Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only shake you down once a year, but when we do we really mean it. It costs a lot to keep the site afloat, and our growing audience, well over TWO million unique viewers a month, eats up a lot of bandwidth — and bandwidth isn’t free. We aren’t supported by corporate donors, advertisers or big foundations. We survive solely on your support.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush Fiddled While NYC Burned

by Michael Colby

The decision to send Condoleezza Rice out before the reporters yesterday to downplay new evidence that the White House had credible warnings of Osama bin Laden’s plans to hijack planes was a huge slap to the face of reason. Rice’s two main arguments seeking to belittle Bush’s prior knowledge lacked the credibility that the hijacking warnings were filled with.

First, Rice declared that the hijackings said nothing about “using the planes as missiles.” Rice’s reasoning ignores the internal Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that at least one student had approached a flight school in search of training in all aspects of flying big jets with the exceptions of taking off and landing. For an intelligence agency with a near-unlimited budget and person power, it wouldn’t seem that hard to put two and two together on this one.

Next, Rice declared that if the Bush administration wanted to do anything preventive in regards to the hijacking threats it would have resulted in a widespread disruption in commercial airline travel. Besides being rather callous towards the nearly 5,000 people who lost their lives, this excuse is just plain ridiculous.

As it turns out, these hijackings did cause widespread disruption of the airline industry, but only after the bin Laden crew carried out their tasks to what they declared to be near-perfection. September 11th wasn’t that long ago to have forgotten that all the nation’s airports were closed, the airlines received billions of dollars in bailouts, and federal regulators immediately (and dramatically) changed the manner in which every man, woman, and child approaches the act of flying.

The troubling reality, no matter how much spin the Bush administration and its fawning media put into it, is that the credible evidence of an attack by a group of people who every intelligence official in the U.S. knew was fanatical and capable enough to inflict widespread damage was both kept secret and ignored.

Imagine, for example, if the same amount of time and hand wringing had been put into implementing a plan to this hijacking threat as most members of the Bush inner circle put into dumping their Enron portfolios? That is, you’ll recall, exactly what the Enron-insiders-turned-Bush-officials were up to in the summer of 2001 when the hijacking threats were made known to the administration.

Finally, the public should be informed as to why it took more than eight months after this attack before this information became publicly available. Let’s not forget that the U.S. went to war over this action, decimating a nation, throwing world security into turmoil, and, interestingly enough, still failing to “get our man.” Every member of Congress who rushed to their post-September 11 podiums to lust for revenge and provide the Bush administration what amounted to a blank check for war should now be wondering about the evidence their own government withheld from them. What if, at the time of those frantic days after the attacks, the public and congress knew that the Bush team was sitting on evidence warning of the attacks?

Most of the media–particularly the right-wing talk shows and pundits–are busy spinning the disclosure of the hijacking warnings as much ado about nothing. But this nation lost 3,000 citizens, the “crown jewels” of the Manhattan skyline, our sense of security, and precious civil liberties, not to mention unleashing a vicious war against Afghanistan while the Bush team knew that the acts creating the entire mess were on the way.

Ironically, the same conservative members of Congress and the media who maniacally pursued the impeachment of Bill Clinton for being on the receiving end of a blowjob are now declaring that Bush’s prior knowledge of what amounted to “the worst ever attack on our soil” was really no big deal. Go figure.

Michael Colby is the editor of Wild Matters. He can be reached at mcolby@wildmatters.org

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 28, 2016
Eric Draitser
Stop Trump! Stop Clinton!! Stop the Madness (and Let Me Get Off)!
Ted Rall
The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate
Robert Fisk
Cliché and Banality at the Debates: Trump and Clinton on the Middle East
Patrick Cockburn
Cracks in the Kingdom: Saudi Arabia Rocked by Financial Strains
Lowell Flanders
Donald Trump, Islamophobia and Immigrants
Shane Burley
Defining the Alt Right and the New American Fascism
Jan Oberg
Ukraine as the Border of NATO Expansion
Ramzy Baroud
Ban Ki-Moon’s Legacy in Palestine: Failure in Words and Deeds
David Swanson
How We Could End the Permanent War State
Sam Husseini
Debate Night’s Biggest Lie Was Told by Lester Holt
Laura Carlsen
Ayotzinapa’s Message to the World: Organize!
Binoy Kampmark
The Triumph of Momentum: Re-Electing Jeremy Corbyn
David Macaray
When the Saints Go Marching In
Seth Oelbaum
All Black Lives Will Never Matter for Clinton and Trump
Adam Parsons
Standing in Solidarity for a Humanity Without Borders
Cesar Chelala
The Trump Bubble
September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]