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First Memo's on al-Qaeda Declassified

Pacridge

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Washington, D.C., February 10, 2005 - The National Security Archive today posted the widely-debated, but previously unavailable, January 25, 2001, memo from counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke to national security advisor Condoleezza Rice - the first terrorism strategy paper of the Bush administration. The document was central to debates in the 9/11 hearings over the Bush administration's policies and actions on terrorism before September 11, 2001. Clarke's memo requests an immediate meeting of the National Security Council's Principals Committee to discuss broad strategies for combating al-Qaeda by giving counterterrorism aid to the Northern Alliance and Uzbekistan, expanding the counterterrorism budget and responding to the U.S.S. Cole attack. Despite Clarke's request, there was no Principals Committee meeting on al-Qaeda until September 4, 2001.
The January 25, 2001, memo, recently released to the National Security Archive by the National Security Council, bears a declassification stamp of April 7, 2004, one day prior to Rice's testimony before the 9/11 Commission on April 8, 2004. Responding to claims that she ignored the al-Qaeda threat before September 11, Rice stated in a March 22, 2004 Washington Post op-ed, "No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration."

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB147/index.htm
 

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Also attached to the original Clarke memo are two Clinton-era documents relating to al-Qaeda. The first "Tab A December 2000 Paper: Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from the Jihadist Networks of al-Qida: Status and Prospects," was released to the National Security Archive along with the Clarke memo. "Tab B, September 1998 Paper: Pol-Mil Plan for al-Qida," also known as the Delenda Plan, was attached to the original memo, but was not released to the Archive and remains under request with the National Security Council.
What's up with that?
 

Schweddy

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That was my original thought too.

If they are going to release the records, they should go all out.

BTW, excellent read. Not sure what to take of it - yet.
 

Pacridge

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Batman said:
What's up with that?
I have no idea. I'm always a little leery when they release some info but not other info. But the main memo's release date is the day before Rice's 9-11 commission testimony. It certainly contrasts what Rice told the 9-11 commission.
 

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Pacridge said:
I have no idea. I'm always a little leery when they release some info but not other info.
It makes one wonder. I say get ALL the cards out on the table and see exactly what each player had in hand.
 

Pacridge

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Batman said:
It makes one wonder. I say get ALL the cards out on the table and see exactly what each player had in hand.
It's completely possible they can't release some things due to on going national security issues. I'm not in favor of their releasing info that could put agents or troops in harms way.
 

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Pacridge said:
It's completely possible they can't release some things due to on going national security issues. I'm not in favor of their releasing info that could put agents or troops in harms way.
No argument here.
But, like Batman said - it makes it appear the cards are stacked.
 

shuamort

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The Delenda Plan:
Richard Clarke prepares a plan he calls “Delenda,” which means “to destroy” in Latin. His idea is to have regular, small strikes in Afghanistan whenever the intelligence warrants it. The plan is rejected. Counterterrorism officials in the Defense Secretary's office independently create a similar plan, but it too is rejected. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (B)] The Delenda Plan also calls for diplomacy against the Taliban, covert action focused in Afghanistan, and financial measures to freeze bin-Laden related funds. These aspects are not formally adopted, but they guide future efforts. [9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D)]
 

Pacridge

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vauge said:
No argument here.
But, like Batman said - it makes it appear the cards are stacked.
Why would the Bush Administration release stuff that stacks the deck against them?
 
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Pacridge

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shuamort said:
The Delenda Plan:
Richard Clarke prepares a plan he calls “Delenda,” which means “to destroy” in Latin. His idea is to have regular, small strikes in Afghanistan whenever the intelligence warrants it. The plan is rejected. Counterterrorism officials in the Defense Secretary's office independently create a similar plan, but it too is rejected. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (B)] The Delenda Plan also calls for diplomacy against the Taliban, covert action focused in Afghanistan, and financial measures to freeze bin-Laden related funds. These aspects are not formally adopted, but they guide future efforts. [9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D)]
So this Tab-B section or The Delenda Plan is in the 9-11 Commission Report? Why then would the National Security Archive site state it's still awaiting it's release? I'm lost.

Do you own a copy of the Commission's report?
 

shuamort

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Pacridge said:
So this Tab-B section or The Delenda Plan is in the 9-11 Commission Report? Why then would the National Security Archive site state it's still awaiting it's release? I'm lost.

Do you own a copy of the Commission's report?
It's probably awaiting release for the full details and not just the overview.

And yeah, I bought the Commission report at Sam's Club pretty much the day it came out. (That's all around sad, isn't it?) But you can view it/print it/download it for free right here. (Warning: Opens right to a .pdf)
 

Pacridge

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shuamort said:
It's probably awaiting release for the full details and not just the overview.

And yeah, I bought the Commission report at Sam's Club pretty much the day it came out. (That's all around sad, isn't it?) But you can view it/print it/download it for free right here. (Warning: Opens right to a .pdf)
Thanks! I've been meaning to buy the da*n thing just haven't. I may have been putting it off as I thought it might just depress the he*l out of me.

I'm not sure what the full release could possible say that would explain why she said what she said.
 

Pacridge

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shuamort said:
It's probably awaiting release for the full details and not just the overview.

And yeah, I bought the Commission report at Sam's Club pretty much the day it came out. (That's all around sad, isn't it?) But you can view it/print it/download it for free right here. (Warning: Opens right to a .pdf)
Yep! You're right it downloads the whole 585 pages. I read through the first 45-50 pages or so- amazing how the flight attendants and others kept their heads to the degree they did.
 

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I reserve comments for later.
 

Pacridge

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Having had a day to digest some of this I find a couple thing striking:

Several of these document speaks to plans and options as to what al Queda is and what strategy could and or should be used to confront them. Most notably Clarke’s paper of Dec. 2000, A Strategy for Eliminating the Threat from Jihadist Networks of al Qida; A status and prospectus.

Then you have Rice’s comments to the Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A13881-2004Mar21&notFound=true
Where she says “Clinton administration, suggested several ideas, some of which had been around since 1998 but had not been adopted. No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration”

Then in her testimony to the 9-11 commission she says: “On an operational level, we decided immediately to continue pursuing the Clinton administration's covert action authorities and other efforts to fight the network.”











 
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