Did They Read It?

Al Gore’s speech got me thinking:

“Two years ago yesterday, for example, according to the Wall Street Journal, the President was apparently advised in specific language that Al Qaeda was going to hijack some airplanes to conduct a terrorist strike inside the U.S.

I understand his concern about people knowing exactly what he read in the privacy of the Oval Office, and there is a legitimate reason for treating such memos to the President with care. But that concern has to be balanced against the national interest in improving the way America deals with such information. And the apparently chaotic procedures that were used to handle the forged nuclear documents from Niger certainly show evidence that there is room for improvement in the way the White House is dealing with intelligence memos. Along with other members of the previous administration, I certainly want the commission to have access to any and all documents sent to the White House while we were there that have any bearing on this issue. And President Bush should let the commission see the ones that he read too. “

This made me think about National Security Advisor Rice’s excuse for the Nigerian uranium claim finding its way into the President’s State of the Union speech:

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice and other aides pointed repeatedly to the fact that doubts about the intelligence appeared in a footnote, written by the State Department, buried deep in a top-secret National Intelligence Estimate.

That footnote was thus not read by Bush, Rice or other top aides, said a White House official, on condition of anonymity.

So here is my question. We now know that the President’s briefing prior to September 11, 2001 stated that al-Queda was going to hijack some airplanes. Did they bother to read it?

Remember, President Bush was on his month-long vacation. He is known to avoid doing his homework. Their excuse for the Nigerian uranium claim was that none of them read the intelligence briefing in depth. Did 9/11 happen because Bush and the people around him didn’t bother to read their intelligence briefings? Is this why the Republicans are blocking a serious look at what led to 9/11? They are obviously hiding something. Is it this?