The Bush has long said that it's better to fight the "terriers" in Iraq than it is to have them attack us at home. Now we know why. Responding to a question at a brief press conference yesterday, according to Elisabeth Bumiller and Richard W. Stevenson in The New York Times, Bushy said: "I want to know how to better cooperate with state and local government, to be able to answer that very question that you asked: Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack or another severe storm? And that's a very important question." That came after a comment that Katrina had "exposed serious flaws" in the ability of governments at all levels to respond to a catastrophe and that he, the Big Bush accepted responsibility for the federal government's failures whatever, if any, they might be. Once people buy that, blame shifting will jump into overdrive so that soon the federal government and Bushy will be fully exonerated. Let's say the Bushy's will try to make it that way.
But it might not work. Eric Lichtblau reports in today's NYT on the posting at the National Archives of a re-redacted monograph on aviation failures, prepared for the 9/11 Commission but originally released in such highly censored form that it was worthless. (Yes, the Bushies did the censoring.) Now, it is clear that as early as 1998, the FAA knew "that Al Qaeda could 'seek to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark.'" In 2001, the FAA was receiving a virtual flood of information about Al Qaeda and planes. No wonder the Bush was given a vacation briefing on the same subject. No wonder the Bushies don't want the full report released. Increasingly it does appear that they had everything but flight numbers and dates. 9/11 Commission material can be found at the National Archives--that is, as much as the Bushies have allowed to be releaed.
Lies and more lies. Tonight's presidential press conference is sure to be full of them. After all of the big talk, the terrorist attack simulations drills (I live in New Jersey) and the creation of a department of Homeland Security, it turns out that preparedness is a sham. Protecting Americans from natural and man-made catastrophes is just not on the federal government's agenda.
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