Sunday, April 18, 2004

Let's Talk: Letters on the 9-11 commission

Many readers have sent letters to the Enquirer about the hearings of the commission investigating the 9-11 attacks.

We must persevere, learn, move forward

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. How we respond shows our real strength and maturity. Do we persevere, knowing sunshine comes after the storm and rejoicing comes in the morning? Or do we play victim and see who we can blame for our misfortune? Neither the Bush nor Clinton administrations had anything to do with 9-11. If either knew this was coming, as National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice testified, they would have "moved heaven and earth to stop it."

Learn from misfortune. Let the terrorists shudder at our nation's perseverance. And may the personal quests for political gain be put to rest.

Ann R. Albin, Loveland


Condoleezza Rice wasn't on trial

If only National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice had apologized to the victims. If only she had stabbed President Bush in the back by admitting he could have avoided 9-11 by tossing his cowboy boots at the attacking planes. But instead she turned out to be an intelligent, polite and admirable defendant.

She was on trial, wasn't she? I got that impression from watching smarmy commission member Richard Ben-Veniste and infuriated former Sen. Bob Kerrey lose their sense of proportion.

I realize most members of the 9-11 commission have their personal agendas and had already lost the focus of their mission by finger-pointing, blame-fixing, and politicking. Why aren't the media and most of the public aware of this? I can't believe that they also are bewitched by Richard Clarke and his lies. The guy was a midlevel bureaucrat who just didn't cut it. So he's disgruntled and is getting even with his former superiors. It's that simple. There are hundreds just like him inside the Beltway. I hope they don't all write books.

John E. Dolibois, Wyoming


Bush should not have been surprised

On April 11, President Bush told reporters that regarding the Aug. 6, 2001, Presidential Daily Briefing, "there was not a time and place of an attack. It said Osama bin Laden had designs on America. Well, I knew that. What I wanted to know was, is there anything specifically going to take place in America that we needed to react to."

The administration continues to argue that its failure to act ahead of 9-11 is excused by the fact that nothing specifically said that 9-11 was the targeted date. Any general in a war must plan for the expected and the unexpected. Bush wants to be a war president without having to plan for the unexpected.

Rick Wilson, Mount Washington


Bush must stop games, stonewalling

The Sept. 11 commission is investigating the events leading up to the tragedy in order to prevent future attacks. I wonder why President Bush initially opposed even creating the commission and has stonewalled its work at every turn. Does our president have something to hide?

The White House has deliberately withheld information from the commission. It has played games with deadlines. It has tried to limit testimony from administration officials, and even the time the president himself spends with the commissioners. Does our president not want the American people to know how he acted as our president before Sept. 11?

It is time for Bush to stop the games and stop the stonewall. The security of the American people is at stake.

Christine Hicks, Westwood


Democrats have produced witch hunt

I have read and re-read the 9-11 presidential briefing document, "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States." For the life of me, I cannot find anything in it that befits the ominous sounding title. It is mostly a historical document and does not have any specifics in it about some imminent attack.

I can see where one could read the document and come to the conclusion that the FBI had the terrorism threat under control, until the last paragraph explained that the FBI had 70 active terrorism-related investigations. My conclusions are that the document is nothing more then pabulum, that three of the Democrats on the 9-11 commission have turned the commission into a partisan political witch hunt, and that because of those three nothing of value will come out of the commission.

George E. Bryant, West Chester Township


Rice has been bright spot in 9-11 hearings

Before Sept. 11, most Americans saw Osama bin Laden as just another loony terrorist trying to do evil to innocent people. Afghanistan was mostly viewed as some poor, distant country that Russia invaded and oppressed. Before 9-11, most Americans saw Saddam Hussein as the apex of terrorists and dictators - invading neighboring countries, killing groups of people with weapons of mass murder and shooting missiles at Israel.

Now, if President Bush is being crucified by certain Americans for invading Iraq and taking out Saddam, what would those same people have done if he had invaded Afghanistan and killed bin Laden and his followers before 9-11? The only bright spot in this inquisition is National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who can take on a roomful of politicians with one hand tied behind her back.

Wade Hornsby, Florence


9-11 attacks couldn't have been foreseen

I wish to congratulate syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker for her insightful column "Bush's puzzling attack did him in" (April 10). She shows true independent thinking in regard to the hearings on the 9-11 attacks. Her column shows just how much our current president is up against with the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" mentality of the media. Turning the situation around from the present to the "parallel what-if universe" was enlightening.

Her scenario of what President Bush would have been up against had he had adequate information about the 9-11 tragedy beforehand and acted on it hits the nail squarely on the head. Since there would not be proof of the impending disaster, how many people would have called for Bush's head because he made the pre-emptive strike against al-Qaida ?

I firmly believe there was insufficient information to foresee the attack of 9-11, but there were ample reasons to fear that Iraq would continue the regime of terror against its own people, its neighbors, and if left unchecked, against the Western world.

Gary Gilbert, Delhi Township


Blame bin Laden if you blame anyone

One of the family members whose son was killed in the World Trade Center collapse said after National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's testimony, "Someone still has to take the blame."

Richard Clarke's book has already netted $2 million, and is expected to net at least $3 million before it's finished as a best seller. His book would not have been nearly as successful had he written that both the Clinton and Bush administrations were to blame. The book is spicy and exciting because he blames only Bush, so lots of anti-Bush people want to buy it and read it.

Who is to blame for 9-11? How about blaming Osama bin Laden?

Dan Nebert, Wyoming

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Let's Talk: Letters on the 9-11 commission