Now Cough

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Cat is on the Roof

If anyone thought the public version of the 9-11 Commission Report was the end of the story, you got a rude reality check today.

Numerous reports confirm that an edited, previously undisclosed report shows the FAA had issued many warnings about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the months leading up to the 911 attacks.

This latest report was filed by the Bush Administration in the National Archives. Talk about hiding in plain sight. The document had many sections blackened out, according to a variety of news stories. But what is most disturbing is the pattern of detailed warnings that resulted in no substantive, aggressive procedures on the part of the FAA, nor the airlines nor by other parts of the national security apparatus.

Failure of imagination? Ha. Just try Failure.

Passengers and airlines were more concerned before 911 in arriving on time than arriving alive.

Those who have closely followed the 911 investigation will note that the FAA was initially portrayed as jumping at lightning speed on that tragic morning, with the head of the FAA ordering for the first time in history that all air traffic in the US be grounded.

Lest we too quickly label those actions 'heroic,' this report shows the true keystone cops attitude of the federal government to a growing, terrorist threat.

The FAA has its own security force and they warned specifically about the threat posed by Osama and Al Qaeda. They raised the possibility of hijackers who would be willing "to commit suicide in a spectacular explosion."

But as we now know, people don't talk to each other in the federal government, especially when they are working on the same threat to the national security. The FBI and the CIA don't talk, the FAA doesn't talk to the White House or the State Department, the State Department gets the cold shoulder from the Pentagon when it comes to the veracity of Iraqi nuclear weapons and even on the day of the 911 attack, the president did not speak directly with the Secretary of Defense after learning of the tragedy.

Now, the Bush White House, which controlled what from the 911 Commission final report was made public, has hidden this FAA report card away in the archives. Convenient this now emerges after the election, after the inauguration, after the deadline has passed for 911 survivors to sue the government or the airlines, and while the public has moved on from terror to Social Security.

What else don't we know? What else IS known except by the public?

You won't find the answer on CNN, that's for sure. It was obsessed today with the impending marrriage of Prince Charles and the horsey-faced Camilla Parker Bowles.


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