Friday, 2 July 2004

The Dog That Did Not Bark

Anyone who's read a Tom Clancey novel knows how seriously the Secret Service take the President's security, he wouldn't have that monster limo if they weren't worried! So, why did the dog not bark when there were airliners out of control above the east coast?

We've all seen the video. It figures prominently in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11". It is the video of George Bush at Booker Elementary School being informed by Andy Card of the second impact of a passenger jetliner into the World Trade Center, then sitting there for several minutes reading about goats.

What damns the Bush administration is not what is in this video, but what SHOULD be in the video and is not. Ostensibly, Bush and Card are reacting to a surprise attack, but Bush does not act surprised, and Andrew Card does not act like a man delivering an unexpected piece of news but instead is merely delivering a progress report to which he already knows Bush will not have an immediate response.

There is one more thing that should be in this video and isn't, and that is the Secret Service, the protective detail whose one and only job is the President's safety.

The fictional Sherlock Holmes solved the crime in "Silver Blaze" deducing that it is the owner of the house who is the criminal. How does he know? Because the dog did not bark. The only criminal who could could carry out the crime and not arouse the dog was a criminal the dog already knew as a friend, the dog's owner.

Now let us turn our Sherlockian logic on 9-11. Hijacked aircraft were wandering across the eastern half of the country. In theory nobody could have known how many there are or if more planes were not in the process of being hijacked. How could they? Two of the planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. There is an airport only four miles from Booker Elementary School, and Bush's presence at the school was known to the public 24 hours in advance. Nobody would have assumed he was not a target.

And yet the Secret Service did not rush in and remove the President to a secure location, or at least to the safety of the armored Presidential Limousine. That's their job. That's what they do in the case of a real surprise attack with so many unknowns. They don't do anything else.

But the Secret Service did nothing. The dog did not bark.

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