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Bush's 2002 LA "hijack" Story

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President George W. Bush, speaking February 9, 2006, in Washington, DC, before the National Guard Association of the United States, "defended his campaign against terrorism", "offering for the first time a vivid account of a foiled" al Qaeda plot after September 11, 2001, to "strike" the United States in 2002 by crashing a hijacked commercial airliner into the highest building on the West Coast, Los Angeles's U.S. Bank Tower, formerly known as the Library Tower. [1]

"Bush said four Southeast Asians who met with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in October 2001 were taught how to use shoe bombs to blow open a cockpit door and steer a plane into the Library Tower, ... The four were captured by Asian authorities before they could execute the plan, he said," Peter Baker and Dan Eggen, reported in the February 10, 2006, Washington Post.

"White House officials, who were unwilling to publicly disclose details of the alleged plot as recently as last fall, said they decided in the past three weeks to declassify the case so that Bush could have an example to provide the public.

"But several U.S. intelligence officials played down the relative importance of the alleged plot and attributed the timing of Bush's speech to politics. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to publicly criticize the White House, said there is deep disagreement within the intelligence community over the seriousness of the Library Tower scheme and whether it was ever much more than talk," Baker and Eggen wrote.

Meanwhile ....

"In Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa complained he first learned of Bush's remarks while watching TV," the Associated Press's Deb Reichmann reported February 9, 2006.

"'I'm amazed that the president would make this on national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate channels,' said the mayor, a Democrat.

"Bush press secretary Scott McClellan said that the White House did reach out before the speech to officials in California and that there was appreciation for the notification," Reichmann wrote.

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