[This look at the NYT book review of The Ground Truth was first posted at the Bush Treason Blog.]
Maybe the better question is why don't more people call it treason. George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and most of the administration ignored warnings about Al Qaeda, were incompetent (My Pet Goat is just the tip of the iceberg) in the response to defend the nation, and then lied about it.
Preoccupied with building a costly missile defense system to counter a spurious menace from Russia and with maintaining "full spectrum dominance" over the rest of the globe, most Bush administration officials blithely ignored the danger emanating from the caves of Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and his acolytes plotted against America. Confronted by a small group of mostly Saudi nationals armed with box cutters, the central nervous system of the country’s defense agencies went into a state of cataleptic shock. The only decisive action taken on 9/11 came not from the military, but from the courageous passengers who stormed the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93, leading the hijackers to crash the plane over Pennsylvania farmland before it could reach its intended target in Washington.
That's bad enough, of course, but then, like dirty little boys lying to their mother that they hadn't been playing in the mud, they claimed everything was just fine. I'm sure someone idiot will claim this lie was heroic, for stopping the spread of panic over their own incompetence, but to me, it's further evidence of treason. They knew they had fucked up, and they'd never get re-elected if everyone knew it, so they lied about it. Heilbrunn:
[...] Farmer superbly renders the knuckle-biting tension and confusion engendered by the hijackings, and says the leadership of the F.A.A. and the Defense Department "would remain largely irrelevant to the critical decision making and unaware of the evolving situation ‘on the ground’ until the attacks were completed" — thereby making it close to impossible for the military to intercept any aircraft.
Yet both Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney, Farmer says, provided palpably false versions that touted the military’s readiness to shoot down United 93 before it could hit Washington. Planes were never in place to intercept it. By the time the Northeast Air Defense Sector had been informed of the hijacking, United 93 had already crashed. Farmer scrutinizes F.A.A. and Norad records to provide irrefragable evidence that a day after a Sept. 17 White House briefing, both agencies suddenly altered their chronologies to produce a coherent timeline and story that "fit together nicely with the account provided publicly by Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz and Vice President Cheney."
Farmer further observes that the Bush administration wrongly asserted that the chain of command functioned on 9/11; that President Bush issued an authorization to shoot down hijacked commercial flights; and that top officials at F.A.A. headquarters coordinated their actions with the military. Farmer’s verdict: "History should record that whether through unprecedented administrative incompetence or orchestrated mendacity, the American people were misled about the nation’s response to the 9/11 attacks."
Of course, misleading people after such a shocking event proved easy enough, so they just kept doing it. The lies just kept piling up. Pat Tillman comes to mind. So does Iraq (you know, the place Fox News doesn't seem to remember).
It's just too much. You don't have to be a genius to see why so many conspiracy theories have formed around the attacks. The picture that is becoming more and more clear is that the Bush Administration ignored repeated warnings and signs of attack, told officials to stop telling them about it (Ashcroft), spent all their time on other things (planning to invade Iraq, spend billions of missile defense boondoggles, and suck cash away from the poor with massive tax cuts to the rich while drowning non-rich-corporation-subsidization domestic programs in a bathtub), fucked up their response to the attack, and then lied about it to make themselves seem more heroic.
How can anyone possibly call that anything other than treason?