Washington DC, and Afghanistan, perhaps (12 Apr 2004): In her appearance before the 9/11 Commission last week, US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice testified that the 06 August 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) was merely "historical information based on old reporting," and that "it did not warn of attacks inside the United States."
The PDB in question has since been declassified by the White House. Entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US," it summarizes intelligence indicating that Al-Qaeda had been planning attacks inside the United States for several years. It includes references to "patterns of suspicious activity consistent with preparation for hijackings or other types of attacks" in both New York and Washington.
NSA Rice maintained that since "there was no specific time, place, or method" of attack listed in the PDB, it was thus "not actionable." She stated repeatedly that there was "no silver bullet" to avert the 9/11 attack. She and other Administration officials have reiterated in recent days that if they had known exactly when, where, and how the attack was planned to take place, they "would have moved heaven and earth" (or sometimes, "would have moved mountains") to prevent it.
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden watched NSA Rice's testimony on satellite television, and thereafter issued the following press release:
"I heartily apologize to the American government and its big God for not providing the information they needed. In the future, I promise to issue engraved invitations to be personally delivered to the appropriate officials, giving the exact date (including any adjustment for leap years), time (EST), precise location (including ZIP code and GPS coordinates), and method of attack (including any intention to use box cutters or shoe bombs)."
Mr. bin Laden did take issue, however, with the US Administration's repeated references to "no silver bullet," noting that there is no evidence he has any connection to lycanthropy or Hollywood werewolf movies.