Friday, April 30, 2004

Before 9/11, Bremer Ripped Bush on Terror
Iraq Boss Says Administration Wasn't Paying Attention

WASHINGTON - L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, said in a speech six months before the Sept. 11 attacks that the Bush administration was "paying no attention" to terrorism.

"What they will do is stagger along until there is a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this'"; said Bremer at McCormick Tribune Foundation conference on terrorism on Feb. 26, 2001.

Bremer spoke at the conference shortly after he chaired the National Commission on Terrorism, a bipartisan body formed by the Clinton administration to examine U.S. counterterrorism policies.

This must be the most biased non-story of the day, clearly written to reflect badly on the administration. First, when these remarks were made, the new administration had been in place scarcely 30 days, hardly enough time for major policy shifts. Second, new administrations continue the policies of the previous administration until that time when new policies are developed. With this in mind, one has to question whether this is actually a criticism of the first 30 days of the Bush administration per se or a veiled criticism the previous 8 years of the Clinton administration.

It also sounds like an attempt by Bremer to call attention to himself and the National Commission on Terrorism which he chaired. When there's a new administration in town one might assume that showing what a bright committed fellow one is would be a good career move. Well, Bremer must have gotten someone's attention in the administration considering the job with which they have entrusted him.

This constant attitude in the media that terrorism was just invented in Late January 2001, and that is the starting point of all of our problems is becoming tedious in the extreme.