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Protecting Daddy: The 9/11 Commission Report
Benjamin DeMott in Harpers Magazine explains how commission members could not bring themselves to face the facts of the President's lies about not being informed about Al Quaeda.
Professionals who work with child sexual abuse are familiar with a strange tendancy. Within families where the father is abusing a child family members will actually try to protect the abusing father. The father's role is so important to the survival and well-being of the family that extreme efforts will be made to shield the father from the consequences of his abuse.
If George Lakoff is right that people view the family as a metaphor for the nation then the president becomes a father figure (in his book Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think). And if the president/daddy abuses his citizens/children, lies to them, and fails to protect them from tragedy then there will be some tendancy to excuse him, to shield him from facing the consequences of his failure.
That tendancy may partly help explain the failure of the 9/11 Commission to clearly explain in its report the degree to which President Bush lied about what he knew about Al Quaeda and bin Laden before the attack. The president claimed that "nobody told me" that there were sleeper cells in the country intent on doing major damage to the United States. But the report itself clearly demonstrates that the president had, indeed, been told, and told many times, by the highest officials in the White House and CIA.
In Harper's Magazine on October 2004, Benjamin DeMott tells the whole story. It is very worthwhile to read this whole article to see the degree to which the 9/11 Commission participates in giving George Bush an alibi for his failures to protect the nation from this tragedy. The Commission treats the readers of its report not as critical, competent citizens but as needy children, children who can't face the reality of daddy's abuse.
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