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Liars, Morons, Or Both?

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LIARS, MORONS, OR BOTH?

Wed May 22, 9:02 PM ET

By Ted Rall

The Beginning of the End for George W. Bush

NEW YORK-It only lasted a few seconds, but on May 17 George W. Bush had a Bill Clinton moment, and it was magical. "Had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to kill on that fateful morning," George W. Bush reassured us, "I would have done everything in my power to protect the American people." Did he realize how much he sounded like his prevaricating predecessor? Were the subject something other than the murder of 3,000 innocent people, such desperate dissembling would be absolutely hilarious.

In the circus of insolent hypocrites which is the Bush Administration, the best lines are reserved for the ringmaster. On that same day the creepy Dick Cheney (news - web sites) warned Democrats not to "seek political advantage by making incendiary suggestions...that the White House had advance information that would have prevented the tragic attacks of 9-11. Such commentary," Cheney emphasized, "is thoroughly irresponsible and totally unworthy of national leaders in a time of war."

First: what war? And when it comes to "political advantage," it's the Bushies, not the Democrats, who have taken advantage of 9-11 to further a partisan political agenda. They used the dead of New York, Pennsylvania and Washington to push such Republican platform planks as "fast track" signing authority on free trade agreements, Internet censorship, tax cuts for the super rich and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. To be sure, there's a war going on: a PR war. And now that Democrats are finally scoring a few points of their own, the Bushies who have been slamdunking for months are screaming foul.

"Bush Knew," the New York Post screamed last week. Did he? Hell if I know. Here's a man who subverted constitutional law in order to seize the White House in a judicial coup d'état, who claimed while campaigning to be a "compassionate conservative" but turned into a Genghis Khan right-winger as soon as he took office, and who told us upfront after 9-11 that his administration would routinely lie for the sake of the "war on terror." No one can deny that the Bushies and their corporate sponsors benefited enormously from 9-11; the post-Taliban Afghan pipeline deal (closed March 7 in Islamabad) alone is worth billions of dollars. Under normal circumstances, even the suggestion that a president would deliberately stand idly by as his citizens were slaughtered en masse would be appalling. George W. Bush, however, tells Congress to go to hell whenever it requests documents or summons his staff to testify. Such a man is capable of anything.

There's no smoking gun-evidence that Bush was told about the exact specifics of 9-11-so far. But it's hard to escape an inevitable, disturbing conclusion that itself bears consideration: We are in the hands of liars, morons or both.

When Terrormemogate first hit the airwaves, the administration trotted out National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites), who serves as chief of Bush's Counterterrorism Security Group, to face the media. Rice repeatedly asserted that pre-9-11 threats of airplane hijackings had been so vague as to be useless. This is somewhat believable: any firefighter can tell you that false alarms outnumber real fires.

Given such a generalized threat, you'd order your Air Force to a state of high alert. "Traditional" hijackings, after all, tend to end badly. You'd keep planes in the air and many more on the ground, ready to scramble at a second's notice. Then, if and when the predicted hijackings materialized, you could track the planes and order them shot down if necessary. If months went by without any hijackings, you might decide to lower the nation's state of readiness.

On the morning of September 11th, though, just eight fighters were assigned to defend The United States of America's 3,618,770-square-mile air space. And they were piloted by weekend warriors, members of the Air National Guard. The jets weren't even in the air-they were sitting on the ground at the time of the attacks. Our state of readiness, despite the huge military defense budget that sucks millions away from starving children, compared unfavorably to Thailand's.

By Rice's own admission, the Bush Administration ignored the vague, imprecise threats of which Bush was informed during his month-long August vacation, simply because they didn't specify exact times and dates. To hear her tell it, our government-our safety-is in the hands of idiots.

"Administration officials insisted all last week that turning a plane into a suicide bomb was something that nobody had contemplated," Time magazine reports in its May 27th issue. "But that just isn't so. In 1995, authorities in the Philippines scuppered a plan-masterminded by Razmi Yousef, who had also plotted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing-for mass hijackings of American planes over the Pacific. Evidence developed during the investigation of Yousef and his partner, Abdul Hakim Murad, uncovered a plan to crash a plane into CIA (news - web sites) headquarters in Langley, Va. And as long ago as 1994, in an incident that is well known among terrorism experts, French authorities foiled a plot by the Algerian Armed Islamic Group to fly an airliner into the Eiffel Tower."

So Rice was either clueless or lying: everybody knew that Islamist jihadis had plotted suicide hijackings well before 9-11. Nevertheless, the Bushies did nothing to improve airline security. They did nothing to prepare for the possibility of hijackings, whether suicide or traditional. They didn't even tell the airlines what they knew. Then, after 9-11, they covered up the fact that they had received numerous warnings.

Moron Bush or Liar Bush-would one of you please resign?

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dont agree with this article at all. first off, the republicans did not use the 9/11 deaths to progress their agenda. there is a war going on, it is something that we all have to come in terms with. its not a conventional war, thats why its so easy to dismiss it. the democrats did overstep the line by suggesting that republicans know enough information to stop the attack, which is a ridicioulous and uninformed assumption. cheney was also right to remind the media not to inflame the situation, something that is so easily done now with sensational/action-packed cnn and fox news coverages. news has become entertainment of lately.

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there is a war going on, it is something that we all have to come in terms with. its not a conventional war, thats why its so easy to dismiss it.

have you really bought in THAT MUCH to be blind to the truth? There is no real war, sweetie ... just a tactical maneuver that had to be called a war in order to be justified. Just like Vietnam or the "war on drugs". We created the situation in the first place by nosing around in international politics that preceed our very existence as a nation and most certainly are only of interest to us for reasons of power, control and wealth.

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Originally posted by djjonmartin

have you really bought in THAT MUCH to be blind to the truth? There is no real war, sweetie ... just a tactical maneuver that had to be called a war in order to be justified. Just like Vietnam or the "war on drugs". We created the situation in the first place by nosing around in international politics that preceed our very existence as a nation and most certainly are only of interest to us for reasons of power, control and wealth.

I don't buy into that "Wag the Dog" theory to the extreme that our modern media has portrayed. I do agree w/ tribal that this is a war unlike any other, and we are learning how to deal with it day after day.

It's only natural that other nations will want to topple the US gov't. It's happened throughout history and may happen again very soon.

Politicans always tend to sway the truth to their advantage. But what remains is the devastation downtown, and how we're going to handle these terrorist attacks in the future. Put the accusations aside, let's get through this already.

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