3,556. 5/16/2002

In a May 16, 2002, press conference to respond to the leaking of the August 6, 2001, Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB), National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice “described the PDB as a ‘warning briefing but an analytic report’ about al-Qaeda threats and said that it contained ‘the most generalized kind of information–there was no time, there was no place, there was no method of attack’ mentioned apart from a ‘very vague’ concern about hijacking. ‘I want to reiterate,’ she said. ‘It was not a warning.’ [9/11 Commission member Richard] Ben-Veniste would learn by the spring of 2004 that all of that was wrong; the PDB would later be shown to refer to the scores of ongoing FBI investigations of al-Qaeda threats, as well as reports of recent efforts by terrorist groups to carry out surveillance of the New York skyline. It was certainly more than ‘historical’. …Asked if 9/11 didn’t represent an intelligence failure by the [Bush] administration, she replied almost testily, ‘I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another and slam it into the Pentagon–that they would try to use an airplane as a missile.’ Over time, Ben-Veniste learned that the nation’s intelligence agencies had predicted exactly those things before 9/11.”

 – Philip Shenon, The Commission, Page 238

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