3,548. 5/16/2002

"Instead of releasing the [August 6, 2001] PDB [President's Daily Briefing] or at least offering a detailed explanation of what was in the document, the White House chose to have National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice hold a news conference at the White House [on May 16, 2002] in which she raised as many questions about the August 2001 briefing as she answered. It would later become clear to many of the [9/11] commission's members and its staff that she had tried to mislead the White House press corps about the contents of the PDB. She acknowledged that [President] Bush had received a briefing about possible al-Qaeda hijackings, but she claimed the PDB offered 'historical information' and 'was not a warning–there was no specific time, place or method.' She failed to mention, as would later be clear, that the PDB focused entirely on the possibility that al-Qaeda intended to strike within the United States; it cited relatively recent FBI reports of possible terrorist surveillance of government buildings in New York. …A few days after Rice's news conference, [journalist Bob] Woodward and his colleague Dan Eggen published a front-page article in the [Washington] Post that revealed the full, alarming title of the August 6, 2001 PDB-'Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S.'-and quoted 'knowledgeable sources' as saying that the PDB made it clear that al-Qaeda was determined to 'bring the fight to America'. The article seemed a direct challenge to Rice's credibility."

 – The Commission, Philip Shenon, 5/16/2002

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