I asked recently for Maureen Dowd to provide the evidence for her scoop that there was no basis for Ari Fleischer’s and Karl Rove’s statements that AirForce One had been targeted on September 11, and that there were credible coded threats to it. It now seems that Maureen was right and I was wrong to doubt her. I apologize. There were no such threats. The White House has said that staffers misinterpreted statements from security officials. That’s stretches credulity. It also appears that the flight path of the relevant plane did not, as was previously stated, circle the White House and the Capitol building before plowing into the Pentagon. So we were directly lied to by two senior administration officials. There was no need. There was plenty of reason for the president to get to a secure communications base as soon as possible on September 11, and plenty of reason to avoid Washington during an extremely uncertain time. So why the lies? Were these people spinning at a time of grave national crisis? And I thought the Clinton era was over.