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Author Topic: 9/11 The lie wont stand up
Jake
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posted 17 May 2002 12:00 AM      Profile for Jake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
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From: the recycling bin | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
shelby9
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posted 17 May 2002 11:58 AM      Profile for shelby9     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ok, without reading the story - I have something to add.

Everyone (a generalization) seems to be in an uproar over what the Prez knew and didn't know and that what he knew he chose not to share with the American public.

Well, what he knew was general. THere was no specifics as to who had plane tickets, who was going to hijack what planes and what date this would all take place on - so wht EXACTLY did the Prez have to tell his people? A bunch of nothing. THe families of the vicitms have said they would have wanted to hear the warnings. Now I understand that they are grienveing and are plenty peeved, but let's be realistic. Do Americans listen to the vague warnings of terrorist attacks they get now? NO! So what good would it have done to make mention of the attack potential then?

Hindsight is 20/20, and I think the Democrats would be wise to not attack a leader when their country is vulnerable to further violence. They are treading on very thin ice - and a wrong step could cost all of us.


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WingNut
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posted 17 May 2002 12:03 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Uhm, okay, but I think if we take everything they knew in context perhaps a different picture emerges.

So we know they had general information about a possible terror attack involving airplanes. We know an FBI agent out west, sounded an alarm about suspicious middle easterners attending flight schools. We know the Phillipines warned the US about a plan by terrorists to fly panes into buildings.

Surely all of this together should have had the alarm bells ringing and tighter security being imposed at airports as well as investigations into security systems to ensure their were no unaccounted passes, uniforms, etc ...


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 17 May 2002 12:06 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Hindsight is 20/20, and I think the Democrats would be wise to not attack a leader when their country is vulnerable to further violence. They are treading on very thin ice - and a wrong step could cost all of us.

But are you seriously suggesting that criticizing the President, the FBI, whoever, could somehow endanger the US, let alone "all of us"? What could "treading on very thin ice" mean in this context?

These remarks remind me of no-one so much as Attorney General John "phantoms of lost liberty" Ashcroft -- who was spanked for his comments even by right-wing pundits, according to SHH.


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Michelle
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posted 17 May 2002 12:09 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Or at least for those fighter planes to be ready at any time for any kind of terrorist attack that involved planes - wasn't there a problem at the time getting those fighters in the air because they were just not prepared to do so at a moment's notice?

Then again, what would they have done - shot the planes down? It's not like anything like this has ever happened before in the US, so they don't have a real precedent for doing so. And people in the US would have screamed bloody murder if a hijacked plane was blown out of the sky before 9-11 had happened. If the government had said, "Well, we shot the plane down because terrorists were carrying out a suicide attack on the WTC, the Pentagon, and the White House," people would never have believed it.

It really was kind of a tough situation.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
shelby9
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posted 17 May 2002 12:41 PM      Profile for shelby9     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's the opposition's job to criticize the government, it's quite another to start bantying about cries for full investigations calling into question the Prez's credibility at a time when, so we're told, a terrorist attack on the US that is quite credible is rather imminent.
From: Edmonton, AB | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 17 May 2002 12:58 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It's the opposition's job to criticize the government, it's quite another to start bantying about cries for full investigations calling into question the Prez's credibility at a time when, so we're told, a terrorist attack on the US that is quite credible is rather imminent.

Okay... how, in a democratic society, can such "cries," let alone an investigation, possibly be harmful?

As to what the Democrats are calling for, and the administration is prepared to go along with, here's a CNN story:

quote:
Vice President Dick Cheney pledged that the Bush administration would cooperate with any investigation into the events leading up to September 11.

The White House had admitted Wednesday that intelligence reports last summer suggested the United States could be the target of a terrorist attack, perhaps a hijacking.

But officials said nothing in those reports could have prevented the attacks that struck New York and Washington on September 11, killing more than 3,000 people.

...

But he and other Republicans lashed out at Democratic calls for congressional investigations, with Bush reportedly telling Republican senators there was "a sniff of politics in the air." (Full story)

Critics like Sen. Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the intelligence community did not sufficiently monitor suspected terror activity.

"The president of the United States can't be expected to be an intelligence analyst and a case officer," said Graham, D-Florida.


No Democrats -- except Rep. Cynthia McKinney, of Georgia, who's been repudiated by her own party and is generally regarded as a loose cannon -- are seriously suggesting the president screwed up, let alone that he or anyone had specific advance knowledge of the attacks.

So it's an institutional failure the Dems are criticizing, not the President's credibility. Even if that's what they were criticizing, to suggest this could somehow make terrorists attacks more likely, or the consequences thereof worse, is absurd.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 17 May 2002 01:07 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I disagree Shelby9.

Democracy and the right to be critical of government cannot only be respected and encouraged when times are good. They must also be respected in dangerous times. Even more so, I would argue.

Canada, for example, during a most difficult period, the second world war, held a divisive and nasty referendum on the issue of conscription (Not necessarily conscription but conscription if necessary). Canada did survive.

I refuse to believe that the US is so weak that it can't withstand domestic criticism of its political leadership during a time of crisis.

[ May 17, 2002: Message edited by: WingNut ]


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
sheep
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posted 17 May 2002 01:40 PM      Profile for sheep     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So we know they had general information about a possible terror attack involving airplanes. We know an FBI agent out west, sounded an alarm about suspicious middle easterners attending flight schools. We know the Phillipines warned the US about a plan by terrorists to fly panes into buildings.

Surely all of this together should have had the alarm bells ringing and tighter security being imposed at airports as well as investigations into security systems to ensure their were no unaccounted passes, uniforms, etc ...


And an investigation into those suspicious middle easterners attending flight schools, perhaps working at airports, nuclear plants, etc. In short, racial profiling. You would have been okay with this happening Wingnut?


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Casper
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posted 17 May 2002 01:41 PM      Profile for Casper        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Democracy and the right to be critical of government cannot only be respected and encouraged when times are good. They must also be respected in dangerous times. Even more so, I would argue.


Exactly! And what's more, it has been eight months since the attacks and this debate marks the first time the opposition has been openly and very vocally critical of a government that has been opertaing under a cloak of secrecy in the name of national security. I think it is high time the US got back to healthly, democratic public debate.


From: Another smoky metropolis | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 17 May 2002 02:36 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And an investigation into those suspicious middle easterners attending flight schools, perhaps working at airports, nuclear plants, etc. In short, racial profiling. You would have been okay with this happening Wingnut?



Of course not. The U.S. has managed to tighten security at airports throughout the country, as has Canada, without racial profiling. Instituting security measures such as baggage checks, bomb sniffers, an audit of security passes and who has them, an audit of airport uniforms and who has them, checking passenger lists against known aliases and suspected terrorists does not entail racial profiling as it applies equally to everyone.

Do you have a point or are you just baiting?


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 17 May 2002 02:55 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And an investigation into those suspicious middle easterners attending flight schools, perhaps working at airports, nuclear plants, etc. In short, racial profiling. You would have been okay with this happening Wingnut?

I would have had no problem with this, as it has nothing to do with racial profiling. If police are told that twenty Middle Easterners are attending flight schools, and there is credible information concerning a plan to hijack planes, there is nothing wrong with investigating Middle Easterners attending flight schools, to see if they are associated with Al-Quaeda, or whoever.

That is not to say they could be ARRESTED as a result of being simply Middle Easterners at Flight Schools. But a background check for further particulars would not offend any rule against ethnic profiling.

It should be noted that in the Minnesota FBI report on Zacharias Moussaoui, sent in July 2001, the author of the report noted that Moussaoui might be planning to "fly something into the World Trade Centre."

I don't think the Bush spin on this, "he wasn't told they were planning to use a plane as a missile" is truthful, given that report.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sheep
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posted 17 May 2002 02:56 PM      Profile for sheep     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Given that none of the 9-11 terrorists were using fake security passes, an audit of missing passes would not have prevented them. Tighter security screening might have, but it's unrealistic to expect that banning any and all sharp objects (pocketknives, boxcutters) from aircraft on the basis of the intelligence received by the US prior to the attacks would have been implemented. None of the tightened security measures you mentioned would have prevented the WTC and Pentagon attacks.

However, investigation of those suspicicous middle easterners attending flight schools would most probably have prevented the attacks.

My point? The only security measure that could have prevented the hijackings would have amounted to racial profiling, and could not have been implemented. It shouldn't have then and it shouldn't be now. I think it's rather distasteful of you to sit there and condemn the US for not being willing to infringe on civil rights on the basis of such unsubstantiated intelligence of possible hijackings. Especially if you're going to sit there and condemn the security measures they're taking right now. It stinks of hypocrisy.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 17 May 2002 02:58 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And an investigation into those suspicious middle easterners attending flight schools, perhaps working at airports, nuclear plants, etc. In short, racial profiling. You would have been okay with this happening Wingnut?

I would have had no problem with this, as it has nothing to do with racial profiling. If police are told that twenty Middle Easterners are attending flight schools, and there is credible information concerning a plan to hijack planes, there is nothing wrong with investigating Middle Easterners attending flight schools, to see if they are associated with Al-Quaeda, or whoever.

That is not to say they could be ARRESTED as a result of being simply Middle Easterners at Flight Schools. But a background check for further particulars would not offend any rule against ethnic profiling.

It should be noted that in the Minnesota FBI report on Zacharias Moussaoui, sent in July 2001, the author of the report noted that Moussaoui might be planning to "fly something into the World Trade Centre."

I don't think the Bush spin on this, "he wasn't told they were planning to use a plane as a missile" is truthful, given that report.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
shelby9
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posted 17 May 2002 03:06 PM      Profile for shelby9     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
HOW can it be harmful???

Ok, lets pretend that Mr. Bush gets investigated and his credibility with the American people goes way down. Then along the way, as the Prez is being occupied with other things, some terrorist organization decides to use doemstic trains to spead bio-chemical stuffs throughout the US. The Prez learns about it - and decides to warn people that this was happening. Do you really think, in a country that has just seen it's president investigated for not telling them the truth, that Americans would buy what he had to say? It's no secret that half of the voting public didn't want him as thier president - do we need to make things more volatile by dragging him through the credibility mud?

Did peole take Bill Linton too seriously after his credibility was shaken pretty hard?

I already said, it is the opposition's job to be critical - and I agree, the cone of silence period is over and the opposition has the right to make some noise if they see things are wrong. But rather than picking on the one vulnerable area that casues the most harm - why not go after the government on domestic issues - like, oh, I don't know, homelss people, starving children, where they suddenly found 190 Billion to subsidize thier farmers...


From: Edmonton, AB | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 17 May 2002 03:10 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
My point? The only security measure that could have prevented the hijackings would have amounted to racial profiling, and could not have been implemented.


That, of course, is complete nonsense. Tighter security at airports could have caused the terrorists to abort their hijackings. Quietly placing armed air marshalls on flights could have resulted in arrests, trial and convictions as opposed to planes flying into buildings.
quote:

I think it's rather distasteful of you to sit there and condemn the US for not being willing to infringe on civil rights on the basis of such unsubstantiated intelligence of possible hijackings. Especially if you're going to sit there and condemn the security measures they're taking right now. It stinks of hypocrisy.


Security is implemented in many forms every single day without a resort to racial profiling or infringements upon civil liberties. For you to suggest that security measures that could have prevented 9/11 could not have been implemented without infringement of civil liberties and/or racila profiling smacks of immaturity. It is like saying we can't stop drug trafficking unless we target Italians and Latinos. Pure nonsense.

What stinks of hypocrisy is your debating me about the implementation of tighter security prior to 9/11 and in the wake of warnings but cheerleading all such matters afterwards when it is far too late.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 17 May 2002 03:16 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The only security measure that could have prevented the hijackings would have amounted to racial profiling, and could not have been implemented. It shouldn't have then and it shouldn't be now. I think it's rather distasteful of you to sit there and condemn the US for not being willing to infringe on civil rights .

Actually, US Courts have held that racial or ethnic origin may be used as one factor in determining who to investigate. The best known case involves court approval of people-smuggling stops of persons crossing the Mexican border.

The Court said it wasn't ok to stop all Mexicans and no one else. But it WAS ok to stop more Mexican than others, if there were some other indicator being used also. So, where the police chose to stop vehicles being driven by Hispanics where there were "several" occupants of the car, the court held that it was lawful.

So, the suggestion that "it couldn't have been implemented" is not correct.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 17 May 2002 03:18 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Ok, lets pretend that Mr. Bush gets investigated and his credibility with the American people goes way down. Then along the way, as the Prez is being occupied with other things...

This sounds like rather a panicky scenario, but an investigation might well clear him, and his credibility might go up. Or, if it turns out that he was asleep at the switch, his credibility would deservedly take a nosedive.

Besides, "homeland security" is now supposed to be the responsibility of Tom Ridge. Any warnings coming from him would naturally have more credibility. No-one can blame him for an intelligence failure last summer.

But all this talk of the President's credibility is beside the point, as the Democrats haven't seriously questioned it. Read the quotation from Sen. Graham, above. Or consider this column from Scott Shuger of Slate, himself a former intelligence officer. It's entitled "Failing Intelligence - Why didn't the CIA warn Bush properly?" and concludes thus:

quote:
The Aug. 6 briefing to the president was prepared by the CIA. That it mentioned neither previous known suicide-hijacking plots nor the FBI's terror-related concerns about Muslim flight students in Arizona or Minnesota is a damning indictment, not of the president but of the management of American intelligence. The "C" in CIA stands for Central. The agency is supposed to be the nation's intelligence funnel. Its main job is not protecting its turf or its budget against other agencies—it's reaching out to all sources of intelligence and distilling them into a meaningful product for decision-makers. Bush has stood by CIA Director George Tenet. But based on what we learned yesterday, it's hard to see why. It's clear now that the failure to do more to prevent what happened on 9/11 didn't stem from a weakness of ground-level sources and methods, but from the intelligence gathering lapses of our top intelligence officials.

(By the way, as for Clinton, he remained popular with the American people, and taken seriously by them, to the end of his presidency, impeachment scandal or no. The conservative commentariat could never get their heads around that, but it's true).


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
CrankItUpA'Notch
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posted 17 May 2002 03:20 PM      Profile for CrankItUpA'Notch        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The U.S. has managed to tighten security at airports throughout the country, as has Canada, without racial profiling.

Someone, I'd wager, hasn't been in a US airport in the past 8 months.
The spectacle of frisking middle-aged mothers flying with her 4 kids, getting 12 year old to remove their shoes and confiscating Gramma Bertha, from Idaho's, nail clippers and sewing needles is one I witness weekly. (Yes, they even frisked Ray Charles, the 70+ year old blind, crooner) Then the airlines serve meals on the planes with knives, forks and glass bottles. Brilliant. The left feels warm and fuzzy because everyone's being treated equally, but are things any safer? I doubt it. More needlessly expensive and time consuming surely.
They are requiring airports purchase hugely expensive screeners for every bag, that may or may not detect harmful substances. Of course causing airlines to jack up prices, which may eventually make flying unaffordable for portions of the public. All because, as we all know, everyone's an equal threat!
Profiling used to mean "detection". How it took on such a sinister connotation escapes me. Don't even use "racial" profiling. Station highly trained, highly intelligent people who know what kind of questions to ask and what to look for. The charade of the new security measures is a running joke among frequent travellers.


From: Sunrise, Florida | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 17 May 2002 03:23 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
posted May 17, 2002 03:06 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOW can it be harmful???
Ok, lets pretend that Mr. Bush gets investigated and his credibility with the American people goes way down. Then along the way, as the Prez is being occupied with other things, some terrorist organization decides to use doemstic trains to spead bio-chemical stuffs throughout the US. The Prez learns about it - and decides to warn people that this was happening. Do you really think, in a country that has just seen it's president investigated for not telling them the truth, that Americans would buy what he had to say

If the President were investigated for being too lackadaisical about warning the public about terrorist attacks, and then he issued a warning about a terrorist attack, I presume rational people would be more likely to give credence to the warnings.

Of course, if he is unable to effectively govern because of his mistakes, he could resign for the good of the country.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 17 May 2002 03:51 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dubya resigning would throw the Conservative Aristocracy into an uproar and an even more purple fit of rage than when Clinton beat their boy Bush Senior, and given how much effort they concentrated into trashing the Clinton presidency and the Dems for 8 long years, it is to be only marvelled at what they might come up with in their frantic casting about for any enemy but themselves.

[ May 17, 2002: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sheep
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posted 17 May 2002 03:55 PM      Profile for sheep     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So, the suggestion that "it couldn't have been implemented" is not correct.

No, I stand by it. It may have been able to be implemented under the letter of the law but the outcry from civil libertarians if they were to find out that the government was actively investigating flight students who fit a certain ethnic profile would have been fierce. That is why I don't believe it could have been implemented. It's not good politics.


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Jacob Two-Two
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posted 17 May 2002 05:51 PM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
According to some things I've read, all this "did-they-know, didn't-they-know" debate is besides the point. Much more alarming is the response when they did know.

For over an hour after the first plane hit, there was no response whatsoever from the military or the government. Bush continued attending the function he was at. No planes were dispatched, no facilities evacuated. Is this a believable response? Can any amount of incompetence explain the apparent willingness of the top brass to just stand around while hijacked planes wandered all over the state?

The black boxes, usually thought to be practically indestructible, are unrecoverable. Or maybe not, maybe they're still in the WTC wreckage which was carted away and sold for scrap before anyone could examine it for possibly important clues to what happened.

The truly shocking thing about the whole affair is the Bush administration's total unwillingness to investigate (or at least, let others do so) into the source of this attack. The official line has been given, which just happens to accord wonderfully with pre-existing agendas, and no deviation will be tolerated.

To my mind, this casts considerable suspicion on their motives and their legitimacy. They should be subject to much more criticism than they have received. To do otherwise would be to trivialize the whole affair into a politically opportunistic leverage device, which is obviously how the administration is using it.


From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 17 May 2002 09:56 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So, the suggestion that "it couldn't have been implemented" is not correct.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, I stand by it. It may have been able to be implemented under the letter of the law but the outcry from civil libertarians if they were to find out that the government was actively investigating flight students who fit a certain ethnic profile would have been fierce. That is why I don't believe it could have been implemented. It's not good politics.



So, Bush would not investigate a terrorist plot to blow up the World Trade Center or other building because "it's not good politics"?

Even I have more respect for Bush than that. And I think the "civil libertarian outcry" you claim to be so decisive, is in fact nothing but speculation.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pimji
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posted 17 May 2002 10:41 PM      Profile for Pimji   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Never believe in conspiracy what can be explained by stupidity" and "Ignorance is bliss" are the kind of sayings which come to mind in regard to events which go beyond everyday life and live on as convenient myths in the public imagination.

The attacks are certainly convenient for Bush and his band of religious fanatics and the pursuit their version of the American dream with the rest
of the world footing the bill to bring the religious rights fantasies into reality. I
don't think there is any way of really knowing if the Bush Admin just let it happen or if their heads where really to far up their own asses to even think that airplanes could be hijacked by suicide killers, despite the fact that suicide bombers are a weekly occurrence in their partner state, where this entire fiasco hinges. It's almost amazing that the military and religious fanatics can concoct an equally wacky idea like Star Wars and yet can't imagine hijackers slamming a plane into a building.

My faith in the lack of imagination by the majority of the population, who support the War on Terrorism and who they choose to be their leaders, hasn't been enhanced by the latest news. I'm almost positive that we'll be let down again when Bush manages to pull off his coup and fleece the public yet again, with our full support, and a well funded public relations campaign.
But then again The Democratic opposition, after having been cowed by 9/11, smells blood.


From: South of Ottawa | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
goodgoditsnottrue
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posted 17 May 2002 10:56 PM      Profile for goodgoditsnottrue   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is in fact a great test for American Democracy.

If it is impossible to critique the presidents actions, and to assume that he is above the law he is no longer the president but an autocrat, even in time of a national tragedy. If the US system can not survive its internal divisions, as it has done time and time again, then perhaps it is time for serious change in the underlying structure.


From: Tarana | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Spring Hope
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posted 17 May 2002 11:59 PM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It turns out that a war plan to fight El Queda worldwide was ready to go when the twin towers were attacked last September. Another tidbit for those who already suspect a vast plot to put America pretty much in control of the world with the New York horror providing a convenient pretext for cowing all challengers. A modern repeat of "the Reichstag fire" in Germany in 1935.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/753359.asp


From: Vancouver | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 18 May 2002 05:02 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It *is* amazingly convenient for Dubya and his ilk.

While I don't hold to the conspiracy theory that they allowed the attacks to occur or that they ordered such attacks, I do submit that Dubya and his gang have opportunistically jumped all over those attacks like a ton of bricks.

No pun intended.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 18 May 2002 11:50 AM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
While I don't hold to the conspiracy theory that they allowed the attacks to occur or that they ordered such attacks,…

I’m unaware of anyone of national stature in any capacity (save the truly un-hinged Cynthia McKinney) who has even remotely suggested such a thing. This dust-up found its genesis in a singular 1998 British report that warned of terrorist attacks using planes and didn’t even mention the WTC. Frankly, getting a warning that Muslim terrorist groups are interested in hijacking American planes is roughly comparable to being informed that water is wet.

The comparatively sane issue of intelligence and institutional failures is an entirely legitimate matter worthy of investigation, but, to use these possible failings as an opportunity to make political points is not only irresponsible and vulgar; it also displays a remarkable ignorance of the facts and the nature of intelligence gathering.

This is much more about a sensationalistic media with no better story right now and a pile-on by desperate pre-election Democrats flailing around for an issue, any issue, than anything else. A relative non-story that will fade to page C24 as soon as the elections are over.


From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 18 May 2002 12:04 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The comparatively sane issue of intelligence and institutional failures is an entirely legitimate matter worthy of investigation, but, to use these possible failings as an opportunity to make political points is not only irresponsible and vulgar; it also displays a remarkable ignorance of the facts and the nature of intelligence gathering.



Isn't that what the Republicans would do? I am not saying it is right, but is it not the nature of American politics? Politics anywhere, for that matter. I bring your attention to the debacle in Somalia. Didn't some republicans blame Clinton's failure in Somalia, lack of balls as it were, for 9/11? Is that not equally irresponsible and vulgar?

I agree it is politics. But what else should be expected? And as for sensationalist media, please, Bush has gotten a free ride since 9/11. It is certainly time for some critical evaluations.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 18 May 2002 12:19 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, Wingnut, irresponsibility and vulgarity among the political class is uniform across all spectrums and Parties. In fact some Republicans are attempting to put the blame on Clinton (albeit a defensive swipe in the face of this latest story). Donna Brazille, Gore’s campaign manager, has been all over the air jumping on Bush’s Air Force One photo as wrong because “911 is different”. If that’s the case, and I think it might be given the horrible nature of the event, then there appears to be some inconsistency within the Democratic ranks. I think it’s gross to suggest, however vaguely, for political purposes only, that had BUSH done his job some 3000 people might not be dead. Keeping the discussion on the possible intelligence failures is where most responsible politicians will choose to stay.
From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
nate
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posted 18 May 2002 12:33 PM      Profile for nate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Has anyone considered that George Dubya might have ignored scattered warnings of terrorist attacks because he's a lazy dough-head?

I suspect this is closer to the truth than the suggestion that the prez knew about the WTC attacks in advance but let them happen in order to take over the world under the guise of fighting terrorism (a la the Reichstag fire in Nazi Germany, which occurred in 1933, btw, not 1935).

Nate Hendley
Toronto, ON


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 18 May 2002 01:10 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The dough-head thesis is worth considering. However, while I firmly reject all conspiracy theories on this, I think that it is possible that George W. Bush was just out of the loop on these things.

He was on holiday when the most important report came in, and I noticed that Condoleeza Rice quickly turned from "we didn't know" to "The President didn't know", which is entirely different.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Spring Hope
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posted 18 May 2002 02:00 PM      Profile for Spring Hope     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Of course George Bush (and every other U.S. President, especially since Reagan) is left out of many loops. George W, more than his predecessors, just says and does what he is told. If his portable prompter and headphones aren't working he immediately fumbles all over the place.

On the attack, he has said it now. His advisors as well. He was warned that airliners might be hijacked. This makes his peculiar reactions to being informed of the attack, while he was at that primary school in Florida, stand out even more. I refer, for example, to his staying to talk about various inane things with the kids for another 15 minutes afterwards.

Maybe the guy shown whispering in his ear on that occasions was just saying: "Just stay out it for a bit longer, W, O.K.?"

Given that they were warned of events involving El Queda and airliners, how could it not have immediately occurred to anyone of the dozens of folks on continual alert around an American President, if not he himself, that this was it!?

And wouldn't that have immediately made the first crash the number one item on everyone's agenda? Immediately!

I'm sorry, but the stench of smoke around this thing is real strong, and it ain't the sweet smell of pot either. The first sparks, if not the fire, are beginning to show.


From: Vancouver | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 19 May 2002 04:23 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The New York Times has a good column by Maureen Dowd on this issue.


http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/19/opinion/19DOWD.html


Among other things, she points out that, due to information being received, the intelligence agencies went on a 6 week long super-alert in the summer of 2001, but since George Bush's vacation was all set, he took four weeks off.

And the repeated contention by Presidential spokespeople that they expected only "traditional" hijackings (because more specific warnings were ignored by FBI bureaucrats), generates this:

quote:
Even if all President Bush learned at his Crawford briefing on Aug. 6 was that bin Laden was gearing up for hijackings here, why not order tougher airport security and fortified cockpit doors? After all, the 9/11 attacks started as old-fashioned hijackings.

The Bushies were still fixated on their Maginot line of missile defense in the sky when the threat was Al Qaeda freaks with box cutters.



From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SHH
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posted 19 May 2002 05:09 PM      Profile for SHH     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ah Maureen, ever the objective opinionator. Looks like she read the recent Newsweek article. But there’s something disjointed in her presentation. She goes on and on about the failings of the FBI and CIA and then moves suddenly and seamlessly to Bush’s doorstep without connecting the dots and implying that a vacation may have had something to do with it. Like Presidents actually take vacations. Also, according to the Newsweek article, airports were notified of the high level of threat but it was lost in the fog of endless cryings of wolf.
From: Ex-Silicon Valley to State Saguaro | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 19 May 2002 09:52 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Guardian story on the August report says that
while Bush received a report concerning the threat during his four week holiday, it was in writing, and there is some question of whether he even read it.

I am just now reading John Charmley's biography of Winston Churchill. He took no holidays from 1939 to 1943, then took one week while reviving troops in Africa.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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