Sept. 11 Could Not Have Been Prevented Without Accruing A Lot Of Overtime

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Unemployed Single Mother In Rubio Speech Told Candidate About Her Problems In Confidence

CEDAR FALLS, IA—Describing her shock and embarrassment upon learning that her personal struggles were shared with an entire campaign rally audience, 37-year-old Allison Kilpatrick, an unemployed single mother that Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio mentioned in a recent stump speech, informed reporters Thursday that she told the candidate about her problems in confidence.

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WASHINGTON—Darting back and forth from refrigerator to sink to prep table while hurriedly preparing 350 hand-carved radish rosettes, a visibly agitated President Obama reported Friday that everything must be absolutely perfect for tonight’s state dinner in honor of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

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MADISON, WI—Overcome by a profound feeling of dread and helplessness as the GOP field multiplied before their eyes, voters at Scott Walker’s press conference yesterday, in which the Wisconsin governor announced he was exiting the presidential race, reportedly looked on in horror as three new Republican contenders appeared on stage in place of the former candidate.

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LITTLE ROCK, AR—Dealing yet another blow to the former Arkansas governor’s presidential hopes, Dalton Hobbs, one of Mike Huckabee’s top snake handlers, has decided to leave the sinking campaign, sources reported Thursday.

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WASHINGTON—Saying they simply needed something to direct their anger toward, the nation’s frenzied Donald Trump supporters admitted Thursday that, if circumstances were different, they would be just as happy tearing the Republican frontrunner to pieces.

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On Thursday night, the top 10 Republican presidential hopefuls gathered at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to engage in the first primary debate. Below are the words and phrases used by the candidates, weighted by the frequency with which they appeared.

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The first Republican primary debate will air Thursday evening on Fox News and will feature the top 10 polling candidates, with Donald Trump in a strong lead, as they field questions from moderators Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace. Here’s what to expect during tonight’s debate:

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Details Of Obama’s Climate Change Plan

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After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

Candidate Profile: Scott Walker

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker formally announced Monday that he will run for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election, bringing one of the frontrunners in early polls officially into the race. Here are some key facts to know about Walker

Candidate Profile: Bobby Jindal

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal declared Wednesday his candidacy for the 2016 presidential nomination, although the Rhodes Scholar and one-time Republican rising star faces difficult odds in a jam-packed primary field. Here’s what you need to know about Jindal

Candidate Profile: Donald Trump

Billionaire real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump announced Tuesday plans to run in the 2016 presidential election, marking the first time he will formally seek the Republican nomination after floating the idea in several previous election cycles. Here are some key facts to know about Trump:

Candidate Profile: Jeb Bush

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced his candidacy Monday for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election, putting one of the early frontrunners in the polls officially into the race. Here are some key facts to know about Jeb Bush:

Candidate Profile: Rick Perry

Former Texas governor Rick Perry announced Thursday his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election, hoping to fare better than he did in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in 2012. Here’s what you need to know about Perry:

Candidate Profile: Lindsey Graham

South Carolina senator and retired Air Force colonel Lindsey Graham officially announced Monday that he will run in the 2016 presidential race, adding his name to the increasingly crowded Republican field. Here are some key facts to know about Graham

Candidate Profile: Martin O’Malley

Former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley announced Saturday that he will enter the 2016 presidential race, becoming the third Democratic hopeful to officially declare his candidacy. Here are some key facts to know about O’Malley:

Candidate Profile: Rick Santorum

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on Wednesday, bringing the runner-up from the 2012 Republican primaries officially into the race. Here’s what you need to know about Santorum:

Features Of The Obama Presidential Library

Barack Obama announced Tuesday that his presidential library will be built on the South Side of Chicago, with construction on the ambitious project due for completion by 2020 or 2021. Here are some features the new library will contain

What Is A Super PAC?

The result of two controversial 2010 federal court cases removing traditional restrictions on political action committee spending, super PACs are expected to have a significant influence on the results of the 2016 elections. Here is everything you need to know about super PACs

Candidate Profile: Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas governor and Fox News personality Mike Huckabee announced his 2016 presidential candidacy Tuesday, becoming the sixth Republican hopeful to officially enter the race. Here’s what you need to know about Huckabee

Who Is Ben Carson?

Retired neurosurgeon and rising conservative star Ben Carson announced his bid for the presidency Monday, the first African-American candidate of either major political party to do so. Here’s what you need to know about the Republican candidate:

Who Is Carly Fiorina?

Carly Fiorina, a former Silicon Valley executive, announced Monday her candidacy for the 2016 presidential election, becoming the first female Republican hopeful to officially launch a campaign. Here’s what you should know about Fiorina:

Who Is Bernie Sanders?

Independent Vermont senator and self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders officially declared his candidacy in the 2016 election Thursday.

Who Is Marco Rubio?

Following similar announcements by Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has become the third GOP candidate to declare his bid in the 2016 presidential race.

Hillary Clinton To Nation: ‘Do Not Fuck This Up For Me’

WASHINGTON—After several seconds spent sitting motionless and glaring directly into the camera, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly began Sunday’s video announcing her 2016 presidential bid by warning the nation not to fuck th...

Candidate Profile: Hillary Clinton

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to officially announce her candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on Sunday, putting an end to months of speculation about her plans.

Who Is Rand Paul?

Kentucky senator Rand Paul announced Tuesday his plans to run for president in 2016, with the libertarian becoming the second Republican to officially declare his candidacy.
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Sept. 11 Could Not Have Been Prevented Without Accruing A Lot Of Overtime

Esteemed members of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, good afternoon. As National Security Advisor, my job is to coordinate the efforts of America's intelligence and defense agencies and report directly to the president. I was, and continue to be, in a unique position to understand the threats and dangers our nation faces. It is with utmost confidence and sincerity that I assure each and every one of you that there was no way the federal government could have prevented the horrific events of Sept. 11 without accruing an enormous amount of overtime.

My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of all those who died on that terrible day. Our prayers continue to be with you. Unfortunately, there was absolutely nothing we could have done to predict al-Qaeda's evil plot, without requiring many, many people to stay in the office past 5 p.m.

According to federal law, government employees must be paid time-and-a-half for any work hours beyond 40 and double-time on weekends. Ladies and gentlemen, preventing Sept. 11 would have required hundreds of thousands of unbudgeted overtime hours and, in several cases, overtime plus compensatory paid vacation. Again, may I address the family members of Sept. 11 victims: That tragic day changed us all, but you paid the highest price.

The world was a different place before the day of those horrific attacks. Due to tragic budget constraints before Sept. 11, it was impossible to authorize unlimited overtime pay to defend our country from international and domestic threats. Our nation was in the midst of a fiscal crisis and operating under massive jobs-and-growth tax-cut measures. Turning back the hands of time is impossible, just as it would have been impossible to find money to cover thousands of hours of intelligence-agency overtime. Truly, the bottom line weighed heavy on our hearts and minds.

Predicting what happened on Sept. 11 would have necessitated the hiring of numerous new employees—many of them highly paid specialists in such esoteric fields as Islamic history and Middle Eastern languages.

But it was not simply a matter of incurring additional labor costs. Had we been able to allocate sufficient funds for overtime pay, we would have faced a second significant obstacle. In retrospect, I see it as a tragic coincidence that the dramatic increase in terrorist chatter and threat information coincided with the arrival of the summer, when keeping our vast offices up and running beyond the eight-hour workday would have necessitated substantial central-cooling expenditures.

The brave men and women who work for Central Intelligence, the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the Office of the Vice-President are overworked civil servants, trying to juggle family, personal, and professional lives. We did everything in our power to convince them to spend some of their free time working on issues of national import, but in the summer months, it was difficult to make them see the gravity of al-Qaeda's threat.

For years, we understood that the al-Qaeda network posed a serious danger to the U.S. In the months leading up to Sept. 11, I was in constant contact with CIA Director George Tenet, whose operatives had some leads suggesting possible large-scale, mass-casualty attacks on U.S. soil. Following those leads was cost-prohibitive.

In order to identify and apprehend the Sept. 11 hijackers before they struck, our agents would have had to have logged thousands of hours of the most mundane intelligence analysis. Consider, for example, the logistics of implementing the three-phase strategy to eliminate al-Qaeda. It involved a mission to the Taliban in Afghanistan, increased diplomatic pressure, and increased covert action. It would have been very expensive. The covert action would have entailed the time-consuming translation from Arabic of e-mails, phone transcripts, and bugged conversations. Arabic is an extremely difficult language that only a small number of government employees know. Completing the translations might have involved flying capable employees in from great distances.

Once a series of conversations has been translated, analysts must wade through endless pages of talk of dinner dates, computer purchases, travel plans, and weather reports, searching for anything of national-security interest. Each conversation must not just be recorded, transcribed, translated, and read. It must also be analyzed and formed into a report, which must be typed and copied and collated. Then the report must be discussed, and if action is deemed necessary... You see where I'm going here. We're talking about a massive accrual of hours in all levels of government, top to bottom.

The worst part is, 999 times out of 1,000, the operatives come up with nothing. It's very hard to pay people time-and-a-half when they can't tell you the exact location, date, and method of an imminent terrorist attack. But, considering the high priority President Bush placed on counterterrorism from the day he took office, I assure you that we would not have hesitated to schedule the overtime hours, had we known that a massive terrorist attack was definitely going to happen.

Yes, Mr. Tenet and his top deputies did receive a briefing paper labeled "Islamic Extremist Learns To Fly" in mid-August. Yes, an in-depth investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui might have led the government to the al-Qaeda cell in Germany that planned the Sept. 11 attacks, but the fact remains that we can never be sure. I believe that, during investigations such as this, it's important to stick with what we do know. Ladies and gentlemen: Had that lead been followed, a lot of people would've been working a lot of very long hours.