April 10, 2004

To say that a memo entitled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States" did not warn of an impending attack, according to Dr Rice, suggests the administration has begun to lose touch with reality

2+2=4

Guardian Editorial: The idea that President Bush was
fully briefed about al-Qaida, and that the White House
understood that it "posed a serious threat to the
United States", simply does not ring true. That
feeling is supported by the fact that both the
administration and Dr Rice were more interested in
pushing for a pointless missile defense shield in the
months before September 11. To say that a memo entitled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States" did not warn of an impending attack, according to Dr Rice, suggests the administration has begun to lose touch with reality.

Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0409-06.htm

Published on Friday, April 9, 2004 by the Guardian /
United Kingdom
Losing Touch with Reality
Editorial

Shortly before being elected US president, George Bush
wasn't able to name the president of Pakistan when
asked in a televised interview. Yet, according to his
national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, in the
months leading up to September 11, President Bush was
fully briefed and supported a detailed plan to help
General Musharraf cut off support to al-Qaida in
Afghanistan. As Groucho Marx once asked: "Who do you
believe - me, or the evidence of your own eyes?"

Dr Rice was in a very difficult position in her
testimony yesterday to the September 11 commission
investigating the attacks. She had to steer very
carefully, between accusations of the administration
having done nothing to counter al-Qaida, and its
having been able to have stopped the hijackers on
September 11. The fact that Dr Rice was testifying at
all, after weeks of resistance to a public appearance
before the commission, was a recognition by the White
House of the danger it faces, with an election
looming, a resurgent Democrat party and several
telling charges from within the administration itself,
such as former terrorism advisor Richard Clarke.

Predictably, Dr Rice's first objective was to protect
the president from criticism. But she failed to
satisfy those watching her testimony that the received
image of the pre-9/11 White House - that it barely
feigned interest in foreign affairs - was inaccurate.
Her exchange with commission member Richard
Ben-Veniste was particularly revealing, over if she
had told President Bush there were al-Qaida cells in
the US, after that information had been passed to her
by Mr Clarke. To say - as Dr Rice did - "I really
don't remember whether I discussed this with the
president," should be called the Reagan defense, after
the former president repeatedly used the phrase "I
don't recall" in an inquiry into the Iran-Contra
scandal. What is questionable is whether that is a
credible defense from someone reputed to be the
smartest person in the White House.

The idea that President Bush was fully briefed about
al-Qaida, and that the White House understood that it
"posed a serious threat to the United States", simply
does not ring true. That feeling is supported by the
fact that both the administration and Dr Rice were
more interested in pushing for a pointless missile
defense shield in the months before September 11. To
say that a memo entitled "Bin Laden determined to
attack inside the United States" did not warn of an
impending attack, according to Dr Rice, suggests the
administration has begun to lose touch with reality.

Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

Posted by richard at April 10, 2004 11:40 AM