My Twitter feed is all over this New York Times op-ed, in which journalist Kurt Eichenwald reveals the numerous warnings of an Al Qaeda attack in the months leading up to 9/11. Not just the infamous Aug. 6 PDB, “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.,” but CIA reports from May 1, June 22, June 29, July 9, and July 24. And then there were the FBI reports of Al Qaeda-connected terrorists training to fly (but not land) airplanes at U.S. flight schools. And on, and on. All ignored. Why?
[…] An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat.Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.
Oh, right. Saddam Hussein. The guy the Neocons had been gunning for since forever. Wow, what a spectacular fail that was, right? But no, we never got to play the “blame game,” not really. We never really learned any lessons about the many ways our politics and our corporate interests meddle in our national security. We’re still taking our shoes off at the airport and dumping our water bottles at the TSA check point, though: a clear sign that this is a country completely out of ideas.
Do you remember Sept. 10, 2001? I do. I remember all the talk on the news was about Bush’s hard-on for “Star Wars,” and all of us were laughing because, wasn’t that a Reagan thing? Some missile defense shield thingie to protect us from Soviet nukes? Bush’s constant harping on the need for this bazillion dollar program just made me wonder what fucking decade he was living in, like we were back in the ’80s but without the shoulder pads and bad hair. And then some dudes armed with box cutters attacked the country and killed nearly 3,000 people. Oh, woopsies. Don’t hear much about “Star Wars” anymore, do you?
And so it goes. Ari Fleischer has taken to twitter to denounce Eichenwald as a “truther” — this word is viewed among conservatives as their version of “birther,” though these folks never really distance themselves from the birthers, do they? I mean, I’m trying to remember how many “truthers” ran for the Democratic nomination in 2004 and 2008. Oh, right. Zero.
But yes, that’s a neat trick: paint someone revealing the Bush Administration’s dangerous incompetence as a “truther.” Nice try. They really don’t want us looking under that rock, do they?
I’m no “truther.” I don’t believe the Twin Towers fell due to a planned demolition, that the Jews who worked there were told to stay home that day, and all of the other conspiracy BS coming from that crowd of wackjobs. But the Bush Administration being dangerously incomepetent? Hell, yeah. We saw that incompetence carried out over and over and over again throught the horrible Oughts: Saddam’s failure to have WMD, the failure to properly plan and carry out the Iraq War, the failed Hurricane Katrina response and a thousand smaller failures, too. The Bush Administration was nothing if not the most incompetent collection of idiots and nincompoops handed the reins of power in this country’s history.
Here’s a scary thought: a big majority of these flaming idiots are advising Mitt Romney. God help us if he wins in November because we’ll see the same Neocons in charge of our security and foreign policy who failed us 11 years ago. Romney has called Russia this country’s biggest threat, which gave President Obama his “Cold War mind warp” zinger in his convention speech. But it’s true. Repubicans seem stuck in 1952, in more ways than one. It’s like they need that Commie threat, they don’t know how to survive without it. It’s their version of heroin.
This kind of thinking is dangerous. This is where it leads: