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Secrets of the Presidential Daily Briefing Revealed

The following document is a Presidential Daily Briefing, a memo prepared for and delivered to George W. Bush on August 6, 2001.

You are seeing this document now in spite of the Bush Administration's years-long effort to keep it kept secret from you. Why would the Bush Administration do such a thing? Well, George W. Bush's spokespeople have said that the Presidential Daily Briefing contains information that, if revealed to the public, would compromise national security (they call it "homeland security", though no one has yet to explain how "homeland security" is any different from national security or domestic security).

Take a look below now, and see if you can find the information that, because it has been revealed, compromises national security. Can't find it? Good for you! You'll see that there are certain parts that are marked ...(redacted portion).... These parts are where someone or some group that must remain secret is mentioned.

It's as easy as that. Take the secret identities, keep them secret, and then release the Presidential Daily Briefing. Where's the harm in that?

Well, said Bush's spokespeople, if the White House released this Presidential Daily Briefing that gives information about the events leading up to the largest terrorist attack in American history, then they would be setting a precedent, so that they would have to release every Presidential Daily Briefing giving information about the events leading up to the largest terrorist attack in American history. And that, they explained, would be, um, really really bad.

So what other reason would George W. Bush for keeping this Presidential Daily Briefing top secret, away from the eyes of the American people? Could it be that Bush was afraid that the memo makes him look bad? Naaaah. That couldn't be it! Bush has more integrity than that, right?

Judge for yourself

Presidential Daily Briefing, August 6, 2001
Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."

After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a ...(redacted portion) ... service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an ... (redacted portion) ... service at the same time that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.

Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Ladin has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Ladin associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al-Qa'ida members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (redacted portion) ... service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.

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