How Did the White House Know
America was Safe on 9/12/2001?
How could a government which was supposedly oblivious to the 9/11 plotters know by September 12 that a single coordinated spectacular was the only thing planned?
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
September 12, 2001
PRESS GAGGLE BY ARI FLEISCHER
The James S. Brady Briefing Room
Q: Ari, is there anything to suggest that this might not be over? And the extra security precautions that are being taken at airports, is the President confident that they will screen for the type of weapons that we understand were involved in these hijackings?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I think the Department of Transportation will give you specific information about their beefed-up safety operations. But, you know, there is just no question this was a well-coordinated, planned attack that was executed yesterday morning. And we believe that the perpetrators have executed their plan and, therefore, the risks are significantly reduced.
Q: How do you know that? I mean, what indications do you have and what else besides what DOT is doing, what other precautionary methods are you taking to try to ensure that nothing --
MR. FLEISCHER: The reason we know this is because of the resources of the federal government are committed to learning things. And I indicated the risk is significantly reduced. Obviously, the President returned to Washington yesterday; the government is open for business today. And that is the course that we are on.
Q: But, Ari, considering the enormity of the information that U.S. resources did not know yesterday, why do you feel confident that you know enough today?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I answered the question by saying that this was a coordinated attack that was executed yesterday and we believe that the risk is significantly reduced. The United States will remain vigilant and the United States will do everything it can to continue its vigilance.
Q: There is nothing to suggest that this might have been the first wave?
MR. FLEISCHER: John, I'm not going to speculate. [Dept of State Washington File]