- KEAN: I've got a question now I'd like to ask you. It
was given to me by a number of members of the families.
- Did you ever see or hear from the FBI, from the CIA,
from any other intelligence agency, any memos or discussions or anything
else between the time you got into office and 9-11 that talked about using
planes as bombs?
- RICE: Let me address this question because it has been
on the table.
- I think that concern about what I might have known or
we might have known was provoked by some statements that I made in a press
conference. I was in a press conference to try and describe the August
6th memo, which I've talked about here in my opening remarks and which
I talked about with you in the private session.
- And I said, at one point, that this was a historical
memo, that it was _ it was not based on new threat information. And I said,
No one could have imagined them taking a plane, slamming it into the Pentagon
_ I'm paraphrasing now _ into the World Trade Center, using planes as a
- As I said to you in the private session, I probably should
have said, I could not have imagined, because within two days, people started
to come to me and say, Oh, but there were these reports in 1998 and 1999.
The intelligence community did look at information about this.
- To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Chairman, this kind
of analysis about the use of airplanes as weapons actually was never briefed
- I cannot tell you that there might not have been a report
here or a report there that reached somebody in our midst.
- Part of the problem is _ and I think Sandy Berger made
this point when he was asked the same question _ that you have thousands
of pieces of information -- car bombs and this method and that method _
and you have to depend to a certain degree on the intelligence agencies
to sort to tell you what is actually relevant, what is actually based on
sound sources, what is speculative.
- RICE: And I can only assume or believe that perhaps the
intelligence agencies thought that the sourcing was speculative.
- All that I can tell you is that it was not in the August
6th memo, using planes as a weapon. And I do not remember any reports to
us, a kind of strategic warning, that planes might be used as weapons.
In fact, there were some reports done in '98 and '99. I was certainly not
aware of them at the time that I spoke. "
- If Rice couldn't have imagined planes being flown into
buildings, why did she call up San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown on the
night of September 10th and warn him not to fly the next day?
- I guess she missed the hijacking of an Air France plane
in 1994, which was all over the media, where there were fears the plane
would be crashed into the Eiffel Tower in Paris or into buildings in New
York if the plane was allowed to come to the U.S.;
- "A radical group of Algerian insurgents who hijacked
an Air France plane in 1994 planned to blow up the aircraft over the Eiffel
Tower before their plot was foiled, a former top militant was quoted as
- A commando of 10 insurgents planned to hijack a plane
leaving Algiers in December 1994, blowing it up over the French capital,
Omar Chikhi, a former leader of the Armed Islamic Group, said in an interview
published Saturday in El Youm newspaper.
- The aircraft never reached Paris. The group hijacked
the plane on Christmas Eve 1994, killing three passengers, but the operation
ended in Marseille when a French intervention squad stormed the plane and
killed the hostage-takers."
- I guess she also missed the mass media news stories of
the nutcase who stole a Cessna plane on the night of September 11th, 1994,
and flew it(some say it was remote controlled) into the White House;
- "According to the mainstream media, at about 2300
hrs on 11 September 1994, Frank Eugene Corder stole a single-engine Cessna
150L plane from an airport north of Baltimore, then headed south to Washington,
flying over the National Zoological Park and down to the Mall, probably
using the Washington Monument as a beacon. As he neared the famed obelisk,
he banked a tight U-turn over the Ellipse, came in low over the White House
South Lawn, clipped a hedge, skidded across the green lawn that girds the
South Portico and crashed into a wall two stories below the presidential
- The only way Rice couldn't have imagined a "plane
crashing into a building" scenario is if she has no contact with the
outside world and is totally out of touch with reality.