- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A key member of the House Republican leadership on Wednesday called the White House’s “talking points” guidelines on the upcoming anniversary of 9/11 “astounding.”

“To think that we ought not be recognizing the uniqueness of that day, again, is just astounding. I don’t know what they’re thinking in the administration. But that doesn’t just apply to national security or national defense,” Rep. Tom Price, who chairs the House GOP’s agenda-setting Republican Policy Committee, said during an interview on The Washington Times-affiliated “America’s Morning News” radio program.

Mr. Price, an orthopedic surgeon from Georgia’s 6th District, said he was taken aback by the news, first reported in the New York Times, that the administration told federal officials in this country and American diplomats abroad to minimize references to al Qaeda and focus on the global nature of the fight against terror in noting the anniversary of 9/11.

“It confounds me that they try to minimize the threat of an organization that has avowed to destroy all freedom-loving individuals around the world, and especially Americans. Why [the Obama administration] insists on pushing that under the rug is beyond me,” the four-term congressman said.

The administration’s guidelines encompass two sets of instructions: one drawn up chiefly for domestic officials, the other geared primarily toward foreign audiences and disseminated to U.S. Embassy officials around the world. The guidelines urge officials to “minimize references to al Qaeda” and cited the killing of Osama bin Laden as evidence that the terror network behind the Sept. 11 attacks is “increasingly irrelevant.”

According to the New York Times report, the adminstration said its goal with the talking points is to “present a positive, forward-looking narrative.”

“As we commemorate the citizens of over 90 countries who perished in the 9/11 attacks, we honor all victims of terrorism in every nation around the world. We honor and celebrate the resilience of individuals, families and communities on every continent, whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila, or Lahore or London,” the guidelines state.

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