President Bush’s top counterterrorism advisers acknowledged today that the strategy for fighting Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan had failed…
This isn’t an editorial or a tirade from a Democratic Congressman, its Bush’s very own National Intelligence Estimate. Bush sucks at fighting terrorism and has been since he became president, Bush Administration’s First Memo on al-Qaeda Declassified
Washington, D.C., February 10, 2005 – The National Security Archive today posted the widely-debated, but previously unavailable, January 25, 2001, memo from counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke to national security advisor Condoleezza Rice – the first terrorism strategy paper of the Bush administration. The document was central to debates in the 9/11 hearings over the Bush administration’s policies and actions on terrorism before September 11, 2001. Clarke’s memo requests an immediate meeting of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee to discuss broad strategies for combating al-Qaeda by giving counterterrorism aid to the Northern Alliance and Uzbekistan, expanding the counterterrorism budget and responding to the U.S.S. Cole attack. Despite Clarke’s request, there was no Principals Committee meeting on al-Qaeda until September 4, 2001.
Many times when we see Rice’s name we see the injection of something like the phrase – a moderate in the administration or a lone voice fighting against the Cheney camp. Rice has as large a propensity for lying as any Bush loyalist. Rice said about that memo and the warning left by the Clinton administration, “Nobody organized this country or the international community to fight the terrorist threat that was upon us until 9/11.” Rice used an early version of the Alberto Gonzales defense and denied that Clarke’s memo ever reached her and then denied that the Delenda Plan for fighting al-Qaeda. The rabid right Bush defenders tried to lay blame for 9-11 on Bill Clinton for the next four years and many still do,
CLINTON: And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neo-cons thought I was too obsessed with bin Laden. They had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after I left office. All the right-wingers who now say I didn’t do enough said I did too much — same people.
In a round about way this is still true. Bush is obsessed with Iraq. Cheney is obsessed with Iran. Democrats are still obsessed with getting those responsible for 9-11. While Bush, Cheney and Rice are still hailed as the paragons of national security by the Right. Just speculation, but it seems they issue very strong power of denial pills at the RNC initiation ceremonies, reality like facts are forbodden for loyal members. The problem is that al-Qaeda isn’t especially receptive to right-wing spin,
At the White House, Ms. Townsend found herself in the uncomfortable position of explaining why American military action is focused in Iraq when the report concluded that main threat of terror attacks that could be carried out in the United States emanates from the tribal areas of Pakistan.
She argued that it is Mr. bin Laden, as well as the White House, who regards “Iraq as the central front in the war on terror.”
Going on five years and the Whitehouse keeps saying Iraq is the front in the war on terror and Bin Laden doesn’t seem to be acting as though it was. No doubt the Bushies are giving Bin Laden reason to be happy since Bush has bogged down so much military power in Iraq while Binny gets to continue to hang out with his home boys in the hills of Pakistan. M’s Townsend puts on a poor juggling act. Good enough to placate the war blogging Bush guard, but the rest of us would prefer some actual achievements and less “resolute” BS. Bush is resolute that he is going to have one strategy, his strategy and fight one way even though he is losing because eventually Bin laden will cooperate and fight the terror war Bush’s way. Since the Right likes to throw around some of the most bizarre war analogies that one ever likely to hear isn’t only fitting we compare Bush’s attitude to that of the British during the Revolutionary War. The British insisted on fighting the war their way, the ages old traditional way. Largely because of their head in the sand attitude about a new kind of war the British lost. Bush and his supporters will continue to keep their resolute heads in the sand, make Bin Laden an even larger then life action hero to the worse of the Islamic extremists, let Afghanistan continue to slide back into control of the Taliban and make Pakistan even more unstable. As bleak as that might sound to people who are more concerned about terrorism then defending The Decider Guy and the increasingly irrelevant Republican party things might actually be worse then the new NIE suggests, Unclassified Report ‘Pure Pablum,’ Hides Truth
The 2006 version of the National Intelligence Estimate claimed U.S. efforts had “seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations.””That’s no longer the case in 2007, and you have to read between the lines to understand how we have lost ground,” Clarke says.
The current White House counterterrorism official, Fran Townsend, the assistant to the president for homeland security, told reporters today, “Al Qaeda is weaker today than if we had not taken strong action against them.”
What does that mean, weaker then and not having taken action. I don’t speak corkscrew. Is that another way of saying that al-Qaeda might be stronger, but we’re winning anyway. Its like a lame after the game speech from the coach – sure they scored fourteen points and we scored twelve, but we still won. Whatever.
Today’s report also concludes that “al-Qa’ida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI).”
“Given that there was no al Qaeda in Iraq until we invaded there,” says Clarke, “it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that going to Iraq has created a further threat to the United States.”
More here, The NIE and Iraq: What’s Missing from this Picture? and here, Gettin’ High On That “Homeland” Thing
And just keep repeating we do not have a mental case as president, ‘Mildly profane’ Bush ‘crashes’ Republican meeting on Iraq
His message: the policy on Iraq isn’t changing. He is not backing down and no one on Capitol Hill should be confused into thinking he is letting up.”
After which he stumped his feet and threw pieces of banana at bystanders. OK I just made that last part up, but isn’t that what comes to mind when watching the video.