8/11/2005

A National Disgrace

So now we find out that the 9/11 Commission, charged with investigating the underlying failures of our systems of intelligence and protection that allowed the terrorist attack to succeed not only ignored substantial evidence but lied about it. As someone who's been following politics since my mom taught me the difference between electoral and popular votes when I was six, I should be immune to shock, but this is breathtaking.

According to today's reports, the military intelligence program known as Able Danger told the Commission on three occasions about what they knew--including the identity of Mohammed Atta and his closest associates in 2000 and the fact that the Clinton administration refused to allow them to share that data with law enforcement--yet none of that information was included in the final report. When the story first broke, the Commission first denied receiving the information at all. After it became clear that wouldn't hold water, they tried to downplay its importance and reliability. Now they're revealed.

But then, why should that be a surprise? One of the chief architects of the rules prohibiting the sharing of information under the Clinton administration, Jamie Gorelick, was one of the commissioners! (No conflict of interest there.) We've been betrayed by the very people who were charged with protecting us as they instead focused on protecting themselves. The 9/11 Commission is a national disgrace. No one who served on it should ever be taken seriously as a public figure again.

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