Commissioning a Work of Fiction
Eric Renderking Fisk | July 22nd, 2004
During the past few months as I’ve been observing the final stages of the 9-11 Commission I’ve come to the conclusion that partisanship will literally kill a lot of us. Using a distasteful fairy tale analogy, after the Big Bad Wolf blows down each house, the three pigs are standing around arguing which of the three of them are at fault as they’re rebuilding. As the Three Pigs: a Democrat, A Republican, and a member of the media (the three major networks, FOXnews, Michael Moore… take your pick) are fighting, The Big Bad Wolf is making plans to blow down another house and sneaking more of his friends in to help.
During this election year (in fact, since the last one in 2000), there’s a lot of talking and yelling going on, but there isn’t a lot of listening. Problems aren’t getting solved, and if one person comes up with a good idea on how to fix what’s wrong he can guarantee that half of the people are going to hate it just because of the side of the room he sits on politically… vote for the solution then later say he would have voted against, thinking it would get him re-elected. The same is true in the War On Terror.
We’re hearing too much about what you CAN’T do… you can’t profile against Muslims, you can’t deny people entry into the United States from countries who harbor terrorism. Most idiotic of all: You can’t round up illegal aliens who are here under expired visas or came here through our inadequate borders who have committed violent crimes.
Meanwhile, as the partisan fighting is going on, the Big Bad Wolf is moving on, hiding in Grandma’s bed somewhere in the middle east planning a bigger attack… bigger then before. Next time, a city might be leveled using a Russian nuke (1) bought on the black market or using chemicals they've stolen… whatever. It’s my nightmare that one night my wife might not come home because those in the government aren’t doing their jobs.
Maybe worst of all, I’ve learned to hate most politicians regardless of the party. It’s not the Republicans, it’s not the Democrats, it’s the politicians... period!
Testament to a Prefabricated Fantasy
During National Security Adviser Dr. Condoleezza Rice’s testimony, I was beside myself as I heard about her involvement with the country’s security before September 11th 2001. The attitude of all the Democratic members of the panel was: Stop talking about how the Clinton Administration dismantled the Intelligence agencies over two terms… you had 8 MONTHS! What did you do in that time? That wasn’t the last time I felt as if the Commission on the Terrorist attack on September 11th 2001 was a show.
Through out all of the September 11th Panel, one thing is absolutely clear: absolving one particular political party of any guilt is far more important then getting to the bottom of what led to that horrific day. Nobody seems to remember the endless gutting of the CIA and the FBI during the Clinton years, how they were under-funded and understaffed. And when they do, left-wing partisans insist that Clinton had to do what he had to do because of the “industry wide corruption” that actually encouraged REAL “corruption” if they were ever going to get anything done.
Those on the left who are hammering the Bush administration for sending our soldiers into combat “unprepared” and that we don’t have the “infrastructure nor the manpower”, are being absentminded of the countless military base closures during the Clinton Administration.
The Clinton Administration had done what the eastern bloc communist countries failed to do during the cold war… render the intelligence community and the military virtually USELESS while we were experiencing the best economic growth via the “Peace Dividend”.
In all fairness against Bush… what was this administration doing in the 8 months before September 11th? Why wasn’t there a review of the inner workings of both the CIA and the FBI and why weren’t the barriers torn down once they were found? If there were memos and reports that Islamic fundamentalists were learning how to fly planes into buildings… why didn’t anyone do something? If there were barriers, why weren’t emergency Executive Orders written to tear those walls down?
What he has done in creating a Department of Homeland Security doesn’t seem to be much more then a showpiece for the citizens and potential voters in this year’s election. Granted, when there is an elevated threat of another terrorist attack, we see the “Warnings”, but airline travel isn’t any safer which is clearly illustrated in this two part series in the Women’s Wall Street Journal: Links (2) and (3).
You’re not part of the Solution; You’re part of the Problem.
Thanks to Attorney General John Ashcroft and his testimony before the September 11th 2001 commission, the focus of that commission had temporarily changed to one of partisanship and one of the actual members on that panel. Jamie Gorelick is a name that doesn’t ring any bells because of her obscurity in Clintonian lore. She was the Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno during the Clinton administration and was working on prosecuting the fundamental Islamic terrorists who tried to destroy the Twin World Trade Towers the first time over 10 years ago. During that time, she was the “architect” of the now famous “Wall Memo” that prevented branches of the FBI or the CIA from talking to each other… crippling once and for all the aforementioned agencies. Irony or clandestine opportunism… Gorelick is now serving on the September 11th panel, the event that she may have single-handedly (or perhaps underhandedly) made possible on September 11th, 2001 (and perhaps the Oklahoma City Bombing and hampered the possible Islamic Terrorist connections with the downing of TWA Flight 800 in July 17, 1996.) If this commission was about finding the flaws in the system, then perhaps Jamie Gorelick should have stepped down as one of the panel members and taken accountability for some of her actions that lead to the breakdown in the Intelligence infrastructure.
To make matters worse, there’s no way the September 11th commission could ever be complete or accurate due to the events, which lead to a news story about missing documents in the National Archives. During the same week the Final Report was to be released, this Tuesday the news outlets carried the story that Samuel Berger, former President Clinton's National Security Adviser, is now under investigation for “lifting” top secret documents from the National Archives. Many of these documents were memos and hand-written documents that include details of the failed “Millennium” terrorist attack during the New Year’s celebration 2001, terrorist threats to this nation by Al-Qaeda and other notes on terrorist activity throughout the world during the Clinton administration. (4)
While much of what Mr. Berger has taken has been recovered, much still remains missing. What could be on those documents might never be known, and from this moment on the questions and debates that will have been initiated from this event will be the fuel for conservative conspiracy theorists for ages to come. While those documents remain missing, the Final Report by September 11th 2001 which will be released on July 22nd can never be absolutely complete. The most we can indeed hope for are the suggestions on how to improve the Intelligence community and ways to prevent the next terrorist attack.
As I said on Monday, July 19th, on a local radio talk show, I would appreciate that the officials in our own government not be like Chicken Little yelling about one part of the sky falling when it isn't while another part is… the part they don't want to address and they can prevent. I said this in the context of our “Terror Alerts” pertaining to the Democratic National Convention starting on July 26th. They're virtually closing up the city of Boston during the convention next week... but leaving the airport open. All the roads are closed to traffic within parts of the city to everything but foot traffic and bikes, The highways are closed period, and the harbor is "secure", but the airport... nope. Flights will be leaving Logan Airport on time. Now... the jets that crashed into the Twin Towers- where did they come from? Do you see my point?
We are being inundated by stories that hardly anything has changed since September 11th, 2001: A sentiment I’m sure will be echoed in the Commissions Final Report due this week, if they did at least half their jobs right.(5) I’m not nearly being hard enough on politicians. Everything is all about protecting “The Party” and it’s members with the attitude: “We’re always right, they’re always wrong”. Politicians and their lawyers will contort logic, reason and even the law to explain away any wrong doing with out taking any responsibility for what they have done. Politicians have taken the “by any means necessary” attitude to cover their own backsides, but won’t take that same attitude in doing their jobs to protect their constituencies.
Democrats and Republicans all are so concerned and upset about the wrong doings of the other party in the past, they’re ignoring the absolute immediate needs of the present and the potential horror in the near future. The Three Little Pigs are fighting over hay, straw or brick (Immigration, Foreign policy, Or the Patriot Act) while The Big Bad Wolf is now trying to find ways of blowing our houses down in units of Mega-tons.
The Connection… You’re on your own.
From my observation for the proceedings of the September 11th 2001, I have to repeat myself again from a previous rant: We’re being treated like sheep and we’re being thrown to the wolves by the same people who are spending our tax dollars to protect us. While they’ve been fighting about who’s to blame they’re not taking the time or putting in the full effort to make sure this is not happening again.
We’re all being asked to go to sites like Ready.gov and “Make a kit”, “Make a Plan”, and “Be Informed”. Between the lines, we’re supposed to become civilian soldiers, state-side vigilantes without crossing the line. Granted, I’m tickled that more then a few of us are going to the local Army/Navy store and stocking up on surplus clothes and weapons… but isn’t there a more efficient way to fight the War on Terror? Starting with our agencies actually DOING their jobs?
We’re all faced with the absolute certainty that there’s going to be another attack, thanks to the Madrid Train bombing and the Philippines pulling out of Iraq… or at least that’s what we’re being told by the Department of Homeland Security that’s cried Wolf.