US to release transcript of 2004 Bush, Cheney 9/11 panel interview
The Biden administration is seeking to release documents detailing the interview between a government commission investigating the 9/11 terrorist attacks and then-President George W. Bush.
The Biden administration is set to release on Wednesday a transcript of an interview conducted by a bipartisan government commission investigating the 9/11 terrorist attacks with former US President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The interview was conducted on April 2004 in the White House's Oval Office and included a discussion of warnings provided by intelligence services and personnel received prior to the attacks, the report said, citing a copy of the document and a person familiar with the matter.
Bush acknowledged before the panel that Air Force One had poor communication when he was onboard the plane in the wake of the attacks. He also said that he authorized his Vice to shoot down unresponsive commercial airliners, the report added.
"Yes, engage the enemy," the transcript quoted Bush as telling Cheney. "You have the authority to shoot down an airplane."
At the time of the attacks, Bush was at a school in Florida, and the transcript saw Cheney calling on him not to return to Washington in light of the terrorist attacks.
"The president agreed, reluctantly," the document said, as per the report. "The president asked the vice president to take necessary steps and stay in close touch."
The 9/11 attacks were highly lethal, targeting the two main trade towers in the World Trade Center and the US Department of Defense, killing about 3,000 people.
Then-US President George W. Bush revealed that a terrorist organization called Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attack. Bush then declared the so-called "global war on terror," breaching every humanitarian law and calling on the Taliban movement in Afghanistan to turn in all Al-Qaeda authority and give the US full access to the organization’s training camps, or "they will share in their fate."
The claimed "war on terror" was used as a pretext by the US to occupy Afghanistan and establish a military presence throughout the country.
Over two decades after the 9/11 attacks that killed thousands, the United States went back and killed another one of the suspected architects of the September 11 attacks: Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
Al-Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden, once praised as a hero and funded by the United States for fending off the Soviets in Afghanistan. He was a prominent figure in the Mujahideen, a group backed by the CIA to undermine the Soviet Union and the country's communist government the USSR supported.
After bin Laden came up as a hero for Americans, he went down as a villain, though the group he founded was financed by the United States itself, over the terrorist activities Al-Qaeda carried out all over the world.