Sovay cites Josh Marshall, with her own appended commentary:

The question is whether, when faced with a dire warning and given a few clear hints as to where and when, the president exerted some leadership and got everyone focused on the problem."

Evidence suggests the president failed on both counts.

Today's Secrecy News--lately no friend of President Bush--has this:
In another recent example of politically-driven declassification of ostensibly "top secret" information, the White House has released two partial sentences from the September 4, 2001 National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 9 on combating terrorism.

The point of the release was to document that the Defense Department had been instructed to plan for military options against Taliban and al Qaeda targets prior to the September 11 attacks.

According to Clarke's new book, the Clinton administration had made some informal inquiries about military options in Afghanistan:
And the response from the Joint Chiefs of Staff--those beribboned guys who get big jobs at Boeing and General Dynamics when they're done--was unvarying:

*It would take a very large force;
* the operation was risky and might fail, with U.S. forces caught and killed, embarrassing the President;
* their "professional military opinion" was not to do it;
* but, of course, they would do if they received orders to do so in writing from the President of the United States;
* and, by the way, military lawyers said it would be a violation of international law.

The Bush administration put the orders in writing--'ill advised or not, draw up the plans.' That looks like evidence of leadership and focus to me. Pity more of both weren't shown... oh, around 1995.

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