“How this administration handled that day as well as the war on terror is worthy of discussion and I look forward to discussing that with the American people.”
George W. Bush
So why not discuss 9-11 with the full independent commission?
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have each agreed to meet privately with the chair and vice chair of the commission for one hour. No dates have been set for their interviews. The commission is trying to persuade them to meet with the full investigative body, Felzenberg said. (Spokesman for 9-11 Commission)
The White House, already embroiled in a public fight over the deadline for an independent commission’s investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, is refusing to give the panel notes on presidential briefing papers taken by some of its own members, officials said this week. (Washington Post)
Besides the negotiations over secret material, the White House has placed conditions on the commission’s access to other documents. For instance, Kean said members of the commission can view some key documents only at the White House, and cannot copy long passages into their notes. (Newsmax, which is very Conservative).
What those documents contained was warnings about an Al Qaeda attack. What more could Bush have done? I don’t know, but he should discuss it with the American People, represented by the Independent Commission.
On July 5 of last year, a month and a day before President Bush first heard that al Qaeda might plan a hijacking, the White House summoned officials of a dozen federal agencies to the Situation Room.
“Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it’s going to happen soon,” the government’s top counterterrorism official, Richard Clarke, told the assembled group, according to two of those present. The group included the Federal Aviation Administration, along with the Coast Guard, FBI, Secret Service and Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Clarke directed every counterterrorist office to cancel vacations, defer nonvital travel, put off scheduled exercises and place domestic rapid-response teams on much shorter alert. For six weeks last summer, at home and overseas, the U.S. government was at its highest possible state of readiness — and anxiety — against imminent terrorist attack.
That intensity — defensive in nature — did not last. By the time Bush received his briefing at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Aug. 6, the government had begun to stand down from the alert. Offensive planning against al Qaeda remained in a mid-level interagency panel, which had spent half a year already in a policy review. The Deputies Committee, the second tier of national security officials, had not finished considering the emerging plan, and Bush’s Cabinet-rank advisers were still a month away from their first meeting on terrorism. That took place Sept. 4, a week before hijacked planes were flown into the Pentagon and World Trade Center in synchronized attacks.
What Bush and his government did with the information they had in August became the subject of a political brawl on Capitol Hill yesterday, largely shorn of the context of those weeks before Sept. 11. A close look at the sequence of events, based on lengthy interviews early this year with participants and fresh accounts yesterday, appears to support the White House view that Bush lacked sufficient warning to stop the attack. But it also portrays a new administration that gave scant attention to an adversary whose lethal ambitions and savvy had been well understood for years. (Washington Post)
I don’t understand why Bush is so proud of 9-11. It happened on his watch. I would be ashamed. That’s like if a baby died while I was babysitting. I wouldn’t advertise.