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

Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail