The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
April 10, 2004
| Text of Released PDB

From Fox News

The following is a redacted text of the presidential daily briefing from August 6, 2001:

Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladensince 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and “bringthe fighting to America.”

After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladentold followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [deleted text] service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told [deleted text] serviceat the same time that Bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative’saccess to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Laden’s first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the U.S. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that BinLaden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate theoperation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning hisown U.S. attack.

Ressam says Bin Laden was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he preparesoperations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Laden associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

AI Qaeda members — including same who are U.S. citizens — have resided in and traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains asupport structure that could aid attacks.

Two Al Qaeda members found guiltyin the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were U.S. citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine sourcesaid in 1998 that a Bin Laden cell in New Yorkwas recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We havenot been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of “Blind Shaykh” ‘Umar’ Abd aI-Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns ofsuspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations forhijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance offederal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers Bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the UAE in May sayingthat a group or Bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.

Cross-posted from California Yankee



Posted by Dan Spencer at April 10, 2004 06:53 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Well, THAT certainly makes clear that there was actionable intelligence to stop 9/11.

MG

Posted by: MG at April 10, 2004 07:48 PM

MG,

That was “sarcasm” correct ??? This is basically useless as Condi Rice so acurately stated. (It is Historical Information). There is NO ACTIONABLE INFORMATION there as we both know.

I guess the Blow-hard Demons on the 9/11 Commission …. specifically Tim Roemer, Richard Ben-Vineste and Bob Kerrey really thought they could continue their political grandstanding.

They really DID NOT EXPECT this Totally NOTHING document to be released.

P-p-p-f-f-f—t-t-t-t-t ……. that was their HOT AIR
baloon going down. What will that scum try next?

I resent their playing politics with America’s future…..especially Bob Kerrey because he holds the Medal of Honor.

Posted by: leaddog2 at April 10, 2004 08:03 PM

Not actionable???!!! What the hell WOULD have been considered actionable — A signed statement from Mohammed Atta and Xerox copies of his flight ticket?

What I want to know is, what came of those 70 investigations by the FBI. If the Bureau was taking it that seriously, why weren’t they able to break into the group and stop the attacks?

Unlike the liberal reactionaries, I don’t think this memo is reason to hang and quarter GWB. The man may have missed the early signs, but he was no expert in terrorism. And he has done all the right things since 9/11.

But dammit, I want to know why the people who did have the terrorism expertise could not tell from this memo that something serious was going on. I want to see some of their heads roll.

Yeah, yeah, I have the benefit of 20/20 vision. But the experts are supposed to be able to anticipate these things. And the memo shows they had enough info to start joining the dots.

Posted by: ManAlive! at April 10, 2004 08:21 PM

ManAlive! You don’t really know a whole lot about how the government operates, do you?

Connect some dots using that memo, will ya? Please? Oooops. It’s not Monday morning, is it?

Posted by: Cap'n DOC at April 10, 2004 08:28 PM

Cap, you’re right, I don’t know a lot about how the government operates. I’m more interested in how and when the government DOESN‘T operate. If you have a sensible opinion or information to offer, then offer it. What’s this about Monday? Is that meany to be a joke? Man, I hope you’re not a stand-up comic by prefession, because you suck at it.

If you read my previous message, you’d realize I’m saying they had ‘enough info to START joining the dots.” Understand? START. That memo, plus the SEVENTY FBI investigations (count ‘em — not one, not two, not ten, but SEVENTY). Seems like a lot of dots to me. You don’t see them? Well, I’ll sleep better knowing you’re not in charge of Homeland Security.

Posted by: ManAlive! at April 10, 2004 08:49 PM

If that’s the whole memo, imo - dems made a bug mistake. ManAlive’s point not withstanding - I think this is pretty feeble. Dem’s want Bush out, but I don’t understand why they keep attacking him on his strong suit. At first I thought it was to ‘appeal to the liberal grass roots’. That should have stopped once Kerry was a clear winner - it should have been time to move to the center. Is someone going to call Ben-Viniste?

Posted by: lucky at April 10, 2004 09:59 PM

The translator who is whistle blowing, I forget her name, has said some things along the line of Manalive! From what I gathered, she made it seem like the FBI beuracracy was more interested in turf and looking busy rather than pursuit.

I only have heard a bit from her. I wonder why her story isn’t getting more play. Anyone else heard more?

Posted by: jones at April 10, 2004 10:06 PM

Yes, I was being sarcastic.

“Actionable Intelligence” requires a what, a where, a when, a how, and a who. There is a torrent of data that provides snippets (i.e. one or 2 of those 5), but how does one know which items of the torrent to connect? Can one do it in a liberal (19th century definition, not 21st) republic? Especially one where foreign and domestic intelligence folks are FORBIDDEN from passing on info except under cumbersome, risky rules?

It is comforting to think that a systemic breakdown made 9/11 possible. It is much less comforting to understand that the system operated as human frailties, Congressional legislation, judicial constraints, and bureaucratic barriers allow.

The story of the Exodus is summarized quite simply:

Freedom or security. Live with the former, exist with the latter. Choose one.

The price of liberty is vulnerability to thugs. Balancing liberty and security is an ongoing, dynamic struggle.

Put another way — what civil liberties were any of you prepared to suspend or lose PRIOR TO 9/11/01?

sounds of crickets chirping

Ayup, me too.

MG

Posted by: MG at April 10, 2004 10:11 PM

There was plenty the Bush administration could have done with this intelligence. They could have improved screenings at airports, added resources to the FBI, and made this threat their number one priority. Instead they were too busy planning for war with Iraq (neocons), missle defense and corporate tax cuts.

Posted by: Dream at April 10, 2004 10:35 PM

Yeah, the entire government should have gone into full-on panic mode based on intelligence from 1998 about airplane hijackings. Of course, using similar vintage intelligence to suspect that Saddam posessed WMD can only be explained by a cynical JewishH^H^H^H^HHneo-con plan to take over the world.

I’m sure if they had taken this memo seriously, the FOUR WEEKS between August 6 2001 and September 11 2001 would have been PLENTY of time to completely re-tool our national security apparatus.

cough

=darwin

Posted by: Darwin at April 10, 2004 10:40 PM

It is interesting to see how news sites like CNN are putting more than one heading to describe the PDB. I don’t think ‘Heading Switching’ is a new tactic but it is a tactic that goes way beyond bias into amateurish reporting.

Threat Report or Scenario Report?

Posted by: Jeff MacMillan at April 10, 2004 10:42 PM

I think Dr. Rice got it exactly right. In a post-9/11 context, this probably is enough to get the motors of government turning, and in a big way. At the time, though, I could see how this wouldn’t have people dropping everything to deal with it.

Posted by: TL at April 10, 2004 10:43 PM

If anything this shows how Clinton didnt do anything (again) to stop this.

Remember Bush is having to deal with Clintons foriegn policy mistakes. So does this make Bush at fault? Not many americans see it that way.

This wasnt a problem that only happened in Bush’s 1st 8 months but a problem that was allowed to happen in 8 years under Clinton in which nothing was done.

In baseball if a pitcher lets 2 people on base and then is relieved and the next pitcher allows those 2 to score then it is the previous pitcher who gets charged with the runs, because he allowed the other team to get into position to score not the one who relieved him. The same goes with foriegn policy. And most americans understand that.

Posted by: MikeC at April 10, 2004 10:54 PM

If the President had said even before Sep 11th that the CIA and FBI have information that there are strong indications that terrorist cells are within the U.S. and are preparing for possibly hijacking or other attacks, do you think that he would not be given authority to take action to improve “homeland” security? He is the “Commander and Chief”, is he not?

Posted by: Dream at April 10, 2004 10:54 PM

MikeC,

According to Richard Clarke, the Clinton administration was doing all that could be done, except for sending troops to Afghanistan, to destroy aq and obl. Unfortunately, the Bush administration had other priorities prior to 9/11.

Posted by: Dream at April 10, 2004 11:02 PM

Yes, the POTUS is the Commander and Chief of.. the Armed forces. What’s your point?

Do you really think we could have invaded Afghanistan before 9/11? Or, that we could have stopped Al Qeada from training terrorists there without an invasion? Would even that invasion (on August 7th!) have neccessarily foiled the 9/11 plot?

There was, simply, insufficient political will regarding the threat from terrorist groups previous to 9/11. During both 8 years of Clinton and 8 months of Bush.

=darwin

Posted by: Darwin at April 10, 2004 11:07 PM

Unfortunately, the partisan hacks on the commission have one thing right. There are some who will fall for the attack on the present administration. And some of those who fall for it may be able to find a voting booth.

It is time to send the commission home. Get the staff to write a report and get the expenses stopped! What a bunch of nonsense to use secret information for this partisan attack. With no real value to citizens of the US

Posted by: Andy Pawlish at April 10, 2004 11:09 PM

This PDB is supposed to be the smoking gun on which the Democrats hope to hang Bush. That’s why Ben-Veniste cross-examined Dr. Rice on it at the hearing on Thursday. Man, if it isn’t obvious what the Democrats are trying to do, someone’s not paying attention.

Some media outlets play the Democrats’ game. So what else is new? Politically biased news outlets are as old as the Republic. Just accept that they’re biased and deal with it.

Posted by: popd at April 10, 2004 11:13 PM

funny how some of you are about information.

martha stewart gets information, she thinks about it, she acts on it, shes right about the information, she ends up in jail.

gw bush gets information, he ignores it, he doesnt act on it, hes wrong about the information, and you want to make him president for four more years.

free martha

fire bush

Posted by: tony at April 10, 2004 11:36 PM


FBI issues rebuttal.
They don’t seem to want the buck. Where will it end up?

Posted by: bananas at April 10, 2004 11:39 PM

So let me get this straight:
1) the FBI are tracking 70 members of AlQuida in the US.- per Rice and the PDB
2) Al Quieda (“AQ”) wants to attack the US- PDB TITLE.
3) There is a huge spike in terrorist communications traffic in summer 2001
NOW: 4) AQ IS IN THE USA
5) AQ might hijack airplanes
6) AQ is surveiling buildings in New York
7) AQ wants make an attack using explosives.

What is Rice’s explanation for her inability to do anything to stop it?

“By no means did he ask me to act on a plan….I don’t remember the al Qaeda cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about….The responsibility for the FBI to do what it was asked was the FBI’s responsibility…..If there was any reason to believe that I needed to do something or that Andy Card needed to do something, I would have been expected to be asked to do it….There is no mention or recommendation of anything that needs to be done about them.”

Posted by: typhonus at April 10, 2004 11:43 PM

OH TITLE OF BANANAS ARTICLE:

Disputing Rice testimony
She told the 9/11 panel of 70 investigations on al-Qaida and of orders to boost surveillance before attacks, but FBI officials dispute both

Courtesy of the right leaning Newsday!
Did Condo Lie Under Oath?

Posted by: typhonus at April 10, 2004 11:45 PM

tony- Martha was convicted of lying to investigators, a felony- she was convicted and should serve her term like every other non white non rich not female not famous defendant.

Im not disagreeing with you about Bush…

No comments about Martha please, this is OT enough as it is.

Posted by: typhonus at April 10, 2004 11:48 PM

What’s the information, Tony? What does the memo tell them that Al Qaeda is going to attempt?

I’m very surprised that Albright, Berger, and Clarke didn’t pick up Al Qaeda’s plans during their great anti-terror crusade in the Clinton Administration. You’d think an Administration that had terrorism as it’s highest priority would have found out what bin Laden was up to. And that they would have spared no effort to get him. Maybe the reason they didn’t is that their big anti-terror effort is a fraud that they’ve concocted in hindsight.

Posted by: popd at April 10, 2004 11:49 PM

Typhonus - the memo that you’re hoping will hang Bush says that there are 70 ongoing FBI investigations. Don’t accuse Dr. Rice of lying when information is contained in a document that she didn’t write.

Posted by: popd at April 10, 2004 11:54 PM

popd- thanks. I thought the 9/11 commision was supposed to find root causes that allowed this to happen. But you remind us that many Republicans view this as the ultimate game of ‘gotcha’. Now your telling us that Bush and Rice are still good becouse this isnt the Gotcha that Dems really wanted? You should ask yourself if the criticism of the other side is really the criticism of your side and you just dont see it.

So instead of fessing up and simply stating that terrorism wasnt a priority and we dropped the ball but after 9/11 we picked it up and did every thing we could to prevent this from ever happening again…. that would be the “Integrity” thing to do- like Richard Clarke did.. we see the Bush Admin doing every thing it can to avoid getting tagged or fessing up. Thats not responablilty. Thats immaturity, and incompetence…

Posted by: typhonus at April 11, 2004 12:00 AM

Okay, everyone who thinks that this memo is somehow damaging:

please tell us what the government should have done on the basis of one phone call from the UAE . Try not to be inconsistent with your opposition to the war on Iraq, considering 12 year’s worth of intelligence about WMD and WMD programs.

If this “explosive attack” was a reference to 9/11, then this uncorroborated phone call was false. What bin Laden did was hijack airplanes and use them as manned missiles—he didn’t plant bombs anywhere.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 11, 2004 12:06 AM

The only reference to hijacked planes in this memo is from 1998.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 11, 2004 12:07 AM

This is the only corroboratedinformation not from 1998:

“Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.”

The only detail in here—“federal buildings in New York”—is false. The World Trade Center was attacked, a commercial building.

So the Administration’s response should have been—what, exactly?

Not only do the anti-Bush people want Bush to have acted on far sketchier information than was had on Iraq—they want him to have acted on information now known to be false. Which is exactly their complaint about Iraq!

Any fool can predict the past.

Not only do the anti-Bush crowd think Bush should have acted on far slighter evidence

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 11, 2004 12:13 AM

All you naysayers, please, please PLEASE respond to my post. I really want to know what you were willing to sacrifice on September 10, 2001.

crickets chirping

MG

Posted by: MG at April 11, 2004 12:29 AM

As someone remarked (I can no longer remember who - I’ve lost track of the source in the torrental dataflow) the political climate needful to commit to war or the homeland security measures now in place did not exist prior to 9-11. The public would not have tolerated it.

Does anyone read history? Do you know what FDR went through in his attempts to confront the clear and present danger of Hitler before Pearl Harbor cut the leash holding him back?

Like it or not, any administration serves largely at the pleasure of the public. The difference between what a few far-sighted people can see is needed and what is politically possible can be immense.

Ever heard the term “third rail”? The whole damned world has seen where welfare is going, financially speaking, and until recently any attempt to correct it has seriously damaged or outright destroyed careers.

Both Clinton and Bush were constrained by political reality. Until the public saw the need for war, no administration possessed the political capital to spend to do so.

For God’s sake, people, try to remember the events prior to 9-11 in the context of the times.

Posted by: Jrm at April 11, 2004 01:00 AM

typhonus - in his book Clarke moves heaven and earth to shift the blame onto everyone but himself. Not surprising, considering its his book, but it does open him up to the charge of having ulterior motives (i.e. selling the book) for saying what he’s saying…if you like, “sexing up” problems which were just SOP prior to 9-11.

Posted by: tagryn at April 11, 2004 01:26 AM

Republicans please sign this petition.

Posted by: x at April 11, 2004 01:38 AM

Pish.
This entire PDB episode was hogwash. The dems were simply practising the age-old lawyers’ dodge of never asking a question they didn’t already know the answer to.

They didn’t go into the content of the PDB in public becoz it wasn’t sufficiently embarassing to Condi- but the title was, so they grandstanded. Surprise- politics as usual.

One saving grace for the 9/11 commission itself: This ugly public spectacle- like all of democracy ultimately is- means that our system still WORKS. This is precisely what is supposed to happen- the commission, the public banter, all of it.

Posted by: urthshu at April 11, 2004 02:12 AM

From the PDB:

We havenot been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of “Blind Shaykh” ‘Umar’ Abd aI-Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.

The only mention of hijackings was a threat report that could not be confirmed from 98 where US aircracft was going to be hijacked … not to use as missles but to force the release of islamic extremists… in other words, the way “hijackings” were thought of on September 10th and earlier.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns ofsuspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations forhijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance offederal buildings in New York.

Doesn’t this sound an awful lot like this:

“Recent intelligence reports suggests that al Qaeda leaders have emphasized planning for attacks on apartment buildings, hotels and other soft or lightly secured targets in the United States. “

“This decision for an increased threat condition designation is based on specific intelligence received and analyzed by the full intelligence community. This information has been corroborated by multiple intelligence sources. “

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/02/07/threat.transcript/

Posted by: h0mi at April 11, 2004 04:28 AM

Al Quieda (“AQ”) wants to attack the US- PDB TITLE.
********************************************
Any terrorist org out there who HASN“T wanted to attack the US?

If we made a list of every fatwa or declaration we would I guess be shutting down our borders and not letting the 400 million or so aliens who enter each year access at all.

Is it any News that most of the terrorist orgs in the world hate us?

THIS is a smoking gun????????????????????

Man if we had handled Pearl Harbour the way the politcal hacks are trying to make Sound bites out of the present situation we would have had to use our two nukes on the West Coast instead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Seems like then we had politicians then more interested in the Security of the Nation, rather than winning elections.

Intelligemce can be compared with trying to put a puzzle together, with most of the piecees missing, hiidden and sometimes from the worng puzzle.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at April 11, 2004 05:27 AM

Typhonus,

Unfortunately for you and Moveon.org and the Bin Laden and al-Queda supporters who make up ANSWER, most Americans have made their own decisions about Richard Clarke and Condi Rice.

Clarke is believed to be only interested in selling a book and is believed to be truthful by less than 30% of Americans from what I have seen.

I watched the commission hearings with Dr. Condi Rice. I saw Ben-Vineste’s attempted lawyer trick. It failed! His and Bob Kerrey’s questions were revealed as NOTHING but “political theatre”. That is why the Aug. 6 PDB was published. No Democrat can put things there now that DO NOT EXIST. They really did not expect it to be published. Now they are revealed as “partisan political hacks” in a political campaign. I have read in other places that this garbage is “backfiring” on John Kerry and other Democrats. If so, they deserve it!

This is supposed to be a Commission to help change problems and prevent future attacks. Based on what I have seen, we can forget that. The Democrats are proving themselves to be too blinded by hatred and self-interest to give a Damn about America.

All they want is “power”. They sound like Islamofascists to me. Perhaps they plan to be like the Vichy French in the event that we were ever conquered.

The things that they say and do lead to that result.
They are NOT SMART ENOUGH to know that the Islamofascists would behead them ASAP. They believe they could be in power then. What Total, Blithering Idiots!

Posted by: leaddog2 at April 11, 2004 07:37 AM

In response to this memo, what did Bush do to protect America? Nothing. Thats the point.

Get a clue leaddog, popd, and all the rest.

Posted by: typhonus at April 11, 2004 01:50 PM

typhonus,
I appreciate your opinion, and you make logical points based on what I would assume to be a biased premise…no offense intended. The PDB is exactly what Dr. Rice said it was. Largely a historical document with little current intel. Of the current intel (2 items) action was being taken as far as the PDB states that action is being taken. Do you relize what the role of the NSA is? It is not to follow up FBI leads. Some of you critisism seems to be misplaced from the FBI to the NSA if you are only using the info. contained in the PDB for your conclusion. Why would you come to a concrete decision on this issue without hearing all the evidence. Do you really believe that the president GWB or WJC truly did not do their best to protect america. Do you truly believe that the public portions of the 9/11 commision are anything but politics. The tactics of the party not in power ALWAYS trys to descredit the party in power. However, if you do not even try to remain evenhanded you are very difficult to take seriously…again no offense

Posted by: jamgar at April 11, 2004 02:20 PM

Okay, typhonus, what should Bush have done to “protect America”? What counts as “protecting America”? Having the FBI and CIA try to corroborate the one current threat in the memo isn’t enough for you, apparently, so tell us who we should have bombed, or arrested…

Don’t worry, if you’re not too trollish to answer me, I will later point out the analaogy between what you say the President should have done on the basis of this vague memo, and what the President actually did do about Iraq based on much more corroborated intelligence than this.

Insofar as this memo refers to 9/11, it is false—so apparently you think the President should have gone to war based on uncorroborated evidence later shown to be false.

Yet you shift 180 degrees on Iraq, for some reason.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 11, 2004 04:44 PM

THAT’s the memo?

Reads like a brief primer on Al Qaeda. None of which would have been surprising to anyone reading it in August of 2001 who had seen a news report from time to time over the past 8 years.

Where’s the Beef?

Posted by: Jeff at April 11, 2004 07:08 PM

OIVAY!

Posted by: Lori at April 11, 2004 09:34 PM

One would think that after the “highest priority” anti-terrorism crusade conducted by Albright, Berger, and Clarke, Al Qaeda would have surrendered.

In all candor, this memo bullshit by the Democrats is the biggest political farce I have seen in my years of watching the government. Everybody who lived through the Clinton Administration knows that Clinton did next to nothing to deal with Al Qaeda or terrorism. And now the Washington hatchet men are out trying to screw Bush over one memo. I’m sure this memo is comparable to the Sudanese regime coming to the Clinton Administration and saying, “Do you want us to deliver Bin Laden to you.” If these Democrat politicos had any shame, which of course they don’t, they would blush.

If we want to investigate everything that happened concerning terrorism, let’s go back and have a page by page, blow by blow analysis of what the Clinton Administration did over its eight years in office. I’m sure that would be enlightening. That will never happen, because a sizable segment of the media is Democratic and plays whatever game the Democratic politicos are playing this week.

Posted by: popd at April 11, 2004 11:17 PM

Most of the terror that the U.S. is fighting now has been mostly caused by bad foreign policy by Reagan, Bush Sr., and now Bush Jr. Clinton inherited Iraq and Somalia from Bush Sr. The reason that the U.S. is at war in Iraq at this time is because Bush Sr. never finished the job during the first Gulf war. Iraq was for a long time supported by the Reagan administration, Saddam was basically Rumsfeld’s buddy. The Bin Ladens and Saudis are the buddies of the Bush and Chenny families. The mujahadeen in Afghanistan were trained by the CIA under Reagan.

Posted by: Dream at April 12, 2004 12:31 AM

Dream, you’re still an ass monkey:

“Iraq was for a long time supported by the Reagan administration, Saddam was basically Rumsfeld?s buddy.”

For a “long time”—3 or four years is a “long time” when the United States is involved but when France and Russia and China are involved, 30 years doesn’t count at all, huh?

And who accounts for 80% of all weapons sold to Saddam Hussein from 1970 - 1990? France, Russia China—Saddam’s buddies. The US account’s for 1%—half of Brazil’s total.

Whose clinet was Saddam again? Who sold Saddam a nuclear reactor? Who sold him his tanks, who sold him his aircraft?

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 12, 2004 12:42 AM

http://stromata.tripod.com/id463.htm

Like Watergate, ?Saudigate? (a wince-making name but the one that has stuck) began with a small, attention-grabbing event. On the morning of September 11, 2001, FBI agents arrested 19 young Arab men, almost all citizens of Saudi Arabia, as they boarded four domestic airline flights. The Saudi government naturally protested, and Attorney General John Ashcroft responded by publicly making an astonishing accusation: that the 19 had intended to hijack the airplanes and crash them into the White House, the Pentagon and the two main towers of the World Trade Center. This plot, more like a Tom Clancy novel than a real world occurrence, had supposedly been set in motion by Osama bin-Laden, a Saudi businessman living in exile in Afghanistan who called himself the leader of a shadowy, and probably shadow-thin, network of religious fanatics. Ashcroft dubbed the group?al-Qa?eda? (?the Foundation?), a name that some of those involved may have used but that is more firmly linked, as Blumenthal notes in one of many enlightening asides, to the science fiction novels of Isaac Asimov. The SF resonance evidently appealed to the White House aides who were primarily responsible for manufacturing a ?crisis? to shore up a tottering administration. Blumenthal credits the idea to a second-level speech writer named David Frum, a Canadian import whose wife is a best selling novelist….

…This toothless foe fit neatly into what Blumenthal labels ?the grand meta-narrative?, a view of recent history that saw America as under covert attack by a resurgent Islamic world. In the eyes of Jewish nationalist Wolfowitz and Christian fundamentalist Bush, the anti-American campaign was a mere extension of the Palestinian intifada, the popular uprising against the often brutal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Blumenthal, Jewish himself and therefore above suspicions of antisemitism, is scathing about the ?Tel-Aviv First? mentality of many Bush advisors. One of the few good things to come out of Saudigate, he says, is the end of the taboo against openly condemning the obvious ?dual loyalties? (at best) of figures like Wolfowitz and Frum.

Despite these predisposing factors, nothing might have occurred had it not been for John Ashcroft, who is the pivot of Blumenthal?s account. After a bitter confirmation battle, the Attorney General was determined to vindicate his reputation by rooting out ?terrorists in our midst?. His stern orders to the FBI led to greatly enhanced, most likely illegal, surveillance of Moslem individuals and organizations. Pressured to produce results, the agency strung together random factoids about a number of Saudi visitors to the U.S., some of whom had technically violated visa regulations, and wove them into an incredible hijacking plan, which the credulous Ashcroft swallowed without question.

It did not take long for the ?plot? to unravel. Called on for evidence, the Justice Department could produce almost nothing admissible in court. Some wiretapped conversations and documents found on the ?conspirators?? laptop computers could be interpreted as showing that they were not the most upstanding of citizens, but Ashcroft?s image of Islamic extremists was quickly shown to be beyond far-fetched. These alleged adherents of the rigorously puritan Wahhabi sect had been gambling and consorting with unveiled women in Las Vegas! The cases went nowhere in court, and the Attorney General was the first of the Bush team to resign in disgrace….

…Blumenthal ends the story there, with the downcast former President slinking off to Texas in advance of the swearing in of his successor, Speaker of the House Richard Gephardt. In many ways, however, this tale of crime and consequences has yet to reach a conclusion. The bitter taste that the Saudigate accusations left among Moslems everywhere turned a peaceable, conservative religious group, basically well-disposed toward the United States (despite differences of opinion about Israel), into a breeding ground for fiery anti-Americanism. The new President?s conciliatory gestures ? settling the victims? lawsuits on favorable terms, recognizing Palestinian statehood, lifting economic sanctions against Iraq and ending the isolation of the Taliban ? have scarcely alleviated the wounds inflicted by his predecessor?s libels against Islam. As historian Bellesiles says in his introduction, ?The final irony is that a scheme aimed at frightening Americans with the prospect of thousands of civilian deaths should itself have engendered the bombings of the Sears Tower and the Empire State Building, in which hundreds died. Their blood surely stains the hands of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft and Rumsfeld. Mr. Blumenthal?s passionate memoir will help to ensure that those stains not obliterated by forgetfulness.?…

…Sidney Blumenthal, summing up the career of one of the victims, captures the essence of why the government action was wrong: ?Mohammad Atta was a confused young man, his aspirations torn between the houris of the Koran and the showgirls of the Las Vegas Strip. He had not yet reached the last stage of his personal jihad . Perhaps, if left free, he would have resolved his inner conflict on September 11, 2001, and that resolution might have been one that we Westerners would not have understood or approved. Nevertheless, there is nothing that he could have done to a small number of New York-bound airplane passengers that would have been more shocking to the American sense of justice than what George W. Bush, Richard Cheney?s and John Ashcroft?s American government did to him and his comrades.?

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 12, 2004 12:48 AM

Whats amazing is the Republican Lying!
Bush yesterday morning- “[pdb] said nothing about an attack on America”-
fact- How about the title, “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US”?

How about “After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington”?

How about “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York”?

How about “The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related”?

Rice- ‘this is only a historic document’ her testimony before 9/11 commision
Reality-How about the title, “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US”?

How about “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York”?

How about “The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related”?

Jebus these people are lying there asses off and some of you want to buy their pack of lies? good for you, hey I gotta bridge I can sell ya… it goes to brooklyn..

The role of the NSA is a LEADERSHIP role. Not a beurocrat. Rice is supposed to be pro active. Instead we’re gettting these ‘no one told me I was at all in charge of the security of the united states in any way’ answers.

Posted by: typhonus at April 12, 2004 10:01 AM

The question, Typhonus, is why are all these Democrats using one memo to try to hang Bush? As I said before, let’s have a complete review of all the memos, intelligence, and correspondence that passed before Clinton, Albright, Berger, and Clarke in their eight years in the White House. That’s only fair. If the Democrats are going to play partisan games to try and regain power, let’s do the partisan games the right way and do a thorough analysis of what the Clinton Administration did or did not do. If the Democrats want to play partisan games, then let’s look at them with the same scrutiny.

The big lie, Typhonus, is that the Democratic administration preceding Bush was diligent in pursuing Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

Posted by: popd at April 12, 2004 10:20 AM

A couple of notes about the hearing:
the commisioners, were not allowed to discuss the PDB becouse that was a condition of their viewing it.
The white house insisted that this pdb was secret. national security.. blah blah blah… of course they were in their usual modus operandi- they were lying their asses off- they made the aud. 6 pdb secret becouse its embarassing. no actionable intelligence my eye… this was a hair on fire pdb and instead of following up, what did bush do? He went on vacation on his ranch… ‘get back to me after labor day’

with only 10 minutes, each, to ask questions, Rice went with the obvious strategy- she ran down the clock on the tough questioners, and gave buzzword answers-and was fairly good on camera. but she stumbled and revealed the title of the pdb. and of course the lying is really going to kill this administration.

Someone made some note somewhere that like 40% of the rice testimony was in fact the commisioners asking questions or pontificating- whatever. Given the circumstances they were asking whats called leading questions. questions which limit the respondents ability to go off in any direction they want…

As for the politicization of the 9/11 commision… well thats probably a by product of the Bush administrations politicization of 9/11. The fact that this is coming back to bite them is their own damn fault.

Posted by: typhonus at April 12, 2004 10:51 AM

popd- sure lets bring all the memos out… Richard Clarke also wants all his testimony declassified.

hey remember when Bush decided that the material that Clinton wanted to make available to the 9/11 commision was secret? then of course came the public outcry and Bush flip flopped and released it all to the commision.

As for Clinton- he appeared before the commision, gave detailed answers and explanations, and stayed an hour longer then scheduled….

Again, Bushco has completely politicized 9/11 and if its coming around to bite him on the ass- its his own damn fault.

Posted by: typhonus at April 12, 2004 10:58 AM

Typhonus,

How much is the Democratic National Committee paying you for your flaky stuff?

Posted by: leaddog2 at April 12, 2004 11:36 AM

Just a few words about the PDB, not that anyone is listening:

1. The PDB had no specific information. The Commission knew this, having seen the document, and so understood that the document could only serve as spin, not fact. This shows the motive of a number of parties;

2. Documents are classified for good reasons, including the need to allow officials to think through possibilities and decisions without second-guessing. Notice that now that the August 6 PDB has been declassified, the same Dems want to declassify additional documents, which will not tell them anything new, but will allow for yet more spin. It will also make senior officials even less willing to put their opinions on paper, or think through what to do, as the Dems have shown it costs less to look stupid by not considering a threat, than to consider all threats but make any mistakes involving one that actually happens. A hundred victories count for nothing, if your enemy can make you look responsibile for one defeat.

The Democrats have chosen political advantage over our National Security, again. That is the message of the last week’s actions.

Posted by: GDubya at April 12, 2004 11:49 AM

GDubya says, “The Democrats have chosen political advantage over our National Security, again. That is the message of the last week’s actions.”

Uh, well, I have to say that Bush had no national security plan. Despite the memo above, and who knows what other classified memos, he sat on his ass. Much easier to spin that you’re tough on national security once you can use a terrible U.S. tragedy as fodder for your RePub agenda.

Posted by: byebyebush at April 12, 2004 12:14 PM

GDubya says, “The Democrats have chosen political advantage over our National Security, again. That is the message of the last week’s actions.”

Uh, well, I have to say that Bush had no national security plan. Despite the memo above, and who knows what other classified memos, he sat on his ass. Much easier to spin that you’re tough on national security once you can use a terrible U.S. tragedy as fodder for your RePub agenda.

Posted by: byebyebush at April 12, 2004 12:14 PM

“sat on his ass”?

Rather describes Bill Clinton’s actions, but judging from the changes in Afghanistan and Iraq, not W, I think.

Sorry, ‘byebyeBush’, but you’d better get ready for ‘Second-Term Bush’!!

Posted by: GDubya at April 12, 2004 12:42 PM

‘Second-Term Bush’

Not gonna happen. Watch and see.

Posted by: byebyebush at April 12, 2004 12:51 PM

Typhonus - this campaign by Democrats to blame Bush for 9/11 is a fake and a fraud. By all means, let’s parse every bit of information that Clinton had over his eight years in the White House. As I said, if this game is going to be played by the Democrats, they ought to undergo the same scrutiny, rather than getting away with the farcical assertion that they were diligently pursuing Al Qaeda.

Posted by: popd at April 12, 2004 12:59 PM

bbB, better have a lotta Kleenex ready election night.

Reality won’t be pretty for you, but it will mean the world for believers in Democracy and Freedom.

Posted by: GDubya at April 12, 2004 01:05 PM

There is no issue upon which common sense will prevail when Leftists talk about President Bush. The “anybody but Bush” attitude speaks volumes about where the Left is trying to take the country. They broadly supported a proven liar, adulterer and weakon defense President and now support a proven liar (I have met with foriegn leaders…), record fabricating and weak on defense Candidate for President.

Posted by: Joel Gaines at April 12, 2004 01:13 PM

well, Joel, at least we know he doesn’t “fall down”; Kerry said so himself.

I wonder how many Secret Service agents are happy to be detailed to a man who abuses them already with insults and profanity?

That incident alone probably locked up the vote for Bush, of every active Treasury agent in the country!

Posted by: GDubya at April 12, 2004 02:01 PM

Okay trollboys, one more chance for you to answer substantive questions rtaher than spew bullshit:

Okay, typhonus, what should Bush have done to ?protect America?? What counts as ?protecting America?? Having the FBI and CIA try to corroborate the one current threat in the memo isn?t enough for you, apparently, so tell us who we should have bombed, or arrested?

Don?t worry, if you?re not too trollish to answer me, I will later point out the analaogy between what you say the President should have done on the basis of this vague memo, and what the President actually did do about Iraq based on much more corroborated intelligence than this.

Insofar as this memo refers to 9/11, it is false?so apparently you think the President should have gone to war based on uncorroborated evidence later shown to be false.

Yet you shift 180 degrees on Iraq, for some reason.

So far, chirping crickets is all I’m hearing.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 12, 2004 02:20 PM

I tried very hard to be diplomatic in my first post. I will cease the soft approach because I don’t think some of you guys are paying attention. A little about myself, I am a surgical oncologist. I perform surgery every day and do various cancer research…I’m not a blind, uninformed idiot like some of you imply in your posts. I generally read these various posts but very rarely contribute like millions of others. Do you democrats realize that through your blantently partisan (he’s lying, it’s a cover up, it’s the administration’s fault) you are alienating a large portion of readers? I have become a GOP supporter in part based on your illogical claims and the tone in which you make them. Through all your ranting and lack of constructive ideas or analysis of major issues you are, in fact, further polarizing your position from swing voters. What political naivety you display! While your finger pointing uplifts you personally, you are destoying any chance to gain supporters. Disputing your position would be in vain at this point because I have nothing to add to the other well thought out arguments. Lastly I assume (maybe a large assumption) I am writing to an adult although it is hard to tell based on previous posts. If you are a child I apologize and am happy to see you taking an interest in our political system

Posted by: jamgar at April 12, 2004 02:43 PM

Few things to remember:
1) Who requested that these briefing be written? Yes that would be GWB. If he was prepared to do nothing when “real” actionable evidence was presented then why would he request the briefings in the first place.
2) For all those Bush naysayers what exactly do you do for a living? It’s really easy to sit on your high horse and judge but until you actually commit your life to defend and protect this country you don’t have much of a leg to stand on. Intelligence is much more multi-faceted than you could begin to understand.
3) If you all knew how many terrorists we arrested on a daily basis your head would spin.
4) If you want to do something good for your country lobby for our law enforcement and intelligence officers to be able to do their jobs. Let’s get rid of the red tape.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 12, 2004 03:04 PM

Few things to remember:
1) Who requested that these briefing be written? Yes that would be GWB. If he was prepared to do nothing when “real” actionable evidence was presented then why would he request the briefings in the first place.
2) For all those Bush naysayers what exactly do you do for a living? It’s really easy to sit on your high horse and judge but until you actually commit your life to defend and protect this country you don’t have much of a leg to stand on. Intelligence is much more multi-faceted than you could begin to understand.
3) If you all knew how many terrorists we arrested on a daily basis your head would spin.
4) If you want to do something good for your country lobby for our law enforcement and intelligence officers to be able to do their jobs. Let’s get rid of the red tape.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 12, 2004 03:04 PM

Few things to remember:
1) Who requested that these briefing be written? Yes that would be GWB. If he was prepared to do nothing when “real” actionable evidence was presented then why would he request the briefings in the first place.
2) For all those Bush naysayers what exactly do you do for a living? It’s really easy to sit on your high horse and judge but until you actually commit your life to defend and protect this country you don’t have much of a leg to stand on. Intelligence is much more multi-faceted than you could begin to understand.
3) If you all knew how many terrorists we arrested on a daily basis your head would spin.
4) If you want to do something good for your country lobby for our law enforcement and intelligence officers to be able to do their jobs. Let’s get rid of the red tape.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 12, 2004 03:04 PM

ManALive! and Ty-Phool-US

Hey guys! All that “actionable” Poop that was in that memo, when it was unavailable for Public Viewing? How critically specific was it? Hmmmm.

BEN-VENISTE: We agree that there were no specifics. Let me move on, if I may.

Got anything else in that bag?

Posted by: cap'n DOC at April 12, 2004 03:38 PM

Note: I a, sure this is not all of the PDB

Posted by: Eeeek !! at April 12, 2004 03:43 PM

OK, one point your brought up, RealityCheck, seems to take a good idea and hit the President with it.

I mean, Bush orders the briefings to be written down. Why? Obviously, for a record. Now, who is that record for? Well, the President of course, it’s his Briefing. Ah, then that makes it part of the Executive Branch, does it not?

You see where this goes? Bush wants his people to think broadly and speak candidly, which sure sounds to me, that he was looking for all possible threats before 9/11. The August 6 briefing, you will notice, has no new information, but is trying to determine the possible threats from old intel, which again is indicative of good thinking, not negligence or carelessness.

Yes, it missed the 9/11 attacks, which is horrible, which is also why Bush is not using this and his other actions to try to claim credit. He was not careless or stupid, but as a real leader, he looked to see what can be done with the situation he has to face. Which explains why, btw, Bush explored all the possibilities, not just obvious ones.

(continued)

Posted by: GDubya at April 12, 2004 03:57 PM

What should Bush have done? Excercised leadership! When the terrorist attack noise went up Clinton had daily or every other day meetings on it with the NSC and Clinton was pumping the aparatus for results and information. This resulted in stopping the

This memo talks about plans for a hijacking, what is our action plan for a hijacking? how are we going to keep this hijacking from occuring? How serious is this threat? I want a meeting of the NSC and the CSG.

its clear enough in hindsight that Clarke was right. If Bush or Condo had started ringing the alarms and pressuring the NSC and CSG that the information that was available could have been forced up the breaurocracy and been acted upon. Instead we had incurious george at the helm.

Look, I dont blame Bush for failing to stop the 9/11 attacks. They might have succeeded on a competant presidents watch too. What I blame Bush for is that for a president that ran on “Im a uniter not a divider” platform is that he turned around and used 9/11 for every partisan purpose he could imagine. Thats what I blame him for.

And theres the outright lying. Here we have an administration that says that they did every thing they could. What are the specifics-they did nothing. They didnt want to ‘swat flies’… Oh and lets not forget Condi’s PERJURY. When asked about the PDB she said it was ‘historical’ Yet somehow the actual PDB says Osama has a network in this country and is planning something that resembles plane hijackings and/or attacks with explosives. That wasnt historical. That was PERJURY.

And lets not forget the double standard. Rice in her testimony said that the reason she didnt do anything was that no one asked her to. no one asked the NSA to work on national security.
And she presented a litany of excuses. There was a warning but not a briefing. There was a briefing without a recomendation. It was analytical therefore it didnt didnt tell us to do anything. Its all the same thing. No one gave me the complete plan for 9/11 including flight numbers and names and therefore Im not responsible becouse Iwasn’t asked to take any action. But for the FAA they also recieved a warning but not a briefing… Since Im not responsible they must be…
Also there are the gathering threats- Unclear perils that previous administrations irresponsibly failed to confront quickly.
this contrasts with Vague threats-Unclear perils that the Bush administration understandably failed to confront quickly.

Clearly Bush takes no responsability for failing to lead the country and prevent 9/11 becouse he has no integrity.

Posted by: typhonus at April 12, 2004 03:59 PM

So, Bush faces an unprecedented threat, and his reaction is immediate and appropriate. While he does not immediately attack Afghanistan to go after the Taliban (very smart), he does close air traffic for a couple days, which there is reason to believe (from Sheikh Khalif Muhamed’s interrogation) thwarted at least three other planned attacks; for some reason one never hears about that in the media or from the Left.

Bush is careful in his decisions, his examinatio of the facts, and his discussions. In that context, the memo is part and parcel of a man taking a heavy responsibility very seriously, and doing his job well indeed.

Small wonder the Democrats are doing whatever they can, to smear that focus into whatever else they can spin.

Posted by: GDubya at April 12, 2004 04:01 PM

Typhonus, all I can say after reading your rant, is that you are seriously distant from reality, if you believe any of that garbage you just printed!

Posted by: GDubya at April 12, 2004 04:03 PM

Oh, the irony…

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=37642

Posted by: newguy at April 12, 2004 04:12 PM

Ty-Phool-US Demonstrate again for us how well you can read, will ya?

Perjury? I guess Be-Veniste perjured himself as well then? Yup. I thought so. What a dolt you are.

Posted by: Cap'n DOC at April 12, 2004 04:24 PM

What is so difficult for the democrats to understand is that all their rants prohibiting racial profiling and “unauthorized searches” led us to Sept 11th. We STILL can’t capture the terrorist in our own country on the basis of “discrimination.” And things have gotten better in that department since Sept 11th. Can you imagine what the bleeding hearts would have said if we tried to arrest some of these radical Muslims before 9/11. Anybody remember all the issues surrounding Guantanamo Bay? The dems created the laws and are now mad that Pres Bush didn’t break them.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 12, 2004 04:53 PM

So there we have it, gentlemen, the Typhonus Gold Standard of Presidential Leadership:

call a meeting.

Yes, a substantive way to protect America!

And what would have happened at this meeting? What should they have decided to do? After all, the threats containe in the PDB memo were not only unsubstantiated, but insofar as they referred to 9/11, false.

I asked typhonus for concrete actions, and once again he refuses to say what he thinks should have been done.

Piss off troll, saying Bush should have done anything but what he did is not debate.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 12, 2004 05:13 PM

Should the 9/11 commish request a question and answer of the person(s) who compiled the data and wrote the PDB of August 6th 2001, to find out what the tone of the memo was to bring across? IMO I don’t think that someone would waste their time writing a history lesson for the President.

Also the memo did clearly state that Bin Laden’s followers “would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi and bring the fighting to America”

Athough I agree that this memo doesn’t have anything that demands shutting down airtraffic, there had to be more briefings and memos floating around that we don’t know about. I don’t place the entire blame on Bush, but he was at the helm during the attacks.

Posted by: rdrr at April 12, 2004 07:30 PM

Did Bush request this PDB: NO:

According to the CIA, the briefing “was not requested by President Bush. the CIA informed the panel that the author of the briefing does not recall such a request from Bush and that the idea to compile the briefing came from within the CIA.” - Washington Post, 3/25/04

And did you read the Memo:
Osama wants to strike at America
Osama has a support network in AMerica
Osama can take years to put a plan into action- he’s methodical and plotting.
Osama has been recruiting
Osama has been surveiling targets in NY
Osama has been planning hijackings…
Yup no clues in there what to do…

Gabriel: none of us expected the George Bush action figure doll to grapple hand to hand with Osama. Bush is supposed to be the f—king leader of the country! He is supposed to marshall this nations resources to protect its citizens! And the way he does that is by personally cranking the machine. Call the NSC together, demand to know whats being done to prevent this hijacking. What part of that is to tough for you to understand? But instead of taking this memo which clearly said that the US is in for a serious terrorist attack and doing something about it, Bush read it, did nothing, and went on vacation. Then he and his staff lied about it.

If Bush was the captain of the Titanic, he’d be telling us that since he didnt know where exactly the ship was leaking, and he didnt know exactly how fast the ship was filling up, he didnt have to do anything. Particularly since no one told him he was expected to do anything.

Oh and I love the logic you Bush excusers have- let me see if I understand this- Clinton was doing nothing therefore Bush could reasonably do nothing… you guys need to stop finding excuses for Bushes many failings, lies and incompetence.

Posted by: typhonus at April 12, 2004 08:37 PM

Okay typhonus: one more time you trolling shithead.

You keep saying, “it’s just obvious what to do”.

Tell us, from your infinite wisdom:

What substantive actions, based on this memo, do you say that Bush should have taken?

Who should he have arrested? Who should he have forbidden to fly? Who shouldhe have bombed or invaded? Come on, all you’re talking about is having meetings.

These points you mention:

Osama wants to strike at America
Osama has a support network in AMerica
Osama can take years to put a plan into action- he?s methodical and plotting.
Osama has been recruiting
Osama has been surveiling targets in NY
Osama has been planning hijackings?

WHEN HAVE THESE NOT BEEN TRUE, DIPSHIT?

So, tell us what should have been done since you know so much better than everyone else.

Yet oddly enough you refuse to name one substantive action.

That’s because you’re a troll.

If you need to know what the word “substantive” means, consult a dictionary.

And you need to get your chronology straight: Bush was already on vacation when he received the memo he explicitly asked to have prepared for him.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 12, 2004 09:08 PM

Gabriel,

You really enjoy calling people names, it must make you feel superior. The thing is you’re not. You’re just a insecure conservative who’ll defend the incompotent Bush Jr. no matter how he screws up.

Bush must be your role-model, he also is a low IQ, insignificant, insecure, follower, who should never have been the President of the United States.

Posted by: Dream at April 12, 2004 10:46 PM

Dream,

Do you know what the Mensa Society is? I did not think so. Bush’s actual IQ is much higher than the majority of Congress people in spite of the Demo slurs.

Posted by: leaddog2 at April 12, 2004 11:06 PM

Good news! If Bush is re-elected they are modifying the presidential oath for him. It will now read as follows:

I do solemly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, protect and defend ONLY WHEN GIVEN SPECIFIC INFORMATION AS TO TIME, PLACE PERSONS AND METHODS- the United States.

Posted by: typhonus at April 13, 2004 12:56 AM

More what could Bush have done:
-ordered heightened airline screenings
-had the military prepare a contingency plan for multiple hijackings.
-ordered new security regs that airplane cockpits on commercial flights be kept locked at all times.
-more air marshalls on flights.
-hightened passenger screenings.
-more passenger weapon checks.
-did his best. or at least do something.
-stop lying about doing nothing.
Yknow, that just off the top of my head.

Say, why does Bush want to build a missile defense system anyway. I think its not for any practical reason since it doesnt work- its political and its defense industry pork…. But if he really believes that it can work, doesnt that imply that he’s preparing to defend this country based on a vague and unsubstantiated threat, whose time and place are unknown? Why didnt he do the same against terrorism? Even after reading the pdb????

Posted by: typhonus at April 13, 2004 01:07 AM

Dream, you’re wrong on both counts, as I am neither stupid nor conservative. I don’t know what your degree is in but I have BS in physics—I might wonder if I’m stupid, if I don’t do well on my prelims this summer and have to settle for an MS rather than a PhD, but there is nothing you are going to be able to say to me to make me feel stupid:

http://www.physics.wsu.edu/Personnel/Graduates/gradir.htm

As for the President, he went to Yale and had a 1240 SAT if I remember right; not quite as good as mine but they’ve renormalized a few times since Dubya took it.

So, Dream, why don’t you stop worrying about me, and start worrying about you’re going to explain how 30 years of France, Russia, and China selling Iraq nuclear reactors, fighter jets, tanks, helicopters, and ballistic missiles made Saddam a US client rather than a French/Russian/Chinese one?

I don’t think you are going to be able to explain it; thus I called you a moron after I explained it to you. You have chosen to forgo any argument at all; when faced with facts that refute your characterization you start calling names, whilst I call you names after supplying the facts… I’m not claiming moral superiority here. I’m merely claiming that when I see a moron making absurd statements contrary to fact, I tell him what the fgacts are and that he’s a moron. Because he might not know it, you see.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 13, 2004 01:54 AM

Finally typhonus calls for concrete and substantive actions! Such as:

-ordered heightened airline screenings
-had the military prepare a contingency plan for multiple hijackings.
-ordered new security regs that airplane cockpits on commercial flights be kept locked at all times.
-more air marshalls on flights.
-hightened passenger screenings.
-more passenger weapon checks.

And you’d have been the first yelling “police state”, typhonus.

Tell us what other civil liberties you’d have been willing to give up before 9/11.

And do please explain why you opposed the war in Iraq, since your standard of actionable intelligence is so low that on the basis of one memo that says OBL wants to hijack planes you’re willing to have the President assume dictatorial control over the airline industry, in flagrant defiance of your Constitutional rights.

(Do please point out where in the Constitution it says that the President can order—your suggestion, remember—airlines to do anything. If I remember right, it says something in there about Congress being the branch that has the power to create laws about interstate commerce, but apparently you think the President should just be able to make his own laws by fiat because OBL wants to hijack planes.)

Mind you, my statements are all rhetorical. Any reply you make will be undoubtedly too stupid for me to waste my time answering. You can’t put two facts together to make a coherent argument, and you obviously haven’t even read the Constitution.

Know what Richard Clarke said could have prevented 9/11? Not one thing he ever recommended. Oh, but you know so much more than he did, you could have done the job better, huh? Assmonkey.

Piss off, troll, I’m done with you. Pearls before swine and all that.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 13, 2004 02:06 AM

Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110004943

“Al Qaeda was at war with the U.S. even before Sept. 11, 2001. In August 1998, it attacked our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In December 1999, one of al Qaeda’s soldiers, Ahmed Ressam, entered the U.S. to bomb Los Angeles airport. In October 2000, al Qaeda attacked the USS Cole in the port of Aden.

The question before the 9/11 Commission is why our political leadership declared war back on al Qaeda only after Sept. 11, 2001. Osama bin Laden had been indicted years before for blowing up American soldiers and embassies and was known as a clear and present danger to the U.S. So what would have happened had the U.S. declared war on al Qaeda before Sept. 11? Endless and ultimately useless speculation about “various threads and pieces of information,” which are certainly “relevant and significant,” at least in retrospect, will not take us very far in answering this central question.

On Jan. 26, 2001, at 8:45 a.m., I had my first meeting with President Bush and Vice President Cheney. They had been in office four days. We discussed terrorism, and in particular al Qaeda, the African embassy bombings, the Cole attack and the June 1996 Khobar bombing in Saudi Arabia. When I advised the president that Hezbollah and Iran were responsible for Khobar, he directed me to follow-up with Condoleezza Rice. I did so at 2:30 p.m. that day and she told me to pursue our investigation with the attorney general and to bring whatever charges possible. Within weeks, a new prosecutor was put in charge of the case and on June 21 an indictment was returned against 13 Hezbollah men who had been directed to bomb Khobar by senior officials of the Iranian government. I know that the families of the 19 murdered airmen were deeply grateful to President Bush and Ms. Rice for their prompt response and focus on terrorism.

I believe that any president and Congress faced with the reality of Sept. 11 would have acted swiftly and overwhelmingly as did President Bush and the 107th Congress. They are to be commended. However, those who came before President Bush can only be faulted if they had had the political means and the will of the nation to declare a war back then, but failed to do so. The fact that terrorism and the war being waged by al Qaeda was not even an issue in the 2000 presidential campaign strongly suggests that the political will to declare and fight this war didn’t exist before Sept. 11….

“Everyone understands why and how some of our basic rules, beginning with provisions of the Patriot Act, changed after Sept. 11. America declared war on al Qaeda and bin Laden, and the Congress and president put the country on a war footing. It’s important to remember that war changed these rules and the FBI, CIA and the rest of the government can only be judged prior to Sept. 11 by the pre-existing rules.

The FBI and CIA working together have accomplished much in fighting terrorism, but it is a continuing battle. These agencies should remain the primary counterterrorism agencies. But al Qaeda-type organizations, state sponsors of terrorism like Iran, and the threats they pose to America, are ultimately beyond the competence of the FBI and the CIA to address. America must maintain the will to use its political, military and economic power when acts of war are threatened or committed against our nation by terrorists or their state sponsors. We have now seen how war is declared and waged against terrorists who attack our nation. The painful lesson is that fighting terrorism without such a declaration of war is unlikely to be successful.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 13, 2004 03:47 AM

Dream wrote:

“Iraq was for a long time supported by the Reagan administration, Saddam was basically Rumsfeld’s buddy.

That’s true. Rumsfeld wasn’t strictly a member of the administration, but he didn’t travel to Baghdad to see the sights. IIRC, he turned a blind eye to certain aspects of Iraqi life.

Posted by: bananas at April 13, 2004 08:29 AM

Another thought about this PDB:

All Intelligence is rated on a 5×5 scale, with one axis being the reliability of the source, and the other axis being the soundness of the information. That is, there might be an anonymous tip that someone wants to kill the President of Syria when he visits Jordan on Wednesday. That would be relatively specific and urgent, but its reliability would be low, and so the agency would first want to corroborate the tip with something else. On the other hand, if a known source which is considered reliable were to say that same tip, it would be much more likely to be taken seriously.

(to be continued)

Posted by: GDubya at April 13, 2004 10:13 AM

(continued)

The PDB used data which dated back to 1998 in some cases, with no corroboration for the most significant claims; this makes the PDB nothing more, then, than a background and orientation statement, the sort of thing which says ‘look, we don’t have specifics or anything about something coming up right now, but this is a general condition we’re working in, and we’re trying to get confirmation and some details’. That is, the agency was bascially telling President Bush that they hoped to have more for him later, but for right now, this was a summary of what they had developed. It is important to notice, also, that ALL of Al Qaeda’s operations up to that time, had involved placed bombs. There was nothing to indicate the methodology used in the 9/11 hijackings. The PDB mentions hijackings, but only in the context of freeing captured Al Qaeda leaders.

As they say, consider the source.

Posted by: GDubya at April 13, 2004 10:14 AM

Why is this here?

Posted by: Anthony at April 13, 2004 01:06 PM

If you are referring to my discussion about the PDB, it’s because we are supposed to be discussing the PDB on this thread.

See, the way it works is, you read the article, then you discuss the article.

It’s a little thing we adults call relevance.

Posted by: GDubya at April 13, 2004 01:44 PM

I thought that a thread regarding the PDB would be placed in a more appropriate location, like GWOT as opposed to an election site.

Posted by: Anthony at April 13, 2004 02:44 PM

Seeing as how you lefties twisted it into an election issue, it’s right where it belongs.

I’m not surprised you’re cranky, seeing as your pitch got slammed over the fence. If you threw fewer screwballs, that might not happen as much.

But I don’t really believe Kerry has a straight delivery in him.

Posted by: GDubya at April 13, 2004 03:31 PM

Take a look at the following if you need proof concerning U.S. support for Saddam during the Reagan administration: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted by: Dream at April 13, 2004 04:19 PM

So?

I could point you to pics of Clinton shaking hands with Arafat at the White House, but that doesn’t mean Clinton supported Al-fatah bombings.

Posted by: GDubya at April 13, 2004 04:33 PM

Gabriel,

I you have time read the following discussion on washingtonpost.com about U.S. policy during the Reagan/Bush era.

Posted by: Dream at April 13, 2004 04:43 PM

Gabriel, Im going to extend the courtesy of replying to you even thought youve engaged in name calling.

You suggest I would be screaming about the loss of civil rights as an excuse for Bush doing nothing. Bush clearly is not concerned about abyones civil rights as we see from the extrajudicial imprisonments in Guantanimo.

Second, of the 6 specific suggestions that I made, only one of them in any way might implicate civil rights. Discounting that one (that hightened screening which might be done on a racial profile) that still left five perfectly good things to do which, if Bush had taken the treat of HIJACKINGS seriously, might have made the difference.

Posted by: typhonus at April 13, 2004 04:46 PM

Dream,
You realize, of course, that none of that article you cited or the picture you cited refutes what Hanna posted earlier; that the US collective contributions to Iraq in the were less than some third world countries like Brazil and far far less than Russia, France, or China?

Makes for nice emotionalism, though.

You suggest I would be screaming about the loss of civil rights as an excuse for Bush doing nothing. Bush clearly is not concerned about abyones civil rights as we see from the extrajudicial imprisonments in Guantanimo.

Yes, similar to the way you just did. Exactly.

This is known as “life imitating art”

I’ll finish and perhaps Gabe will finish indulging your trollery.

Posted by: johnnymozart at April 13, 2004 04:55 PM

GDubya- yes consider the source. They clearly werent feeding the Prez the ‘junk’ intel. They were giving him a snapshot of the good stuff. Hijackings. Thats that it said. Hijackings. And if the president and his staff had excercised leadership, might have gotten something done about it.
But, they didnt.
9/11 happened.
And then: instead of saying mea culpa- they declared ownership of 9/11. They used it for every concievable political purpose. (Hell they wanted to have the RNC inaugurat Bush’s candidacy at ground zero if they could.) And then they lied. They claimed they did everything they could. Couldnt apologize, they did everything they could. Which was a big whopping lie. So if this is turning around to bite Bush and company in the ass- well, surprisingly their actions have consequences so suck it up.

Posted by: typhonus at April 13, 2004 04:55 PM

Typhonus, you just can’t have it both ways.

The “hijacking” references were to alegedly free Al Qaida leaders, it was included in the same text. Not a word about the WTC or using the planes to fly into buildings.

As before, all you have is a general warning about the situation, saying the same things in the same way about the same threat the US had faced for over eight years before, always involving placed-bombs and usually in foreign nations.

No names, no dates, no new data, no new methodology.

Only the delusional or the completely dishonest could or would claim this briefing represents a mistake on the President’s part, much less negligence.

Posted by: GDubya at April 13, 2004 05:23 PM

Here is the problem as I see it.

Bush is running on his record as a WAR president and he (and his minions and loyalists) have made the argument that he is the only candidate that can be trusted with the national security of this country. The evidence is mounting that this claim is false.

In the post-9/11 era, the Bush administration has taken some rather obvious actions (TSA), some not-necessarily wise actions (Dept. of Homeland Security), and some flat out wrong decisions (war in Iraq) with regard to increasing this nation’s security (the war with Iraq can be justified on other grounds, but I am yet to see a convincing arguement that it has made this country more secure in the final analysis, save unsubstantiated rhetoric). Sure, my opinion on these subjects is open to debate, so don’t get your panties in a bunch just yet. Here is the crux of my ponit:

The evidence is rising that the Clinton administration did more to combat terrorism than Bush I or Bush II pre-9/11. It also appears that Clinton would have done more but lacked the political captial to go on bombing raids, which is both his fault and the fault of conservatives who spent eight years trying to bring him down (and, by association, the country).

The PDB is just one piece of evidence that demonstrates that perhaps the administration wasn’t doing all that it should have been doing, and that there claims that “There is no way we could have know what was going to happen, so you can only judge us on our reaction to 9/11” is (1) bogus; and (2) not very inspiring.

No, the PDB is not a smoking gun. But Bush is trying to sell us that he is the MAN when it comes to fighting terrorism. The evidence does not support such a conclusion. Or, at the very least, his claim is not as strong as the Republicans would like the electorate to believe.

Posted by: Todd at April 13, 2004 05:28 PM

I see it this way,Todd.

The Dems are doing their damndest to paint Bush a fool or a liar. It hasn’t worked, so now they try to claim he’s the one behind all this noise, when anyone with a brain can recall it started with John “I Don’t Fall Down” Kerry.

Bush did the job. Maybe not perfectly, but a whole truckload better than we have any reason to think John “I went to Vietnam, but I don’t have to explain how I got 3 Purple Hearts with no hospital time” Kerry would do. Maybe because Bush has at least given us an idea of what he plans to do in the next couple years.

Simple, when you think about it. Kerry tried to trap Bush, but it didn’t work. So now, he wants us to believe that isn’t his trap and pit at all.

Pathetic, really.

Posted by: GDubya at April 13, 2004 05:36 PM

Don’t confuse political capital with political will, Todd.

Posted by: johnnymozart at April 13, 2004 05:52 PM

I have to disagree with you, GDubya. It is working, and not all the credit goes to the Dems.

You are right, that Bush did not do it perfectly, and no one who is ego-centric enough to run for president would.

Not sure what trap you are referring to, but I will also agree that the Kerry campaign is pathetic right now. Perhaps they are sitting on the sidelines letting the 9-11 commission carry the load for a while. A miscalculation in my estimation.

Posted by: Todd at April 13, 2004 06:00 PM

Let’s go point by point:
“According to the CIA, the briefing “was not requested by President Bush. the CIA informed the panel that the author of the briefing does not recall such a request from Bush and that the idea to compile the briefing came from within the CIA.” - Washington Post, 3/25/04”
“-ordered heightened airline screenings
-had the military prepare a contingency plan for multiple hijackings.
-ordered new security regs that airplane cockpits on commercial flights be kept locked at all times.
-more air marshalls on flights.
-hightened passenger screenings.
-more passenger weapon checks.”
1) Who really believe what the Washing Post prints anyway. Let’s get some real reporting. But say you do want to argue on the WP article…you are playing a game of hearsay. He said she said. I personally believe the National Security Advisor. But it’s your call.
2)People bitch and moan TODAY about the heightened security measures and we have been attacked. Can’t imagine what kind of names they would call GWB if he made changes to the airport based on speculative evidence.
3)So he orderes new security measure on the cockpits——from August 6th to September 11 do you honestly think we could have totally revamped the status quo? No…I don’t think so.
4)The air marshal program funding had been cut significantly since it’s inception in the 1960’s. Let’s take a guess at who cut it most drastically…Clinton? And now GWB is getting reamed for the budget deficit. He is simply trying to fix the disasterous military and law enforcement cuts of the previous Administration.
5)You gotta simply laugh at the passenger screening suggestion. Now we are checking little old ladies and letting the real supicious types fly right by. Can’t be biased can we. And Didn’t you liberals try to make it illegal for the DMV to require muslim women wearing their hijabs for their liscence pictures. Can’t imagine if we made the women remove their scarves at the airport prior to 9/11
6)I forget but for some reason I don’t remember Box cutters being listed as dangerous weapons. So even if we had more passenger weapons inspections the hijackers would have made it through the check

Posted by: realitycheck at April 13, 2004 06:03 PM

Let’s go point by point:
“According to the CIA, the briefing “was not requested by President Bush. the CIA informed the panel that the author of the briefing does not recall such a request from Bush and that the idea to compile the briefing came from within the CIA.” - Washington Post, 3/25/04”
“-ordered heightened airline screenings
-had the military prepare a contingency plan for multiple hijackings.
-ordered new security regs that airplane cockpits on commercial flights be kept locked at all times.
-more air marshalls on flights.
-hightened passenger screenings.
-more passenger weapon checks.”
1) Who really believe what the Washing Post prints anyway. Let’s get some real reporting. But say you do want to argue on the WP article…you are playing a game of hearsay. He said she said. I personally believe the National Security Advisor. But it’s your call.
2)People bitch and moan TODAY about the heightened security measures and we have been attacked. Can’t imagine what kind of names they would call GWB if he made changes to the airport based on speculative evidence.
3)So he orderes new security measure on the cockpits——from August 6th to September 11 do you honestly think we could have totally revamped the status quo? No…I don’t think so.
4)The air marshal program funding had been cut significantly since it’s inception in the 1960’s. Let’s take a guess at who cut it most drastically…Clinton? And now GWB is getting reamed for the budget deficit. He is simply trying to fix the disasterous military and law enforcement cuts of the previous Administration.
5)You gotta simply laugh at the passenger screening suggestion. Now we are checking little old ladies and letting the real supicious types fly right by. Can’t be biased can we. And Didn’t you liberals try to make it illegal for the DMV to require muslim women wearing their hijabs for their liscence pictures. Can’t imagine if we made the women remove their scarves at the airport prior to 9/11
6)I forget but for some reason I don’t remember Box cutters being listed as dangerous weapons. So even if we had more passenger weapons inspections the hijackers would have made it through the check

Posted by: realitycheck at April 13, 2004 06:04 PM

Let’s go point by point:
“According to the CIA, the briefing “was not requested by President Bush. the CIA informed the panel that the author of the briefing does not recall such a request from Bush and that the idea to compile the briefing came from within the CIA.” - Washington Post, 3/25/04”
“-ordered heightened airline screenings
-had the military prepare a contingency plan for multiple hijackings.
-ordered new security regs that airplane cockpits on commercial flights be kept locked at all times.
-more air marshalls on flights.
-hightened passenger screenings.
-more passenger weapon checks.”
1) Who really believe what the Washing Post prints anyway. Let’s get some real reporting. But say you do want to argue on the WP article…you are playing a game of hearsay. He said she said. I personally believe the National Security Advisor. But it’s your call.
2)People bitch and moan TODAY about the heightened security measures and we have been attacked. Can’t imagine what kind of names they would call GWB if he made changes to the airport based on speculative evidence.
3)So he orderes new security measure on the cockpits——from August 6th to September 11 do you honestly think we could have totally revamped the status quo? No…I don’t think so.
4)The air marshal program funding had been cut significantly since it’s inception in the 1960’s. Let’s take a guess at who cut it most drastically…Clinton? And now GWB is getting reamed for the budget deficit. He is simply trying to fix the disasterous military and law enforcement cuts of the previous Administration.
5)You gotta simply laugh at the passenger screening suggestion. Now we are checking little old ladies and letting the real supicious types fly right by. Can’t be biased can we. And Didn’t you liberals try to make it illegal for the DMV to require muslim women wearing their hijabs for their liscence pictures. Can’t imagine if we made the women remove their scarves at the airport prior to 9/11
6)I forget but for some reason I don’t remember Box cutters being listed as dangerous weapons. So even if we had more passenger weapons inspections the hijackers would have made it through the check

Posted by: realitycheck at April 13, 2004 06:04 PM

No confusion, JohnnyM. I meant captial.

Posted by: Todd at April 13, 2004 06:15 PM

Johnnymozart,

It is still ironic that basically the same people who were willing to normalize relations with a brutal dictator who used chemical weapons on his own people are now the ones who sent this country to war because he was a brutal dictator who gassed his own people and supported terrorists.

Posted by: Dream at April 13, 2004 06:34 PM

Dream, you’ve never answered the question. Not even attempted it.

Why is Saddam, in your opinion, a US client when he got 80% of his weaponry over 30 years from Russia, France, and China?

I know about the Rumsfeld picture. There is also one of Jacques Chirac, who personally oversaw France’s selling of the Osirak nuclear reactor to Saddam Hussein.

So, one more time, why is Saddam a US client and not a Russia/French/Chinese one?

Who makes Mirage fighters, Dream? Who makes Hind attack helicopters? Who sold Saddam 80% of his weapons?

It’s a very simple question and I’d love to hear your answer.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 13, 2004 06:56 PM

Gabriel,

I never said Saddam was a U.S. client, I said his government had U.S. support. Even when Saddam was using chemical weapons on his own people and on Iranian soldiers he had the Reagan administration providing political cover.

Posted by: Dream at April 13, 2004 07:02 PM

We also befriended Stalin to fight Hitler. Were we wrong?

Posted by: realitycheck at April 13, 2004 07:03 PM

Realitcheck-
Ill believe the Washington Post over Bush any day.
Check out Bush’s woppers on this issue alone:

“The [August 6, 2001] PDB was no indication of a terrorist threat…[It] said nothing about an attack on America.”
- President George W. Bush, 4/11/04

Truth:
“[There are] patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York…The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.”
- Presidential Daily Briefing, August 6, 2001

Posted by: typhonus at April 13, 2004 07:24 PM

Reality Check- I love your argument- since there was just over a month between the PDB and 9/11 Bush shouldnt have been expected to do nothing. That is a pathetic argument.

Again I will state it clearly: There was only a chance of preventing 9/11 under a competent president. It may or may not have been prevented. We cant say for certain in hindsight that it would have.

But thanks to asleep at the switch Bush, there was no chance to prevent 9/11.
Then Bush used 9/11 for political purposes.
And Bushco has refused to apologize.
Then his team lied there asses off, even commiting perjury to avoid stating that they didnt do enough.
Bush and his team are incompetant, perjurious felons who cannot be replaced soon enough.

Posted by: typhonus at April 13, 2004 07:35 PM

Dream

Gabriel is using irony. His straw man argument is deployed because post-Halabja Iraq was the largest importer of US wheat. Also, his noxious attacks (‘Piss off, troll’) hint at the US supply of WMD precursors. Clever stuff.

Posted by: bananas at April 13, 2004 08:29 PM

So, Dream, you admit then that Saddam Hussein was NOT a US client, but a Russian or French or Chinese client?

And you admit as well that Russia, France and China sought for ten years to have the UN sanctions lifted, even though Saddam had never fulifliied his obligation to submit to weapons inspections?

So why do you bring up the US at all in the roster of Saddam’s friends?

Who removed Saddam from power? Who led the liberation of Kuwait?

Who did everything they could to stop Saddam’s removal in 2003? Who sold Saddam his weapons? Who tried to have the sanctions lifted, even though Saddam wasn’t doing any of the things he was supposed to do?

Why do you focus only on 3 years of the US relationship with Saddam, and ignore the other 27, but for Russia and France and China you ignore all of their continual support of Saddam Hussein?

Is that a realistic way to look at the world? Blame America for causing the problem and for fixing it and all the while ignoring the people who were primarily responsible for the problem in the first place?

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 13, 2004 08:33 PM

Bananas, in your prevous incarnation you tried this trick, of calling insecticide “WMD” when it’s sold to Iraq by the US before 2003, and insisting that it’s not WMD when it’s found in Iraq in 2003.

I asked you the very same question I’m asking Dream; you never answered—you merely “obfusticated”, to coin a phrase.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 13, 2004 08:35 PM

Yes, Bananas, Iraq imported wheat.

Shall we talk about the UN Oil-for-Food program?

I would think you’d rather leave that one alone…

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 13, 2004 08:37 PM

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1079420293548&p=1012571727102

A Detroit-based businessman of Iraqi origin who financed a film by Scott Ritter, the former chief United Nations weapons inspector, has admitted for the first time being awarded oil allocations during the UN oil-for-food programme.

Shakir Khafaji, who had close contacts with Saddam Hussein’s regime, made $400,000 available for Mr Ritter to make In Shifting Sands, a film in which the ex-inspector claimed Iraq had been “defanged” after a decade of UN weapons inspections.

The disclosure is likely to raise further questions about the operation of the oil-for-food programme, which is already the subject of Congressional investigations and a separate high-level UN inquiry.

Congressional critics claim the Iraqi government manipulated the UN scheme in order to enrich members of the regime and buy influence abroad.

Mr Khafaji financed Mr Ritter’s film in the same period as he received “allocations” for Iraqi oil, handed out by Baghdad on a discretionary basis as part of the UN oil-for-food programme between 1995 and 2002.

Recipients of the allocations were able to sell the oil to international traders for between 10 cents and 30 cents per barrel. A 1m-barrel allocation could net as much as $300,000 in profit.

The scheme was set up in such a way that beneficiaries’ names were not recorded by the UN, and allowed them to claim they received no money from the Iraqi government….

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 13, 2004 08:43 PM

You love those European arms deals, don’tcha? Unfortunately, the Hind and the Mirage could also refer to the source and the substance of your argument. Iraq could’ve been supplied with Russian weapons for its entire history: it still wouldn’t change nearly a decade of US support in the ’80s, stretching from Reagan’s inauguration to the Kuwait border dispute, which featured the export of a precursor for a WMD deployed at Halabja, an atrocity which prompted Congress to impose sanctions only for Uncle Ronnie to block them. Etc etc. You asked Dream

“So why do you bring up the US at all in the roster of Saddam’s friends?

I’m guessing he did because the US was a member of that roster, and a large amount of European artillery does not trump that fact. Suggesting it does is just weird. And then the effrontery of accusations of trollery for refusing to support a position he hasn’t taken. The ironing is delicious.

Posted by: bananas at April 13, 2004 10:24 PM

Hey, Dream, since you said Rumsfeld was “Saddam’s buddy” because he shook Saddam’s hand, as diplomats are required to do from time to time, what do you have to say about Madeleine Albright’s relationship with Kim Jong Il?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/988725.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/986411.stm

Or Jacques Chirac’s with Saddam Hussein?

http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030314.ufran0314/BNStory
http://www.factbook.net/chirac.php
http://www.lexnotes.com/misc/jacques_iraq.htm

(the last one has Chirac and Hussein touring the French-built Osirak reactor together…)

Oh, but you didn’t have a word to say about these two…

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 13, 2004 10:32 PM

bananas, you can make as many unsupported assertions as you like about American support for Iraq, but you cannot change the facts that:

France, Russia, and China supported Iraq for 30 years, selling him 80% of his weapons

America and the UK tried to enforce UN sanctions against Iraq; France Russia and China tried to have them lifted without requiring anything of Saddam in return

America and the UK removed Saddam over the objections and obstructions of France, Russia and China

So you can say whatever you like. Whatever role America played in making Saddam what he was has been at least partly atoned for by the removal of Saddam.

What did France, Russia, and China do to make up for their part in it? Nothing.

So you can piss off too, bananas, because none of your unsupported assertions can change any of those facts.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna at April 13, 2004 10:39 PM

Tehran Times Aha!

Posted by: x at April 14, 2004 07:22 AM

What will that scum try next?
Posted by: leaddog2 at April 10, 2004 08:03 PM

Well, Now it’s all Ashcroft’s fault. We all know it’s the democrats fault. And America would want to elect these same fools back into the whitehouse? I don’t think so!
They are using this inquiry to cover their own asses now. Crimminal.
These fools are using this inquiry as a bash session more than ever now. it’s like reading script from DU. Disgusting. I hope the average American (not the x’s, bananabrains, dreamers, etc) really look at what these Dem’s are doing, and realize now that everything out of their mouths is pure crap.

btw, that was my post above, forgot my 2™

Posted by: X2™ at April 14, 2004 07:41 AM

After todays testamony it is clear that Rice had thought that the FBI and CIA had the authority to handle the operation but she lied because they are not the designers of the plan the President is
And you can’t blame Clinton for it because they were on top of it and thats why Al-Quada was not able to strike in the U.S.during his administration

Posted by: God at April 14, 2004 11:58 AM

God you are an absolute bafoon Al-Quada didn’t strike the US during the Clinton Administration. Let’s see they struck:
1) the World Trade Center
2) the U.S. Embassies in Africa
3) the USS Cole
4) American Troops on a humanitarian mission in Somalia
That’s 4 to one and I think I am forgetting some but who’s counting.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 14, 2004 12:22 PM

And furthermore Typhonus——I was simply saying that your suggestions were absolutely rediculous. There is no way to change policy in a month. In addition we can’t hardly get the patriot act to fly even now. I am thinking you are a victim of the left wing propaganda. I actually feel sorry for you. Your arguments are so non sequitar and you don’t even know it.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 14, 2004 12:27 PM

In addition, let me ask any of you liberals——do you have the exact same friends now than you did 20 years ago? And as a country are we in the same place now as we were 20 years ago? Again I ask were we wrong to partner with Stalin to defeat Hitler? Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 14, 2004 12:31 PM

Well, God, realitycheck, let’s not forget that Al Qaeda did hit the WTC in 1993.

You know, the “tragedy” (WJC’s word) that Clinton turned over to the FBI and NYPD, refusing access to the CIA and NSA of the material implicating a foreign terrorist group. The President at that time staunchly refused to consider the attack an act of war, and despite bin Laden’s taped bragging statements, refused to connect bin Laden to it.

I kinda call that an attack on the US during the Clinton Administration.

Posted by: GDubya at April 14, 2004 12:55 PM

Why should the Bush administration be trusted with leading the U.S.? They’ve made mistake after mistake and have refused to even admit their mistakes. Yet somehow now they are to be trusted to make no more mistake—when it is more critical then ever to make the right decisions.

They should first appologize for their support of Saddam even as he was using chemical weapons on his people. They should appologize to the Shites and Kurds whom they abandoned to the brutal slaghter by Saddam following the first Gulf war. They should appologize for misleading the American public when it came to justifying the second Gulf war. They should appologize for trying to hide their mistakes from the American public.

The Bush/Reagan administration should be ashamed for the leadership they’ve provided the United States. They’ve lead the United States into massive debt and created enemies by violating the priciples upon which the United States was founded.

Posted by: Dream at April 14, 2004 04:12 PM

Actually, Dream, I think you should apologize, for trying to tie President Bush to every evil and obscene thing you can imagine.

By the way, remind me:

When did FDR apologize for Pearl Harbor?

When did Harry Truman apologize for dropping Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

When did JFK apologize for the Cuban Missile Crisis?

When did Jimmy Carter apologize for the Iran Hostage Crisis?

When did Bill Clinton apologize for not allowing the CIA, NSA, or DIA share in the evidence and investigation from the 1993 WTC attack?

LONG PERIOD OF SILENCE, EXCEPT FOR CRICKETS CHIRPING.

And that’s enough of THAT crap.

Bush is a real President, Kerry is a wanna-be pretender, and your take is pure garbage.

Posted by: GDubya at April 14, 2004 04:20 PM

I think this debate has just been mooted. Whatever your view of the Aug 6 PDB, Bush will go down in history as the President most responsible for enabling terrorist attacks on Americans and America, to wit:

Breaking with long-standing U.S. policy, President Bush on Wednesday endorsed Israel’s retention of part of the West Bank in any final peace settlement with the Palestinians. In a show of support for Israel’s leader that brought immediate condemnation from the Palestinians, Bush also ruled out Palestinian refugees ever returning to Israel. But minutes after Bush spoke, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia said in Ramallah that “he is the first president who has legitimized the (Israeli) settlements in Palestinian territories.” Qureia added: “We as Palestinians reject that. We cannot accept that. We reject it and we refuse it.” Separately, anticipating what Bush would say, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had earlier called it “the complete end of the peace process.”

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Bush-Sharon.html

Seriously, all. This is a huge fuckin mistake. The U.S. did not need to endorse this. The Israelis do not have the moral high ground on the West Bank. The idea of the U.S. in an epic battle between good and evil is not going to have a happy ending. For this and this alone, Bush needs to be removed.

Posted by: Todd at April 14, 2004 05:20 PM

The Palestinian prime minister, Ahmed Qurei, warned hours earlier that the U.S. should avoid appearing to take sides. “Otherwise, there will be no peace,” he said.

I guess “creating a hundred new bin Ladens” by invading Iraq wasn’t enough. Now, there will be millions.

Posted by: Todd at April 14, 2004 05:24 PM

Spoken like a true Bush-basher, Todd.

The jackals must be proud of you.

Posted by: GDubya at April 14, 2004 05:41 PM

OK, GDUBYA, enlighten me.

How does taking sides in a centuries old conflict (which, I hasten to point out, has been scrupulously avioded by much wiser diplomats than Bush)strengthen our national security?

If what I said makes me a Bush Basher, then I plead guilty. But you had better make way; Americans will be moving in waves to join me.

Posted by: Todd at April 14, 2004 07:10 PM

///Bush will go down in history as the President most responsible for enabling terrorist attacks on Americans and America, to wit:///

Sure he will, Todd.

yawn

///I guess “creating a hundred new bin Ladens” by invading Iraq wasn’t enough. Now, there will be millions.///

Once again you display complete and utter ignorance of the entire conflict in that region. Read “The Politics of Islam” and get back to me. C’mon, man, I give you a lot more credit than stupid statements like the above. Get it through your heads you guys— there is no cycle of violence, only a cycle of victimhood. The “Palestinians” are the latest in a long line of flags. They’re pom-poms, dupes, tools.

Can you not see that they are merely being used by horrendously selfish evil men to draw attention away from the failures of “modern” (if it can be called that” Islamic society? Do you think Palestine as ruled by Arafat or people like him, even if Israel gave every concession they wanted, will be some Marxist utopia? Are you truly blind enough to believe that?

And as for you Dream,

Copy and paste your last post into a Word document file. Then copy and paste this paragraph I’m writing now. Then I want you to pull them both out on Nov 8th and reflect on why the vast majority of the United States rejected this kind of hyperbole. Because while there are a few nuggets of truth in there (deep, deep in there), this inability of you and people like you to see things objectively and/or offer constructive criticism to what you see wrong is unpalatable to the average American.

Good luck.

Posted by: johnnymozart at April 14, 2004 10:49 PM

History depends on action, Todd.

Cowards and the timid always find that the world will not work with them.

Men of action and vision, willing to face a challenge and seize opportunity, find that even the whole world cannot stand against them.

After the creation of the United States, the common thought in Europe was that the experiment was doomed to fail; the wise men of that day trusted kings and tradition. But it was the man of crown and sceptre who fell by the wayside, and the liberal democracy which has survived.

There is no reason, at all, to deny to the Arab world the benefits and hope of representative democracy. And every reason to make it real. It is certainly overdue.

Posted by: GDubya at April 15, 2004 09:58 AM

JohnnyM,

I freely admit that there are many others who have studies the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more than I and have a greater understanding of all of its nuances, and no doubt you are one of them. I will not agree that I am ignorant, however, of the situation.

I will grant you that the PLO, Hammas, and the other confederation of misguided souls have ulterior motives and poorly crafted and, indeed, reprehensible methods. Quite frankly, I don’t give a damn if thier claims are legitimate or not. They are, however, highly motivated, well funded, armed, manipulative and, in some respects, crazy. That is a dangerous combination, as any Israeli teenager who is required to carry an M-16 wherever they go will tell you.

But my question is, and I mean this in the most open minded way possible and really want an answer by those who know more about this than I:

How does taking sides in this centuries-old conflict enhance the national security of the United States.

It seems to me, by taking sides, we invite the kind of daily violence occurring in Israel onto us, whether at home or abroad. I know we need to stand fast against terrorism, but the idea that we need to provoke it unnecessarily is beyond me.

Gdubya, There is a line, however fine or vast, between bravery and foolhardiness, cowardice and prudence. No doubt Bush’s actions will create historical events. I’m just not sure its a history that we can live with. Most certainly, some won’t.

Posted by: Todd at April 15, 2004 12:12 PM

The difference, Todd, is that we have needed to fight this war for some time. Ignoring it would only have made things worse later.

Like Thomas Paine said, “if there must be strife, let it be in my lifetime, that my child may know peace”

It’s not about election tricks or the price of oil, but whether the United States means the words on our documents and monuments. We can either be a force for our own gain, or for justice overall. We can’t do everything, or everywhere, but this is the right war, for the right reason, and it will gain the right result for many millions, so long as we are strong enough to stay the course we are on.

Posted by: GDubya at April 15, 2004 02:02 PM

Todd—-think about this…you are right in that this is a century old conflict. I will grant you that. So since so many “skilled diplomats” have tried and FAILED MISERABLE at ending the conflict why not try a different method. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Shall we give a NEW idea a chance.

In addition, what people don’t realize is that as long as there are fanatical Muslims like there are in Palestine, Afganistan, Iraq, etc… we will NEVER have peace. These people want to destroy the idea of freedom. They want to destroy the Western Civilization. They never cared where we stood on any issue. They HATE AMERICA and would try to destroy us no matter what side we took on this conflict.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 15, 2004 02:52 PM

Gdubya and realitycheck,

You both make valid points. Perhaps given our national values and resources, this is a war we must fight. I don’t remember seeing “Solving the worlds problems through military solutions” on the Republican Platform in ‘00. True, 9/11 created a certain license to amend. I’m still not sure that this is a wise policy, though.

Sure, there are consequences that come from failing to act. But there are also consequences for taking too much action.

Yes, in many ways previous strategies toward the Israel/Palestinian conflict have failed. From a U.S. national security standpoint, demi-neutrality has succeeded in preventing the conflict from being brought to us. Perhaps it is a false security. But the “bring it on” diplomacy shift, while not without it’s Rambo-like appeal, commits this country to a world of anguish and suffering.

Maybey this is the way it has got to be. The extremists have an excuse rather than a reason to broaden the jihad that they were going to expand anyway. I just see the war on terror becoming a lot like the war on drugs. As long as we keep creating demand, there will be no end to the supply.

Posted by: Todd at April 15, 2004 03:44 PM

I have one key question for you, Todd:

If somehow a functioning democracy takes root in Iraq, what does that mean for the region and American interests, long term?

Posted by: GDubya at April 15, 2004 04:51 PM

In addition to GDubya’s question—-here’s another one…Why is it that the 9/11 hearings are attempting to chastise Bush for not taking enough action and when he does take decisive action he is critisized by the same people? Here are our options..either we take action or we don’t. Seems like one can’t really win with the liberals. They change their minds everyday. There is A LOT that goes on behind the scenes when making decisions like the one to support the Isralies or to go to war with Iraq. There is so much more unclassified information that you or I can’t see and never will see. You’ll just have to come to terms with that.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 15, 2004 06:50 PM

Gdubya,

I can offer one man’s opinion.

First, that is one hell of a big “If” and it would be hard to measure what “takes root” would mean or look like. Moreover, “democracy” is a term that is thrown around a lot as a proxy for a host of forms of government where the people have a say, however removed, in who governs them. I submit that Iraq is ill equipped to institute a truly democratic form of government, and the dangers of a theocracy are very, very real. I picture something more akin to the former Yugoslavia where various factions, majority or minority, would obtain the ruling authority and oppress their opponents, only to have the roles subsequently reversed in a potentially destabilizing cycle. As long as there is a parent watching over things (USSR/U.S.) things are held together in relative stability. Once you remove the stabilizing power, civil war erupts as grudges are settled. Bush has stated, and I will hold him to it (to the extent I can), that he does not want the U.S. to maintain a presence in Iraq. The questing is certainly open whether democracy can take root without it.

Another possibility is that the government could look a lot like Haiti (or Iran, or Iraq, or Nicaragua, etc.), where you have a chief executive that gains power only through U.S. interference in the politics, and there will remain is a constant battle between the executive’s interest and the U.S.’s; meanwhile anti-American sentiment is inflamed.

Quite frankly, I don’t know what democracy will look like in Iraq. I don’t think it is in their culture. Those who wield political power in Iraq are not the learned statesmen that drafted the U.S. Constitution. Not even close.

But I don’t think that the U.S. knows what it will look like either, and I don’t think the Bush administration thought it out very well before invading.

Bottom line, I think democracy in Iraq will mean continuing instability as they try to figure it out for themselves. To the extent the U.S. interferes in that development, I think it will be met with the same degree of success (or, rather, failure) that has met ever other government that the U.S. has tried to impose or prop up to achieve its interest.

Meanwhile, it will cost many U.S. soldiers and marines their lives, and will cost the taxpayers many dollars.

Reality Check,

Again, here is one man’s opinion:

I think the two criticisms are not as contradictory when examined. They are both lead to the conclusion that Bush is not an effective leader.

One, Bush is reactionary, rather than a true leader that can anticipate problems. Whining that the CIA and FBI didn’t tell him exactly what to do feeds into this perception.

Two, Bush lacks good judgment to take the appropriate actions, or perhaps that other interests are clouding his judgment. There are many in the intelligence community, Clarke is just one, who believe the invasion of Iraq was the wrong action to take and has set back the war on terrorism, rather than advanced it.

Personally, I think the war in Iraq had to happen eventually, whether last year, this year, or 10 years from now. My personal gripe with Bush is that he went to war in a way that did not optimize American interests and resources and without providing adequate justification to the American people prior to taking irreversible steps. I strongly suspect, although I am willing to be proven wrong, that had we focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan while the weapons inspectors had continued to contain Sadam’s WMD threat, America would be more secure than it is now. I know it’s hard for a boy from Texas to “continue to swat flies” but his two tons of DDT solution was not the best course.

As for the commission and the media, No doubt there is some armchair quarterbacking going on, but I don’t think the two positions are fundamentally contradictory. I think the criticism can be summarized by the following:

“There is a time for daring, and a time for caution, and the wise man knows the difference between the two.”

Bush has made his ability to lead the war on terror the central tenet of his campaign. I think it is fair to examine whether his actions were and continue to be appropriate given the circumstances.

To this end, Bush, and more particularly his political team, have made a series of miscalculations. They opposed creating the 9/11 commission in the first place, then opposed extending its deadline, have withheld relevant documents until forced to do so, and prevented Rice from testifying until after suffering a black eye from the media and public. It is a very reactionary strategy. It looks like they have something to hide, and doesn’t display leadership.

Contrast this with the commission that Tony Blair set up to investigate pre-war intelligence. The commission made some tough criticism and recommendations, and Blair stood before the House of Commons and defended himself and his decisions. That, I submit, is leadership and contrasts very strongly with the meager showing from Rove et al.

We have a great country with great people. I think we deserve better leadership.

Posted by: Todd at April 16, 2004 11:33 AM

Todd—-some well thought out points but I beg to offer a more optimistic point of view. Two years ago my father and I took a trip to one of the most amazing countries that I have ever seen (and I have been to a lot of countries). This magnificent place was Turkey. Sure you can worry and wonder what Iraq will turn out to be. But they have a great example on their border. I know Turkey isn’t perfect (but what country is). But they are doing a lot of things right. A strong democracy is possible in Iraq.

Further Todd—-you are basing all of your argumentation on what if’s. There is no way to tell what will happen. We have to let the plans materialize.

Your arguments are riddled with hypocrisy—-Is Bush reactionary? Well damn it, it’s a good thing we FINALLY have a President that reacts to acts of terrorism against out country. For almost a decade we kept letting the terrorist attack us. Your statement about true leaders anticipating problems is somewhat humorous. I guess not all people are fortune tellers such as yourself. If a President were to take action based on anticipation and no real data he would be impeached. You can’t risk our militaries lives without justifiable cause.

Lastly, can you name a few of those in the intelligence community who thought it was wrong to go into Iraq? As far as I am concerned Clark is a, self-absorbed liar. He best keep his mouth shut, before we call him our on his numerous inconsistencies again.

By the way would that better leadership be Kerry? God help us and our country if that happens.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 16, 2004 12:34 PM

Todd, I notice your arguments are based on assumptions, all of them negative.

Things change, you know. By your logic, since centuries of history stood against it, Slavery couldn’t be ended, but it was. Piracy on the open seas could never be eradicated as a major threat to international shipping, but it was. The rights of man are fragile ideals which could never stand up to the real world, but in fact, most nations have drawn up Constitutions in imitation of the US Constitution, including Bills of Rights.

If we are bold enough and willing to bear the weight all the way through, almost anything is possible.

(continued)

Posted by: GDubya at April 16, 2004 01:27 PM

(continued)

And I do not agree with your predictions. Gary Hart was like many on the left who predcted “tens of thousands” of American deaths “before Saddam will fall”, but instead we took him down in record time, and now the bastard is in prison. He was wrong, and like him, all those who see only failure and death for our servicemen will be shown to be wrong.

Unless we give up and turn over our work to cowards and the weak-willed.

Millions died under Saddam. If we work to make Iraq a democracy, all those deaths will serve a purpose and be worth remembering, and America will be known by our kept promises, instead of just how our enemies jeer at us.

The world is safer because we took out Saddam, and it will be even safer still, when Iraq is run by its own people, the men and women who have waited a lifetime to direct their own course.

We have won, and we shall win.

Posted by: GDubya at April 16, 2004 01:28 PM

Gentlemen,

Guilty as charged. I have a negative outlook, because I don’t think the U.S. started on the right path, hence my skepticism that we’ll end up in the right place. It’s not argument, just opinion. I willing to concede, based upon my lack of knowledge, that the Turkey experience offers hope.

As for my sources for “others in the intelligence community” I was specifically referring to a conversation I had with an acquaintance. He is one of those people who works for an undisclosed government agency (read CIA) and is now in Iraq working on the sovereignty hand off. The impression I get is that there are many people working within the administration and the various intelligence agencies that don’t believe Iraq was the ideal strategy to combat terrorism.

I presumed this was well known. Obviously, there are more public figures that have made these accusations. True, Dick Clarke is one but he is not alone. (I have listened to all the attacks leveled against Clarke, and I have found that some of the things he reports in his book are recalled differently by others who were there. That is to be expected and, infact, he acknowledges such in his book. The major points he makes, however, have been corroborated. I’m about halfway through the book, and I don’t think there is anything that remarkable about what he says. But, I don’t really want to get into that debate. Some want to discredit him at any cost, despite the fact that he worked for 25 years in intelligence and earned the trust and respect of four presidents and numerous other career intelligence bureacrats. So, we’ll leave him out of it.)

Here is the perspective from Rand Beers, who as you know quit the Bush administration last year and within a few months had joined the Kerry campaign as an advisor. From a washington Post Article:

The focus on Iraq has robbed domestic security of manpower, brainpower and money, [Beers] said. The Iraq war created fissures in the United States’ counterterrorism alliances, he said, and could breed a new generation of al Qaeda recruits. Many of his government colleagues, he said, thought Iraq was an “ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy.”

He thinks the war in Afghanistan was a job begun, then abandoned. Rather than destroying al Qaeda terrorists, the fighting only dispersed them. The flow of aid has been slow and the U.S. military presence is too small, he said. “Terrorists move around the country with ease. We don’t even know what’s going on. Osama bin Laden could be almost anywhere in Afghanistan,” he said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A62941-2003Jun15?language=printer

Do I think Kerry has the kind of leadership this country deserves? Probably not. He certainly wasn’t my first choice. I am encouraged, though, that he will surround himself with people like Beers who will take a more rational, well thought out approach to what is the real war on terror. I don’t think these people are cowardly or weak-willed. I certainly don’t think they want to hand over the keys to the white house to the terrorist as some have alleged or intimated. I think any such arguments or comments those are just plain silly.

I see mounting evidence that Bush’s desires to go to war with Iraq had little to do with the war on terror or bringing democracy to the people of Iraq.

Posted by: Todd at April 16, 2004 04:37 PM

Thanks for your thoughts, Todd.

You are aware, I’m sure, that the CIA and FBI have rather large bureaucracies in them, men who actually resent the President using their offices in ways they don’t like, as if the CinC should go hat in hand to them. One thing Bush, Clinton, and every President has had in common, is that they have had to remind these mandarins that they work at the President’s pleasure.

I suggest you read and/or listen to some other intel sources besides the CIA. My personal faves are the Marine Corps Intelligence, the DIA, the NSA, and ISIS. These not only give a broader look at the situations, they tend to be farther away from comfy office, and closer to the action.

In the past 40 years, the CIA and the State Department have too often become boutiques for careerists, while other, smaller agencies got the job done (ISA, DSC, STF).

Posted by: GDubya at April 16, 2004 04:47 PM

I would have to argue about the effectiveness of the CIA and the State Department. They have turned out some great work. Like with any agency there are mistakes made. Todd as for your “friend” in Iraq. He or She is a REALLY BAD agent and should probably lose his/her job. No authentic CIA or intelligence officer should under any circumstances allude to their position. What we have here is typical liberals screwing up our system—-blowing their cover and jeopardizing our National Security.

Posted by: realitycheck at April 16, 2004 06:53 PM

Todd Clarke says in his book that Ramzi Yousef IS Abdul Basit. That is just plain WRONG, and not only wrong but deceitful. Yousef came to this coutry with a VALID Iraqi passport, although his traveling companion was stopped for having a FALSE Iraqi passport.

Clarke sees misses the point of State-sponsored terrorism by a Country mile. But I’m sure facts are his least concern.

Posted by: Cap'n DOC at April 18, 2004 09:08 AM

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