Remember Those Who Gave Their Lives On Memorial Day

During his first term in office, President Ronald Reagan attended a state dinner for French President Francois Mitterand.

Reagan entered the room and was escorting Mrs. Mitterand through the tables when she abruptly stopped.

“She calmly turned her head and said something to me in French,” recalled Reagan, “which unfortunately I did not understand. And the butler was motioning for us to come on, so I told her we should go forward. And again, very calmly, she repeated her statement in French.”

An interpreter finally came up and explained to the President that Madame Mitterand was telling him that he was standing on her gown.

I tell you this story to make a point. If President George Bush, or his advisors, were told prior to September 11, 2001 that terrorists planned to hijack airplanes and crash them into buildings in the United States (New York City), then they were talking in a language that no one understood. You can bet your boots that if the President had this information he would have “stood on their gowns” to keep them from moving.

Reports say that the FBI received information in July 2001 that a large number of Arabs were training at U.S. flight schools. Bush was briefed on this in August 2001 and was told that hijacking was one possible attack the al-Qaida might use against the United States.

Two years before the September 11 attack (1999), U.S. intelligence was warned that Osama bin Laden’s terrorists could hijack an airliner and fly it into government buildings. Guess who was President then. Bush went into office in January of 2001.

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer has acknowledged that the administration was aware of the report. He said the document did not point out a specific plot, but included assessments about how terrorists could strike.

Former CIA Director John Gannon, who was chairman of the National Intelligence council in 1999 when the report was written, said officials had long known that a suicide hijacking was possible.

Folks, hindsight is much clearer than foresight. We all know full well that had President Clinton or President Bush had any way of knowing about the September 11 attacks, both would have done all within their power to have kept them from happening.

Our intelligence agencies face an almost impossible task. This is a free country in which we live and that makes their jobs that much tougher, not to mention the things that happen in this world that they attempt to keep up with. Our intelligence agencies are the best of any nation.

A final thought. President Reagan once said “General Secretary Gorbachev if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall!”

Take the time Memorial Day and attend events in your community because Memorial Day is the day we should remember all of our veterans who have given their lives so that we can continue to live in a free nation.