Rice justifies George Bush, Cheney threatens president’s critics

The US administration is strongly defending the president after Wednesday’s acknowledgment of the White House of the fact that President George W.Bush had known of Osama bin Laden’s plans to hijack a passenger airplane beforehand. However, neither the president nor the US special services took strong measures to avert the Sept.11 terrorism attacks that shook the world with cruelty.

As could be expected, the US administration decided to stick to an old proven principle that offense is the best defense. National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice was the first to rush to Bush’s help. A special conference on the problem was called, where Condoleeza Rice announced, “if the president knew a passenger airplane would be used as a weapon, he would have acted in a different way.” She also stressed, “the incumbent government did everything possible in response to the information received in that period.” She said, nobody could even guess “the people could hijack a plane and crush it flat against the Pentagon building, take another one and direct it right against the WTC.” As the National Security Adviser says, “it was impossible to predict the airplanes would be used as a weapon.”

As it was said at the press-conference, all information about possible hijacking of airplanes “was treated as reports about ordinary hijackers.” And reports handed to the president personally contained no extraordinary information at all to urge him to order urgent measures. By the way, reports of possible hijacking are really customary for the USA. The adviser added, “All reports of this kind usually provide no information as concerning details and exact date of hijacking.”

In the words of Condoleeza Rice, reports on hijacking in the USA “before Sept.11 and afterwards are two different things, in fact, and our attitude to such information consequently differs.”

US Vice-president Richard Cheney decided it would be the best to threaten critics of President Bush and demanded, they should be careful, as no political advantages can be achieved by accusing the White House of the fact it knew about the Sept.11 attacks coming. The vice-president told about it on Thursday in New York as he considered the accusation really “alarming.”

What is the way Richard Cheney chooses to crack down on those who criticize the US administration? Will he probably send a marine platoon to editor’s of a disagreeable newspaper? Or will he declare all critics instigators and bin Laden followers? One thing is still not clear in the whole of the story. Why have the US administration and George W.Bush personally been silent up to now, if they were informed of coming terrorism attacks before September 11? It is not ruled out that journalists exaggerate, though it can be explained with lack of information. Or, is political expediency and Bush’s high rating more important than more details of the Sept.11 tragedy?

But for continuous innuendo of this kind, nobody would even try to say the terrorism attacks had been done by the US special services or Israel’s Mossad. More speculation and crazy ideas on the problem are very likely to appear in the future as well. The US administration itself is partly to be blamed for it.

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Photo from NTVRU.com archives

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/05/17/41242.html