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Tilting at Windmills

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September 26, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

RELEASE THE NIE!....Laura Rozen reports on what a contact told her about that leaked NIE the one that allegedly concludes that the Iraq war has increased the threat of terrorism. It's actually worse than that:

The report highlights the essential dilemma Iraq poses for the war on terror: staying fuels the al-Qaeda-inspired movement, creating a net increase in the terrorist threat; while leaving Iraq in chaos would also worsen the threat.

Of course, this has been the dilemma all along, and it would be instructive to actually discuss this. Unfortunately, if President Bush releases only the "key judgments" from the NIE, that will hardly be possible. It means that nuance, context, and explanation will all be lost. All we'll get is the PowerPoint version of the war.

Of course, reading the entire NIE would hardly be an unalloyed blessing for either liberals or conservatives, since the report almost certainly contains analysis that supports both sides. How could it not? But it might sharpen the debate. At yesterday's Democratic hearings on the war, retired military officers testified angrily about Don Rumsfeld's conduct of the war, but as Dana Milbank put it, they also recommended that the answer was "more troops, more money and more time in Iraq."

This is not what most Democrats want to hear, but let's face it: it's not what most Republicans want to hear either. Nonetheless: this is the dilemma in its starkest form. Nearly every serious military analyst believes that even minimal success in Iraq would require a very substantial increase in troop strength for a period of at least several years. Unfortunately, no one has offered up a practical way of finding more troops, President Bush shows no inclination to support a larger troop commitment, and the American public is pretty clearly skeptical about doubling down in Iraq anyway. In other words, even those who still believe Iraq can be salvaged also believe that the Bush administration is not doing anywhere near enough to accomplish that. Under these circumstances, with failure staring at us from both directions, what justification can there be for continuing our present course?

This is what people should be talking about. Releasing the entire NIE might help spark this conversation.

UPDATE: Hmmm. Two NIEs, a real NIE and a pseudo-NIE? Release 'em both!

Kevin Drum 1:52 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (198)

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Comments

Dear Al, you can listen to this -- it won't strain your reading comprehension:

What did Bush do?

Posted by: Al's Mommy on September 26, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Alterman points out that, in all the articles about the NIE:

Not one of these articles highlights the key point that the CIA reported to Bush that this would be the case before we went to war. For instance, in the Times story -- which led the pack on this -- you need to wade in pretty deeply to learn that "The estimate's judgments confirm some predictions of a National Intelligence Council report completed in January 2003, two months before the Iraq invasion. That report stated that the approaching war had the potential to increase support for political Islam worldwide and could increase support for some terrorist objectives. In other words, the CIA -- not The Nation, not Media Matters, not George Soros -- warned the president that he would be increasing, not decreasing the threat of terrorism to the United States by invading Iraq. That story appeared above the fold in the right corner of The New York Times as well. Bush ignored the warnings and purposely misled the United States into the most ruinous war in its history. Liberal hawks cheered. And there's no good way out. All of that belongs in the story, too. The degree of both incompetence and dishonesty involved in the selling and conduct of this war is literally criminal. And it's all happening right before our eyes.

Posted by: Al's Mommy on September 26, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Where did you get the idea that the American people care to discuss issues - or debate positions? Those ideals are so 1990's.

Posted by: Cheeto on September 26, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Nominally we're looking for a political settlement to the conflict, right?

Doesn't it seem like part of that political settlement should be the United States taking responsibility for bad decisions, like invading?

If President Bush could make things better by admitting he made a mistake what would be more important to him: the lives of Iraqis and GIs or his pride?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on September 26, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Also, Al:

Who wanted to cut and run?

Al, I know your frightened little brain loves to lie, but the facts are too much, even for you!

Posted by: Al's Mommy on September 26, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Shut up "mother".

Kevin, a conversation is the last thing we need.

Resolution and boldness are the prime requirements in foreign policy.

Posted by: Al on September 26, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Al, don't talk to your Mommy that way -- who will wash your sheets? Also, you should stop writing for the Onion:

War Makes U.S. Less Safe

A recent National Intelligence Estimate report found that the war in Iraq has in fact increased Islamic extremism and the overall threat of terror. What do you think?

Lance Brown,
Tech Support Operator
"The media has put a spin on these statistics. It only seems like there are more terrorists because the war has decreased the number of Americans."

Tanya Frazer,
Mortgage Broker
"You know, I have noticed a rise in the hypothetical chance of a theoretically imminent attack."

Mark Everett,
Logger
"As with our own radical '60s, I think it's important to stay the course and outlast the Islamic equivalent of our hippies."

Posted by: Al's Mommy on September 26, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton Tried, Condi Lied, Americans Died.

The Bush Administration couldn't pore piss from a boot if the instructions were written on the heel.

Posted by: Bubbles on September 26, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

And, dear Al, I know you can't read Greenwald's quotes of the Republicans, but where was the boldness and resolution back then?

Blind devotion to a bad idea in the face of facts might help you and Mr. Binky each night, sweety, but not the best way to run a country or a war.

Posted by: Al's Mommy on September 26, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton did something, Bush did nothing, Americans did the dying.

Posted by: Bubbles on September 26, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's a sensitive document. It would be unwise to let terrorists know exactly what we know. It's far better to release big picture, without jeopardizing our sources and methods of collecting data. That's the best balance between informed discourse, and the risk inherent in releasing information. You might as well ask the administration to release all the nuclear launch codes. That's absurd; instead, just give a general idea of how many we have.

Posted by: American Hawk on September 26, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Stop repeating other people's fears and do some indepdent looking. The empirical dillemma you prevent has a false bottom.

Look back through history. Does the occupying power in any insurgency's depature **always** lead to chaos?

Is it beyond your imagination to acknowledge the possibility that US withdrawal will **decrease** the bloodshed in Iraq?

Do you some how think that the militarization and breakdown in social order there is **not** related to the fact that US TROOPS and IRAQI troops under orders are **still fighting an active war** on the Iraqi Sunni civilian population?

I know it sounds lame, but you owe your readers and your own judgement a serious look at withdrawal scenarios that *don't* involve collapse. Your fears and instincts aren't good enough. The collapse meme is the sandbar holding back withdrawal. It deserves scrutiny. Not unsourced picture-painting of anarchy derived entirely from the current downward trend, but genuine analysis.

Pleaaaaaaase.

Posted by: glasnost on September 26, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Bush said today:
"We're not going to let lies and propaganda by the enemy dictate how we win this war."
Was the he was referring to the terrorists or the Democrats?

Posted by: Kevin on September 26, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Cleanse! Purge! Distort! Selectively edit! Redact! Redact! Redact!

Posted by: Bush's Redacting Machine on September 26, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think we should accept as conventional wisdom that pouring more troops and money into Iraq would help. Wouldn't have helped Vietnam in the 60's, won't help Iraq now. In any event it's too late--might have worked in 2003, but once entropy reaches a certain point, it can't be overcome.

The real question should be how do we disengage in a rapid but graceful way. Again, we're too late, but the longer we stay the more graceless our exit becomes.

Unfortunately with this administration there is only one way, and that is the way they are going--the one path that anyone with a brain would realize has the least chance to be successful.

Posted by: Jeff from WI on September 26, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk wrote:

You might as well ask the administration to release all the nuclear launch codes.

You're right. Releasing the NIE and releasing nuclear launch codes are exactly the same.

Posted by: exasperated on September 26, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Only those portions of either or both papers that white wash this regime will be released.
Punked again!

Posted by: judyo on September 26, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Bush will release the NIE report after he's redacted everything in it but for the words: "It... ...was... ....all... ....Clinton's... ....falt..."

Posted by: Bubbles on September 26, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Great analysis Kevin. You're right that the Democrats don't want to hear the general's answer, but I think they should think again - because that lays out starkly the cost - benefit of the choices we face. And that's the argument we should be having. How much would it cost in lives and money to stay in Iraq? Then, should we spend those dollars and lives in Iraq - or would they more effectively be used somewhere else?

That's the question.

"At yesterday's Democratic hearings on the war, retired military officers testified angrily about Don Rumsfeld's conduct of the war, but as Dana Milbank put it, they also recommended that the answer was "more troops, more money and more time in Iraq.""

Because we know the military doesn't want to admit defeat, but is it wise to continue throwing more resources at this problem?

BTW - congrats on getting to Al. Also, thanks Al for saying, in so many words - don't think.

"Shut up "mother".

Kevin, a conversation is the last thing we need.

Resolution and boldness are the prime requirements in foreign policy.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on September 26, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still in the "get out NOW crowd" (though not an absolute withdrawl.. international forces would have to come in as a policing action). I could be persuaded to change that opinion and stay on and try to get some semblance of order if AND ONLY IF every single one of these idiots is removed from making any decision regarding Iraq. That means Bush, Cheney, Feith, Armitage, Rumsfeld... ALL OF THEM.

Get some adults in charge to try and get this thing under control.

Additionally a massive move in congress for investigations ad naseum into every nook and cranny. This includes massive oversight into any and all Iraq related contracts. Stop all legislation stop everything. Oversight and get Iraq cleaned up. Period.

We are so screwed.

These people are freaking insane.

Posted by: Simp on September 26, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, this has been the dilemma all along, and it would be instructive to actually discuss this.

'Fraid not. The Decider-In-Chief said today that anyone who thinks the war in Iraq makes for more terrorists is "naive." End of discussion.

Posted by: Grumpy on September 26, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

> Nearly every serious military analyst
> believes that even minimal success in
> Iraq would require

Kevin,
Define "success in Iraq" please.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on September 26, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the summary paragraph of the redacted NIE:

*.*.* It *.*.* *.*. *.* *.*. *.*.*.*.* *** ** * * * *** .*. *.* *.*. *.*. is *.*.* *.*. *.* *.*. *.*.*.*.* *.*. *.* * * *** * ** * *** *.*. *.*. all *.*.* *.*. *.* *.*. *.*.*.*.* *.*. *.* *.*. *.*. Clinton's *.*.* *.*. *.* *.*. *.*.
*.*.* *.*. *.* *.*. *.*. Fault*.*.* *.*. *.* *.*. *.*.*.*.* *.*. *.* *.*. *.*.

Posted by: Robert on September 26, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

This is what shuts up any war supporter of fighting age. Tell them the only reason not to fight in WWII is that you are a coward. If this is indeed a clash of civilization, and our latest dictator target is the next-next Hitler, then we need the soldiers to do the job. If this is to be an all-volunteer army, then they need supporters like you to join. If you aren't willing to sacrifice for this war you so dearly support, then we need a draft. Why won't you join? Is it because you're scared, or is it because you don't believe your own BS? Put up, or shut up time.

Anyone remember the nationally televised speech where Bush, to rebut the chickenhawk claims thrown at the GOP warriors, gave people a way to serve from their lounge chairs by donating to the reconstruction? A grand total of $500 was raised.

If the GOP isn't even willing to sacrifice their pocket change for this war, then no one believes its worth fighting for any reason beyond partisan politics. No one believes in this war. Especially the ones so desperately trying to cling to it.

Posted by: Memekiller on September 26, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1, have you ever given money to Jeff Gannon/Guckert?

Posted by: razorboy on September 26, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Under these circumstances, with failure staring at us from both directions, what justification can there be for continuing our present course?"

Politics. It's always been about politics since the policy cannot be fixed. In the vacuum of a moribund policy in extremis pulling out may be no less an idiotic suggestion than anything else one may propose - but politically? There's the rub.

If there are no good options why preach withdrawal and thereby give the GOP a club for the beating you over the head with? - not to mention create a scenario just witnessed where your policy suggestions are given the lie by the very disgruntled generals you sought relief from.

Face it, the Democrats have screwed up the politics of the war.

Posted by: heraclitus on September 26, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Here is another small item of non-bad news from Iraq, should it prove true:

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2006-09-23\kurd4.htm

Iraqi president Maliki said he would like U.S. troops to remain in Iraq through at least the end of 2008 to protect Iraq from foreign interference.

This is not what most Democrats want to hear, but let's face it: it's not what most Republicans want to hear either. Nonetheless: this is the dilemma in its starkest form.

That's a fair summary. However, no particular policy is the obvious best policy in the circumstances. Every alternative to what the US is doing (e.g. increasing US troop strength, removing all US troops) has a large downside.

Posted by: republicrat on September 26, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I honestly don't see what the big deal is with these NIE's. 2/3 of the country already believe that Iraq is a mess. The other third is not moved by facts.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

You could allow gays in the military and require that all immigrants of age that are hear undocumented serve 2 years in the military as a condition to remain here. Of course that second part is already true, serving in the military is an automatic way to citizenship. The government just needs to get the word out. As both of these would likely lead to greater acceptance of minorities, the far right might not like the idea. And we need their children too.

Posted by: DC1974 on September 26, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

heraclitus, the democrats have screwed up the politics of the war? we stay for politics? our soldiers die for politics? are you karl rove?


Posted by: mudwall jackson on September 26, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Here is another small item of non-bad news from Iraq, should it prove true...Iraqi president Maliki said he would like U.S. troops to remain in Iraq through at least the end of 2008 to protect Iraq from foreign interference.

How is that "non-bad"? The president of Iraq is so concerned about how precarious the situation is that he needs a large foreign army to prop up his regime for at least another two years? And that's supposed to be good news? Is that the best you can do?

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

The surge in troop levels is coming along on schedule:

Troop Levels - Vietnam
1959 760
1960 900
1961 3205
1962 11300
1963 16300
1964 23300
1965 184300
1966 385300
1967 485600
1968 536100

1969 475200
1970 334600
1971 156800
1972 24200
1973 50

Posted by: jerry on September 26, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

At yesterday's Democratic hearings on the war, retired military officers testified angrily about Don Rumsfeld's conduct of the war, but as Dana Milbank put it, they also recommended that the answer was "more troops, more money and more time in Iraq."

I am sure that if a majority of Democrats in each house will demand, and vote for, "more troops, more money, and more time in Iraq," then that's what they'll get.

with failure staring at us from both directions,

It is not "failure" that is staring us in the face, it is disappointment. As with the Korean War, or the defeat of the Greek communists, the main aims will be achieved, but the victory will lack glitter and joy, and will be thought to have been too expensive.

Posted by: republicrat on September 26, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Rozen states:

"The report highlights the essential dilemma Iraq poses for the war on terror: staying fuels the al-Qaeda-inspired movement, creating a net increase in the terrorist threat; while leaving Iraq in chaos would also worsen the threat."

To which Kevin replies:

"Of course, this has been the dilemma all along..."

Bullshit.

This is what every fucking apologist for the occupation wants you to think; that if we leave Iraq, the shit is gonna hit the fan.

Yet never mind the obvious fact that it was we who ushered in the chaos with our idiotic invasion. Never mind the fact that even with 150 thousand troops we've been powerless to stop the descent of Iraq into bona-fide civil war. Never mind the fact that every strategic nightmare imaginable -- more terrorists, an empowered Iran, the death of a viable secular Muslim counterweight to the fundamentalists -- has come to fruition.

My question is: how could things possibly get worse in Iraq than they already are? If we grant the basic propostion of most analysts that it is the U.S. military presence in Iraq which is fueling the chaos, how can things not improve once we're gone?

Of course, by improvement we mean the living conditions and security of the average Iraqi. But obviously that was never the objective anyways.

Kevin is right about one thing: all these fucking generals and military types think that more firepower will solve the problem (now where have I heard this argument before?) Indeed, doubling down on a loser bet is what losers do. So I appreciate the generals telling us that things are really fucked up in Iraq -- I mean, it's not like we havn't known this for years -- but their remedy is just as bankrupt as the decision to invade in the first place. It will bring us no closer to peace or to a reduction of the terror threat.

Posted by: smedleybutler on September 26, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Tuesday announced that he will declassify parts of the National Intelligence Estimate, which reportedly concluded that the war with Iraq has worsened terrorism.

Sounds to me like once more, they are going to cherry-pick what they release, in attempt to spin it their way.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

For the idiots like ex-liberal and Thomas1:


"BEN-VENISTE: It's true, Wolf, we had the opportunity to interview President Bush, along with the vice president, and we spent a few hours doing that in the Oval Office. And one of the questions we had and I specifically had was why President Bush did not respond to the Cole attack. And what he told me was that he did not want to launch a cruise missile attack against bin Laden for fear of missing him and bombing the rubble.

"And then I asked him, 'Well, what about the Taliban?' The United States had warned the Taliban, indeed threatened the Taliban on at least three occasions, all of which is set out in our 9/11 Commission final report, that if bin Laden, who had refuge in Afghanistan, were to strike against U.S. interests then we would respond against the Taliban.

""BLITZER: Now, that was warnings during the Clinton administration. . . .

"BEN-VENISTE: That's correct.

"BLITZER: . . . the final years of the Clinton administration.

"BEN-VENISTE: That's correct.

"BLITZER: So you the asked the president in the Oval Office -- and the vice president -- why didn't you go after the Taliban in those eight months before 9/11 after he was president. What did he say?

"BEN-VENISTE: Well, now that it was established that al Qaeda was responsible for the Cole bombing and the president was briefed in January of 2001, soon after he took office, by George Tenet, head of the CIA, telling him of the finding that al Qaeda was responsible, and I said, 'Well, why wouldn't you go after the Taliban in order to get them to kick bin Laden out of Afghanistan?'

"Maybe, just maybe, who knows -- we don't know the answer to that question -- but maybe that could have affected the 9/11 plot.

"BLITZER: What did he say?

"BEN-VENISTE: He said that no one had told him that we had made that threat. And I found that very discouraging and surprising.

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds to me like once more, they are going to cherry-pick what they release..

I wouldn't be surprised if the White House Newspeak version focuses exclusively on Iran's bad deeds in Iraq. Rove certainly knows how to make lemonade.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

We need a lot of troops to kill a lot of people in order to win a 'victory.' That victory is still meaningless to the people of both Iraq and the US. Domestic security existed before the invasion. There were no attacks on US troops before the invasion. Increasing troop levels and police activities only replaces the security of the pre-invasion status.

What the fuck does victory mean in Iraq? Oil being loaded on to monopolist petroleum corporations' tankers at below market prices.

The dictatorship of capital has no capacity to act in any other way, which is why it must be destroyed with a politics that values people's well being over any other competing faction.

Posted by: Hostile on September 26, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

gregor, when was that interview?

Posted by: Disputo on September 26, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

Read Dan Froomkin today in Wa Po.

The interview was in the White House with the 9/11 commission.

Unbelievable.

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

I meant Ben-Veniste's interview with Blitzer, but thanks; I'll check it out.

Posted by: Disputo on September 26, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

whatever we do, we've got to completely isolate iran - that's the way to ensure security in iraq! [/al]

Posted by: benjoya on September 26, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Gregor, why was it President Bush's job to respond to the Cole attack? It happened when Clinton was President. Ben-Veniste is a Democratic partisan, trying to jusitfy Clinton's failure to act.

Ben-Veniste will say that they weren't sure who the perp was until Clinton was out of office. I would respond that Clinton didn't want to know.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 26, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Ben-Veniste will say that they weren't sure who the perp was until Clinton was out of office.

Actually, Ben-Viniste did NOT say that, you lying troll.

Posted by: Disputo on September 26, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Gregor, why was it President Bush's job to respond to the Cole attack? It happened when Clinton was President.

Umm, because the Cole attack was an attack on an American military vessel that happened too late in Clinton's term for him to follow up. Presidents aren't supposed to engage in military activity so soon to their terms being completed. You let the next guy handle it if it's so close. But Bush didn't do a damn thing except ride his little bike and clear brush.

Posted by: HG on September 26, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1, have you ever given money to Jeff Gannon/Guckert?

Or maybe the "money shot"?

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

the main aims will be achieved,

Oh yes, because clearly we have confiscated all those Iraqi WMDs and the US is loads more secure from terrorists.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Rove certainly knows how to make lemonade.

No, Rove makes piss. The voting sheeple are convinced it's lemonade.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Cheeto:

The only issue much discussed in the 90s was the one Clinton blurted onto an intern's dress.

And the only position debated was the launch angle of the President's cigar.

Posted by: Model 62 on September 26, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Gregor, why was it President Bush's job to respond to the Cole attack? It happened when Clinton was President.

Perhaps because the attack came in Oct 2000 and the culprits were not confirmed until after Clinton was gone? Just a guess.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

Gregor, why was it President Bush's job to respond to the Cole attack? It happened when Clinton was President...Ben-Veniste will say that they weren't sure who the perp was until Clinton was out of office. I would respond that Clinton didn't want to know.

Actually, the Clinton White House and some senior officials at the State suspected right away that al-Qaeda had bombed the Cole, and Dick Clark's counter-terrorism group put together a compelling case to present to the Cabinet and military principals. The FBI and the CIA, however, did not accept the White House's assessment, and did not agree until after Clinton had left office. The Clinton White Whouse wanted to respond militarily, but the Pentagon refused to committ assets to a response against al-Qaeda until the CIA agreed that they had been the perpetrators.

I think blaming Bush for the lack of a response to the Cole bombing is a stretch, but I'm willing to blame the long-standing institutional problems at FBI, CIA, and Defense that have been well-documented. Heck, the White House had no clue that the Navy was entering Yemeni ports. The Pentagon had neglected to tell them of its policy changes. This is pretty significant, since the counter-terrorism group would have advised against a Navy vessel entering a port where al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad (at the point largely indistinguishable) had significant networks on the ground.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on September 26, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

I honestly don't see what the big deal is with these NIE's. 2/3 of the country already believe that Iraq is a mess. The other third is not moved by facts.

Absolutely right.

Posted by: Edo on September 26, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK
Gregor, why was it President Bush's job to respond to the Cole attack?

Because he was President of the United States.

It happened when Clinton was President.

Yes, and Clinton made efforts against those responsible. The need, however, did not expire with Clinton's term. The United States continued, and the need for its Executive Branch to pursue those responsible for the attack on the Cole did not end simply because the leadership changed.

Ben-Veniste is a Democratic partisan, trying to jusitfy Clinton's failure to act.

That would be more tenable if Ben Veniste actually said anything directed at justifying Clinton's failure to act. Which he doesn't.

Ben-Veniste will say that they weren't sure who the perp was until Clinton was out of office.

Your mindless speculation about what he "will" say is irrelevant. Especially given that Clinton himself has said that they had a good idea of who was responsible, and that he gave the order to have Bin Laden taken out, while he was in office.

I would respond that Clinton didn't want to know.

No one really cares what lies you would make up in responses to your own fantasies about arguments that people might make.


Posted by: cmdicely on September 26, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, reading the entire NIE would hardly be an unalloyed blessing for either liberals or conservatives, since the report almost certainly contains analysis that supports both sides.

Which is, of course, why the Bush Administration has been so intent at keeping the sucker under wraps -- and indeed, making extravagant claims contradicted by the actual report -- until now, when it only looks like they're hiding something. Which is, of course, because they have been. Sheesh!

Posted by: Gregory on September 26, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Gregor, why was it President Bush's job to respond to the Cole attack?

Ha!

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

We went to war on a power point, we might as well re-evaluate it with a power point.

I am not serious, of course.

Posted by: Chris on September 26, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

It's a sensitive document. It would be unwise to let terrorists know exactly what we know.

C'mon people. Have a bit of wit. That's a parody.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 26, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK
You're not implying that Clinton gave an order to take bin Laden out after October 12, 2000, are you?

As I recall, Clinton and various Clinton administration officials have on more than one occasion in the past claimed that they had ongoing efforts in late 2000 to locate and kill bin Laden (part of an ongoing effort begun in 1998, though the belief that al-Qaeda was behind the Cole attacks, though not a solid conclusion of the intelligence community while Clinton was in office, made that a higher priority.)

They've also specifically said that two factors weighed in not launching stronger action in late 2000: that al-Qaeda involvement in the Cole attack was not confirmed by the intelligence community (which meant that taking action that would involve war with the Taliban, who had been warned that further action by bin Laden's group would have consequences for them, was not justified, though action to target against bin Laden himself was already administration policy) and the imminent Presidential handover made it desirable to allow the incoming President to make the decision on how to best to respond to whoever was responsible, anyhow, as in any case much of the execution of any substantial response, and dealing with the results, would necessarily be the responsibility of the incoming President.

Of course, they didn't count on the response, once the guilty party was firmly identified, being utter inaction. No one could have imagined any American President being so utterly unconcerned with the security of the nation.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 26, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

In either scenario (us staying or leaving), Iraq turns out better.

If we stay, the terrorists stay (and grow) and destabilize Iraq.

If we go, the terrorists leave (or stop growing) and Iraq stabilizes.

There would be no more of an al Qaeda sanctuary in Iraq than there is in any other country. We'd keep our eyes on them, hunting them down when necessary, but not be constantly exposing the bulk of our troops and wasting billions of dollars.

Posted by: polthereal on September 26, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

We are the knights who say "nie"!
Nie, Nie, Nie....

Posted by: madster on September 26, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

If any Bush supporter has ever, during the past 5 years, said anything critical of the President for his inaction on terrorism during first nine months of his Presidency, please provide a link.

I think if it was a Democratic President who was as demonstrably shown to be inattentive to the threat of terrorism prior to the attack as GWB was, at least 30% of Democrats would have abandoned him for his inaction.

Does Repubs' loyalty to GWB trump their principles and rationality?

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

And the Army Warns Rumsfeld: "We're Billions Short."

Every once in a while, Chris Matthews seems to channel a line from deep inside that crystallizes the situation in a way that both sides come to rally behind. Last week it was that "Bush began a war that he couldn't finish."

That really is how politicians, particularly Presidents, need to decide the agenda for their administration. "What can I do in 4-8 years?" If you're thinking about your legacy, as the media seems to force modern Presidents into considering in the last years (even though a good 25 years needs to pass before history can begin to judge), "What can you comfortably get done?"

The options facing Bush (and us) are limited.

Posted by: Maeven on September 26, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Does Repubs' loyalty to GWB trump their principles and rationality?

We have a winner!

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Gregor, why was it President Bush's job to respond to the Cole attack? It happened when Clinton was President.

To be precise the report by the CIA and FBI certifying that bin Laden and Al Qadea were responsible for the Cole attack was released 24 hours before Bush's inaguaration -- which did not, reasonably, give President Clinton much time, unless he wanted to interrupt the inaguaration with a shooting war.

Also, is this poster arguing that it is only the responsibility of the president who is sitting at the time of the attack, and not of any president thereafter? By this logic Truman would not have had to continue the war against Japan because Pearl Harbor happened when Roosevelt was president...

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Heck, yes, release the entire NIE report. The effect of the release on the security of the US is in question, but anytime the left can get an insider to leak an intelligence document to the NY Times et al, only political advantage to the left is considered.

What does "mhr" stand for, "mere hapless rightard"? You're right, dimwit, you could never release the NIE while redacting those parts considered sensitive! And the WH has never declassified reports in order to support their viewpoint!

But go ahead, blame liberals, even though rightards control both branches of Congress, the Executive Branch and the SCOTUS. If it makes you feel better, rightard, go right ahead.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 26, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

The left wing press published the news of bin Ladin's cell phone thus warning him to stop using it.

You're a fucking liar, rightard. That was the Wash Times. Unless they're now considered liberal. But then again, you probably got all of your "facts" from that piece of shit ABC dropped out of its ass. Would be just like you to eat the shit Dumbya leaves behind.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 26, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

...is this poster arguing that it is only the responsibility of the president who is sitting at the time of the attack...

Why don't Democrats blame Bush I for the first WTC attack? It was only a few months after Clinton took office.

Oh right, Democrats aren't reflexive liars. nevermind.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

The guilty party -- Osama din Laden -- was firmly identified PRIOR to January 20, 2001. See, e.g. Clarke Timeline above.

But was not certified by the CIA or FBI until the day before Dumbya's faux inauguration.

Tell me, oh mighty concern troll, name one thing - ONE - that Dumbya did regarding terrorism in the first 8 months of his (mis)administration.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 26, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't Democrats blame Bush I for the first WTC attack?

You must have been sleeping all these years.

Clarence Thomas et. al warned at the beginning of the GWB presidency that whatever applies to him should not be used a precedence (or 'postedence' in this case) for any other situation.

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

You must have been sleeping all these years.

I fucking wish.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

To win in Iraq, we need a national mobilization on the scale of World War 2, a draft, seizure of factories to produce war materiel, an increase in the size of the Army of millions, and a massive escalation of the conflict.

If you don't support that, you support eventual failure in Iraq, either slow ("stay the course") or fast ("withdraw soon").

The fact is, Bush and his pals never should have started this war. They had no idea what it would take to win it.

Posted by: grytpype on September 26, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

"In other words, the CIA -- not The Nation, not Media Matters, not George Soros -- warned the president that he would be increasing, not decreasing the threat of terrorism to the United States by invading Iraq."

And we can assume that the CIA assumed competent management of the war.

"If there are no good options why preach withdrawal and thereby give the GOP a club for the beating you over the head with?"

Because our soldiers are dying over there.

Posted by: Lucy on September 26, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

...since the report almost certainly contains analysis that supports both sides. How could it not?

Has Kevin EVER read an entire NIE report? I don't believe this report would be on conflicting viewpoints, because I'm sure the report is a general assessment created to make a final written point, even if a little broad, it'll state one point or the other.

Im sure the NIE was never intended to be confusing, contradicting nor partisan.

I cant wait till Bushs new poll numbers show up hes got CNN to write this:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An angry President Bush Tuesday said he would declassify an intelligence document that reportedly finds that the Iraq war increased the terrorist threat to the United States.

The president said the media accounts of the leak of the National Intelligence Estimate were meant to "create confusion in the minds of the American people" and suggested that the report had been leaked for political purposes.

Hey maybe the truth was leak for security purposes! And what exact does Bush mean by saying, "create confusion in the minds of the American people"?

Gee, why that would be? Because Bush is telling Americans lies and Bush NIE assessment team sees that Bush is trying to confuse the issues for political purposes? And we know how mad it makes little Bushie when people point out the he is liar.


Posted by: Cheryl on September 26, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

He stamps his wittle foot and fwows a hissy-fit.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Four pages of thirty were released. I'm off to find the text of the redacted report.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

btw: NPR is reporting that the version of the NIE released makes up only four pages of a thirty page document. Non of those four pages deal with the sensational information leaked earlier.

Posted by: Keith G on September 26, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Global...great minds eh?

Posted by: Keith G on September 26, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Four pages of the NIE have been released. Here is NPR's top-of-the-hour report by Don Gonye.

All Things Considered, September 26, 2006 President Bush has ordered the public release of some parts of the report by U.S. intelligence agencies saying the war in Iraq is hurting the wider effort to fight terrorism.

Descriptions of the National Intelligence Estimate had surfaced in newspapers over the weekend, the result of what the president called politically motivated leaks.

The classified document overshadowed the president's meeting with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, who said his country was grateful for U.S. support.

"I think it's a bad habit for our government to declassify every time there is a leak," President Bush said. "Because it means it will be difficult to get good product out of our analysts."

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm in good company, but I'm not so sure about you...:)

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

So let me see if I have the trollies position here (aka thomas1, exlib,...). You lambast Clinton for not launching attacks against Al Qaeda for the Cole attack with less than a month left in his tenure but give Bush a free pass for the following 8 months of the beginning of his regime?

Okaaaaay.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the justification for continuing:

Hezbollah returned to Lebanon with a celebration and increased strength BECAUSE Israel withdrew. They are doing so in the name of Allah and with the support of Iran and Syria. Should we give them another playground to grow terrorism and claim victory by pulling out of Iraq? Isn't it logical to assume that pulling troops out of Iraq would be a better recruiting tool for Al-Queda when the claim they have defeated the US?

Until the Democrats come up with a solution to that problem things should continue on course. Pulling troops out of Iraq is the same as surrendering.

The only answer to the Iraq situtation is to finish our mission with a decisive victory. Peace talks do not make a lasting peace - how many times have we seen that come true in history? Defeating the enemy gives peace for quite a while.

Islamic terrorist understand one thing: power. If we back down the will continue to come after us.

Posted by: Orwell on September 26, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Four pages of thirty were released

A well-placed source in Al's pants tells me that the other 26 pages are artist's representations of love letters between Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Oh, and the outline for a screenplay called, "Things to do in Prague when you're Dead".

Developing...

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Like Kevin says, there are no more troops. Which raises a question:

What are the design specs of the U.S. military? What sort of war was it built to handle, and at what point, according to U.S. military doctrine at the turn of the millennium, would one have to turn to a draft, using the volunteer army as the core of a mixed volunteer/conscript army?

I've been asking this question occasionally for a couple of years now, because even then it was starting to become apparent that the U.S. military wasn't designed to handle a group of conflicts involving this many troops for this long a period of time.

So does anyone know where one might find an answer? I sure as hell don't know where to look.

Posted by: RT on September 26, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Peace talks do not make a lasting peace - how many times have we seen that come true in history?

That's true -- we engaged in peace talks with the North Vietnamese and as a result we've been at war with them ever since....oh, wait a minute. Never mind.

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

"The same press released the secret that the NSA was listening in to Al-Quada's conversations."

Um, that kind of generality is like saying that the police plant undercover agents to trap people trying to hire a contract killer, or that police pretend to be subteens online to trap sexual predators. We all, including people trying to hire killers and prey on naive youth, know that the police do this. So how come these tactics keep on working for the police? Because if the objects of the investigation are determined to engage in criminal behavior, they'll count on being lucky or outwitting the police. The police willl continue to catch criminals using tried and true tactics, and NSA will continue to track terrorists with listening devices using secret warrants. But the best tips will always come from sympathetic and outraged citizens who refuse to let evil stand.

Posted by: cowalker on September 26, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly

I believe there was a bombing in America in 1993... somewhere...
Oh yeah, the World Trade center.

That makes 8 years of Clinton sitting at his desk getting a BJ while Al-Queda hatched, grew, and matured.

8 YEARS compared to 8 months.
Legacy time for Clinton.

Posted by: Orwell on September 26, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Should we give them another playground to grow terrorism and claim victory by pulling out of Iraq

Golly, I sure wish someone named Bush would have thought of this BEFORE invading. Oh wait, Bush the Elder did - as did all the critics.

Until the Democrats come up with a solution to that problem things should continue on course.

Considering that "things continuing on course" is the problem I don't think so.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

stefan: How is that "non-bad"?

"non-bad" refers to the information at the link. The mention of Maliki was additional.

Posted by: republicrat on September 26, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

I've come up with a compromise that should be acceptable to all. With hearing aid in, Senator Stennis will listen to a dramatic reading of the 30-page report. He'll tell us if there's anything we need to know. Only the most churlish would ask for more.

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

An eight year bj? Where do I sign up?

Posted by: Keith G on September 26, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen: Sounds to me like once more, they are going to cherry-pick what they release, in attempt to spin it their way.

That's because the leaker already cherry-picked the parts that appeal to the Democrats. We'll probably go into the election with bi-partisan cherry-picking.

Posted by: republicrat on September 26, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

I seem to recall the '93 WTC perpetrators being apprehended and prosecuted and sentenced to prison. And it was done with old-fashioned police work. No Patriot act, spying on Americans or pre-emptive wars necessary.

My oh my, America was sure an incompetent mess back then, wasn't it?

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

republicat, that problem is that it seems that only one side has access to the cherries and they aint sharing.

Now that's the pits.

Posted by: Keith G on September 26, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Keith, settle down. You know he'll just say his jaw is tired and quit four years through. Don't you hate when that happens?

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

but one can dream

Posted by: Keith G on September 26, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

I believe there was a bombing in America in 1993... somewhere...
Oh yeah, the World Trade center.

Which bombing was not committed by Al Qaeda. The 1993 World Trade Center bombing was committed by a Pakistani and an Egyptian cleric based in New Jersey, and all the perpetrators were hunted down, caught, tried and convicted by the Clinton Justice Department, and they sit in jail still. And all of this was accomplished without torture and without starting a needless war.

Osama bin Laden, meanwhile, responsible for the 2001 World Trade Center attack, remains footloose and fancy free since Bush, for whatever reason, doesn't seem very interested in punishing him for the largest mass murder in American history.

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

That makes 8 years of Clinton sitting at his desk getting a BJ

That Clinton! Sure has staying power.

Al-Queda hatched, grew, and matured.

Hmmm. And through the 80s then a certain Republican President funded and armed the mujahadeen in Afghanistan including Bin Laden and so pretty much created Al Qaeda.
Ronnie Raygun's legacy.

Hey, this legacy stuff IS fun.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah ckelly Bush should have just ignored the threats and support Saddam was giving to our enemies. He should have just kept telling Saddam, "Now you better quit that defiance of the UN or else!" Things would be soooo much better now if Bush would have just said, "I tried real hard."

Everyone knows that eventually the little harmless dictator Saddam would have gone away. And the Taliban too - they weren't hurting anyone but women, children, and all who didn't subscribe to their oppressive way of life.

I am sure glad Clinton didn't try to do anything to stop Saddam... oh wait Clinton did bomb Iraq and help create a no fly over zone. But I am sure his orders didn't kill innocent people.

After all we know Clinton doesn't like to have anyone killed. Particularly people like Bin Laden.

Posted by: Orwell on September 26, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

That Clinton! Sure has staying power.

And the right can't understand the Clinton charisma...illegally obtained Viagra, anyone?

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

An eight year bj? Where do I sign up?

Sorry,Like the economy, these things are cyclical. If the 90's were characterized by a blow job, then this decade will be characterized by the penetration of a different orifice altogether.

Glow sticks are the new cigars.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

The only man who could ever move me....was the eight-year hard-on maaaaaan....

Posted by: too much coffee for shortstop on September 26, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

That makes 8 years of Clinton sitting at his desk getting a BJ

An eight year blowjob? You know, I like them as much as the next man but after about four or five years I think I'd be getting a little bored....

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

RT: What are the design specs of the U.S. military? What sort of war was it built to handle, and at what point, according to U.S. military doctrine at the turn of the millennium, would one have to turn to a draft, using the volunteer army as the core of a mixed volunteer/conscript army?

The short answer is that the Army was tasked with being able to fight two major land wars at the same time. This would use the Reserve and National Guard:

    Washington, July 6: The Pentagon, stretched by the war in Iraq, is considering dropping a linchpin of American military strategy, the doctrine that requires it to be prepared to fight two major wars at the same time.

    Since the end of the Cold War the need to be able to fight two near-simultaneous wars in different theatres has dominated military thinking, with Iraq and North Korea seen as the most likely battlefields. Now, with military resources under increasing strain from commitments in Iraq, the Pentagon is considering a new doctrine to take into account the post-September 11 world.
Posted by: cyntax on September 26, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

And Orwell flails away..flinging strawmen hither and yon....

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

"Hmmm. And through the 80s then a certain Republican President funded and armed the mujahadeen in Afghanistan including Bin Laden and so pretty much created Al Qaeda.
Ronnie Raygun's legacy."

Yeah that'll fly.

Ronnie's legacy is set: No more Soviet Union.

This one is going to be hung on Clinton.

1993 World Trade Center bombing - Al Queda's attack on American soil. Thus it began.

Nuff said.

Posted by: Orwell on September 26, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell: This one is going to be hung on Clinton.

There you go again. At least Keith and I have legitimate reasons for our penis interest.

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah ckelly Bush should have just ignored the threats and support Saddam was giving to our enemies.

Uh, what support to which enemies? You don't mean that meeting with Mohammed Atta in Prague that never happened?

Posted by: cyntax on September 26, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

OK let us quantify things on the scale of 1 to 10.

Clinton During 8 years: even from a very non-generous view, 7

Bush During 8 months: 0

Even then Clinton comes off infinite times better in combatting terrorism than GWB.

Republicans and their trolls here have no ground to stand upon. Perhaps there is a heap of cow dung somewhere.

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

characterized by the penetration of a different orifice altogether.

Shortshop, me thinks enozinho doesn't know me, but i'll stop now.

Posted by: Keith G on September 26, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

1993 World Trade Center bombing - Al Queda's attack on American soil. Thus it began.

Well, if Clinton catching and convicting the perpetrators wasn't a sufficient response what exactly more should he have done? Started a war? And if so, against whom? Egypt? Pakistan? New Jersey?

Posted by: Stefan on September 26, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

...Yeah ckelly Bush should have just ignored the threats and support Saddam was giving to our enemies.

Let's see... go after actual enemy that is a threat and attacked us on 9/11 or go after neutered non-threat? Decisions, decisions...

Saddam was giving to our enemies.
Could you be just a tad more specific. The recent reports verify that Al Qaeda was an enemy of Saddam's - he viewed them as a threat.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps there is a heap of cow dung somewhere.

Well, if there's a pile of manure, then there's got to be a pony in there somewhere...

Posted by: cyntax on September 26, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

So much cutting and pasting in vain; Bush's minions will defend The Decider to the bitter end.

Posted by: Lucy on September 26, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

'I believe it was Bin Laden intends to attack on American soil'.

'Now you covered your ass'.

Are you guys blind?

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the declassified NIE

http://www.odni.gov/press_releases/Declassified_NIE_Key_Judgments.pdf

Sounds pretty balanced and nuanced to me.

Posted by: Jeff on September 26, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

One thing very much worth noticing is the political dynamic of the NIE thing.

To begin with, it was remarkable how the liberal blogosphere seemed not at first to comprehend the political significance of the NY Times report about the April NIE. In this blog, and elsewhere, it was regarded mostly as a statement of the obvious, and not really very exciting.

What people in the blogosphere didn't seem to acknowledge is the significance of WHO was stating this obvious fact, namely our intelligence agencies. And they don't seem to comprehend either that, for Democrats, good and effective politics consists mainly of finding a way to convince the public of obvious facts.

Interestingly, it was the national Democrats (and not the bloggers) who understood the opportunity the NIE posed, and they went on the talk shows and brought up almost nothing else. Bloggers, on the other hand, took up the fight and insisted that the NIE be released -- a point then taken up by national Democrats.

All in all, it's been a pretty interesting and revealing back and forth between the Democrats and the bloggers.

In any case, note how the NIE thing -- both the April one and the embryonic one -- has engendered EXACTLY the discussion the Democrats want to have about national security.

Isn't it simply remarkable how the national security issue, expressed on the terms suggested by the NIEs, has put the Bush WH in a completely defensive mode on the issue that is supposed to be its strong suit?

And what's remarkable too is how the discussion is surely going to be expanded across many days, even weeks, due to the release of the April NIE and the possibility of releasing the one in the works.

This is NOT going to end well for the Republicans, I think; looking incompetent at handling terrorism will simply destroy them.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 26, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton...WTC 1993....Saddam... no fly zipper er zone... BJ.........Clinton's legacy!....fault...fault!...

-Orwell

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Shortshop, me thinks enozinho doesn't know me, but i'll stop now.

I noticed that, Keith, and sent a mental chuckle your way. I was going to suggest we start using spanking as a more appropriate term, but then I realized, what do I have against spanking? This all presents such a problem in creative sexual insulting, doesn't it?

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Nuff said.

Posted by: Orwell

OK. Next!

Step right up and see if you can out-stupid Al, American Hawk, ex-liberal, Thomas1, republicrat, mhr, and Orwell in 75 words or more.

(Right now I'm inclined to say Orwell has the lead.)

Posted by: Foundation of Mud on September 26, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell is definitely out in front.

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell:

How many attacks has Spain had since they "cut and run" a week after the Madrid bombings and elected a Socialist government that pulled out of Iraq?

None, you say?

Heh.

BTW, I think this is actually great news for the Democrats. This won't happen, but I'd like to see the Party get behind a draft, and a general movement to get the American public serious about winning the war the way the generals want it won. Introduce and debate Rangel's draft bill. Oh -- and rescind the tax cuts to fund this massively increased war effort. We all need to share the sacrifice for the noble cause of pacifying Iraq.

Could you *imagine* how much this would call the GOP's bluff?

Because frankly, if we're going to remain in Iraq at all -- that might well be the only logical way to pull it off. Nation-building isn't cheap in either blood or treasure.

And what it might wind up producing is a rejection at the molecular level by the American people of the Iraq war.

I would very much like to see this debate.

Bob

Posted by: lynx on September 26, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Above is me. Wrong macro.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

75 words or more.

(Right now I'm inclined to say Orwell has the lead.)

Posted by: Foundation of Mud

Not to quibble but couldn't we make that 75 words or less?

Otherwise we'll be up spam river with posts about Great Britain's GDP.

Posted by: cyntax on September 26, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

"due to the release of the April NIE"

Unfortunately, the Bush administration controls what actually gets released and what remains hidden. I have no doubt whatsoever that it will be suitably redacted so as to give the impression that the Bush administration wants. Right now, they're on the defensive; don't count on them staying that way.

"and the possibility of releasing the one in the works."

And definitely don't count on this one, since the early word is that the Bush administration deliberately did not call this an NIE so as to avoid the legal reporting requirements that are required for the NIE.

Look, I'm delighted that the Bush administration is on the defensive and that the bloody obvious about Iraq is finally getting stated in the national media; just don't assume that it's going to stay that way for very long. Assuming that the Bush administration plays this the way I think they will, what's the next tactic?

Posted by: PaulB on September 26, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Otherwise we'll be up spam river with posts about Great Britain's GDP.

Not to mention Old Europe, George Clooney, "fuck Allah," shaken-baby syndrome, "I'll answer that question just as soon...", "wrong again, Kevin," the Glory that is Suburbia, snowflake babies, Joe Lieberman's raw deal, Brokeback Mountain and wistful fantasies about exterminating billions of brown people.

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Not to mention Old Europe, George Clooney, "fuck Allah," shaken-baby syndrome, "I'll answer that question just as soon...", "wrong again, Kevin," the Glory that is Suburbia, snowflake babies, Joe Lieberman's raw deal, Brokeback Mountain and wistful fantasies about exterminating billions of brown people.

[snicker-chortle-snort]...Oldies but goodies all...

not to mention "CLICK THE LINK" usually sending you somewhere *slightly* less than relevant.

Posted by: cyntax on September 26, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see this NIE doing anything but reinforcing Bush's bullshit talking points.

We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.

Bush pulled the flip-flop of the century when he went from claiming that "Democracy is on the March", to his new claim that Bin Laden says that Iraq is the central front in the War on Terrorism. This NIE won't force him to change course, or acknowledge anything new. What am I missing?

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

"We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial support."

This describes every business in corporate America.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

4 pages of a 30 page document, only the key judgments from the NIE...That's some cherry-picking.

Posted by: ckelly on September 26, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1, are the GOP, CCC, RNC or NAMBLA providing you any "logistical and financial support," and if so, how much? We demand to know at once. Show us your spreadsheet.

Posted by: shortstop on September 26, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

This NIE won't force him to change course, or acknowledge anything new. What am I missing?

What the NIE, even in the form of the summary judgments, makes absolutely clear is that the Iraq war has been a huge mistake, a major step in exactly the wrong direction. We would have been safer had we NOT gone to war with Iraq.

Bush can argue that it supports "staying the course", but the initial fuck up of the decision to go to war -- Bush's decision -- remains.

Then the American people have to ask, how many more lives do we need to, and are we willing to sacrifice to compensate for that initial, terrible and incompetent decision? How much good money are we willing to throw after the bad?

The point is, even if Bush can argue that we need to "stay the course", he still looks like a complete incompetent at the very thing he is claiming is his greatest strength.

Posted by: frankly0 on September 26, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, ckelly, buy how many of those businesses are NON-PROFIT 501(c)(3) corporations who lie on their Form 990 and advocate against Bush, for specific candidates, attempting to influence public opinion on legislative matters?

Are you talking about Dr. Dobson?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 26, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

There were zero terrorist attacks for 7 years after '93. So what's your point? Clinton was better than Bush in combatting terrorism? OK. Great.

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

enozinho:

I understand your point -- it's the Hezbollah analogy. Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon after an indecisive war, and they declared this huge and holy victory.

Here's where I think it's different. There is no indigenous support in iraq for Sunni Islamism. Most Sunnis are secular or conservative at most, but they hold no brief for Osama. Without our troops there to serve as both a target and a reason to make an alliance of convenience with Iraqi insurgents -- then Sunni Iraq will turn on them. They've grown used to a degree of religious conscience that imported takfiri ideology does not allow.

With all Iraq considering foreign jihadis an alien and menacing presence (and not tolerated because they're attacking the Americans and American-supported government), then this has a potential to reduce support for Sunni Islamism among observers in the world. But a lot of this depends on whether or not the iraqi government can be seen as legitimate and not just a US puppet. If it is, then radical Sunni Islamists will have been driven out of another country, just as they are unwelcome in all countries of the Sunni Mideast.

If our withdrawal leads to a sense that the central government grew some balls and "won" by getting the Americans to leave -- then it will be the Iraqis themselves who the victory is credited to, and not the Islamists no matter how they try to spin it.

Takfiri Sunni Islamists are parasitic. Take away their raison d'etre in a given place, and the population will turn on them.

I'm not saying this will necessarily happen. I'm saying this is a countervailing potential to the simpler Hezbollah analogy. The truth would doubtless lie somewhere in the middle, and that might very well be enough.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

The first WTC bombing an odd thing to pick on. They arrested the terrorists who did it and put them away.

As for terror whiffs, does "anthrax in the mail" ring a bell?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 26, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Bush and his top advisers had said the broad assessment on global terrorism supported their arguments that the world is safer. But more than three pages of stark judgments warning about the spread of terrorism contrasted with the administrations glass-half-full declarations.

Bush releases only part of the report and it still shows he lied.

Which tells you just how bad the rest of the report must be that he's hiding.

Shame.

And more shame on his defenders!

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1: How much safer could we have gotten than ZERO terrorist attacks since 2001?!

Zero since 1993.

Clinton kept us safe for 7 plus years.

Bush couldn't even keep us safe for 1, once he took over.

And he hasn't yet reached 7 years after 9/11, so he hasn't yet proven he can keep America safer than Clinton's policies after the first bombing of the WTC did.

Painting you as a liar, once again.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

JUST now on CNN I say Rice take a swat at Bill Clinton - she said that no intellence report that was given to Bush when he took office

Hillary responded by saying that if her husband had gotten an intellgence briefing that said Al Qaeda determined to attack the US, he would certainly have responded.

NOW WHY did it take so Loooooong to say that obvious fact? My gosh, Bush was not merely negeletent ignoring that briefing - he was criminally negeletent to ignore such an obvious threat. So 3000 people died because Bush didn't take national security seriously.

WHY did it take the Clinton's so long to say this.

And as for Rice - she told world leaders that we don't torture people but the US does torture and Bush is pushing hard for the right to torture.

That makes RICE the biggest lying, worthless US secertary EVER.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 26, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

How much safer could we have gotten than ZERO terrorist attacks since 2001?!

I don't know, why don't we ask Colonel Thomas X. Hammes, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)what he thinks about that?

    Our removal of the Saddam Regime introduced major instability not just in Iraq, but in the greater Middle East.

So if you want safer look no further than not invading Iraq. But since we have, how has that gone? Major General Batiste:
    Our nation's treasure in blood and dollars continues to be squandered under Secretary Rumsfeld's leadership. Losing one American life due to incompetent war planning and preparation is absolutely unacceptable. The work to remove Saddam Hussein and his regime was a challenge, but it pales in comparison to the hard work required to build the peace. The detailed deliberate planning to finish the job in Iraq was not considered as Secretary Rumsfeld forbade military planners from developing plans for securing a post-war Iraq.

By the way General Batiste in his words: "lifelong Republican." So basically it looks like we've had zero attacks since 9/11 inspite of GWB's efforts.

Posted by: cyntax on September 26, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell: Bush should have just ignored the threats and support Saddam was giving to our enemies.

Syria is giving even more support to our enemies.

So, by your own analysis, Bush is a coward and incompetent for not attacking them.

Same is true of Pakistan, which helped Iran develop its nuclear programs.

Same is true of North Korea.

Bush has failed on all levels, picking a country that was a threat only in the bizzaro world inhabited by conservative muppets, and ignoring countries that might actually pose a threat someday.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, nice dodge by Harman:

"No, no, not this NIE. We're talking about the double-super-secret NIE! That's the one with all the good stuff in it! All my anonymous sources say so! Pay no attention to the one we were talking about yesterday!"

Now we just wait for the NYT to start publishing leaks from the new one. This time, with the election coming up soon, it probably won't take six frigging months for the NYT to wait for the "right moment."

Posted by: rnc on September 26, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

The index is now just 53 points away from its Jan. 14, 2000, record close of 11,722.98.

Six years later and Bush is still 53 points shy of Clinton's recordsetting economy and there's that big deficit that weakens the meaning of even this level of economic performance.

Tax cuts = slower method of reaching an equal but more fragile level of economic performance.

Bush = economic moron.

Bush supporters = morons on all levels.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

I guess the point I was trying to make was more political, because we stuck with Bush's course of action whether we like it or not.

Blitzer: "Repubican operative, the much vaunted NIE says terrorism is worse because of Iraq."

Republican Operative: "The President has clearly said that Iraq is the central front in the war on blah blah..."

CUT TO BUSH: "If we leave in Iraq, they'll follow us here."

Blitzer: "What about that Democratic operative? Doesn't this reinforce what the President has been saying of late?"

Democratic Operative: "Stay the course isn't working. We're losing the War on Terror, We can change things together on Nov. 7..."

Republican Operative: "Cut and Run, doom and gloom, taxes, snowflakes, terror.

Blitzer: "I guess we'll have to leave it at that. Next, Jeff Greenfield is going to tell us why democrats are icky."

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 26, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1

Well give me the evidence.

All you said was that there have been no attacks since 9/11. If that makes you conclude that Bush has done a lot of things to keep us safe, it's perfectly logical to say that Clinton was better.

So this mantra that you guys keep on chanting that we have not been attacked since 9/11 says, by itself, either says nothing about what Bush has done and how well, or leads one to conclude that Clinton was a great fighter of terrorism, and a better one, since he did not usher in the age of draconian laws restricting the rights of American citizens.


Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bob
Posted by: lynx on September 26, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Above is me. Wrong macro.

Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, what the fuck dude? You're the one doing these annoying fucking fake posts? Knock it the fuck off. Shit is so not funny.

Posted by: FlyAwayCase on September 26, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

That makes RICE the biggest lying, worthless US secertary EVER.

Posted by: Cheryl

Hmm... technically speaking Rumsfeld is a US Secretary too, just of Defense not State. Which one is the most worthless...? Rice was the NSA Advisor when we got the "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in US" memo, and then of course there's 9/11 on her watch too. BUt Rummy has been screwing the Iraq pooch for years now. So much incompetence, so little recompense.

Posted by: cyntax on September 26, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1: Bush OTOH has specifically done quite a bit more to prevent the next 9/11. That's my definition of "safe".

Obviously ignoring his own advice about understanding the difference between "correlation" and "causation".

Assertion that Bush's actions will "cause" something to not happen is even more speculative and unproven than an assertion that Clinton's actions did "cause" something to not happen.

At least in the latter there is something to analyze and have an informed opinion about.

With regard to the former, you've got sh*t speculation, not evidence, proof, or even an opinion informed by facts.

Attacking Iraq did nothing to prevent a future 9/11.

In fact, it did less than nothing.

And leaving Al Queda free in Afghanistan and Pakistan because of the Iraqi diversion, certainly can't be spun into "safer" for the US, not to mention utterly ignoring Iran and North Korea for years because of that same diversion.

Finally, it was the Democrats in Congress, the families of the 9/11 victims, and liberal and moderate Americans that got Bush off his ass on changes to our intelligence operations and national security policies - Bush was fully prepared to do absolutely nothing beyond attacking Iraq until he was dragged kicking and screaming to do what needed to be done.

And even then, he failed miserably in implementing the demanded changes by conspiring the Congressional Republicans to write new laws and adopt new policies that were primarily geared towards promoting partisan political success for the GOP and the administration, rewarding conservative political opportunists, liars, and criminals, and attacking the GOP's political opponents, including innocent Americans and foreigners, not towards making the country safer.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1: If you want me to post the name of every U.S. and allied servicemember in Afghanistan, Irag, and around the world fighting terrorists, every al Qaeda operative caught or killed, every financial network disrupted, every communication intercepted, every plot uncovered (that we known about), just let me know.

Which is evidence of nothing.

American soldiers fighting in Iraq (or even Irag) aren't making the US safer - you can't make the connection, which is why you never try.

You can't name every financial network disrupted, even assuming there have been any - we, and you, can only take the Bush administration's word for that, since they refuse to release any details, and they've repeatedly lied, such as about Congress seeing the same intelligence as the President prior to the war, about WMDs in Iraq, about Jessica Lynch, about torture, about secret prisons, etc, etc, etc.

Same is true of "communications intercepted."

And as for plots, we already know that Bush compromised US and British safety by pushing the Brits to act prematurely.

But publish your bogus list.

We won't hold our breath . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Hey. Just tell us Thomas1.

In case prove that Clinton did not do more. You can't.

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1: We'll have to agree to disagree then, Advocate for God.

We can agree that you are a liar, a hypocrite, and inept at logical thought and rational analysis.

Any belief we are safer can only be based on misplaced faith, not fact or objective analysis.

Fortunately, the vast majority of Americans agree with me and disagree with you.

It is fun watching conservatives lose every bit of their political momentum, now struggling to promote barely holding on to Congress as "victory".

It will be fun to watch them lose the House and maybe the Senate in November.

Even more fun to watch Bush flounder for his last two years, mired in self-inflicted failure, a victim of blowing the biggest economic and political opportunities of a generation through incompetence, arrogance, selfishness, and idiocy, finishing his two terms with a popularity far below conservatives arch nemesis, Bill Clinton, and rivaling Jimmy Carter and Nixon.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1: LOL -- not sure which hole you have your head buried in -- there is plenty of declassified info out there if you have a computer and access to the Internet:

Liar.

Not a single word about any communication intercepted.

Not a single word about any financial network disrupted.

Identifying a network and changing the person heading it (especially when the instigator of the change is a country that has provided and assisted most of the world's worst terrorists), even if we were to believe the Bush administration (and we don't; see below), is not the same as disrupting it (see also your own quote: "it does not appear that Saudi Arabia has taken any other actions against him.")

And we have to take the Bush administration's word, the same folks that keep arresting and torturing innocent people, that this had anything to do with Al Queda.

You have no independent evidence . . . only Bush administration reports.

So, don't bother with your list of troops fighting terrorism (which you will also lie about), since you haven't even gotten started on the "communications" and "financial networks".

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, you can smell the desperation coming off Charlie/CheneyThomas today. He's threatening to spam another thread like he did as Cheney, harrassing Kevin with veiled threats.

Tsk tsk.

Must be sad to feel that angry and yet be so impotent.

And I sense this weird jealousy of Kevin. I can't say for certain whether it's of a homoerotic nature...

Posted by: trex on September 26, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

"On 11 March 2002 the United States and Saudi Arabia jointly designated the Bosnia and Herzegovina and Somalia offices of Al-Haramain as al Qaeda funding sources. Al-Haramain Somalia had funneled money to Al-Ittihad al-Islami, a designated terrorist group, by disguising the funds as contributions for an orphanage project and for Islamic school and mosque construction.

I'm sorry T1 are you abadoning your claim that GWB's aactions have prevented any further terrorist attacks and are now just going for the more generic "he's made us safer?" The spin is starting to make me cross-eyed.

Posted by: cyntax on September 26, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK
If you want me to post the name of every U.S. and allied servicemember in Afghanistan, Irag, and around the world fighting terrorists, every al Qaeda operative caught or killed, every financial network disrupted, every communication intercepted, every plot uncovered (that we known about), just let me know.

What I'd really like is a list of all the things of that type directed specifically at al-Qaeda from the time that Bush took office through 9/10/2001.

IOW, the evidence that Bush, like Clinton, didn't wait until a massive successful attack on the US homeland before treating al-Qaeda as a serious threat that needed addressed.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 26, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Two Presbyterian ministers were among 71 people arrested during a series of peaceful protests against the Iraq war Tuesday, said a spokeswoman for a group participating in the protests.

Why is the Bush administration anti-religious?

Why is the Bush administration anti-Christian?

Why does the Bush administration hate those who preach the word of God?

Because God and religion are very low on the list of priorities for Bush, the GOP, and conservatives, who find political opportunism and falsely punishing political opponents, not to mention stealing from the American people, a greater priority.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Must be sad to feel that angry and yet be so impotent.

There is nothing so frustrating as impotence in the face of fury.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 26, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

FlyAwayCase:

Bob
Posted by: lynx on September 26, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Above is me. Wrong macro.

Bob
Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

> Whoa, what the fuck dude? You're the one doing these annoying
> fucking fake posts? Knock it the fuck off. Shit is so not funny.

No no no, you're misinterpreting. The above is an
honest mistake, not a spoof. I have the word 'lynx'
in a macro a key adjacent to the macro my handle's in.

I misidentified my post (finger slip) and clarified it, is all.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Talking Points Memo: House candidate Tammy Duckworth (D), the Iraq War vet who lost both her legs in combat, responds to opponent Peter Roskam's (R) charge that she wants to "cut and run" from Iraq.

A pattern emerges . . . it wasn't just Kerry or the other vets that conservatives have called cowards, while ignoring the cowardice of their own CIC.

Any Democrat veteran is clearly fair game for the most scurrilous and despicable partisan GOP attacks, no matter how much they gave to and for their country, something Bush never did, Cheney never did, Condi never did.

I hope buries Roskam so deep he has to work as a sh*t shoveler the rest of his life.

But wait, he's already working as a sh*t shoveler- that's the definition of a GOP candidate.

Never mind.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Oh shit -- this thread is ruined.

Funny ... I just accused Thomas of being a sociopath in another thread.

Who knew he'd be so eager to prove it to everybody.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

(To Be Continued -- I will get to trex, cyntax, and cmdicely as soon as I finish posting all this for gregor and AOG ; )

Posted by: Thomas1

And here we see T1's real purpose: thread-killing.

Rather than posting every service member's name, why don't you explain how that list serves as an argument.

Posted by: cyntax on September 26, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Funny ... I just accused Thomas of being a sociopath in another thread.

Felt a need to state the obvious I see....

Posted by: trex on September 26, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bolton nomination now officially, completely, totally dead.

Thomas1: (To Be Continued -- I will get to trex, cyntax, and cmdicely as soon as I finish posting all this for gregor and AOG ; )

Since you've offered no evidence, much less proof, that any of these individuals have fought against terrorism, don't bother with continuing your inane exercise in dishonesty.

I could just as easily list the names of all the American heroes as proof of the Bush administration's foolish dishonesty about the war on terrorism . . .

"U.S. forces:

"Spc. Justin W. Pollard; Pvt. Rey D. Cuervo; Sgt. Curt E. Jordan Jr; Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco; Staff Sgt. Michael J. Sutter; Spc. Charles G. Haight; Spc. Michael G. Mihalakis; Staff Sgt. Thomas W. Christensen; Staff Sgt. Stephen C. Hattamer; Maj. Christopher J. Splinter; Capt. Christopher F. Soelzer; Sgt. Benjamin W. Biskie; Command Sgt. Major Eric F. Cooke; Sgt. Michael E. Yashinski; 1st Lt. Edward M. Saltz; Pfc. Stuart W. Moore; Pfc. Charles E. Bush Jr.; Sgt. Glenn R. Allison; Spc. Christopher J. Holland; Spc. Nathan W. Nakis; Pfc. Kenneth C. Souslin; Spc. Rian C. Ferguson; Staff Sgt. Kimberly A. Voelz; Pfc. Jeffrey F. Braun; Sgt. Jarrod W. Black; Spec. Marshall L. Edgerton; Staff Sgt. Richard A. Burdick; Pfc. Jerrick M. Petty; Staff Sgt. Aaron T. Reese; Spc. Todd M. Bates; Pfc. Jason G. Wright; Staff Sgt. Steven H. Bridges; Spc. Joseph M. Blickenstaff; Spc. Christopher J. Rivera Wesley; Pfc. Ray J. Hutchinson; Spc. Arron R. Clark; Spc. Raphael S. Davis; Sgt. Ryan C. Young; Chief Warrant Officer Clarence E. Boone; Spc. Uday Singh; Spc. Aaron J. Sissel; Staff Sgt. Stephen A. Bertolino; Sgt. Ariel Rico; Spc. Thomas J. Sweet II; Spc. David J. Goldberg; Cpl. Darrell L. Smith; CW2 Christopher G. Nason; Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry L. Wilson; Spc. Rel A. Ravago IV; Staff Sgt. Eddie E. Menyweather; Spc. Robert D. Roberts; Pfc. Damian S. Bushart; Cpl. Gary B. Coleman; Spc. Josph L. Lister; Capt. George A. Wood; Pvt. Scott M. Tyrrell; Capt. Nathan S. Dalley; Staff Sgt. Dale A. Panchot; Capt. James A. Shull; Chief Warrant Officer Alexander S. Coulter; Pfc. Richard W. Hafer; Capt. Pierre E. Piche; Pfc. Joey D. Whitener; Pfc. Damian L. Heidelberg; Spc. Jeremiah J. Digiovanni; Sgt. Timothy L. Hayslett; Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Bolor; Sgt. John W. Russell; Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) Scott A. Saboe; Pfc. Sheldon R. Hawk Eagle; Chief Warrant Officer Erik C. Kesterson; Spc. John R. Sullivan; 2nd Lt. Jeremy L. Wolfe; Sgt. Michael D. Acklin II; Spc. Ryan T. Baker; Spc. William D. Dusenbery; Sgt. Warren S. Hansen; Spc. Eugene A. Uhl III; Spc. Irving Medina; Pfc. Jacob S. Fletcher; Sgt. Joseph Minucci II; Spc. Robert A. Wise; Staff Sgt. Nathan J. Bailey; Spc. Genaro Acosta; Spc. Marlon P. Jackson; Sgt. Nicholas A. Tomko; Army Sgt. Linda C. Jimenez; Staff Sgt. Gary L. Collins; Staff Sgt. Mark D. Vasquez; Pvt. Kurt R. Frosheiser; Staff Sgt. Morgan D. Kennon; Capt. Benedict J. Smith; Command Sgt. Maj. Cornell W. Gilmore; Chief Warrant Officer (CW5) Sharon T. Swartworth; Chief Warrant Officer (CW3) Kyran E. Kennedy; Staff Sgt. Paul M. Neff II; Spc. James A. Chance III; Spc. James R. Wolf; Sgt. Paul F. Fisher; Sgt. 1st Class Jose A. Rivera; Spc. Robert T. Benson; Sgt. Francisco Martinez; Pfc. Rayshawn S. Johnson; Spc. Darius T. Jennings; Staff Sgt. Daniel A. Bader; Spc. Steven D. Conover; Spc. Brian H. Penisten; Sgt. Joel Perez; Chief Warrant Officer Bruce A. Smith; Sgt. Ernest G. Bucklew; Pfc. Anthony D. Dagostino; Pfc. Karina S. Lau; Sgt. Keelan L. Moss; Sgt. Ross A. Pennanen; 1st Lt. Brian D. Slavenas; Spc. Frances M. Vega; Staff Sgt. Joe N. Wilson; Staff Sgt. Paul A. Velazquez; Spc. Maurice J. Johnson; 1st Lt. Joshua C. Hurley; 2nd Lt. Benjamin J. Colgan; 2nd Lt. Todd J. Bryant."

Yep. That was pretty easy.

I guess I just proved (using Thomas1's concept of proof, anyway) that Bush is foolishly responsible for the deaths of these soldiers in a futile, misguided, and ineffective "war" against terrorists, who unfortunately are mostly in Pakistan, a country where we are not, and not Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

trex:

Have a look in archive. It's kind of amusing, actually. He posted a link to YouTube claming some dork was me -- and then claimed he has a clear conscience about lying.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 26, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK


republicrat: It is not "failure" that is staring us in the face, it is disappointment.

"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." - Dick Cheney 3/16/2003

Posted by: mr. irony on September 26, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ambassador Bolton will fill his term as the only unconfirmed Ambassador at the United Nations in American history.

Another Bush "victory".

They must taste so sweet.

Bush is going, going, going down as the worst president in modern American history.

Now, that's sweeeeeeeeet!

:-)

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK


orwell: That makes 8 years of Clinton sitting at his desk getting a BJ while Al-Queda hatched, grew, and matured.


#1 killer of americans by terror from 1993 until 9-11:

timothy mcveigh...

and he's dead...

Posted by: mr. irony on September 26, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK


shortstop: And the right can't understand the Clinton charisma...illegally obtained Viagra, anyone?


you know what happens when george bush takes viagra?


he gets taller!

Posted by: jay leno on September 26, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

orwell: That makes 8 years of Clinton sitting at his desk getting a BJ while Al-Queda hatched, grew, and matured.

That makes seven years of a GOP Congress obsessing about BJ's while Al Queda hatched, grew, and matured . . . and five years of Bush sitting at his desk possibly drinking and snorting blow, but certainly supporting cronies who were stealing from the American public and commiting crimes, while North Korea hatched, grew, and matured . . . and five years of Bush sitting at his desk possibly drinking and snorting blow, but certainly helping the GOP cut taxes on the wealthy while ignoring the needs of our soldiers, while Iran hatched, grew, and matured . . . and eight months of Bush sitting at his desk possibly drinking and snorting blow, but certainly not doing anything substantial or meaningful to enhance American national security, while the 9/11 plot was hatched, grew, and matured . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Health insurance jumps twice inflation rate

Another present to the American people by the corrupt Bush administration.

More gouging of Americans by a GOP supporter, Big Insurance.

Just like Big Oil.

Gouge, gouge, gouge.

So much for the benefits of tort reform.

Bunch of liars, those tort reformers.

And now we have the proof.

Posted by: Advocate for God on September 26, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK


#1 killer of americans by terror from 1993 until 9-11:

Lung cancer?

Posted by: FlyAwayCase on September 26, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1

You got nothing!

Bye!

Posted by: gregor on September 26, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

If you want me to post the name ....

No, tommie, all we want you to do is to kill yourself. You could give no better service to your country. Seriously, throw a toaster in the bathtub tonight, and all will be forgiven.

Posted by: Disputo on September 26, 2006 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK
The guilty party...was firmly identified PRIOR to January 20, 2001....Thomas1 at 4:29 PM
Watch the Clinton interview. The FBI and CIA didn't certify to him that it was, in fact, bin Laden until December, so he advised the incoming administration who did nothing. Remember how Bush's Daddy launched the invasion of Somalia during his interregnum and how bizarre it was to do that to a new government?
...Islamic terrorist understand one thing: power. If we back down the will continue to come after us. Orwell at 5:33 PM
Didn't they come after us on 9-11 and didn't Bush fail to do anything to prevent it and didn't Bush run like a scared rabbit that day? Yes yes yes. That bit about power is old Israeli propaganda. Not true in Palestine; not true in Lebanon; not true in Iraq; and if you attack, it won't be true in Iran.
...I believe there was a bombing in America in 1993... somewhere...Orwell at 5:39 PM
You mean Bush never heard of the 93 attack? No one told him? Still, the attack occurred shortly after Clinton took office so it was, by your "reasoning" G.H.W. Bush's responsibility. It's strange that the Clinton administration was able to arrest and imprison the perpetrators. Didn't they get the terrorists who blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building? Didn't he get the notorious child molester, David Koresh, as well?
... ignored the threats and support Saddam was giving to our enemies.... Orwell at 5:52 PM
If you read anything, you would know that Clinton gave orders to kill bin Laden if found. If you know anything, you could figure out that a) Saddam was no threat and b) invading Iraq would be counterproductive for Bush's stated goal: reduce terrorism. Of course, Bush lies so much and so easily, who knows what his real reasons were. I suspect that Barbara was constantly berating Daddy Bush for not going after Saddam in Gulf I, so Sonny boy decided to prove that he was the real man in the family. Since you are suddenly so concerned about UN Resolutions, when will you insist that Israel fulfill the ones regarding its actions?
... you and Washington Monthly better be careful Thomas1 at 6:31 PM
That's amusing coming from the guy who was impersonating a government official i.e. Cheney rcheney@whitehouse.gov
than ZERO terrorist attacks since 2001?Thomas1 at 6:48 PM |
Ever heard of the anthrax attacks? Did Bush catch the anthrax killer yet? Posted by: Mike on September 26, 2006 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: amr铃声 on September 26, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

>while leaving Iraq in chaos would also worsen the threat.

No. It won't.

And what threat are you talking about? If people are not going to define what threat means it's stupid to write that NIE sentence.

Posted by: James on September 26, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

yes, all that death is a sure mark of success.

Posted by: benjoya on September 27, 2006 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

This is your proof?

You are one sick puppy. Seek some help man.

Posted by: gregor on September 27, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK


thomas1: since AOG and gregor think Clinton did more


actually,

it only looks like clinton did more...

when you compare it to what bush did BEFORE 9-11

Posted by: mr. irony on September 27, 2006 at 6:58 AM | PERMALINK

Thomas1/Charlie,

Re: your accusations of perjury, you know the difference between organizations and individuals. So does everyone else here.

Go spritz yourself with some vinegar.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 27, 2006 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

Last time Charlie hit every thread demanding some info or other from Kevin, Kevin banned him. Hmmmm.

Posted by: shortstop on September 27, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

yup, i'm responsible for more american deaths than osama. are you proud of me now, daddy?

Posted by: dubya on September 27, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

damn that warmongering FDR. at least i had a reason to attack iraq. what did japan ever do to us?

Posted by: dubya on September 27, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

and that reason i had was -hey, look over there!

Posted by: dubya on September 27, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

To Be Continued . . .

for as long as i'm president

Posted by: dubya on September 27, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

hey, thomas, there already is a site that records military casualties. liberals have known about it for years.

Posted by: benjoya on September 27, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

What more proof does anyone need on the sickness of the conservative mind?

Posted by: gregor on September 27, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

thomas, why not get your own blog for us all to ignore?

Posted by: benjoya on September 27, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

thomas, why not get your own blog for everyone to ignore?

Posted by: benjoya on September 27, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor.

you don't say. see, if i had been there, i'd a had the foresight to invade mexico in response. global thinking, don't you know.

Posted by: dubya on September 27, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

and by all means, list of every member of the military as part of my accomplishments! they wouldn't have jobs if it weren't for me (or they'd be doing some stupid drills in Fort Bragg instead of seeing real action in "the sandbox" as we ex-military like to call it. jesus, i'm aroused.)

Posted by: dubya on September 27, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

and here's all the actions i took between 8/6/01 and 9/11/01

cleared some brush


told flunky who reported PDF "you've covered your ass"


caught a large-mouth bass. ever vigilant!

cleared some more brush.

played some guitar and met john mcCain at the grand canyon (wait, that was katrina)


interrupted my vacation cause this was a matter of such enormous national importance (no wait, that was terry schiavo)


cleared more brush

there, that's like seven things i did. what did bill clinton do between 8/6/01 and 9/11/01? tell me that, you pinko appeasers.

Posted by: dubya on September 27, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

shorter thomas1: clinton bad.....bush worse?

i mean you can tell..

just count the dead americans...

#1 killer of americans by terror from 1993 until 9-11:

timothy mcveigh...

go figure...

Posted by: mr. irony on September 28, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK


tony snow?


lol


"You think Vietnam was bad? Vietnam is nothing next to Kosovo."

- Tony Snow March 24, 1999

number of dead americans due to action in kosovo?

zero....

maybe tony was hoping for more?

guess he's got his wish now..

Posted by: mr. irony on September 28, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

In the previous administration, we had an attack on the World Trade Center, on Khobar Towers, he said. We had attacks on both embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, an attack on the USS Cole.


dead americans:

1st wtc - 6
khobar - 19
embassies - 12
uss cole - 17
----
total 54


#1 killer of americans by terror from 1993 until 9-11:

timothy mcveigh - 167

tim is dead...

osama?

not so much...

Posted by: mr. irony on September 28, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK


snow: Osama bin Laden in February of 1998 made it clear that he not only intended to wage war on the United States, but he wanted to use Iraq as a central battleground,

that's why when gwb came into office he changed that...

he did LESS to fight terror than clinton...

you can tell...

by the larger number of

dead

americans

thomas...prove me right now....show everyone all the americans that have died on

gwb's watch...

and america has 2.5-years to go...

Posted by: mr. irony on September 28, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

tony snow?


lol


"You think Vietnam was bad? Vietnam is nothing next to Kosovo."

- Tony Snow March 24, 1999

number of dead americans due to action in kosovo?

zero....

nada..

zip...


maybe tony was hoping for more dead americans?

thomas1...

guess he's got his wish now..

Posted by: mr. irony on September 28, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

dead americans by terror under clinton:

1st wtc - 6
khobar - 19
embassies - 12
uss cole - 17
----
total 54


#1 killer of americans by terror from 1993 until 9-11:

timothy mcveigh - 167


dead americans under gwb:

.............9-11 - 2800+

iraq & afghnistan - 2800+


Posted by: mr. irony on September 28, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK


its a slam dunk....if you think dead americans is bad...

dead americans by terror under clinton:

1st wtc - 6
khobar - 19
embassies - 12
uss cole - 17
----
total 54

#1 killer of americans by terror from 1993 until 9-11:

timothy mcveigh - 167


.


dead americans under gwb:

.............9-11 - 2800+

iraq & afghnistan - 2800+

Posted by: mr. irony on September 28, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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