To the Editor:
In recent days, President Bush and two top aides, Condoleeza Rice and John Ashcroft, have all spoken about the now infamous Aug. 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing in the same troubling way. Ms. Rice and Mr. Ashcroft, in testimony before the 9/11 Commission, called the warning about terror threats"historical." Mr. Bush, in his April 14 press conference, called it"mainly history."
These remarks are meant to minimize the importance of that PDB by dismissing the contents as concerning the past and, by insinuation, therefore not relevant to the present. In fact, as all these policy-makers should know, history is directly relevant to the present. Indeed, the past is the source of the present -- and the future as well.
CHRISTOPHER B. DALY
Boston, April 14, 2004
The writer teaches history and journalism at Boston University.