Concise

“The harrowing truth remains unchanged from what it was before Dick Cheney emerged from his bunker to set Washington atwitter. The Bush administration did not make us safer either before or after 9/11. Obama is not making us less safe. If there’s another terrorist attack, it will be because the mess the Bush administration ignored in Pakistan and Afghanistan spun beyond anyone’s control well before Americans could throw the bums out.” — from Frank Rich‘s column in today’s N.Y. Times, called “Who Is To Blame for the Next Attack?”

16 thoughts on “Concise

  1. mrmystery on said:

    My favorite part of the usual idiocy from Rich was when this tub-a-guts theatre critic describes Cheney/Limbaugh/Gingrich as “Pillsbury Doughboys.”

  2. The thing is, you can’t prove it either way. You can’t say Bush/Cheney “kept us safe,” but you certainly can’t say they didn’t – there obviously haven’t been any attacks on US soil since 2001.

    What you can prove, though, is that dictators around the world have gotten A LOT braver in the last few months.

  3. You’re here, aren’t you. Ask the 3,000 murdered because Clinton didn’t think he had legal authority to extradite bin Laden when the Sudanese government offered him up on a platter.

  4. hmmm, Enquiring minds want to know…

    “The idea is that Clinton was given a viable chance to get bin Laden and somehow decided, “nah, we could put him in prison, but let’s intentionally let him go free.” This is unadulterated Drudge-style garbage.

    The oft-repeated right-wing version of the story originates from one Mansoor Ijaz, an investment banker now based in New York, a former “lobbyist for Pakistan” who is now a regular Clinton hit-man on conservative FOX News and the National Review. The story seems to have many variations, that Osama was offered up once, twice, even three times. However, Ijaz has no evidence whatsoever that he was integral, or more than just a liar–and the Clinton White House fully denied that Ijaz was of any use in the situation. They saw him as self-serving, having business ties with Sudan, which was then under embargo for their terrorist ties, wanting the embargo lifted so he could position himself profitably when Sudan opened its oil fields for export as planned in 1997. Clinton’s people, having worked with him before in dealing with Pakistan, this time disregarded him because of the conflicts inherent in his Sudan business connections, not to mention Ijaz’s tendencies to present himself inaccurately to several foreign nations as “agent” of the U.S. government. The Clinton administration underwent negotiations with Sudan without Ijaz, but Ijaz’s self-important story gets repeated ad nauseam–by Ijaz himself–with right-wing platforms eager to give him air time and column space. Ijaz later made even more fantastic claims that he could get Osama extradited in 2000, again unsupported. Apparently, Ijaz would have us believe that he had Osama in a bottle and pleaded with Clinton to take him, but Clinton maliciously unleashed him to wreak havoc upon the world.

    Here is the story as it happened:

    The government of Sudan, using a back channel direct from its president to the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States, offered in the early spring of 1996 to arrest Osama bin Laden and place him in custody in Saudi Arabia, according to officials and former officials in all three countries.

    The Clinton administration struggled to find a way to accept the offer in secret contacts that stretched from a meeting at hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on March 3, 1996, to a fax that closed the door on the effort 10 weeks later.

    Unable to persuade the Saudis to accept Mr. bin Laden, and lacking a case to indict him in U.S. courts, the Clinton administration finally gave up on the capture. …

    Resigned to Mr. bin Laden’s departure from Sudan, some officials raised the possibility of shooting down his chartered aircraft, but the idea was never seriously pursued because Mr. bin Laden had not been linked to a dead American, and it was inconceivable that Mr. Clinton would sign the “lethal finding” necessary under the circumstances.

    In short, Sudan claimed that it would arrest Osama and extradite him to another country, though the veracity of that offer has never been confirmed, and was doubted by many. But the Clinton administration tried to achieve this. However, the U.S. itself could not take him because at that time (and this is what the right-wing hatchet stories usually leave out), bin Laden had not been connected with any U.S. deaths, and the U.S. did not have any jurisdiction to try him. So they tried to convince the Saudis to take him, but the Saudis refused. To suggest that Clinton had the ability to nab bin Laden but decided not to goes contrary to Clinton’s 10-week effort to get bin Laden put in a Saudi jail and possibly executed there. The deal was simply unworkable, pure and simple.”

  5. it’s not exactly pretzel logic to assert that if Bush is responsible for not keeping us safe prior to 9-11-01, then it’s on Obama now to keep us safe after 5-31-09 — those “warning” briefings happened in June, 2001 – Obama is responsible for this country now, not the Bush/Cheney legacy, or lack thereof…the honeymoon is over.

  6. Josh: “but you certainly can’t say they didn’t -”

    Yeah, Kim Jong Il’s saber-rattling makes me feel completely safe.

    mrmystery: “Ask the 3,000 murdered because Clinton didn’t think he had legal authority to extradite bin Laden”

    What about when Bush was warned about an attack on American soil, but chose to take a vacation?

  7. Saying that Bush kept us safe after 9/11 is like saying Ford’s Theater had great security after lincoln died . . . you’re allowing for one awfully big exception.

    I’m here . . . but only because I didn’t work in the WTC 8 years ago.

  8. “it’s not exactly pretzel logic to assert that if Bush is responsible for not keeping us safe prior to 9-11-01, then it’s on Obama now to keep us safe after 5-31-09″

    Ah, but it’s the right-wing folks who blame 9/11/01 on Clinton but anything that has happened in the past few months on Obama. That’s not logic of any kind.

  9. “What you can prove, though, is that dictators around the world have gotten A LOT braver in the last few months.”

    You’re a pathetic cocksucker. I realize that’s off topic, immature, and not really adding to the discussion. But you’re not worth the fucking trouble.

    “there obviously haven’t been any attacks on US soil since 2001.”

    2001? Unless your math differs from mine thatwould put Bush/Cheney in the White House during the time of the worst attack ever on US soil. Not a small point, fucktard.

    “You’re here, aren’t you. Ask the 3,000 murdered because Clinton didn’t think he had legal authority to extradite bin Laden when the Sudanese government offered him up on a platter.”

    I blame it on Bush, who was handed evidence of a potential attack far in advance.

  10. Bin Laden was always the US’s man. He was in the American Hospital in Bagdad the day before 9/11. He’s never been caught because he no longer exists in his original form. He’s probably sunning himself somewhere in Florida. He was never anything more than the fall guy. The giant in a fairy tale. A fictional figure to lay the blame on. You notice he never even gets a mention these days. His purpose of the villain in the story has been served.

  11. What a steaming pile of crock.

    I might be against torture and water boarding, but I also acknowledge that it works. We got information from it. Funny how Obama won’t release those memos.

    But in the simplistic, no-shades-of-grey world that liberals inhabitant, water boarding made us less safe. Please.

    I live in the real world. The world where people like Jeffrey Wells would get their head sawed off with a rusty saw blade just because they review films. I live in the real world. What world do you live in?

  12. People will continue to believe want they want to believe. For things that are scientifically testable, huge chunks of the population will stubbornly believe in the impossible. So why should we expect different with a complicated issue that has no clear, provable “right” answer?

    The next attack won’t come with an attached note saying, “we wouldn’t have done this under a Republican president”, or “we only did this because of waterboarding”. And if it did, there would be no reason to take it at face value.

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