Economics/Class Relations

Secret 9/11 memo

Nicholas Carlson, November 30, 2022


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Secret memo reveals Bush rewriting the history of the 9/11 attacks — and the warnings he’d tuned out.


On April 29, 2004, President George W. Bush hosted an extremely unusual meeting at the White House: Members of the 9/11 Commission got to ask him and Vice President Dick Cheney anything they wanted about the September 11th attacks.


The words spoken in that room remained secret for nearly two decades. Now, with a newly declassified memo, we can finally read what Bush said. His own account of what he knew, and when, differs substantially from the one presented by the 9/11 Commission’s report.


The record shows that CIA director George Tenet did everything he could to get Bush to focus on imminent threats from Al Qaeda, senior correspondent Mattathias Schwartz reports. Bush just wasn’t interested.


To understand how Bush escaped blame for 9/11 — winning a second term despite having presided over one of the gravest and most costly failures in presidential history — you need to understand exactly what happened that day in the Oval Office almost 20 years ago.


Read the full report here.

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This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Hallam Bullock, Lisa Ryan, and Jordan Parker Erb. Get in touch:
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