Jersey Girl Takes on Obama Over 9/11 Comment
by alegre, Fri Apr 04, 2008 at 07:39:20 PM EDT
I was at my desk in DC the morning of 9/11 - watched the Pentagon burn from the rooftop of our building - labored over whether hubby and I should pack up the car and get us and our infant daughter out of the city. I also watched as our city turned into a ghost town at night for the next 7 or 8 months, got used to the sound of F-16s criss-crossing our skies at regular intervals, and listened as the news readers explained how to tape up a safe room and put together grab and go bags. My friends who worked in the Pentagon were lucky that day - they worked in another corner of the building. But I'll never forget the pregnant wife of a guy named Eddie who sat vigil on a hillside near the smoldering corner that did get hit. She refused to leave until he was found (hopefully alive) and the news talked with her one evening. My heart ached for her and her 3 kids. Thousands of families went through what she endured and the Jersey Girls made news when they fought for an honest investigation into what happened that day.
Kristen Breitweiser is one of those women. She and her friends used their loss and grief - channeled into a force for the truth and spent more time here in DC than many members of Congress. They earned the respect of a lot of us and when one of them has something to say - I listen.
Well Ms. Breitweiser posted something in the Huffington Post today that caught my attention. She was surprised to hear that Obama and Rice have something in common. Neither thinks anyone could have predicted what happened on 9/11. Take a look...
Barack Obama appeared on MSNBC's Hardball last night and was asked about the way he would handle the 3 a.m. phone call.
The transcript:MATTHEWS: Let me give you a scene that may face you in the next year or two, where the national security adviser calls you at 3:00 in the morning and tells that you a couple of jet -- commercial jets have been hijacked. And they believe it is al Qaeda. And, as we know, al Qaeda always tries a second time. They tried for the World Trade Center after '93. They came back in '01.
They're heading for the Capitol. What do you do?
OBAMA: Well, look, I am hesitant to engage in hypotheticals like that, because...
MATTHEWS: But it has been predictable.
OBAMA: Oh, well, the--I don't think anybody predicted 9/11. And, so, we don't know what kinds of circumstances are going to come up.
Yup. That's right, Barack Obama glibly stated that he didn't "think anybody predicted 9/11."
Perhaps Obama might better strengthen his image of having a handle on national security issues by not sounding so much like the disgraceful, incompetent former Bush Administration National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
Recall that Ms. Rice stated that "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."
I am not even going to bother listing the hundreds of cites/articles/studies/reports/military exercises, drills/testimonials/PDB's/SEIB's or even television shows that disprove Rice's statement. I will just mention my personal favorite -- the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S."
How could Obama have such a poor understanding of the 9/11 attacks and their subsequent impact on the US intelligence community? Has Obama even read the 9/11 Commission's Final Report that (even in its whitewash form) calls Rice to task for her "misleading" statement about the predictability of 9/11-style attacks? Or sets forth recommendations for intelligence community reforms?
One of the reasons I support Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama is because of the enormous help Senator Clinton gave to the 9/11 families who were fighting to create a 9/11 Commission.
My experience in Washington showed me that there were very few people who understood what needed to be done and even fewer people who had the courage, stamina, and ability to get those things done.
Hillary Clinton was one of those people. And without fail, anytime we needed help -- whether that was achieving bi-partisan consensus, strong-arming the White House and/or House Republicans, or cajoling reluctant and recalcitrant Democrats like Lieberman, Senator Clinton always took the call and helped solve the problem.
I might add that for someone whose husband, former President Bill Clinton, was a point of investigation for the 9/11 Commission, it certainly did not play in Senator Clinton's favor to have something like the 9/11 Commission impaneled. Yet, Senator Clinton was one of our biggest, fiercest, and most vocal advocates for the creation of a 9/11 Commission.
But as a 9/11 widow who, along with other 9/11 families, fought very hard to learn lessons from 9/11 to not only make our nation safer but also to hold people like Condoleezza Rice accountable, it is wholly unacceptable for any presidential candidate to get such a simple, historical fact about national security -- that the 9/11 attacks were predictable -- so totally wrong.
Now I've lived in the DC area for nearly 24 years and this is the only time we've been hit like this - hopefully the last. On the one hand you realize this is probably one of the most protected cities in the country (well aside from the port up there in Baltimore but I won't go into that now (Hillary did work with a group to address port safety btw)), but on the other you kind of have this nagging worry at the back of your head that you live in a city with one big-ass bulls-eye over it.
I'm glad the Jersey girls demanded some answers. I'd like to think that some of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission report - as watered down as that report may be - have been implemented.
Going forward, I want someone to take over from Bush's miserable failure of a watch and be ready to deal with whatever comes her way. Someone who understands that yes - the tragic events of 9/11 were predictable and could have been prevented if only Bush and company had been paying attention!
Now I know we can't change history and undo what the terrorists did to Kristen's husband and thousands of other innocent people that day - but we can sure as hell elect someone who knows what they're doing and can think on her feet like no one else.