The new book by Bob Woodward, State of Denial, contains the devastating information that Condolezza Rice, while National Security Advisor, was told by CIA Director George Tenet and Defense Department counterterrorism chief J. Cofer Black that an al Qaeda attack on the United States was imminent--a month before it happened.
None of the three parties testified to this effect before the 911 Commission, and Rice specifically stated that there was no warning.
Add to this the fact that the administration classified 11 warnings transmitted to the National Security Council by the FAA prior to 911 that US aircraft were liable to be attacked, AND that Dr. Rice never mentioned these warnings during her testimony either, and a very dark picture emerges.
Either Condoleeza Rice is spectacularly incompetent, or the warnings were being intentionally ignored. There is no third possibility. No national security advisor would fail to transmit warnings such as that delivered by Tenet and Black to the whole council for discussion, at the very least. It would normally have been transmitted to the president, also.
The FAA warnings are at a lower level, but they should have only added to a sense of alarm that simply was not there.
I have just finished reading Jim Marrs's new book, The Terror Conspiracy, which does an expert job of making the case that the administration not only ignored warnings, but actively participated in the orchestration of the attack.
Could such a thing be possible? Well, before I had my close encounters of the third kind, I would have said no, of course not, it's just conspiracy theory.
Now that I have seen up close and personal just how good the United States is at keeping secrets, and the deep, profoundly evil consequences of some of those secrets, I no longer think of it as a healthy institution or even a good institution gone wrong.
It has a dark heart, and that heart is devoted to one thing: the eradication of human freedom through the destruction of the American Republic. Increasingly, at the highest levels of government, we find people who are unable or unwilling to resist whatever it is hiding within.
I am not a conspiracy theorist. I do not know what is there, but I do know this: something is. It acted first with the assassination of JFK. The fact that it got away with this enabled it to embed itself in our government, where it has been acting with more or less freedom ever since.
At present, it has more freedom than it has ever had before, and when, over the summer of 2001, the president's approval ratings were plummeting, I think a decision was made to simply sit back and wait, and let the terrorists do their thing.
It worked: by October, the president was at an all time high in popularity, and the United States Congress was so frightened that it was willing to throw away our freedoms by passing a largely unread Patriot Act.
In addition, it has acted to insure its place by striking directly at the place that counts the most: the ballot box. Princeton University researchers have shown that Diebold electronic voting machines have been designed so that votes cast on them can easily be changed without leaving a trace. Whether this is incompetence or intention is unknown, but the fact remains that 10% of the voting machines in the United States are now suspect. And it must not be forgotten that the president of Diebold is a strong supporter of George W. Bush. He calls himself a Republican, but I do not think of people who support the president as Republicans at all. My guess is that 10% of voting machines will turn election after election to the president's supporter, wherever the races are close enough to make that possible, or the machines prevalent enough.
In November, again and again, we'll see surprises: actual votes differing from exit poll results, and Bush supporters winning by a hair.
Republicans stand for freedom and free enterprise, not for curtailing our freedoms and crushing the life out of small business and enterpreneurship. Those goals are as far as you can get from the Republican tradition almost as is possible. In fact, the last place you can find them is in the policies of National Socialism.
Almost the first thing that Adolf Hitler did upon his appointment as chancellor was to draw up legislation essentially ending freedom in Germany. Parts of it even read a good bit like the Patriot Act. And his system concentrated power in the hands of large corporations at the expense of small business. By 1938, the small manufacturing enterprise had been virtually eliminated in Germany, mostly via forced sales of companies to Nazi sympathizers, who then merged them into the larger corporations that had financed the sales in the first place.
No, what we have in Washington now is not Republicanism. It is a slightly more user friendly version of National Socialism, and at its dark heart is an irrevocable belief that the insiders know better how to run the country than the people.
Oddly enough, the reason republics work so well, fight so little and last so long is that the opposite is, historically, the truth: the people are very good at governing themselves, wise about hiring and firing leaders, intelligent about where they want policy to go.
Ideology can never be complex enough to respond correctly in all situations, and the more rigid the ideology, the less competent to govern it is. This is why Nazism and communism failed, and why European socialism works poorly. Socialism survives only because it is somewhat more flexible than communism, which attempts to impose its noble ideals on that most ignoble of creatures, us, the ordinary folk, who know what actually matters--home, family and a decent, peaceful life--far more than the deluded dreamers who concoct ideologies.
The president operates according to a rigid ideology, and so do his primary advisors, Rice, Rumsfeld and Cheney. And, I guess I must now add, that sinister old fool Henry Kissinger, who guided America to defeat 30 years ago and is apparently back again, doing the same thing.
Kennedy was going to get us out of Vietnam because he knew that central forces cannot win wars against guerillas. He knew this because he knew his American history. George Washington's Continental Army was a guerilla organization. The Minutemen were our Viet Cong...and our Madhi Army, for that matter.
Henry Kissinger brings to the table a profoundly European worldview. It was the inability of the European imperial organzations to cope with guerilla movements that lost them their empires. Try as it might, the British Army could not defeat the Mau Mau any more than we will defeat the Iraqi insurgents or the Taliban. Fighting such battles with organized military structures is impossible. Defeat is always certain.
The moment that I heard that Kissinger was in the background, advising the administration, I knew that we were doomed not just to some sort of stalemate in Iraq and Afghanistan, but to absolute defeat on both fronts.
Armies cannot fight ideas. It's that simple. NATO forces in Afghanistan brag that they have 'rooted out' hundreds of Taliban fighters every week or so. But the numbers never diminish, any more than the numbers of Viet Cong did. This is because this is not a battle between military forces. The other side doesn't exist as a military force. The other side is concealed in the minds of people hoping for a better life, longing for purity of spirit and excellence in their days, and willing to give their lives for a dream.
This is not something an army can defeat. How ironic that Henry Kissinger is so oddly indicted by the philosopher George Santayana's warning that those who would ignore history are condemned to repeat it. Kissinger has condemned us all to repeat history that he himself created, by ignoring it.
But, then, what can defeat the Taliban, what can defeat al Qaeda, what can defeat the Iraqi insurgency?
Or is that even the question? One of the deepest of all Republican traditions has been unfairly called 'isolationism,' which conjures up notions of moronic hicks hiding their heads in the sand in order to avoid the Hitlers of the world.
The desire to look to one's own national condition first is a much more accurate way to describe the policies of such Republicans as Robert Taft, and it is a policy that our present gang of ideological adventurers would do well to consider.
It is argued by the administration that terror is bred in 'failed states' like Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq. But Afghanistan was not a failed state at all, it was simply an extremely unpleasant one. It did not harbor al Qaeda, it wanted to get rid of al Qaeda. The Taliban knew perfectly well that an al Qaeda attack on the United States would be a death sentence for them. They were not psychotics at all, but politicians with a silly, nasty ideology that, frankly, is none of our business. We are not the keepers of the Afghans any more than we are the 'liberators' of the Iraqis.
We need people in office who can rationally and objectively rethink the way our nation addresses itself to the rest of the world. All we have managed to do over the past seven terrible years is create a pool of potential terrorists who were not there before we started, run up a national debt that will make our children curse the day the were born, and reveal for all to see the fact that our army is not an effective weapon in the modern world, because it is not the right weapon.
So this is what that dark entity, that has been trying to run this country unfettered since it murdered Kennedy, has finally accomplished: the same thing that the Nazis accomplished, and for exactly the same reason: ideology cannot be imposed on reality. It is always too simple to succeed in the subtle and complex arena of human affairs.
In 1895, Tsar Nicholas II ridiculed Bolshevik notions of reform as "senseless dreams." He might well have been talking to all of the dreamers of the next hundred years, the Bolsheviks, the Nazis, the American religious and economic ideologues of both the left and the right, all of them.
Nearly half a billion lives were lost over the attempts by the communists and the Nazis to impose their senseless dreams on others. Now, it's our turn. So far, we have lost only a few thousand in terms of human lives. There has as yet been no mass slaughter, no epochal disaster. But the foolish adventurism of the administration has made it more possible than ever that a really gigantic terrorist attack will be mounted.
If so, the result could easily be the ruin of our republic, and if, God forbid, it involves the sudden destruction of Washington, a turning point in American history so catastrophic that it is almost impossible to imagine.
This is where these corporate adventurers, religious extremists and their political cronies have taken us. Senseless dreams, for sure.
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