Making politicians and media accountable to ordinary citizens since 2000.

Home | Unconservative Listening | Links | Contribute | About

Join the Mailing List | Contact Caro

What Did They Know Page

Why were certain people warned not to fly
on or about September 11 (or even earlier),
and not the rest of us?


Ashcroft Flying High, CBS News, July 26, 2001:

“In response to inquiries from CBS News over why Ashcroft was traveling exclusively by leased jet aircraft instead of commercial airlines, the Justice Department cited what it called a ‘threat assessment’ by the FBI, and said Ashcroft has been advised to travel only by private jet for the remainder of his term.”  

Dan Rather: Bush Issued Bogus Terror Alert to Cover Up 9-11 Bungle,, May 22, 2002:

After the CBS news anchor's interview, NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski called Imus to correct the record, explaining that Ashcroft's decision not to fly commercial aircraft last summer was prompted by threats against his life - and had no connection whatsoever to pre-Sept. 11 intelligence information.  

“A senior official at the CIA said he was unaware of specific threats against any Cabinet member, and Ashcroft himself, in a speech in California, seemed unsure of the nature of the threat.” - Ashcroft Flying High, CBS News, July 26, 2001

Thanks to for this catch.

Heads-Up To Ashcroft Proves Threat Was Known Before 9/11, Harley Sorensen, SF Gate, June 3, 2002:

“Bush knew something was going to happen involving airplanes. He just didn't know what or exactly when. His attorney general, John Ashcroft, knew. His national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, knew. They all knew…  On July 26, 2001, reported that John Ashcroft had stopped flying on commercial airlines…  The FBI did advise Ashcroft to stay off commercial aircraft. The rest of us just had to take our chances…

“On July 5, 2001, according to a recent Washington Post article, the White House called together officials from a dozen federal agencies to give them a warning.

“‘Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon,’ the officials were told by the government's top counterterrorism official, Richard Clarke.

“Clarke considered the threat sufficiently important to direct every counterintelligence office to cancel vacations and get ready for immediate action, the Post reported.”

Who Did It?, David Ruppe,, September 11, 2001

“Most recently, on Friday, Sept. 7, the State Department issued a worldwide alert warning ‘American citizens may be the target of a terrorist threat from extremist groups with links to [Osama bin Laden's] al Qaeda organization.’”

Willie Brown got low-key early warning about air travel, Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, September 12, 2001:

“For Mayor Willie Brown, the first signs that something was amiss came late Monday when he got a call from what he described as his airport security - - a full eight hours before yesterday's string of terrorist attacks -- advising him that Americans should be cautious about their air travel.”

‘We’ve Hit the Targets’, Michael Hirsh, Newsweek, September 13, 2001 issue:

“NEWSWEEK has learned that while U.S. intelligence received no specific warning, the state of alert had been high during the past two weeks, and a particularly urgent warning may have been received the night before the attacks, causing some top Pentagon brass to cancel a trip. Why that same information was not available to the 266 people who died aboard the four hijacked commercial aircraft may become a hot topic on the Hill.”  

Rushdie 'given US air ban week before terrorist attacks', Ananova, September 27, 2001:

Salman Rushdie says US authorities banned him from taking internal flights a week before the terrorist attacks.

He thinks officials were aware of an imminent terrorist strike.

Rushdie's air ban, James Doran, The Times of London, September 27, 2001:

THE author Salman Rushdie believes that US authorities knew of an imminent terrorist strike when they banned him from taking internal flights in Canada and the US only a week before the attacks.”

[The above article is no longer available on the Times' website.--Caro]

Instant Messages To Israel Warned Of WTC Attack , Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes News Network (a division of The Washington Post Company), September 27, 2001:

“Officials at instant-messaging firm Odigo confirmed today that two employees received text messages warning of an attack on the World Trade Center two hours before terrorists crashed planes into the New York landmarks.”  

Court-appointed commander, Editorial, Arkansas Times, May 24, 2002:

“We know now that the Bush administration received numerous warnings of impending terrorist attacks, some arriving almost on the eve of the Sept. 11 disaster, and did next to nothing. Well, it did slip word to John Ashcroft, our faith-based attorney general, and Ashcroft stopped flying on commercial aircraft. Faith has its limitations.”

What Did They Know Page


Last changed: December 13, 2009