We now know why the Bush administration has been hiding the Aug. 6, 2001, intelligence briefing for the president, called "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States." All of the 9/11 Commission members – Republicans and Democrats – have asked the Bush administration to declassify this document. There are precedents for releasing presidential daily briefings and the American public deserves to know what President Bush knew and when.
We also learned that there appears to have been no response to explicit and repeated warnings about al Qaeda attacks. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's claim that the FBI sent warnings to field offices was directly disputed by commissioners who said they had conducted thousands of interviews and reviewed thousands of documents. Their conclusion: no one at the FBI can recall such orders.
Today's hearing also confirmed evidence that the administration had done little or nothing to combat the terrorist threat between Jan. 20, 2001, and Sept. 10, 2001. Rice repeatedly used the claim that the administration was developing a "strategic approach" as an excuse for not acting. There was no response to the bombing of the USS Cole that claimed 17 American lives and the administration tried to cut counterterrorism funding.
WE SHALL NEVER FORGET AUGUST 6, 2001
Sleeping now are the eyes of a weary land
and a quietude of expectation nestles in without objection
as we, the inhabitants, close eyes to this;
our monumental watch
and falling upon deaf ears,
the warming waters groan laps at our exposed and tender shore.
We’ve no time for lullabies …heavy rains a coming,
surging toward our liberty like buckling steel frames.
O dreams of yesterday will not comfort our present sloth,
our minds need piercing to recall this beginning!
Review not the canopies decent,
or the yawning hole in our five-sided shield,
or the plummeting souls voyaging homeward,
or the bird plunging short to plant a scorched field;
none of these stir the mind where freedom’s loved,
they bow only at the feet of bloodlust
and do not serve our better selves.
We may yet quake and moan at what came before,
but it is that which followed that we shall never forget.
© 2007 mrp/thepoetryman