Friday, March 19, 2004

More Republican Compulsive Lying Exposed

Link via Musing85 and Tbogg
t r u t h o u t - William Rivers Pitt | 9/11 Nonsense exposes the Republican Lie Machine for what it is. They are far more interested in scoring cheap political points than actually protecting the country. To this end, they've exploited the 9/11 tragedy, and, in a what-else-is-new spirit, have attempted to blame--Bill Clinton, and now, John Kerry.

In truth, however, September 11 became a political football on September 11. Conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, blamed the Clinton administration. "The decision to get down and dirty with the terrorists, to take their threat seriously and counter them aggressively, was simply never taken," wrote Sullivan. Senator Orrin Hatch referred in 1996 to the terrorist threats, threats which compelled Clinton to attempt the passage of a comprehensive anti-terrorism bill that would have gone a long way to stopping 9/11, as "Phony threats." After September 11, he joined the 'Blame Clinton' chorus.

During his administration, Clinton offered legislation that would give the Treasury Secretary broad powers to ban foreign nations and banks from accessing American financial markets unless they cooperated with money-laundering investigations that would expose and terminate terrorist cash flows. The legislation was killed by Texas Republican Senator Phil Gramm, who was chairman of the Banking Committee. At the time, he called the bill "totalitarian." It was revealed later, of course, that Gramm killed the bill because it would have blocked Enron officers from laundering stolen stockholder money through the same offshore conduits the terrorists were using. Gramm, from Texas, was beholden to Enron, and killed the bill at their behest. Of course, he joined the 'Blame Clinton' chorus after the attacks, and never mind the facts...

The list goes on. September 11 became a political football on that very day, and it has since been punted all over the playing field. The GOP has tried relentlessly to throw the blame at Clinton, but on Tuesday, the game took a bizarre new turn. According to an editorial in the New York Post, John Kerry is to blame for the attacks of September 11. Yes, you read that right. John Kerry did it.

The article, written by Paul Sperry and titled "The Warning Kerry Ignored," claims that Kerry was given a warning some months before the attacks of security problems at Logan Airport, where two of the planes originated, and failed to handle them properly. He sent the warning, received from an FAA agent in Boston, to the Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General. According to this FAA agent, and according to Sperry, this wasn't good enough. Because of Kerry's failure, the article argues, 3,000 people are dead.


Richard Clarke was Director of Counter-Terrorism in the National Security Council. He has since left. Clarke urgently tried to draw the attention of the Bush administration to the threat of al Qaeda. Richard Clarke was panicked about the alarms he was hearing regarding potential attacks. Clarke is at the center of what has since become a burning controversy: What happened on August 6, 2001? It was on this day that George W. Bush received his last, and one of the few, briefings on terrorism. According to reports, the briefing stated bluntly that Osama bin Laden intended to attack America soon, and contained the word "hijacking." Bush responded to the warning by heading to Texas for a month-long vacation. It is this briefing that the Bush administration has refused to divulge to the committee investigating the attacks.

Clarke will appear before the 9/11 Comission on March 24th. I'll be watching for what he has to say.

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