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You Gotta Have Hart
by Daniel Sargis
16 April 2004

Gary Hart, who was appointed to co-chair the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century in 1998 by then-president Clinton, has decided to skipper himself into the shenanigans of the 9-11 Commission.


You might think that ex-senator Gary Hart would want to sit out the latest D.C. Monkey Business.  But, just like his bloated ego previously exposed him (“'follow me around . . . it will be boring”)...he’s at it again.  Some people don’t have the sense to know when to keep their zippers up and their mouths shut.  Too bad Hart is challenged on both fronts.

Hart, who was appointed to co-chair the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century in 1998 by then-president Clinton, has decided to skipper himself into the shenanigans of the 9-11 Commission.  Of course the primary qualifications for Hart’s appointment were (1) Hart and Clinton were philandering soul mates and (2) Hart, with future Clinton Secretary of Defense William Cohen, co-authored the mystery novel The Double Man in 1985.  Since the book explains what happens “when ideologues turn their country's intelligence operations to their own goals,” I guess Hart knows his stuff!

On the eve of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice’s testimony before the 9-11 Commission, Hart punted for a last chance at notoriety.  With a straight face, he queried, “Imagine eight months before Pearl Harbor, an officially designated group of 14 Americans had told Roosevelt that the Japanese would attack some place somewhere and Roosevelt did nothing.”  So much for high school history.

More than 14 people warned of imminent war with Japan more than eight months before Pearl Harbor.  In 1924, General Billy Mitchell predicted a future war with Japan that opened with a carrier-based air attack on Pearl Harbor. Mitchell was court-martialed for his foresight.  Can you feel the laughter building?

As the Japanese taskforce was steaming towards Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt was obsessing over Iraq...I meant to say Europe.  On November 28, 1941, two days after the Japanese fleet under Vice-Admiral Nagumo left the Kurile Islands for Hawaii, an intercepted (and decoded) dispatch sent from Tokyo to the Japanese embassy in Washington confirmed that Japan was preparing to go to war.  Historically, it would be inaccurate to say that Roosevelt did nothing.

FDR decided to keep the US fleet bottled-up at Pearl because, in his own words, "our heavy bombers and . . . pursuit planes . . . could put up such a defense that the Japs wouldn't dare attack Hawaii.”  Instead of preparing for a certain war with Japan, Roosevelt transferred the New Mexico, Mississippi, Idaho, Yorktown, four light cruisers, 17 destroyers, three oilers, three transports, and ten auxiliaries from the Pacific to the Atlantic.  To paraphrase Richard Clark, “The Roosevelt team privately had been obsessed since taking office with finding ways to attack Germany.”

Of course Roosevelt had to be obsessed with Germany.  His administration, including Harry Dexter White et al, was riddled with Soviet agents posing as U.S. government officials.  The Democrats would never have risked a 12-7 Commission and put their buddy Uncle Joe (Stalin) in jeopardy.        

This is not to discredit Gary Hart’s Nostradamus-like qualities.  The commission that Hart co-chaired did predict that "America will be attacked by terrorists using weapons of mass destruction and Americans will die on American soil, possibly in large numbers...over the next quarter century.”  This 1999 “prediction” was issued long after the less than subtle hint of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing.  Other than this open-ended speculation, Hart has been wrong-headed on almost every national security judgment he has ever proffered.  Or, as explained in a John Miller article, “Throughout his career, Hart has demonstrated nothing so much as an exquisite talent for big blunders.”  

In the liberal world of Jayson-Blair-Journalism and the Al-Gore-Internet, it’s beyond the pale of imagination how the luminaries in the elite media would have responded to President Bush uttering the Hart query about FDR and Pearl Harbor.  Perhaps Senator Robert Byrd would accuse Bush of being senile and stupid.  Teddy Kennedy would definitely accuse him of being soused and stupid.  For argument’s sake...stupid would be the operative. 

After the Rice testimony, Bob McIlvaine, from the decidedly anti-Bush lefty group “Peaceful Tomorrows,” expressed anger that “No one wants to take any responsibility (for 9-11).”  Has McIlvaine ever heard of Al Qaeda?  If McIlvaine would really like to know “How 9-11 Happened,” maybe he should listen to bin Laden, who proudly boasted that “Mohammed Atta led the group which destroyed the first tower.”  Are we getting the point?

Roosevelt did not cause Pearl Harbor...the Japanese did.  Neville Chamberlain, even combined with Joe Kennedy Sr., did not cause the Holocaust...the Nazis did.  And no American official, not even Dennis Kucinich, was responsible for 9-11...a bunch of peace loving Islamic radicals were. 

To sit around manipulating political advantage and talking stupid-talk with a white-hot Jihad still raging against the U.S. is the prophetic last evolution on the road to extinction.  It’s not what went wrong that counts as much as preventing what might still go wrong.  And a self-serving political Kyogen performance isn’t helping the average American.  There’s plenty of time to argue...after our enemies are dead.

And an olive branch is even held forth to Gary Hart.  He is not stupid...just confused.  Every time anybody named Ms. Rice crosses his bow...the confusion is understandable. 

Daniel Sargis, a freelance writer, is a principal in a private investment development company.  His website is dansargis.org
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