The 9-11 Commission report is public today. Reportedly, it will blame neither the Clinton nor the Bush administrations for the attacks though it will criticize both for not doing more to prevent the attacks.
A sideshow is going on over the Sandy Berger investigation. Berger is the subject of an investigation for allegedly removing notes and classified papers from the National Archives while he was studying up for his testimony before the 9-11 Commission. Berger says it was by mistake.
The political football part is that though the investigation has been going on for months, it has just now been leaked to the press. The Justice Department had informed the office of the White House Counsel -- headed by Alberto R. Gonzales (of terror memo notoriety) -- of the investigation. Presto, Bush staff members knew of the investigation. No surprise there -- Right? Then it was leaked (by whom is unknown -- wink, wink).
Berger supporters allege that the Bush team leaked the information about the Berger investigation in order to distract from the 9-11 report. It did get about equal play with the report on every political program I watched on TV last night.
Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has gravely stated how an investigation to begin by a House Republican-headed committee will get to the bottom of how Berger has ruined the nation. Hastert is at least good at creating a distraction. For a interesting report on this see Talking Points Memo.com and scroll down on the page.
Hastert has blamed 9-11 on Bill Clinton while at the same time saying he doesn't want the 9-11 report to become a political football. The following is from a report by Dan Eggen and Dafna Linzer in today's Washington Post:
"Republican and Democratic lawmakers continued to spar over who is responsible for failures outlined by the commission. Hastert, while saying he did not want the report to become a 'political football,' noted Tuesday that it 'covers eight years of the Clinton administration and eight months of the Bush administration.' "