Friday, July 23, 2004

Froomkin on the 9/11 report 

Froomkin is such a contrast to Howie the Whore. Here he is on the 9/11 report. Though Bush dodged a bullet, he may not dodge a fast-moving cancer on the Presidency:

Underneath its everyone's-to-blame veneer, the report includes some weighty assertions that are potentially very damaging to the White House.

The report, for instance, criticizes the concept of the "war on terror" that has been the signature issue of Bush's presidency. It concludes that what is required to defeat Islamist terrorism is something more nuanced [Heh.—Ed.] than that. And it does not support the argument that the war on Iraq was either related to or helpful in that quest.

And its activist list of proposals puts Bush in a reactive posture during a campaign season when he wants to convey a sense of steady and strong leadership.
(via WaPo)

The curious incident of the dog in the night.

"[Glenn Kessler] The report argues that the notion of fighting an enemy called 'terrorism' is too diffuse and vague to be effective. Strikingly, the report makes no reference to the invasion of Iraq as being part of the war on terrorism, a frequent assertion of President Bush and his top aides."

Then, of course, there's the biggest of the Bush Big Lies:

[R. Jeffrey Smith] "Although recent polls have shown that more than 40 percent of the American public is still convinced that Iraq collaborated with al Qaeda and had a role in the terrorist attacks, the commission reported finding no evidence of a 'collaborative operational relationship' between the two or an Iraqi role in attacking the United States. .

The shoot-down orders:

[Spencer Hsu and Bradley Graham]: "An order issued by Vice President Cheney to shoot down threatening aircraft over Washington was not passed on to the pilots of two jet fighters scrambled from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, because military commanders 'were unsure how the pilots would, or should, proceed with this guidance,' the report says.

They would have been unsure because Cheney is not in the chain of command and could not, legally, have given that order.

So, lots of material for a drip, drip, drip approach. And perhaps the real debate should focus on what has been done since 9/11 on things like port security.

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