Early Info on 9/11 Terrorists Withheld Due to Fear of Backlash

While American struggle to learn to live with the effects of September 11th, the blame game continues.

Still smarting from Waco, Clinton era Pentagon lawyers blocked the sharing of military intelligence outing the September 11th Terrorists to avoid backlash.

Pentagon lawyers, fearing a public-relations “blow back,” blocked a military intelligence unit from sharing information with the FBI that four suspected al Qaeda terrorists were in the country prior to the September 11 attacks, after determining they were here legally, a former Defense Department intelligence official says.

Members of an intelligence unit known as Able Danger were shut out of the September 11 commission investigation and final report, the official said, despite briefing commission staff members on two occasions about the Mohamed Atta-led terrorist cell and telling them of a lockdown of information between the Defense Department and the FBI.

The intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Pentagon lawyers “were afraid of a blow back” — similar to the public’s response to the FBI-led assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, which left more than 70 people dead — and decided to withhold the information from the FBI.

The official said the decision was made at the Army’s Special Operations Command (SoCom) headquarters in Tampa, Fla.,which concluded that Atta, the ringleader of the September 11 hijackers, and the others were in the country legally and thus had the same legal protections as U.S. citizens.

“If something went wrong, SoCom felt it could get blamed,” the official said.

A can of worms containing incompetence seasoned with political correctness. All the while, finger pointers are everywhere.

Some claim a cover-up is in the works. Others blame conservatives for misrepresenting the players involved. Then there are those who claim it was our flawed immigration system that allowed Arab terrorists who trained at camps in Afghanistan to freely travel within the U.S.

I’ve got nothing against learning from our mistakes, and clearly these investigations are aimed at accomplishing this, but do we gain anything by attempting to point blame at an individual, or a department, or a president’s administration for the tragedy of September 11? None of it will bring the dead back to life. Aren’t there less destructive ways of accomplishing closure?

Right now, when it is most important for the United States to protect itself from terrorist attack, why should we be distracted by infighting? Aren’t we more vulnerable when we take our eye off the ball? Isn’t that what the terrorists want? Could they be laughing at the US as we bicker incessantly at one another? 

I’m partisan on a lot of issues, but I refuse to blame Americans for 9/11.

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