Conceding the enemy's argument - shame

David Walters dwalters at
Thu Sep 13 15:35:10 MDT 2001

Thought this might add to the discussion in terms of the Cheney/Bush

Obviously since this act did so much to shore up imperialist support for
military actions, the US is suspect, however, it's plain stupid to start
pinning the blame, directly anyway, on the US. That's leftist wishful
thinking, hardly becoming of a scientific analysis. However, as Adam pointed
out, until one has evidence one way or other, it's silly to argue WHO did
it, only that it was done and that we'll all pay the consequences.

David Walters

>From conservative commentator William Safire in todays NYT:

Inside the Bunker



 At 9:03 a.m. Tuesday, as Vice President Dick Cheney was staring at
the TV screen, the second hijacked airliner exploded against the
Twin Towers. At that moment his Secret Service detail grabbed him
and hurried him down to "PEOC."

 The President's Emergency Operations Center is an underground
facility hardened to withstand blast overpressure from a nuclear
detonation. On the way to the tubular structure, Cheney was told
that another plane, or a helicopter loaded with explosives, was
headed for the White House.

 Cheney promptly called the president in Florida, who had just
boarded Air Force One, and urged him not to come back to Washington

 In the PEOC, the vice president was joined by Condoleezza Rice,
the national security adviser, and Transportation Secretary Norman
Mineta, among others. They were told that six commercial aircraft
were unaccounted for, all of which were potential missiles. One had
supposedly crashed in Kentucky (not true), and another in
Pennsylvania (that report of a crash was valid; its passengers or
crew, apparently struggling with the hijackers, may have saved the
White House).

 According to a high White House official speaking to me on
background, the airliner that had taken off at Dulles — AA
Flight 77 — "did a 360" (meaning it changed direction from
the White House) and at 9:45 slammed into the Pentagon.

 About that time, accounts began coming into PEOC that four
international flights were headed toward Washington over the
Atlantic and another from Korea. It could not be immediately
determined that they were not hostile and part of the terrorist
scheme. U.S. fighter aircraft and an Awacs control aircraft were
scrambled aloft.

 A threatening message received by the Secret Service was relayed
to the agents with the president that "Air Force One is next."
According to the high official, American code words were used
showing a knowledge of procedures that made the threat credible.

 (I have a second, on-the-record source about that: Karl Rove, the
president's senior adviser, tells me: "When the president said `I
don't want some tinhorn terrorists keeping me out of Washington,'
the Secret Service informed him that the threat contained language
that was evidence that the terrorists had knowledge of his
procedures and whereabouts. In light of the specific and credible
threat, it was decided to get airborne with a fighter escort.")

 After the president put down at an Air Force base in Louisiana and
made a tape for broadcast (presumably no satellite was available
for a live feed), he was, in Rove's term, "pretty antsy" about not
being at the center of command.

 Bush made clear to Cheney, says my source who was in the bunker,
his intense desire to return to Washington immediately. The Secret
Service objected strongly. The vice president, a former secretary
of defense, suggested Air Force One go to Offutt Air Force Base in
Nebraska, headquarters of the Strategic Air Command, with a
communications facility where the president could convene the
National Security Council.

 "It would have been irresponsible of him to come back, pounding
his chest," says my source, "when hostile aircraft may have been
headed our way. Any suggestion that he should have done so is

 Confession: I made just that suggestion in yesterday's column,
which stimulated two set-it-straight calls. Why didn't the V.P.
make an appearance during that long afternoon in Bush's stead? The
official reason is that Cheney was busy in the basement; the real
reason, I think, is that he was unduly concerned it would appear

 The most worrisome aspect of these revelations has to do with the
credibility of the "Air Force One is next" message. It is described
clearly as a threat, not a friendly warning — but if so, why
would the terrorists send the message? More to the point, how did
they get the code-word information and transponder know-how that
established their mala fides?

 That knowledge of code words and presidential whereabouts and
possession of secret procedures indicates that the terrorists may
have a mole in the White House — that, or informants in the
Secret Service, F.B.I., F.A.A. or C.I.A. If so, the first thing our
war on terror needs is an Angleton-type counterspy.


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