Former Senator Max Cleland is calling out the Bush White House for delaying the 9/11 Commission’s report to suppress the inconvenient fact that the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda and 9/11 was, as Colin Powell so succinctly put it, “Bullshit!”
He was quoted extesively by the UPI yesterday:(as excerpted here.)
“”The reason this report was delayed for so long — deliberately opposed at first, then slow-walked after it was created — is that the administration wanted to get the war in Iraq in and over … before (it) came out,” he said.
“Had this report come out in January like it should have done, we would have known these things before the war in Iraq, which would not have suited the administration.”
Although the committee completed its work at the end of last year, publication of the report has been delayed by what one committee staffer called “vigorous discussion” with administration officials over which parts of it could be declassified.”
Max is mad as heck, and when he was confronted by Frank Sesno on Bill Moyers “Now” about his anger, this is what he had to say:
“SESNO: I want to ask you about one final thing here, and that is the Commission itself, which is supposed to be independent. And your take on Iraq. You had a bruising, bitter political contest. Is this sour grapes for you?
CLELAND: No. No. I tell you what makes me mad. Is when I see the names of those youngsters that are being killed out there every day. I say, “God help us.” I’ve been there. I’ve seen this movie before.”
Thems of you what ain’t from Georgia may not be aware that the good senator Cleland was grievously wounded in Viet Nam and is confined to a wheelchair. I assume that is what he means by “this movie.”
Transript of the UPI story here.
Transcript of the Sesno interview on Bill Moyers “Now” here.
When you have folks like me and the Dixie Chicks agin’ ya, you can slag us off as the looney left, treasonous, whatever. When you have a man like Max Cleland riding your six o’clock, you have trouble.
(quoted from here.)
Army General Order 4361, dated June 9, 1968, states that the Silver Star was awarded to U.S. Army Capt. Max Cleland “for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in Vietnam.” In 1968, then Capt. Cleland was in action at the battle of Khe Sanh. Below is the language contained in his Silver Star Order:
“Awarded: Silver Star; Date Action: 4 April 1968; Theater: Republic of Vietnam
“Action: For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Captain Cleland distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous action on 4 April 1968, while serving as communications officer of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Calvary during an enemy attack near Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam.
“When the battalion command post came under a heavy enemy rocket and mortar attack, Capt. Cleland, disregarding his own safety, exposed himself to the rocket barrage as he left his covered position to administer first aid to his wounded comrades. He then assisted in moving the injured personnel to covered positions. Continuing to expose himself, Capt. Cleland organized his men into a work party to repair the battalion communications equipment which had been damaged by enemy fire. His gallant action is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
“Authority: By direction of the President, under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1968.”
The action cited occurred on April 4, 1968, four days before the grenade explosion that cost Sen. Cleland both legs and an arm.”
You can call me a traitor all you want. (I have come to accept that the Neo-Cons tend to get a little hysterical these days.) You call Max Cleland a traitor, and you’ll get my boot in your ass.