March 2, 2004
The Coward in the White House
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
As many Americans now know, George Bush had strings pulled to get into the National Guard during Vietnam and then checked the "no overseas duty please" box on his application. He lacked the courage to go fight, although he says he backed the war. But he doesn't want to talk about his distant past. I can understand; that would take courage. And, as we know from his record of avoiding most press conferences and all funerals of returning GIs, the possibility that someone might ask him a tough question frightens him.
What I can't understand is why he doesn't want to talk about his more recent history, specifically his behavior before and during the attacks on 9/11? We have now been told that Bush cannot spare more than a single hour (1.2 seconds per victim) to answer a few of the commission's outstanding questions about 9/11.
Somehow the families of the victims found the strength and courage to go on living. Surely the president can find the courage to answer in public, under oath, all the questions the full commission might have about his behavior before and during the 9/11 attacks? But no. Once again he is behaving cowardly. And this time, it only raises already high suspicions that he and others in his administration are hiding some very dark secrets from the American people.
Some men are afraid of bullets and bombs, Bush is afraid of questions. I predict the American people will not give this coward another four years.
RA in LA
P.S. I include a list of the questions (posted previously on BuzzFlash and elsewhere) that the Family Steering Committee would like the president to address:
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The Family Steering Committee Statement and Questions Regarding the 9/11 Commission Interview with President Bush
February 16, 2004
The Family Steering Committee believes that President Bush should provide sworn public testimony to the full ten-member panel of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Collectively, the Commissioners are responsible for fulfilling the Congressional mandate. Therefore, each Commissioner must have full access to the testimony of all individuals and the critical information that will enable informed decisions and recommendations. Before an audience of the American people, the Commission must ask President Bush in sworn testimony, the following questions:
1. As Commander-in-Chief on the morning of 9/11, why didn't you return immediately to Washington, D.C. or the National Military Command Center once you became aware that America was under attack? At specifically what time did you become aware that America was under attack? Who informed you of this fact?
2. On the morning of 9/11, who was in charge of our country while you were away from the National Military Command Center? Were you informed or consulted about all decisions made in your absence?
3. What defensive action did you personally order to protect our nation during the crisis on September 11th? What time were these orders given, and to whom? What orders were carried out? What was the result of such orders? Were any such orders not carried out?
4. In your opinion, why was our nation so utterly unprepared for an attack on our own soil?
5. U.S. Navy Captain Deborah Loewer, the Director of the White House Situation Room, informed you of the first airliner hitting Tower One of the World Trade Center before you entered the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida. Please explain the reason why you decided to continue with the scheduled classroom visit, fifteen minutes after learning the first hijacked airliner had hit the World Trade Center.
6. Is it normal procedure for the Director of the White House Situation Room to travel with you? If so, please cite any prior examples of when this occurred. If not normal procedure, please explain the circumstances that led to the Director of the White House Situation Room being asked to accompany you to Florida during the week of September 11th.
7. What plan of action caused you to remain seated after Andrew Card informed you that a second airliner had hit the second tower of the World Trade Center and America was clearly under attack? Approximately how long did you remain in the classroom after Card's message?
8. At what time were you made aware that other planes were hijacked in addition to Flight 11 and Flight 175? Who notified you? What was your course of action as Commander-in-Chief of the United States?
9. Beginning with the transition period between the Clinton administration and your own, and ending on 9/11/01, specifically what information (either verbal or written) about terrorists, possible attacks and targets, did you receive from any source?
This would include briefings or communications from:
Out-going Clinton officials
10. Specifically, what did you learn from the August 6, 2001, PDB about the terrorist threat that was facing our nation? Did you request any follow-up action to take place? Did you request any further report be developed and/or prepared?
11. As Commander-in-Chief, from May 1, 2001 until September 11, 2001, did you receive any information from any intelligence agency official or agent that UBL was planning to attack this nation on its own soil using airplanes as weapons, targeting New York City landmarks during the week of September 11, 2001 or on the actual day of September 11, 2001?
12. What defensive measures did you take in response to pre-9/11 warnings from eleven nations about a terrorist attack, many of which cited an attack in the continental United States? Did you prepare any directives in response to these actions? If so, with what results?
13. As Commander-in-Chief from May 1, 2001 until September 11, 2001, did you or any agent of the United States government carry out any negotiations or talks with UBL, an agent of UBL, or al-Qaeda? During that same period, did you or any agent of the United States government carry out any negotiations or talks with any foreign government, its agents, or officials regarding UBL? If so, what resulted?
14. Your schedule for September 11, 2001 was in the public domain since September 7, 2001. The Emma E. Booker School is only five miles from the Bradenton Airport, so you, and therefore the children in the classroom, might have been a target for the terrorists on 9/11. What was the intention of the Secret Service in allowing you to remain in the Emma E. Booker Elementary School, even though they were aware America was under attack?
15. Please explain why you remained at the Sarasota, Florida, Elementary School for a press conference after you had finished listening to the children read, when as a terrorist target, your presence potentially jeopardized the lives of the children?
16. What was the purpose of the several stops of Air Force One on September 11th? Was Air Force One at any time during the day of September 11th a target of the terrorists? Was Air Force One's code ever breached on September 11th?
17. Was there a reason for Air Force One lifting off without a military escort, even after ample time had elapsed to allow military jets to arrive?
18. What prompted your refusal to release the information regarding foreign sponsorship of the terrorists, as illustrated in the inaccessible 28 redacted pages in the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry Report? What actions have you personally taken since 9/11 to thwart foreign sponsorship of terrorism?
19. Who approved the flight of the bin Laden family out of the United States when all commercial flights were grounded, when there was time for only minimal questioning by the FBI, and especially, when two of those same individuals had links to WAMY, a charity suspected of funding terrorism? Why were bin Laden family members granted that special privilege -- a privilege not available to American families whose loved ones were killed on 9/11?
20. Please explain why no one in any level of our government has yet been held accountable for the countless failures leading up to and on 9/11?
21. Please comment on the fact that UBL's profile on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives poster does not include the 9/11 attacks. To your knowledge, when was the last time any agent of our government had contact with UBL? If prior to 9/11, specifically what was the date of that contact and what was the context of said meeting.
22. Do you continue to maintain that Saddam Hussein was linked to al Qaeda? What proof do you have of any connection between al-Qaeda and the Hussein regime?
23. Which individuals, governments, agencies, institutions, or groups may have benefited from the attacks of 9/11? Please state specifically how you think they have benefited.
The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission http://www.911independentcommission.org/ A date for the Commission's so-called 'interview' with Bush has not yet been set though there is word it may be in April.
For more on the infamous August 6th Presidential Daily Briefing warning of a U.S. domestic attack from Al-Qeada and the possibility of their hijacking see the article by John W. Dean at: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20030729.html
A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
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