Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bob Graham is
reportedly sitting on damaging evidence that the Bush administration
could have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks - but he hasn't released
the information yet because it's classified.
"I think Bob Graham has a smoking pistol on the Bush
administration," Congressional Quarterly's Craig Crawford told WABC
Radio's John Batchelor and Paul Alexander late Tuesday.
Crawford explained that Graham's mystery evidence has to do with
"their failures, particularly intelligence failures, before 9/11."
In recent weeks Sen. Graham, the senior Democrat on the Senate
Intelligence Committee, has charged repeatedly that Bush bungled the
war on terrorism. But the ex-Florida governor has never publicly
suggested that he thought the president had left America vulnerable
to the 9/11 attacks.
Nevertheless, Crawford, who's been covering the Florida
Democrat's presidential run, said that Graham obtained the Bush-9/11
evidence while serving as the ranking Democrat on the Senate
"The problem is that what [Graham] knows - and he knows some very
damaging stuff about the Bush administration's failures before 9/11
to prevent 9/11 - he can't talk about because it's classified," he
Another reason for Graham's silence: Republicans would likely
complain that Graham has abused his position on the Intelligence
Committee by turning it into a tool for opposition research.
Still, Graham has been publicly hinting at what he knows without
going into detail, said the CQ reporter. He quoted a recent speech
in which the senator claimed, "I know first hand, as former chairman
of the Senate Intelligence Committee, how little this administration
has done to provide real security at home while it has directed its
attention away from the war on terror abroad."
Crawford said that the presidential hopeful is trying to figure
out a way to make the 9/11 evidence against Bush public without
violating the secrecy rules on the Intelligence Committee.
"He's got something on Bush. He just can't figure out how to use
it," he explained.
If Graham does indeed have evidence implicating the
administration in 9/11-related negligence, it would be doubly ironic
for the Bush White House, which has gone out of its way not to point
fingers at the Clinton administration for its role in leaving
America vulnerable to a 9/11-style attack.
Even an acknowledgement last year by ex-President Clinton that he
turned down a deal for
Osama bin Laden's extradition to the U.S. prompted only yawns
from the Bush political operation.
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