Skip to comments.The Cost of Life (Clinton/Gore Sellout of Security for Campaign Contributions) **FR EXCLUSIVE** #2
Posted on 09/23/2001 1:37:36 PM 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.
CAL ...hold Gore's feet to the fire on this one...
Dog, hold Bubba's and Hilliary's feet to the fire more like it. Gore didn't wipe his nose without the Toons' permission.
Can't we start some sort of grass roots initiative that promotes electing people of good character? People of integrity and background that PROVE this by their past work?
Al Gore is about to have woman troubles: No, not that kind. Her name is Victoria Cummock. She alleges that Mr. Gore was in bed, not with a woman, but with the airline industry he was entrusted to investigate when TWA Flight 800 went down. In June last year she won a little-noted decision in the D.C. Court of Appeals that keeps her search for truth alive. The search continues, and Mr. Gore is about to learn that Mrs. Cummock is not a woman with whom to be trifled.
What brings her case to mind is the maxim of Washington journalism that if a politician champions a particular value, he deserves to be measured by that standard himself. So, when I see Mr. Gore repeatedly assume the heroic pose on behalf of the little guy against the powerful special interests, my thoughts turn to Victoria Cummock. Here's why.
In 1996, in the aftermath of the crash of TWA Flight 800, President Clinton personally called Mrs. Cummock to ask her to serve as a commissioner on The White House Commission on Aviation Safety, created to investigate the crash. He also appointed Mr. Gore to be its chairman. She was chosen because her husband had been killed in the Pan Am 103/Lockerbie crash. Since then, she had become a leading passenger-rights advocate, and Mr. Clinton had assured her he sincerely wanted to develop new, tough counter-terrorism procedures. He instructed Mr. Gore to make recommendations within 45 days.
The Gore Commission produced a tough preliminary report, and at a Sept. 9, 1996, press conference Mr. Gore publicly asserted the need for those changes. And then, all hell broke loose but for Mr. Gore, not for the terrorists. "Within ten days, the whole [airline] industry jumped all over Al Gore," Mrs. Cummock reported. On Sept. 19, Mr. Gore sent a letter to airline lobbyist Carol Hallett, promising that the commission's findings would not cause the airlines any loss of revenue. The next day the Democratic National Committee received a $40,000 contribution from TWA. In the next two weeks Northwest, United and American Airlines donated $55,000 more.
In the following two months (leading up to the November 1996 presidential elections) American Airlines donated a quarter of a million dollars to the Democrats. United Airlines donated $100,000 to the DNC. Northwestern upped its anty to $53,000. In all, Mr. Gore and the Democrats collected almost half a million dollars between the election and the day two months before that Mr. Gore assured the airlines his commission wouldn't cost them any money.
At the time, White House spokesperson Ginny Terzano refused either to confirm or deny that Mr. Gore personally solicited the airline contributions. But that is not what got Victoria Cummock's dander up.
In January 1997, Mr. Gore's staff circulated a draft final report that eliminated all security measures from their findings. Not only Mrs. Cummock, but CIA Director and fellow Commissioner John Deutch complained. So Mr. Gore pulled back the draft. In February Mr. Gore finally came up with the classic Washington ploy. The final report called for sensible new procedures that would cost the airlines millions of dollars: 450 high tech bomb detectors, more training for airport security, criminal background checks for security personnel, increased canine patrols. But Victoria Cummock noticed one thing was missing there was no timetable to accomplish these requirements. She informed the vice president that without timetables, the report was "toothless" and she couldn't support it, but instead would file a dissent.
It was a classic Washington victory. The policy wonks got their proposals noticed, the airlines got their bottom line protected and Mr. Gore got his party the money. The only losers were the passengers, who got no increased security from terrorism. So, when Mr. Gore actually had a chance to fight, rather than talk about, the powerful special interests on behalf of the little guy, he turned his money-stuffed coat and protected the interests that bought him.
In an open meeting on Feb. 12, Mr. Gore stated that he would leave room in the final report for Victoria Cummock's dissent. A few minutes later at the White House, as Mr. Gore presented the final report to President Clinton, the vice president announced that the report was unanimous. Both of those Gore lies are on video tape. NBC's Dateline has the tapes.
And so Mrs. Cummock went to court. Not on behalf of some conspiracy theory, but on the right to see commission files that were denied her and the right to file a dissent. She only wanted the commission's own findings to be enforced. After winning in the D.C. Court of Appeals last year, she is slowly gaining discovery of the commission's secret files.
She has already found one interesting document in the secret commission files: A letter to Mr. Gore from his now famous convicted felon fund-raiser Maria Hsia. In that note she talks about the successful fund-raiser at the Buddhist Temple and asks the vice president for help in getting government funding for her to be part of the Project Citizenship initiative. Now, however did that note end up in the secret Gore Commission files? More to come.
This column was researched with the assistance of John B. Roberts II who first reported many of these facts in the American Spectator.
Copyright © 2001 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Can be found on the web here
We've been screaming from the rooftops here on FR that CHARACTER MATTERS in our elected officials! Hopefully, more people will take this to heart!
Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, DC 20591
FAA Statement On White House Commission On Aviation Safety And Security
The recommendations contained in the final report of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security will help ensure that Americas civil aviation system remains the world leader in safety and security. The FAA is ready to work with the White House, the Congress and the aviation community to see that the recommendations are implemented as quickly as possible.
Because of the leadership provided by President Clinton, Vice President Gore and the Congress, the security measures outlined in the Commissions interim report are underway. Already, the FAA is deploying high-tech explosive detection systems in the nations airports, training teams of bomb-sniffing dogs, hiring of new security and hazardous materials agents, and preparing new rules to verify the backgrounds of airport employees and certify the people at our airport checkpoints.
The FAA will move quickly to implement the recommendations contained in the final report. Where new legislation is required, the FAA will work with the Congress to develop the appropriate laws. Where new rules are required, the FAA will begin drafting the proposed rules as expeditiously as possible. The FAA appreciates that the Commission has recognized that financial reform will be key to the FAAs fulfillment of its safety mission and successful implementation of these recommendations.
On this page, scroll way down to Appendix I for Commissioner's Cummock Dissent Letter
The wholesale of our national security proves it.
God please let the mindless media wake up from their stupor.
Let them admit what clinton and gore are.... TRAITORS!
Mr. Vice President, we are all aware that any comprehensive security system is as good as its weakest link. Criminals and terrorist will continue to identify and exploit the weakest link in our defenses. Nationally, there are over 450 commercial airports with scheduled passenger flights. It is up to the Federal government that regulates the airlines to provide national security standards, adequate funding and actionable timetables. Anything short of that does not fulfill the Commissions mandate of enhancing aviation security in a meaningful way.
The Boeing chart on p.6 projects an aviation accident a week by the year 2015 based on the projected increases in air traffic. That acknowledges 250-300 people will die onboard passenger airplanes a week; 1,000-1,200 a month or projected total deaths of 12,000-15,000 annually ! Statistically, that compares weekly commercial aviation deaths to the weekly death toll in the Vietnam War. This is totally unacceptable and an outrage ! Commercial air travel need not bear the same risk as going to war.
In closing, Mr. Vice President, I feel that the flying public should be able to put their family members aboard a plane with a great degree of confidence that they will walk off at the point of their destination and not come home in a body bag like my husband did. It is for all the aforementioned safety and security reasons that I can not sign a report that blatantly allows the American flying public to be placed regularly at "unnecessary risk" while we as a nation have the capability, but not the will to reasonably protect them.
We wanted to wait and give UPI the time to break the story, and did not submit this anywhere but there. Newsmax seems to have beat them to the punch, so we felt we should go ahead and get out more facts!