After initially forbidding National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice from testifying before the 9/11 commission, last week the Bush administration made a complete reversal on that decision. On April 8, Rice will testify. Across the country, editorialists are examining the ways the administration has stalled and stonewalled the commission.
Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas City Star
Link not available – March 31, 2004
“Yet the president’s lawyer on Tuesday was still quibbling about details. Gonzales said, for example, that the commission had to promise not to seek additional public testimony from Rice. But what if her long-delayed testimony raises new and complex issues that demand extensive review?
“Why should Bush, who claims to support the commission’s work, oppose later clarifications by Rice? If he truly wants to see a complete report from the panel this summer, he should quit trying to limit its research.”
Greensboro, N.c= – The News & Record
A Reversal on 9/11, March 31, 2004
“The White House has stumbled badly in its response to the Clarke affair and in its failure to cooperate more fully with the 9/11 commission. The administration has charged that Clarke presented a distorted, one-sided account of its handling of the terrorist attacks, but has chosen to rebut him until now in television interviews. Now, it can reply directly in the same setting as Clarke, under the same conditions.
“Americans need their government to protect them from terrorism, not from the truth.”
San Antonio, Texas – San Antonio Express-News
Rice testimony good; continued secrecy not, April 1, 2004
“From the beginning, the White House has made the job difficult for the 9-11 commission, just as it has made life difficult the past three years for those who believe in openness and transparency in government.
“It’s good that Rice is going to testify, but it’s a minor matter compared to the general tendency of this administration to keep things hidden from those who need to know….In this democracy, that would be the American people, by the way.”
Allentown, Pa. – Morning Call
Editorial, April 1, 2004
“For months, the Bush administration stonewalled the so-called Sept. 11 commission. In less than two weeks, that resistance has crumbled because a former anti-terrorism adviser has testified that President Bush and his team failed to act effectively against growing warnings of al-Qaida’s threat.
“The American public and the families of those who died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 deserve to know, as much as possible, what our government knew and what mistakes were made. How else can we know if proper steps are being taken to prevent similar attacks?”
Syracuse, N.Y. – The Post-Standard
The Only Apology, April 2, 2004
“With news that Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, will testify publicly before the commission, the administration seems to have moved beyond the stalling/resistance mode. But remember, this same administration resisted creating the commission for more than a year. Then it balked at letting its members see presidential briefing documents. It also tried to stall formation of another commission to probe mistaken assessments of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.”
Salt Lake City, Utah – Salt Lake Tribune
Dragging it Out, April 3, 2004
“The fact is that the Bush administration has, from before the beginning, done everything it could to obstruct the independent review of all government actions leading up to the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.”