I honestly thought that this portion of the 9/11 hearings would lack the partisan bickering, finger pointing and childish behavior of the previous hearings.
Man, was I wrong.
bq. The former police and fire chiefs who were lionized after the World Trade Center attack came under harsh criticism Tuesday from the Sept. 11 commission, with one member [John Lehman] saying the departments' lack of co-operation was scandalous and "not worthy of the boy scouts."
Families of Sept. 11 victims applauded the tough questioning and shook their heads sadly as the panel enumerated a litany of communication breakdowns between the departments. Family members sporadically mocked and booed Von Essen, Kerik and Richard Sheirer, former Office of Emergency Management commissioner, and they wept earlier in the day as they watched videotape of the buildings collapsing.
As Von Essen testified, Sally Regenhard - who lost her firefighter son - held up a piece of paper reading: "LIES."
Mocked and booed? The fire department alone lost over 300 members that day. They did their best, I don't doubt that at all. They went into those buildings when everyone was running out so they could save lives.
What do these people want? What despicable behavior. Absolutely horrifying.
I can rattle off an extensive list of family members that I know personally would never say anything like that. What a terrible way to remember those who were killed trying to save others.
I understand that grief makes people behave in startling ways, but I just cannot understand mocking and booing at these hearings.
The purpose of today's hearing (and tomorrow's) was meant to find out how to better respond to future emergencies of this nature. But the people who testified were subject to scrutiny about their knowledge of terrorism prior to the attacks, asked whether they had hear of bin Laden or not.
The former director of the World Trade Center, Alan Reiss, was asked by Bob Kerrey if he's angry that "things might have been different had they (FBI) trusted you enough" to deliver important intelligence.
Reiss said he was not angry at the FBI, but rather at "19 people in an airplane," referring to the hijackers.
Right answer. Unfortunately, the people on this "bipartisan" committee didn't think so.
This whole commission sickens me. Nobody wants to know answers. Nobody cares about anything but laying the blame on someone besides the people who planned and executed the attacks. Why? Why this strong need to lay blame at the feet of someone else? Shouldn't we be trying to learn from this, to make our future safer should any terrorists attempt a feat like that again?
Nobody is learning anything by mocking, booing and throwing condescending, derisive questions at the officials testifying. You would think from the way these people are behaving that the Port Authority, police and fire departments planned the attacks themselves.
I'm sure you can throw some comments down and make the case for needing to know who knew what and when they knew it, but I just cannot get past the disrespect shown to the dead rescue workers.