As I write this the commission studying the 9/11 disaster is seeking to get to the bottom of the matter, when we already know what the bottom is – the failure of the CIA and the FBI and their refusal to share intelligence.
But that is the way the government was set up. As I learned back during my dad’s administration, government agencies don’t talk to each other. They have their own little fiefdoms and they don’t share information, which is why the President set up the Department of Homeland Security to have one central agency where the information gathered by the various intelligence organizations could be pooled and evaluated.
So what we are now watching in Washington is election year politics being practiced under the guise of investigating a national tragedy. We have people posturing to show that they are trying to get to the bottom of the question of who is to blame for 9/11 when the answer has been staring them in the face from the very beginning. Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda thugs did it and our intelligence agencies failed to stop them.
The people asking the questions are as responsible for 9/11 as the people answering the questions because many of them were in power in Washington when they were passing laws inspired by the Church Commission that gutted the CIA’s intelligence operation by decreeing that only altar boys and choir boys could be recruited as agents in the cutthroat business of espionage, where the really effective operatives are not exactly the kind of people you’d want your daughter to marry.
They were in power when the government was not adequately funding intelligence operations and changing the way our intelligence is gathered. Listening to the hearings yesterday I was fascinated by the way Bob Kerry wanted long ago to declare war on al Qaeda. Are we really asking that George Bush after taking the oath of office on January 20, should have gone ahead and declared war on al Qaeda on January 21? Does anybody believe that the Democrat party would have gone along with it?
As Rumsfeld asked, when should the president have declared war, February, March, April? Any time before 9/11 and the Democrats on Capitol Hill would have gone berserk.
The simple fact is that 9/11 happened. It happened and its over. We’ve made changes, we’re going forward. The only question the nation has to answer now is who is best equipped to lead us in this war, George Bush or John Kerry?
My answer has always been that we need George W. Bush to lead us in the right direction by taking the war to the terrorists’ own homeland.
John Kerry leads us back to the United Nations which is now busy trying to explain how the UN’s Oil For Food program turned into a gigantic slush fund for Saddam Hussein to use for bribery.
But here we are two and a half years after 9/11 chasing our tails, going round and round in circles having hearings in an election year. Doesn’t it seem as if politics may have a role in all of this?
The bottom line is that nobody in the government, nobody in the media, nobody at all thought for one second that terrorists would hijack airliners and fly them into buildings in the U.S.
As Colin Powell said, going to war against al Qaeda and the Taliban before 9/11 would never have stopped the terrorists for attacking the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He said that when the administration took office that they were already in this country getting ready to launch their attack. They had been here for ages.
All that matters is what we are doing now. What we are doing now is the right thing. We are at war against terrorism wherever terrorism is.
At the end of the day, every one of these hearings will end up the same. They will affix blame everywhere, they’ll blame everyone and they’ll come up with a plan of what we need to be doing in the future, which has already been done.
And they’ll never catch their tails.
©2004 Mike Reagan. You must contact us if you would like to print this column in your publication or post on the internet. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc. Cari Dawson Bartley Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561