If I were a Howard Dean enthusiast, I’d have been perplexed about his forgetting that little matter of the Soviet Union imploding more than 10 years ago. But the alarm bells would be sounding loudly in my head after reading this bit (quoted by conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer) from a radio interview a few days ago:
Diane Rehm: “Why do you think he [Bush] is suppressing that [Sept. 11] report?”
Howard Dean: “I don’t know. There are many theories about it. The most interesting theory that I’ve heard so far — which is nothing more than a theory, it can’t be proved — is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis. Now who knows what the real situation is?”
— “The Diane Rehm Show,” NPR, Dec. 1
Now regular readers of this weblog know that for a number of reasons, I don’t hold Bush in the highest esteem. And on domestic and economic issues, I agree with Dean far more than I agree with Bush. But I know as well as I know anything that Bush was not warned in advance by the Saudis of the September 11 attacks. And anyone capable of raising that as a possibility has a far different perception of the world than I do– one that raises grave doubts about his ability to hold the highest office in the free world.
Perhaps Dean was referring to some vague warnings, although he seems to have something more specific in mind. Either way, he ought to make clear exactly what he meant.