In early November of 2003, a memo from Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller’s office was read on the air by Sean Hannity, a syndicated radio talk-show host and half of the “Hannity and Colmes” FOX TV show. This memo showed that the Democrats planned to use the pre-war intelligence investigations as a way of attacking President Bush. Democrat Senator Zell Miller released the following statement concerning this memo:
“I have often said that the process in Washington is so politicized and polarized that it can’t even be put aside when we’re at war. Never has that been proved more true than the highly partisan and perhaps treasonous memo prepared for the Democrats on the Intelligence Committee.
“Of all the committees, this is the one single committee that should unquestionably be above partisan politics. The information it deals with should never, never be distorted, compromised or politicized in any shape, form or fashion. For it involves the lives of our soldiers and our citizens. Its actions should always be above reproach; its words never politicized.
“If what has happened here is not treason, it is its first cousin. The ones responsible – be they staff or elected or both – should be dealt with quickly and severely sending a lesson to all that this kind of action will not be tolerated, ignored or excused.
“Heads should roll!”
Now fast-forward from the November memo to today. An investigation is making headlines, but this investigation isn’t looking into the intelligence leading up to the war to liberate Iraq. It is becoming increasingly clear that the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the official title of what is commonly called the 9/11 Commission) investigation into the September 11th, 2001 attacks is following the outline set up in last November’s Democrat memo.
This commission has become a vehicle for the Democrats on it to attack all things Bush.
If you haven’t figured this out from the beginning, you should have realized it with the circus act surrounding Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Advisor to President Bush. She had already testified behind closed doors before the commission, but the Democrats demanded that she testify publicly. Why? I’ll give you a two-word answer: TV grandstanding. With the hoopla surrounding this commission, what political hack could resist getting face-time on national TV grilling the National Security Advisor? This is even better publicity than defacing your own billboard.
At one point, former Senator and, you guessed it, Democrat Bob Kerrey sniped at Dr. Rice for President Bush’s comment that he was tired of “swatting flies” when it came to fighting terrorism. “Can you tell me one example where the president swatted a fly when it came to al-Qaeda prior to 9/11?” Bob Kerrey demanded. “How the hell could he be tired?” While Dr. Rice tried to pass that off as a figure of speech, I don’t think she wanted to give him the unvarnished truth. If I were testifying in Dr. Rice’s place, I’d have responded this way: “Commissioner, President Bush saw that the response to terrorist attacks from 1993 to 2000 was to prosecute the people involved one by one, as common criminals. In effect, the Clinton administration, when it could be bothered, swatted at these people one by one as you would an annoying fly. President Bush knew that a massive response was necessary to oust al-Qaeda and other terrorists and terrorist nation-states. The Clinton years saw nothing but a limp-wristed bit of fly-swatting, and President Bush was tired of it.” Maybe there’s a reason why I wouldn’t last long in the national political scene.
If the commission truly wanted to have Dr. Rice testify before them, why did they speak about half as many words as Dr. Rice? That’s right, based on my quick rough count, the commission members spoke one word for every two that Dr. Rice got out. They weren’t there to get information from her; they were there to get face-time on TV and be seen pontificating and bloviating at her before the cameras.
The Democrats on this commission are not looking to see how we can improve our defense so we do not suffer another 9/11 attack. Rather, they are trying their best to point the finger of blame at President Bush. After all, didn’t President Bush have over 200 days in the White House to prevent the September 11th attacks? The dirty truth is that President Bush couldn’t start his term off running because of the vandalism caused by the departing administration. Damaged computers, phones ripped from the walls, vulgar graffiti and general vandalism prevented the smooth transition of power, thanks to members of the sulking Clinton-Gore administration. So here we have the previous administration who spent eight years doing practically nothing about terrorism, from the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to their closing days in office. But it’s not their fault, claim the Democrats on the commission, it’s President Bush’s fault since he was the one in office when 9/11 happened.
But here’s the question: even if the Bush administration had received specific intelligence outlining the 9/11 attacks, what could it have done to stop them? If Bush knew that almost two dozen Arabic Muslim males between the ages of 18 and 40 were planning on hijacking airplanes on September 11th, he would have two options: ground all planes, or detain and question all male Arabs trying to get on flights that day. Can you imagine the liberal howling and ACLU lawsuits that would have come from either action? The hummus would have really hit the fan. If you want an example of what public reaction would have been if the Bush administration had acted on al-Qaeda threats before 9/11, you can read this article about the impeachment of President Bush on The New Republic’s website.
In the next article, I will write more about Dick Clark’s testimony before the commission, the botched nature of this commission, and the questionable placement of Jamie Gorelick on this commission. But I will leave you with this parting thought for now: the liberals are attacking President Bush for not taking preemptive action against the 9/11 attacks, and at the same time they are attacking President Bush for preemptively stepping into Iraq and removing the viper’s nest of corruption and terrorism sponsorship there. In this case, President Bush is truly damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t.