With pen in hand

In my haste yesterday I neglected to point out the enraging comments on 9/11 in the kidnapper-in-chief’s letter to President Bush. President Ahmadinejad writes:

September 11 was not a simple operation. Could it be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services – or their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess.

You get the drift. Contrary to the clueless AP account of the letter that I noted yesterday, the letter constitutes a unique affront by an enemy head of state to the United States. For the United States not to reply in some appopriate public fashion is a serious mistake.

Deborah Orin makes the 9/11-related comments the lead of her New York Post column on the letter, as does the Wall Streed Journal in this editorial, but neither makes anything of them. Orin, for example, simply reports the White House reaction to the letter:

The wild ramblings are little more than a ham-handed attempt to buy time as the United States steps up its effort to shut down Iran’s nuclear program, officials said yesterday.

They portrayed the bizarre document – the first diplomatic communication from Tehran since 1979 – as a stalling tactic in the contentious negotiations among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council over Iran’s nuclear program.

“The letter appears to be more about trying to change the subject,” said White House press secretary Scott McClellan, traveling in Florida with Bush.

It’s a fair observation, but utterly inadequate to the offense — an inadequacy which itself is worthy of note. The president of Iran has just suggested that the United States is responsible for the murder of its own citizens on 9/11. Is that all the administration has to say?

JOHN adds: Actually, I think the theory that the Bush administration was somehow behind the September 11 attacks is going mainstream. I think that, with increasing frequency, we’ll see that claim reported non-judgmentally in the mainstream media. It wouldn’t surprise me if, in a few years, a great many Americans believe that the administration was complicit in the attacks–God knows how or why–just as, today, many millions of Americans are irrationally convinced that some government agency was behind the Kennedy assassination. If the Democrats take control of either branch of Congress in November, I think it’s entirely possible that we’ll have committee hearings on this “issue.”


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