Port Deal Marks End of 9/11 Mandate
Isn’t it refreshing to hear big Republicans disagreeing with their President again? This port issue really has been valuable. It also gives more Bush supporters a better perspective to see how this White House really operates. When this broke the President went to that familiar post-9/11 stance: He announced his position in a firm voice fully expecting that to be the end of it. It wasn’t. This is the issue that blew back. Within hours the White House had announced that, well actually, President Bush had not even known about this till it was approved. Scott McClellan – the least convincing Press Secretary in modern history – tried to say that President Bush went back later and asked his cabinet if they had any problems with the port deal, and they had replied no, so that was good enough for him.
It wasn’t good enough for Congress, and it got me thinking back to 9/11. There will always be a crew that thinks 9/11 was a U.S. government set-up – that elements within our side allowed it to happen and helped it happen. It certainly led to a tremendous increase in power for the White House and allowed them to steer the national anger toward other parts of their agenda – namely Iraq.
I prefer to think of 9/11 as a screw-up. I picture President Bush on his month-long vacation in August prior to 9/11, basically ignoring the coming threat. The expression they tried to sell us was that we failed to connect the dots. I don’t think the President even gazed at the dots. He was on vacation. I think there was enough information to realize 9/11 was on the way, if Bush had been fully engaged. Katrina was an egregious example of how asleep at the switch he can be. All you had to do was look at a satellite picture of that huge category 5 storm sitting out in the Gulf to know we were looking at a problem. It would take President Bush days more to get it.
Now we have this port issue, and what happens? After bragging for years about how focused he is on national security the White House is forced to admit that the President didn’t even know this was happening. He hadn’t connected the dots between the role of the ports and our national security. The difference between this and every other issue since 9/11, is that members of his own party are refusing to let him get away with it.
That 9/11 investigation was interesting, wasn’t it? Even though we had a tremendous motive for wanting to find out what went wrong, the White House fought long and hard to keep the investigation from even happening. President Bush was forced to relent partly because the 9/11 widows wouldn’t let it go. You remember how it ended up? With President Bush only speaking to investigators with Cheney present?
If the reasons for 9/11 aren’t even more damning than we know, at the very least it's now clear how incompetent this group is at governing, and how little President Bush really gets involved. The port deal is the final proof. The Bush administration had two main goals after 9/11: To use it for momentum and power, and to keep anyone from finding out how it really happened. Everyone went along, as they’ve done ever since until now. This port deal is the first time the ranks have been broken. The 9/11 mandate is over.