Sunday, July 25, 2004

Mo Dowd on 9/11 and our safety

Maureen Dowd:

[. . .]

Maybe it's because the F.B.I. is still learning how to Google and the C.I.A. has an acting head who spends most of his time acting defensive over his agency's failure to get anything right. Maybe it's because so many of those federal twits who missed the 10 chances to stop the 9/11 hijackers, who blew off our Paul Reveres - Richard Clarke, Coleen Rowley and the Phoenix memo author - still run things. Call me crazy, Mr. President, but I don't feel any safer.

The nation's mesmerizing new best seller, the 9/11 commission report, lays bare how naked we still are against an attack, and how vulnerable we are because of the time and money the fuzzy-headed Bush belligerents wasted going after the wrong target.

[. . .]

The report offers vivid details on our worst fears. Instead of focusing on immediately hitting back at Osama, Bush officials indulged their idiotic idée fixe on Saddam and ignored the memo from their counter-terrorism experts dismissing any connection between the religious fanatic bin Laden and the secular Hussein.

"On the afternoon of 9/11, according to contemporaneous notes, Secretary Rumsfeld instructed General Myers to obtain quickly as much information as possible," the report says. " The notes indicate that he also told Myers that he was not simply interested in striking empty training sites. The secretary said his instinct was to hit Saddam Hussein at the same time - not only bin Laden."

[. . .]

The commissioners warn that the price for the Bush bullies' attention deficit disorder could be high: "If, for example, Iraq becomes a failed state, it will go to the top of the list of places that are breeding grounds for attacks against Americans at home. Similarly, if we are paying insufficient attention to Afghanistan, the rule of the Taliban or warlords and narcotraffickers may re-emerge and its countryside could once again offer refuge to Al Qaeda, or its successor."

[. . .]

If the Bush crowd hadn't been besotted with the idea of smoking Saddam, they could have stomped Osama in Tora Bora. Now it's too late. Al Qaeda has become a state of mind.

Go read the whole thing.

So, here we are. Osama's been forgotten, and Iraq is a mess. The 9/11 Commission is calling for changes now, and President War on Terror is "considering" their recommendations. Never mind Fat Denny Hastert and Bill 'Trust Me, I'm a Doctor' Frist, hemming and hawing until they get talking points from 1600. And speaking of talking points, they're already warming us up for another terror attack between now and election time. And if Wolf Shitzer can be believed, it'll be worse than the last one. Isn't Bush saying he's made us safer?


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