Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11, Bush/Cheney and History


It’s always an insoluble problem for mere human beings to know how to recognize the horrible, the deadly, the tragic in history.  The living who were a close part of the lives of the victims justifiably expect acknowledgment of their irretrievable losses. The living also expect retribution, some kind of justice to be served.  And the living, in the psycho-slang of the day, also desire and require “closure.”  As I said, it’s an insoluble human dilemma.

What is not needed, expected or desired is anything like this from Dick Cheney, Bush’s Comrade in Arrogance, on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary:

“If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden,” a Cheney spokeswoman told The Daily Caller in an email [Monday night, 9-10-2012].
“Those who deserve the credit are the men and women in our military and intelligence communities who worked for many years to track him down," she continued. "They are the ones who deserve the thanks of a grateful nation.”

Don’t be sad about this, be angry. It’s not just Cheney playing the politics of distraction, misrepresenting every public statement President Obama has ever made in regard to his decision to take out the man behind the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden. (“[T]ake sole credit,” this is unadulterated bullshit and Cheney knows it). What we have here is vintage Cheney rewriting of history.

Obama staffers flick away these loathsome lies, “what do Barack Obama’s people say about this very grave charge? Oh, just that he reads the PDBs instead. As if anybody would ever believe a president could read words, on paper.”

Reading words on paper!  Right. What Bush did not read, did not comprehend, did not act on, is still being revealed. Cheney’s mendacity is just another pre-emptive strike in the Bush  Republican War Administration’s increasingly transparent twistings of the historical truth.

See Kurt Eichenwald’s careful summary of what Bush should have known before 9-11 and chose not to read, not to know, not to act on.  It includes this damning speculation:

“In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush officials attempted to deflect criticism that they had ignored C.I.A. warnings by saying they had not been told when and where the attack would occur. That is true, as far as it goes, but it misses the point. Throughout that summer, there were events that might have exposed the plans, had the government been on high alert. . . . ”

It’s all right to be angry, very angry.  Anger linked to thoughtful action is a valid form of closure.

Go here for Kurt Eichenwald