KnowBuddy Could Have Predicted…Why Didn’t They Listen?
I have been hearing about KnowBuddy since the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and the Bush administration continues to this day to cite all of the things she could have predicted, but what is still unclear is why they weren’t listening then and why they still won’t listen to KnowBuddy now.
Condoleezza Rice was first out of the box, while the WTC towers were still smoldering, she went on television and told us that KnowBuddy could have predicted that terrorists would use airplanes as missiles. At the time I thought she was saying that it was beyond the scope of everyone’s imagination that such an event could occur, but I recently caught up with KnowBuddy and she has shed some light on her fight to be heard by the Bush administration and her frustration at the media who continue to get it wrong.
KnowBuddy has been working in the White House since Bush’s first day in office. She is a slight woman of five feet one who sports a pantsuit and a tight bun for our meeting. “While I admire Condi’s penchant for more sexy attire,” she explains, “I prefer to blend in and just do my job.” As we sit chatting, I can tell that she would rather cut to the chase and get to the point of our meeting, so I ask her about her job, which turns out to be all the encouragement she needs. She gives the impression that in this White House, KnowBuddy’s in charge.
“It’s true, I could have predicted 9/11 and in fact I did, but I was not alone,” KnowBuddy tells me as we sit in her local coffee shop a few blocks from her home. “When Clinton left office he warned us that terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden, would be the biggest threat Bush would have to deal with during his term. And Richard Clark continued to bang his head up against a resistant administration who had other plans in the works.” The frustration she feels is palpable. “There were many others who spent more time than I trying to convince the Bush administration that the threat was real. Anyone who tried to get the message through was dismissed as a Chicken Little, fretting over nothing.”
What I found most amazing about KnowBuddy is her determination. It doesn’t matter how many times they hang up on her or shut her out of meetings, she still continues to share her knowledge in the hopes that one of these days, they will listen before hand rather than simply giving her credit after the fact. “When Donald Rumsfeld stood up at a press briefing and told the world that KnowBuddy could have predicted that there would be an insurgency in Iraq, I was stunned at the admission and waited for the press to call. But days passed and I realized that the press had missed it again.” KnowBuddy understands why the press is so easily duped, but she still can’t help but think that eventually some reporter will ask the right question that will lead them to her door.
She made headlines again when President Bush said after Hurricane Katrina that KnowBuddy could have predicted the levees would be breached. “I may have gotten credit for the prediction, well, I would have if they had spelled my name correctly,” she says with a laugh, “but FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, Louisiana state government as well as local government in New Orleans had all been shouting at the top of their lungs that this was going to happen. When the President decided to quote me instead of the myriad of others, I finally realized that he was using me on purpose. Because my name would easily be misprinted in the papers and misunderstood by the viewing audience, I was enabling the Bush administration to tell the truth factually, without telling the truth at all.” She hopes that by coming forward now, she will be able to expose the incompetence that is running rampant in the Bush White House, “They really won’t listen to anyone outside the inner circle, even when we have been proven right, over and over again.”
KnowBuddy is a patriot in this administration, and while taking to her, I got the sense that KnowBuddy really cares. She continues to share her knowledge in hopes of making government work better. KnowBuddy knows why the press is so willing to take Bush at his word, “he has misrepresented the facts, but they just don’t have the time to do a proper job when so much disinformation comes out of this administration in a constant stream.” While for the most part, this administration has been able to keep a lid on dissenting opinions, KnowBuddy is willing to buck the system and speak out. KnowBuddy wants the American people to hear the truth and KnowBuddy is willing to come forward, whatever the consequences, and tell it like it is.