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**Analysis Of Select Portions  
Of March 24 911 Proceedings  
** By Joseph Ehrlich  

Clarke began his testimony with an apology to loved ones of those roughly 3,000 people killed in the attacks on airliners, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"Your government failed you, and I failed you," he said. "We tried hard, but that doesn't matter because we failed you. And for that failure, I would ask, once all the facts are out, for your understanding and for your forgiveness."
SenderBerl: This apology by Clarke suggests that there is something to apologize for. Firefighters who valiantly try to save a child from a burning house will apologize to the parents as a matter of courtesy and form when failing to extract the child. This type of apology does not indicate fault. Thus, for the record, failure does not suggest culpable fault. Thus, again, it is important to keep your eye on the ball. The true issue is whether there is complicity for an event without which the plans in hand could not unravel.
March 24 2004 Ben-Veniste questioning Armitage
BEN-VENISTE: Is it correct that -- let me go to the period of just prior to 9/11. At this point you were confirmed?
ARMITAGE: Yes, sir.
BEN-VENISTE: At this point you were aware, were you not, of the most heightened alert level in the United States up to that point with respect to the potential for a terrorist attack of significant magnitude.
ARMITAGE: Yes, I was. I was one of those to whom Director Tenet turned, along with other seniors in the administration, and made it very clear that we had a big problem coming. He didn't know where and he didn't know when, but he said it was coming.
SenderBerl: This is proof positive of affirmative malfeasance. Foreign intelligence agencies pointed out that American surveillance of the skies and seas were lacking on 9-11 and without question the response or should we say lack of military response proved the point.
SenderBerl again highlights to you that the President's schedule on September 7 dramatically changed to allow him to visit two elementary schools in a non election period and year to read with second graders AFTER being criticized for being away from Washington at his ranch the entire month of August. Thus while the President keeps saying his qualified statement that if he knew terrorists were going to strike on the morning of 9-11 he would have done everything to prevent the attack, it leaves open for the record whether he knew that an attack was otherwise imminent and that there were many around him who were awaiting it to launch the agenda that unraveled immediately after 9-11.
BEN-VENISTE: Now, Dr. Rice told us that Mr. Clark had briefed her that there were Al Qaida sleeper cells in the United States. Dr. Rice told us that she did not know what basis Mr. Clarke had for that. She told us that the FBI was trying to actively find Al Qaida personnel. She did not, she told us, talk to Richard Clarke prior to 9/11 about the potential for Al Qaida sleeper cells. Were she here, I would ask her the question as to why she did not discuss the issue of Al Qaida sleeper cells in the United States with her counterterrorism coordinator. Do you have any information you might be able to shed on that subject?
ARMITAGE: No, of course not.
BEN-VENISTE: Dr. Rice, following 9/11, made a statement that -- I want to make sure I get it right -- she said, I don't think anybody could have predicted that those people could take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center. Take another one, and slam it into the Pentagon. That they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.Do you recall that she made that statement publicly?
ARMITAGE: No, I didn't see that.
SenderBerl: When a witness uses this type of technique in answering the question, it shows he was prepared to obfuscate the Commission's inquiry and further he is not serving his duty to his public office.
BEN-VENISTE: Similarly, yesterday, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld made a statement with respect to anticipating the use of commercial airplanes as weapons. And then after I questioned him about it, he retracted that statement and said that he personally could not have or did not imagine that such a thing might happen. Dr. Rice told us privately that she wished to correct that statement that she made publicly by saying to us that she misspoke and that she, like Secretary Rumsfeld yesterday, would say that she could not have imagined using planes as missiles. Can you shed any light on who then in the apparatus of protecting the United States against threats, both foreign and domestic, ought to be coordinating this information for the benefit of the president?
ARMITAGE: I know that the director of Central Intelligence had, on at least one occasion to my knowledge, talked about hijacking of aircraft. I just don't think we had the imagination required to consider a tragedy of this magnitude. I don't know what other answer to tell you. We didn't have a homeland security czar. We've traditionally, generally, in terrorism unfortunately looked overseas. Of course, that's the major direction of Secretary Powell's and my attention.
SenderBerl: This should make the families of the victims bitter indeed. Al-Qaeda historically has shown little imagination in implementing terrorism but here the United States government declares it lacked the imagination to perceive planes being used against buildings but Al-Qaeda not only then had the imagination to plan the deed but also had the capability of carrying it off! Do you see the folly of Armitage's argument to wit that therefore Al-Qaeda is more competent and imaginative than the U.S. government and therefore better suited to implement such actions. Further, if this in fact is the case the entire current government responsible for security should be sent to pasture because if they admit to not having the creative ability to anticipate the terrorism how in the world can such people be suited to protect us against further attack? Will they claim the next act of terrorism as successful due to their inability to imagine it? The point of course is that they didn't need imagination at all. When four planes went off transponders, our military defensive apparatus, costing taxpayers untold billions of dollars, should have intervened. But they were kept grounded. This is where the Commission shows itself to be a whitewash. The real message of the Commission is for Bush and friends to retire; similar to Netanyahu telling Peres don't succeed in winning in Israel after Rabin's assassination unless you want the public to start seeing proof revealed regarding what really took place.
Further, the National Security Agency misses nothing monitoring telephone and E-mail around the world. If they didn't know that there were allegedly nineteen hijackers here in the United States with plans to implement 9-11, we will eat crow. We know that out government is quite expertise and adept when it wishes to be and demures from the truth when it has reason to hide truths from the American people. What did Commission Member Kerrey say when he threatened to resign his post: "I am no longer ... feeling comfortable that I'm going to be able to read and process what I need in order to participate in writing a report about how it was that 19 men defeated every single defensive system the U.S. put up to kill 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11."
BEN-VENISTE: Well, can you tell me, since you're sitting in for Dr. Rice, what it was that Dr. Rice had before her to suggest that the United States might be a target in this period of extraordinarily heightened threat during the summer of 2001?
ARMITAGE: I can't.
BEN-VENISTE: Have you paid attention to at least some of the appearances Dr. Rice has made on the airwaves?
ARMITAGE: No, actually I haven't.
BEN-VENISTE: Well, when did you learn for the first time that Al Qaida was responsible for the Cole?
ARMITAGE: I don't know the exact date. I think it's just like building coral: came to the conclusion.
BEN-VENISTE: Some time after March?
ARMITAGE: Yes, that would be my recollection.
BEN-VENISTE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you, Mr. Secretary.
SenderBerl:: When did you learn that Al-Qaeda was responsible for 9-11? A real inquiry would pursue the important issue whether he and others could believe, even with their admitted lack of imagination, whether from their knowledge of previous acts of terrorism, whether Al-Qaeda could have pulled this event off by itself. No one of course appears with demolition expertise and no one of course has appeared to confirm that those at flight school would have near zero chance of hitting two building with the dead point accuracy done on 9-11. It's all a farce, and the only way more truth will unravel is if Bush insists on re-election. Bush 41 will paint the picture for his son. As we interpreted on November 19, 2003, Bush will not be allowed to undertake a second term unless he can manipulate an environment to platform an attack and occupation of Syria and Iran. Madrid was the first evidence of such an effort but yet again he has fumbled on the twenty-yard line. Now, we have Sharon out to help him out. Its time to bench them all.  

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