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September 11, 2007

Comments

I didn't realize that Gen Patraeus is on trial. Wow.
Priorities.

The real enemies are Crocker and Patraeus. On September 11, no less. Hmph.

DaveC: Yes, it would be far better to let Crocker and Petraeus blow sunshine up the senators collective asses with their bullsh1t cause it's so obviously the unvarnished truth.

And you do know the difference between a witness and the defendant, no?

First, he isn't on trial; he's giving testimony in front of Congress, on the committees deemed to have oversight duties of the activities in Iraq.

If his testimony leaves some ... shall we be generous and use the term "gaps" then those gaps should be investigated; not glossed over by the oversight body in the hopes of getting some speechifying on the evening news.

And secondly, Dave, come on, the cheap 9/11 shot? And I supposed those of us on the other side should call the Bush administration a bunch of bloody shirt wavers who use this most inauspicious day where 3000 died on their watch, thanks to their competence to prevent Congress from doing it's constiutionally appointed duties of oversight?

Come on, do you really want to go there? I'm no Thullen, but I'm sure he can get in on this too.

I see DaveC is using the convenient "coincidence" of the timing to suppress any questioning of the White House line as unpatriotic. No one could have foreseen such a thing.

dnftt (That's an acronym I no longer have to google.)

I strongly agree with Publius.

Few things are more irritating than listening to pointless bloviation and then have the Senator complain of running out of time, or simply not ask important questions. This includes not only the speeches, but the endless courtesy talk:

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman, blah, blah, blah."

This sort of ego-boosting time-wasting behavior drastically reduces the effectiveness of hearings. Was there not a time when most of the questioning was done by the Committee's counsel, and isn't that a much better way to proceed?

It's rather like the presidential "debates", when the commentator gets more time than some of the candidates. I like your idea of having the opening statement released in some other manner so that the questioner could cut to the chase.

Zogby poll: 42% of Democrats think Bush either caused 9/11 or let it happen

http://www.911truth.org/images/ZogbyPoll2007.pdf>http://zogbypol


Maybe we can have an open thread about why people think Osama bin Laden is a liar?

He keeps claiming to be the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, but so many on the left don't beleive him.

HSH, we may need a repeat of your 1:05 comment, though DaveC is a bit of a special case, since he's a regular who only slips into his troll personality from time to time.

apparently 12LL is repeating a talking point that's currently surging through Lesser Wingnuttia.

Hmm, apparently 19% of Republicans believe the same. That's nearly 1 in 5. Sounds like there's still some purging to do.

The question says nothing about Bush, just "certain elements in the US government". And then you've got to wonder how various people interpret "let it happen", especially if the only choices are "official story", "let it happen", and "made it happen".

I don't particularly understand 12LL's spin, which depends on assuming that Osama bin Laden is, like Petraeus, someone whose word is beyond question. I realize we're supposed to believe it when the guy says Iraq is the central battleground and that he and his minions are capable of destroying the United States, taking over the world, and establishing a global caliphate, but I didn't realize the wingnuts were now actively promoting him as an honorable man.

but I didn't realize the wingnuts were now actively promoting him as an honorable man

Bizarro World has been doing this for awhile, with variations on "when a man says he's going to kill you you should believe him" etc.

Today is about September 11, 2001.

There's only one important question concerning the attacks, did the US gov't allow/participate in 9/11?

The answer to that query would explain the illegal wire-taps, suspension of habeas corpus, banning of books like "America Deceived" from Amazon, detaining of dissenters in fences miles away from events, and multiple wars based on lies.

How can the gov't be innocent in 9/11 when we have caught it lying so many times (WACO, Ruby Ridge, no WMDs, USS Liberty, Operation Northwoods, Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbor, ETC.)?

In law, if you determine a person lies ONCE during his testimony, it can be assumed that he lied in the remainder of his testimony. How come we do not hold the gov't to the same standard as it holds us to?

The gov't lied to us about Iraq and more Americans have died there than in 9/11. If the gov't lied about Iraq then why is everyone so reluctant to believe that the gov't lied about 9/11?

Final link (before Google Books bends to pressure and drops the title):
America Deceived (book)

Out of the trolling pan into the spam fire. No doubt those comment spammers are working overtime today.

damn, i hate troothers.

I see DaveC's "Hmph" and I raise him 17 "Hmphs", 12 "Blehs", 5 pieces of AAA-rated commercial paper, and maybe a telephone call one day.

Scarecrows need brains, Tinmen need hearts, and Redstate keyboarders could use some American courage. Dorothy is one balloon ride away from a good thrashing by Auntie Em and that goes for her dog Toto, too.

Cliff May is on "To the Point" and just claimed that the attempted terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow were by Al Qaeda in Iraq, not by Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, so clearly we need to keep fighting in Iraq. I hadn't heard that one before.

Jesus H. Fncking Christ, CNN blaring:

President Bush will announce this week plans to cut U.S. troop numbers in Iraq by about 30,000 by next summer, The Associated Press reports quoting unnamed officials.

W.T.F?

"Maybe we can have an open thread about why people think Osama Bin Laden is a liar?"

Maybe we can have an open thread about why there has been a 30-year effort by the aliens who came to inhabit the husk of the old Republican Party to discredit, through every megaphone they could find, every agency, policy, institution, social safety net, statement, press release, employee, tax, expenditure, and breath of the United States Government.....

.... and then I'll agree to wonder why so many of the American people were finally convinced of the universal, complete, unending duplicity of the U.S. Government.

Mission accomplished, I'd say.

Or, maybe, 42% of a Zogby sample believe Osama Bin Laden is a liar because he lied to George W. Bush about launching the 9/11 attacks from Baghdad and being a staunch ally of Saddam Hussein.

Isn't this is how we came to this mess, in which General Petraeus (which doesn't rhyme with "enemy") stated yesterday that we face "innumerable challenges in Iraq", which if I'm not mistaken, is precisely the same number of unplanned-for challenges we faced the night before the invasion?

Sounds like no progress to me, unless emptying the Treasury and keeping the U.S. Government in perennial danger of default is a plan shared by more than just al Qaeda....

.... whom, apparently, finds sanctuary and a base in every country the Bush Administration invades. Maybe Bush is right: If the troops come home, al Qaeda will follow them here.

Seems to have worked so far.


So basically what you're saying is that our Democratic Congresspeople need to play more Phoenix Wright.

If one of them pounded on his desk and yelled "OBJECTION!" while pointing at the witness, I would weep for joy.

It would be even better if somebody did that during one of Bush's speeches.

I pound on my desk and yell "OBJECTION!" during most of Bush's speeches. I'm at home by myself, but nonetheless...

kc,

No spin necessary. It might be an interesting discussion why so many Americans think bin Laden is lieing when he takes credit for 9/11.

John,

Maybe we can have an open thread about why there has been a 30-year effort by the aliens who came to inhabit the husk of the old Republican Party to discredit, through every megaphone they could find, every agency, policy, institution, social safety net, statement, press release, employee, tax, expenditure, and breath of the United States Government.....

We could but how does that relate to the fact that many Americans believe the US gov't had more to do with 9/11 than the person who keeps claiming to be behind 9/11?

Not much else to respond to in your rant. Hope you enjoyed it.

many Americans believe the US gov't had more to do with 9/11 than the person who keeps claiming to be behind 9/11
Do you have any evidence to support that? It's not what the poll says. And obviously the true wackos who believe Bush and Cheney planned the whole thing (and apparently thought the "Pet Goat" incident would be the best way to show Bush taking charge) can believe bin Laden is in on the conspiracy.

I'm just not seeing any contradiction. Osama bin Laden is a mass murderer, but somehow people are supposed to think that lying would be beyond him?

It might be an interesting discussion why so many Americans think bin Laden is lieing when he takes credit for 9/11.

since that's not what the poll says, i suspect you already have an idea as to how you'd like the discussion you're advocating to proceed.

We could but how does that relate to the fact that many Americans believe the US gov't had more to do with 9/11 than the person who keeps claiming to be behind 9/11?

Obviously al-Qaeda was behind 9/11, but anyone who thinks the best reason to believe that is because OBL says so must have failed Logic 101. What is this, OBL is some kind of unimpeachable witness? In reality, the guy has an entire mythology among jihadists centered around assigning him credit for stuff he didn't actually do. (See The Looming Tower for more on this.)

I can't stand the 9/11 Truth types myself, and unfortunately they always seem to come out this time of year. I saw quite a few of them while walking the streets of NYC this weekend, and part of me is always inspired to violence.

The noteworthy thing about the poll is that although it's being used as an instrument for partisan bashing, there are plenty of other indicators that also correlate with doubt concerning the "official story." For example, 38% of Catholics think the US government either knew in advance or actually carried out the attacks. But I don't expect to see the right-wing blogs carrying pieces about how Catholics are all a bunch of nutters.

More interestingly, a full 63% of respondents aged 18-29 took what I'm terming the "nutter" position. That's an amazing number.

I'd note, though, that the survey was obviously commissioned by nutters, so the questions are sort of skewed to create as many "skeptics" as possible. For example, the term "let it happen" is defined to mean that the US government knew the attacks were coming; but I wouldn't be surprised at all if some respondents think the government "let it happen" in the sense of not being sufficiently attentive. Or consider this gem regarding the infamous WTC7 building:

World Trade Center Building 7 was the 47-story skyscraper a block away from the Twin Towers that housed the mayor's emergency management center and offices of the SEC, Secret Service and CIA. It was not hit by any airplanes during the September 11th attacks, but still collapsed nearly eight hours later that day. FEMA did not explain this collapse, the 911 Commission ignored it, and the promised official study is now 2 years overdue. Do you think that the 911 Commission was right to concentrate their investigation on the collapse of buildings which were directly hit by airplanes or should they have also investigated the collapse of Building 7?

A very fair and balanced question, I'm sure you'll agree.

It might be an interesting discussion why so many Americans think bin Laden is lieing when he takes credit for 9/11.

Gosh, that would be an interesting discussion, given that some 70%+ of FOX News-watching fncktards think Saddam Hussein was responsible for it.

The biggest strike against the troothers is that they would have us believe the Bush administration planned, executed, and successfully covered up the 9/11 attacks in less than 8 months. The Bush administration couldn't plan, execute, and cover up their escape from a wet paper bag in that amount of time.

It appears that Bush & his administration didn't bother to prevent 9/11 when they were warned, because this threat did not fit their 8/2001 talking points. Anti-liberals often misrepresent this, saying all liberals believe an active conspiracy with Bush.

If the right ever stopped talking about how much they fear and loathe liberals, they would have to deal with how un-conservative they have become.

Ugh: The Bush administration couldn't plan, execute, and cover up their escape from a wet paper bag in that amount of time.

Thank You! I always get a kick out of the dichotomy – chimphiltler dumbass vs. Dr. Evil.

Pure incompetence accounts for it all.

OCSteve - yeah, I thought about that as I was writing it. More to come...

Ugh: The Bush administration couldn't plan, execute, and cover up their escape from a wet paper bag in that amount of time.

Keep quiet about that, Ugh

I always get a kick out of the dichotomy – chimphiltler dumbass vs. Dr. Evil.

It's not like the two are mutually exclusive.

FWIW, I think both theories are off the mark. My money is on "didn't really give a rat's behind".

What I find most depressing in the debate about Iraq is the continued insistence that there is something we can do to make a real difference in the ultimate outcome there.

There was, perhaps, a point when we could have really established some basic level of security and civil order. That would have been useful, although it probably would have had nothing to do with making the US safer, or not. It just would have been a good thing for the Iraqis, and would have been a good thing for us to do, since we overthrew their government, odious as it was.

We let that opportunity slip away, probably about the point that we disbanded the Iraqi army. If not then, it was Bremer gave the run of the place to an army of green, snot-nosed neocon brats from the AEI.

At this point, however, it seems to me that we're just playing an extended game of whack-a-mole, and delaying our exit long enough to satisfy some weird vanity of Bush's.

Petraeus is going to ask for more time. He'll probably get it. Folks in Congress are going to make a big show of asking him the "tough questions". Bush, having increased our troop levels for the surge, is going to make his big concession and bring the troop levels back down to pre-surge levels over the next several months. Welcome back to square one.

Then it will be election year 2008, and noone will have the political nerve to do anything that requires an ounce of political risk. Then, Bush will retire to the ranch, and it'll be somebody else's problem.

American troops will be there, all in, for at least another couple of years, because that's how long it takes to do stuff like ramp down a very large military operation. Depending on who the next President is, they may be there lots longer than that. During that time, lots of Americans will be killed, maimed, or otherwise grievously damaged.

In the meantime, and then after our departure, Iraqi Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds will play out their blood feud. Mostly Sunnis and Shia, the Kurds kind of have their own turf defined at this point.

The dust will take years -- maybe 5, maybe 20 -- to settle out. Nobody knows what it will look like when that process is done.

What Petraeus says or doesn't say doesn't make much difference, because it is no longer up to us what happens in Iraq. Maybe it never was. The only input we have at this point is when we want to leave, and even that may not be completely up to us.

This is what the wealth, attention, credibility, good will, diplomatic energy, military strength, political initiative, and last but not least lives of America have been spent on for the last four and half years.

I wish I could be as funny as Thullen about all of this, but it's just too freaking sad.

Thanks -

Russell, I think you'll find that a lot of that wealth -- the hundreds of billions of dollars that we never have to ask about how we can afford -- just passed through Iraq on its way from the US Treasury to the pockets of a select group of members of the military-industrial complex. For them it certainly hasn't been a waste or a failure.

I don't believe Bush-Cheney planned or participated in the attack. If one wants evidence, I think Bush's conduct on the day of the attacks is good, if circumstantial. Had he planned the attack, he would have been elbowing Giuliani out of the way to reach the podium and demonstrate his cool-headed resoluteness. Instead, he spent those long hours wetting his pants on Air Force One, cutting and running from one airport to another.

What I do think is possible - possible, mind you; not definitively true - is that Bush, Cheney, and Rice knew 'something' was in the works, but assumed it would be an ordinary hijacking.

I think this is possible because:

1) Everyone knows beyond question that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld wanted a war with Iraq so bad they could taste it.
2) Everyone now knows about the infamous August 6 memo. In the context of the Summer of Threat, for Bush and Rice to have dismissed that memo as trivial confounds credulity.
3) Despite all the laments about The Wall between intelligence and law enforcement, there were enough warning signs that Rice, as National Security Advisor, could have met with the pertinent agents, put those warning signs together, and possibly - again, possibly - prevented the attacks. No "Walls" applied to her, after all.

Therefore, it is possible that Bush et al. neglected to take certain steps, in the belief that there would be only an ordinary hijacking, one involving no loss of life, and one they could still use to beat the war-drums against Iraq. (They could, for instance, have used even an ordinary hijacking as proof of escalating terrorism against the US, connecting the attacks on the USS Cole and Khobar Towers with a hijacking in the US.)

One thing we have never found out, one issue that has never been settled, is why so many warning signs were missed, why the memo was ignored, why Bush and Cheney and Rice demoted Clarke in the midst of the Summer of Threat, and why Ashcroft cut anti-terrorist program funds even as he took care not to fly aboard commercial airliners.

If the reason wasn't opportunism, then it had to be negligence - but negligence of so outrageous, malign, and depraved degree that, at the very least, Bush should have fired Rice, if not faced impeachment himself. Instead, we got sold a narrative that everyone except the dramatis personae were at fault - one the country bought eagerly, because people just didn't want to face the possibility of an Adminstration that grotesquely incompetent or culpable.

I promised more later and, sadly, can't deliver tonight.

Though I will note that the US Gov't is large enough to be both incompetent and ruthlessly efficient at the same time, depending on the circumstance, focus, and objective.

G'night.

I think you'll find that a lot of that wealth -- the hundreds of billions of dollars that we never have to ask about how we can afford -- just passed through Iraq on its way from the US Treasury to the pockets of a select group of members of the military-industrial complex.

I think that's kind of the least of it. Contractors at least leave a paper trail.

Billions were flown into Iraq, in cash, under armed guard, on pallets. Noone will ever know where that money went. Some of it is, no doubt, paying for the explosives and bullets that are sending our sons and daughters, wives and husbands, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, home in boxes.

Read'em and weep.

Thanks -

For being so stupid, Bush has once again thoroughly out flanked the anti-war movement. After electing an “anti-war” democratic congress there are now 30,000 more troops in Iraq. Over the next year the liberal-left will throw immense amounts of time and resources into electing a democrat for president, who if victorious, won’t:

1. bring home US troops
2. deliver universal health care

For OCSteve, a selective roundup of 9/11 Truther debunking from the Left. Yes, that's right - capital 'L', with sincere apologies to norbizness. (Please, have mercy and restrain yourself from exploring your options for litigation re: copyright infringement; I respectfully and justifiably claim Fair Use).

- George Monbiot (here and here)

- Alexander Cockburn (here and here)

- Matthew Rothschild

- and, with what I consider to be the ultimate smackdown of Truther idiocy, Matt Taibbi (FTW)

Bottom line: True Believer Syndrome is a non-partisan trait, one that should be vigilantly refuted - especially when it is largely one's (purported) ideological comrades who are most vigourously peddling teh Kool-Aid (to the detriment of real, vital progressive issues, as Monbiot and Cockburn both point out).

Drydock, there's a saying that when it's time to build canals, people build canals. When it's time to build railroads, people build railroads. And when it's time to build computers, people build computers.

It appears these day's it's time to unbuild America.

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