least surprising news of the day
One of the components of the discussion going on over at Ipse Dixit involves the issue of Bush's culpability for 9/11. I contend that it should be beyond question that Bush failed in his duty to defend the nation on that terrible day, and I observe that no one has managed to cite any indications that Bush did anything at all about the August briefing at his Crawford ranch in which Condoleeza Rice told Bush that al Qaeda was looking to hijack an airliner.
(Let me dispense once and for all with the Bush administration excuse that "they didn't know the airliners would be turned into missles." Whether Mohammed Atta and his crew of murders intended to ram them into buildings, take them to Cuba, or auction them on eBay, the idea is you don't let them hijack the planes in the first place.)
Well, just as an indicator of how much stock the Bush Administration places in the idea that they will find vindication in full disclosure, here's an MSNBC story on the Administration's not only reneging on pledges to declassify a bipartisan Congressional report on the failures that led to the attacks, but also re-classify testimony that's already a matter of public record.
AT THE CENTER of the dispute is a more-than-800-page secret report prepared by a joint congressional inquiry detailing the intelligence and law-enforcement failures that preceded the attacks—including provocative, if unheeded warnings, given President Bush and his top advisers during the summer of 2001.
The report was completed last December; only a bare-bones list of “findings” with virtually no details was made public. But nearly six months later, a “working group” of Bush administration intelligence officials assigned to review the document has taken a hard line against further public disclosure. By refusing to declassify many of its most significant conclusions, the administration has essentially thwarted congressional plans to release the report by the end of this month, congressional and administration sources tell NEWSWEEK.
(continued in the next post)