You've probably heard a lot of this stupid statement lately, usually in regard to the 'Scooter' Libby (who in their right mind keeps their childhood nickname well into middle age?) and the commutation of his prison sentence by Dear Leader.
Well, I'm not here to talk about that.
Late last year, as I recall, ABC broadcast a "docudrama" (an awkward word for a documentary that contains dramatized elements) called The Path to 9/11
or some such. One of the scenes that caused so much wailing and gnashing of teeth was one dramatized scene in which members of the Clinton Administration call off a CIA operation that could have killed Osama bin Laden.
You remember Osama, of course.
Well, the venerable Gray Lady, the New York Times
, trotted out this story
from 2005 that will no doubt cause Bush apologists to shriek "Clinton did it too!" all the louder.
You see, the Bush Administration put the kibosh on a secret military operation that could have netted some of the biggest wheels in al Qaeda, including (possibly) Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the
Why was the kibosh put on it? Well, Donny the Jowl Rusmfeld told DCI Porter Goss to call off the mission, saying that it had become too "cumbersome" and would jeopardize our relations with Pakistan. Pakistan, as you know, harbors the leadership of al Qaeda in the tribal areas in the northwest of the country, where the Islamabad regime's writ doesn't run.
So, in order to avoid pissing off Gen. Musharraf, we waved off a chance to apprehend or kill some of the top leadership of those sheep-squeezing troublemakers.
The former head of the CIA, George "Slam Dunk" Tenet, wrote a line in his memoir (which should have been titled How I Didn't Do It and Kept My Mouth Shut
) that seems rather odd:“As much as we all wanted Bin Laden dead, the use of force by a superpower requires information, discipline, and time."
The USA has hardly been a superpower in that regard, Georgie.
Information? We started an aggressive war based on lies, targeted marketing and doctored intelligence.
Discipline? One estimate has Iraqi casualties at about 300,ooo. That's three hundred thousand, by a conservative estimate.
Time? We had Saddam in a box, and poked him with a sharp stick from time to make sure he knew he was in a box. We had plenty of time for Bush to shake Osama bin Missin from his tree, and still be able to settle accounts with Hussein.
What happened to the USA in the aftermath of 9/11 was that we acted out of anger and hatred (part of which, by the way, derives from old prejudices). We're still a bit into PTSD, folks, and our leadership's more traumatized than the rest of us. So they lash out, Godzilla-like, destroying everything in their path.