Thursday, September 07, 2006

Does President Clinton Deserve Some of the 9/11 Blame?

Many people enjoy poking fun at President Bush. From mispronouncing nuclear as “nuculer” to forgetting his microphone was on during a private conversation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the President continues to provide us with enough comedic ammunition to fight 100 years of boredom. Overall, it has mostly been in good fun; all Presidents go through it.

What was not fun (to say the least) were the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. The attack on that day signaled a fundamental change in the way Americans view this country. Before that day, the hubris of Americans allowed us to believe that our land would never see another attack. Since then, we have been scrambling to find a way to protect ourselves from our enemies, worrying that another attack is already underway.

What is not funny is the assertion that President Bush (and his administration) caused or somehow allowed the attacks to happen. He has been blamed for those attacks simply because they occurred on his watch.

That’s not fair.

The President has dropped the ball on many issues (Katrina, war in Iraq, healthcare, social security reform, I can go on…), but to blame him for 9/11 is like blaming Cory Booker for the current state of Newark’s school districts (that is to say the momentum toward both debacles began well before either took office).

This leaves me to wonder when the momentum started, and who was in charge at that time. Bill Clinton’s name seems to come up a lot when this issue is discussed.

ABC will be airing a $40 million, 2-part miniseries titled “The Path to 9/11” on Sunday and Monday. This controversial airing has caught the eye of many members of the Clinton Administration, some of whom claim that "While ABC is promoting 'The Path to 9/11' as a dramatization of historical fact, in truth it is a fictitious rewriting of history that will be misinterpreted by millions of Americans.” Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright wrote a letter to ABC officials, which explained the same apprehension other members have expressed.

I plan on watching this television event with an open mind. Most importantly, I look forward to reading the commentary concerning the miniseries, hoping to find some truth through all of the political double talk that I surely will encounter (it’s September during an election year. Political double talk is to be expected).

My hope is that watchers don’t simply believe what their political party tells them. Whatever your party affiliation, 9/11 was an extreme tragedy that changed the course of American history. We the people deserve the truth. We won’t find it in the Democratic or Republican Parties, because both share blame and stand to lose from the truth being exposed.

I will now step down off of my soapbox…

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