Saturday's a good day to get the news out - people paying carefull attention and all:
Text of Aug, 6, 2001 memo released Saturday
This seems to be the most damning part:
Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.
Note the word "nevertheless." It relates to the previous graf, which starts: "We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting" on OBL hijacking plans.
Words are generally chosen for a reason. Despite the inability to corroborate evidence on this mounting threat, there were patterns. The final graf explains: The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.
So there were signs. I don't know how many, how scary, or how explicit. And all these things will seem crystal clear now - they didn't then - I'm willing to give them that much. Plus, if you read this accompanying article it explains some of the creepier parts of the memo (if you believe White House sources speaking without names).
And going back to Iraq - Bush knew, KNEW, then that Bin Ladin was tending this direction. Whether or not the Administration could've beaten the clock and saved lives on 9/11 - the first target after that day should've been, and remained, not-Iraq. Unless they can release to us a memo linking OBL and Saddam, demonstrating a pattern, there doesn't seem to be much solid ground left under our Iraq-war decision.
What remains, of course, is shifting, blood-soaked sand.