The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Friday, September 08, 2006  

Yes, It's Alessandra Again

Alessandra Stanley, one of the most corrected New York Times reporters currently on staff, reaches a new low with her review, I guess we're to call it, of ABC's factually challenged miniseries, "The Path to 9/11," published today as "Laying Blame and Passing the Buck, Dramatized."

Ms. Stanley offers this appalling observation:

In 2001 President Bush and his newly appointed aides had ample warning, including a briefing paper titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," and they failed to take it seriously enough, but their missteps are not equal. It’s like focusing blame for a school shooting at the beginning of the school year on the student’s new home room teacher; the adults who watched the boy torment classmates and poison small animals knew better.

What are we to make of this? That the Bush administration was allowed some time, a learning curve if you will, in order to get up to speed on the threats posed by international terrorism, a subject that President Bill Clinton and his adviser Richard Clarke made amply clear to their successors? And how much time for the obviously intellectually deficient president and his inept national security adviser, who has since failed her way up to the State Department?

One might argue that Ms. Stanley redeemed herself a bit with this observation:

The Sept. 11 commission concluded that the sex scandal distracted the Clinton administration from the terrorist threat. But in hindsight, surely the right-wing groups who drove for impeachment must look back at their partisan obsession with shame, like widows sickened by the memory of spats about dirty dishes and gambling debts.

But that assumes the right wing is willing to own up to or apologize for anything. Don't count on it.

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