“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy….I was able to get a sense of his soul.” —George W. Bush, after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, June 16, 2001
Russian journalists have suffered crippling attacks in recent years, as Vladimir Putin pursues his policy of strengthening the “vertical” dimension of his administration’s “power pyramid.” The Kremlin’s geometrical terminology means enforcing, from the top down, an ideology intended to align all sectors of Russia’s “managed democracy” (another key phrase of the Putin era) into tidy, clearly demarcated, easily controlled zones of activity and influence. No strong minority views, no awkward revelations in the press are to mar the sleek façades of the state. The messy disarray normally associated with functioning democracy—the irritating criticism, noisy opposition, and inconvenient news uncovered by investigative reporters(what Russians proudly called glasnost a mere seventeen years ago)—has been summarily and sometimes harshly dealt with.
The techniques range from mild bureaucratic harassment of news organizations to physical attacks on individual journalists. The body count among Russian reporters is now thirteen murders in the line of duty since Putin has been in power. In each case the reporter was investigating or had published stories critical of government or business officials.
When Bush looked into Putin’s eyes what he most likely saw was a reflection of himself. White House To Block Testimony Of Former Rove Aide
A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.
I would hesitate to use this as a gotcha. It does add a little more to the general evidence that the Bushies despite all their chest thumping have been in over their heads from day one. What does the Right do with this story. Captain Ed uses it as a chance to bring up that old urban myth that President Clinton had Bin Laden in his sights and blew it. Actually a variation on the Clinton did it too defense. Sure Bush and Rummy may have gotten it wrong, but so did Bill in this mythical episode that never happened, July 7, 2007- We Did What? – Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 7, 2007 5:25 PM
Republicans have long criticized the Clinton administration for its refusal to pull the trigger on a mission to kill Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. The Times reports that the reasons this time were more complicated than just concern over collateral damage.
That stellar reporting by Cap has no basis in fact, Conservative Author Richard Miniter: ‘There’s Zero Factual Basis’ For Key Scene In Path To 9/11
BLITZER: You’ve heard other 9/11 commission members saying it wasn’t Sandy Berger who pulled the trigger, it was George Tenet the CIA director. Based on what you know, is that accurate?
MINITER: Even that’s not accurate. We just never had eyes on bin Laden in the pre-9/11 situation. The 9/11 commission investigated this. The House and Senate joint committee investigated this and published a 1,000-page report. I looked into it extensively. Most of the sources for my book are Clinton administration officials. There’s just no basis for this at all, none.
Miniter is a full throttle rightie so for him to admit the truth about The Big Dog blowing a chance to take down Osama is astounding. The score, Captain – 0. The Truth – 1. Sadly No! takes down Confederate Yankee – CY is a true cultist, he is not the least bothered by eyewitness accounts or official records he can see all the way to Iraq from mom’s basement and he only he has had the real truth revealed to him through the special antenna on his tin foil hat. The AP probably thinks he’s an obsessive stalker at this point. If it quacks like a duck. Bomb Levels Section of Iraqi Village, Killing 105
A suicide truck bomber killed at least 105 people in a single blast north of Baghdad on Saturday, police officials said, leading to further fears that insurgents who fled intense military operations in Baghdad and Diyala are turning to targets away from the American troop buildup.
In a few days the Right will explain this away as part of a worldwide conspiracy to make their Connecticut frat boy look bad.
“But I also made it clear to (Vladimir Putin) that it’s important to think beyond the old days of when we had the concept that if we blew each other up, the world would be safe.” -George W. Bush, May 1, 2001