During 9/11 Commissions dog and pony show hearings, especially in questioning of Dr. Rice, much was made of now infamous August 6th 2001 Presidents Daily Briefing memo. 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste pressed Dr. Rice about PDB memo, which was still classified, as to title of memo and whether it advised of any threats of attacks. Dr. Rice responded that she believed title was "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside United States." Dr. Rice then attempted to answer second part of Mr. Ben-Veniste's question when he rudely interrupted her, however Dr. Rice insisted on completing answer to question and went on to say that it "did not warn of any attacks inside United States . It was historical information based on old reporting. Mr. Ben-Veniste response was to call for memo's declassification for public to see.
Well, Mr. Ben-Veniste got his wish and memo was declassified on April 10th, with some minor redactions. I read memo, which I had expected to be voluminous, in wake of way 9/11 commission was touting it. I agree completely with Dr. Rice's description of memo and what it said.
The memo spoke of clandestine, foreign government, and media reports that since 1997, Bin Laden had wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in U.S., and that in television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that he would follow example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef ( 1993 WTC bombing) and "bring fighting to America." Okay, so far I'm falling asleep here, this is old news, or as Dr. Rice put it, "historical information based on old reporting."
The memo goes on to say that after U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Laden wanted to retaliate in Washington. So far still old news.
Further on in memo an Egyptian Islamic Jihad operative stated that at about same time, Bin Laden was planning to exploit operative's access to U.S. to mount a terror strike. Still old news.
The memo stated that Bin Laden may have been part of 1999 millennium bomb plot against Los Angeles International Airport by Ahmed Ressam which was foiled and that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah , Bin Ladens lieutenant, was planning his own attack. It spoke of 1998 attacks against U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and how Bin Laden associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1993, and that members of Nairobi cell planning bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.
According to memo, Al-Qaeda members, some who were U.S. citizens, have resided in or traveled to U.S. for years and that group apparently maintained a support structure that could aid attacks. Two Al-Qaeda members found guilty in conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were U.S. citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in mid-1990's.