UQ Wire: Harper's Cover - 9/11 Report A Whitewash
Harper's Cover - 9/11 Report A "Whitewash"
In an essay of the new October Issue of "Harper's Magazine", editor and professor Benjamin DeMott describes, ''how the 9/11 Commission Report defrauds the nation''. DeMott is also author of the books "The Imperial Middle" and "The Trouble With Friendship"
DeMott seems to go a bit further, than just outrage about "negligence".
Here are some excerpts from his 12-page essay:
"..this was the promise, after all: answers. Answers in return for serious attention...
The Promise was not kept. The plain, sad reality - i report this following for full days studying the work -is that The 9/11 Commission Report, despite the vast quantity of labor behind it, is a cheat and a fraud.
It stands as a series of evasive maneuvers that infantalize the audience, transform candor into iniquity, and conceal realities that demand immediate inspection and confrontation.
Because it is continously engaged in scotching all attempts to distinguish better from worse leadership responses, the Commission can't discharge its duty to educate the audience about the habits of mind and temperament essential in those to discharge command responsibility during crises. It can't tell the truth about what was done and not done, thought and not thought, at crucial turning points...
..the 567 pages, which purport to provide definitive interpretations of the reactions, are in fact useless to historians, because seeming terror of bias transforms query after commissarial query after commissarial query -and silence after silence -into suggested new lines of self-justification for the interviewees. In the course of blaming everyone a little, the Commission blames nobody -blurs the reasons for the actions and hesitations of successive administrations, masks choices that, fearlessly defined, might actually have vitalized our public discourse...
...there's little mystery about why the Commission is tongue-tied. It can't call a liar a liar.
The most momentous subject before the 9/11 Commission was: What did President Bush know about the Al Qaeda threat to the United States, when did he know it, and if he knew little, why so?...
...conceivably it was at or near the moment when Bush took his position that the members of the Commission who heard him grasped that casting useful light on the relation between official conduct and national unprepardness would be impossible.
The reason? The President's claim was untrue. It was a lie, and the Commissioners realized they couldn't allow it to be seen as a lie...
...nevertheless the chief executive, seated before the Commission, declared: Nobody told me. And challenging the chief executive as a liar entailed an unthinkable cost -the possible rending of the nations social and political fabric...
...The President told us the August 6 report was historical in nature.
Each paragraph of the Bin Laden briefing is directed not at the past but at the present or future...
...The Commissioners have heard that Bush received more than forty briefings naming Al Quaeda as a danger...
...The President expressed himself to National Security Adviser Rice in March or April of 2001 as 'tired of swatting at flies' and, on the same occasion, declared that he wanted 'to play offense...(wanted) to take the flight to the terrorists'...
...Faced with The 9/11 Commission Report, this country's true need now is to shout Shame!
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