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Subject: 9/11 Commission is Bush's New Lapdog
Date: 15 Apr 2004 17:44:11 -0700
NNTP-Posting-Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 00:44:11 +0000 (UTC)
April 8, 2004
9/11 Commission is Bush's New Lapdog
It Refuses to Even Question US Policies that Encourage Terrorism
By BILL CHRISTISON
Former CIA analyst
President Bush's options appear extremely limited, and there is
little doubt that the United States will continue to decline as a
decisive force in world affairs over the next decade. The real
question is not whether U.S. hegemony is waning but whether the United
States can devise a way to descend gracefully, with minimum damage to
the world, and to itself.
George W. Bush should be well satisfied with Condoleezza Rice's three
hours of speechifying and testimony on April 8. Rice made no major
errors, and she made a quite detailed case that the Bush
administration had not dragged its heels on counterterrorism before
While not perfect, her case was certainly good enough to prevent any
serious loss of voting support for Bush. In fact, the entire hearing
was probably a draw. What weaknesses there were in Rice's presentation
gave the Democratic Commission members an opportunity to repeat their
own earlier arguments on the foot-dragging issue, but the issue itself
is now so muddied that it is unlikely to live on much longer, at least
among average voters.
At the hearings, all that the opposition really accomplished was to
make it possible for some of the Democratic members to claim that they
were not simply Bush-lite when it comes to foreign and military
But in fact every one of the Democratic members of the 9/11 Commission
looks just like a Bush-lite type. In the hearings to date, not one of
them has given even a hint of willingness to consider in the
Commission's final report what changes in U.S. foreign and military
policies might be necessary to reduce the likelihood of future
terrorism against the United States.
It seems pretty certain that all ten commissioners have agreed in
advance NOT to consider any changes in U.S. policies. Since Commission
Chairman Thomas Kean has announced that he intends to issue his final
report by the end of July (and then presumably disband the
Commission), all the pressures on the commissioners between now and
July will be to avoid complications and continue to interpret their
mandate as narrowly as possible. The odds are nil that they will take
on additional tasks such as considering needed foreign policy changes.
Let's face it. Nothing else that this 9/11 Commission does really
matters, and the Commission was designed from the start to do nothing
that mattered. It can recommend all the reorganizing of the FBI and
the CIA it wants. But no organizational changes will accomplish much
if they are not accompanied by changes in present U.S. policies that
generate legitimate hatred against America and thereby perpetuate
terrorism against us.
The quotation at the beginning of this article says it all: "The real
question is not whether U.S. hegemony is waning but whether the U.S.
can devise a way to descend gracefully, with minimum damage to the
world, and to itself."
Bill Christison joined the CIA in 1950 and worked on the analysis side
of the Agency for over 28 years. In the 1970s he served as a National
Intelligence Officer (principal adviser of the Director of Central
Intelligence) for Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Africa. Before his
retirement in 1979, he was Director of the CIA's Office of Regional
and Political Analysis, a 250-person unit.
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