Skip to comments.The Cost of Life (Clinton/Gore Sellout of Security for Campaign Contributions) **FR EXCLUSIVE**
Posted on 09/23/2001 10:30:38 AM PDT by Clinton's a liar
At the invitation of UPI, Jon Loose and I wrote this op-ed and submitted it a week ago. UPI told us that every single person who read it there said that this was not commentary but that it was news. They have told us they were assigning staff to cover this story.
Since Newsmax has broken the story, I thought it time to put out information that has not yet come to light.
Hindsight is always 20/20. You see causes and proactive avenues that could have altered the outcome. Sometimes these ignored actions are discounted as unreasonable. Other times, you point your finger at a deserved party.
In the wake of the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, the most compelling raison d'être is that we failed to take our own advice. More specifically, the weaknesses in airport security were largely identified a number of years ago.
In July of 1996, in the wake of the crash of TWA flight 800, President Clinton convened the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security by executive order 13015 to take place on August 22, 1996. He gave the commission 45 days to study matters involving aviation safety and security, including air traffic control and to develop a strategy to improve aviation safety and security, both domestically and internationally, then present their conclusions. He named Vice President Al Gore to head the commission. By special invitation of the President, Victoria Cummock was named to the commission. Ms. Cummock lost her husband in the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scottland some eight years prior. According to Newsday, Cummock held the reputation at the time of the airlines most tenacious foe.
Five years prior to September 11, 2001, Gore held a press conference to announce the commissions preliminary report that promised, to take the strongest measures possible to reduce the risk of terrorism and sabotage to airline passengers and crews. Gore further stated that their upcoming proposed measures will, be put into place quickly and effectively and will help ensure that airline travel remains as safe as possible for all travelers. A solid and factual preliminary report backed up Gores comments.
Ten days later, just prior to the 1996 election, Gore penned a letter to airline lobbyist Carol Hallett, promising that the commission's findings would not cause the airlines any loss of revenue. The very next day the Democratic National Committee received a check in the amount of $40,000 from TWA. Over the next two weeks Northwest, United and American Airlines donated $55,000 more.
In the next two months the Democratic National Committee pocketed over $250,000 from American Airlines. United Airlines threw in an additional $100,000. Northwest Airlines added $53,000. Thats a grand total of over half a million dollars. According to the Washington Times, Whitehouse Spokesman, Ginny Terzano gave no denial when asked whether Al Gore solicited these airline donations personally.
Contributory advice and suggestions were being sought and incorporated into the draft(s) of the report by all sides of the aisle and divisions of government including intelligence agencies, transportation agencies and military personnel. The draft final form was presented to the 21 participating commissioners in January of 1997. According to the Washington Times, a significant number of security measures were removed from the proposed final draft of the report.
Victoria Cummock and CIA Director John Deutch were resolute in their opposition to the softball report. Gore was given no choice but to pull back the report. Reinstalled were sensible new procedures that would cost the airlines millions of dollars.
· Conduct airport vulnerability assessments and develop action plans
· Require criminal background checks and FBI fingerprint checks for all screeners, and all airport and airline employees with access to secure areas
· Deploy existing technology
· Signifi cantly expand the use of bomb-sniffing dogs
· Complement technology with automated passenger profiling
· Certify screening companies and improve screener performance
· Aggressively test existing security systems
· Use the Customs Service to enhance security
· Give properly cleared airline and airport security personnel access to the classified information they need to know
· Begin implementation of full bag-passenger match · Providing more compassionate and effective assistance to families of victims
· Improve passenger manifests
· Significantly increase the number of FBI agents assigned to counter-terrorism investigations, to improve intelligence, and to crisis response
· Provide anti-terrorism assistance in the form of airport security training to countries where there are airports served by airlines flying to the US
The security measures were in the final recommendation report. However, the implementation timetable was nowhere to be found.
In February of 1997, Victoria Cummock called the report toothless. She informed Gore that unless specific implementation dates were added in the report she would file a dissent, because the airline industry would not have to do anything until such measures were mandated.
On February 12, 1997, an open meeting was held on the commissions final report. Gore made a point to inform Ms. Cummock that he would leave room for her dissent to the final report. NBC Dateline caught these comments on videotape. Also on videotape was Mr. Gore presenting the final report to President Clinton minutes later and pronouncing that the report had unanimous consent. But it didnt.
Victoria Cummock filed suit claiming that Gore pressured her to abandon her call for counter-terrorist measures, the right to see commission files of which she was denied, and the right to file her 42-page dissent. It was her ambition to see the commissions findings presented accurately within the final report. Gore painted Cummock, who had lost her husband in a terrorist act, as a disgruntled commissioner.
In mid 1999 Ms. Cummock won her case in the D.C. Court of Appeals. In the long drawn out and impeded discovery process a memo was discovered from a CIA staffer, specializing in psychological profiling. According to The American Spectator, the memo stated that Cummock could be "kept in line if she believes progress could be made" but "could become a major problem."
On September 11, 2001, those ultimately responsible for the destruction of thousands of precious lives were the terrorists who pulled the knives and steered the planes.
But playing politics and intentionally ignoring obvious safety and security voids in an industry that has been a target of terrorists for over thirty years is unconscionable.
Now the airlines are paying the price. We all are.
I would have placed restrictions on the funding to limit that funding to operations only (which, of course, would include paying pilots, flight attendants and security). NO corporate staff should be eligible for payment out of that funding. NONE.
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