Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Donald Rumsfeld, Liar 

From the Road to Surfdom, which I mentioned yesterday:
Let me backtrack to that comment by Secretary Rumsfeld yesterday because of an apposite quote pointed out to me by Brad Delong. Rumsfeld said:

"I knew of no intelligence during the six plus months leading up to September 11 that indicated terrorists would hijack commercial airliners, use them as missiles to fly into the Pentagon or the World Trade Centre towers," he said.
But it's not as if the idea of terrorists crashing planes had never been considered. In the section of Clarke's book dealing with their security investigations during the Atlanta Olympics there is this (p.106):
Mindful of Ramzi Yousef's plot to blow up 747s and the images of Pan Am 103, I asked about aircraft. "What if somebody blows up a 747 over the [Atlanta] Olympic Stadium, or even flies one into the stadium?"
The Special Agent in charge of the Atlnta FBI Office was steaming under teh cross-examination from the Washinton know-it-alls. "Sounds like Tom clancy to me, " he sneered. I glared at him. "But if it happens, that's an FAA problem," he answered.

...I turned to Cathal Flynn, the retired Navy SEAL who ran FAA security.

...."Well, Dick, we could ban aircraft from over the Stadium during events by posting a Notice to Airmen," [he] reponded.

'But what if a terrorist hijacks an aircraft and violates that ban?" I asked.

"Then we would call the Air Force...But by then it would be too late," Flynn intoned in his deep baritone.
This is April 1996.
Condi Rice has said the same thing. And why isn't she appearing before the damn commission! This is inexcusable. From today's Progress Report:
RICE STONEWALLS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC: Condoleezza Rice, despite discussing the issue repeatedly on all 5 morning talk shows, refuses to testify publicly before the committee about the Administration's terrorism policy. She claims that presidential advisers can't appear before Congress because of separation-of-powers concerns. But her argument does not withstand scrutiny. First, the 9/11 commission is not a congressional committee, but an independent committee, signed into law by the stroke of the President's pen. But even setting that aside, according to commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste, a 4/5/02 Congressional Research Service report shows there are "many precedents involving presidential advisers" testifying before congressional committees. The report reveals that Lloyd Cutler, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samuel Berger and even American Progress CEO John Podesta appeared before congressional committees while serving as advisors to Presidents.
Seems like game, set, match to me. And considering she'll talk to anyone and everyone about this, except while under oath....
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