[ "Unfortunately my opponent tonight continued to say things he knows are not true, accusing our military of passing up a chance to get Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora," an Afghan stronghold, in 2001, Bush told cheering supporters here. ]
Let's have the last 3 days over whether or not we let Osama go.
Allow me to quote the article directly, in case some of you may have forgotten:
April 17, 2002
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..
The Kerry Campaign said tonight, in response to Bush's shameful speech in Ohio:
"America deserves a national security debate on the merits rather, than a president who desperately resorts to distortions, falsehoods and untruths on a regular basis. John Kerry was very clear tonight that we will stop at nothing to hunt down and kill the terrorists and that all Americans - Republicans and Democrats - are united in the war on terror. George Bush wasted no time in dividing us again."
Luftullah Mashal, a senior official in Afghanistan's Interior Ministry, told me that based on conversations he had with a Saudi al Qaeda financier and bin Laden's chef, both of whom were at the battle, bin Laden was at Tora Bora. In June, 2003 I met with several US counterterrorism officials who told me, "We are confident that he [bin Laden] was at Tora Bora and disappeared with a small group." And Palestinian journalist, Abdel Bari Atwan, a consistently accurate source of information about al Qaeda, has reported that bin Laden was wounded in the shoulder at Tora Bora. Indeed, in an audiotape released on al Jazeera television last year bin Laden himself recounted his own memories of the battle. "We were about three hundred holy warriors. We dug one hundred trenches over an area of one square mile, so as to avoid the huge human losses from the bombardment." In short, there is plenty of evidence that bin Laden was at Tora Bora, and no evidence indicating that he was anywhere else at the time.
That being the case: Did the U.S. military throw away a golden opportunity to capture or kill bin Laden, during the one moment in the past three years that his location was known?
When we think about the ways the Bush administration furiously flipped and flopped while trying to avoid the formation of an independent 9/11 Commission, this newest flyer should make us particularly sick to our stomachs.
Some are saying there were close to 100,000 people at the Kerry rally yesterday in Madison, Wisconsin. Look at the photo below and imagine those 100,000 people suddenly gone, the street silent and empty. John Kerry and Bruce Springsteen standing on a stage speaking to no one on an October afternoon.
Now, imagine that 100,000 civilians were killed by coalition force bombings since the beginning of the Iraq war. Can you? Actually, no need to imagine. It happened.
Warning: Hateful little crusader
under the JesusHat
"Blow 'em all away IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!"
-Jerry Foolwell Falwell on CNN today
Perhaps that wasn't the exact quote, but it was awfully close. Today in a debate with Rev. Jesse Jackson on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, Falwell said something which paradoxically proved him devoid of Christian sensibility: "Let's go over there to the Middle East, even if it takes over 10 years, and blow up those barbarians in the name of the Lord."
Crusades will not bring America to the doorstep of successful globalization.
Falwell melted down today in a Fundie fit. It isn't the first time that's happened. I'm sure it won't be the last. He's positively drowning in religion; it's blinding him to all common sense; and I just thought I'd bring that to your attention.
See: New ad with the names of 200 Christian leaders condemning Falwell's theology of war.
"After three years of nonstop thrills, Americans will just have to decide on Nov. 2 whether there could be fates even worse than spending the next four years being bored."
Frank Rich - Decision 2004: Fear Fatigue vs. Sheer Fatigue
Frank Rich hits the nail on the head with this one. It's all about America's short attention span.
I also think we should ask ourselves: Do we want to have terror as a nuisance or terror as the cause of Armegeddon? We really do have control over the issue, even though Cheney (Dr. Doom) and Bush would like to frighten us into submission in order to gain endless and futile warfare.
"..The triumphalist cinema that had led up to it, culminating in the toppling of the Saddam statue, was, like "Mission Accomplished" itself, too slick. It whetted our appetite for sequels. But what came instead were pictures by upstart independent filmmakers hawking an alternative scenario to "Shock and Awe": the charred corpses of civilian contractors strung up in Fallujah, the beheading of Nick Berg, the tableaux vivants of Abu Ghraib, the neat rows of 49 slaughtered Iraqi recruits decomposing in the sun. The scenes the administration created to counter them all backfired."
"..There isn't a person in the world, including our enemies, who doesn't know that we have fewer troops than we need, now or in perpetuity, and that we're too broke to spring for more. As Mr. Bush said of the war to Matt Lauer in a rare moment of candor, quickly rescinded, "I don't think you can win it." Especially if you've so bought into the myth of your own invulnerable star power that you failed to secure nearly 380 tons of explosives destined to blow up American troops. So Karl Rove does what any director does to bolster a weak script - pump up the ominous chords on the soundtrack. He sends out Dick Cheney to keep telling us that it's only a matter of when, not if, a nuke will go off in the middle of one of our cities.."
....all the excuses
from all Dubya's men
couldn't get Dubya selected again.
Regarding the al Qaqaa missing explosives:
It's the Iraqis' problem; We didn't know about it; They were gone when we got there; NBC News reported they were gone when we got there; The explosives were hidden, not looted; Explosives were not a priority; We've secured 400,000 tons of munitions..
...and there's reason and reality, which the Bush administration clearly disdains because it bursts their political fantasy bubble.
See a compilation of both fact and fiction-for-excuse at the Center for American Progress.
Paul Krugman discusses the Bush administration's Al Qaqaa excuse-wheel. He'd also like to remind us that Al Qaqaa is "hardly the only tale of incompetence and mendacity to break to the surface in the last few days." Mr. Krugman also points out that "the news media have spent the last few days discussing substance. And that's very bad news for Mr. Bush."
In the LA Times, Jonathan Chait says that, for Bush, it is far too late in the election campaign season to expect any honesty from him on the Al Qaqaa issue. ( What would possess him to start being honest now, anyhow? )
The Humpty Dubya presidency is nearing its much-anticipated end.
I can't wait until the bloviating liar and his pack of inept war-wolves, with the meat of 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians and 1109 trusting US troops in their fangs, go back to the ranch to clear brush and ignore more terror warnings while John Kerry sends the best and most appropriate of our defenses ( along with genuinely solid multilateral international participants ) to go after the real terrorists (like that scummy little turd who threatened us on the most recent video, providing he isn't actually a Bush crony faking us out under that kaffiyeh ).