I've been surprisingly silent about the whole 9/11 Commission
- at least as far as the web is concerned, since my wife can
tell you I've been screaming at the TV like a maniac, as has
she. I have been so - silent that is - because I like to think
of myself as a reasonable person. I sure as shit don't take
the word of anything I hear on the FOX News Channel, but despite
calling myself a liberal, I likewise take everything in The
Nation and Mother Jones with a grain of salt. My subscription
to that last publication ended back in 2000 with their expose
of how the Clinton administration was wasting money and panicking
people about terrorist attacks within the US that were never
going to happen. Prescience like that I can get from Ann Coulter
and Brit Hume for free. I'm a big foreign-policy junky and
even back then was tuned in enough to jihadist groups to know
they weren't just going to go away. Though I never would have
dreamed that they could do what they did.
So likewise I have been skeptical about any claims and counter-claims
as to whose fault 9/11 was. I've been inclined to believe
that the real failure was in our intelligence structures,
which, given history, is really nobody's fault. Now some conservatives
will tell you that intelligence structures were so weak because
of all the pansies and paranoids like the ACLU who whine about
civil rights all the time. I can toss that ball back by pointing
out that such concern and paranoia is natural in a free society
when intelligence sources are abused on the levels that they
were under J. Edgar "Mary" Hoover and Dick Nixon.
If you want to play that kind of "what if" blame
game, maybe if Hoover had been less concerned about Martin
Luther King's sex life the FBI would have caught the hijackers
before 9/11 ever happened. But, such speculations are a useless
I'm still not going to say the Bush administration is to
blame for 9/11, even with the release of the now infamous
PDB, which many seem to regard as if it were dipped in
the sacred blood of the victims of that day. The significance
of that document to me has been less substantive and more
to do with the massive spinning (verging on lies I would say)
from the President on down. I've the read the damn thing and
there is no way that all it equals is "historical
information based on old reporting" as Dr. Rice
put it, or "said nothing about an attack on America"
as the President stated. Maybe this is unfair of me,
as he did later admit that the PDB contained "ongoing"
and "current threat information", just before shifting
any possible blame to the FBI. I will further admit that a
Democratic President would be trying to spin this thing as
much as he could. But it's not some theoretical Democratic
President we're talking about. Even Jimmi Hendrix, with a
headful of acid didn't believe his audience would really think
6 was 9. That's why he said "IF" 6 was 9. But Bush
actually seems to expect us to believe that 6 is 9 if he says
so. I'll forgive alot of things as just being the way the
game is played, but trying to play me for stupid ain't one
I may be wrong, but to me the 9/11 Commission is probably
going to be a big waste of time as concerns its charge, other
than possibly proving to the public that there really isn't
any blame to be placed (although I ain't holding my breath
on that one), and hopefully getting rid of any lingering resistance
to reforming intelligence structures. Of course on the partisan
side I also hope it will result in Bush spinning himself into
an early political grave.
But for me the primary issue, which will probably never be
addressed, is how the mishandling of Iraq has diverted our
attention from other pressing matters in the War on Terror,
or as I like to refer to it, The Recent Jihadist Unpleasantness.
From all the evidence I've seen, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz
and other members of the Project
for the New American Century (PNAC) now in the Bush administration,
were going to see that Iraq was spindled, folded, and manipulated,
come hell or high water.
In a Sept. 2000 project paper of the PNAC, titled "Rebuilding
America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New
Century " is the following quote,
"Further, the process of transformation, even if
it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one,
absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like
a new Pearl Harbor."
While the "transformation" being referred to is
specifically the transformation of the US military to a theoretical
model favored by the PNAC, the invasion of Iraq has been a
long-term goal of theirs and is a primary component of that
Listed on the last page as a project participant is Paul
"Ears" Wolfowitz, Don Rumsfeld's Deputy Secretary
In 1998 a PNAC
letter was sent to President Clinton urging him to eliminate
"the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or
threaten to use weapons of mass destruction." It
was signed by several people who have or currently hold positions
in the Bush administration - Richard
Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Dick
Armitage (Who I like - and not just because he looks and
sounds like the character of George
Liquor in the old Ren and Stimpy Show and the
Goddamn George Liquor Program cartoons).
In light of all this, Rumsfeld's denial of having made the
statements reported by Richard Clarke below ring false -
"Well Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb
Iraq and we all said, 'No no, al Qaeda is in Afghanistan.
We need to bomb Afghanistan.' Rumsfeld said, 'There aren't
any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good
targets in Iraq.' I said, 'Well there are lots of good targets
in lots of places but Iraq had nothing to with it.' "
Come on. Rumsfeld expects us to believe that when the Pearl
Harbor-like event of 9/11 landed in their laps they were not
going to take advantage of it to advance their agenda. As
far as his denial, I believe that he didn't use those exact
words, but that is as far as I believe that crazy sumbitch.
Now I'm pragmatic enough to believe that converting Arab
states to democratic republics is not a bad idea, even if
you have to do it at gunpoint. Hell, I supported the invasion
at the time. But the administration denies that they had some
preconcieved plan. That it's all about the WMD's. Not that
anyone has come right out and asked them if they had a pre-
9/11 plan to invade Iraq, though they appear to be denying
anything that even comes close to suggesting that in their
denials of Richard Clarke's assertions.
I'm pretty uncomfortable about lying to the public regarding
the reasons for going to war, but if the result was a stable
Iraq as a foundation for changing the face of the Middle East
I'd probably be willing to cut them some slack (Notice
I didn't say Arab states, and not just because I know the
difference between Persians and Arabs. That's right. I'm looking
at you Israel, you bunch of half-assed, low-grade apartheidists.).
Then again, considering how they crucified President Clinton
over lying about getting the old kaiser's helmet spit-polished,
I probably wouldn't. Regardless, I would be less fervant in
my desire to see them nailed to a tree.
But a well thought out plan does not look like what we are
dealing with here, ladies and gents. And here is the punch
line y'all have been waiting for. It is looking more and more
like Bush and them were so hot to invade Iraq that they had
no better plan than this
guy did. If that turns out to be true, getting their asses
ridden out of town on a rail come next January is the least
that they deserve.
Current Mood - Punditudinous.
Currently Listening To - The Iron Man
of TV News, Wolf Blitzer, crappin' on about something
4.11.2004 at 08:40 Pacific -
Oh no! Moses is angry. Pharoah is angry. The frogs are angry
. I hate it when you fight. Stop yelling at each other! YOU'RE TEARING ME APART!!!
Seriously though, I would love to have that li'l Hebrew Seder dish set. The Plague of Frogs bowl kicks ass! It'd be just the thing for when I have the Rabbi over for a nosh.
Current Mood - Oy gvalt
Currently Listening To - nothing.