The audacity of the current Republican leadership for blatant lying on a SERIOUS issue, not just philandering, never ceases to amaze me. ANY reasonable person should be disgusted with this kind of political bullshit.
Slate, on Richard Clarke’s book: On Page 127, Clarke notes that it’s possible that al-Qaida operatives in the Philippines “taught Terry Nichols how to blow up the Oklahoma Federal Building.” Intelligence places Nichols there on the same days as Ramzi Yousef, and “we do know that Nichols’s bombs did not work before his Philippines stay and were deadly when he returned.”
So, there may have been no Iraq-al Qaeda connection, but there is potential for an al Qaeda-Terry Nichols (of Oklahoma City bombing fame) connection. Whoops!
The Richard Clarke revelations have reached a fevered pitch, with the fault lines drawn between those looking to use him to damage the White House’s credibility on terrorism versus those looking to use him to damage the nay-sayers.
The general complaints being held up behind a Times maganize commentary essentially miss the point. While the question of whether he embellished his quotes does matter, the true argument revolves around decision-making and the creation of policy.
As William Saletan notes in Slate, the Bushies world-think-view on Iraq, terrorism, and their clearly demonstrated disdain for any idea that may have come from the Clinton administration slowed the process of identifying potential terrorists and properly raising awareness of real-time occurrences (such as the so-called 20th hijacker) in the weeks and months prior to September 11th.
The other point these types of commentaries avoid is the question of whether Iraq was connected to al Qaeda and global terrorism in any meaningful way (generally accepted as no by intelligence analysts now), and whether the invasion of Iraq is a diversion from the more important war on terror and the general fundamentalist ideology. Given the current state of events in Afghanistan, where limited progress has been made but much remains, particularly in areas outside the capital where lawlessness still abounds and the political process is in danger.
This CBS interview with Richard Clarke strikes me as the most realistic account of what really took place behind the scenes around September 11th. George Bush, ignoring terrorism until it’s too late. There’s a campaign slogan he should run on. At least it’d be honest, unlike most everything else.
Duke meets Seton Hall in a few hours in the second round of the NCAA tournament, and I’m still on the fence over who to support. While Duke is inherently evil, it’s a requirement that Seton Hall go down as soon as possible. I’m inclined to go for a deal with the devil on this one…
“We think the Spanish government will not stand more than two blows, or three at the most, before it will be forced to withdraw because of the public pressure on it,” the al Qaeda document says.
The great site redesign is finally in progress, albeit six months or so after I inteded to start. Looking at that side menu, I’d better hurry because who knows what will happen on April 1st.
Looking at the old code for this site, it is amazing to me how much technology and technical skills evolve over the space of twelve months. There are parts of the design that I did then that I would never do now. And we’ll see if that turns out to be better or worse in a few weeks.