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#15: Frankenís Wishful Thinking
[With new information, frankenlies.com has updated this item since its original posting.]
On page 120 of Lies (p. 129 in the paperback), Franken writes,
"Now, on August 6 , CIA Director Tenet delivered a report to President Bush entitled, 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.'."
Almost. What was delivered to Bush, not by Tenet, but by a low-level Agency official,1 was a report that the President receives nearly every day (six days a week).2 It's called the President's Daily Briefing (PDB). PDBs are top-secret and "generally span 10 to 20 pages, covering seven or eight topics in newspaper-like digests."3 On April 10, 2004, the White House declassified and released a one-and-a-half page item from the August 6, 2001, PDB that contained the heading that Franken cites.
What was not widely reported, however, is that the declassified one-and-a-half pages
"are only a portion of the August 6, 2001, PDB. The full report covered an array of intelligence topics, but the section marked for declassification is a 1 1/2-page discussion of the domestic terrorist threat."4 (bold added)
The released item cited past actions and statements by bin Laden, but it did not report any specific threat of an attack within the United States.5 The piece said that the "FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related."6
"70 full field investigations" that are "Bin Ladin-related"!?! Please click Next.
***UPDATE - SPRING 2006***
In the spring of 2006, I came across a Reuters news photo which showed what an actual PDB looks like. This illustrates how misinformed Franken is on this issue. See?
1 Gerald Posner, Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11 (New York: Random House, 2003), p. 179.
2 Greg Miller, "Key August 2001 Bush Briefing To Be Made Public," Los Angeles Times, April 10, 2004, p. A10. [See also The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (2004), p. 254: "Each PDB consists of a series of six to eight relatively short articles or briefs covering a broad array of topics; CIA staff decides which subjects are the most important on any given day." http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch8.pdf.]
5 and 6 Here is one place to see the text of the declassified portion of the August 6, 2001, PDB.