A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
September 12, 2002
The 9-11 Investigation and Congressional Ineptitude
by YT Cai
It is become more clear by the day that the alleged ineptitude of the current Executive Branch of our government may only be exceeded by the bungling of our Legislative Branch. There is no other conclusion that could be reached as members of the joint Congressional Investigative Committee looking into the events leading up to 9-11 stumble along.
Two recent articles, based on an interviews with Senators Richard Shelby and Patrick Leahy, reveal little hope that any rational answers will be forthcoming. One uses the excuse that they're too busy, and they both indicate that for some reason those who may bear some responsibility for the supposed failures just aren't cooperating.
Shelby laments that there just is not enough time before the fall recess to assess all of the very serious breakdowns in intelligence that led to the death of over 3,000 of our citizens, on our own soil nonetheless. Say what! It has now been over a year and we still don't have time to analyze the shortcomings and take corrective actions to prevent a similar incident? Why don't they spend a little more time on the ridiculous Homeland Security Department that Bush threw together in just a couple of hours once the "Bush Knew" story broke. A proposal that should have been quickly shoved back into Bush's face with a stipulation to not bring it back until the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc. are included in the outline. But the Senate slogs through a bill that Bush will never sign, leaving no time for investigating. The Bush gang's game of "Beat the Clock" proves successful yet again.
Leahy and Shelby both bemoan that any semblance of cooperation is non-existent. Double say what? Doesn't Congress have subpoena power? Isn't the press as available to this group to put public pressure on non-cooperators as it is to the White House when the bully around? Oh yeah, the "investigate the investigators" investigation took care of the possibility of any discussions with the media. Again, the Bush's, by leaking the NSA intercept nearly a month before Congress was blamed (it was posted on this very website at the time) silenced the Investigative Committee and further bogged down the investigation.
So what leads to the charges of Legislative Branch incompetence? It is way beyond mind-boggling to think that an inquiry would take place without even questioning the FBI Supervisors in both the Phoenix Memo and Colleen Rowley situations! As your readers know, these fine stonewallers not only avoided reprimand, but they were actually promoted so they're supposed non-critical thinking can be spread over a large group of Agents. Don't be surprised when confronted with being saddled with the blame for the failures, that it gets kicked all the way up to the desk of the other named obstructionist, Attorney General John Ashcroft. Ashcroft is the person in the position to stifle any follow-up, and to squash the subpoena to look into Moussaoui's computer. And if Ashcroft knew, then you have to believe, at a minimum, that Dick Cheney knew, too. If there is a connection to be made to the Bush folks looking the other way on 9-11, it will be this particular avenue of review.
Shelby wants to see CIA Director George Tenet fired. Tenet isn't going any place soon because he just might start talking, too. What ever happened to Louis Frieh? Does anyone else find it curious that he conveniently left office right around the time Bush received his vacation-time warning report? Why hasn't anybody bothered to talk to Frieh? Certainly can't ask his replacement FBI Director Robert Mueller anything of significance, heck, he was only on the job for a couple of weeks. To quote the Church Lady for those religious fanatics currently in charge - "how convenient."
Where is the accountability of our National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice? Wasn't our national security breached in a way that none of us lay people could have ever imagined? Despite the talking head's claims of Rice's shear brilliance, isn't she the Soviet expert who was neck deep in molten metal and still didn't realize the Iron Curtain was melting under the Bush I regime? Nobody has even considered asking her a few pointed questions.
Shelby may have cited the only legitimate defense against this claim of incompetence, and that would be the following statement:
"You're dealing with smart people. No one likes to be investigated."
Maybe Congress ought to stop worrying about catering to the likes or dislikes of irresponsible government employees, and start acting responsible in the execution of their responsibilities. Until that time, we have every right to hold out Congress as possibly the most raggedy collection of underperformers that this country may have ever seen.
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