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Covering the Release

Reported by Judy - July 22, 2004 -

Fox News Live was live today (July 22) when Fox reporter Catherine Herridge got her hands on a copy of the 9/11 commission's report, and Herridge actually did a professional job of summarizing the report's recommendations. Don't look for any quick action from Congress, though.

Several times during the hour (9:11 a.m., 9:22 a.m., 9:31 a.m., and 9:35 a.m.) Fox News went to Herridge for updates. Herridge apparently was reading the report during the breaks. Herridge mostly left the spin out of her summaries.

Among the recommendations she reported were creation of a national intelligence director, unifying and strengthening Congressional oversight, strengthening the FBI's terrorism center, creating a national counterterrorism center to break down barriers in the ingelligence community, rebuilding the analytical capacity of the CIA, a stronger languge program for the CIA, and more diversity in recruiting intelligence agents.

More diversity in intelligence agents? Sounds like the CIA needs some affirmative action to me. Of course, we know that's bad and un-American. We need to make sure the white males get all the jobs, even if it means we have no intelligence agents who can work in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, or any place else where the people don't look like "us."

And a stronger language program for the CIA? Why, English is our official language. We can't have young people learning FOREIGN languages. Some of them might want to study FRENCH. Next thing you know, they'll be eating FRENCH fries and drinking FRENCH champagne. And we'll all turn into wimps.

Besides, who needs to TALK to people in other countries when we can just BOMB them instead with our smart bombs guaranteed only to kill bad guys and not women and children?

And a national counterterrorism center? Wouldn't that just make government bigger, with more federal employees, who probably will be represented by a union? Can't we just farm that out to some private company?

I don't know. The more I hear about this report, the more subversive it sounds. It conflicts with too many REPUBLICAN values. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, called some of the recommendations excellent, especially having Congress take a stronger role in intelligence oversight.

Despite that recent terrorism alert from Tom Ridge, Congress is not going to rush to do anything about this top priority problem. Shelby said it's too late in the session to do anything now. (The election is coming up and the Republicans need to get home to campaign for another term.) Shelby says it will take "massive legislative endeavors" to implement the recommendations, but apparently this isn't the time to start.

The problem apparently isn't so serious that we can't wait until next January to figure out what to do about it. That way, Republicans can campaign on the issue of terror all fall, without having to defend the specifics of any plan they eventually pass -- or don't pass. Besides, who wants to remind people that 9/11 happened on Bush's watch?.

In the meantime, we'll be safe because average Americans will be reporting anything that looks suspicious and will be keeping their rolls of duct take handy.