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Can 9/11 Commission Get Beyond Politics?

March 29, 2004

Re "Rice Blusters and Blunders," editorial, March 26: It's pretty obvious why national security advisor Condoleezza Rice is doing back-flips trying to discredit Richard Clarke's whistling-blowing on this administration's ineptitude and arrogance regarding terrorism, 9/11 and Iraq. When everything comes out, she has much to lose.

Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are too old for it to matter. President Bush, unfortunately, will probably land safely in the arms of his many benefactors. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was nothing before this and will return to nothingness afterward.

Rice was thought at one time to have a future; unless she can successfully discredit Clarke (doubtful, in my opinion), she is through in the national arena.

Paul Robinson

Culver City

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Why are we wasting so much time and effort asking what we could have done instead of asking what are we doing now?

If bombing Afghanistan in early 2001 would not have stopped 9/11, as the terrorists were already here, then why did we bomb Afghanistan immediately following 9/11?

Did we identify all terrorists here? Do we even know today, 30 months later? Have we squandered $100 billion overseas instead of putting it to use right here?

Kelly J. Allison

Capistrano Beach

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It is difficult to claim success when zero is a perfect score. But there has not been a second terrorist attack on United States soil. Therefore, Bush's Homeland Security Department must be doing a good job.

Allen C. Hagelberg

Upland

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Will former FBI Director Louis Freeh be questioned by the 9/11 commission? Freeh was the FBI chief at the time of the incident. He could better explain why proper actions were not taken on some of the glaring tips that were available to save the country from such great loss.

Can the commission offer sound recommendations to prevent the recurrence of such horrendous acts without knowing the whole truth?

Basheer A. Khan

Garden Grove

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Holding public hearings on the 9/11 attack was a bad idea. It has come down to dirty politics, which we should have expected. I suggest that Clarke donate all proceeds from his book to a fund for the survivors of those who lost their lives on 9/11.

William Ferraro

Seal Beach

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Regarding Michael Ramirez's March 25 cartoon on the 9/11 commission (Commentary):

Juxtapose something Ramirez doesn't like -- the Spanish election, the 9/11 commission, anyone outspoken against the Iraq invasion -- with a caricature of Osama bin Laden with a look of gloating approval on his face, the "Al Qaeda" logo on his chest and, voila, you have a Ramirez editorial cartoon.

Not only does this noxious, simplistic and pseudo-patriotic characterization equate dissent with treason -- as un-American a concept as one could imagine -- but it is also lousy art. The Times' readers deserve an editorial cartoonist of greater political and artistic acumen. Where is Donald Trump to say "You're fired!" when we need him?

Roger Hollander

Reseda

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