Professionalism-- Definition: 1. professional standards: the skill, competence, or character expected of a member of a highly trained profession.
Lately a number of diverse characters from the mainstream have come forth (years later) to decry the so-called incompetence of those involved at the highest echelons of the US government during September 11, 2001.
These diverse characters, from ultra-conservative US Representative, Dana Rohrabacher to New York Times reporter, Phillip Shenon, author of The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 911 Investigation, have lately decried this alleged high level incompetence. Shenon's book gained considerable mainstream publicity, far more media exposure than any book by David Ray Griffin, a longtime critic of the administration's role in 911.
Indeed, say these newest media darlings, if the Bush-Cheney administration were not so incompetent, then 911 would never have happened. Not true. By all appearances and especially by the intended results, Bush/Cheney exhibited a great deal of professionalism. If the definition of professionalism is skill, ability & performance, the Neocons set out to do something well, and they exceeded all expectations.
Lets examine briefly this "incompetent" claim and see if it stands up to the light of reality. Or do these late-coming arguments seek to shift blame and muddy the water?
1. Claim: Bush was incompetent on the morning of 911. No. To be more exact, his Secret Service contingent was criminal, if not treasonable for exposing the US president to possible harm. Where is the Congressional investigation into that?
2. Claim: Vice President Dick Cheney was incompetent on the morning of 911. Once again, No. Cheney was CRIMINAL on the morning of the attack. Cheney was self-serving on the morning of the attack. Cheney was calculating on the morning of the attack. Cheney was Cheney on the morning of the attack. He was never, ever incompetent. He determined to serve the purposes of his Halliburton cronies, his Exxon cronies, his Carlyle cronies, his PNAC cronies, his AIPAC cronies, ALL who benefited by the attack. But, to say Cheney was incompetent is a bald-faced Lie. Dick Cheney was extremely professional on 911.
3. Claim: Condaleeza Rice was incompetent on and before 911. Not by the definition of professionalism, that is "the skill, competence, or character expected of a member of a highly trained profession." Rice served those who appointed her very professionally. Through the skill and competence of ignoring intelligence, Rice gained a cabinet post and a pay raise after 911. Unless the New York Times can prove Rice incompetent, in print, immediately after 911, and prove the New York Times ever called for her immediate resignation in the days following, and called for an immediate investigation into the entire, obvious 911 criminal malfeasance, then Rice (and everyone else) simply did their job to the same exacting standards as exhibited by, say, NY Times editors & reporters in the immediate aftermath of 911.
4. Claim: Donald Rumsfeld was incompetent before and after 911. Never! On the contrary. Rumsfeld gained idol-worship status in the mainstream media for his professionalism in the weeks following 911 and for many years afterwards. Simply by doing nothing, Rumsfeld helped achieve the New Pearl Harbor that his colleagues hoped for, and gained hefty new contracts for his Pentagon buddies. Most importantly, Rumsfeld professionally diverted attention AWAY from the spectacular loss of an estimated 2.3 TRILLION in missing Pentagon funds. That, by itself, takes a level of professionalism beyond mere mortals.
5. Claim: Kean & Hamilton botched the 911 investigation through their "incompetence." Most assuredly they did NOT. They knew what they were asked to do and they did it. Professionally. Kean and Hamilton stepped aside and allowed a true professional like Phillip Zelikow to run the show and shift the "evidence" to fit the pre-selected, PNAC conclusion we see today.
We could go on and on, compiling this list for weeks. Instead we see that the false claims of "incompetence" are completely devoid of all substance. The people involved, and who are still involved, are all top professionals. They knew then, as they know now, exactly what they wanted to do and they did it. Or to paraphrase an old Sioux warrior, Red Cloud: "They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one; they promised to take our land and they did."
They made US MANY PROMISES BUT THEY KEPT ONLY ONE. Those involved at the highest levels of our government on 911, promised to take us into a New World Order and they did.
I would like to thank the remarkable folks at www.911blogger especially John Doraemi, who inspired this column, with their discussion of Phillip Shenon's recent book. Read their debate here. 'Incompetent' Criticism: 9/11, Phillip Shenon and the Biggest Lie in History.
Novelist Douglas Herman wrote the historical crime novel, The Guns of Dallas, a fictional scenario that later proved to be more than a little true. He lives and works in Kodiak and Bullhead City, Arizona.