Today’s New York Post editorial notices a certain scandal that has not come to the attention of the prestige press:
The national 9/11 commission has been hijacked by political shills — men and women eager to subordinate truth to partisan advantage; who hold a transitory victory on Election Day more dear than American victory in the war on terror.
Tawdry ambition has eclipsed sacred duty; all Americans are diminished, but none more than the families of the 9/11 victims — who expect better from the commission, and certainly deserve it.
Unless it is the thousands of young Americans now under arms in Iraq and elsewhere; their bravery and devotion to duty is inspirational. How shameful that the commission attack dogs hold their sacrifices so cheaply.
And John F. Kerry, who presumes to the presidency, acquiesces. What a disgrace.
Yesterday, Democratic shills Richard Ben-Veniste and Bob Kerrey hectored Attorney General John Ashcroft. They implied he was a coward for travelling on government aircraft at a time of heightened pre-9/11 security – if not, in fact, a scoundrel in possession of advance notice of the attack.
Last week, it was National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in the Democrats’ dock; she was a fool, a filibusterer, a liar.
“Isn’t it a fact, Dr. Rice, that [President Bush was] warned against possible attacks in this country?” demanded Ben-Veniste.
Funny thing about that warning. Ben-Veniste was speaking of the now-famous Aug. 6, 2001, presidential daily briefing paper – suggesting that it proved the White House had failed to comprehend al Qaeda’s threat to America.
Yesterday, it came out that someone had indeed gotten it right.
George W. Bush, who had directed that the briefing paper be prepared.
In a 13-page report titled “Threats and Responses in 2001,” the commission staff paints a picture of alarm bells going off throughout Washington in the months before 9/11 about an imminent “spectacular” terror attack by Osama bin Laden.
But the intelligence reports all talked about attacks occurring against targets overseas.
And the fevered reports, in the summer of 2001, of possible threats “seemed to be focused on Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen and possibly Rome, but the danger could be anywhere . . . ”
So the CIA prepared the Aug. 6 memo, “summarizing its understanding of the danger.”
In sum: The briefing paper was written specifically for the president in direct response to an order from the president!
Obviously, the CIA’s “understanding of the danger” was deficient.
But it clearly was not “a fact” that Bush was “warned against possible attacks in this country.”
It is clear, now, that the entire briefing-memo “scandal” was sewn from whole cloth. But will there be an apology from Ben-Veniste, Kerrey & Co.?
Not a chance.
Because, to the Democrats, the enemy is not just al Qaeda.
It is also the George W. Bush White House.
So they cross the bounds of acceptable political discourse, twisting the truth and bending the facts to produce a product that will advance their political ambitions.
To hell with the 9/11 families.
And to hell with eight young Americans reported killed in action in Iraq just yesterday; to the 65 who died over the past week – and to the hundreds who have laid down their lives for peace and freedom since 9/11.
All to defeat Bush.
John Kerry could shut it down in a heartbeat, simply by saying: “Stop it!”
Kerry needs to do just that. He must state the obvious: that 9/11 was the work of Islamist fanatics, and that the danger will not have passed until those who make war on America are either killed or in captivity.
It is simply disgraceful that he hasn’t already done so.
(Courtesy of Jerry Nolting.)