Stand and Demand (a Thorough Investigation of 9-11!!!) By Michael Rectenwald
Why did Bush stay on vacation for three more weeks last August after hearing of the possible hijacks of U.S. planes by Osama bin Laden? Why was the Phoenix memo, which noticed the requests for flying lessons by Middle Eastern men (who weren't interested in knowing how to take off or land) not connected with the hijacking threats received by Bush? Why did Bush not stop reading to children in Florida ("The obscure goat story of 9-11") after he received news of one Twin Tower’s demise? How did three more airplanes get hijacked and crash into two more major U.S. monuments, after Bush was told of the first crash into the World Trade Center? In short, what was this administration doing, or not doing, to prevent the siege of America known as S-11, from which the same administration has picked-up such enormous political capital, and warded off the kinds of criticism it was getting just before?
On Sept. 10th, 2001, Newsweek's September 17th edition was released on the newsstands. Containing such articles as "The Accidental President," "How History Will View the Court," Newsweek dedicated this issue to the question of Bush's legitimacy. As such, it was the first major publication to make such a foray into the question of the president's true status as the un-elected President selected by the U.S. Supreme Court, against the will of the majority in the nation, and against the will of the voters in Florida. The illegitimacy of Bush's presidency was becoming a top-of-mind issue, reaching critical mass.
On the morning of September 11th, of course, all of that changed suddenly. The "Accidental President" became the Superintendent on whose watch we suffered the most massive assault on U.S. soil in its entire history. Rather than casting aspersions on the president for that fact, the country, for the most part, rallied behind him as the leader who now faced an outside evil. The bitterly divided political landscape of America, drawn into bas relief by the not-so-distant defection of Senator Jeffords from the Republican Party, and the refusal of the DNC Chair, Terry McAuliffe, to even recognize the legitimacy of the administration, was jettisoned from national consciousness as so irrelevant and insignificant in light of recent atrocities, that to make mere mention of the historical reality of the problem was tantamount to treason. Replacing the bitterness of at least 33% of the country, flags were waved. Even some Democrats who formerly would not "get over it," traded in their upside-down flags for a few right-side-up ones, waving from antenna and porch. Bush's approval rating increased from 50% or less, to over 90%, all at the drop of a few airplanes, and the death of thousands.
Only the most reckless and savage commentators and observers could suggest that Bush was so much as negligent in his duties in the wake of September 11th death and wreckage. Instead, Ari Fleischer told Americans to "be careful" of what we might say. Soon, Congress was told not to probe too far into the disaster and how it could have happened, in light of supposed U.S. supremacy in military and intelligence matters. Everyone stood still and watched, some, like me, with lips pursed in a pregnant pause...
However, given the latest news, that Bush was warned, while on vacation last August, that hijackings might be attempted by Moslem extremists, we are allowed to wonder, at long last, aloud: "HOW IN THE HELL COULD THIS HAPPEN? JUST WHAT DID BUSH KNOW IN ADVANCE, AND WHAT THE HELL, IF ANYTHING, DID HE DO TO PREVENT IT? AND FURTHER, WHY DID HE STAY ON VACATION AFTER RECEIVING SUCH WARNINGS? IS THIS PRESIDENT NOT CULPABLE, OR EVEN GUILTY OF CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE, FOR THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 11TH?"
Finally, I have said what I have wanted to say for months. However, that is not where it should end. If America can spend multiple millions finding out whether Clinton lied about oral sex, should we not spend at least that finding out whether Bush lied about the worst assault on American soil in its entire history? If not, hear this: Get ready for the protests demanding a thorough investigation. Get ready for the protests demanding Bush tell all. Get ready for the revisits to the question of Bush's legitimacy and more importantly now, his CAPABILITY, for running this country! If not thoroughly investigated, these questions will fester like cancer on the national soul, and will eat away whatever vestige of confidence its citizens have in the ability or the willingness of the government to ever tell us the truth again. First, we are cheated out of an election. Then, we are cheated out of our rights to free speech and resistance, and now, we are being cheated out of the knowledge of our government's actions and inaction on the attacks of September 11th.
Months ago, we were told that a Shadow government was selected without our knowledge or consent. But, we already had a Shadow government, selected without our consent -- running the country! The actors on "West Wing" have a more legitimate claim to our loyalty than does this Shadow government that hides behind real and major lies.
Bush was not elected. Bush is not a legitimate president. This illegitimate president endangered Americans on our own soil (not to mention, for the moment, allowing the making of anarchy in the Middle East). What else will we stand for? It's time to stand and demand answers to September 11th. And, while we're at it, how about that long-awaited investigation of S-election 2000 -- that initial atrocity that got us into the mess we now find ourselves?