Sunday, August 06, 2006

a rousing affirmation that the pentagon didn't lie

A Pentagon spokesman Saturday said "there is nothing that indicates the information provided to the (9/11) commission was knowingly false."

In the de facto Bush Administration, this passes for a bold affirmation of truth-telling. In fact, it is nothing more than an admission that the senior civilian and uniformed Pentagon officials, in discussing with the 9/11 Commission matters like whether the Air Force really had scrambled in time to shoot down United Flight 93 or other threats on that day, or was in fact sending planes out over the Atlantic, or never even got them off the ground till the last of the four hijacked aircraft had crashed, did one of two things:

1) They lied; or
2) They got it wrong.

As so often with this Administration, this is the basic choice. Incompetence (because I'd like to think that months and years after 9/11, the Pentagon would have a rough idea of how it reacted that morning), or mendacity.

I vote for the usual blend of both. But this is a particularly dumb lie. I don't blame the Pentagon for responding confusedly that day. It was a bizarre event. But lying about it just makes the Pentagon look even more stupid, and insults the intelligence of the American people.