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April 14, 2004

Whose Truth Do You Believe?

Derek Shackelford

National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleeza Rice appeared before the Congressional 9/11 Commission last Thursday. She testified poignantly, calmly, and with dignity. May I add that under the circumstances, she answered each question with confidence despite the barrage thrown at her by commission members.

But, wait stop the press, inhale, and exhale! She supported the administration. This is not to say that she should not support the current administration, but should we have expected anything less? The commission is made up of five Democrats and five Republicans. This is supposed to be a non-partisan and non-bias commission.

The hearing was broadcast by most major networks so the entire world could witness the proceedings. As I looked at the television screen, I saw no one from the commission that represented or looked like me. And this is supposed to be a non-partisan and non-biased commission?

The questioning fell mostly along party lines. The Democrats wanting to know what the administration's policy was leading up to September 11th and the Republicans thanking the administration for their stance on terrorism.

The Democrats questioned from an aggressive standpoint and the Republicans questioned from a more supportive approach. We were able to witness the proceedings and after Thursday, do we know more than we did when the hearings first began?

Former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke testified before the commission previously and presented a different story. Dr. Rice contradicted Mr. Clarke frequently.

Initially Dr. Rice was not going to testify, citing constitutional grounds. But the Bush administration gave in since the events of September 11th are unique in our history.

So far we have these two opposing viewpoints, one which says the administration knew about the situation and one which says the administration did all it could to protect America. This pretty much amounts to a game of "he said, she said." Guess which one is telling the truth?

Many years ago there was a game show called To Tell the Truth, in which the contestants would appear together and the panel would guess which one is telling the truth. Strangely enough, it appears that the game show is back in existence,

Unfortunately, the American people seemed to be the panel. Technology has done wonders for our world. At the click of a button we can experience everything around us. We don't have to leave our house to go to the theatre. We can see theatrics by simply watching television news shows.

Unfortunately these proceedings seem like a bad movie. In action films there are many stunts. The star of the movie in all likelihood does not have to do their own stunts. They get someone else to do it for them. In this case, as sad as it may be, Dr. Rice appears to be the stuntman, taken the fall for someone else.

Our society teaches our youth that Character Counts, but it doesn't count when we try to save our own hides.

I still consider myself young and in tune with the younger generation. I like Mary J. Blige, who the hip-hop world has dubbed the Queen of R&B. She sings a song simply entitled "No More Drama," in which she sings that all games should be over. It is time for the "drama" to stop.

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