Meanwhile, the president continues to assert constitutionally indefensible powers to the office of the president. As the conservative Salt Lake Tribune editorialized July 29, "Congress and the courts must rein in this presidential power grab. To do otherwise would be to court tyranny." Perhaps most frightening of all, however, is the enraptured talk of a World War III by influential neocon ideologues nurturing a self-fulfilling clash of civilizations worldview. These ideologues are oddly aligned in a pincer movement on our president's malleable brain with Christian fundamentalists, who hope violence in the Middle East presages a coming Apocalypse.
The pattern of Bush administration deception that has helped build this bulwark of ignorance is again revealed in a new book by the former co-chairs of the 9/11 commission -- one of whom is the former Republican governor of New Jersey. While in their forthcoming book, "Without Precedent," ex-Gov. Tom Kean and ex-Rep. Lee Hamilton apparently remain agnostic as to whether the Bush administration deliberately lied or was merely totally incompetent, they are clear about the obstacles placed in the way of their investigation. How grimly ironic that while Sept. 11 has been the omnipresent baseline of all Bush administration rhetoric for five years, the White House has systematically endeavored to squelch any real examination of an enemy who remains conveniently ill-defined or even actively misrepresented.
Thus, the lie that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, irreconcilable enemies, were in cahoots was shamelessly sold to the American public. Now we are told that Israel's fight against Hezbollah is simply a battle in the larger war on terrorism, rather than what it is: The playing out of a historically rooted regional drama. All global narratives are subservient to the goal of posturing Bush as a "war president," unaccountable and irreproachable.
Ignorance of the enemy was by design -- which is why Bush opposed any serious investigation of Sept. 11. Failing, after a bitter struggle, to prevent even the formation of a bipartisan 9/11 commission, he permitted key members of his administration and the military, of which he is the commander in chief, to undermine the investigation, according to advance reports on the new book by the commission's co-chairmen.
For example, "We to this day don't know why NORAD told us what they told us," said Kean, referring to the Pentagon's fraudulent account of its initial response to the attacks. "It was so far from the truth."
None of the stonewalling was more glaring, however, than Bush denying the investigating commission access to captured prisoners whose testimony, elicited after torture, provided the basic narrative as to how Sept. 11, 2001, came to be. That fatal flaw in the investigation was earlier conceded in a disclaimer box on page 146 of the official 9/11 Commission Report:
"We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting. We were told that our requests might disrupt the sensitive interrogation process."
It is useful that the commission co-chairs are now willing to reveal some of the means by which the Bush administration undermined their investigation. Unfortunately, their account provides further evidence that, by the design of this president, we still know very little that we can trust about this historic attack on American soil.
© Creators Syndicate
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August 10, 2006 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
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