Liberal hindsight about September 11th has degenerated to the level of barroom conversation.
“I didn’t believe that the attack on the World Trade Center could have been prevented when we started this investigation,” says Bob Kerrey, who has become de facto commission chairman. “After studying the details for six months, however, I now believe it could have been stopped.”
After studying for six months, Kerrey could probably carry on a brief conversation in Farsi as well. But is that any proof that he could have read the future?
The most shameless meanderings came from Nicholas Kristof in last Saturday’s New York Times. “The 9/11 attacks could have been prevented,” Kristof announced with admirable finality in a column entitled, “Why Didn’t We Stop 9/11?” He then went on to imagine the conversation that should have taken place on August 6, 2001, after a CIA briefer informed President Bush that Osama Bin Laden was hoping to hit targets in America:
Bush: Any idea where?
C.I.A. briefer: Sir, it could be almost anywhere, anytime. But pattern analysis suggest a target both huge and symbolic, perhaps another explosion to topple the World Trade Center, or the Sears Tower, or the Capitol. And Bin Laden has always looked for targets in aviation.
Bush: Gosh. Hijacking airplanes?
Briefer: Yes, Mr. President, there are reports of a hijacking plot to ransom the blind sheik… . Or he could blow up planes and airports… In 1995 … we let Philippine police interrogate [Abdul Jalm] Murad… a key figure in a plot to blow up as many as 12 United Delta and Northwest jumbo jets over the Pacific Ocea.… After he’d been beaten with chairs, burned with cigarettes and half-drowned, he disclosed a plan for a suicide airplane attack on the C.I.A.’s headquarters.
Bush: You mean using a plane as a missile? . . . If the Big Beard is into aviation, let’s watch flight schools and airports.
And so forth.
All this reminds you of that old New Yorker cartoon where one barroom orator announces to another, “And how come we’re not sending men to the moon anymore, either?” Rather than tutor these people in history, let’s just finish off Kristof’s conversation for him:
Bush: So who do you think Osama’s got working for him here?
Briefer: Well, you know that Mohammad Atta guy down in Florida, the real surly one? We figure he’s probably involved.
Bush: Yeah, I never liked that guy.
Briefer: He’s living in Miami, but we figure that’s a ruse. He’ll probably hijack the plane somewhere up north, maybe around Boston.
Bush: When do you thing this thing will happen?
Briefer: They’ll probably wait until September when people are back from vacation and the buildings are packed. Tuesdays are a slow flying day. They’ll probably pick the first Tuesday in September.
Bush: September 2? No, that’s too close to Labor Day. It’ll probably be September 11th.
Briefer: That’s a better guess.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online