Tuesday, December 06, 2005

9/11 Commissioners say GOP Doing Little to Protect Americans

One of the most difficult things for the Bush administration to run from has been the findings of the tremendously bipartisan 9/11 Commission. In addition to finding that there was no reason whatsoever for the U.S. to invade Iraq, the commission has recently become more focal on the many recommendations made to secure America and that have been almost entirely ignored by Team Bush.

Here's Tim Russert on Sunday's Meet the Press asking former Democratic Congressman Lee Hamilton and former Republican Governor of New Jersey, Tom Kean, about how they'll feel if yet another year goes by with the 9/11 Commission recommendations being essentially ignored:
Russert: Before you go, if one year from now we have exactly the same report in terms of all the factors I raised with you this morning, what would you say?

Hamilton: I'd be extremely disappointed.

Kean: And extremely worried that we may have had another attack at that point because some of these things weren't done.

Hamilton: We believe another attack will occur, and we had better get to it and protect the American people.

Russert: Not if but when.

Hamilton: It's not a question of if. We know what their intent is. They've expressed it over and over again.

Russert: And are we prepared?

Hamilton: We've...

Russert: Are we prepared?

Hamilton: No, we are not as well prepared, as Tom put it early on, as well prepared as we should be. There is plenty of room for improvement, and we've got to get with the task.

Kean: And God help us if we have another attack and we haven't done some of these things.

Russert: Who has to grab hold of this? Is it the president?

Kean: It's the president and the Congress. It's our government. And there are things we talked about today that Congress has to do; there are things we talked about that the administration has to do. First of all, the safety of the American people has got to be their number one priority. There is nothing more important.
Republican Kean says it's up to "the president and the Congress," which are all controlled by the Republican party – and yet none of this is being taken care of. This is the party that always said they would do a better job of protecting the American people than would the Democrats. But then, they also said that Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda were tight and joined at the hip on September 11...
Russert: I want to go back to your original report. You found that there was no connection between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein that was "operational." And you found that there was no evidence that the--Iraq cooperated with al-Qaeda in developing or carrying out attacks against the U.S. Is that accurate?

Kean: That's correct.

Russert: So there's no suggestion that Iraq was, in any way, shape or form, involved with September 11?

Kean: No, and we can find no evidence whatsoever, and we came out with that statement clearly.
OK, now that it's clear for the millionth time that nobody in Iraq attacked our country or posed a threat to our national security, Russert asks Kean how much torturer-in-chief Dick Cheney's view of human rights helps America's image throughout the world.

"For us to be talking in the United States about whether or not we should torture people --we recommended very strongly in the report international standards that every country would go along with on how you treat prisoners," said Kean. "We've got to do that. This is doing us no good."

And this is all mostly from another Republican!