a broken covenant…

Posted on Saturday 30 September 2006

It looks like the Woodward book may be the gift that keeps on giving…

In another revelation from Woodward’s book, the Agency’s George Tenet and Cofer Black became so concerned about a possible Al Qaeda strike against the United States during the months before 9/11 that they requested an immediate meeting with Condi Rice on July 10th, 2001. Keep in mind this was a month before the infamous and ignored August 6, 2001 PDB. But during the meeting Rice appeared to be focused on other issues like Star Wars and dismissed the warnings, and Rumsfeld had openly poured cold water upon the threats within the Administration as a possible ruse by Al Qaeda to test America’s responses.

There’s one major problem about the July 10th meeting: 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow, a close Rice confidant, knew about this meeting, but never told Commissioners about it, so it never was investigated. No one else inside the administration told the Commission about the meeting either. It was covered up. According to a counsel for the Commission, withholding this information is a possible crime.

It’s not even about the topic of the book itself – the withholding of information about the War in Iraq. It’s about the Administration’s deafness before 911. I’ve hypothesized that there was a specific reason they couldn’t listen:
I suppose that one might see what happened as things "falling through the cracks" in the transition between the Clinton and Bush Administrations. I’d almost like to believe that. But that isn’t what happened at all. We already know that it was something much bigger than that. The Cheney Bush Administration came into office with so much contempt for Clinton and the C.I.A. that they weren’t slightly interested in hearing those briefings, or listening to Richard Clarke or the C.I.A. Their key players had spent eight years at their A.E.I. and P.N.A.C. think tanks responding to everything the Clinton Administration said with a disdain approximating hatred. They weren’t about to listen to anything that was passed on from Clinton.
So Woodward [State of Denial], like Corn and Isakoff [Hubris], like Richard Clarke [Against All Enemies], like Paul O’Niell [The Price of Loyalty] is pointing to more than a particular episode – covering up that the War in Iraq is not going so well. He’s pointing to a broad pattern of deception that dates from the earliest days of Bush’s Presidency, a pattern of deception that pervades the entire Administration.

I’m aware that my objections to George Bush in 2000 were about his Conservative politics. Those objections are still in place. But there’s so much more. They’ve performed irresponsibally, and lied about it as they’ve gone along. They ignored the baton Clinton passed them. They responded slowly in Afghanistan. They outright lied to get us into the Iraq War. They’ve managed it badly. And they’ve lied about how it’s gone. On top of that, they’ve used it to put a number of things in place that are part of the crackpot theories of their pundits. Apparently, Woodward has fleshed this out. Corn and Isakoff did too. The Bush Administration has clearly broken the covenant between the government and the governed.

What remains to be seen is what the Norman Rockwell people do. Will we finally stand up and be counted?


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