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September 25, 2006

Coffee Snorters: Anger Management Edition

A few tidbits from Howard Kurtz's Media Notes. Are we the only people who are beginning to think Wild Bill has a bit of an anger management problem?

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said that he was stunned when Bill Clinton accused him of a "conservative hit job" after he challenged the former president on his record in fighting terrorism.

"I thought it was a fair, balanced and not especially inflammatory question," Wallace said yesterday in recounting his "Fox News Sunday" sit-down with Clinton. "I even said, 'I know hindsight is 20/20.' But he went off. And once he went off, there was no bringing him back. He wanted to talk about it in detail. He wanted to conjure up right-wingers and conservative hit jobs and a theory involving Rupert Murdoch that I still don't understand."

Patterico notes that this is hardly the first time FauxNews has engaged in Who-shot-Johns. And Betsy Newmark remembers when the Panting Prez bombed bin Laden in 1998 ... to mixed reviews:

So, the two Republican leaders in the Congress praised and supported Clinton's action. And one Republican senator said that he was suspicious of everything Clinton does and doesn't do. I guess that was just so vicious that Clinton didn't do anything more to get bin Laden after that. (link via Lorie Byrd who notices that Clinton was, gasp! smirking during the interview! I thought Bush was the only one who smirked.)

So much for "you never asked THEM the hard questions!" and "all I get is criticism!".

Somebody call a waahmbulance. We can't stand the sight of blood.

In other news, that VRWC is at it again... bloody fascists:


The "mainstream media presents itself as unbiased, when in fact there are built into it many biases, and they are overwhelmingly to the left."

The man who made that comment is not some rabid right-wing critic but Thomas Edsall, a Washington Post political reporter for a quarter-century who recently accepted an early retirement offer.

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Edsall said he is pro-choice on abortion and does not think he has ever voted for a Republican presidential candidate. He said he believes that reporters vote Democratic by somewhere between 15 to 1 and 25 to 1.

Edsall, who now writes for the New Republic and has just finished a book called "Building Red America," also said that journalists have an inherent "suspicion" of the military, and he agreed "to a certain degree" with the argument that Fox News and conservative radio became popular because many people, in Hewitt's words, "got sick and tired of being spoon-fed liberal dross" by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.

In an interview, Edsall says the main problem is "an inability to empathize with the way many people in red states think and feel" but that it is "possible" for journalists to set aside their views and report fairly.

*sigh*

Posted by Cassandra at September 25, 2006 08:05 AM

Comments

Bravo Bill...that "smirk" the self annointeds indeed employ bespeaks of the "neener neener" small minds...too prevelant today ---and I can hardly be counted as a Clinton supporter. I wish Condi had so put Ka ka Katie (on 60 Mins)in her place when she injected her daughter's irrelevant "who made us the boss of them" wisdom...reign in the fangs Wallace &ka ka Katie...you are both out of your leagues- Dan learned the hard way about agendas not news.

None of this is a child's game...

Posted by: Raye at September 25, 2006 12:16 PM

Yawnnnnnn.......I am in so need of coffee after reading your entry regarding Bill's dust up with Wallace. The tongue in cheek stuff is getting tired....when bloggers do the "I'll pretend I'm in their shoes with with irony, wit and sarcasm....like a alter ego doppelganger who they'd be if they reflected all the things I think about them when they talk" mode is really silly. Frequently, people on your site always make the accusation that all press is bad, but it's mostly liberal and the liberal press is mostly bad, while never analyzing the stuff on Fox News.

Read Eric Alterman's "What Liberal Media Bias?" to get an understanding of ownership of the media, its true intent (money and ratings...who can best provide those two things at the time needed), and entertainment masquerading as news for the past twenty years. Don't you think its quite timely for Chris Wallace to bring Clinton on the show under the pretense of talking about fund raising with Gates and Bush Sr., and then trying to turn the tables? An election is 43 days away, and its time to redirect. I'm sure you are aware of the relationship between Roger Ailes, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. Quite good friends and allies. Unfortunately, Wallace looked helpless, and today looks disingenuous in his attempt to seem shocked that Clinto would respond so aggressively.

Taking the focus away from what the true issues are for now is a long used tactic by any politician. Including Clinton with his administration. Take for example George Allen. A Fox news reporter asks him if he knows his mother is Jewish. He's somewhat shocked. All the press I read were sympathetic to Allen, yet right wing people like Sean Hannity and Rush claim that "liberals" were painting Allen as bad on this. I think if you analyze, the news wished to help Allen out on this by asking a outlandish question aimed at taking the focus off "macaca", thus making Allen seem vulnerable and sympathetic. Whether this came from Allen's p.r. group, Karl Rove, or Fox News we won't probably find out. However, it worked....the part that didn't work was when the liberals did not respond negatively, Hannity and the rest were fighting windmills trying to create a fuss about it.

This will be my last communication with you. I do this because I see no point in trying to have diaglogue, when there is no willingness on your part to make an admissions about problems, tactics or foibles of this administration and the War while maintaining your beliefs. True believers are the most dangerous. Believers stick their principles, but make admissions and changes as events unfold. For that reason, I'd vote for John McCain in a second for president. He doesn't follow lock step with this current band of faux conservatives. He is a true conservative, or what many like to refer to as paleos.

I'd suggest you check out Justin Raimondo's website and blog. I believe it is antiwar.com. He is one of the most informed and smart bloggers I've read. He may shake your sensiblities, since he's gay, conservative, against the war, and disliking of dems and politicians in general. Maybe you need t shake things up a bit.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 25, 2006 01:06 PM

Miguel:

You never do manage to respond to any of the points I make, do you?

You simply glide on past anything that disagrees with your world view: like the head of the CIA's bin Laden unit saying that Clinton had 8-10 chances to kill bin Laden but refused outright to do so. He was there. It was his job.

But that doesn't agree with what you want to hear, so you simply ignore it. It's an inconvenient fact.

You can't just dismiss things you don't want to hear because you don't like the source.

Or rather you can. But that makes you look biased. And it makes you look, contrary to the appearance you keep trying to give, like someone who never really came over here with any real intent to exchange view, but only to spout off. That's why I find it difficult to talk to you.

You were never listening. Only talking.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 01:13 PM

And again, why on earth would I care what Sean Hannity or Rush are saying?

You listen to them.

I don't.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 01:14 PM

Actually I liked Cassandra's point of view.
I will actually give good ole Miguel the point that fox IS biased, but, unlike the left wing media channels and reporters, fox also brings differing points of views on the show. They have members from both sides of most issues and then it is up to the public to decide who makes sense and who deosn't. Who answers questions and who avoids them, then tries to deflect those questions into a point they want to discuss, which is very rarely the point of discussion.
I watch almost all the news channels throughout the day and in my opinion, fine if a reporter has an opinion as long as they give equal time to others opinions, something Fox does but not many others bother with.
Thanks Cassandra for an interesting read.

Posted by: Susan at September 25, 2006 01:37 PM

*sigh*

I don't, actually, argue that Fox is completely unbiased. I do happen to think it has less of a slant than CNN, for instance.

What I find so amusing about Miguel is that he has no problem with bias. He only detects it, however, when it is righty bias and then he hates it.

He has no problem whatsoever with *lefty* bias, which is everywhere in the media and in academia, which are dominated by liberals. He completely ignores the statement in Kurtz's column. How many times have journalists come out and admitted that the journalism community as a whole is incredibly biased - that they overwhelmingly vote Democrat? That they are overwhelmingly liberal? Yet he has huge issues with ONE network out of all the lefty ones being conservative. So much for the fairness doctrine in actual practice, which Dems only want as an affirmative action program for weak ideas that can't survive in the marketplace of ideas :p

Too funny. CNN is just awful. And his idea of discrediting a post is never to go after the facts, but to try the ad hominem: I don't have to refute HIM - he's a 'winger! He's associated with this/that/the other person or org that is a right-wing mouthpiece!

Wrong tack. Refute the idea on the merits, or quote better facts. Don't go after the person. That's a weak debating tactic and I'm not going to waste my time on it. Likewise I'm not interesting in debating your opinion. I'm not going to change your subjective values - that's a non-player.

Meet facts with facts, logic with logic. But stay away from the fuzzy stuff because it's mental quicksand.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 01:56 PM

Boy, ol' Slick Willy was definately on his "game" last night. If anyone thinks that any of that "rant" last night was impromptu, they need to call Mullah 'Toda Yada Yada, because they have another 'think' coming. (His legend as Thinker-Extraordinair is beyond reproach, don'cha know.)
I'm quite sure that he was genuinely pissed -- he's been pissed about being (fairly? Incroyable!) accused of letting Bin Laden go for a long time. The difference between now and any other time in the past 5 years is that this was the prime time (pun intended) to let it show. He knew what questions were coming his way. When anyone goes on a show like this, especially someone of such political stature as the former President of the United States of America, it is well known in advance what the subject matter is as well as what the questions will be. Those questions have been submitted, edited and resubmitted ad infinitum until both sides agree to disagree on them.
Slick Willy and his handlers also knew (expected?) that there would be more than just a discussion of his current pet project. To foolishly think that the self-same people who conspired and covered-a$$ for everything from Gennifer Flowers to Whitewater to "She-of-the-Blue-Stained-Dress" are so dumb that they believed that the "'Path to 9/11'/Democratic Senate Thuggery" debacle would not open the door for any 'unscheduled' questions is to grossly underestimate the most accomplished pahtological liar to hold political office. Clinton's entired rhetoric ws not only written out well in advance (hence the readily referrenced quotes) but practiced and polished until it was, well, what we saw: an Oscar-worthy performance.
A performance, though, nonetheless.

Posted by: Sly2017 at September 25, 2006 02:02 PM

OK, so if we accept your premise that Bad Bill missed his opportunity to go after Al Qaeda, how do you explain the then newly-installed President of the United States inaction?

The Joint FBI/CIA report confirming Al Qaeda was responsible for the USS Cole was handed up to President Clinton in Dec. 2000 (three months after the attack), a month before he left office. Good time to retaliate you say? No time like the present, so what if the ballots were still being counted, and we didn't know who the next president was. Good grief, I can only imagine the crap we'd be hearing if he gone to war two weeks before he left office.

No, Clinton left the report fingering Al Qaeda with the USS Cole bombing on his successor's desk, with a big Post-It: High Priority. Funny that. Nuttin happened. Not in January, nor March, nor June, nor August. Nuttin happened until Al Qadea came to our shores on Sept. 11.

From the 9/11 Hearings:
Why didn't Bush respond to the USS Cole bombing?

CLARKE: I suggested, beginning in January of 2001, that ... there was an open issue which should be decided about whether or not the Bush administration should retaliate for the Cole attack [which occurred in October 2000].
Unfortunately, there was no interest, no acceptance of that proposition. And I was told on a couple of occasions, "Well, you know, that happened on the Clinton administration's watch."
I didn't think it made any difference. I thought the Bush administration, now that it had the CIA saying it was al Qaeda, should have responded.

RICE: I do not believe to this day that it would have been a good thing to respond to the Cole, given the kinds of options that we were going to have. ... We really thought that the Cole incident was passed, that you didn't want to respond tit-for-tat. ...

Just responding to another attack in an insufficient way we thought would actually probably embolden the terrorists -- they had been emboldened by everything else that had been done to them -- and that the best course was to look ahead to a more aggressive strategy against them.

There you go sportsfan, they thought the incident was passed and didn't want to respond tit-for-tat. Yeah, they had their eyes on the ball alrighty. Not.

Posted by: gyrlwondyr at September 25, 2006 03:02 PM

RICE: "Just responding to another attack in an insufficient way we thought would actually probably embolden the terrorists -- they had been emboldened by everything else that had been done to them"

You said a mouthful Condi.

Posted by: gyrlwonder at September 25, 2006 03:08 PM

It's not "my" premise.

It's the word of the head of the CIA's bin Laden unit that Clinton had "8-10 chances to go after bin Laden, but refused to take him out".

And his word that in only 8 months (vs 8 YEARS) Bush never really had a clear chance at bin Laden. But hey, what would he know? He was only the guy in charge of surveilling bin Laden.

And then we have the word of Richard Clarke, in Clinton's words ("the most valuable guy I had") that "nothing was done since 1998", that "there was a strategy that was tabled" and that as soon as Bush took office in January, he started trying to get things in order.

But you know, that kind of takes time.

What a shame Clinton just dorked around for 8 years. And by the way, it wasn't just the USS Cole . Wake up. We were attacked multiple times before that.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 03:17 PM

Okay, I lied. Like Bill, like GW. I return only to encourage people who wish to continue "labeling" things lefty or righty, to look behind the curtain. The ownership of media corps are generally most concerned with money. Whatever is the current standard, most journalists will abide by and follow the line. So will the entire network. If CNN, MSNBC and the others which are labeled "liberal" were so liberal, why wouldn't they be critical of the lack of attention in Afghanistan? Why wouldn't they take on the rhetoric of Common Dreams and other far left blogs which call Bush "Nazi" and claim he worked with the Masaad to orchestrate 9/11? Reason is they only want Nielsen ratings. They truly don't want to be ideologues. In the attempt to look fair and balanced, many of these other networks employ and have as guest more conservatives then liberals. Even people like Cokie Roberts strain to be so even and fair that it comes off as disingenous.

Because the Republicans are in power, and the neo-conservative agenda is the agenda of the day, the press cover that predominantly, regardless of facts. Fox simply is very overt about their bent. Decidely conservative, decidely pro-Bush administration. However, when Bush takes a hit....i.e. no WMD, no al-Qaeda connection, Brit Hume and the rest attempt to distance themselves from any notion that they were trumpeting the accolades of the administration.

Here are the new ratings from Nielsen as of August 2006.

Aug. 2006 #'s: Total Viewers Aug. 2005 vs Aug 2006

Total day:

FOX - Aug 2005 -- 1,001,000 -- Aug 2006 -- 933,000 - 7% drop
CNN - Aug 2005 -- 433,000 -- Aug 2006 -- 584,000 - 35% increase
MSNBC - Aug 2005 -- 220,000 -- Aug 2006 -- 277,000 - 26% increase

Primetime:

FOX - Aug 2005 -- 2,093,000 -- Aug 2006 -- 1,511,000 - 28% drop
CNN - Aug 2005 -- 748,000 -- Aug 2006 -- 902,000 - 21% increase
MSNBC - Aug 2005 -- 349,000 -- Aug 2006 -- 371,000 - 6% increase

Clearly based on this info, Fox has a larger viewing audience. However, they are droppping in their numbers. Why? Because the others are presenting a more middle of the road perspective on politics. There are more conservative pundits than before, and more positive spin on aspects of the war and the administration. CNN and MSNBC (with the exception of Olbermann)new that going a bit more middle of the road would gain them more viewers. Without exception this has been the trend since the media corps began merging. And remember, the press had a field day with Clinton, Travelgate, Whitewater and Lewinsky. They didn't exactly protect him.

So if there is a huge Democratic shift in politics, the press will most likely get their talking points from the Dems. True liberalism will never gain exceptance in the big media houses, because ownership is decidely conservative. With this in mind, and if you decide to investigate my claims or references, how is the television brigade liberal? Even editorials in newspapers have become more conservative over the years. Richard A. Viguiere is to thank for this shift in media converage and conglomeration of media forces. Yet even Viguiere says that Bush and his adminstration hijacked the conservative cause. Check it out:

http://www.conservativehq.com/

Cassandra, I did answer your points. You referred to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report a number of times regarding Clarke and WMD, and I told you the report you referred to pre-dated the more recent report which corrected the findings in the earlier report. As well, other than your admission that the war was optional and you engaging in a re-direction of the rationale for war (similar to the Whitehouse...hmmmm?)you still didn't address the statement about the death of soldiers in an optional war, and the moral reasoning for this.

As for your points about Wilson, the distinction of his suppossed lie, or misspeak, juxtaposed against the President's lie, or misleading, show a contradiction in logic on your part. IF the answer is you believe in the man (Bush) and that's enough for you, than I accept that. However, to claim Wilson lied (even though the most recent findings by nearly every reputtable intelligence source agree with Wilson' conclusion), and Bush was misled (even though every reputtable intelligence source disagree with Bush's conclusions) is inconsistent at best.

Again, if you are taking this personally, its not my intent. I wish to see if you can look at all the evidence, and see that overwhelmingly the evidence comes down against the statements and rationale of this president. You can stick to the 10 percent or less of groups who claim to the validity of Prez's claims, but the other 90% are contrary. Even military and conservative groups like Cato and Stratfor.com are speaking out against the policies of this administration. These groups also claim that the press is liberal. So they are able to separate their ideology from reality and adjust thinking. Cato used to be routinely referenced by the Whitehouse and conservative writers who support Bush. Now, Cato is lucky to have one of their symposiums appear on C-Span.

Even Steven Slivinski, a conservative economist with the Cato institute, writes now about the Bush administration spending increase.

And don't argue that the increase is related to the WAr on Terror:

But the real truth is that national defense is far from being responsible for all of the spending increases. According to the new numbers, defense spending will have risen by about 34 percent since Bush came into office. But, at the same time, non-defense discretionary spending will have skyrocketed by almost 28 percent. Government agencies that Republicans were calling to be abolished less than 10 years ago, such as education and labor, have enjoyed jaw-dropping spending increases under Bush of 70 percent and 65 percent respectively. (from Slivinski)

So, again, here is another Conservative being critical without surrendering his ideology. Are all of these people liberals in conservative clothing? Are they part of the decay of morality in America. No. They simply want to see our nation return to its greatness and have this man leave office. To the future. Good luck.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 25, 2006 03:20 PM

You were never listening. Only talking.
Seems like someone's projecting.

Why is it that whenever a commenter disagrees, he or she is not listeneing, or not reading or not thinking? Is it possible that they are all deaf, blind or dumb? What a simple tidy box you have put more than half the nation that is out of step with you.

Sadly, you are correct Miguel. There is no point endeavoring to have a dialogue with individuals who are intellectually dishonest (I would say "intellectually confused" but Mr. Rumsfeld has reserved that moniker for the appeasers.)

Thousand of words spill across these pages yet there is not one post that is critical of Bush. Sure, it's a lot more fun to poke at the Democrats, the NYT, Kerry, but doesn't that get old? Does that help you sleep at night?
Where is the debate, the critical thinking, concerning this administration's policies?

Missteps (failures) have occurred in almost every area including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, N. Korea, the trade deficit, domestic spending, Katrina, Homeland Security, energy, environment, education, Medicare, immigration and yet not one peep, not one raised eyebrow only back-to-back Clinton posts, and a Kerry photo thrown in for good measure.

Actually, I'm envious. I wish I could have such an unblemished view. I wish that the antics of Bill Clinton on a Sunday morning filled my worries on Monday afternnon. It must be nice.
Pass the Kool Aid. Miguel need to load up on what you are drinking.

Posted by: morgan at September 25, 2006 03:44 PM

Yes. Do remind me to tune into Common Dreams for all the times when they find good things to say about the administration. I do love the balance over there.

As a matter of fact, I'm trying to remember what Miguel said that was good about Bush.

Can you?

Can anyone?

Oh. Excuse me. It was only me that was supposed to change her mind.

Got it.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 03:49 PM

Now, maybe I'll stay. Thanks Morgan. I don't wish to criticize, I only want to hear people honestly reflect on my comments, and then disagree with based upon facts and their point-of-view. We are all influenced by what we want to believe. Than, often, is something that contradicts our belief. We can choose to be affected or informed. If we are affected, that really says more about us and the foundation of our beliefs than the person saying it. If we are informed, than we can take that info, use it or discard it after review.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 25, 2006 03:50 PM

Actually, I have nothing good to say about Mr. Bush. I won't call him a Nazi, or a chimp, or stupid, like many things which are said about Bill, John Kerry, and even John McCain. I would say, based upon the evidence and facts, Mr. Bush might be one of the top five worst presidents ever. Maybe the worst. I hope John McCain runs in 2008, because if he doesn't, the Republican party is doomed.

As for making you change your mind, I definitely would never request anyone do that. Sometimes in discussion, people will say things like, "That is a valid point.", which I believe I have said to you once or twice. Not that I require you to say that to me. But every item I've referenced to you is factual, current and supported by intel and history. That seems to me significant enough to ponder.

Thanks for the forum to share my point of view.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 25, 2006 03:56 PM

There was no Al Qaeda in 1993. Th Fatwa against the US was not issued until 1996. It tooks years for people to learn how to even spell Al Qaeda much less understand it, including our elected officials. Hell, O'Neill, the former FBI agent who died in 9/11, was bounced out of the FBI for being obsessed with the organization that nobody wanted to know about.

Even after 9/11 most Americans had never heard of OBL.

Point is I'd be a little bit careful how you throw around those "8 years." May come back to haunt you.

Posted by: morgan at September 25, 2006 03:58 PM

Morgan, you are seriously misinformed and you need to stop wasting my time. I have work to do.

Al Qaeda was formed in the 1980s from the Maktab al-Khadamat in Afghanistan.

Now please go find something useful to do with your time instead of taunting helpless female conservatives.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 04:07 PM

Didn't sound like Morgan was taunting you. He simply was setting up a timeline response to your above timeline. Because GW has been in office for six years, and the 8 years is an interesting reference. I also believe that Al Qaeda in its original form was allied with our counter espionage people in attempting to take a stand against the Russians. In other words, we financed his ops. This group was an off-shoot of the Mujahadeen (?).

We supported him and his folks. Remember as well, the turning point for him and his ambivalence to us was when we established air bases in Saudi Arabia. So, ya, al Qaeda started in the early eighties, and we helped with that. And remember as well, this was Reagan time.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 25, 2006 04:14 PM

You conservative types never say anything bad about Bush.

Spending, Harriet Myers, Immigration. Yep, all us conservatives were just tickled pink with those. What little support Bush had for those was of the type: "Enh, this sucks, but I guess we should let it play out" (Myers) or "$h!t, Well, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye. But just barely" (Immigration).

The best we've heard from Democrats about Bush was Pelosi telling Hugo Chaves that only she can call Bush a Nazi.

Consevatives criticize Bush quite frequently, but let a Democrat agree with him, and he ends up photoshopped into blackface (Lieberman).

Posted by: Masked Menace© at September 25, 2006 04:18 PM

And we had a worse enemy at that time: communist Russia. You take your allies where you can find them. We also cozied up to Hussein when Iran was our enemy. That's global politics. And now Iran is a huge threat again. Things shift.

Life is funny sometimes. We don't have a crystal ball so that we can see into the future and know, with perfect certainty, how things will turn out. The lack of HUMINT the current crop of Democrat critics who are bitching about the WMD intel are carrying on about occurred PRECISELY because men like John Kerry passed laws saying we could only do business with squeaky-clean sources :) If you look in the Congressional Record, you'll find Kerry sponsored legislation to cut the CIA's budget big-time. But it was so flagrantly irresponsible that his fellow Dems killed it. Inouye was shocked that he even proposed it.

That's what happens. We literally hamstrung the CIA so that we had no HUMINT in Iraq, with the result that we were blind when we most needed eyes. And now we know how badly that hurt us. But then hindsight always is 20/20, isn't it?

The question is, Miguel, can you accept criticism when it comes to your own party, or will you do what you accused me of?

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 04:22 PM

Well, after hanging around this site for a grand total of a few days Menace, he feels qualified to say no one ever criticises Bush :D

heh...

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 04:23 PM

Now you have clarevoyant powers. You can see my voter registration card. As with the reference I sent you regarding Richard Viguirie, many conservatives feel that Bush has hijacked the cause. So it would be equally as absurd for me to say you are not a conservative because you agree with a President who has increased his spending more than any president since LBJ (see the Cato link, a direct contradiction of conservative ideology). Obviously you haven't read much of what I said about politicians and party affiliation. I guess everyone that thinks Bush is bad for our country is a Dem. Is Richard Viguirie a Dem? Colin Powell? John McCain?

You can criticize anyone in any party.

The convenience of "my friend is my enemy's enemy" logic is that it will eventually blowback on you, a title of Chalmers Johnson's book. The problem is when the "gased his own people" and "he was a ruthless dictator" phrases arise, they point back at our behavior in aiding and abetting this (we provided the WMD which gassed the Kurds and financed his regime). And to think that Iran and certain rebellious factions in Iraq are aligning against our intents. Seems Iran and the terror elements are using our own logic against us.

So, finally, I don't expect you to say anything "bad" about Bush, but to conveniently ignore facts regarding the War, which you've yet to address (remember my little question; troops, death, etc.) seems like avoidance of the worst kind.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 25, 2006 04:38 PM

Troops always die in war. It is silly to the point of ridiculousness to want me to emote over that one, so let's not go there, OK. And by the way, I happen to have gone to a few military funerals so this doesn't happen to be a purely academic question for me.

And I haven't ignored it - you merely don't like my answers so you continue to dismiss them Miguel. I'm getting tired of rehashing the same tired points. I already addressed this. You are not paying attention, just like the time when you did not pay attention to my answer about Free Republic, then accused me of not answering. That is a waste of my time. I am courteous enough to answer a question, then you blow right past the answer and bring it up again. That is rude.

I already stated that you are fixated on WMDs when IMO we disagree based on a question of whether the war is "worth it" based on subjective values, which we are never going to agree on. GO BACK AND READ MY FORMER ANSWER. I AM NOT GOING TO RETYPE IT.

The SOTU addresss laid out a 3-pronged case for war. I don't really care whether you found it convincing. That's beside the point. You have that right. Others did. They have that right in a democratic society and you have no right to gainsay them.

Citing "death" in war as a reason not to go to war is patently silly. All wars cause death. In the end, the question of whether it is "worth" it is a subjective one. Your mileage may differ. I believe it is "worth" it if we can spread democracy in the ME. You don't. Bully for you.

You think we're losing. Bully for you. I disagree.

Many Iraqis disagree - they think the only way we can lose is by losing heart. They are a hell of a lot closer to the action than you are. But hey - you know better than they. The Sunnis don't want us to leave. The President of Iraq doesn't want us to leave - he said so in the WaPo today.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/24/AR2006092400922.html

Only the Dems want us to cut and run.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 05:02 PM

I'm sorry for being cranky Miguel, but when you keep asking questions I've answered when I'm trying to work, I get a tad testy. I get the feeling you're just baiting me. I don't like being accused of evading questions I already answered, like that Free Republic thing which I did answer and you just didn't bother reading.

If I take the time to answer a question, please read my answer so I don't have to answer it again.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 05:43 PM

I am not attempting to bait you. AGain, when info is presented we can either be affected or informed. If we are affected, then that says more about us and our moral underpinnings. If we are simply informed, then we can digest and move on. If you are doing work, then don't respond. I don't expect a response.

Thank you for making it very clear that you think the deaths of American soldiers is worth the unrealized benefits that this war is supposed to provide.

As to subjectivity, you know well that DOD and Pentagon spend countless hours with contigencies, evaluating whether plans will have more benefit than casualties. In this war, it appears, and this is my opinion, that there are no benefits to justify the deaths of these soldiers or Iraq citizens (to this level). This is what happens when technocrats are given the keys to the castle.

Posted by: Miguel at September 25, 2006 05:49 PM

That is your opinion.

The Iraqis we are training, OTOH, may beg to differ. The troops who are over there risking their lives may beg to differ - in fact I know a great many of them do. And *that* has nothing to do with technocrats and a great deal to do with flesh and blood people enjoying the benefits of freedom, which you seem to despise.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 05:59 PM

For instance, this:

http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/004167.html

to you, is not "worth" it.

I beg to disagree. And I question the humanity, and the soul, of anyone who thinks that way.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 06:01 PM

And by the way, that man has since travelled to the US to thank the men who freed his city. So he most definitely thinks our sacrifices are "worth" it, even if you do not.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 06:03 PM

Similarly, there are many vets who speak out against this war. Many Iraqis who have spoken out. In the end, we must look at all the evidence and decide if this is worth it, as a nation.

Not to be callous, but I'd rather not one U.S. soldier die to allow one Iraq to find freedom elsewhere, or in his own country. Not worth it to me.

And I am very thankly I live in a free society where I can do what I'm doing right now. And it is the responsibility of our leaders to make choices which protect us, and not put us in harms way. It is the responsibility of our leaders to make choices which don't endanger our lives and our safety. As a sovereign nation, it is our responsibility to be the beacon of not only freedom, but fairness, humility and concern for the rest of the World and our troops.

Bush has done none of that. And with this note, I bid you adieu. I for one, will speak out against any behavior which is detrimental to the American public, enlisted citizens and regular citizens. Because I don't think troops are expendable.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 25, 2006 06:12 PM

That is why we have a first amendment Miguel. You have been "speaking out" on my dime here for several days, though you disagree with me. No one has stopped you, at least that I've noticed, nor suggested that you should stop talking. You seem to think that somehow someone has, but I saw no suggestion to that effect. Good luck.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 06:18 PM

Miguel,
While I won't get into a finger-pointing argument, I will give my thought on your statement:

"And it is the responsibility of our leaders to make choices which protect us, and not put us in harms way. It is the responsibility of our leaders to make choices which don't endanger our lives and our safety. As a sovereign nation, it is our responsibility to be the beacon of not only freedom, but fairness, humility and concern for the rest of the World and our troops."

My friend, I think all of us want this: A responsible government that is there to protect us, not harm us. However, for those that are in favor of this war, it is our belief that this protection does not come magically on its own, nor through wishful thinking. And for us, the ideal that a safer world will bring about a safer country for us... thus today we spend our precious blood in Afghanistan and Iraq, and other parts of the world. To do it right, we don't think it can be done by proxy... like in the past with OBL. To do it right, we don't think we can do it by half-measures... by leaving before the job is completed.

Our soldiers, who for many of us are our family and friends, are not expendible. They take great risks for a possibility that could do so much good on many levels for many people should they succeed, and have a chance of succeeding. That's why many of us support them and feel they should not be pulled out.

Just so you know.

Posted by: Kevin L at September 25, 2006 06:57 PM

*sigh*

I suppose we are all supposed to take my 'blind' support for the war as evidence that I believe my husband of 27 years is expendible.

Apparently the lure of that wonderful SGLI is more than I can resist. Sometimes I wonder if people really realize what they are saying, or if they just enjoy being insulting. Let it go Kevin.

But thanks. I appreciate it :)

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 07:11 PM

"Let it go Kevin."

Dang... don't you sound like my ex-wife... Bah! ;)

Posted by: Kevin L at September 25, 2006 07:14 PM

Sorry :) I meant it kindly. I never say that.

I'm tired and kind of discouraged - it came out wrong.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 25, 2006 07:17 PM

Aw... I was just teasing.:) No worries or hard feelings.

Thanks for a discussion to read.

Posted by: Kevin L at September 25, 2006 07:21 PM

"If we are informed, than we can take that info, use it or discard it after review. "
Miguel Sanchez, What part of "Death to America" do YOU not understand?

Posted by: Unkawill at September 25, 2006 07:30 PM

Who Blew Off Bin Laden?
by Paul Sperry

In its miniseries about the missteps that led to 9/11, ABC spared not only Bill Clinton but also George W. Bush. Our hawkish War President had almost nine months to respond to the USS Cole attack and did nothing, even as his security staff fired off memo after memo fingering Osama bin Laden and urging retaliation.

Clinton claims, feebly, that he didn't have enough evidence to pin the October 2000 attack on bin Laden. But Bush certainly did.

On March 2, 2001, then-senior White House counterterrorism official Roger Cressey sent a memo to then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice relaying intelligence that bin Laden had gloated about the attack on the Cole in a poem he read at his son's wedding. "BIN LADEN on the USS COLE" was the title of the urgent memo.

But Rice couldn't be bothered with stuff that happened on Clinton's watch.

Undeterred, Cressey a few weeks later followed up with Rice's deputy Steve Hadley. He wrote, "We know all we need to about who did the attack to make a policy decision." His March 22 email – written under the heading, "Need for Terrorism DC Next Week" – fell on deaf ears.

Two days later, White House terror czar Richard Clarke weighed in on the subject. He wrote both Rice and Hadley that the Yemeni prime minister had told the State Department that while Yemen was not saying so publicly, Yemen was 99 percent certain that bin Laden was responsible for the Cole attack. His March 24 memo, "Yemen's View on the USS Cole," only elicited more yawns from Bush's top security aides.

By the summer, Clarke finally had the iron-clad proof he needed to convince Rice and the president to take action against bin Laden. On June 21 – less than three months before the 9-11 attacks – Clarke fired off another memo to Rice and Hadley alerting them that a new al-Qaeda video claimed responsibility for the Cole. His memo couldn't have been more plain: "Al Qida[sic] Video Claims Responsibility for Cole Attack."

More yawns.

Later that month, two Saudi jihadists arrested by Bahraini authorities during the summer threat spike told their captors that their al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan had held celebratory parties over the Cole attack.

By now, Clarke's hair was on fire. He dashed off another memo to Rice on June 29.

Rice again did nothing – except demote Clarke, that is.

Why were Bush's neocon security advisers so insouciant about terrorism? They were still fighting the last war. Obsessed over Russia, China, Iraq and missile defense, the cold warriors refused to give an audience to the career White House security experts who presciently warned about the new greater threat from al-Qaeda terrorists.

The White House before 9/11 held some 100 Cabinet meetings on Iraq, Russia, missile defense and other Bush-41 hobbyhorses, and only one on terrorism. Rice insists al-Qaeda was priority No. 1, but a speech she'd planned to deliver on Sept. 11, 2001, contained no mention of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Islamic terrorists. The focus of the policy speech, before the neocon School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was missile defense, and not of the passenger airliner variety.

In fact, Rice overlooked al-Qaeda in every public speech she made between Jan. 20, 2001, and Sept. 11, 2001, a Nexis search reveals. Even stretching all the way back to early 1993, when the World Trade Center was first hit, Rice mentions al-Qaeda not a single time in any speech, article or media interview.

By comparison, she cites Iraq more than 1,000 times from 1993 to 2001.

And the same misguided set of priorities were in place over at the Pentagon in the run-up to 9/11. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his neoconspirators were just as stuck in the Cold War. Al-Qaeda hardly registered on their radar screen, either – even though the attack on the Cole was arguably an act of war. Al-Qaeda killed 17 U.S. sailors and injured more than 30 while nearly sinking a Navy destroyer anchored in the port of Aden, Yemen. Yet there was no response from the Pentagon at all.

"Secretary Rumsfeld did not order the preparation of any new military plans against either al-Qaeda or the Taliban before 9/11," states a staff report released by the 9/11 Commission in 2004.

Zero. Zip. Nada. Rummy apparently was too busy drawing up plans to invade Iraq.

When Bush stepped into office, he clearly had learned nothing from the previous administration's grave mistake of underestimating bin Laden, attack after bigger terror attack. Nor did he learn anything from his own mistake of blowing him off after the Cole.

Bush now crows about taking out "the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing who was the chief of al-Qaeda's operations in the Persian Gulf." That would be Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, captured in 2002 – only after the 9-11 attacks. Again, Bush is fighting the last war, always one step behind. If he had focused on bin Laden and al-Qaeda as the career White House security experts were pleading for him to do before 9-11, if he had retaliated for the brazen attack on a U.S. warship by an enemy that had already declared war on us, perhaps 9-11 could have been diverted.

Even after 9/11, Bush didn't go after bin Laden hard enough. He let him live another day – 1,830 days to be exact. He's failed to decapitated the al-Qaeda leadership, because he got distracted once again fighting a previous war – in this case his daddy's. And in doing so he's only played right into his hands of bin Laden, who is making great hay of the "crusaders" attacking and occupying (admittedly, for no good reason) the seat of the old Islamic caliphate.

If a President Gore had attacked the wrong country and blown off bin Laden for another five years, we'd never hear the end of it from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and the rest of the Koolaid crowd. Or from me. Yet President Bush gets a pass? "Patriots," my ass.

Paul Sperry is a media Fellow at the Hoover Institute. He is also an editor of Investors Business Daily.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 26, 2006 03:24 PM

Stephen Hayes, Call Your Editor
by Paul Sperry

A relative no-name before the Iraq war, self-styled investigative journalist Stephen F. Hayes has made quite a career for himself peddling war lies for his neocon publishing boss Bill Kristol. But now, with the death and autopsy of al-Qaeda strawman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, he's having to live down a real whopper.

Hayes, writing with the confidence and certainty of a Gospel author, has maintained that Zarqawi was severely injured by U.S. forces while fighting with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan after 9/11, whereupon he hobbled all the way to Baghdad for emergency medical treatment. After an "elite" hospital there amputated his leg, Hayes has asserted that Zarqawi was fitted with a prosthetic limb and was allowed to stay and recuperate in Baghdad as a VIP guest of Saddam Hussein's regime for months.

This has been his and the administration's Exhibit A evidence of a link between Saddam and Osama bin Laden. President Bush, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell all cited it in speeches and interviews in the run-up to the war. It was red meat for neocons, and Hayes wolfed it down, even adding highly suspect details and embellishments leaked to him from Doug Feith's bin of secondhand defector rumors and hearsay that even the cavalier Bush officials wouldn't dare touch. Hayes thought details would make the claim sound more credible. Much to his chagrin, they just made it more outlandish.

Now, with Zarqawi's corpse on ice, even the Kool-Aid crowd can see the claim is demonstrably – and risibly – untrue. Alleged peg-leg Zarqawi had all his limbs. He had them in 2002 when he was allegedly hospitalized. And he had them last week, even after 500-pound bombs fell on him.

Yet the ever-gullible Hayes isn't backing off the fable – or the Kool-Aid.

First, turn to page 167 of his book, The Connection: How al-Qaeda's Collaboration With Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America, which was published by HarperCollins, which is the sister company of Hayes' employer, The Weekly Standard. There, Hayes asserts:

"After evacuating an al-Qaeda training camp he ran in Afghanistan as U.S. troops approached, Ansar al-Islam founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi eventually had his leg amputated and replaced with a prosthesis around late May 2002. He was treated in Baghdad's Olympic Hospital, an elite facility whose director was the late Uday Hussein, son of the deposed tyrant."

Since the release of his book in June 2004, Hayes has had plenty of chances to correct the record. He has written regularly as a "senior writer" for the Standard, and has made appearances on MSNBC's Hardball, NBC's Meet the Press, and various CNN programs.

Yet he apparently stands by his lies, even as Powell has recanted his own about Zarqawi. Hayes failed to revisit his claims in April, even as a video clearly showed Zarqawi walking without a limp.

He turned a blind eye to inconvenient facts before his book came out, too. He and his editor knew better. In March 2004, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) cast doubt on reports that Zarqawi had a leg amputated in 2002 in Baghdad. And if he was in Baghdad at the time, the agency suspects he may have been there unknown to Saddam. The CIA was even more skeptical in a reassessment of prewar intelligence published in August 2004. The 1,500-page report questioned whether Zarqawi got medical treatment of any kind in Baghdad. It also questioned whether Saddam's regime ever harbored him. Even if it had, Zarqawi wasn't a member of al-Qaeda before the war. He didn't swear bayat, or allegiance, to Osama bin Laden until after Bush invaded Iraq, in October 2004. So much for the prewar al-Qaeda link.

In April 2004, still two months before Hayes' book debuted, CNN quoted senior U.S. officials saying tales of Zarqawi's amputated leg were greatly exaggerated. The DIA investigation, coupled with interviews with some of Zarqawi's supporters in custody, put an end to the myth. "Although the administration pointed to Iraq's medical assistance to al-Zarqawi as evidence of a link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime, it's now believed that al-Zarqawi still has both legs," CNN.com said. Hayes and his publisher ignored this report as well.

What does Hayes say now that Zarqawi's body has turned up intact? Writing breathlessly in the current Weekly Standard about the Zarqawi killing ("Their Man in Baghdad: What Zarqawi – and al-Qaeda – Were Up to Before the Iraq War"), he scolds other journalists for not believing the lies he continues to believe. "Many journalists either don't know or choose not to report the fact that Zarqawi was in Baghdad with two dozen al-Qaeda associates nearly a year before the war," he claims without any sourcing. (His book is similarly bereft of citations or documentation. It contains no footnotes; in fact, it doesn't even contain an index.)

But curiously, Hayes backs away from his earlier story about Zarqawi having his leg amputated in a Baghdad hospital. Now he merely claims he received "medical treatment" there, while couching that vague assertion by quoting from Gen. Tommy Franks' new book. Only, Franks is not exactly a reliable source. The general also claims that no one knew if bin Laden was in Tora Bora in December 2001 when he decided to use Afghans instead of U.S. troops to hunt for him, enabling bin Laden and hundreds of other members of al-Qaeda to melt away and fight another day. Several CIA and military officials now dispute Franks' claim. They say they knew bin Laden was there, and Franks denied their requests for boots on the ground.

In his 224-page book, Hayes leaves no Saddam conspiracy dot unconnected. He echoes neocon fruitcake Laurie Mylroie in finding links between Iraq and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (Mylroie's wild-eyed conspiracy book is one of only two cited by Hayes in his). He also argues what everyone save Dick Cheney now believes to be rubbish – that 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague.

In a way, you have to feel sorry for a hack like Hayes. His book, a collection of scraps swept up from the Office of Special Plan's cutting room floor, is reducing to such thin gruel that even Sean "Hand Job" Hannity won't be able to cite it for very long. It's poetic justice that Hayes is doomed to spend the rest of his career having to defend it, along with his reputation as a "journalist."

Paul Sperry is a media Fellow at the Hoover Institute. He is also an editor of Investors Business Daily.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 26, 2006 03:30 PM

Miguel:

Sadly, I don't have time to respond to this in detail right now.

1. Gladly, at least there are a few facts here.

2. They are somewhat sullied by references to "Hand Job" Hannity. What the...?

3. The Zarqawi thing, if you've ever read anything Steven Hayes has written, is hardly "exhibit A" in the Osama-al Qaeda connection. It is, at best, a minor point.

And in any event, proving that Z did not have his leg chopped off doesn't prove he wasn't in Baghdad having medical treatment any more than saying someone wore a blue shirt when in fact he wore a red shirt means they weren't present on a particular day when you're talking about an event half a world away in a closed society where you have to rely on third-hand reports. Details are often wrong. The important thing to ascertain would be whether there were any other accounts of him being elsewhere, or any other corroborating accounts of Z being there at the time. Your source does neither. And calling someone a "fruitcake" is not a factual refutation, especially when the former director of the CIA doesn't happen to agree with your analysis :) Methinks his opinion might just weigh heavier with most "analysts" than some schmuck from the Hooover Institute, even if he's an editor of Investors Business Daily.

As to the Cole, that is in no way close to a refutation of my source, which was THE HEAD OF THE CIA'S BIN LADEN UNIT, WHO SAID, AND I REPEAT, THAT
CLINTON HAD 8 OR 10 CHANCES TO GET BIN LADEN AND DIDN'T AND BUSH NEVER HAD EVEN ONE CHANCE DURING THE 8 MONTHS HE WAS IN OFFICE.

Think it over Miguel. This is the guy who was in charge of the team surveilling bin Laden. Do ya think he JUST MIGHT know more about this than your bud? And just a little something to file away under your so-called "non-partisan" hat - he says both Bush and Clinton were pretty clueless, but Clinton was WAY more clueless.


Posted by: Cassandra at September 26, 2006 04:02 PM

And then there's Buzz Patterson, the military aide to the White House, who also says Clinton dropped the ball.

But why pile on?

Posted by: Cassandra at September 26, 2006 04:04 PM

Missed Opportunities: The CIA and bin Laden

September 10, 2006 7:35 PM

Brian Ross Reports:

Pakistan_cia_map_nrThe FBI agent assigned to put the handcuffs on Osama bin Laden had practiced what he would say.

"I would have said, 'Mr. bin Laden, my name is Jack Cloonan. I'm from the FBI in New York.'" Jack Cloonan told ABC News. "'You are under arrest'...Then he would have been handcuffed...And that's what I was looking forward to."

But, of course, it never happened.

Despite 10 years and tens of millions of dollars spent, the United States government has failed to capture or kill the world's most infamous terrorist.

Many CIA officers in the field, including Gary Bernsten, who was assigned to hunt bin Laden, blame officials in Washington.

"CIA provided an American president, first Bill Clinton, multiple opportunities to capture or kill bin Laden," Bernsten said. "We provided those opportunities, tactical opportunities which were not taken."

In its exhaustive report, the 9/11 Commission identified at least five separate times in 1998 and 1999 when operations were underway to get bin Laden.

In only one case was there a decision to proceed.

"The commission made no conclusion as to whether they should have gone ahead. I should emphasize," Daniel Marcus, the general counsel for the Commission, told ABC News, "that all of these decisions were difficult decisions because of the potential for collateral casualties among civilians and because of uncertainties as to the intelligence.

The first plan in 1998 was to use Afghanis working for the CIA to capture bin laden from his Afghan compound, called Tarnak Farms, and turn him over to the FBI for a flight to the U.S.

"The Afghanis were going to be the vanguard. So they were going to break into the compound essentially, shoot it out, because bin Laden obviously had a coterie of guards to protect him. If bin Laden had survived that assault, he was going to be essentially anesthetized," Cloonan said, "removed from that compound."

There were four practice rehearsals in Texas and a capture date set, but the Commission said the director of the CIA George Tenet pulled the plug, citing the risk of civilian casualties and the poor odds of success.

"Bin laden had two tanks. He had machine gun nests. All of these people that CIA had hired would have been gunned down, and so higher levels in the CIA said that plan won't work, and I agreed with them, it wouldn't have worked," Richard Clarke, then White House Director of Counter-terrorism and now an ABC News consultant, said.

Two months later al Qaeda attacked two U.S. embassies in Africa, killing more than 250 people.

"After the embassy bombings, we developed a very elaborate plan to go after bin laden and the al Qaeda network," Clarke said.

That plan started with the launch of cruise missiles against a training camp where bin Laden was expected to be.

"Our mission was clear to strike at the network of radical groups affiliated with Osama bin Laden," President Clinton said.

But the U.S. missed its primary target, bin Laden.

"It was clear that he had been there, and the CIA believes he left a couple of hours before the missile struck," said Marcus. "But, and there are some officials who think it is likely that some Pakistani official notified someone in the Taliban or al Qaeda and tipped off bin Laden to leave. But we don't know."

That was the last time, August of 1998, that the U.S. would actually try to capture or kill bin laden until post-9/11.

Each time it would get close, CIA director Tenet would pull the plug, according to Clarke.

"President Clinton authorized two U.S. cruise missile attack submarines to sit off the Pakistani coast and to sit there for months on end waiting for word that we might have sighted bin Laden," Clarke explained.

And on three occasions, CIA sources, not CIA personnel, but people, Afghans, who were working for CIA, said they thought they knew where bin Laden was. And on all three occasions, those cruise missiles in the submarines were activated and began to spin up and get ready to launch. And on all three occasions, the director of the CIA, George Tenet, said he could not recommend the attack because the information from his one source wasn't good enough.

CIA officers in the field disagreed. And the 9/ll Commission report calls the third of those aborted attacks, Kandahar, May 1999, the last, most likely best chance to get bin Laden.

"We thought that was the closest call. And that was one where I think the Commission thought the decision not to undertake that cruise missile strike was relatively murky compared to the decision-making process in other instances," recounted Marcus.

Efforts by Richard Clarke to get the U.S. military to bomb the growing al Qaeda training camps were rejected, with generals deriding them as jungle-gym camps, not worth wasting a million dollar missile.

"I think if we had taken that opportunity to wipe out the camps, and every time they rebuilt them to wipe them out again, we could have so thrown al Qaeda off that perhaps they wouldn't have been able to get up," Clarke said. "And we could have done that anytime over the course of several years."

In October of 2000, al Qaeda attacked the USS Cole in Yemen, killing 17 crew members.

But neither the Clinton nor the Bush administration ordered retaliation.

"I think it's fair to say that the Commission was critical of both the Clinton administration and the Bush administration for dropping the ball, if you will, on the question of responding to the Cole attack," Marcus said.

The failure by both Presidents to respond to the Cole is regarded by many as a huge mistake.

"We now know from debriefings of captured al Qaeda leaders that the fact that they did the Cole attack and nothing happened did embolden them," Clarke said.

Asked if he regrets that, Clarke replied, "I regret it very much."

Click here for Brian Ross & Investigative Team's Homepage

If ABC was aware that George Tenet was responsible for stopping the efforts to grab Osama bin Laden why do they present a movie that falsely portrays Sandy Burger and
Bill Clinton as being afraid to authorize the operation?
Isn't that blantantly rewriting history?
It seems to me that it would have been more cinematic to protray the truth by showing Bill Clinton ordering submarines to be on stand-by to fire cruise missiles at bin Laden which he actually did and which obviously proves he was not treating terrorism like a "law enforcement problem' but like a real war.
The failure to go ahead with these attacks was always do to military or CIA indecisiveness not to Clinton, and in one case, comveniently excluded from the Path to 9/11 movie, to Bush's pal Pakistan President Pervez Musharraff who called of a Pakistani Commando operation Clinton
wanted in 1999.
The movie Path to 9/11 contradicts ABC news' own reporters.
ABC news is pathetic for letting this
misleading material be presented
and them tacking on a 15 minute "Nightline" show to correct the gross inaccuracy they have just allowed to go out to 50 million viewers for five hours. I would have expected more integrity from Brian Ross and company.
Doesn't credibility and accuracy have meaning in journalism any more?

Posted by: rex | Sep 11, 2006 1:33:26 PM

Posted by: Miguel at September 26, 2006 05:06 PM

You, sir, need to read my earlier posts on this subject :)

Also the 9/11 commission report, which refutes much of what you just posted.

I'm not going to repeat everything I've already pulled up. It's in the archives. And a LOT more detailed than what you just posted, with links to the original sources in every single post, as I always provide.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 26, 2006 05:16 PM

FWIW, I agree with your source that there were multiple opportunities that were not taken advantage of.

But in the 9/11 commission report there are some very interesting quotes you need to look up Miguel.

They all say the same thing: that there was massive confusion coming from the White House and HUGE distrust from the CIA. The CIA felt like they were being backstabbed (and remember that in the early 90's, Clinton wasn't even bothering to attend CIA briefs because none other than Richard Clarke told him "not to bother" - he bragged in a Time Mag article that this was how much power he had over Clinton). In fact, when a Cessna crash landed on the White House lawn, jokers claimed it was Tenet's predecessor CIA Director Dick Woolsey, desperate for an audience for the President!

That's how bad relations were.

And Clarke was bad-mouthing the CIA op that got called off. It's right in the 911 commission report.

You really need to read up on this. CIA insiders thought that Tenet called it off, but the NSC was really behind the can'c. And when you read the Clarke quote about him telling the CIA they didn't "have the authority to kill bin Laden" that little theory doesn't seem too far off now, does it?

Posted by: Cassandra at September 26, 2006 05:25 PM

n the reality check department, here's what Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran of the CIA and head of the agency's bin Laden unit, has to say, published today in The Washington Times:

"Mr. Clarke never mentions that President Bush had no chances to kill bin Laden before September 11 and leaves readers with the false impression that he, Mr. Clinton and Mr. Clinton's National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, did their best to end the bin Laden threat. That trio, in my view, abetted Al Qaeda."

Mr. Scheuer says the CIA gave Mr. Clarke and Mr. Clinton eight to ten shots at bin Laden — eight to ten times they had him in the crosshairs — and Clarke, Clinton, Berger et al never could pull the trigger.

Fox News and Washington Times

In October of 2000, al Qaeda attacked the USS Cole in Yemen, killing 17 crew members.

But neither the Clinton nor the Bush administration ordered retaliation.

"I think it's fair to say that the Commission was critical of both the Clinton administration and the Bush administration for dropping the ball, if you will, on the question of responding to the Cole attack," Marcus said.

The failure by both Presidents to respond to the Cole is regarded by many as a huge mistake.

Brian Ross


From CNN on "In The Footsteps of bin Laden"
The trap, of course, is that while these tactile, visceral markers can be crucial -- especially in terms of handling the posturing of top officials -- they sometimes are not. The thing to focus on, at certain moments, is what someone says, not who is saying it, or how they're saying it.

And, at an eyeball-to-eyeball intelligence briefing during this urgent summer, George W. Bush seems to have made the wrong choice.

He looked hard at the panicked CIA briefer.

"All right," he said. "You've covered your ass, now."

The portion of the documentary devoted to the battle of Tora Bora in late 2001 also ignored Suskind's reporting. Media Matters for America noted the omission in response to a two-minute excerpt of the special that previewed on CNN on August 21.

Amanpour reported that the mission to capture bin Laden in the mountainous region of Afghanistan - led by a CIA paramilitary unit and supported by Afghan militias and Pakistani soldiers -- ultimately failed because, "[b]y most accounts," there were "not enough American soldiers on the ground." The documentary included a clip of Gary Berntsen, the now-retired CIA officer who headed the unit, explaining how he had sent "a message back to Washington" in early December 2001 requesting more U.S. troops, but never received them. But the special failed to note that the CIA warned Bush directly that more U.S. troops were needed in Tora Bora. Indeed, Suskind writes in The One Percent Doctrine that then-CIA officer Henry "Hank" Crumpton (now the coordinator for Counterterrorism at the State Department), the head of the agency's Afghanistan campaign at the time, told Bush in late November 2001 that Pakistani and Afghan fighters were "definitely not" equipped to handle the mission and that "we're going to lose our prey if we're not careful." From Suskind's book:

As Crumpton briefed the President -- and it became clear that the Pentagon had not voiced the CIA's concerns to Bush -- he pushed beyond his pay grade. He told Bush that "we're going to lose our prey if we're not careful," and strongly recommended the marines, or other troops in the region, get to Tora Bora immediately. Cheney said nothing.

Bush, seeming surprised, pressed him for more information. "How bad off are these Afghani forces, really? Are they up to the job?"

"Definitely not, Mr. President," Crumpton said. "Definitely not."


CNN Christine Ammanpour

Posted by: Miguel at September 26, 2006 05:30 PM

Miguel, that has to be the biggest proof yet that you are just "reading past" my comments.

I've quoted that exact Scheuer cite to you at least twice now.

Hello :)

Sometime people on opposite sides of the fence stop listening because they don't want to hear. You didn't listen to me when I told you I wasn't affiliated with Free Republic. Twice.

You didn't even notice that the link to FR was the very Buzz Patterson link that said Clinton and Berger blew off two chances to get bin Laden. Buzz is a friend of mine (and a reader) and he witnessed this - FIRST HAND. I Googled it that day and just happened to find it first on FR.

What you are ignoring (and it doesn't totally excuse either administration, but you JUST CAN'T BLOW THIS OFF) is that Clinton had EIGHT YEARS to worry about this problem.

Bush had EIGHT MONTHS, during which he was trying to set up a brand new administration, after a contested election after which he WASN'T EVEN ALLOWED TO GET ALL OF HIS CABINET IN PLACE.

One of the saddest things about all of this, which came out during the 9.11 commission hearings, is that mere DAYS before 9.11, HE WAS PUTTING INTO PLACE THE VERY THINGS THAT WOULD HAVE, HOPEFULLY, MADE A DIFFERENCE.

And your precious Richard Clarke praised him for that in 2002.

He said that NO PLAN was handed over from Clinton, and that THE VERY FIRST THINK BUSH DID IN JANUARY WAS TO REVITALIZE THE CLINTON STRATEGY THAT HAD BEEN EFFECTIVELY TABLED SINCE 1998.

Now you may not know this, but in 1998 my husband's battalion was locked and loaded, thinking they were going to Iraq. But that was during the time when Clinton was in Hilton Head playing golf and goofing off with his buddies. This is documented in Buzz's book. I will never forget that as long as I live.

This is all academic to you, but I remember. We stood down.

For no reason. And all those Democrats who are saying "there is no reason to go to war" now are liars, because in 1998 they were all for war. John Kerry is one of them. I have published his quotes. He said he was "ahead of the President" and was ready to send in ground troops. Talk about partisan.

These people do not back the military. We are ready to do the job, but we resent it like hell when our leaders lie, and people like Kerry and Rockefeller lied in 1998 and 2002 when they said they were ready and then they repudiated everything they stood for.

Look it up.

I have nothing more to say. Those men have blood on their hands. Bush is not perfect, but at least military people know where the hell he is coming from and he doesn't lie like Kerry and his ilk. And he supports us, and we don't forget that. Not ever.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 26, 2006 05:58 PM

Retired generals speak out to oppose Rumsfeld
They say he quashed dissent and bungled Iraq's occupation. Joint Chiefs' chair disagrees.
By Brad Knickerbocker | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
A growing number of retired generals are publicly opposing US conduct of the war in Iraq, breaking a decades-old tradition of not criticizing ongoing military operations.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 26, 2006 08:11 PM

Stormin' Norman: Don't rush into war
Norman Schwarzkopf, pictured in 1991
Schwarzkopf became famous during the last Gulf War
Former US Gulf War commander Norman Schwarzkopf has said a new war with Iraq has not yet been justified.

The thought of Saddam Hussein with a sophisticated nuclear capability is a frightening thought

Norman Schwarzkopf
General Schwarzkopf, who became known as "Stormin' Norman" during the 1991 Gulf War, called for United Nations weapons inspectors to be given more time to assess whether Iraq had any illegal weapons.

"I think it is very important for us to wait and see what the inspectors come up with, and hopefully they come up with something conclusive," he said in an interview with the Washington Post.

Interviewed at his home in Tampa, Florida, the 68-year-old retired general said he would like "better information" before he supported an invasion of Iraq.

"The thought of Saddam Hussein with a sophisticated nuclear capability is a frightening thought," he said.

"Now, having said that, I don't know what intelligence the US Government has."

'Nervous' about Rumsfeld

US President George Bush, speaking in his annual State of the Union address late on Tuesday, said he would present fresh evidence to the UN next week about Iraq's weapons programme.

General Schwarzkopf praised his former comrade-in-arms, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, but said he was "somewhat nervous" about comments made by the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

"When he makes his comments, it appears that he disregards the Army," he was quoted as saying.

"He gives the perception when he's on TV that he is the guy driving the train and everybody else better fall in line behind him - or else."

BBC News January 29, 2003

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 26, 2006 08:17 PM

You know Miguel, for someone who has at least twice now told me he was going away, you sure have a lot to say...err...paste :)

Knock yourself out. Who knows. Maybe you'll convert someone.

You are not posting anything I have not posted (and argued) before. But if it makes you feel better, have at it. I hope you will understand that I really do not have time for this though. It is just too time consuming, and you are just going over what is old ground for me. I have no interest in re-arguing it. If you want to know what I have to say, use my search function in the sidebar. I've posted on all these subjects numerous times.

Cheers.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 26, 2006 08:25 PM

Cassandra: No, no... you're supposed to surrender to the sheer mass of his pastied articles. All those electrons add up, ya know.

Or something like that.

It's pretty much the only way for folks like Miguel to "win": by reposting the same things over and over again until people get tired of refuting it, then their claims go on without challenge. Might work against people who don't dig deeper, though anyone who does dig deeper and in fact followed the thread in question will award folks like Miguel a different "prize" to win.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at September 27, 2006 02:10 AM

I love how a journalist will admit that journalists are biased but they can report fairly. So, we can see by their reportage that they are biased but the reportage is not biased. Uh-huh.

And where is the Mad Hatter and Doremouse, anyway?

Yeesh!

Posted by: benning at September 27, 2006 08:06 AM

“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.”

Edward R. Murrow quote

“The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.”

Edward R. Murrow quote

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
Carl Sagan

Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.

Demosthenes

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.

Aldous Huxley

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 27, 2006 01:54 PM

If A equals B and B equals C then A equals C.

What? Huh?

Since when did a comment need to have a point? The last one didn't.

Posted by: Mathematical Syllogism at September 27, 2006 02:16 PM

In general, a syllogism with two "some"s guarantees no conclusion.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 27, 2006 04:13 PM

Well, now we know why you didn't make a point, even when one is offered to you, you don't know what to do with it.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at September 27, 2006 06:48 PM

Yep, all those quotes...truer words were never spoken about themselves as journalists.

Posted by: Cricket at September 28, 2006 12:55 AM

Yes Cricket is a bright one. Demosthenes and Huxley were such journalists. And Sagan....doesn't he write for The Post?

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 28, 2006 09:21 AM

Ann Coulter & Me
    By Jeff Cohen
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective

    Wednesday 27 September 2006

    As an MSNBC in-house pundit in 2002, I had a time slot each afternoon for one-on-one debates with a roster of right-wingers, including GOP members of Congress, Rev. Jerry Falwell, National Review editor Rich Lowry, and buckraker Armstrong Williams - who went on to pocket nearly a quarter-million dollars from the Bush administration to promote its "No Child Left Behind Act." When I repeatedly debated Williams at MSNBC, I had no inkling about Team Bush's No Pundit Left Behind program.

    In June I was set to debate Ann Coulter, who was on tour promoting a book called Slander. Coulter was firmly established as the top shock jock of cable news. I knew from hanging out with too many conservative pundits in too many greenrooms that her TV stardom was the source of envy; they groused that she used her legs, miniskirts and sleek blond hair to gain unfair advantage over other right-wing yakkers. I heard this complaint mostly from men over 50.

    I'm willing to believe Coulter when she publicly proclaims that she's not anorexic or bulimic. But I did wonder if her unfair advantage was some sort of diet/pep pill. Not that drugs would excuse her of personal responsibility for muddle-brained comments - like referring to Tipper Gore as "gaudy white trash." Or talking about "the benefits of local fascism." Or calling for public flogging of juveniles, because it wouldn't be cool "in the 'hood" to be flogged.

    I wondered if she was sober in 1997 when, as an MSNBC contributor, she debated Vietnam veteran Bobby Muller about landmines. Discussing Vietnam, Muller said: "In 90 percent of cases that US soldiers got blown up - Ann, are you listening? They were our own mines." At which point Coulter interrupted to say, "No wonder you guys lost." She said that to a man who took a bullet in Vietnam, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

    I suspect that the happy-pill hypothesis persists because, as cable news viewers know all too well, Coulter is so often laughing inappropriately while spouting her odious commentary.

    To me, Coulter is something of a cross between Joan Rivers and Eva Braun. Now I have a general rule against Eva Braun comparisons, ever since my pal Randy Credico, a comedian, got banned from the Tonight Show 20 years ago - after he quipped that whenever he saw America's UN ambassador Jean Kirkpatrick on TV, he had to wonder "if Eva Braun really died in that bunker in 1945." I've made an exception in Coulter's case. (In Slander, she called Katie Couric "the affable Eva Braun of morning television.")

    I looked forward to my Coulter debate, which had been scheduled a week in advance. I read chunks of Slander (for which I deserved combat pay) and prepared questions. But I wasn't sure whether the book was serious or self-parody. Its thesis is that liberals engage in name-calling because they can't engage in logical, factual debate. This from an author who doesn't limit her insults to Democrats like Hillary "Pond Scum" Clinton; she called the Republican EPA chief Christie Todd Whitman a "bird brain" and former GOP senator Jim Jeffords a "half-wit." When the right-wing editors of National Review rejected a Coulter column urging enhanced airport vigilance against "suspicious-looking swarthy males," she called the editors "girly-boys."

    On page 2 of her book, I learned that liberals have "a hatred of Christians" - and, a few pages later, that "liberals hate America" and "hate all religions except Islam." On page 5, I read, "New York Times columnist Frank Rich demanded that [Attorney General] Ashcroft stop monkeying around with Muslim terrorists and concentrate on anti-abortion extremists." This claim was sheer invention and offered almost a textbook example of slander, the apparently un-ironic title of her book.

    With my questions ready, I got into makeup, put in my earpiece, and headed to the set as I did around that time each day. But just before airtime, my producer informed me, "She won't debate you."

    I was incredulous: "This was set a long time ago. I'm ready to go."

    "She's not," replied the producer. "She claims she knew nothing about a debate."

    I was a network staffer ready to debate the contents of a book. The author was a guest, unwilling to debate. Which of us do you think went on the air? Ann Coulter, of course - appearing with an anchor ill-prepared to ask tough questions.

    If MSNBC were following the codes of journalism, an author unwilling to debate her controversial book would not be given a free ride. But MSNBC follows the codes of conformity and show biz: Coulter is a draw, so she dictates the terms of debate ... or nondebate.

    So much for "The Liberal Media."

    Page 1 of Coulter's book referred to "the left's hegemonic control of the news media." The more she and her brethren bluster about bias, the more they dominate a corporate media system only too happy to oblige them.

    --------

    Jeff Cohen is the founder of the media watch group FAIR. For years he was a pundit on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC - as well as senior producer of MSNBC's primetime Donahue show, until it was terminated three weeks before the Iraq war. This is adapted from his new book, Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media.

Ya liberal media bias lives.

Posted by: miguel sanchez at September 28, 2006 09:48 AM

Truthout, huh?

Weren't they the ones that fabricated the Rove indictment?

Or was that CBS?

No, wait, CBS lied about a forged TANG document to paint Bush as AWOL 2 months before an election.

But that's not Bias, just honest mistakes.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at September 28, 2006 10:36 AM

Little Miguel doesn't want to play nice, I take it. Let's start with my supposed 'errors,' re: Demosthenes and Huxley. One a known orator and attorney in the ancient world who resisted Macedon's expansion into Athens but sought an alliance with them; who was active in Athenian politics. Had he not written we wouldn't know very much about him or his times, would we?
His desire to remain independent of Macedon is roughly analogous to Bush's desire to help the Iraqi people achieve independence of Sunni OR Shi'ite dominance.

Aldous Huxley...lessee...the few factoids I remember about "Brave New World" was that it was satire on social engineering. He also seems to be in direct conflict with Ayn Rand. Usually novelists are commenters on our times; propaganda
would be nearer the mark, but then, many journalists fancy themselves writers. I guess it takes all kinds.

Unfortunately, we are talking about media that steadfastly refuses to acknowledge their factual errors in reporting the TRUTH.

Posted by: Cricket at September 28, 2006 11:17 AM

Looks like Cricket found the Wikipedia website. Hopefully it provided some valuable info.

Nevertheless, in the context of this lyrical-antilyrical debate, dialect proves irreducibly ambiguous.
Thomas Harrison

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 28, 2006 12:59 PM

"factual errors"...talk about double speak and oxymorons.

When you attempt to use a diminuative like "little" you should specify your insinuation. Is that a racist comment to Latinos? If so, then you should refer to me as Miguelito.

If you saw Brave New World as a satire (and I'm not sure you understand what the word 'satire' means), then I think you missed the point. Maybe read the book rather than the cliff notes.

And to compare Rand to Huxley, a more appropriate word to use might be contradiction. Conflict is grammatically incorrect.

A better constructed sentence would possibly be, "The works of Huxley and Ayn Rand were contradictory". Or maybe even, "Huxley's message seems to contradict Ayn Rand". As well, it might help to preface it with your personal belief that Huxley contradicts Rand, who you side with in the discussion. Cricket, you pose your beliefs and interpretations as fact....if you stated them as belief, than your points and comments would have more strength.

Posted by: Miguelito at September 28, 2006 01:10 PM

You "gonna" check for spelling next? Because we all know a point can be dismissed if something is misspelled.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at September 28, 2006 01:29 PM

you pose your beliefs and interpretations as fact....if you stated them as belief, than your points and comments would have more strength.

Maybe the Mask is interferring with your reading. Trouble reading between the lines?

Posted by: miguel at September 28, 2006 01:31 PM

If you want hyperbole and something to rip me about, check this out.

http://movies.crooksandliars.com/CountDown-SpecialComment-ClintonInterview.mov

I agree with every word spoken by this beacon of truth.

THOSE ARE MY BELIEFS.

Posted by: Miguel at September 28, 2006 02:00 PM

What "beliefs"? Belief whether conflict or contradict is the better word choice?

And Clinton a Beacon of Truth? You are talking about the same guy who was disbarred for perjury, right?

Posted by: Masked Menace© at September 28, 2006 02:21 PM

What is Wikipedia? I read 'Brave New World' a long time ago, and a study of ancient Greece was
standard back in the days when California required a classical education of it's students.

You are taking offense where none is intended, insulting people when no one has insulted you, unless of course, you are wearing your heart on your sleeve, which validates anything said to you as being offensive.

I refuse to discuss anything with you; you are a boor and cannot attack the message, just the messenger. Right there you have lost credibility. Have fun. I just need to remind you that nature abhors a vacuum, or in your case, vacuousness.


Posted by: Cricket at September 28, 2006 02:57 PM

I don't really care what ethnicity you are, Miguel. For all I know you could be a Celtic troll named irish. Or Ranbutan. But you read past what I wrote about Huxley and Rand.
I used the word 'CONFLICT.' The reference to 'little' had to do with your decision to act like a bully instead of a so called intellectual,
to engage in behavior that was attempting to be
insulting, condescending and rude.

You have shown that you don't read, you just knee jerk.

Posted by: Cricket at September 28, 2006 03:04 PM

Oh, now you've gone and done it Cricket. You've said *his* name. We are doomed to 10,000 word essays utilizing (just for you KJ) 500 $20 words on every possible subject (all of them somehow related to disparaging Ayn Rand) except the one discussed in the post.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at September 28, 2006 03:20 PM

NOw we're talking.....Love the assumptions that are put up....BTW, love Ayn Rand. Read The Fountainhead about four times (about because I'm currently reading it...haven't finished). Atlas Shrugged is great also. I also would recommend Frederick Hayek's "Road to Surfdom". Again the Mask gets in the way....re-read my comments about Ayn Rand and didn't notice any negative comments about her work. Maybe its the pro wrestler mask you're wearing (you do know pro wrestling is fake, right?)

Cricket, I had no idea we were discussing anything. Don't wish to convert anyone. Comments can sometimes be twisted. If I did that, I apologize. My point is, we all have opinions which are derived from our beliefs (which are not really the truth) and from facts we read (also, not really the truth). All we can do is determine our own truth, and hopefully base it on the pre-ponderance of evidence we find. Evidence which is corraborated and deemed credible by reputable sources (say, The 9/11 Commission, Intelligence groups, holy men or women, etc.).

Example....I believe Norman Schwartzkoff...If he says he doesn't trust D. Rumsfeld and states why, I believe that. Someone else may not. Gore says global warming is a huge issue and real. Almost the entire scientific community (worldwide) believe this, with the exception of a small cadre of climitologists and scientists who state other reasons. I believe the majority is correct. No ad hominem for the small group.

When I simply post articles which refute the consensus of this blog which defends Bush, and I say Bush is not good for our country, I simply am called names and told I don't know what I'm talking about.

Currently, the majority of Americans believe Bush is not good for this nation. They believe this War is not good. They believe this War is dangerous to our security and our global interests. The pre-ponderance of evidence suggests this is accurate (more than half believe this based upon numerous polls, an worldwide reporting, NIE estimates, conservative groups like CATO and Hoover, Stratfor). The majority, remember, not all. I agree with this perspective. No ad hominem.

Debate is presenting points which one believes, and feels they can prove, allowing the other side to do so, and then letting the viewing audience decide. Not until Americans became conditioned by the Point-Counterpoint presentation of debate, fraught with name-calling and bluster, was debated viewed as attacks on each other. Yet, now this is the norm. Ann Coulter, Al Franken, Bill O'Reilly, Paul Begala, Brit Hume, James Carville, Robert Novak....all these people want to perpetuate this type of "debate" because everyone wants to watch a train wreck. Chris Wallace did the same, and Clinton engaged in the same manner. This blog does the same thing. Talk radio has perfected it.

By allowing people to spew ideology and attack one another on talk radio, television, or blogs, our culture is spinning into absurdity. I agree my mechanism has been sarcasm, smarmy intellectualism, and faux superiority...I do this because it proves my point about people wanting to be informed or affected.

When I do that, it affects people to want and attack me. If I simply post articles, I am still attacked. Thus, my conclusion is, the purpose of this blog is to attack those that disagree and applaud those that agree. That is not debate, nor discussion.

As well, I make no attempt to "win" as one guy wrote. If that is his objective, than I'd suggest taking up a competitive sport.

Truly the reason I do this is because its fun. I love getting under the skin of people who have hair trigger knee jerk reactions to things that don't fit into their paradigm. Review everything if you wish (I know that Cassandra recommends this)and see how many times I'm on the "other side" or "liberal" or "my side". That is really fun.

Keep bloggin' folks and someday you might get a spot on the Drudge Report.

Posted by: Miguel at September 28, 2006 04:13 PM

Miguel, your name is not *his* name.

There is a certain hairy vietnamese fruit named guy in the list Who Shalt Not Be Named

He was famous for his long socialist screeds back from the old ScrappleFace days.

Perhaps it is not my mask getting in the way but your blinders.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at September 28, 2006 04:43 PM

Contrary to your opinion, it ain't always about you.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at September 28, 2006 04:44 PM

Also, you post articles even though links will work just fine. This is and has been considered rude for quite some time. Not unlike some others who tend to post in all capitals.

Second, those articles do not say anything most of us have not already considered and either dismissed for being unfactual or simply trivial.

Bush did make the statement that it's unacceptable to think the USA and Al Qeada are morally equivilant. This is a person expressing his personal opinion. You may or may not agree with it, but it is NOT the jackboot of fascism stomping on your head. No amount of pasting articles that he made the statement is going to change that.

Show me a person going to jail for making the comparison and we'll talk. Because in real fascist countries people who do what Olberman did would have had their door knocked down in the middle of the night and been shot, not snarked at.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at September 28, 2006 05:05 PM

Ranbutan, a fruit, I know from my days in Indonesia. The cryptic, inside joke part, I don't need to. Not familiar with the code speak of this here blog.

To mimic Cassandra, "you don't even address my point". "Didn't you here me speak. I'm somebody!"
You don't need to answer. Just nod your head in agreement.

Posted by: Miguel at September 28, 2006 05:13 PM

Sorry Menace.

Miguel, were one of Caracas' residents to take to the floor and speak their mind about Sr. Chavez, that resident/citizenw ould disappear and the MSM, if they heard of it would either ignore it or refer to the vanished one as a criminal.

Bush has criticized Chavez, but here, on his turf. He would not do the unspeakable and go to another country and lambaste their duly elected
leader. What Chavez did was rude, and inescusable in someone who wants world wide street cred. To jump on the Bash Bush Bandwagon
just because others are doing it is not good form.

I have read what three retired generals read about Bush, but their remarks were NOT about Bush; they were about Rumsfeld and his command climate. They also proposed a plan to win.

Read ALL their remarks, not just the ones that call Rummy an autocrat surrounded by yes men.
These men have on the ground experience, I do not discount Stormin' Norman. But his war was 15 years ago. These men went and finished what Schwartzkopf was not allowed to do by the UN.

15 years is a long time in a theatre of operations and even you would have to admit that much has changed. These men are telling the administration what they NEED to hear, not what they want to hear. And if Bush is the CIC I believe him to be, he will listen to the men who are fresh from the fighting and who know a thing or two...

Just saying.

Posted by: Cricket at September 28, 2006 05:32 PM

Correction. The generals did refer to this administration, of which GW is the leader. As well, he has had a few opportunities to retire D. Rummy. Yes, they have a plan, and a good one.

Correction 2. The UN did not prevent Norman from finishing his job...it was the decision of the State Depart (Brent Scocroft, etc.), the NSA and CIA. They chose containment over overthrow because they believed it would be safer to keep Saddam in power. As a result, thousands of Shia in the south were slaughtered by Saddam's Republican Guard. Wolfowitz and his group (Feith, etc.) recommended continuing to Bahgdad and taking out Saddam. GHWB and his guys chose differently. The UN was a cover to refer to, just as it was in 2003. As you are well aware, the UN has no teeth. You've all said it yourselves on this blog. Many of you seek the abolishment of the UN. So, no, the UN didn't prevent anything. This can read in any declassified documents, and Powell, Schwartkoff and any book on GWI will state that.

See, now isn't this more productive than name calling. BTW, no comment on Chavez...despot....except much evidence shows that we did financially support a coup to overthrow him. It failed due to a miscalculation of his support both from the military and the people. So concurrently, Chavez is a despot and the US did try to overthrow him. Much in the vein of Castro.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 28, 2006 07:14 PM

Miguel, I wasn't the one who started with the name calling and condescension. The decision to
recall Gen. S. was due to the conditions that the UN imposed on the US and coalition forces;
Get Saddam out of Kuwait. That was accomplished.
Regardless of what the NSA and CIA thought.
For once the UN had stepped up to the plate but did not finish the job.

That hardly is the fault of the rest of the world. You see, it's damned if you do and damned if you don't. Tell me something: Did you think that clinton did an outstanding job in the Balkans?

Posted by: Cricket at September 28, 2006 08:12 PM

No. Evidenced by the current chaos in the region. The only thing he did was establish a US presence (under a faux UN banner)to keep warlords and fractured elements from taking control. His action, however, did embolden the KLA who were murderers and drug traders. Currently, the region of Kosovo, Montenegro and the Balkans are a violent crapshoot. But contained.

Clinton's and the West's objectives were somewhat similar, but on a future and smaller scale, as is the Mideast. The action was intent on containing terrorist and rebel elements, but it also was to secure the plans for pipelines running through Albania, Armenia fromthe CAR and Azerbaijan. So, Clinton was aiming to keep those routes open and control the region. As well, during his presidency, he was attempting to help negotiate the pipeline from Kazahkstan through Turkmenistan and Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean. He was willing to make compromises with the Taliban and other cruel leaders to see this happen.

So, no, he as well went in to a sovereign nation, assisted in the killing of thousands of Yugoslavians and creating a mess. He did have the sense to require the Europeans to provide more forces and safe guard US troops. Of course, they had more at stake and it was a wee bit closer to home than Iraq.

I don't see the intents of any adminstration as that terribly different. I do see that Clinton was not possessed and driven by ideology or ideologues as Bush is. Clinton was more intent on power and money, and he was far more effective on the international scope, and he had far more practical and calculating people in his administration, like Richard Cohen. Remember, Cohen was involved with the BCCI scandal, Bush Sr. foreign policy, and in the State Department for years. These same people wanted to invade Iraq, too. But they saw the problems associated with such an invasion, meaning the problems which are present today. That doesn't exonerate them, just, in my opinion, made them smarter and more practical. And I say that without an ounce of approval or admiration.

Posted by: Miguel Sanchez at September 28, 2006 11:10 PM

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