Anorak News | Brought To Book

Brought To Book

by | 23rd, July 2004

‘WHAT chance is there that a President who only read one book as he drunk his way through Yale will actually make it to the end of the 9/11 Commission’s 567-page report?

‘It’s a book, Mr President’

George Dubya certainly didn’t look as if he knew what to do with the document when it was handed to him yesterday in the White House garden by commission chairman Tom Kean.

But the newspapers have been poring over what the Telegraph describes as an ‘objective narrative with the power of a best-selling thriller’.

And such is its power that it is predicted that the half a million copies that went on sale yesterday across America will quickly be snapped up.

The report starts, says the Telegraph, ‘like all the most chilling and gripping of blockbusters in a deceptively languid way’.

‘Tuesday September 11 2001 dawned temperate and nearly cloudless in the eastern United States. For those heading to an airport, weather conditions could not have been better for a safe and pleasant journey…’

Of course, we all know the basic plot, although the report sets down in detail for the first time the exact sequence of events of that terrible day.

We read about the failures in airport security that allowed the hijackers to smuggle weapons on board the planes; we learn of the sequence of events on board American Airlines Flight 11 in the minutes before it was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center; and we are given a re-enactment of how the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 almost retook the plane before forcing it to crash in a field.

President Bush’s response yesterday was to say that the report only confirmed his own opinion that the government had a duty to look after the security of its citizens.

Hardly words of inspiration for a people who have just been told that attacks of even more catastrophic proportions are ‘possible, even probable’.

As the Independent observes, ‘he did not sound like a man galvanised into action by the report’.

Although then CIA director George Tenet said ‘the system was blinking red’ in the months leading up to 9/11 and US intelligence agencies warned of ‘something very, very, very big’, President Bush reiterated yesterday that he had ‘no inkling that terrorists were about to attack our country’.

One suspects that what the President does have an inkling about could easily be summarised in fewer than 567 pages, so we’ll help him out with one central conclusion of the commission’s report – the whodunit.

It wasn’t Iraq…’

Posted: 23rd, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink