Opinion

What Condoleezza Rice should have said to America

“I am the National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, and as such I am ultimately responsible for all breaches of this nation’s security. On Sept. 11, 2001, a hostile and clandestine terrorist force who had trained diligently for perhaps years, commandeered four commercial airliners and initiated a ruthless aerial attack on at least three of our national landmark institutions: the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and an intended third target that can be conjectured to be either the White House or the Capitol building (fortunately unsuccessfully). The attacks met with devastating results, and their aftermath has altered our way of life and the collective national psyche. No longer can we ignore the slightest of threats or assume that we are at all times safe.

Still, the questions that no doubt trouble the nation are based on what, if anything, could have prevented the attacks.

Members of the commission, by now you have before you information that suggests that there was advance warning of a terrorist attack and that the administration, of which I hold the highest of national security positions, acted lethargically. This is true. There are allegations that the two critical agencies, the FBI and the CIA, had advance and indicative intelligence information that suggested pending terrorist threats. This is also true. There is thought among many enlightened members of this commission that, had this information been properly handled and had not the virus of bureaucratic self-importance and governmental hubris afflicted us all at many levels, well, we would not be having these hearings. This, I’m afraid, is also true. In response, air, sea and ground forces of our military have all but eliminated those who conspired to undertake these cowardly deeds. I take some solace in those facts.

Still, I am the National Security Advisor, and all I can say that would be of any significance right now is that I am profoundly sorry and that I hope all of us in higher office never forget the following: ‘Evil triumphs when good men stand by and do nothing.’ Now, Senator, what is your first question?”

Octavio Ramos can be contacted at o.ramos@umiami.edu.

April 16, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.