It behaved disgracefully and in a nakedly partisan fashion, with former officials of the Clinton administration attempting to use the platform to damage the president's reelection chances. Then, after months of ludicrous conduct, out of nowhere came the brilliantly conceived and written report that set a new standard of eloquence and coherence for government documents, became a major bestseller and redeemed the commission's reputation.
Well, that didn't last long.
In a story filed at 7:10 PM, the Associated Press is now confirming all the particulars of what will now forever be called the Able Danger disaster. The 9/11 Commission staff did hear about intelligence-gathering efforts that hit pay dirt on the whereabouts of Mohammed Atta -- in 1999 -- and deliberately chose to omit word of those efforts.
And why? Because to do so might upset the timeline the Commission had established on Atta.
And why is that significant? Because the Mohammed Atta timeline established by the Commission pointedly insisted Atta did not meet with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague.
And why is that significant? Because debunking the Atta-Iraq connection was of vital importance to Democrats, who had become focused almost obsessively on the preposterous notion that there was no relation whatever between Al Qaeda and Iraq -- that Al Qaeda and Iraq might even have been enemies.
I was very skeptical of this Able Danger stuff about Atta, thought it was just sme way Rep. Curt Weldon was trying to sell a book. No longer. This is clearly becoming the biggest story of the summer -- the fact that, as Andy McCarthy alluded to, the "intelligence wall" set up by 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick when she was in the Justice Department did, in fact, cause the linchpin of the 9/11 attacks to evade capture by American law enforcement.
Yes, this most certainly is big. Watergate pales by comparison. But it is important to remember that the responsibility for 9/11 lies squarely with the murderous animals who perpetrated it. The moral of this sad story and sad truth about the two-bit players in the drama--including Clinton, Gorelick, Berger et al; and the entire 9/11 Commission-- is that those who are willfully blind and refuse to acknowledge reality are the enablers, appeasers, and apologists for terrorism.
Podhoretz is absolutely correct. The Commission did not set out to find Truth; they set out to make it; disguise it; or obliterate it.
I can barely contain the contempt I feel--particularly toward those people who were in a position of power in politics and the media-- who deliberately and repeatedly place our country; our freedom; our soldiers and our citizens in mortal danger without a second thought. And for what? For the sake of their petty narcissistic whims and ego gratification. For the sake of a rabid, unquenchable hatred that only serves to erode their own pathetic souls, and severs an already tenuous connection with reality.
UPDATE: Link fixed! (thanks to those who wrote me)