Play politics with 9/11 report? Never!

Published July 22, 2004 5:25PM (EDT)

Republicans started spinning the 9/11 commission's findings yesterday, with Dennis Hastert and others blaming the Clinton administration for intelligence failures.

"'The report covers eight years of the Clinton administration and eight months of the Bush administration,' Mr. Hastert said, insisting at the same time that he did not want to see the report turned into a 'political football' during an election year." Everyone who believes the report won't turn into a political football, and that Hastert doesn't really want it to become one, raise your hands. Thought so.

The Progress Report counters Hastert's point on Clinton's eight years vs. Bush's eight months, pointing out that of the ten "missed opportunities" to derail the 9/11 plot cited in the report, four occurred during President Clinton's eight-year term in office and six occurred in the first eight months of President Bush's administration.

Expect more political football as the report is digested in Washington and elsewhere -- even as the commissioners warn that immediate structural and attitudinal changes, not cheap partisanship, are needed to prevent another attack.

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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