It’s Never Time For The Blame Game

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?

Eichenwald writes:

[…] 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:

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14 thoughts on “It’s Never Time For The Blame Game

  1. Jay in Oregon says:

    I don’t consider myself a “truther”, but I would accept theory that showed Bush, Cheney and the neocon warmongers wanting to let some kind of attack happen as a pretext to invade Iraq, but not expecting the level of destruction that hijackers were able to cause.

  2. Dee Loralei says:

    What Jay said. That’s as close to trutherism as I get. And honestly, after reading about how many more earlier warnings were ignored by the neocons than the PDB of Aug 6, I believe it even more strongly.

  3. darrelplant says:

    “Saddam’s failure to have WMD”? Hey, Saddam was guilty of a lot of things, but I don’t blame him for not having WMD by 2003. 🙂
    And don’t worry about Star Wars, the US MIssile Defense Agency (http://www.mda.mil) expects to spend about $40 billion on ways to shoot down missiles with lasers over the next five years.

  4. “Saddam’s failure to have WMD”?
    Well the Bushies & neocons never took responsibility for that, either. Surely it wasn’t their faulty intel, nooo… there are people who to this day believe that Saddam’s WMDs will show up any day now. It’s probably with Michelle Obama’s “whitey tape”…

  5. BlackSheep0ne says:

    well, not a CT person myself but I am reminded of the proverb:
    “Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by stupidity.”
    The lingering result of the Bush-league-nation-level stupidity that bred shattering incompetence — the absolute, utter, complete failure to behave even as if competence mattered — the Bush administration foisted upon us, whether or not they had truly evil intentions or were merely the banal little short-sighted laser-focused one-trick-pony they looked like (moneygrubbing mothereffers one and all that they were, are, and will be until the heat death of the universe) — remains the distraction from what might actually WORK in favor of what SCARES PEOPLE.
    I want us to grow out of the stupid.

  6. MichaelF says:

    I also don’t think trutherism carries any weight — more negligence, ego, stupid preening, and a degree of shamelessness epitomized by particularly Dick Cheney, who seems to think we should all be grateful there was “only” one horrible attack on their watch (and let’s all conviently forget the anthrax attacks).
    Also, IMHO, Condoleezza Rice probably revealed as much as anyone about the Bush administration mindset. In 9/11 committee testimony, she said something about how they knew an attack was coming, but didn’t know where, when and how. Of course, the obvious followup question was not asked, i.e., what did Rice or anyone else do to try to find out?
    Also liked Gore Vidal’s take on any administration complicity — they were too incompetent.
    That said, I’d bet the Mossad knew something, and I hope that doesn’t open me up to any accusations of anti-Semitism, because that’s not my intent. I just believe they don’t have the luxury of not being on top of things when it comes to international terrorist conspiracies.

  7. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Hey, you’re forgetting some of Bush/Cheney’s great successes!
    Like the Anthrax attack, for example. That worked like a charm! Minimal casualties, maximum panic, got them just what they wanted.
    And both 9/11 and the anthrax sure as hell distracted us from Bush having to give the Chinese premier a sloppy blow job to get that downed recon plane back. Way to go, tough guy.

  8. Diana says:

    nice to see that others, like myself, cannot separate 9/11 from the jingoism and idiocy that invoked it to such great harm afterward.
    I always feel as if those of us who actually mourn are like the relatives of poor Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination triggered the Great War. He must have left behind real people who were sorry to see him die, but whatever they experienced was so engulfed by what followed that it must have been always hard for anyone else to muster much sympathy.
    Even at the time, however, people noted that the attack did the least harm to a place like New York. This city had just come through the 70’s, the 80’s, the crack wars of the 90’s.
    People were upset, but they were also speculating that it might the be first of a lot of terrorist attacks.
    Which, for a true New Yorker, might mean that real estate might come down and we were all vowing that we certainly would not not miss a chance to pick up a downtown loft for peanuts *this* time you risked your life by walking in the street…

  9. MapleStreet says:

    I don’t have words to describe my mind’s bogglement.
    Bush I ex-President and ex-director of the CIA.
    Bush II son of Bush I and president of the time. Close advisers included a long list of War Hawks (or should I say chicken hawks as few had any significant military experience and fewer with war-time experience))
    Carlysle Group – significant source of Bush Family Fortunes, represents the Bin Laden family in the USA, not to mention firm friendship of the Bushes and Bin Laden. Hard to present that the Bin Laden’s didn’t know of Osama’s extra-curricular activities.
    Cheney/Halliburton which has long wanted and been upset over not being able to get all the oil in Iraq and Pakistan/Afghanistan into their own pipeline.
    Pakistan which had long been frustrating to the USA and in a nuclear escalation with India.
    The Talliban with good evidence that the CIA, including Bush I, had selectively supported growing Opiates by selected favored Taliban leaders. This is also rumored to be the source of a bank account for the CIA which is totally burried within dark ops.
    Saddam Hussein who took the fall including the Bush II admin presenting clear and incontrovertible evidence… Funny how they forget that the USA was instrumental in putting him in power. Also forgetting that Bush I stopped Dessert Storm at the borders of Iraq, as going further would mire the USA in…
    So the War Hawks in Bush II pushed through that the CIA had bad info (when that info was so clear and incontrovertible a few months later). As Bush II said he invaded Iraq as they tried to kill his daddy, I need to believe that Bush still accepted that the CIA exagerrated the danger of OBL. The War Hawks did a 180 degree turn and argued against war.
    And finally, if I were to assume that despite the above, the Bush II administration did minimize reports of OBL as CIA exaggerations, wouldn’t that mean they were criminally incompetent?

  10. MichaelF says:

    Yes, MapleStreet, criminal incompetence is spot on. My guess is that Dick.Cheney didn’t give a shit (busy screwing California during the 2001 manufactured utility crisis), Shrub was busy preening in the mirror (“I’m THE decider”) or clearing brush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et al, were trying to figure out how to go to war with Iraq…when 9/11 fell in their lap like a gift from Satan himself…

  11. Henry Holland says:

    Great post, MapleStreet, great summary. One thing that you didn’t mention was that both the CIA and the FBI had warnings out there about possible attacks and the FBI were highly suspicious of the (soon-to-be) hijackers who had been taking flying lessons etc. but the CIA and FBI are horribly turf-conscious and they didn’t communicate with each other.
    The thing that struck me a few days after 9/11 and all the Iraq! Iraq did it! stuff started was I was aware of a report that the PNAC (Project For A New American Century aka the neocon elite) had written in the 90’s which outlined how they wanted to have “regime” change in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, done on the cheap with as few soldiers as possible, with American puppets installed in all of those places. Woops, didn’t quite work out in their test subject, Iraq, did it?

  12. outrage broken says:

    Ooh, don’t forget the New American Century gang. Synonymous with Neo-Con, really, but Jeb was on that panel as well..

  13. MapleStreet says:

    @MichaelF,
    You’re being too kind to Bush II. Of course, we know, love, and laugh at all the Bushisms including “decider-er”

  14. pansypoo says:

    when do we get to call them idiots?

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