The International Writers Magazine:REALITY CHECK
DENIZENS OF POLITICS
How the 9/11 Commission has Kick Started Election Year
ye need know about the 9/11 Commission, Richard Clarkes literary
revelations, Bob Woodward's research, the Condoleezza Rice media tour,
the sudden disappearance of Democratic presidential candidate, John
Kerry, and the ramped up ultra-violence in Iraq the last ten days, is
that theyre symptoms of politics, and, in an ironic twist of disingenuous
grandstanding, constructively aid in revealing certain truths pertinent
to the voting citizenry.
For the record, the charge of cynic, normally and correctly thrown at
yours truly, does not apply here. There is heaps of evidence that the
political quagmire which widely manipulated and ruefully ignored fanatical
Middle Easter loons for decades came home to roost on 9/11. Ive
written plenty about that before. Its in my second book, and in
a host of columns the past four years since its publishing, but what
we are finally witnessing is its pathetic fallout in spades.
First off, except for the compulsory right wing attacks on Richard Clarkes
recent allegations, he has gotten off way too easy.
Finger-pointers are a dime a dozen in Washington. Ive never been
there for more than ten consecutive minutes without having a drink with
one. But casting such vociferous blame has the unnerving effect of conspiracy.
There is as much blood on this jokers hands as Bill Clinton, George
Bush, and Osama bin Laden combined. His publicity stunt to cry wolf
and sell books while leaving the sinking ship smells to high heaven.
He looks guilty. He talks guilty. He is guilty.
If Clarke were so brave and heroic in his stance against the threat
of terrorism ignored in the Clinton and Bush White Houses and
the present "misguided" war in Iraq, then he should have walked-and-talked
a long time ago. But he didnt. After working in an advisory role
in the realm of foreign threats under four presidents, Clarke was demoted
and then relieved of his duties by Bush. Then, conveniently, just when
the 9/11 Commission cranks up and the election battle lines have been
drawn, he whips up a book and comes clean?
Please. Clarke is a blatant opportunist, and so are my old pals at Simon
& Schuster, who used their Viacom partnership with CBS news and
its overrated "60 Minutes" space to unabashedly promote him.
Clarke comes on like the kid who was at the party when your mothers
expensive vase was stolen and figures to somehow clear himself by spilling
the beans. "I told those guys the vase was vulnerable!" Frankly,
if I were at that party, hed be my first suspect. "Wheres
the vase, whiny?" Clarke is just another reason among the many
to get out to California and find whats left of Ronald Reagan
and punch him in the face. His obsession with bankrupting the Soviet
Union bore monsters like bin Laden and now we have this jabbering coward
to deal with. Weve been paying for The Gippers shortsighted
stupidity long enough.
Yet, there is light at the end of Clarkes dark tunnel of exploitation.
Although his motives may be skewed and his mia culpa sleazy, hes
not the only one attempting to wipe the mess of 9/11 off his power tie.
His rants echo strongly those of Paul ONeill, another Washington
lifer sent packing with a grudge and a book to hawk. However, though
Clarke and ONeill could never be mistaken for political marauders,
both tell similar tales: For decades, our government was woefully unprepared
for a terrorist plot, both home and abroad, and there was an undeniable
preternatural jones in the current administration to invade Iraq the
minute the second tower fell in New York.
Both scenarios have lead to serious political backlash. Howard Dean
practically had ONeil, once a Nixon and Ford advisor and close
confidant of the vice president, on the payroll. And Clarkes calling
out of National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice forced Bushs
No one wants to be difficult in an election year.
That leads us to Rices vehement defense of her credibility after
Clarke described her in print and in several interviews as more or less
lost on the whole al Qaeda thing immediately following 9/11. Normally
tight-lipped, Doctor Rice has been making more television appearances
than the four gays guys on Bravo. This politically charged media blitz
prompted the 9/11 Commission to rightly suggest she take her song and
dance spin on record for the investigation. This forced the White House
to acquiesce and give Rice up, something they balked at from jump street,
raising the politically damaging echoes of Bushs procrastination
for a 9/11 Commission in the first place. Basically, the White House,
eager to impale Clarkes momentum, defended itself into a legal
Again, no one wants to further intimate a sense of guilt with indicting
concepts like executive privilege under oath while simultaneously playing
the victim on the Today Show.
This brings us to fair-haired frontrunner, the suddenly invisible John
Kerry. His people told me last week that "the senator is laying
low to avoid early over-exposure", which is normal for the spring
of a national campaign. But when I broached the convenient timing of
his disappearance to the massacre in Fallujah, where American soldiers
were murdered, burned, and then kicked and dragged like smoldering dolls
by braying street trash, they became unusually obstinate. By "unusually",
I mean that most campaign reps normally find me annoying, but this was,
I feel safe in describing, what most professionals would deem overly
I tried to explain to campaign rep, Roger (last name withheld) that
despite all his candidates anti-war rhetoric, the atmosphere of
culpability created by the 9/11 Commission must extend to congress and
those members who voted to send the victims of last weeks horror
show to war in the first place. I then added that their candidate followed
that up by making the politically motivated move to refuse further funding
of said troops.
Oh yeah, Roger had lots of things to say, most of them laced with expletives.
I forgave him. He was frightened. And thats good news for those
rooting for Kerry. When I tussled with the Bush people in 2000 about
the evils of Al Gore, they chuckled. Ignoring my Cassandra-like prescience
for doom is dangerous. If not for the imbeciles in Florida, their boy
would have eaten crow. At least the bottom feeders at the Kerry forces
see bad moons when they rise, and by keeping the senators head
in the sand when the bullets fly on who might be responsible for the
foreign relations mess this country is in - of which he would not and
should not get a pass - they avoid needless explanatory stump speeches.
The final political animal mutated from the 9/11 Commission is the escalated
violence against American troops in Iraq, above and beyond the nasty
business in Fallujah. When you talk to the Jerusalem Post as much I
do, you get the idea that everything is political with terrorists.
They especially love election years, heated arguments over war policy,
and the cast of blame for their atrocities, like the one in Spain last
month. This has emboldened the resistance against American forces and
puts a high premium on coverage. If homeless psychos in cow towns can
get the front page of the New York Times, what are the big boys doing
to get decent press?
As I write this, Rice is finally testifying (filibustering) before the
9/11 Commission (a politically charged attack unit) and on Capitol Hill
(home office of cowardice) the two-martini lunch set are either comparing
Iraq to Viet Nam or crying about a "will to win". Meanwhile
Americans die and our money continues to go down the sinkhole known
as Homeland Security. Somethings got to give, no?
One way or the other the results will likely resemble your particular
ideology or be the same old crap. Probably both. Ostensibly, thats
your job this November. Of course, thats what they tell you. You
know, the denizens of politics.
© James Campion April 2004
Stakes in the White House
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