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It's commonly stated that George W Bush pulled the FBI off bin Laden's trail as soon as he came in to office, and Alex Jones goes even further: supposedly Bush signed a "National Security order" W199I to ensure this would happen.

Read this carefully and you’ll notice something odd. Despite describing “W199-eye” as a “National Security order” in the first paragraph, the second describes it as an FBI case number. Perhaps checking the source of this report will reveal more. Here’s the full transcript of the BBC report that bought the document to light.

As you can see, there’s nothing here about National Security orders, executive orders, Presidential Directives or anything else. The document is an FBI case file, nothing more. If you find someone asserting otherwise, make sure you ask them for some supporting evidence, and see how long it takes for them to admit there isn’t any.

The report still obviously contained some damaging allegations, though, and the Times of India summed them up:

But this is something less than a complete account of the story, in part thanks to the way Palast presents the original article. Although we’re told:

...Palast isn’t open about what he means by "before 9/11", and when the agents were "pulled off the trail". Perhaps because the date was September 11th 1996, as other documentation and an extract posted in Palast's own book show.


And so this means that Clinton took the FBI agents off this case, and not Bush. Or at least would have done, if there were any real evidence of Presidential involvement at all (Palast's vague comments are weak in the extreme).

There is still this claim, of course:

But then this is a second-hand account of a comment from an unnamed source with an agency who had a strong incentive to say “it wasn’t our fault”. This may still be accurate, and it’s worth considering along with other things, but it certainly isn’t as definitive as the original claim would suggest.