March 22, 2004
Clarke on "60 Minutes"
I didn't watch "60 Minutes" last night. Just wasn't feeling up to it. Of course, it's not exactly a grand revelation to me that Team Bush had a severe cranial-anal inversion regarding Iraq and al Qaeda, and it's not exactly breaking news that they discounted the threat of terrorism prior to 9/11. (Don't believe me. See for yourself what Condi Rice thought of the issue back in 2000. Or read this annotated timeline of Team Bush's actions during its first months in office.) It was pretty sweet to see the "Who says President Bush dropped the ball?" teasers during the basketball games, though. That's an image that I hope stays with people for some time.
What won't be staying is the Chron's reprint of this WaPo story, which was on page A3 of the print edition but which appears to have vanished from their web page as of now. Of course, you can get the story of Team Bush's response. We know what's important.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 22, 2004 to Iraq attack
I know, I wasn't going to watch it either. But the Kentucky game(unbelieveable...screwed me on my office pool...but what a great ending) segued right into it. I expected the firestorm today. Rush Limbaugh even had VP Cheney. Hopefully, people will remember this for a long time. But, I think with short attention spans, they might not. My hope is that a few % of Republican doubters will get the picture now.
Goodness where to start....Let's go with Condi Rice's article in Foreign Affairs. This was broad article that outlining the Republican take on the world during the 2000 campaign. It addresses post-Soviet era Russia, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Kyoto Accords, free trade, the size and role of the military and the development of relationships with China and Russia. Rice deals with these issues with a very broad brush and yet still notes that the Republican administration would "refocus the United States on the national interest and the pursuit of key priorities," which included, "to deal decisively with the threat of rogue regimes and hostile powers, which is increasingly taking the forms of the potential for terrorism and the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)." She goes onto advocate an expansion of "intelligence capabilities against terrorism of all kinds." But frankly, this was a campaign article and the in terms of the electorate in 2000, terrorism wasn't on the radar.
The article mentions that the Democratic views would be published in a future issue but no Democratic article is listed in the experts and advisors index, where the Rice article is archived.
Checking on the "Candidate Position" links at the top of that allows a comparison of both stances on terrorism. Both are fairly nebulous and suitably "Dirty Harryish". For example on the topic of responses to a terrorist attack on the US we get from Al Gore - "America will hunt you down and stop you cold." Bush said "Our response will be devastating." Even the most partisan person would agree that for good or bad, he's followed through on that promise. :-)
The "annotated timeline" you reference is pretty funny. I won't go into the innane idiosyncracies of the Congressional budget reviews other to say that "budget goals" don't mean diddly. Unless legistlatively mandated and restricted, money obtained for one project will be spent elsewhere in about 90 seconds once Congress cuts the check.
There was one key phrase I would like to pull out of the DoJ Budget Goals Memo by Janet Reno. "Similarly, for CT (counterterrorism), I consider the 5-year CT plan to be a working document for this department and other agencies to build on. Both of these plans are a first step in acquiring adequate human and technical defenses against terrorism and cyber-crime." This memo is dated April 6, 2000. What was her clue something might need to be done? Was it Feb 1993 when the WTC was bombed the first time? How about the bombing of the National Guard barracks in Riyadh in Nov 1995? Surely the Khobar Towers bombing in Jun 1996 spaked a little interest. What about the twin bombings of our East African Embassies in August of 1998?
Gee Janet, where the f*&k have you been? Nice of you to step up with a 5-year plan in your 8th and final year as the AG. Thanks for finally taking a "first step", Ms. Reno.
Care to guess who was implicated in all of these attacks? I'll give you a hint. We tried to kill him with 75 cruise missiles aimed at his caves in Afghanistan. It was unsuccessful and we followed those cruise missiles up with bupkis. And he followed them up with 9/11.
So when you start looking at timelines, you can't arbitrarily start at 1998 with a freaking memo. You have to go back years before that.
Chuck, I realize you're being sensational with the claim that the Bush team discounted terrorism, but nothing in the piece you cited supports your claim.