Have You Forgotten?

An excerpt from today’s gaggle :

QUESTION: You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson’s wife. So don’t you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn’t he?

MCCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

QUESTION: Do you think people will accept that, what you’re saying today?

MCCLELLAN: Again, I’ve responded to the question.

QUESTION: You’re in a bad spot here, Scott…


… because after the investigation began — after the criminal investigation was under way — you said, October 10th, 2003, “I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this,” from that podium. That’s after the criminal investigation began.

Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation.

This is starting to give me a stomach ache. The way we liberal bloggers have been following this, it’s easy to see this as an enormous game of partisan “Gotcha!” that we’re all wrapped up in.

Well, it’s not.

I know that evoking 9/11 is a game that both sides of the aisle like to play to smear the other side, but I honestly can’t shake the mental imagery of the last four years of bloody chaos. Usually my mind focuses on two or three images at a time. This morning, for example, it was the people diving out of the burning WTC towers to escape the smoke, the grainy video of Danny Pearl saying “I am a Jew” just prior to being beheaded, and the shredded double decker bus in London. Other times I think about the gaping hole in the Pentagon or the photos that leaked of row after row of American flag draped coffins. Whatever it it, the message that’s drilled into my subconscious is the same :

Thousands of people have been killed already, but there are still others out there who want to murder you right now.

September 11th obviously effected everyone in profound ways, so I would never imply that my grief and fear is something unique to one political persuasion or another. But it still puzzles me when something this big only seems to generate outrage on one side of the aisle.

Right now there are people who want to murder as many Americans as possible. It doesn’t matter to them who their victims voted for, what religion they are, if they’re rich or poor, black, white, whatever. As long as the bodycount is high, it doesn’t matter who gets hit. The fact that the WTC towers were financial centers was secondary to the fact that hitting the largest buildings in the country at mid-morning would maximize the terrorists’ bloodshed. With these people wanting to kill so indiscriminately, it seems that the best means to this end is to make sure that we stop the spread of the appropriately-named weapons of mass destruction.

Yet here we are, almost four years later, and we’ve got a situation in which we’re 99% certain that the right hand man to the guy who’s in charge of keeping our nightmares for becoming a reality has been undercutting efforts to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction. I honestly cannot understand why everyone who was effected by 9/11 isn’t outraged about this. I really can’t.

I don’t know what’s more frightening. Being kept up at night with neurotic fears about mushroom-clouds and evil terrorists, or the suspicion that the people who are supposed to be taking this fight seriously aren’t having the same nightmares.