What Is Bush And Cheney's Word Worth?

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Jon Gold


That is a question we have to ask ourselves as we read the recently released Memoranda For The Record (MFR) describing Bush and Cheney's meeting with the 9/11 Commission. Let me explain why.

First of all, we were hoping to get an exclusive story with the Florida Bulldog, but the Wall Street Journal beat us to the punch. Look for a story from them on the subject.

During the time of the 9/11 Commission, Bush and Cheney refused to testify. They fought tooth and nail against testifying. They had people on the circuit talking about how Presidents don't go under oath (even though Reagan testified under oath for the Iran Contra Affair... "At one point, Mr. Reagan acknowledged the accuracy of one of his written answers provided under oath to the independent prosecutor for use before the Federal grand jury investigating the Iran-contra affair." [New York Times, 2/24/1990]).

Finally, an
agreement was reached, and the 9/11 Commission was given some time with them. However, the agreement they came to was a slap in the face to the families and the people of the world. They were allowed to speak to the 9/11 Commission behind closed doors, together, not under oath, with no recordings or transcripts allowed.

This deal was given to the same two people that fought tooth and nail against having an investigation in the first place. That fight started when in January 2002, Bush and Cheney went to Tom Daschle’s office and asked him NOT TO INVESTIGATE THE ATTACKS AT ALL.

The 9/11 Families were forced to fight against the Bush Administration for an investigation into the murder of their loved ones, the mass murder of 2,977+ people. If not for the 9/11 Families, we would never even have gotten the 9/11 Commission. As corrupt and compromised as it was, we wouldn't even have had that if not for the families. Scary thought isn't it? 9/11 Family Member Lorie Van Auken told me that "at a time when my kids were traumatized for the loss of their father, I had to go down to Washington D.C. to fight for an investigation that should have automatically have happened."

The 9/11 Families were ADAMANT that they wanted Bush and Cheney to testify publicly, separately and under oath. Here's a statement from the 9/11 Family Steering Committee on the subject:


“...we respectfully request that President Bush and Vice President Cheney reconsider their decision to testify together. Their testimony should be separate, in public and under oath so that the Commission can properly comprehend the individual responsibilities and decisions of the President and Vice President. Individual testimonies would provide the American public a much clearer understanding of the Administration’s leadership during a time of transition and crisis.” - Statement of the Family Steering Committee Regarding the Need for an Independent, Nonpartisan 9/11 Commission, April 1, 2004

Not only did the 9/11 Families want this, but so did the people of America. Listen to what different Americans had to say about how they testified.

On June 20th 2008, Scott McClellan was testifying about the Valerie Plame leak. During that testimony, Rep. Artur Davis spoke about how ridiculous a deal like the one Bush and Cheney had is concerning someone else that needs to be looked at concerning 9/11. Karl Rove. It's interesting to point out that when Cheney testified about the Valerie Plame leak, he couldn't recall anything. Is that what happens when Cheney testifies under oath?

Given all of the lies told to us by the Bush Administration about WMD in Iraq, about ties between Iraq and 9/11, about warrantless wiretapping, about torture, about so many different things, what is their word worth? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. So, after 21 years, we STILL need Bush and Cheney to testify separately, publicly and under oath for 9/11 with the idea that they will be held accountable for any lies they tell. Before they die, and their caskets are carried through Washington D.C. like British Royalty.

Incidentally, the author of Bush and Cheney's MFR was Philip Zelikow. Someone I believe belongs in prison for the part he had to play in the multitude of cover-ups concerning 9/11. As a matter of fact, as this article is being written, Philip Zelikow's MFR from the 9/11 Commission is still classified. Imagine that, the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission had to testify before his own Commission. Conflict of interest much? The families called for his resignation multiple times, but were ignored.

Sure, it is an interesting document to read. There are some interesting tidbits. Like the question having to do with the Saudi Flights out of the U.S. after 9/11. Personally, I think Richard Clarke was telling the truth when he first told us that either someone at the State Department or the White House made that decision, but then he had a talking to and took the blame for those flights. Or the very first thing Bush said was that this process "should not be about blaming people." That the country "was ill served by playing the blame game." In other words, accountability is not necessary (yes, yes it is). If I hear that the August 6th PDB "was historical in nature" again I'm going to scream.

I hope people take what Bush and Cheney had to say with the TINIEST grain of salt because they deserve nothing more. These men didn't deserve the luxury they were afforded.

Thank you to Erik Larson for getting that document released. Thank you for working on getting Philip Zelikow's MFR released.