White House Misrepresents 9/11 Report

White House spokesperson Trent Duffy was asked today about how President Bush felt about Cindy Sheehan and what plans he had for the American soldiers fighting in Iraq:

Q Does the President feel that over the last couple of days he’s made an effective and convincing case that Cindy Sheehan is misguided in her feelings about the war and what should happen to the troops?

Duffy responded by quoting the 9/11 Report, saying:

Well, first of all, the President has spoken continuously about the way he approaches this war, following September 11th, 2001. On September 14th, 2001, he stood at the National Cathedral and told all of America that this was going to be a very long and difficult war, and that there were going to be some very trying moments; but that because of what happened on 9/11, that we had to view the world in a different way.

The bipartisan 9/11 commission wrote all about this in chapter two. The name of that chapter is called, The Foundation of the New Terrorism. And the bipartisan commission members wrote about the U.S. reaction to terrorist acts overseas in the years leading up to 9/11. They reached a fundamental conclusion: When America takes a single step backwards in the face of terrorism overseas, it brings the terrorists 50 steps closer to our own shores.

That’s true: The second chapter of the 9/11 Commission Report is indeed named “The Foundation of the New Terrorism.” If the White House had read the actual chapter, however, they would have found the report actually shreds any White House attempts to equate Iraq with 9/11.

On page 66, for example, the report flatly states there was “no evidence” of any collaborative relationship between Saddam and 9/11 and no evidence that Iraq had anything to do with al Qaeda in “developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.”

(For more on what the 9/11 report actually says, here’s an online, bookmarked copy.)

Note to White House: Before you quote reports to back up bogus justifications, it would be wise to actually read them.