Friday, February 11, 2005
... Pants On Fire
- Secrecy - the first refuge of incompetents - must be at bare minimum in a democratic society, for a fully informed public is the basis of self-government. Those elected or appointed to positions of executive authority must recognize that government, in a democracy, cannot be wiser than the people.
-House Committee on Government Operations
Too bad the Bush administration didn't heed this advice.
Yesterday the Bush administration released a previously undisclosed portion of the 9/11 Commission's report in which it was revealed that the FAA had received 52 warnings concerning al Qaeda and/or Osama bin Laden in the months leading up to the September 11, 2001, attacks.
- The Federal Aviation Administration received repeated warnings in the months prior to September 11, 2001, about al Qaeda and its desire to attack airlines, according to a previously undisclosed report by the commission that investigated the terror attacks.
The report by the 9/11 commission detailed 52 such warnings given to FAA leaders from April to September 10, 2001, about the radical Islamic terrorist group and its leader, Osama bin Laden.
Surprising? Not really, considering this administration's track record. We know they ignored the August 6 PDB warning that bin Laden was intent on striking the United States. We know they ignored Richard Clarke's repeated warnings that al Qaida was a major threat to national security. So it's really not that surprising that they would ignore something as insignificant as 52 warnings over a five month period. It was all part of this administration's M.O.
What's intriguing about this revelation is the timing. Why did we not hear about this when the 9/11 Commission released its initial report? Why did it take until now, after the November election and after the confirmation of Condi Rice as Secretary of State, before we were made aware of this? Possibly because this would have been yet another incident where the Bush administration had it's collective head up it's collective ass? Because it would have demonstrated, yet again, this administration's incompetence and unpreparedness to deal with the situation at hand despite multiple repeated warnings? The answer, of course, is yes, yes, and yes. This was witheld to keep the American public in the dark.
During the first months of the Bush administration's tenure all we heard about were tax cuts and restoring dignity to the White House. Well, we can see where the tax cuts have gotten us. And as far as dignity goes, I don't see anything dignified about witholding the truth. Nor do I see anything dignified about ignoring potential threats to the safety of the American people. What could they have possibly been doing during those first eight months that was so important that it caused them to ignore these warnings? Oh yeah, they had to clean up all of that fake vandalism caused by the outgoing Clinton administration. Now there's something that's dignified: lying.