Saturday, July 12, 2008

It all goes back to 9/11?

Read this piece by NY Times columnist Frank Rich. But pay special attention to this part:
In [NY Time's reporter Jane Myer's] telling, a major incentive for Mr. Cheney’s descent into the dark side was to cover up for the Bush White House’s failure to heed the Qaeda threat in 2001. Jack Cloonan, a special agent for the F.B.I.’s Osama bin Laden unit until 2002, told Ms. Mayer that Sept. 11 was “all preventable.” By March 2000, according to the C.I.A.’s inspector general, “50 or 60 individuals” in the agency knew that two Al Qaeda suspects — soon to be hijackers — were in America. But there was no urgency at the top. Thomas Pickard, the acting F.B.I. director that summer, told Ms. Mayer that when he expressed his fears about the Qaeda threat to Mr. Ashcroft, the attorney general snapped, “I don’t want to hear about that anymore!”
I've often wondered why Cheney and crew were so hot to throw out the Constitution in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Now sure, this crew was never that fond of the Constitution to begin with. Cheney never liked the weakening of Presidential authority following Watergate. But even a latent desire to trash the Constitution never really explained, to me, why they approached the project with such relish.

But if, as suggested here, this crew was so anxious because they knew they had fucked up badly prior to 9/11 and they thought they had to do something, anything to redeem themselves... Well, that might give yet another reason why they considered Constitutional guarantees and international law to be "quaint".

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