Recently, when the White House insisted that only a few members of the commission would be able to view intelligence documents, my outrage finally boiled over. For months, the executive branch has resisted turning over documents including the presidential daily briefs from both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Additionally, after the Pentagon and Federal Aviation Administration did not comply with all documents requested from these agencies, the commission was forced to issue subpoenas to obtain them.
Most of the cooperation this bi-partisan commission has received to date is a result of pressure from Republican and Democratic critics of this White House policy. Incredibly, President Bush didn‘t think an independent commission was even needed to investigate 9/11. He seemed to be saying that potential political fallout incurred against his administration was not worth uncovering the facts that might prevent another horrific attack by terrorists.
From my view of the world, any American who doesn‘t want to get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding these murderous strikes, must be hiding something. I hope it isn‘t true but if it looks like a cover-up, sounds like a cover-up, and smells... what else can we conclude? I seem to recall the resignation of a president for the cover-up of a lousy hotel break-in and the impeachment of a president who covered-up a silly affair. If there is a cover-up by federal officials hiding facts surrounding the murder of 3,000 Americans, there should be hell to pay.
The Bush administration has admitted to receiving daily briefs in August 2001 mentioning that al-Qaida might try to hijack U.S. passenger planes. This is old news - if the briefs were written in as general terms as the administration insists they were. President Bush‘s reasoning for withholding this information from the commission is “for the writers of the presidential daily brief to feel comfortable that the documents will never be politicized.“
To hell with the comfort level of some government bureaucrat. What about the comfort of the tens of thousands of family members of 9/11 victims who have been waiting two years for answers? What about the comfort level of Americans who may be targets for the next terrorist attack? To fully protect us in the future, a full accounting should be the least we need to do.
Most of all, how can our government justify sending hundreds of thousands of troops overseas to a fight bloody war against terrorism if the same government officials hide the truth of the initial terrorist attack itself?
If federal officials unwittingly overlooked information that could have prevented 9/11, they can be forgiven. When the Bush Administration fights to keep information already publicized a secret, the obvious question is what else are they not showing us? Months of procrastination by the federal government can only mean there are people in high places who don‘t want us to know what really happened on that fateful day.
It is we, American citizens, who were victimized by 9/11, not our government officials. It will also be ordinary Americans targeted by terrorist acts planned in the future. Mr. Bush, we want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth - and we want it NOW.