Friday, September 17, 2004

In Case You Missed It

...Bush's manipulation of 9/11 for his re-election campaign helps explain why his administration fights so doggedly to suppress the details of what happened that day. Bush promised to cooperate fully with the congressional Joint Intelligence Committee investigation in 2002. The Bush administration blocked the committee from interviewing an FBI informant who rented rooms to two of the 19 hijackers, refused to disclose whether the Office of Management and Budget had slashed counterterrorism budget requests, refused to permit an interview with CIA chief George Tenet, refused to disclose the National Security Agency's plans to cope with new technology challenges, and fought to prevent congressional investigators from learning when Bush received specific warning information about terrorist plots. The report was finished in late 2002 but the White House blocked its publication until July 2003.

Congress responded to the Bush stonewall to its committee by passing a law creating an 9/11 commission. Bush made his intentions clear when he appointed cover-up connoisseur Henry Kissinger as commission chairman. (Kissinger resigned after public demands that he disclose his business clients). Bush proclaimed that he wanted the commission to "uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September 11." But the White House fought the commission staff tooth-and-nail to prevent them from seeing a President's Daily Brief from August 6, 2001 entitled "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US." Prior to the memo's public disclosure, National Security Advisor Condi Rice misled the commission, claiming it was a historical document. Patty Casazza, one of a group of "Jersey girls" who lost their husbands on 9/11 and subsequently publicly turned up the heat on the government to open its records, commented recently: "It was President Bush who thwarted our attempts at every turn."...

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