January 16, 2004

The Whitewash Continues. The 9/11 Commission is facing questions after news leaked out that two of its own senior officials have been interviewed as part of the investigation. Philip Zelikow is the Commission's executive director; he has also worked on the Bush-Cheney transition team and advised longtime associate and former boss Condoleezza Rice (the two worked together in George H.W. Bush's administration and have written a book together). Jamie Gorelick is one of the 10 members of the Commission and was deputy attorney general in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration. ... Another conflict of interest not mentioned in any mainstream news article to date is Commission Chairman Thomas Kean's business relationship with Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law. ... UPI also reports that Zelikow and Gorelick "are the two officials to whom the White House has granted the greatest access to the most secret and sensitive national security documents." Wow -- what are the odds? Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband was killed at the WTC: "This is beginning to look like a whitewash."

Why isn't the 9/11 investigation and its various public hearings covered non-stop by CNN and MSNBC? Does anyone care? Do a majority of Americans believe that "The Evil Ones hate our freedoms" is all we really need to know? ... It would be nice if a few (or even one) of the Democratic candidates would raise the important issues of the 9/11 investigation. Here are some of them:

"George W. Bush, commander-in-chief, sat in a second-grade classroom for 20 minutes after he was informed that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center, listening to children read a story about a goat. ... [Cheney] sat at his desk in the White House, watching TV, until the Secret Service dragged him out by the armpits. ... Donald Rumsfeld sat at his desk until Flight 77 hit the Pentagon—well over an hour after the military had learned about the multiple hijacking in progress. ... [T]he brand-new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sat in a Senate office for two hours while the 9/11 attacks took place, after leaving explicit instructions that he not be disturbed—which he wasn't. In other words, while the 9/11 attacks were occurring, the entire top of the chain of command of the most powerful military in the world sat at various desks, inert. ... In a sane world, this would be an object of major scandal. ..."

Wesley Clark has made a few pointed comments in recent weeks. Paul Krugman notes that "the real division in the race ... is between those who are willing to question not just the policies but also the honesty and the motives of the people running our country [Clark, Howard Dean], and those who aren't." Are Clark and Dean merely waiting until one of them secures the nomination before asking the tough questions, knowing that the media will be hard-pressed to ignore him? Perhaps, but I don't have my hopes up. Meanwhile, the FBI says another terrorist attack is quite probable. ... For now, it is the relatives and widows of the victims who are making the most noise. If it wasn't for them, the Bush Regime would have successfully shot down any investigation into the terrorist attacks.

Spanish politician Jose Bono referred to Tony Blair as "a complete dickhead" and "an imbecile" on live television. ... And speaking of imbeciles, George Bush was introduced to Scott Reid, the senior strategist to Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. Bush remarked: "Well, you got a pretty face. You got a pretty face. You're a good-looking guy. Better looking than my Scott anyway." Bush was referring to his press secretary, Scott McClellan.

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