Editor's Note:Obsessed with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration misled the American public right into believing the Iraq was linked to the Sept. 11 attacks, Bruce Riedel writes. This item originally showed up in Lawfare.

You are watching: George bush knew about 9 11


Twenty year after the al-Qaida assault on September 11, 2001, the United says is still connected in a war in Iraq the it started. President George W. Bush was obsessed through the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and also deliberately misled the American people around who to be responsible for the 9/11 attack.

I remained in the White residence on September 12, 2001, on the employee of the nationwide Security Council. I newly came across my bag diary because that 2001. In it, i wrote short notes on each day’s activity in the White residence where ns was an elderly director because that the close to East. Ns met with national Security torture Condoleezza Rice every day and also Bush almost as frequently since of the second intifada. Us were constantly trying to contain the violence and also prevent a more comprehensive regional conflict. In reviewing the diary i was intrigued by 2 notes.

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Bruce Riedel

Senior fellow - international Policy, facility for Middle east Policy, center for Security, Strategy, and Technology

Director - The intelligence Project


On September 14, ns was with shrub when he had his very first phone speak to after 9/11 with British element Minister Tony Blair. Bush immediately said he to be planning come “hit” Iraq soon. Blair to be audibly take away aback. That pressed bush for evidence of Iraq’s link to the 9/11 attack and to al-Qaida. The course, there to be none, which British intelligence knew.

On September 18, a mainly after 9/11, Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan pertained to the White home to see Bush. The conference took place on the Truman Balcony. Vice chairman Richard Cheney and Rice were there together well. My keep in mind says the chairman “clearly thinks Iraq must be behind this. His questions to Bandar display his bias.” Bandar was visibly perplexed. The told shrub that the Saudis had actually no proof of any type of collaboration between Osama bin Laden and Iraq. Indeed their history was of gift antagonists.

Afterward, Bandar called me privately the the Saudis were an extremely worried about where Bush’s obsession with Iraq was going. The Saudis were alarmed that attacking Iraq would only benefit Iran and set in activity severe destabilizing repercussions throughout the region. The Saudis pressed shrub to come the end publicly in support of a Palestinian state as he had actually privately promised Crown Prince Abdullah Al Saud.

On September 28, shrub received Jordan’s King Abdullah. The king pressed the president to take activity to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He argued that the Palestinian conflict was the driving force behind al-Qaida’s popularity and also legitimacy. But the president was focused on Iraq.

The United says did walk to war v Iraq shortly enough. The Bush management was passionate to mobilize the anguish that the 9/11 strike to support the war. Despite the intelligence community’s unequivocal conclusion that Iraq had nothing to do with one of two people 9/11 or al-Qaida, the management let Americans believe the contrary.

Consequently, the United says went to war in Iraq ~ above a false pretense the it was somehow avenging those killed by al-Qaida. A Washington write-up poll carried out two years after 9/11 dramatically shown the story: 69% of americans at the time thought Saddam Hussein was “personally” involved in the 9/11 attack. Even much more staggering, 82% thought Saddam detailed assistance to Osama bin Laden. Both to be utterly false.

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One great of the past 20 years is the command of an informed public. Sadly, we space still a long way from an enlightened public.