Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Rapture is Coming! The Rapture is Coming!

How can we run a country when 42%, including the last president, believe there's no point in investing in the future?

in reference to: Will Christ return May 21?  | (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, May 09, 2011

9-11 Happened Because George W Bush Let It

Daily Kos: A tale of two presidents: Bush, Obama and Osama bin Laden

I'm going to copy and paste a huge chunk of that post from Daily Kos. Any Republican who ever says Bush and Cheney were tough on terror should be held down and forced to listen to these points, although being forced to listen to the truth about their hero president might constitute torture, which I am against. The bottom line: Bush could have prevented 9-11, but didn't. The Bush administration's laziness and incompetence allowed the attack to happen.

  • Just a month before the 9/11 attacks, while on a month long vacation, Bush was personally handed a presidential daily briefing entitled:
    Bin Laden determined to strike in US.

    With characteristic intelligence and class, Bush responded with the words:

    All right. You've covered your ass, now.

    And went fishing.

  • But Bush wasn't the only member of his administration to blow off warnings, and ignore the threat of terrorism. Indeed, his Attorney General, John Ashcroft, revealed his own lack of concern just a day before the attacks:
    In his final budget request for the fiscal year 2003 submitted on Sept. 10 to the budget director, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., the attorney general called for spending increases in 68 programs, none of which directly involved counterterrorism. Upgrading the F.B.I.'s computer system, one of the areas in which he sought an increase, is relevant to combating terrorism, though Mr. Ashcroft did not defend it on that ground.

    But in his Sept. 10 submission to the budget office, Mr. Ashcroft did not endorse F.B.I. requests for $58 million for 149 new counterterrorism field agents, 200 intelligence analysts and 54 additional translators.

    Mr. Ashcroft proposed cuts in 14 programs. One proposed $65 million cut was for a program that gives state and local counterterrorism grants for equipment, including radios and decontamination suits and training to localities for counterterrorism preparedness.

  • And Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reacted similarly, less than a week before that:
    When Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who was then chairman of the Armed Services Committee, sought to transfer money to counterterrorism from the missile defense program, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld sent a letter on Sept. 6, 2001, saying he would urge Mr. Bush to veto the measure. Mr. Levin nonetheless pushed the measure through the next day on a party-line vote.
  • And former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke had this to say about National Security AdviserCondoleezza Rice:
    ...I believe it was, George Tenet called me and said, "I don't think we're getting the message through. These people aren't acting the way the Clinton people did under similar circumstances." And I suggested to Tenet that he come down and personally brief Condi Rice, that he bring his terrorism team with him. And we sat in the national security adviser's office. And I've used the phrase in the book to describe George Tenet's warnings as "He had his hair on fire." He was about as excited as I'd ever seen him. And he said, "Something is going to happen."

    Now, when he said that in December 1999 to the national security adviser, at the time Sandy Berger, Sandy Berger then held daily meetings throughout December 1999 in the White House Situation Room, with the FBI director, the attorney general, the head of the CIA, the head of the Defense Department, and they shook out of their bureaucracies every last piece of information to prevent the attacks. And we did prevent the attacks in December 1999. Dr. Rice chose not to do that.

  • Indeed:
    We know, for example, that then National Security Adviser Rice was warned repeatedly in 2001 about an imminent al-Qaeda attack against the U.S., but, along with Cheney and Rumsfeld, she simply didn't believe that a cave dweller like Osama bin Laden could be that much of a threat. She was warned by the outgoing Clintonite Sandy Berger, in January 2001. She was warned by the White House counterterrorism scold Richard Clarke. And now, with Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial, and subsequent Washington Post reports, we've been reminded that cia Director George Tenet warned Rice on July 10, 2001, that "the system was blinking red," meaning that there could be "multiple, simultaneous" al-Qaeda attacks on U.S. interests in the coming weeks or months.
  • The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and even Bush himself later made it clear:
    The former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Hugh Shelton, said the Bush administration pushed terrorism "farther to the back burner". And in a sympathetic portrait of the young administration, Bush at War, the president himself told the author, Bob Woodward, that he "didn't feel that sense of urgency" about going after Osama bin Laden.
  • It was clear just a month into the Bush Presidency:
    But when it comes to fighting terrorism, administration officials say the United States has no new initiatives to offer. Top antiterrorism officials in the U.S. government tell NEWSWEEK that Bush and his lieutenants have yet to put forth a counterterrorism plan. So far at least, the Bush team has kept on Clinton's counterterrorism czar, Richard Clarke.
  • There had been explicit warnings even during the transition:
    One such meeting took place in the White House situation room during the first week of January 2001. The session was part of a program designed by Bill Clinton's National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, who wanted the transition between the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations to run as smoothly as possible. With some bitterness, Berger remembered how little he and his colleagues had been helped by the first Bush Administration in 1992-93. Eager to avoid a repeat of that experience, he had set up a series of 10 briefings by his team for his successor, Condoleezza Rice, and her deputy, Stephen Hadley.

    Berger attended only one of the briefings—the session that dealt with the threat posed to the U.S. by international terrorism, and especially by al-Qaeda. "I'm coming to this briefing," he says he told Rice, "to underscore how important I think this subject is." Later, alone in his office with Rice, Berger says he told her, "I believe that the Bush Administration will spend more time on terrorism generally, and on al-Qaeda specifically, than any other subject."

  • But the Bush team was so obliviously sanguine that:
    Though Predator drones spotted Osama bin Laden as many as three times in late 2000, the Bush administration did not fly the unmanned planes over Afghanistan during its first eight months and was still refining a plan to use one armed with missiles to kill the al-Qaida leader when Sept. 11 unfolded, current and former U.S. officials say.
  • And as for Cheney himself:
    Bush administration officials told former Sens. Gary Hart, D-Colo., and Warren Rudman, R-N.H., that they preferred instead to put aside the recommendations issued in the January report by the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century. Instead, the White House announced in May that it would have Vice President Dick Cheney study the potential problem of domestic terrorism -- which the bipartisan group had already spent two and a half years studying -- while assigning responsibility for dealing with the issue to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, headed by former Bush campaign manager Joe Allbaugh.

    The Hart-Rudman Commission had specifically recommended that the issue of terrorism was such a threat it needed far more than FEMA's attention.

    Before the White House decided to go in its own direction, Congress seemed to be taking the commission's suggestions seriously, according to Hart and Rudman. "Frankly, the White House shut it down," Hart says. "The president said 'Please wait, we're going to turn this over to the vice president. We believe FEMA is competent to coordinate this effort.' And so Congress moved on to other things, like tax cuts and the issue of the day."

    "We predicted it," Hart says of Tuesday's horrific events. "We said Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers -- that's a quote (from the commission's Phase One Report) from the fall of 1999."

    Let's highlight that:

    Instead, the White House announced in May that it would have Vice President Dick Cheney study the potential problem of domestic terrorism -- which the bipartisan group had already spent two and a half years studying -- while assigning responsibility for dealing with the issue to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, headed by former Bush campaign manager Joe Allbaugh.

    The Hart-Rudman Commission had specifically recommended that the issue of terrorism was such a threat it needed far more than FEMA's attention.

    Not only did the entire Bush Administration ignore multiple screaming warnings, but Cheney himself was tasked with studying the risk of domestic terrorism! And even though Bush himself said he'd periodically review the issue:

    Neither Cheney's review nor Bush's took place.
  • Bush and Cheney. Both. Both given specific warnings. Both claiming they would study the risks. Neither doing so. Their entire administration failing in every possible way, despite numerous specific and personal warnings. Despite numerous specific and personal warnings that kept coming, right up until the days before the September 11 attacks. And after the attacks we had this:

    The Bush administration has concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora late last year and that failure to commit U.S. ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al Qaeda, according to civilian and military officials with first-hand knowledge.
  • And as Meteor Blades pointed out, last week, just half a year later, we had Bush saying this:
    And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.

  • Saturday, May 07, 2011

    Playing the Asshole Card

    Andrew Card is, of course, a Republican. Which means he's an asshole and a hypocrite. To suggest that Obama has "pounded his chest a little too much" when, in fact, Obama has been cool as a cucumber through this whole thing, is just preposterous. Strapping on a cod piece and a flight suit, landing on an aircraft carrier, and strutting around in front of a "mission accomplished" banner is what I would call chest thumping extraordinaire.

    Going to ground zero to lay a wreath (note the lack of bullhorn or even a speech), meeting with first responders, and going to thank the troops that did the mission: all restrained and fitting things for a commander in chief to do. Not chest pounding.

    Claiming that you're going to get bin Laden "dead or alive" and then giving up on him to the point of shutting down the CIA unit that was chasing him, well, that's the kind of strutting hypocrisy that only George W. Bush and his sycophants could manage.

    in reference to:

    "SPIEGEL: But now President Obama is the big winner… Card: I think he has pounded his chest a little too much. He can take pride in it, but he does not need to show it so much."
    - Interview with Former Bush Adviser Andrew Card: 'Obama Has Pounded His Chest a Little Too Much' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International (view on Google Sidewiki)

    Deflating the Manichean Paranoia Egos

    This right wing egotistical tough-guy fetish applies to more than just torture. From unilateral invasions to massive tax cuts for the rich, the Bushies were all about being the tough guys who could do what needed to be done, while liberals were cowering wimps who just wanted to let gay people marry.

    This all fits into the whole Manichean Paranoia that afflicts the right. Their John Wayne mentality infects their every thought process, and leads to some really awful results, which they then, of course, deny had anything to do with them.

    You're either with us, or against us, and laws and facts don't matter. In fact, laws and facts are for sissies.

    Nobody lays out the truth of this right wing mentality better than Steven Colbert. Without him I would have lost the ability to pay attention to their giant, destructive egos years ago.

    And nobody proves that pragmatism and nuance is the better methodology for a country than Obama. He proves that the world is not just black or white in a way that deflates their egos and, frankly, that makes them crazy with Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    in reference to:

    "From day one of the War on Terror (TM), it was clear that the Bush people reveled in the notion that they were tough guys, willing to Do What Needs to be Done. They were all wannabe Kiefer Sutherlands. Far from showing qualms about suspending the rule of law and using torture to extract information, they obviously enjoyed the idea that they were willing to go all the way, unlike those wimpy liberals."
    - Shadow of the Torturers - (view on Google Sidewiki)

    Wednesday, May 04, 2011

    The Bush Administration Let bin Laden Get Away on Purpose

    Now here's a great article full of facts that, of course, won't matter to Republicans. Not only did senior level Bush Administration officials like Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Cheney ignore warnings that could have prevented 9-11, they actually allowed bin Laden to get out of Afghanistan. They had no plan for cutting off his escape routes, Bush himself turned down offers from the Taliban for having bin Laden turned over to us, and the Bushies just let bin Laden walk away from Tora Bora.

    Why? Because from the moment Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court, all the Bushies cared about was attacking Iraq.

    Facts didn't matter to the Bushies then, and they still don't now. And to hear all these Republicans today claiming that Bush deserves credit for bin Laden's killing is sickening. The exact opposite is true. Bush deserves the blame for not stopping 9-11 in the first place, and for letting bin Laden get away afterwards. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

    Facts matter.

    in reference to:

    "Rumsfeld and the second-ranking official at the Pentagon, Paul Wolfowitz, had dismissed CIA warnings of an al Qaeda terrorist attack against the United States in the summer of 2001, and even after 9/11 had continued to question the CIA's conclusion that bin Laden and al Qaeda were behind the attacks. Cheney and Rumsfeld were determined not to allow a focus on bin Laden to interfere with their plan for a U.S. invasion of Iraq to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime."
    - U.S. Refusal of 2001 Taliban Offer Gave bin Laden a Free Pass - IPS (view on Google Sidewiki)

    Monday, May 02, 2011

    GWB on UBL: "I am truly not that concerned about him."—3/13/02

    George Bush let UBL get away at Tora Bora. He failed to find him for the rest of his Presidency. John McCain said he would not unilaterally attack in Pakistan. Obama said he would. Credit here goes to Obama, and Republican liars can suck on that.

    The Washington Times is a bullshit organization that lies for Republicans. They are, of course, going to try to credit George Bush for getting Usama Bin Laden. The facts, which Republicans don't care about, are that GW Bush blew the chance to get Usama, and then just blew it off for the rest of his presidency. Here are some quotes from Bush himself on the matter:

    "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." — 9/13/01

    "I want justice...There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive,'" —9/17/01

    "...Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy, who, three months ago, was in control of a county [sic]. Now he's maybe in control of a cave. He's on the run. Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we're going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that's what's happening. He's on the run, if he's running at all. So we don't know whether he's in cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open -- we just don't know...."—Crawford TX, 12/28/01

    "I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."—3/13/02

    "I am truly not that concerned about him."—3/13/02

    "I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."—3/13/02

    "Uhh—Gosh, I —don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those, uhh, exaggerations." — Tempe, AZ, 10/13/2004

    So, yeah. George W. Bush did not make "getting Bin Laden a top priority." The Washington Times, as usual, is full of shit.

    in reference to:

    "Former President George W. Bush, who made getting bin Laden a top priority of his U.S.-led war on terrorism said in a statement: “The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”"
    - Getting bin Laden was top U.S. goal since 9/11 - Washington Times (view on Google Sidewiki)

    Sunday, May 01, 2011

    Mostly Bush's Debt

    Furthermore, Obama's share of the debt wouldn't exist if Bush hadn't ruined the economy.

    in reference to:

    "All told, Obama-era choices account for about $1.7 trillion in new debt, according to a separate Washington Post analysis of CBO data over the past decade. Bush-era policies, meanwhile, account for more than $7 trillion and are a major contributor to the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits that are dominating the political debate."
    - Running in the red: How the U.S., on the road to surplus, detoured to massive debt - The Washington Post (view on Google Sidewiki)