So in my in-box today, I get this:
"News Alert: Air Defenses Faltered on 9/11, Panel Finds" from the Washington Post.
Now if ever a story did not require a "News Alert" tag, this has go to be it. I mean, no kidding? It took how many months and how many millions of dollars for the 9-11 commission to come up with this breaking news?
Calling Captain Obvious!
But the news article contains more "stunning news".
"We are sure that the nation owes a debt to the passengers of United 93," the report's authors wrote, referring to an apparent insurrection that foiled the hijackers' plans. "Their actions saved the lives of countless others, and may have saved either the U.S. Capitol or the White House from destruction."
Gee, even the supposedly "dull" President Bush noted the heroics of the the passengers of United Flight 93 back in 2001 as having saved many lives with their sacrifice.
So how dumb does this make the 9-11 Council? Or the press?
Such revelations are characterized with:
The stark conclusions come as part of the last interim report to be issued by the staff of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States...
Stark conclusions that everyone came to all by themselves back in October of 2001.
The Financial Times had a headline I liked:
No shit? So what they're saying is that no one expected anyone to fly a bunch of planes into buildings.
The surprises just keep coming...
The WaPo piece begins:
The chief of U.S. air defenses testified today that if his command had been notified immediately of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings and ordered to intervene, U.S. fighter jets would have been able to shoot down all four of the airliners that were seized by terrorists and that ultimately crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.
Of course, but who in his right mind, at that time, is going to immediately order the shoot down of four jetliners filled with civilians?
Later in the article, we read:
Air defense agencies "were unprepared for the type of attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001," the report concludes. "They struggled, under difficult circumstances, to improvise a homeland defense against an unprecedented challenge they had never encountered and had never trained to meet."
This is simply earth-shattering, News Alert stuff. Who'da thunk?
Another interesting thing: On the Google News portal we read the following headline from the New York Times:
Bush Disputes Panel's Conclusion on Al Qaeda-Iraq Ties
Now I can't link to this headline because once you click, you get this headline instead:
Which is a completely different thing.
Neither Bush nor his Administration ever claimed that Iraq and al Qaeda collaborated on 9-11. The 9-11 panel never claimed he did make such a connection. What the 9-11 panel said was that
We have no conclusive evidence, however, that at the time of the plots any of them was operating under Bin Ladin’s direction.
So when you read the article, you can see that while the piece tries to give the impression that Bush is disputing the 9-11 panel'c claim, he is not. He is simply reiterating what he has always said that Iraq and al Qaeda were linked.
And in the NYT piece we read:
A day after the commission investigating 9/11 reported that it had found no evidence of a "collaborative relationship" between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, President Bush reiterated today that there were nonetheless links between the terror group and the Iraqi dictator.
Which from my reading is not what the panel said...
"The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda is because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda," Mr. Bush told reporters after a cabinet meeting today.
But the New York Times insists on implying that the 9-11 Panel is referring specifically to a general Iraq/al Qaeda connection
But the 9/11 commission staff's lengthy chronology of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, said that although there was evidence of repeated contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda in the 1990's, "they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship."
which, to me, is obvious they are not.
What is truly stunning to me is the lack of stunning news originating from the 9-11 panel.
And the misreprentation of the facts concerning the Iraq/al Qaeda links.