The Weekly Standard vs. BuzzFlash.com and Sidney Blumenthal: Part II
August 27, we posted the first in a three-part series of editorials
responding to the Rupert Murdoch Neo-Con rag, "The Weekly Standard,"
accusation that BuzzFlash and Sidney Blumenthal had slandered Bush.
(That would be a difficult task in and of itself. About the only thing
we could do, after all, to really slander Bush is call him "honest.")
that editorial [LINK],
we noted that one BuzzFlash editorial wouldn’t suffice in pointing
out the cynical disingenuousness in "The Weekly Standard" once
again playing the "Clinton Card." The right wing extremists
who comprise the Bush Cartel keep claiming that they are the party
of "responsibility," but
all they seem to do is find ways to EVADE responsibility. The most
common way they avoid accepting personal responsibility for any of
their actions is to blame Bill Clinton for anything and everything
(Hillary also gets dragged in from time to time). They do this with
the repetitive focus of someone with obsessive/compulsive disorder.
It’s their collective malady.
did "The Weekly Standard" accuse BuzzFlash and Sid Blumenthal of
slandering Cheney’s puppet in the White House? Because BuzzFlash
ran an excerpt from Blumenthal’s "The Clinton Wars" that provided evidence
that the Bush White House was warned about the imminent danger of al-Qaeda
but did nothing prior to 9/11 [LINK]. "The Weekly Standard" appears
to be part of a new round of a "fall offensive" right wing media
divert attention from the emerging encyclopedia of evidence that Bush
and Cheney might have prevented 9/11 if they were doing their jobs.
The right wing propaganda publishing house, Regnery Press, is doing
its part to support the initiative by releasing a book by a Wall
Street Journal Editorial (fiction) writer, Richard Miniter, called "Losing
Bin Laden" or "How the Clintons let the world's most dangerous terrorist
get away scot-free." (The book is probably a little too rough to be
used as toilet paper, but you might cut it up and spread it out for
use in housebreaking a puppy.)
In part III of our editorial response to "The Weekly Standard," we
will respond specifically to their erroneous claim to try and, once
again, "blame Bill Clinton" for the failings of the Bush administration
in doing anything significant to prevent a terrorist attack prior to
In this editorial, however, we want to turn to one of our readers,
who can illuminate why the Bush media whores are indulging in another
round of diversionary attacks, using the Clintons as their perennial
We’ll let one of our readers, Phillip, take it from here:
The following is an excerpt from a Crossfire transcript of an exchange
between Al Franken and Tucker Carlson. Franken reported something I
knew before, but have NEVER heard our illustrious TV media mention.
That is, the Bush administration's decision to deep six the Hart Rudman
Report on national security, released in January 2001, until Dick Cheney
had time to deal with the nation's security.
However, I understand Cheney is the real president and at the time
he was too busy with his personal secretive 'energy task force' --
figuring out ways to pad the pockets of Bush donors in the energy sector
– to try and take steps that might have prevented 9/11.
FRANKEN: Tucker, you remember that -- the Hart-Rudman Commission?
And remember, they warned in February of 2001 that a catastrophic
terrorist attack was coming? And remember what the president did? Nothing.
CARLSON: That's part of your conspiracy theory, Al. But the fact is...
FRANKEN: No, no, no, that's not a conspiracy theory. That's a fact.
Well, it sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory, that the president
sort of knew this would happen, but didn't do anything.
FRANKEN: No, no, I didn't say that. I said that Hart is a good candidate
because he is someone who warned us in February of 2001. And they appointed
-- Cheney -- Bush appointed Cheney to do a task force. They had a terrorist
task force. It didn't meet once.
CARLSON: Is that right?
will notice Tucker uses what is becoming the right's favorite defense
when confronted with the ineptness of the Bush administration, that
is, paint any accusation as the product of conspiracy nuts. Unfortunately
for Tucker and more unfortunately for our country, Franken’s conspiracy
theory is backed up by the facts.
the Columbia Journalism Review [LINK]:
Hearings were scheduled for the week of May 7. But the White House
stymied the move. It did not want Congress out front on the issue,
not least with a report originated by a Democratic president and an
ousted Republican speaker. On May 5, the administration announced that,
rather than adopting Hart-Rudman, it was forming its own committee
headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, who was expected to report in
October. ‘The administration actually slowed down response to Hart-Rudman
when momentum was building in the spring,’ says Gingrich.
administration officials told former Sens. Gary Hart, D-Colo.,
and Warren Rudman, R-N.H., that they preferred instead to put
aside the recommendations issued in the January report by the U.S.
on National Security/21st Century. Instead, the White House announced
in May that it would have Vice President Dick Cheney study the
potential problem of domestic terrorism -- which the bipartisan group
spent two and a half years studying -- while assigning responsibility
for dealing with the issue to the Federal Emergency Management
Agency, headed by former Bush campaign manager Joe Allbaugh.
The Hart-Rudman Commission had specifically recommended that the issue
of terrorism was such a threat it needed far more than FEMA's attention.
the White House decided to go in its own direction, Congress seemed
to be taking the commission's suggestions seriously, according
to Hart and Rudman. "Frankly, the White House shut it down," Hart
says. "The president said 'Please wait, we're going to turn this
over to the vice president. We believe FEMA is competent to coordinate
this effort.' And so Congress moved on to other things, like tax cuts
and the issue of the day."
"We predicted it," Hart says of Tuesday's horrific events. "We
said Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large
numbers -- that's a quote (from the commission's Phase One Report)
from the fall of 1999."
the Washington Post [LINK]:
[A note about this link]
May 8, Bush announced a new Office of National Preparedness for terrorism
at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. At the same time,
he proposed to cut FEMA's budget by $200 million. Bush said that day
that Cheney would direct a government-wide review on managing the consequences
of a domestic attack, and "I will periodically chair a meeting
of the National Security Council to review these efforts." Neither
Cheney's review nor Bush's took place.
was given the assignment of protecting us from terrorism
and did nothing. Bush did nothing. Rice did nothing. Rumsfeld did
They were warned by Hart and Rudman, diverted attention
from the report,
tossed it down a deep hole, cynically assigned it to
Cheney –- and
the Columbia Journalism Review again [LINK]:
specifically mentioned the lack of preparation for "a weapon
of mass destruction in a high-rise building." But the report was
not simply alarmist. It was unusually constructive, avoiding grandiose
language for a step-by-step blueprint of what urgently needed to be
done to create a National Homeland Security Agency, revive the frontline
public services, and pull together the forty discrete official bodies
with responsibility for national security.
Congressmen Mac Thornberry(R) and Ike Skelton(D) each proposed bills
in March of 2001 which tried to give Bush the momentum and tools to
start the process of setting up a Homeland Security initiative.
is an excerpt from Rep. Skelton's testimony before the Transportation
and Government Reform Committees on Homeland Security in April 2001.
Skelton proposed a bill which basically asserted that we have a major
problem coming with terrorism and then simply put Bush in charge of
forming a plan, based on the Hart-Rudman report, to protect the country.
president and his departmental secretaries are in the best position
to know the answers to issues concerning use of the military in homeland
security. As a result, H.R. 1292 directs the president to devise and
implement this strategy."
In August, however, the Department of Defense gave a thumbs down to
must wonder how Rumsfeld came up with an "unfavorable comment" on
a bill which asked the president to protect the country and gave him
a free hand to do so.
As you can see Buzz, Mr. Franken was 100% correct, the Bush administration
should NEVER point fingers at anyone or anything besides its own ineptness
when it comes to who left the country vulnerable on 911.
From a Loyal BuzzFlash Reader,
Thank you Phillip. Funny how BuzzFlash readers can ferret out the truth
and "The Weekly Standard" is just caught up on the same spot on a scratched
record, the one that keeps repeating the word "lies."
But, before we conclude this second of three editorials responding
to "The Weekly Standard," we thought we would bring in one more person
to support us in the case of BuzzFlash and Blumenthal Versus Rupert
Murdoch’s Neo-Con Rag.
and gentleman, may we present the Co-Chair of the Hart-Rudman Commission,
former Senator Gary Hart. In a recent interview with BuzzFlash [LINK],
Hart told us:
Our commission did not have the resources to give detailed projections
as to how, when and where. But the fact is that for two years we had
said this was going to happen, and one major step that needed to be
taken was to coordinate existing federal assets, particularly our border
control agencies -– Coast Guards, Customs and Border Patrol, and Immigration
and Naturalization Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
We were very explicit about that, and we had been. And that was our
first recommendation to the President. And it was that failure
to act -– to begin to do that -– that I think permitted this event
to happen. No one believes in absolute security. But the goal is to make it as
difficult for the attackers as possible, and we had not done that.
There had been no –- to my knowledge -– no major step taken by this
administration in the period between January and September to stop
these attacks, including coordinating the databases and communication
systems of the Board of Control Agency and the INS. Everybody since
9/11 that’s looked at the situation has said the porousness of that
system is what permitted these people to do what they did. And the
question is: what, if anything, did the administration do between January
31st and September the 11th? And the answer is: not very much.
Now a commission of fourteen people cannot substitute for the federal
government of the United States. The President had the power. The President
controlled the FBI and the CIA. And when the tragedy happened, no one
was fired. Why is that? Why was there no accountability? So instead
of pointing the finger at us, and say: well, if you’d just told us
they were going to use airplanes, and that the target was the World
Trade Center, and it was going to be September 11th, maybe we could
have done something. That’s total nonsense.
To which we can only add this question: Don’t the right wing media
shills and GOP elected officials who enable Bush’s incompetent war
on terrorism understand that they are putting their lives and the lives
of their families at grave risk, let alone the rest of us Americans?
The answer is, "obviously not."
Note: The Washington Post link to the article "A Strategy's Cautious
Evolution: Before Sept. 11, the Bush Anti-Terror Effort Was Mostly Ambition,"
by Barton Gellman,
now opens a page
with a headline, but no article. A Google search found the second page HERE,
but the link at the bottom, to return to the first part of the article,
pulls up the same blank page as above. Is the Washington Post pulling
articles unfriendly to the Bush Administration? Just asking. [Back
Note: BuzzFlash Reader Allan sent us this LINK to
the WP story,
which we've also saved as a PDF,
in the event it disappears from that site, too.
Note #2: BuzzFlash Readers Alan (no relation to Allan) emailed the WP and
asked about the missing content. As of 9/4/03, the article appears to
be back online. Thanks to all the BuzzFlash Readers who emailed the WP.