Panel Isn't Going Away -- It's Going on the Offensive

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    No matter how the White House spins this, it's clear that they've done very little to respond to recommendations for fundamental changes, and don't even plan on moving quickly now. I was surprised to hear Rice last night on the NewsHour speaking in qualified terms about the 9-11 Commission Report. No sense of urgency detectable.

    The 9-11 Report provides Kerry with a huge opportunity to show that he'd be a decisive leader, and also to deflate Bush's "bold and determined" myth.

    WASHINGTON — Blue-ribbon committees usually produce long reports that assign blame, and then go quietly out of business.

    But Thursday, the commission on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 boldly defied those rules: It refused to assign blame — and, more importantly, it refused to go out of business.


    So far, at least, the effect appears to have put President Bush on the defensive — and to have handed his Democratic rival, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), an opportunity to question the president's record.

    The commission's decision to avoid assigning blame for the 2001 terrorist attacks was a boon to Bush, who had been in office for eight months at the time. But its decision to press for sweeping organizational changes in the government's intelligence agencies put the onus for action on the president, who has resisted such proposals.

    The president received Kean and Vice Chairman Lee H. Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana, at the White House on Thursday morning and praised the commission for "making very solid, sound recommendations."

    "I assured them that where government needs to act, we will," Bush said.

    But Bush and his aides appeared to resist the commission's plea for quick action.

    "People should recognize that we're talking about pretty fundamental changes here," national security advisor Condoleezza Rice said. "It only makes sense to try and understand the implications of them before you rush headlong one way."

    Kerry, who was campaigning in Detroit, struck a deliberately bipartisan note, saying: "This is not a time for bickering. It is not a time for politics…. This is a time to act — now." But his principal campaign advisor on foreign policy, former National Security Council official Rand Beers, displayed less restraint.

    "This president has had an opportunity to implement this agenda since the 11th of September," Beers said of the commission's recommendations. "There was no reason … the president sitting in the Oval Office couldn't move forward to enact this…. I think the president should be held accountable if he doesn't move forward."

    On at least one of the commission's major recommendations — creation of a national intelligence director with authority over intelligence operations at both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department — Kerry and Bush have already disagreed.

    Several earlier panels, including a presidential advisory board commissioned by Bush and headed by former national security advisor Brent Scowcroft, have formally proposed such a position.

    Kerry has endorsed the idea; Bush aides have said they are skeptical of the plan, and the White House has never acted on it.

  2. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    <*cough*> Patriot Act <*cough*>

Share This Page