The 9/11 Hearings

by Andrew C. McCarthy

A friend sent me this last night: “Not helpful was
today’s hearings. The questions usually began with some rheorical
grandstanding and then dissolved into broad assertions that missed most
of what happened. Listening to Kerrey for instance, you’d think that the
NYPD would have been unaware of Al Qaeda without warnings from the White

NB: If this is right, it suggests that some Commissioners (can you,
ahem, possibly guess which ones?) are planning to skew their report in
favor of Richard Clarke’s nonsense about how, when he led the Clinton
Admin to “battle stations” in 2000, the purportedly dire (but utterly
uninformative and largely unknown) terrorism alerts they put out
actually led to things like Ahmed Ressam’s arrest in Vancouver just
before the Millennium — which, remarkably, Clarke takes credit for in
his book, and Commissioners like Jamie Gorelick have credited Clinton
with during the brethren-and-sister’s not-at-all-politicized public

In fact, recall from the media reporting that Ressam (with his trunk
full of explosives and map of LA Int’l Airport) was stopped at the
border by an alert Customs agent who suspected he might be a drug
smuggler, not a terrorist. The Customs agent had never heard about any
alerts from the White House. As people involved would tell you if
asked, the information flow tends to go FROM the field TO Washington.
Only in the self-absorption of Beltway-world is it possible to delude
oneself into thinking the reverse could be true. Down here on Planet
Earth, if it went the other way around, there would be a lot more 9/11s.

The Corner

The one and only.