Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Hijackers did not use box cutters

WaPo reports that they used Mace, pepper spray and knives instead on all but one of the flights, according to the bipartisan 9/11 commission created by Congress in 2002.

Speaking of which, what happened to the 9/11 commission web site? Google says it was up until recently. Could it have something to do with the fact that, for unexplained reasons, the White House and House Republicans have been trying to keep the commission's findings out of headlines, especially during next year's election season? From the article above ---

The commission, which has been hampered by obstacles since its creation in late 2002, announced yesterday that it will publicly press for a two-month extension of its statutory deadline, May 27. Any extension, which must be approved by Congress and the White House, would push the commission's work further into the presidential campaign.

The White House and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) have said they would oppose any extension. But Kristen Breitweiser, widow of World Trade Center victim Ronald Breitweiser, said she hopes the appeal from the commission will change their minds.

You know, I don't lay the blame for 9/11 at the foot of anyone in our government, including Bush (and believe me, I blame Bush for lots of other things), but it's actually kind of amazing how suspiciously the Bush administration has been acting w.r.t. the 9/11 commission (see also this Salon article).

How brain-dead do you have to be to request or promise $87 billion of taxpayer money for Iraq reconstruction, $1.5 billion to promote marriage, and $1 billion for a Mars mission, but refuse a measly $11 million extra to investigate the single most deadly terrorist attack in history? This is absurd. I literally cannot figure out the reasoning behind it. It's like the Bush administration is actively trying to attract suspicion. Even putting aside the policy implications, it's an utterly idiotic political move as well: Are they just counting on the media not to give big play to this story?

This gives rise to the related question: Why aren't more Americans furious about this obvious oversight? I grew up in the New York area, and I was living in Manhattan in September of 2001; and I'll never forget what it was like to look downtown, day after day, to see that giant stinking brown dust cloud where the towers had been all my life. But for most Americans, maybe it was just another thing they saw on TV. Maybe kicking ass in Iraq has distracted them: Bush changed the channel, and now they've forgotten.

(Via Atrios.)

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