Monday, April 12, 2004
It's all about appearances: Sen. John Edwards is on CNN's "Inside Politics" and this curious exchange took place with host Judy Woodruff. Woodruff summarized some of the contents of the Aug. 6 PDB that is all the rage nowadays and referred to the FBI investigations taking place and then asked:
Woodruff: Is President Bush off the hook on all of this?
Edwards: Absolutely not. No. When the President of the United States is briefed as he was in August 2001, at his ranch in Texas, while he was on vacation, it's his responsibility to do something. I mean, at a minimum, he should have called a meeting that he presided over or his security advisers engaged in. The President needed to take some serious steps to respond to this warning.
So, Bush would have immunized himself from Democrat criticism if he'd called a meeting? Calling a meeting is a "serious step?" Looking at the contents of the memo, calling a rather meaningless meeting is all he could have done, because there's nothing in that memo that allows Bush to take any other action.
Done something. OK, let's say President Bush, in response to this PDB, ordered the FBI to go out and interview every male between the ages of 18 and 45 in the United States with a passport from an Arab country. That might have turned up a few of the hijackers. After 9/11, the FBI did something similar and the howls of racism, stereotyping, etc., were heard from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other victim groups.
Democrats -- so dismissive of any sort of preventative action when it comes to battling global terrorism now -- are now arguing for it. Consistency must truly be the hobgoblin of intelligent minds.