Now, I don’t know how this is addressed, but if we’re going to talk about “having imagination,” imagination to me is also part of connecting the dots. I know the dots are facts, and you want to connect the facts, but after you do that, then you have to have the imagination. It is clear that the people we are hoping and wishing had the imagination didn’t have all the dots because they weren’t able to share all the relevant information with each other, and I don’t know if this has been addressed. I’m going to be very interested to see, as the days unfold here, as what’s in this report is learned in detail, see how that’s addressed here. But specifically as to the imagination aspect of this, fine. I understand the imagine–, but how many of you — we are a certain kind of people. How many of you have sat around thinking, “You know, what a great way to be a terrorist would be to hijack airplanes and fly them in buildings?”
It’s one thing to say, “We need people with imagination,” but to imagine this kind of thing you also have to have a certain kind of imagination, and you have to have a lot of data and a lot of input to be able to imagine what others would do, others you have nothing in common with. We have nothing in common with people that want to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings and kill innocent people. That’s not us. That’s not the kind of people we are, so we don’t have that kind of imagination. We need, therefore, some sort of contact with people who do. We need to have relationships with people who do have that kind of imagination, but there has been a restriction in doing business with those kinds of people, precisely because certain members of a certain party have passed laws saying the CIA can’t hire certain unsavory types, and so we’ve handcuffed ourselves. There’s no question about it, it may be with good intentions, but these are things. It’s a hard, cold, cruel world out there in the war on terrorism, and it’s — a lot of things are going to have to change in order to deal with this. We come back, I’ll let you hear a little bit about what the president said today in the rose garden.
There was also this comment made by Lee Hamilton, who is cochairman of the 9/11 Commission. He said that the intelligence community — I mean, essentially he said they don’t have enough power. Now, there’s two things about this. If the intelligence community doesn’t have enough power, then you gotta go back to the wall. You have to go back to the wall erected by the Jamie Gorelick memo of 1995. Again, I’m going to be real curious to see how, if at all, that is addressed in this commission report. You got that wall when intelligence can’t share what they’ve learned with the law enforcement like the FBI. CIA can’t talk to the FBI and vice-versa. Well, that’s the recipe to give them more power is to give them more power. There’s a second way, too. There’s a second way to give the intelligence community more power. You could…like strengthen the Patriot Act. (Gasp!) “No, no, Rush! You can’t! There’s a violation of civil rights!” Well, that may be what they’re talking about here. You know, this is an issue.
This Patriot Act, the libs don’t like it at all, but. But this is an example, we haven’t talked about this yet, but some federal judged named Sweet in New York has issued a ruling that the New York Police Department cannot go through the handbags of protesters during the Republican Convention, and the Mayor and Giuliani and everybody in New York are just outraged over this. They’re making all these arrangements. All these preparations to deal with anybody that might sneak in there that’s a terrorist and want to take some, you know, action toward violence, blow something up or just cause trouble, and they just ruled out any inspection of bags of protesters! Well, now, what does this mean for people getting on airplanes? I mean, you can’t automatically assume that everybody getting on an airplane is a suspect but we do. I mean you say, “We can’t;” we do do it, and no federal judge ever said, “Well, you can’t. You’ve got to shut down the screening process,” But, Rush, people getting on a airplane are not terrorists. How do we know? They’re not protesters. How do we know?
If we’re going to profile, a protester poses even greater threat than just some average Joe walking down the street, don’t you think? I mean, a protestor is, by virtue of some of the things the protesters that plan on being in New York have said they’re going to do! I mean, we’ve got protesters in New York saying they want to come up with a plan to force Madison Square Garden to be evacuated. They’ve come up with plans to cause all kinds of havoc. They want to shut down subways and all kinds of things. These anarchists that protest the World Trade Center meetings or World Trade Organization meetings, and so the NYPD says, “We want to go through these peoples’ bags just like they’re going through security.” Nope, can’t do it, Federal judge said. This is why, you know, the Patriot Act is considered to be worthwhile in this quest to stop future acts of terrorism. I mean, it’s the same thing. We can’t take any preemptive action. This federal judge basically says we can’t take any preemptive action, just like some people don’t want us taking preemptive action against our enemies overseas. We’ve got to wait till it happens, and then we’ve got to go talk to the French before we can do anything about it.
George W. Bush in the Rose Garden today was presented the first official copy of this report. (Program observer interruption) I know, every bag is checked going into a courtroom in New York. Every single one. Every bag getting on an airplane is checked today, let’s be honest about it. But protesters arriving at the Republican Convention cannot have their bags checked. The delegates are going to have their bags checked. You know damn well that’s going to be the case. You know anybody going into Madison Square Garden is going to be screened like crazy. Have you seen what New York is going to be like for four or five blocks around that hall? They’re going to shut off traffic. It’s going to be unlike anything anybody’s ever seen just trying to get into the four or five-block region surrounding Madison Square Garden. But if you’re a protester you can’t have your bags examined. Now, hell’s bells here, folks. What kind of thinking goes into this? And I know somebody is going to say, “Rush, it’s the Constitution, Fourth Amendment, illegal search and seizure.” Well, why doesn’t that apply at airports? Everybody getting on an airplane is assumed to be carrying a device these days, folks. That’s why we search every one of them. Every bag checked goes through a screening, it should, x-ray or whatever, but certainly all these carry-ons. Anyway, this story is not over, but that is where it is now.
RUSH: I want to play one more time a bite from Chairman Kean, and I want to precede it with some comments he made prior to the bite. Here is pretty near the open of his remarks at 11:30 this morning Eastern Time as the commission gathered to make their report to America.
KEAN: But it’s also fair to say that on that September day, we were unprepared. We did not grasp the magnitude of a threat that had been gathering over a considerable period of time. As we detail in our report this was a failure of policy, management, capability, and above all, a failure of imagination. Now, we recognize as commissioners that we have a benefit of hindsight —
KEAN: — and since the plotters were flexible and resourceful, we cannot know whether any single step or series of steps would have defeated them.
KEAN: What we can say with a good deal of confidence is that none of the measures adopted by the United States government before 9/11 disturbed or even delayed the progress of the Al-Qaeda plot.
RUSH: Oh, there you have it. That is it. I don’t care where you come down ideologically, that is it, and that is true, and the way we know it’s true is it happened, and we were all surprised. So there’s nothing that we were doing that we could stop these people. Nothing whatsoever. That one stark, cold reality more than anything else tells us what we have to do in the future if we’re going to stop the next one, does it not and does it also not imply that what we’re going to have to do is going to be pretty drastic? Because we thought we were doing a lot. I’m sure we did. I’m sure we thought we were taking some steps, even though all these attacks had occurred against Americans, not only around the world but at the World Trade Center in 1993 on February 26th, other parts of the country as well just assume, “Well, it’s not going to happen again. They tried and they failed and they just kept plotting away.”
We didn’t grasp the magnitude of the threat that had been gathering over a considerable period of time, and (Kean) goes on to say that’s “due to a failure of imagination.” I want to say again about this whole business of failure of imagination. I understand this, but this failure of imagination requires data, and if people are going to sit around and imagine the worst, they’ve got to have enough data, enough input to be able to do so — and that takes me back to the wall erected by the commission member herself, Jamie Gorelick, in a memo in 1995, and this wall prevented the sharing of data, information gathered by intelligence agencies with law enforcement, FBI, and vice-versa. So consider that the dots. Consider you’ve got intelligence gathering dots and you’ve got the FBI gathering dots and say, “Well, you can’t connect them.” Well, part of the reason was — it’s not the only reason. One of the reasons why there was a wall. You couldn’t share the dots. Couldn’t connect them!
Now, if you can’t share the dots, can’t connect the dots, then how you gonna imagine the worst that can happen? By the way, about that, we are not those kind of people; we don’t sit around and have people who think about this way, you know, even in warfare. We have war planners at the Pentagon. They don’t think about this kind of technique, hijacking airliners. I know in the Philippines we had heard that this was a strategery. It was not unthinkable at the time. It’s just here we go with the dots again. We’re going to have to have people that are free to imagine. Let me tell you something: When somebody comes up to you and presents you with an outlandish theory, what is your reaction to it? They’re a nut. You discount them. You discard them. So we got some people, we go out and get our imagination team, and the imagination team starts imagining things and the imagination team takes the results of their imaginations and runs into some authority and says here what we imagine could happen.
“That’s outrageous. That’s absurd. Who could do anything like that?” Now, this climate, it may change, but at the same time, where we’re gonna get people that imagine stuff like that. Remember, we didn’t imagine they would fly airplanes into buildings. It was learned that they were thinking of doing this and doing tests. We are just not that kind of a people. We are going to have to get people somehow to think that way, but therein lies the problem because in previous years Congress has passed laws saying we can’t hire unsavory people to work with the CIA either as informants or spies or what have you. Well, those are the kind of people’s imagination we’re going to need to tap so we’re going to have to have a change there. There’s been a lot of legislation enacted that has weakened the intelligence gathering agencies of this country, not financially, although there’s been some of that, too, but just in the things that they can do. You know, people that have never been in the business, people that have never been in the field telling those that are in charge of it how to do it, and what they can and can’t do.
That’s another thing. If you’re going to have intelligence people, we need a Bill Casey. You know who Bill Casey was? Let me tell you about Bill Casey. Bill Casey is one of the heroes of this country. Bill Casey was Ronald Reagan’s CIA director, but that’s not why I say he was one of these heroes. Bill Casey and his buddies. A lot of these guys were ex-Marines, but Bill Casey was one of the organizers, creators, if you will, of the original OSS, Office of Secret Service. Secret whatever it was. The OSS which became the CIA, and these guys did things that would not be allowed today if there were congressional oversight. They did what they had to do back in the World War II era to set this organization up and get it running, and they were just patriots like you can’t imagine. Bill Casey is one of the greatest Americans who’s ever lived, and what Reagan knew when he appointed Casey as CIA director was — I mean we’re coming out of the seventies. We’re coming out of the Church era.
He didn’t pick somebody from the existing organization to go in there and just administer it. He picked somebody to go in there to revamp the CIA and that’s what Bill Casey, because he had started it. Bill Casey was on his own. He was one of the last CIA directors that really had autonomy to run the agency based on his expertise and experience, and there was oversight, of course, but Casey was at odds with these people. But he was just fabulous. You might remember Bill Casey more than anything else, Bob Woodward got an “interview” with him when he was in a coma in a hospital. He had an aneurysm or something while CIA director, was in a coma but somehow was able to wake up and spill the beans to Bob Woodward about things in one of the famous Woodward books.
But this business of imagination is key. It makes sense to a lot of people. People say, “Yeah, we do need people with greater imagination.” Well, we need people that maybe aren’t like us to help us here see how things (might happen), even though we see what we see in terms of what the terrorists are capable of doing. We just see that, how do we go beyond it? I’m not capable of imagining these kind of things if I were pointed to this and I don’t know where you go to recruit these people. They’ve got to have some track record having great imaginations and most people that do are, you know, considered wackos as are the terrorists, which is my point. Here also is what Kean said about the status, the current status of what we face.
KEAN: Put simply, the United States is faced with one of the greatest security challenges in our long history. We have struck blows against the terrorists since 9/11. We have, we believe, prevented attacks on the homeland. We do believe we are safer today than we were on 9/11. But we are not safe. Because Al-Qaeda represents ideology, not a finite group of people, we should not expect the danger to recede greatly as years to come. No matter whom we kill or capture, including Osama bin Laden himself, there will be still those who plot against us. Bin Laden has inspired affiliates and imitators. Societies they prey on are vulnerable, the terrorist ideology is potent, and the means for inflicting harm are readily available. We cannot let our guard down.
RUSH: I dare remind that you these are things President Bush has said, all of these things he has said. One of the greatest security challenges in our history, this is a war unlike we’ve ever known, maybe the Third World war, we’ve never faced this kind of threat, he said, we have struck blows against the terrorists, we believe have prevented attacks on the homeland. That’s a success story right there. If you listen to some people in this country, we’re bombing out miserably. The world is more dangerous. We’re less safe. Kean says, “No, we’re safer than we were on 9/11. We’re just not safe.” Realistic way to put it, and they went on to point out that capturing bin Laden is not the answer, and it’s not, even though some Democrats, Tom Daschle, said, ‘We have failed because we haven’t caught Bin Laden.” It’s hard not to politicize this, and I’m trying not to politicize it, and it’s hard not to — I will admit this — but everything Kean says here has been said in speech after speech after speech on the subject by the president.
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Download PDFs:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf”>Complete 9/11 Commission Report</a> | <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911ReportExec.pdf”>Executive Summary</a> | <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Pref.pdf”>Preface</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Contents, List of Illustrations and Tables, Members and Staff:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_FM.pdf”>Link</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 1:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch1.pdf”>”We Have Some Planes”</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 2:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch2.pdf”>The Foundation of the New Terrorism</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 3:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch3.pdf”>Counterterrorism Evolves</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 4:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch4.pdf”>Responses to Al-Qaeda’s Initial Assaults</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 5:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch5.pdf”>Al Qaeda Aims at the American Homeland</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 6:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch6.pdf”>From Threat to Threat</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 7:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch7.pdf”>The Attack Looms</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 8:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch8.pdf”>”The System Was Blinking Red”</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 9:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch9.pdf”>Heroism and Horror</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 10:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch10.pdf”>Wartime</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 11:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch11.pdf”>Foresight ? and Hindsight</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 12:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch12.pdf”>What to do? A Global Strategy</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Chapter 13:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch13.pdf”>How to do it? A Different Way of Organizing the Government</a>
<B><font color=”#ff0000″>&#149;</font> Documentation:</B> <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_App.pdf”>Appendices</a> | <a target=new href=”http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Notes.pdf”>Notes</a>