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February 25, 2004

REPUBLICANS AND NATIONAL SECURITY....House Speaker Dennis Hastert has decided not to extend the May 27 deadline for the 9/11 commission to finish its work. The commission had previously asked for a 60-day extension because they were having trouble getting the documents and interviews they needed from the Bush administration.

Here's the explanation from Hastert's spokesman:

He thinks the report is overdue and we need to get the recommendations as soon as possible. He is also concerned it will become a political football if this thing is extended and it is released in the middle of the presidential campaign.

Aren't you supposed to at least pretend that you're motivated solely by what's best for the country? But here we have Hastert's spokesman blithely admitting in public that he doesn't want to let the commission do its job properly because it might be politically inconvenient for the president.

They don't even have the good grace to lie about this stuff anymore. Jeebus.

UPDATE: There were actually two ridiculous things about this story and I decided to limit my post to this one. Josh Marshall regales us with the other.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 25, 2004 04:10 PM | TrackBack


Comments

Simple solution: The report should state in its first paragraph that it is incomplete due to a lack of time and cooperation from the Bush administration.

Posted by: Carl at February 25, 2004 04:17 PM | PERMALINK

I think Hastert's problem is that the report will likely lay a great deal blame at the feet of Bill Clinton's administration, but since GWB is President now, he'll take the heat for the report's findings in the press/public, despite that his administration will likely take less of the blame from the actual report.

That said, it's still not an excuse.

Something was afoot during the years leading up to 9/11:

2/1993 - Original WTC bombing
4/1995 - Oklahoma City (indulge with me in a bit of "McVeigh had middle eastern help" conspiracy theory for a moment)
6/1996 - Khobar Towers
8/1998 - Simultaneous destruction of US Embassies in Kenya/Tanzania
10/2000 - USS Cole bombing
9/2001- 9/11

In fact, if you buy the McVeigh thing (not that I do), a hugely major terrorist attack has happened once every three years, 1995, 1998, 2001, in between Mid-April and Early September. Well, here we are in 2004...not a happy thought.

Posted by: Ugh at February 25, 2004 04:29 PM | PERMALINK

And look, NBC says attacks generally follow al-Zawahri tapes, great:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4358624/

Posted by: Ugh at February 25, 2004 04:32 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, I can write that first run-on sentence:

"From his initial opposition to the Commission to his attempt to cynically appoint Henry Kissinger as chairman to the underfunding to the stonewalling by the FAA and the Pentagon to the refusal to release to us as much information as he gave Bob Woodward, President Bush has been an invaluable part of this incomplete report."

Posted by: norbizness at February 25, 2004 04:34 PM | PERMALINK

Would someone explain to me how great the GOP is on national security when they have tied up all our military resources to go after after someone who was not a threat to us?

How come nobody can get this argument through. Huh??

Posted by: SayWhat at February 25, 2004 04:34 PM | PERMALINK

but since GWB is President now, he'll take the heat for the report's findings in the press/public, despite that his administration will likely take less of the blame from the actual report.

Right, because if anything is the Bush administration's modus operandi, it's accountability.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth...

Posted by: Captain Obvious at February 25, 2004 04:34 PM | PERMALINK

What did you expect? The press won't challenge a damn thing so the W.H. doesn't even need to lie anymore.

Bush will get a 12 second sound bite, stating something to the effect of: "a tremendous amount of effort went in to this investigation", and THAT'S what will reverberate in the national news.

p.s. He won't be lying either ... his cronies HAVE expent an enormous amount of effort - trying to cover it up!

Posted by: David at February 25, 2004 04:35 PM | PERMALINK

Aren't you supposed to at least pretend that you're motivated solely by what's best for the country?

Really!

At least the Democrats had the good graces to PRETEND that they were interested in what's best for the country, even though the behind the scenes at the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, they were writing memos on how to make the greatest political gain off of Committee's investigation into intelligence data leading to the war against Iraq.

See, that's the difference between Republicans and Democrats. When Democrats manipulate national security investigations, they try to keep it secret. Republicans are up front about it.

Posted by: Al at February 25, 2004 04:43 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, that part about Bush not acting quick enough to shoot down the Pentagon plane? Sorry couldn't really get to it.
And that part about how we covered up the F16 shooting down the plane on the way to Washington because we like "The Brave Passengers fly the plane into the ground" narrative better? Ignore it. And also ignore out inability to flesh out the three lost minutes of Flight 93 or talk to the witnesses to the missiles who were told to shut up for the good of National Security.

"Oh, and sorry we couldn't get any good stuff out of Dr. Rice. Even though she lied to us once about what she knew and when she knew it, we are totally sure she told us all we wanted.

No point fixing stuff. The horse has left the barn. This won't happen again. We got TSA now! Orange Alerts! We caught Saddamn! Give us some cred!

Posted by: spocko at February 25, 2004 04:45 PM | PERMALINK

How do you get this across to the "swing" voters? That is what we are all told will make or break Mr. Bush.

My site: www.removebush.com

Posted by: Wade at February 25, 2004 04:51 PM | PERMALINK

well, now they don't lie and we complain.

really, who expected this to be anything but a sham invetigation?

timing is becoming everything, now...

the 'catch bin laden' scenario had to be moved up; could it be because there's a bombshell book soon to be released detailing that pesky security brief at crawford in aug. '01?

can you imagine the behind the scenes frenzy over that?

Posted by: mamima at February 25, 2004 05:01 PM | PERMALINK

I just want to know what the hell happened that day. Did that plane actually get shot down? What did Bush's August 6 PDB say?

I don't care if it was all Clinton's fault. I want to know. I don't care if it was all NORAD's fault. I want to know. I don't care if it was all Bush's fault. Hell, they can say it was all my fault for being in the shower at the time, but if it was, I want to know it.

Posted by: Dan in Chicago at February 25, 2004 05:03 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Al-bot strikes again with the one-two:

1) Straw Man

2) Moral Equivalency (I thought the GOP was against that...)

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 25, 2004 05:05 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I almost forgot,

3) Never comment on the actual post.

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 25, 2004 05:06 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals are pussies!! (see FDR, JFK, etc.)

Posted by: Myth #1 at February 25, 2004 05:16 PM | PERMALINK

Dan,
You were in the shower for 120 minutes? Don't blame yourself. Bush was asleep at the wheel for much longer than that - and he wasn't even attenting to basic hygene. You are forgiven. Just don't let it happen again.

Posted by: Occam's Cuisinart at February 25, 2004 05:20 PM | PERMALINK

Huh, scarshapedstar?

I absolutely commented on the actual post. I AGREED with Kevin that you are supposed to pretend that you are doing what's best for the country. And I gave an example of the Democrats doing exactly that -- PRETENDING that they are doing what's best for the country, even though, as the memos make clear, behind the scenes at the Senate Intelligence Committee, they are not interested in the Iraq intelligence issue and are just interested in how they can best use they investigation to Bash Bush.

So I dunno how you get that I'm not commenting on the actual post - when I have AGREED WITH KEVIN and I have GIVEN AN EXAMPLE of the Democrats doing exactly what Kevin says!

Posted by: Al at February 25, 2004 05:21 PM | PERMALINK

Unbelievable!Just what is it that they dont want us to know about this day?I'm like above I want know!but apparently the administration doesnt care what we want.And if you want to blame it on Clinton you have absoulutly no brains about you.It was a complete failure to americans period.GWB happened to be in the white hose and he deserves to be blamed for any failures.
This is an unprecendented event in the history of the world and they want to whitewash it.
There is also the events that followed 9/11 that seems everyone has forgotten about.It was called anthrax,anyone remember?There is new info comming out and it doesnt look pretty.Go here for an overview.It has huge implications and the original story in the Hartfort paper is very hard to understand.Justin make a little more sense of it.
http://www.antiwar.com/justin/
This is very much like the 9-11 investigation,the W/H has dragged its feet on.Why no one is clammoring for an indictment says much about the current commander in theif.

Posted by: smalfish at February 25, 2004 05:26 PM | PERMALINK

Did meathead Hastert even give a thought to how this is going to play NYC? Did he give a thought to what this is going to mean in terms of the reception they are going to get at the convention this summer?

Posted by: BobNJ at February 25, 2004 05:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Assaad, whose lawyer is trying to get the letter through a Freedom of Information Act request, said he believes the letter writer is someone from the Army who knew Assaad well, and might be connected to the anthrax attacks.

The FBI has refused to give a copy of the letter to Assaad."
from http://www.anthraxinvestigation.com/hcourant.html

If the Army has something to do with this terrorist attack it speaks VOLUMNS about the current administration adn those who implicitly follow its misdeeds.
C'mon people wake up!The truth is out there and you refuse to see it.Blindly following is costing lives and innocence.Tho you would'nt know it for your own innocence.Why not be at least a little objective and look at some of the facts.You dont have to be democrat to see theres lies,misdeeds and disinformation going on.

Posted by: smalfish at February 25, 2004 05:47 PM | PERMALINK

What they are NOT saying is that there is another
extension (by McCain and somebody) that extends
the time period beyond the election, and the FSC
is ok with that. Since when would a hack like Hastert go against the pres. on something like this?
(Bush gave lip service to the 60 day extension)
This deal REALLY stinks, Bush must be terrified
of something that happened just before the attacks.
My guess is that there was a clear warning that was ignored. After all, there are stories of cancelled flights by some pentagon officials on 9/11 for "security reasons".

Posted by: alfanso at February 25, 2004 05:52 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the GOP was against that

no no. the GOP is against the Democrats. that's it. nothing else matters.

Posted by: cleek at February 25, 2004 05:58 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that the report might be politicized should be a concern to everyone. I'm not sure if the average liberal has noticed but the war against terror is NOT OVER.

If you feel safe enough to think it is, that's because Dubya was a success. Post 9/11, Osama's popularity was at its peak. He was poised to gain new recruits, new funding and new friendly rogue states. George Bush's "You are with us or against us" philosophy and preemption doctrine have greatly improved our diplomatic efforts. The US grew up and now negotiates with a Carrot and a Stick.

Trying to have a public enquiry now is like trying to have a public enquiry into Pearl Harbour before WWII was over. Too many spies and soldiers who should be deployed against the enemy will be engaging in 'dodge the grandstanding senator' games.

Bush is being accused asleep at the wheel? Clinton turned down an offer to hand over Bin Laden from Yemen because he had insufficient evidence. In 1999 under Bill Clinton, the Germans passed the name and phone number of one the hijacker pilots to the CIA.

Posted by: Researcher at February 25, 2004 05:59 PM | PERMALINK

Conspiracy theories aside, the incompleteness of this report could be very damaging to the adnministration, right in the thick of the campaign. Any report that asks more questions than it answers would give the Democratic nominee a timely reason to drag the administration over the coals over what it knew when. Surely the administration is aware of this - forcing the report to come out before the election leads me to believe the contents will cast W in a favorable light. If the administration really thought it was a political liability, one would think they would stall and postpone until well after the election.

Posted by: BRR at February 25, 2004 06:06 PM | PERMALINK

ashcroft was ordered to not take commercial flights after july '01, isn't that what i hear?

and have we heard word one about the utter failure of any scrambled fighters to shoot down a hijacked plane headed for the pentagon?
an hour after the tower planes were hijacked?

you call that success, reasercher?

this isn't about simple incompetence.

it isn't about liberals, or conservatives.

this mackeral smells, and bad.

Posted by: mamima at February 25, 2004 06:11 PM | PERMALINK

Researcher, it's not worth the time to debunk the "it's bill clinton's fault, see yemen" one more time, but it is worth the time to note that surely you jest about Pearl Harbor.

iirc, there were a number of Pearl Harbor reports including one something like 60 or 90 days after it occurred.

Bush resisted any commission; he stonewalled and delayed the commission's efforts once he conceded to get the FBI agents off the front pages; and now, through hastert, he's burying the commission.

Posted by: howard at February 25, 2004 06:15 PM | PERMALINK

Um, researcher? There was an inquiry into Pearl Harbor before the war was over. Several, in fact. That dog don't hunt.

Posted by: Linkmeister at February 25, 2004 06:17 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is being accused asleep at the wheel?

clearly, since Clinton was supposed to know that 9/11 was coming (otherwise how could he be blamed for not getting OBL, or not taking out al-Q back in the late 90s ??), then Bush is equally to blame for not doing something about it when he had the chance.

Posted by: cleek at February 25, 2004 06:26 PM | PERMALINK

Its my fear that what ever report that comes out will be glossed over as-oh well another failure on the government,lets move on-.This would be a travesty and it's just what the administration wants.Americans,they hope,will forget and forgive.

Posted by: smalfish at February 25, 2004 06:31 PM | PERMALINK

It happened on Bush's watch, so it's Bush's problem. He's dealt with the consequences pretty well (taliban isn't dead yet, but it doesn't have much of an address), but I don't think any of the hard questions regarding intelligence failures have been explored. The Iraqi situation has only exaggerated this situation.

I can't trust this man on his military service, his nation's intelligence services, or his gut instincts. He's got a history of questions. But he just doesn't do answers.

Posted by: jon at February 25, 2004 06:34 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is being accused asleep at the wheel? Clinton turned down an offer to hand over Bin Laden from Yemen because he had insufficient evidence.

Got any bases for that? He had enough evidence to try to kill bin Laden, but didn't want to extradite him? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The Clinton adminastration's line is that the offer wasn't credible given the source and the middlemen, and they actually do have some evidence for that excuse.

Bill Clinton handed George W. Bush a plan to retaliate for the Cole bombings by rolling up Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Instead of acting on the plan, counter-terrorism was ignored. Only after 9-11 did the plan again see light of day.

Posted by: Boronx at February 25, 2004 06:35 PM | PERMALINK

What Boronx said. Oh, and Clinton got the guys who did the 93 bombing.

The Clinton WH put together a great plan that was ignored by the Bush White house. I've got the details somewhere, but I don't have the details in front of me, so I'll just make something up ( works for Republicans, why not me?).

Posted by: spocko at February 25, 2004 06:43 PM | PERMALINK

"forcing the report to come out before the election leads me to believe the contents will cast W in a favorable light. If the administration really thought it was a political liability, one would think they would stall and postpone until well after the election."

The administration could easily postpone the
report until after the election, it is obvious
that an incomplete report, with no one in the
current administration having to testify in
public and under oath, and none of the Aug. 01
PDBs or Crawford briefings included is what they are after.
it is not about political timing, it is about
burying IT forever.

Posted by: alfanso at February 25, 2004 06:47 PM | PERMALINK

Clintion okayed a missile strike that missed Bin Laden by 2 hours, and was promptly lambasted for attempting to "wag the dog" during the Lewinsky scandal.

On the other hand, wasn't there a Reagan-era rule preventing CIA assassinations?

[quote]
Bush is being accused asleep at the wheel? Clinton turned down an offer to hand over Bin Laden from Yemen because he had insufficient evidence.
[/quote]
Explain to me why you would have randomly executed Bin Laden ( who helped us against teh commies!!) at that time. The US is (was) generally not so big on such things.

I have read that yes, the Taliban is dead, but a government has sprung up in large parts of Afghanistan that is even worse (censoring women in movies by replacing them with flowers.)

Posted by: Sandals at February 25, 2004 06:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kerry or whoever the Democratic nominee happens to be should make the following campaign pledge: they will, if elected, promise to immediately declassify all the 9-11 material that Bush is currently refusing to release for purely political reasons that have nothing to do with national security. In particular, the contents of the infamous August 6 briefing as well as the 21 pages about Saudi involvement in the attacks that were redacted from the congressional report on 9-11 that came out last year.

Hastert, Bush and all Republicans should be made to burn in hell for this outrage. We need to have some modern equivalent of Joseph Welch to look these bastards in the eye and say "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Posted by: Richard at February 25, 2004 06:51 PM | PERMALINK

I see other folks have responded to this bit of ignorance -- Trying to have a public enquiry now is like trying to have a public enquiry into Pearl Harbour before WWII was over. -- but here are some specifics.

From Wikipedia: "The US government had six official enquiries into the attack - The Roberts Commission (1941), the Hart Inquiry (1944), the Army Pearl Harbor Board (1944), the Naval Court of Inquiry (1944), the Congressional Inquiry (1945-46) and the top-secret inquiry by Secretary Stimson authorized by Congress and carried out by Henry Clausen (the Clausen Inquiry (1945))."

Posted by: Canadian Reader at February 25, 2004 06:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's true the clinton W/H had the opportunity to "get" OBL but unlike the current administration they did'nt want to break any laws.Now I don't commend Clinton missing any opportunities,but to blame 9/11 and it's failures in security is without a doubt unfair and unbalanced.If the current administration has nothing to fear from this investigation why is it that they wont testify?Why won't they let the commission,in full,see the PDB's?I don't believe this.question after question does'nt get answered and yet we still "adore" the man.What will it take to finally get a strait answer to even basic questions.Like for instance "will you testify in front of the 9/11 commission?" Bush "perhaps,perhaps".

Posted by: smalfish at February 25, 2004 06:56 PM | PERMALINK

What are they hiding?

Who are they protecting?

Kerry should respond to this. Something like, "If we have to re-investigate 9/11 during my Administration, we will. America deserves the complete truth about 9/11, not a bit less."

Posted by: grytpype at February 25, 2004 06:56 PM | PERMALINK

My predictions for "laying the blame game." First, the Bush Administration, acting through Republican henchmen, will play up the report that the recession of 2000 actually started in 1999, during Clinton's term. Second, that Clinton will get the blame for 9/11. Regardless of when these things happened, it doesn't change the most important thing. We aren't any better now then we were three years ago before GWB took office. Shifting blame and playing games. Just S.O.P.

Posted by: sean at February 25, 2004 07:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kerry should challenge the Republicans in Congress as to why they are facilitating Bush's squelching of any 9/11 investigation? Had Gore been President there would have been multiple investigations and probable impeachment. The traitorous Republicans do not want to protect us by finding out what really happened.

Posted by: Upper West at February 25, 2004 07:05 PM | PERMALINK

Hay!

It doesn't much matter to me if Bushie knew about Osama Bin Laden wantin' to make jets into bombs...

And it doesn't much matter to me if Bushie wants to disenfranchise homosexuals from the constitution...

But I tell you what....

If that sombitch...every touches my social security benefits...by georgie!...I am gonna be as mad as someone with a bee up his ass!


--signed: Joe Nascar

Posted by: -pea- at February 25, 2004 07:06 PM | PERMALINK

What's wrong with demanding that the committee release what it has?

Aren't you folks the same bunch of idiots that demanded the release of Starr's report?

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 25, 2004 07:23 PM | PERMALINK

What's wrong with releasing what they have? Nothing. The problem others and I have is that the committee is being told to release what they have and then go home. No follow up. No delving into the questions that were stonewalled. No important answers.

That's what's wrong.

Posted by: jon at February 25, 2004 07:41 PM | PERMALINK

I stand corrected.

Reuters is reporting that White House Chief of Staff Andy Card tried to get the deadline extended, but Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert disagreed and opted not to introduce the legislation.

So who's trying to hide what now?

Via TPM

Posted by: BRR at February 25, 2004 07:54 PM | PERMALINK

Al,
Just so we're clear, you feel Democrats discussing political ramifications of the Iraq fiasco justifies Republicans cutting short an investigation into failings that led to the deaths of 3000 Americans for blatantly political purposes? Your point was a bit buried in all the sarcasm.

I just want to make sure everyone here understands where you're coming from.

Posted by: Jonathan at February 25, 2004 07:58 PM | PERMALINK

Denny Hastert has a totally safe seat and, therefore, does not care what the rest of you think. Will it play in Peoria? You bet it will.

Posted by: JackD at February 25, 2004 08:02 PM | PERMALINK

I stand corrected.
Reuters is reporting that White House Chief of Staff Andy Card tried to get the deadline extended, but Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert disagreed and opted not to introduce the legislation.

Everything these people do is scripted. Everything.

Don't believe for an instant that the left hand of this Republican monster isn't aware that Paul's peter is in its right hand.

Or something like that....

In fact...I like to suggest that bush's support of the anti-gay constitutional amendment was timed to the release of the Gibson movie.

Everything these bastards do is scripted.

Everything.

These fuckers are sly Nazis. Wake to the fact before it is too late.


Posted by: -pea- at February 25, 2004 08:07 PM | PERMALINK

To all of you who p*ss against J.Kerry: READ THIS AND WEEP!!!

http://slate.msn.com/id/2096127/

Posted by: me at February 25, 2004 08:32 PM | PERMALINK

"In fact...I like to suggest that bush's support of the anti-gay constitutional amendment was timed to the release of the Gibson movie"

That really sounds like it's par for the course for this administration.
It also suggests that the anthrax thing thats comming to light comes right up this same alley.But of course thats all conspiracy theory stuff.This administration just reeks of conspiracy.Also combine in the face that Bush's campaign contributor Diebold is in charge of the electronic voting booths.coincidence?

Posted by: smalfish at February 25, 2004 08:42 PM | PERMALINK

Why do the righties even attempt to defend the administration on this issue? They just make themselves look like idiots. Perhaps they can't help it.

I almost feel sorry for poor "Researcher."

Posted by: bad Jim at February 25, 2004 08:55 PM | PERMALINK

I almost feel sorry for poor "Researcher."

Don't ever feel sorry for someone who thinks and writes like Chalabi.

That kind of falsely-reasoned debauchery has morally bankrupted this country.

All we would need next is a witch hunt against gays and then we'd be fubar for sure.

Posted by: -pea- at February 25, 2004 09:52 PM | PERMALINK

What's wrong with demanding that the committee release what it has?

Aren't you folks the same bunch of idiots that demanded the release of Starr's report?

The commission had previously asked for a 60-day extension because they were having trouble getting the documents and interviews they needed from the Bush administration.

Aren't you the idiot that seems to have trouble with reading comprehension?

Posted by: Another Bruce at February 25, 2004 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

'Clinton turned down an offer to hand over Bin Laden from Yemen because he had insufficient evidence. In 1999 under Bill Clinton, the Germans passed the name and phone number of one the hijacker pilots to the CIA. '

Posted by Researcher at February 25, 2004 05:59 PM

Hey, Researcher: FYI: The Germans passed on A FIRST NAME ONLY, and a cell phone #. Not much to go by, is it!

Posted by: me at February 25, 2004 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

So according to his spokesperson,

Dennis Hastert " is also concerned it will become a political football if this thing is extended and it is released in the middle of the presidential campaign."

This is too easy: who wants to throw footballs around with me on Seventh Avenue, in front of Madison Square Garden, during the Republican Convention? Or family of the 3,000 who died - should we organize a touch football tournament at Ground Zero? Winning team gets to ask our President a question he actually has to answer?

Posted by: QueNoSabe at February 25, 2004 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

And what do Bloomberg and Giuliani say now to the people of New York? Their attitude to the president on the 9/11 investigation seems to have been "a little more vaseline, please".

Posted by: BobNJ at February 26, 2004 06:37 AM | PERMALINK

In 1999 under Bill Clinton, the Germans passed the name and phone number of one the hijacker pilots to the CIA

and when Bush took office he did what with this info? right.

Posted by: ChrisL at February 26, 2004 06:44 AM | PERMALINK

Now we can blame Hastert, cause w really, really, really wants the American people to know what went wrong. I think we need to handle this as a criminal investigation using a special prosecutor. Start with the Energy Policy that is never going to be released by the supremes that declared w the winner. Follow that to 9/11-Iraq invasion.....

Posted by: veritas at February 26, 2004 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

[Has anybody else noticed that the White House has stopped providing updated links to their press briefings and press gaggles? I've had to extrapolate the URLs in order to find them.]

Today's press gaggle asked about the committee extension, and made it pretty clear that the administration considers a politically-expedient but toothless statement preferable to taking any actions towards that end. Fortunately, the press is seeing through that claim:

Q Claire, can I ask about the 9/11 Commission? Speaker Hastert has said he does not support extending the Commission's time frame for doing their work. Will the President push him to change his mind and support an extension and let an extension go through Congress?

MS. BUCHAN: Well, the President has made his views clear. He supports an extension of the 9/11 Commission. That is the White House view. And we've worked very cooperatively with the 9/11 Commission to ensure that they have all the information necessary to do their job. So the President believes it's important work.

Q Will he press Congress to approve the extension as is necessary for the Commission to do what he says he supports them doing?

MS. BUCHAN: As I said, the President has made his views clear, and that's where it stands from our standpoint as the President --

Q So I'll take that as a "no"?

MS. BUCHAN: Well, the President supports an extension and we've stated that and continue to support it.

Q But when something is really important to him, he often presses Congress over and over and over in speeches and through his staff and public remarks to do what he wants them to do. Will he do that on this issue?

MS. BUCHAN: I've indicated the President's view and he has made that clear. The President's view is that we support an extension.

Q There are reports that Speaker Hastert had rejected a personal plea from Andy Card to extend the deadline. Is that your understanding of it, as well, that Card had requested personally to Hastert to extend the deadline?

MS. BUCHAN: I don't have specifics on conversations they've had. But as I said, our view, the White House view, is to support an extension and that's where that stands.

Posted by: Lis Riba at February 26, 2004 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

9/11 Commish --
Bush/Hastert
good cop/bad cop

FMA --
Bush/DeLay
good cop/bad cop

Posted by: Ara Rubyan at February 26, 2004 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the answer is;

a) Blame Clinton for the deficit

b) Blame Clinton for "not" catching Bin Laden

c) Blame Clinton for 9/11

d) Blame Clinton for EVERYTHING

You RW's have no sense of shame, reality, or
reponsibility, none. GWB is the dumbest, least qualified, most truth challenged, and slimiest President EVER. he and his pack of hyenas have
set this country BACK fifty years and could care less. Well, the tide is turning and they are reaping the whirlwind. Let em cancel the commission and then see what happens. I guarantee the widows
and NYC will not let this go , ever.

Posted by: geno at February 26, 2004 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Sudan didn't offer to "turn over Osama bin Laden" at all. It offered to deliver him to Saudi Arabia, which emphatically did not want him. And, prior to the African embassy bombings, bin Laden was not implicated in any actual criminal actions against the United States. He was a Saudi financier (whose family had business ties with certain prominent Americans).

You can construct an alternative universe, but back here in the real one, Sandy Berger specifically warned Condi Rice in December odf 2000 that terrorism would be her foremost concern; the Hart-Rudman Commission delivered its anti-terror readiness report to the Adminstration in April 2001, and Dick Cheney was tasked with reviewing it and responding--apparently whenever he got around to it, after meeting with energy cronies and arguing for tax cuts; and Richard Clarke and George Tenet were reporting in early August a high state of danger from a large al-Qaida plot probably using aircraft.

What Hastert wants to keep in the box isn't some hideous piece of evidence that will show Bush willfully ignorant. His Adminstration wasn't taking the warnings seriously. He can't claim to be America's stalwart protector anymore.

As for Al, well, thanks for trying. But that was as lame a contention as you've ever posted, which tells me a lot about Republican shame over this matter. You practically "mailed in" that commment, figuratively. The memo you cited laid out a strategy to prod the Intelligence Committee to do its job, however reluctantly. And, at best, it was a draft memo put together by some Democratic staffer. There's no indication that it was ever printed or circulated before it was stolen from the Democratic server. I guess Hastert has finally brought you to the truth: Bush doesn't "do" accountability. For all his bragging about his successes, he never really counts the costs. It's a bit like old Joe McCarthy's strategy: you could be caught egregiously wrong, and survive politically, as long as you never hinted you might be the least bit ashamed.

Posted by: Brian C.B. at February 26, 2004 03:22 PM | PERMALINK

Forgive me if you've seen this, because I've left it on a couple of other blogs.

The White House has given the Democratic nominee a gift by refusing to cooperate. Whoever gets the Demo nod, he should state in every speech that his first act as president will be to open the President's Daily Briefing Logs for August, 2001, for the benefit of the public.

How exactly can the White House respond? Even releasing them at that point becomes a capitulation, and capitulation is not exactly the current administrations's style.

I think this could be the maximum GOP squirming point for the campaign, and the Demo nominee has nothing to lose for saying it.

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