September 03, 2004

Marie Cocco: There are two tales of Sept. 11.There are two tales of Sept. 11...

There was so much obscenity, hatred and deceit
proffered up during the RNC...in particular, the
purple heart band-aids and Zell Miller, but as
disgusting and deeply disturbing as these two examples
are, for the LNS, the most disgusting and deeply
disturbing moment came on the first night, when former
NYC Mayor Rudy Ghouliani said, as he talked of
watching people hurl themselves from the WTC Towers,
"I grabbed the arm of then-police commissioner Bernard
Kerik and said to Bernie, 'Thank God George Bush is
our president.' And I say it again tonight, 'Thank God
George Bush is our president.' "

Maria Cocco, Newsday: In the story as told by the 9/11
Commission, counter-terrorism officials were alarmed
about a potentially catastrophic attack on America and
badgered the incoming Bush administration, beginning
days after the new president was sworn in, to hold
urgent, high-level discussions. "There were more than
40 intelligence articles in the President's Daily
Brief from January 20 to September 10, 2001, that
related to bin Laden," the commission's report says.
Most famous is the Aug. 6, 2001, briefing presented to
Bush at his Texas ranch. "Bin Laden Determined to
Strike in U.S." was the title.
On Sept. 4, 2001, top White House national security
officials held their first meeting on al-Qaida.
Terrorism expert Richard Clarke, a career official
held over from the Clinton years, wrote a memo to
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice:
"Decision makers should imagine themselves on a future
day when the Counter-terrorism Security Group has not
succeeded in stopping al-Qaida attacks and hundreds of
Americans lay dead in several countries, including the
U.S.," Clarke wrote. "What would those decision makers
wish that they had done earlier? That future day could
happen at any time." When that time came, the
Republicans say, the president understood immediately
that this would be a historic struggle between
morality and malevolence. "It's a fight between right
and wrong, good and evil," McCain declared.
The narrative of the 9/11 Commission begs to differ.
"The enemy is not just 'terrorism,' some generic
evil," it says. "This vagueness blurs the strategy."

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

http://www.newsday.com/news/columnists/ny-vpcoc013949762sep01,0,7507950.column?coll=ny-news-columnists

Two tales, one city and a time to choose
Marie Cocco

September 1, 2004

There are two tales of Sept. 11. The one being told at the Republican National Convention is a narrative that begins not on that day but three days later. It is built on the idea that "the war on terror" began when the commander-in-chief stood upon the smoldering rubble and vowed to seek vengeance.

"It was here in 2001 in lower Manhattan that President
George W. Bush stood amid the fallen towers of the
World Trade Center and he said to the barbaric
terrorists who attacked us, 'They will hear from us!'
" former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told the
cheering delegates on Monday night.

There is another told by the National Commission on
Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. The 9/11
Commission says the story begins not on that day but
in the 1980s, when "Saudi Arabia and the United States
supplied billions of dollars worth of secret
assistance to rebel groups in Afghanistan fighting the
Soviet occupation." These rebels were the forebears of
al-Qaida.

The Republican story line is that America ignored the
grave and gathering terrorist threat, much as Europe
averted its eyes from Hitler in the 1930s. "Before
Sept. 11," Giuliani declared, "we were living with an
unrealistic view of our world, much like our observing
Europe appease Hitler, or trying to accommodate the
Soviet Union through the use of mutually assured
destruction."

The narrative of the 9/11 Commission says that by the
mid-1990s, intelligence agencies, the State Department
and the Clinton White House had come to understand
that terrorism was being transformed into a stateless
network of violent radicals, the most dangerous of
whom was Osama bin Laden. By 1996, the CIA had a
special bin Laden unit to "plan operations" against
him. In 1998, after U.S. embassies in Africa were
bombed, the Clinton administration launched cruise
missile strikes against bin Laden's Afghan camps in an
unsuccessful effort to kill him. "Much public
commentary turned immediately to scalding criticism
that the action was too aggressive," the report says.

Soon after, President Bill Clinton approved a secret
order authorizing the CIA to assassinate bin Laden.
Among intelligence operatives, there was confusion
about its terms and it was not aggressively
implemented.

In the story as told at the convention, we were before
9/11 a nation in an innocent cocoon, unaware of the
darkness that could lie ahead. The United States, Sen.
John McCain said in his speech, "hadn't really
comprehended how near the threat was, and how terrible
were the plans of our enemies."

In the story as told by the 9/11 Commission,
counter-terrorism officials were alarmed about a
potentially catastrophic attack on America and
badgered the incoming Bush administration, beginning
days after the new president was sworn in, to hold
urgent, high-level discussions. "There were more than
40 intelligence articles in the President's Daily
Brief from January 20 to September 10, 2001, that
related to bin Laden," the commission's report says.
Most famous is the Aug. 6, 2001, briefing presented to
Bush at his Texas ranch. "Bin Laden Determined to
Strike in U.S." was the title.

On Sept. 4, 2001, top White House national security
officials held their first meeting on al-Qaida.
Terrorism expert Richard Clarke, a career official
held over from the Clinton years, wrote a memo to
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice:

"Decision makers should imagine themselves on a future
day when the Counter-terrorism Security Group has not
succeeded in stopping al-Qaida attacks and hundreds of
Americans lay dead in several countries, including the
U.S.," Clarke wrote. "What would those decision makers
wish that they had done earlier? That future day could
happen at any time." When that time came, the
Republicans say, the president understood immediately
that this would be a historic struggle between
morality and malevolence. "It's a fight between right
and wrong, good and evil," McCain declared.

The narrative of the 9/11 Commission begs to differ.
"The enemy is not just 'terrorism,' some generic
evil," it says. "This vagueness blurs the strategy."

The authors of the Republican story of Sept. 11 are
admirably transparent. "You and I, we're not gonna
wait for history to present the correct view of our
president," Giuliani declared. "Let's write our own
history!"

The 9/11 panel reviewed more than 2.5 million pages of
documents and interviewed more than 1,200 individuals
- including two presidents - in 10 countries. "We have
sought to be independent, impartial, thorough and
non-partisan," the commission says.

There are two tales of Sept. 11. Take your pick.

Marie Cocco is a nationally syndicated columnist and
member of Newsday's editorial board. Her e-mail
address is cocco@newsday.com.
Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.

Posted by richard at September 3, 2004 01:41 PM