Gimme Some Truth
Seeing Jimmy Carter’s eloquent speech as he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize and the worldwide respect which is now accorded America’s 39th president brought to mind the manner in which he was treated while in office. Particularly the doldrums days of his last year in the presidency.
I refer of course to the 444 days in which he was held personally accountable for the fate of 52 Americans held hostage by terrorists in Iran. Candidate Ronald Reagan was not alone in his relentless pummeling of Carter. Republican politicians and the American media held a vigil over the hostage crisis. Actually “CARTER’s hostage crisis” – since his every action or inaction were held up to intense scrutiny – and he was deemed personally responsible for the fate of the hostages. Drawing the heaviest toll on Carter was the way in which each day that went by was tallied. “It’s now Day 235 of the Hostage Crisis…” “It’s now Day 236 of the Hostage Crisis…” etc etc
ABC’s “Nightline” indeed was born in the crucible of Carter’s Hostage Crisis. This relentless focus compounded an already diminished image of Carter’s effectiveness as President – and it certainly contributed to his failure to win re-election.
I’m against flagrant favoritism and it seems only fair that if Jimmy Carter was blessed with such intense scrutiny – that the media should not short-change George W. Bush in coverage of HIS hostage crisis.
What hostage crisis you ask?
Well how about the one in which nearly 290 MILLION Americans are being held hostage? That is what has in effect been happening since September 11, 2001.
The 288 million people in America today (per official US Census Bureau numbers) have been held hostage to terror ever since the Al Qaeda terrorists attacked this country – promising more to come.
We are certainly not free to live as we did before 9/11 – and there are massive restrictions on how we live our lives. Osama bin Laden has made clear that there are no innocent Americans. We are all potential targets. And he continues to threaten us. And if that doesn’t make us hostages to terror – what else are we supposed to call it?
Given that this hostage crisis has causes and possible negligence that led to the attack of 9/11 that need to be fearlessly investigated…. And given that we also are living in fear of subsequent attacks – it seems only fair to accord George W. Bush - who is responsible for the safety of 288 million hostages – at least the same respect that was given to Jimmy Carter – who had a mere 52 hostages on his plate.
So let’s see a daily tally of the days gone by since George W. Bush’s Hostage Crisis started.
Out of consideration for the media – I’ve done the math. As of Wednesday, December 11th 2002 – we’re at Day 456. (Already 12 days longer than Carter’s Hostage Crisis.)
And – more importantly – let’s see a vigilant and virile media start asking the tough questions about this hostage crisis.
In case the media is otherwise preoccupied dancing to the captivating rhythms laid out for it by Donald Rumsfeld in his folksy press conferences and the glorious diversion of “Showdown With Iraq” – the much-touted sequel to his father’s “Operation Desert Storm” – I have taken the trouble to come up with a few questions that the President might like to answer. Purely out of respect for the 288 million hostages who as President he is sworn to defend.
So here are my ten questions that I think the media should start asking of the president. I doubt we’ll get any replies. But Ari Fleischer’s evasions of these questions would at least provide some entertaining circumlocutions.
1) It is now 450 days since September 17th, 2001 - the day when President George W. Bush publicly swore to get Osama bin Laden "DEAD OR ALIVE".
What has happened to that promise? How come we have not yet got Osama bin Laden Dead OR Alive?
2) How come Osama bin Laden is still making threats of further terrorist attacks on the US and its allies - which are universally held to be deadly serious?
3) At a special NSC briefing upon his inauguration - George W. Bush was directly informed that the National Security Council regarded Osama bin Laden to be one of the three most serious threats facing this country.
What precise actions did he take during the 255 days between January 20th and September 10th 2001 to tackle the problem that he was notified was of such grave consequence to the nation?
4) What precise instructions were given to the FBI and CIA?
5) What coordination was ordered between these two agencies?
6) What efforts were made to pool intelligence resources and share the results with all concerned parties - including airlines and airport security officials?
7) 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. A money trail had long been suspected between the Saudi government and Islamic terrorists. Now there is direct hard evidence of a link.
Between September 11th 2001 and the recent revelations precisely what efforts were made to conduct a vigorous investigation of those links?
8) And were there any indications whatsoever (direct or indirect) given by any member of the administration to the FBI, CIA or any other investigating authority to take account of possible political, economic or diplomatic consequences of such investigations?
9) When will the administration make public any and all communications it received since September 11, 2002 - from oil companies and/or their lobbyists and/or representatives on the topic of the possible adverse affects on their business if the US vigorously investigated links between the Saudi Arabia establishment and Islamic terrorists?
10) The World Trade Center was bombed on February 26th 1993.
On the 3,140 days between the 1993 bombing and the 9/11 attack in 2001 - precisely how many FBI-man hours were spent by FBI agents investigating prospective Islamic terrorists in the USA?
During the same period - precisely how many FBI-man hours were spent by FBI agents investigating alleged crimes carried out by Bill and Hillary Clinton? (Investigations which were concluded and yielded absolutely no criminal charges or indictments of any kind.)
In 1971 John Lennon wrote a song called “Gimme Some Truth” directed at the American establishment ruled by Richard Nixon. The angry lyrics denounced the “short-haired, yellow-bellied sons of Tricky Dicky” who were spinning the Vietnam War and other issues in an attempt to “soft-soap” the public.
It seems a fitting title for a website dedicated to this issue. So those interested in keeping track of George W. Bush’s hostage crisis may visit http://www.gimmesometruth.com
At the very least you’ll be able to keep track of how many days have elapsed in Bush’s hostage crisis. And if I receive any answers to my questions – I promise the President I’ll post them there so his 288 million hostages can see what he’s doing for them.
UPDATE - October 2004
No answers yet. The US population is now 295 million. And we've surpassed 1,100 days of Bush's Hostage Crisis. Not a peep about it from the media.
In addition to http://www.gimmesometruth.com there is another website about this issue