The View

Today at lunch, I am sitting in my office having my salad, looking out the window and reading the newspaper.  It is September 11, 2012.  Eleven years after.

My office overlooks the Capitol, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.  The Washington Monument.  The Pentagon.

From here, I can just barely see the flag that was unfurled this morning on the side of the Pentagon that was struck that morning.  Another Tuesday.  Another beautiful, blue sky day.  Folks who still work in my office were here that day, I was not.  Of course they still remember.  (We all do.) They heard and felt the impact; nobody saw it hit, as everybody except me keeps their blinds down because the office gets the hot morning sun.

I have long felt that George W. Bush let us down.  That the attack shouldn’t have happened.  That it should have been foiled.

Remember this?:

On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.

Might they have prevented the attack?  We will never know.

Well, in today’s NY Times, there is more evidence that the Bush Administration had more than the one presidential daily brief.  There were numerous reports, meetings and presidential daily briefings:  ON May 1, on June 22, on June 29, on July 9, on July 24.  These are the ones the reporter, Kurt Eichenwald, saw excerpts from.

But, and there’s always a but, isn’t there.

But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat.  Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.  [Emphasis is mine.]

The link to the full article is here.

These neocons who got everything so disastrously wrong are the same folks that are working with Romney/Ryan on Foreign Policy.  This time they want us to go after Iran and Syria.

Elections matter.

39 Comments

Filed under Campaigning, Criminal Activity, Elections, History, Hypocrisy, Law, Politics, Stupidity, Voting

39 responses to “The View

  1. You’ve conflated the two Bushes here . The Japanese-American apology and restitution was the father (George H.W. Bush), in the late 1980s. The slavery apology was the son (W.), shortly after he left office.

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  2. Excellent reminder. I loved hearing Obama say of Romney, “He shoots first and aims later.” Sounds a lot like another President (and VP) we had…

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  3. No matter where we live, we can never forget what we saw on television that day. And things changed to a great extent after that attack. We can only pray and hope something like that would never happen again. I always wonder what else can we do to bring back peace to this planet! But I never reach to satisfying answer to my own question. Events like that, helps us realize that, it’s not only important how good we are but it’s also important to spread that goodness among others; so that they can realize they are hurting themselves by hurting others.

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  4. Ooh, this makes me so sick and angry. Your last line is perfect.

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  5. What bothers me is that Saddam Hussain was determined to be more dangerous than Osama bin Laden. But which one followed through on an attack on our soil?

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    • Hi Rumbley,
      I think history has/will judge Bin Laden as the evil man of the early 21st Century, and Hussein will be way less prominent.

      Saddam was a nasty man, and the world is probably better off without him. He was a danger regionally, though, to his own people and for the instability he created in the Middle East. He was never a threat to the U.S. (except perhaps to US soldiers in the first Gulf War). That’s because his WMD program was destroyed after the 1st Gulf War, and had Bush not been in such a hurry, the UN inspectors would have learned that and we could have avoided the Iraq War. But the Bush Administration’s lies, where they convinced folks that the weapons existed, that got us into the second war. And then George W Bush had the nerve, the gall, the total lack of humanity to joke about the fact that they hadn’t found anything:

      Thanks for your comment.

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  6. If the war mongers win this election ….. God help us all.

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  7. Yes, they matter indeed. And folks who don’t vote don’t matter.

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  8. A Republican friend and I discussed on more than one occasion that that the mere fact that 9-11 happened on GWB’s watch never got much traction. Meanwhile, “new” president’s commonly tap into former officials, so no surprise on the neocons are back in line.

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    • It’s nauseating. But I really think that people need to know this — that Romney would place foreign policy in the hands of the same people who screwed it up before.

      And his initial reaction — a purely political one — to the situation in Libya — does not give me any comfort that he would do the right thing if he were president. Not to mention the fact that he is inflaming a very tense situation.

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  9. This November election is going to determine too many aspects of….
    everything. Elections do matter. Preaching to the choir here: VOTE!!

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  10. Elections do indeed matter.

    George Bush took the longest vacation of any President, ever in the history of US presidents before the 9/11 attacks. He ended up in Florida where his brother was Governor. Someplace safe from attack, someplace where there was no mention of attacks in any of the briefings.

    The Air Force was doing training that day, training to stop just the type of attacks that happened. They were in the sky. The FAA called they asked if this was part of the training mission, they were to far away to help, to far away to stop the planes. This despite the briefings said the targets were D.C. and New York.

    Cheney was the head of the Anti Terrorist Group that was commissioned by the President, that group did not meet until September, one week before the attacks. Yet they all received the briefings.

    Personally? They just wanted an excuse for the wars that have now gone on for over a decade.

    You are so right, elections matter.

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    • I hadn’t heard some of the things you mentioned Val. The bottom line, though is that they blew it, big time, on 9/11. And then they doubled down and screwed the economy and the reputation of our country by lying us into a war with Iraq. And these same neocon jerks are unapologetic, unashamed and promoting new wars that will be equally disastrous.

      Oy.

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  11. i just shared your post on facebook. it’s so important for people to know about this, especially as romney continues to huff and puff about the iranian nuclear threat. just like w, he’d like to scare us into yet another war.

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    • Thanks, Nonnie. We really have to keep an eye on these damn neocons. They keep rearing their heads up and doing horrible things. And they started with Nixon!

      Can you imagine the cost of a war with Iran? The cost in human lives? The cost in $$$? The cost to our economy, to that of our allies. To that of everybody who gets caught in the way? Jeez.

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  12. GOF

    It’s a sad day of remembrance for us too on the other side of the world.

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    • Yes, GOF, it is a sad day for everybody when innocent people are murdered. It doesn’t matter where or when. There were hundreds of non-Americans killed that day, too.

      I was on the other side of the world 11 years ago. Although unlike you, I was right-side up in Europe.

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  13. I’m sitting in a office building that was covered in WTC dust 11 years ago.

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    • Oh Guap. It must be a sad day to be in NYC. I hope that you and your family and friends were not directly affected on that horrible day. I wish no one’s family and friends were.

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  14. I posted that same article to my facebook today… I really hope people are paying attention. Did you see the Upworthy clips of Jon Stewart tearing into the GOP for trying (and in many cases succeeding) to infringe on voting rights for democrats? That really has my hackles up – how are they getting away with this $6!+???? Shorter voting hours for democratic voting counties in PA???? How is that even remotely fair?

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    • I haven’t seen that Daily Show segment. I will look for it.

      Voter ID issues have bothered me for years. I work on campaigns here in Virginia, and have helped in the legal departments on election day when there are repression issues (even though I’m not a lawyer). Yes, those issues make me crazy too. Too many things do, alas.

      I am so hoping that this election IS about ideas because the GOP has none. That way we won’t have to argue the same things in 2016 when the GOP claims it was a weak candidate, not weak (no?) ideas lost to Obama in 2012!

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  15. Politicians see what they want to see. It’s always been that way. Pearl Harbor, the Tet Offensive, Gulf Wars 1 and 2, the politicians saw the threats they wanted to, and ignored the ones that would make them look bad. After all, how could those little, bespectacled, buck-toothed Japs actually manage to attack our ships? How could those pajama-wearing gooks beat the best Army in the world? How could a bunch of towelheads hurt the greatest country in the world?
    You need a certain amount of ego to want to run for office. Sadly, too many let their egos run wild.

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    • You’re right that it is hard to modify one’s biases, John. But al Qaeda had already attacked us, so this wasn’t new. And while even they didn’t know what the full scope of this attack would be, well, ignoring warnings — not going on some sort of alert — that is just unconscionable.

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  16. There has already been too much war & too many good people lost, please don’t let this go on.

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