Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sept 11, the press and Anthony Weiner's underwear.

The press' recent relentless hounding of Anthony Weiner over what he thought was a private picture sent to a woman with whom he had a consensual relationship, and the sanctimonious actions and behavior of the press and comments by journalists like Wolf Bitzer on CNN and Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Barrack Obama and Debby Wasserman Shultz, couldn't help but refocus how these same people ran and hid,did nothing and said nothing when it came to revelations uncovered by the 911 Commission of gross incompetence, gross arrogance and even criminal negligence by George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice in the 911 attacks.

The attacks of Sept 11,2001, resulted in the greatest loss of life on U.S. soil perpetrated by a foreign enemy in American history. And no one will ever forget all that has happened since and how it changed America, including two wars, one unnecessary and unpaid for, that has cost the lives of over 4,000 U.S. military and to date cost over $1 trillion contributing to more than half of the current record deficit.

The attack came under the watch of George W. Bush, a Republican administration and a Republican congress. And an investigation by the 911 Commission, an investigation George W. Bush at first refused to cooperate with until the commission promised that in the end it would not lay the blame for the attacks on anyone, presented incontrovertible, irrefutable evidence that not only was there enough intelligence to have prevented the 911 attacks but that Bush and Rice lied about it repeatedly after the fact. But according to people like Wolf Blitzer, Barrack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Tim Kaine (Democratic candidate for senator in Virginia) and a porn star, Weiner lying about a picture of his underwear was justification for his resignation.

Wolf Blitzer on CNN decided that pictures of Anthony Weiner's underwear was worthy of a special editorial comment both on air and on his CNN blog where Blitzer, in talking about and deriding Weiner, said "most politicians are honest", his point being that Weiner having lied about pictures of his underwear was a dishonest politician and therefore unworthy of his office and had to resign ( ignoring that Weiner's constituents didn't want him to resign).

This is the same Wolf Blitzer, the same news organization, and the same profession that turned a blind eye to evidence that Bush and Rice's failures to take action before the 911 attacks were the primary reason the attacks succeeded. The same collection of people yelling " where's your wife"? at Weiner's resignation press conference, pulled the covers over their heads and ran over Bush's failures and lies over the 911 attacks.

For those who didn't watch the 911 Commission hearings or read the report, the irrefutable evidence, presented under oath and never contradicted by anyone was that Bush and Rice dismissed terrorism as a threat from the beginning. Bush demoted Richard Clarke, head of anti terrorism, put an end to the daily meetings on terrorism which began during the Clinton administration and attended by the heads of all agencies related to terrorism from the Attorney General to CIA and FBI,and Bush and Rice believed wholeheartedly that the threat of terrorism and Al-Qaeda was overblown by the Clinton administration, which in turn led to their ignoring all the urgent warnings given to them by both Richard Clarke, George Tenant at CIA, and the other intelligence agencies in August of 2001, warnings that the U.S was about to be hit with a major terrorist attack.

Clarke testified that CIA intercepts of Al-Qaeda chatter in the summer of 2001 were the highest he had seen in 20 years and the translations of the intercepts indicated we were about to be hit and hit big. In the words of one CIA translator in a memo given to Tenant and passed along to Rice in August of 2001,an Al-Qaeda terrorist attack against the United States was "imminent" and in the words of the memo was going to be "spectacular". Another CIA translation of an Al-Qaeda intercept in August of 2001 was " the match has been lit".

Clarke also testified under oath that in August of 2001 he and George Tenent were "running around the White House like men with their hair on fire" in Clarke's words, trying to impress upon Rice the seriousness of the situation and to get her to set up a meeting with Bush to take action. Bush, on vacation at the time, refused to see them and Rice did nothing to change Bush's mind and took no action of her own.

During the same time frame Bush and Rice were given an intelligence report dated August 4,2001, stating that intelligence showed that Bin Laden was going to strike inside the United States. The intelligence report told Bush specifically and incredibly, that part of the Al-Qaeda plot to strike inside the United States involved the hijacking of US airliners. The report also said that Al-Qaeda had buildings in New York under surveillance. Bush and Rice with all this information and CIA intercepts showing an Al-Qaeda attack was imminent did nothing, not even have the FAA issue high level warnings to all airports and US airlines to be on alert for potential hijackings by middle eastern men and to be on alert for any suspicious activity. That alone would have prevented the 911 attacks.

After this evidence was presented in open session at the 911 Commission hearings, the same people who hounded Anthony Weiner over his underwear, people like Wolf Blitzer as well as congressional Democrats, said nothing. On the day Richard Clarke testified about he and Tenant waving red flags in the White House about an impending attack, John Kerry, Democratic presidential candidate at the time went on vacation.

Both the press and congressional Democrats were simply afraid to say anything or to demand accountability. They were afraid that if they pursued the truth, insisted on it being told, made an issue of it and tried to hold Rice and Bush accountable, if the press demanded the same explanations from them that they did from Weiner about his underwear, they knew Republicans would attack them as being unpatriotic.

The 911 Commission revealed a lot more than Anthony Weiner ever did, and what happened with Weiner revealed a lot more about the press and Democrats. Both ran and hid when it mattered and both got brave about Weiner.

Had the press been as relentless over the failures of Bush and Rice in the 911 attacks as they were over Weiner and his underwear, Bush, Rice and Cheney would have either had to resign, or at best, Bush would have lost his reelection and never would have had the political capitol to invade Iraq under false pretenses.

The same people who were following Weiner, hounding him, grilling him, making him the biggest story in the country for a week over a picture of his underwear, and Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Debby Wasserman Schultz and Tim Kaine, had nothing to say when it came to the truth about 911 (or Obama selling out the public option on healthcare reform for that matter) but were relentless over Anthony Weiner's underwear. For both the press and congressional Democrats, Weiner had to resign over a picture of his underwear not intended for public viewing, but it was okay for Bush stay in office after 3,000 people were killed for no other reason than his gross negligence and failure to protect and defend the United States.

When it came to telling the truth and holding political leaders accountable for an attack that changed America, killed 3,000 Americans and could have and should have been prevented, Wolf Blitzer, CNN and almost every other news organization cowered in a corner. As did Democrats. And the whole episode, contrasted with their actions over the 911 revelations says more about their values than Weiner's, And why the country is in such trouble.

No comments: