Rice ignored 9/11 warnings from George Tenet
April 30, 2007
Washington, D.C. - Former CIA Director George Tenet says he warned then-National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice in the summer of 2001 that "multiple, spectacular attacks" from the al Qaeda terrorist network were imminent and urged a pre-emptive strike on the terrorist network.
In an interview aired Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes," Tenet said he told Rice that the United States needed "to consider immediate action inside Afghanistan," where al Qaeda was based before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.
"Essentially, the briefing says there are going to be multiple, spectacular attacks against the United States. We believe these attacks are imminent. Mass casualties are likely," he said.
But he said Rice delegated his request to subordinates. And Tenet said he never brought the issue up with President Bush, whom he briefed nearly every day on the threats facing the United States, "because the United States government doesn't work that way."
"The president is not the action officer," he said. "You bring the action to the national security advisor and people who set the table for the president to decide on policies they're going to implement."
Tenet's interview comes ahead of the publication of his new book, "At the Center of the Storm," in which he defends his leadership of the top U.S. intelligence agency against criticism stemming from the 9/11 attacks and the war in Iraq.
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