WASHINGTON – There’s a reason Barack Obama bests Mitt Romney on foreign policy by double digits, and it begins with the presidency of George W. Bush. The evidence is easy to tick off, which Mitt Romney added to this summer in a foreign policy trip that allowed him to become John Kerry’s punchline at the Democratic National Convention.
The video above is old, condensed, too, with the pictures, tale and music I wove together now burned into our history and our memories, so the quick flip from scene to quote and back again seen in a rush simply reminds us of how quickly we lost what we once cherished, when fear replaced all sense.
It brings back the memory of traveling the moment flights continued, no hassles, 5 people in a huge jetliner, everyone still in shock as we puddle jumped cities in a weird route to my destination from Los Angeles. After that it was lines and nonsensical airport “security” that likely makes Israelis laugh.
I had no intention of uploading the video, or going back to the interview I did with Kristen Breitweiser or her writings here, until I read the op-ed today by Kurt Eichenwald in the New York Times titled “The Deafness Before the Storm.”
Echenwald brings back the PDB titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” and why Condoleezza Rice can never run for national political office and she knows it.
That PDB was written on Aug. 6, 2001, but as Eichenwald recounts in his op-ed, other documents just prior to this date that have not been made public, but which he has seen and read excerpts, reveal the leadership malpractice at the very heart of the Bush administration: “the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed.”
In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.
“The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name. Going on for more than a page, the document recited much of the evidence, including an interview that month with a Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack, as well as competitive pressures that the terrorist leader was feeling, given the number of Islamists being recruited for the separatist Russian region of Chechnya.
And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.
It’s a reminder of what we learned this past June, when newly released declassified NSA docs on 9/11 attesting to what Eichenwald is writing about today surfaced.
“I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released, because they paint a picture of the CIA knowing something would happen before 9/11, but they didn’t get the institutional support they needed,” says Barbara Elias-Sanborn, the NSA fellow who edited the materials. [Salon]
A lot of things are said around 9/11, no matter the year.
One of the most offensive came from infotainment yakker Joe Scaroborough on Monday, who actually suggested that Republicans should have invited George W. Bush to Tampa to honor him, citing him for his particular leadership after 9/11.
Through a cloud of amnesia, rewriting of the historic events of what happened on the eleventh of September in 2001, but especially in the aftermath, is how our country lost its soul after we were hit.
We’ve yet to recover it.
When more PDBs surrounding 9/11 are made public and declassified, what we’re likely to learn will finally put the Bush presidency where it belongs and it will never amount to honoring the man and his vice president for much of anything.
Anyone can stand on rubble and use a bullhorn, but it takes spectacular hubris to take a country to war using the emotions of the citizenry to give lies flight.
Taylor Marsh, a veteran political analyst and former Huffington Post contributor, is the author of The Hillary Effect, available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. Her new-media blog www.taylormarsh.com covers national politics, women and power.