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New York Times Poll--Most Americans Believe Bush Administration is Lying or 'Hiding Facts' About 9/11

- Many adults in the United States believe the current federal government has not been completely forthcoming on the issue of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to a poll by the New York Times and CBS News. 53 per cent of respondents think the Bush administration is hiding something, and 28 per cent believe it is lying.

Only 16 per cent of respondents say the government headed by U.S. president George W. Bush is telling the truth on what it knew prior to the terrorist attacks, down five points since May 2002.

Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked and crashed four airplanes in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people. In October, after Afghanistan’s Taliban regime refused to hand over al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the U.S. launched the war on terrorism.

On Aug. 6, 2001, a Presidential Daily Briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." mentioned "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

On May 17, 2002, Bush discussed the situation, saying, "The American people know this about me, and my national security team, and my administration: Had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to kill on that fateful morning, I would have done everything in my power to protect the American people."

On Sept. 11, Bush referred to the attacks, saying, "Five years after 9/11, our enemies have not succeeded in launching another attack on our soil, but they’ve not been idle. Al-Qaeda and those inspired by its hateful ideology have carried out terrorist attacks in more than two dozen nations. And just last month, they were foiled in a plot to blow up passenger planes headed for the United States. They remain determined to attack America and kill our citizens—and we are determined to stop them."

Polling Data

When it comes to what they knew prior to September 11th, 2001, about possible terrorist attacks against the United States, do you think members of the Bush Administration are telling the truth, are mostly telling the truth but hiding something, or are they mostly lying?


Telling the truth

16% (Oct. 2006)

21% ( May 2002)

Hiding something

53% (10/06)

65% (5/02)

Mostly lying

28% (10/06)

8% (5/02)

Not sure

3% (10/06)

6% (5/02)

Source: The New York Times / CBS News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 983 American adults, conducted from Oct. 5 to Oct. 8, 2006. Margin of error is 4 per cent.

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