Friday, August 12, 2005

I Smell A Rat

I wonder if President Bush would consider forming a commission to investigate the 9/11 Commission.

Here is disturbing news from the AP:
Atta Intelligence Omitted From Report

By KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Sept. 11 commission knew military intelligence officials had identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as a member of al-Qaida who might be part of U.S.-based terror cell more than a year before the terror attacks but decided not to include that in its final report, a spokesman acknowledged Thursday.

Al Felzenberg, spokesman for the commission's follow-up project called the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, had said earlier this week that the panel was unaware of intelligence specifically naming Atta. But he said subsequent information provided Wednesday confirmed that the commission had been aware of the intelligence. (link)

Many of us argued at that point in time when the commission was holding public hearings that it was corrupt to the core, with one of the primary contributors to the intelligence/law enforcement failure - one Jamie Gorelick - participating as one of the commissioners. The makeup of the commission on the Democratic side was a setup for a coverup from the beginning. Only now, long after the commission report was made public, a lengthy tome that (surprise!), found nobody to be at fault for our lapse in security that resulted in the terrorist attack, do we find out that the commission was provided with damning information and chose to keep it secret.

But this story isn't going away. Expect to hear a lot more about Jamie Gorelick. And about Clinton-era disregard for the well-being of the American citizenry that allowed Muslim extremists to slaughter 3000 innocent men, women, and children.

If our government can't be trusted to launch a legitimate investigation into their failures, we'll do it without them.

An Airport Only a Dandelion Could Love

The Roanoke Times reveals (at least to me) a rather pernicious attempt on the part of the Franklin County, Virginia Board of Supervisors to exercise their power of eminent domain and condemn 330 acres belonging to 18 landowners for the potential construction of a general aviation airport.

The Times rightly denounces the effort:
An eminently weak case for an airport

Franklin County land takings for uncertain public benefit would be an abuse of eminent domain.

Franklin County apparently has a suitable site for a general-aviation airport. It apparently can get the federal government to pay much of the cost to build it.

One crucial ingredient is still missing, however: a plausible argument that the public benefit would be broad and extensive enough to justify using the power of eminent domain to take hundreds of acres from 18 landowners.

... land takings in pursuit of such vague, uncertain community benefits -- and quite specific benefits for a well-to-do few -- look distressingly similar to the abusive exploitation feared by critics of the high court's ruling.

If a more substantial case can be made for the airport as an economic development asset, supporters should make it.

Without far better evidence, Franklin County's elected officials have no business using eminent domain to take land from unwilling owners. (
The Times is right, of course, to put the smackdown on Franklin County's lamentable interest in economic development through the creation of an airport that will sprout plenty of weeds but nary a job for the hard-pressed area.

And as for the wealthy who might benefit from the airport, my guess is they'll do just fine without all the help. They can jet into Roanoke or they can helicopter into Smith Mountain Lake.

My suggestion to all concerned is: Let's first give them a reason to want to.