally the interests of the military and oil industries — the safety of U.S. citizens simply was not the priority. Instead of coming clean about their failures, the government has covered up and has attacked whistleblowers. The 9-11 commission swept these issues under the rug. Instead of admitting the government’s failure, President Bush now attempts to assert more government power over the citizenry he failed to protect.”
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SIBEL EDMONDS
Edmonds is director of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. She wrote the recent article “Illegal and Indiscriminate Spying Hurts Our National Security, Here Is Why.” Edmonds said today: “According to numerous reports and audits released by entities such as Inspector General Offices of agencies that deal with national security and various presidential commissions, today, more than four years after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, almost all our national security related agencies are in disarray, riddled with incompetence, corruption, and in some cases criminal activities. While most of the real problems facing our national security today stem from gross mismanagement, inefficiency, incompetence and a lack of sensible policies and vigorous oversight, the Bush administration insists upon blaming these deficiencies on a … lack of power in the executive branch. But the kind of power the administration pursues is the kind of power that would vault the presidency to monarchical status and nullify the Bill of Rights.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167