August 13, 2004

LNS Friday the 13th Special Edition Part Two -- Gail Sheehy: Rumsfeld and Bush Failed Us on Sept. 11

At the DNC, Bill Clinton said, "Remember the
Scripture, Be not afraid." Yes, there will be a Day of
Reckoning over the Bush abomination's pre-9/11
INCOMPETENCE (at best) and their post-9/11 BLUNDERS
(alientating the world, inflaming the Arab Street, and
draining our own resources away from the hunt for Al
Qaeda)...The 9/11 Commission wasted an extraordinary opportunity to finish off the increasingly unhinged and incredibly shrinking _resident's SHAMEFUL performance, although it revealed more about his INCOMPETENCE (at best) and BLUNDERS than the "US mainstream news media" will serve up to you, BUT the increasingly unhinged and incredibly shrinking _resident's Day of Reckoning is coming -- at the ballot box -- in November 2004...There is a Electoral Uprising coming...The SILENCED Majority is about to cry out...Michael Moore poured the political gasoline, Bruce Springsteen and the Dixie Chicks are about to light the political fuse, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mekong Delta) and his "Band of Brothers" will soon kick down the front door of the White House with a CONSTITUTIONAL ramrod (Electoral College victory) and end this Chickenhawk Coup...And then in January after there is an orderly transition of power, Al Qaeda will get its Day of Reckoning. At the DNC, Sen. John Edwards said, "And we, John and I, we will have one clear unmistakable message for al Qaeda and these terrorists: You cannot run. You cannot hide. We will destroy you."

Friday the 13th P.S. from Dunston Woods: "Now that the woods are inside the castle walls, just call me Freddie."

Gail Sheehy, LA Times: "Two planes hitting the twin
towers did not rise to the level of Rumsfeld's leaving
his office and going to the War Room? How can that
be?" asked Mindy Kleinberg, one of the widows known as
the Jersey Girls, whose efforts helped create and
guide the 9/11 commission. The fact that the final
report failed to offer an explanation is one of the
infuriating holes in an otherwise praiseworthy
accounting...
Rumsfeld's testimony before the commission last March
was bizarre. Asked point-blank by Commissioner Jamie
Gorelick what he had done to protect the nation or
even the Pentagon during the "summer of threat"
preceding the attacks, Rumsfeld replied simply that
"it was a law enforcement issue." That obfuscation
was the FBI expected to be out on the Beltway with
shoulder-launched missiles? has been accepted at
face value by the commission and media...
The failures of 9/11 were not inherent in the system;
they were human failures. Yet, so far, no one has been
fired, which leaves the 9/11 families and all of us
in a conundrum.
The inaction of both the president and the Defense
chief under the ultimate test offer little reassurance
to a nervous nation under the shadow of new terror
warnings. Before we attempt to revamp the entire
security system, shouldn't our government look first
at why the people in charge failed to communicate or
coordinate a response to the catastrophe?

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

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http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-sheehy13aug13,1,571727.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

COMMENTARY
Rumsfeld and Bush Failed Us on Sept. 11
By Gail Sheehy

August 13, 2004

Donald Rumsfeld, one of the chief opponents of
investing real power over purse and personnel in a new
national intelligence chief, told the 9/11 commission
that an intelligence czar would do the nation "a great
disservice." It is fair to ask what kind of service
Rumsfeld provided on the day the nation was under
catastrophic attack.

"Two planes hitting the twin towers did not rise to
the level of Rumsfeld's leaving his office and going
to the War Room? How can that be?" asked Mindy
Kleinberg, one of the widows known as the Jersey
Girls, whose efforts helped create and guide the 9/11
commission. The fact that the final report failed to
offer an explanation is one of the infuriating holes
in an otherwise praiseworthy accounting.

Rumsfeld was missing in action that morning "out of
the loop" by his own admission. The lead military
officer that day, Brig. Gen. Montague Winfield, told
the commission that the Pentagon's command center had
been essentially leaderless: "For 30 minutes we
couldn't find" Rumsfeld.

For more than two hours after the Federal Aviation
Administration became aware that the first plane had
been violently overtaken by Middle Eastern men, the
man whose job it was to order air cover over
Washington did not show up in the Pentagon's command
center. It took him almost two hours to "gain
situational awareness," he told the commission. He
didn't speak to the vice president until 10:39 a.m.,
according to the report. Since that was more than 30
minutes after the last hijacked plane crashed, it
would seem to be an admission of dereliction of duty.

Rumsfeld's testimony before the commission last March
was bizarre. Asked point-blank by Commissioner Jamie
Gorelick what he had done to protect the nation or
even the Pentagon during the "summer of threat"
preceding the attacks, Rumsfeld replied simply that
"it was a law enforcement issue." That obfuscation
was the FBI expected to be out on the Beltway with
shoulder-launched missiles? has been accepted at
face value by the commission and media.

Rumsfeld is in charge of NORAD, which has the specific
mission of protecting the United States and Canada by
responding to any form of air attack. The official
chain of command in the event of a hijacking calls for
the president to empower the secretary of Defense to
send up a military escort and, if necessary, give
shoot-down orders.

Yet President Bush told the panel he spoke to Rumsfeld
for the first time that morning shortly after 10 a.m.
23 minutes after the Pentagon was hit and moments
before the last plane went down. It was, says the
report, "a brief call in which the subject of
shoot-down authority was not discussed."

As a result, NORAD's commanders were left in the dark
about what their mission was. When fighters were told
to scramble from Langley, Va., they were sent not to
cover Washington but on a fool's mission to tail and
identify American Airlines Flight 11, which was
already boiling the first Trade Center tower to the
ground.

Why wasn't Rumsfeld able to see on TV what millions of
civilians already knew? After the Pentagon was
attacked, why did he run outside to play medic instead
of moving to the command center and taking charge? The
9/11 report records the fatal confusion in which
command center personnel were left: Three minutes
after the FAA command center told FAA headquarters in
an update that Flight 93 was 29 minutes out of
Washington, D.C., the command center said, "Uh, do we
want to, uh, think about scrambling aircraft?"

FAA headquarters: "Oh, God, I don't know."

Command center: "Uh, that's a decision somebody's
going to have to make probably in the next 10
minutes."

But nobody did. Three minutes later, Flight 93 was
wrestled to the ground by heroic civilians.

How is it that civilians in a hijacked plane were able
to communicate with their loved ones, grasp a totally
new kind of enemy and weaponry and act to defend the
nation's Capitol, yet the president had "communication
problems" on Air Force One and the nation's defense
chief didn't know what was going on until the horror
was all over?

The failures of 9/11 were not inherent in the system;
they were human failures. Yet, so far, no one has been
fired, which leaves the 9/11 families and all of us
in a conundrum.

The inaction of both the president and the Defense
chief under the ultimate test offer little reassurance
to a nervous nation under the shadow of new terror
warnings. Before we attempt to revamp the entire
security system, shouldn't our government look first
at why the people in charge failed to communicate or
coordinate a response to the catastrophe?

*


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Gail Sheehy reported on the 9/11 commission's findings
for Mother Jones. She is the author of "Middletown,
America: One Town's Passage From Trauma to Hope"
(Random House, 2003).


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Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times

Posted by richard at August 13, 2004 05:56 PM