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FROM THIS EPISODE

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice told the 9-11 Commission today that the threat of terrorism built up for 20 years, but that America -tragically- was not on a war footing. She called intelligence about al Qaeda threats too vague for President Bush to take any action in the summer of 2001. When Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste pressed her about the President-s Daily Intelligence Briefing of August 6, she said there was "no silver bullet" that could have prevented the attacks, but admitted to "structural and legal impediments" to the collection and sharing of information by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. What did the administration know before September 11? Could the attacks on New York and Washington have been avoided? Warren Olney discusses Rice's answers with authorities on intelligence, diplomacy and terrorism.
  • Making News: Hostages in Iraq
    As US-led coalition soldiers engage in fresh clashes with Sunni and Shia militants in Iraq, almost a dozen foreign civilians have been taken hostage. The Arabic television service al Jazeera has shown pictures of three Japanese, blindfolded and kneeling, with captors threatening to burn them alive. Melinda Liu, Beijing Bureau chief for Newsweek, says the kidnappers have demanded Japan's immediate withdraw all troops from Iraq.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Security Firms in Iraq Form an Alliance
    As violence spreads to more and more of Iraq, private contractors have come under assault. Since they can-t count on protection from US forces, in the past 48 hours, they-ve been getting together, forming what could be the world-s largest private army. The alliance of private security firms in Iraq is being reported today by the Washington Post. Investigative reporter Mary Pat Flaherty co-wrote the story.

NBC News on Japanese hostages

Condoleezza Rice's opening statement to 9-11 Commission

9-11 Commission

Bergen's questions for Condoleezza Rice

Flaherty's article on security firms' banding together

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