In a previous article, I wrote how the 9/11 Commission is following the political road map laid out in a leaked Democrat memo plotting to use “non-partisan” investigations to attack President Bush. While the Commission is being blatantly partisan, it is also illustrating how not to investigate an issue. Jonathan Rauch wrote up “The 9/11 Commission could learn more if it talked less” for the National Journal. He sums up how the commission has gone wrong and what it should do to make things right. His tagline for the article is “The most important job of the 9/11 commission is not to fix blame for past wrongdoing but to identify and correct continuing problems.” Needless to say, this is not happening.

So before this partisan commission steps up Dick Clark, a counter-terrorism chief in both the Clinton and Bush administrations. His book, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, and his appearance before the 9/11 Commission catapulted him into his 15 minutes of fame. But what exactly is he saying in his book? In a glowing article of praise, Slate author Fred Kaplan sums up Clark’s claims this way:

In the summer of 2001, Bush did almost nothing to deal with mounting evidence of an impending al-Qaida attack. Then, after 9/11, his main response was to attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11. This move not only distracted us from the real war on terrorism, it fed into Osama Bin Laden’s propaganda—that the United States would invade and occupy an oil-rich Arab country—and thus served as the rallying cry for new terrorist recruits.

But does this claim stand up to the facts? Supposedly President Bush’s main response to 9/11 was attacking Iraq. Really? Let’s see, from September 2001 to March 2003 seems to be a long time to start a “main response,” don’t you think? And we know the U.S. was completely focused on attacking Iraq during these eighteen months. After all, nothing else made the major news other than gearing up for the war in Iraq. Oh, wait. I guess something else happened first. Seems Dick Clark completely forgot the removal of the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. I guess the main response wasn’t going after Iraq, but going after al-Qaeda.

So what about his other claim that the Bush administration did almost nothing about an impending al-Qaeda attack? According to Clark’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission, he mentioned al-Qaeda to Dr. Condoleezza Rice and her expression said she didn’t even recognize the name. But Dr. Rice had made public statements over a year before September 11th about the threat from bin Laden. So did the Bush administration really drop the ball with al-Qaeda, as Clark states in his book? Not at all, if we are to believe his own words in a 2002 briefing to reporters. In this briefing, Clark stated that the Bush administration in early 2001 had “changed the strategy from one of rollback with al-Qaeda over the course [of] five years, which it had been, to a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of al-Qaeda.” Clark’s book says that the Clinton administration was clearly focused on terrorism and had extensive plans to combat it. All of these he says the Bush administration failed to carry out. But again, in his own words before reporters in 2002, Clark said, “I think the overall point is, there was no plan on al-Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.”

So Clark basically said one thing in his book and something completely different in 2002. As 9/11 Commission member Jim Thompson asked of Clark, “We have your book and we have your press briefing of August 2002. Which is true?” Clark responded that both are true, but this is impossible since the two statements are completely contradictory. Vice President Dick Cheney sums it up when he said of Dick Clark:

“So I guess, the other thing I would say about Dick Clark is that he was here throughout those eight years, going back to 1993, and the first attack on the World Trade Center; and ’98, when the embassies were hit in East Africa; in 2000, when the USS Cole was hit. And the question that ought to be asked is, what were they doing in those days when he was in charge of counterterrorism efforts?”

Since Dick Clark’s book has now been exposed as a load of tripe, it’s time to move onto the other bit of pig offal sitting on the 9/11 Commission. I am speaking of Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton. Since she was directly responsible for the “wall of separation” between the Justice Department and the CIA that prevented the two agencies from communicating with each other, she ought to be a witness called before the Commission, not sitting on it. Scott Jordan wrote “The Gorelick Rosetta Stone”, linking the Chinagate scandal of the Clinton administration with the tragedy that is the September 11th attacks:

To set the stage, recall that Bill Clinton ensured his loyal minions populated the US Attorneys’ offices nationwide when he fired every last US Attorney at the dawn of his Administration, then appointed his own. Next, as we have seen through Jamie Gorelick’s startling memo, he saw to it that domestic law enforcement was blinded to foreign intelligence information. He then methodically offered up White House access and key strategic technologies to the highest bidder: China, and Indonesian/Chinese billionaire donors with close ties to China’s dictatorial regime.

Thanks to Ms. Gorelick’s actions, the FBI and CIA were unable to share information with each other. Many people wonder why these agencies were able to gather information about the September 11th murderers so quickly but were unable to stop the attacks. The answer is that the dots were all there, but thanks to “Gorelick’s Wall” no one was in a position to connect them.

So who is ultimately to blame for the September 11th attacks? It was al-Qaeda specifically, and radical Islam generally. Don’t believe that radical Islam was behind this? Let me share with you this little quote offered up by Omar Bakri Muhammad on April 18th: “We don’t make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity.”

“Religion of Peace,” my eye.

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.

Rush Limbaugh is a major fixture in the radio business. For more than fifteen years, Rush has broadcast his views and opinions over the airwaves. Many people love him, others despise him, but all have to agree that Rush’s show has been monumentally popular. Industry people even credit Rush with reviving the AM band in general, and talk radio in particular. But love him or hate him, Rush has hit the front pages twice this week.

The first hit came while Rush was on ESPN commenting on the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Buffalo Bills game. Referring to the Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb, Rush opined, “I don’t think he’s been that good from the get-go,” and “The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” These comments kicked up a firestorm a few days later as more and more people complained they were racist and hateful. Three of the Democratic presidential candidates, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, and Al Sharpton, called for ESPN to fire Rush. Wesley Clark went as far as to call these remarks “hateful and ignorant speech.” Oh, come on! Jesse Jackson calling New York “Hymietown” is racist and hateful. Rush’s comments are not.

Allen Barra of Slate magazine agrees that Rush’s comments were not racist. In an article published Oct. 2, Barra agreed with Rush’s assessment of McNabb. “If Limbaugh were a more astute analyst, he would have been even harsher and said, ‘Donovan McNabb is barely a mediocre quarterback.’ But other than that, Limbaugh pretty much spoke the truth. Limbaugh lost his job for saying in public what many football fans and analysts have been saying privately for the past couple of seasons.” Barra also took time to compare Brad Johnson with Donovan McNabb. In almost every measurable way, Johnson is a better quarterback than McNabb. But people view Johnson as mediocre, while McNabb is often lauded as the best pro quarterback. If McNabb’s performance is worse than Johnson’s, why is he considered the better quarterback? There is only one plausible reason: Rush is right.

I don’t follow football, so I have never watched Rush on ESPN. I do think it’s sad to see Rush forced away from ESPN when he clearly enjoyed it so much. But when it comes to his comments, people have been making a mountain out of a molehill. Many perpetually annoyed liberals have screamed that Rush’s comments were racist, but their claims ring hollow to me. After all, how seriously can I take their complaints about Rush’s comments, when they take no stand against a former Grand Kleagle of the Klu Klux Klan sitting in the Senate? I refer of course to Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, who was an active member of the KKK for many years and who has never renounced his affiliation with that organization. But does this concern the liberal left? Not at all. Yet if a conservative makes one comment about the race of a football player, even if many others share his sentiment, liberals will call for his head. Interesting hypocrisy, no?

The second story to hit the news alleges that Rush has been buying thousands of addictive prescription drugs from a black-market drug ring. According to Wilma Cline, who claims to have been Rush’s housekeeper, Rush has been hooked on various potent prescription painkillers. The National Enquirer sat on this particular story for two years, and the obvious question which no one seems to be asking is: why release it this week? If you have been following Rush’s activities, you would have noticed the drug accusations hit right while he was headed for Philadelphia to be the keynote speaker at the annual National Association of Broadcasters meeting. Thus on the day the story broke, there was a substitute filling in for Rush. The timing of this story placed Rush in a position where he was unable to defend himself against these accusations on his radio show, and the curious who listened in on that day would probably assume Rush had gone into hiding to avoid further hits from the press.

On Friday, Rush returned to his radio show, and most of the day he strongly defended his comments about McNabb, but he barely touched on the drug accusations. Here is part of his official response, posted on his Web site and disseminated by EIB: “I am unaware of any investigation by any authorities involving me. No governmental representative has contacted me directly or indirectly. If my assistance is required in the future, I will, of course, cooperate fully.”

I’m pleased that Rush says he is willing to cooperate with the authorities, but he did not definitively reject the notion that he abused prescription drugs. He has not strongly declared his innocence. During the past administration, Bill Clinton was questioned many times by reporters about his various scandals. His responses were inevitably evasive. Usually he would say that since the issue was under investigation, he could not respond. Instead he preferred to wait until all the facts were known. But Clinton himself would have been privy to these facts, so waiting for the investigation to conclude was an attempt to dodge the questions. Clinton could have proclaimed his own innocence, since he was fully aware of his actions in these matters. But he chose not to do that.

Rush was quick to spot these evasions during Clinton’s administration, but I have yet to hear anyone pointing out these same evasions on Rush’s part. I admit that I like listening to Rush, and I do hope he is innocent of these charges. But conservatives like me have a very low tolerance for corruption and law-breaking, even among our own. When someone on the political right does something wrong, we expect that person to do the honorable thing. You can see this expectation reflected in the way conservative government officials have resigned when their past sins came back to haunt them. But liberals tend not to do this. When a liberal gets in trouble, other liberals tend to close ranks and stand behind him, right or wrong. This was the case during the Clinton years, and it is the case today. This is why I say conservatives have standards, and liberals have alibis.

I hope Rush is found innocent of these drug charges. But I believe if he could honestly defend himself against these accusations, he would–that would fit his brash, outspoken style of comment. This tiptoeing around the issue seems to reveal much more about what’s going on. If Rush is found guilty, as much as I like him, then I expect justice to be served.