My husband knows I’m a conspiracy theorist. While reading a James Fallows article on Gary Hart in a two month old Issue of the Atlantic this morning, he came across the mention of the Hart-Rudman committee. Vaguely, vaguely, I thought, as I was just waking up and deep into a podcast of Russian car crashes.
Naturally, after he left, I took this Hart-Rudman committee as the take off point for my morning internet surf. The late great Warren Rudman had been part of the senate Keating Five who influence peddled in Washington on behalf of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan. Pete Brewton wrote a fantastic book on the Savings and Loan debacle. It’s a tough read, being loaded with names and connections. You need an artist like the late great Mark Lombardi to keep it all straight. When anyone says something like “if so many people are involved in 9/11, why doesn’t anyone say anything?” I think of Brewton’s book. No one says anything about the Savings and Loan debacle either, except for the lone kook here and there, despite the evidence of mass collusion. It’s such a morass of complicity, better not think on it too much or your head will explode.
By the way, the mark of a true conspiracy theorist are digressions. People keep popping up in tangential relationships. At first you ignore it, then after thinking about it, you are struck by an odd sensation best characterized by the acronym WTF. So bear with me with the following small digression regarding the former Indiana congressman, Lee Hamilton, who incongruently seems to pop up at crucial times in the 9/11 timeline.
The Hart-Rudman committee presented a very nice template for American military superiority in the 21st century, replete with a huge warning about terrorist attacks. Oddly, the future co-chair of the committee investigating the events of September 11, 2001, Lee Hamilton, also sat on the Hart-Rudman committee. Hamilton, arguably, is most famous for chairing the committee investigating Iran/contra which exonerated most everyone involved, principally Ronald Reagan. I remember watching the hearings intensely, thinking “Omigosh!!! There’s an entirely different government doing foreign policy for the United States, being run by this piece of crap Colonel!!!” I’m talking Oliver North, of course, who is presently the president of the NRA. Treason, right? Not according to the Committee.
But back to my original thought prompting me to sit down and blog this morning. The point I want to make about the Hart-Rudman committee, is they offered a precedent, that is, a big warning in writing that a big terrorist event was coming. Bigger than the USS Cole, bigger than the bombing of the Alfred E. Murrow building in Oklahoma City. (By the way, the demolition of the WTC 7 on the evening of September 11, 2001 marked the third time a building housing DEA offices collapsed. The second time with the Murrow building, and the first was in 1974 in Miami. Oh, jeez, there I go again on conspiracy tangents.)
Thanks in part to the Hart-Rudman warning of a coming terrorist event, when the big day came for the mother of all terrorist attacks, 9/11, we were psychologically prepared in advance, so much so that we even didn’t take it seriously that “Bush let it happen” or that our intelligence agencies let us down. Everyone got promotions, Bush got his second term. They may have screwed up, but we loved them anyhow.