Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Ms. Gorelick...Tear Down That Wall!
It's been five years since the Bushies have been in office, and they're still blaming terrorism and 9-11 on Bill Clinton. Forget that former terrorism czar Richard Clark pleaded with Bush officials for almost 9 months to take the Al Qaeda threat seriously. Forget the 2001 "Phoenix memo," which the FBI downplayed, in which FBI agent Kenneth Williams warned that eight Arab males enrolled in flight school could pose a terrorist threat to the U.S. Forget Minneapolis FBI agent Colleen Rowley's 2001 memo, which the FBI also downplayed, which warned of Zacarius Moussoui, now referred to as the 20th hijacker. Forget how inept the CIA was, and it's inability to coordinate and communicate with the FBI. Forget the now infamous August 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing (PDB) entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" which Bush shrugged off amid the golf course and brush-clearing during his month-long vacation in Crawford that fateful Summer. And forget Condi Rice, who incredulously said, "I don't think anyone could have predicted that . . . they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile" even though the White House had suspected this for months as evidenced by the August PDB. That's right. Forget all this, because it's all Bill Clinton's fault. If it wasn't for Clinton, we could have avoided 911. At least that's the premise of the NY Post's Deborah Orin in her utterly asinine and irresponsible column today. Seems the GOP, and Orin, are going Pink Floyd on us, blaming everything on "The Wall." The wall, that is, that existed during the Clinton years between the CIA, FBI and the Justice Department. According to Orin, then-US attorney Mary Jo White, in her best Ronald Reagan Soviet-era impersonation, "pleaded" with Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick to "tear down the wall." Orin makes White out to be the great sage who foresaw the tragic events of 9-11, but whose warnings fell on deaf ears. Orin mentions "the wall" eleven times. Ya gotta hand it to these Republicans. Once Ken Melhman and Karl Rove devise the talking points, the spin monkeys like Orin, Rush, Hannity, etc regurgitate it ad nauseum. What's really amazing is how Orin blames the blunders of 2001 not on the Bush team, but on this old wall that was created by the Clintonites. What I don't get is, if White was so smart, with the prescience into 9-11, she certainly had plenty of time to share her insights with the Bush team in '01, right? Wouldn't it make sense that if the Clinton crew failed to listen, that White would've/should've had a receptive bunch in the Bushies? Let's all remember that Bush was in office a full eight months before 9-11. But the GOP is relentless in its quest to confuse Americans and pin 9-11 on Clinton, as if Bush took office on September 12th. But no amount of spinning by Mehlman, Orin, Rush and Hannity can erase the truth. And the truth is, there's been more acts of terrorism, more lives lost, and more hatred towards the U.S. on Bush's watch than during any other presidency in American history. Despite the fact that there's been no acts of terror here at home in four years, Americans are less safe. The seven year gap between the first and second WTC attacks is but a frightening reminder of our constant vulnerability. The truth is, the Bush administration was totally inept on terrorism prior to 9-11. They had too big a hard-on for Saddam, and were too busy planning the Iraq invasion. They'll continue to blame Clinton however, just as they do for all of Bush's failings. And I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about "The Wall" in the days and weeks to come. Andy