Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The first six months of a new Presidency is primarily the hiring and approval of all executive branch jobs. Once done the new hires establish policy and begin executing. The Senate did not approve all Bush's cabinet appointments promptly and the head of the FBI was not approved until August, 2001.

At the time he took office he did it after a bitter contest over the Florida count which left a lot of bitterness on both sides for some time.

He also had two major issues to deal with right away. He had started his Presidency during a recession which had included a series of corporate scandals. North Korea was also threatening to detonate a nuclear weapon. He was aggressively addressing those issues as well as proposing a major education policy which was endorsed by Ted Kennedy. To say that he "sat on his ass for 7 1/2 months" is inaccurate.

What was Clinton supposed to do with bin Laden? Michael Scheuer was in charge of the CIA bin Laden unit during Clinton's Administration. He said that the Clinton administration had 8 - 10 chances to kill or capture bin Laden that the decision-makers in the Administration refused to take. After initially admitting to it, Clinton and his folks embarked on an aggressive campaign of disinformation to salvage his legacy. Unfortunately his wife will have to answer some serious questions if she gets the nomination.

by Private on Wed Jun 20th, 2007 at 10:54:57 AM EST
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He sat on his ass on Al Qaeda.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 20th, 2007 at 01:39:29 PM EST
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Michael Scheuer was in charge of the Bin Laden unit into the Bush administration. What does Scheuer have to say about Bush and his policies?

Harper's: Six Questions for Michael Scheuer on National Security (August 23, 2006)

1. We're coming up on the five-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Is the country safer or more vulnerable to terrorism?

On balance, more vulnerable.

This contradicts your assertion elsewhere in the thread that the US is safer because of Bush's policies.
But for the most part our victories have been tactical and not strategic. ... There are too many of them, and more now than before September 11. In official Western rhetoric these are finite organizations, but _every time we interfere in Muslim countries they get more support.
(my emphasis)

So, failed counter-insurgency policies.

In the long run, we're not safer because we're still operating on the assumption that we're hated because of our freedoms, when in fact we're hated because of our actions in the Islamic world.
Where did I hear that thing about America being hated because of its freedom before? Bush said it first. I could say Bush was lying, deliberately telling Americans something they would like to hear, but instead I'll be charitable and assume not malice but that Bush had no idea what he was saying after 9/11, and still doesn't nearly 6 years later.
From the standpoint of democracy, Saudi Arabia looks much worse than Iran.
No comment.
We don't have a strategy because we don't have a clue about what motivates our enemies.
You, private don't have a clue either, as has become crystal clear in this pointless "debate". And it is pointless because apparently we're reading the same sources and understanding completely different things. Clinton is so last century. Get over him, and take a long, hard look at the guy in the white house now, and at the state of your nation.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 20th, 2007 at 02:06:35 PM EST
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"Michael Scheuer was in charge of the Bin Laden unit into the Bush administration." -  actually Scheuer was not in charge of the bin Laden unit during Bush or at the end of Clinton. He was causing too many waves within the CIA because of the missed chances and Tenet replaced him.

 "What does Scheuer have to say about Bush and his policies?" -  the only thing he did say was that Bush had only one chance at Tora Bora to get bin Laden but blew it. Of course had Clinton not cowered on any of his 8-10 chances than it would never had been Bush's problem.

As Hillary Clinton said we are safer today than we were on 9/11 but we are not safe. But radical Islam has grown in numbers and strength which still makes us vulnerable.

The strategy of this administration has been one dimensional which as they say is to stay on offence.
That's like putting out a wildfire with a garden hose. There has been no effort to understand and address the underlining reasons why young people are vulnerable for indoctrination into these organizations.

The response of spreading democracy is naive at best. There are many people in this world that do not want all of our freedoms and in fact it scares them. Their needs are more basic and involve the security of a job, an income, food on the table, and healthcare.

The long term strategy should have been to focus on stopping the indoctrination into these groups and in some cases deal politically with these groups.

My take on Clinton will of course not change and as history filters out political spin and the facts remain it will be become more evident.

Bush is not my guy. I did not vote for him. But I find Democrats who are playing Monday-morning quarterback on the actions they fully endorsed from the outset to be weak and dishonest. They also have offered zero alternatives.

by Private on Wed Jun 20th, 2007 at 04:58:00 PM EST
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Of a certain type...  I'm not sure what type.  The type that thinks "targetted assassinations" are, on balance, better than "major military incurstions", beacuse you kill your enemy and replace him or her with your protege--you hope!--without too much bloodshed.

I'll be basic and say, "These people need to have good sex, often and slowly."  They are TOO WOUND UP!

All of 'em.

The ultimate orgasm will occur when...

Bin Laden is killed.

Saddam is killed.

Fundamentalism is killed.

Kill kilkilk ilk ilk!

The abstract is our enemy, perhaps, in that it allows such ridiculous violent proposals between people who, the mafia know, are redundant.  Ineffectual.

When Private finds his phone tapped, he won't mind.  He isn't saying anything wrong, is he?  After all, he's parroting the company line.  What could be wrong in that?


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jun 20th, 2007 at 07:01:28 PM EST
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Didn't Bin Laden die of kidney failure at the end of 2001, anyway?

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 20th, 2007 at 07:05:38 PM EST
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Johnny Depp called me from France on Sunday night and asked what I knew about Osama bin Laden.

"Nothing," I said. "Nothing at all. He is a ghost, for all I know. Why do you ask?"

"Because I'm terrified of him," he said. "All of France is terrified. ... I freaked out and rushed to the airport, but when I got there my flight was canceled. All flights to the U.S. were canceled. People went crazy with fear."

"Join the club," I told him, "Almost everybody went crazy over here."

"Never mind that," he said. "Who won the Jets-Colts game?"

"There was no game," I said. "All sports were canceled in this country -- even 'Monday Night Football.' "

"No!" he said, "That's impossible! I've never known a Monday night without a game on TV. What is the stock market doing?"

"Nothing yet," I said, "It's been closed for six days."

"Ye gods," he muttered. "No stock market, no football -- this is Serious."

Just then I heard the lock on my gas tank rattling, so I rushed outside with a shotgun and fired both barrels into the darkness. Poachers! I thought. Blow their heads off! This is War! So I fired another blast in the general direction of the gas pump, then I went inside to reload.

"Why are you shooting?" my assistant Anita screamed at me. "What are you shooting at?"

"The enemy," I said gruffly. "He is down there stealing our gasoline."

"Nonsense," she said. "That tank has been empty since June. You probably killed a peacock."

At dawn I went down to the tank and found the gas hose shredded by birdshot and two peacocks dead.

So what? I thought. What is more important right now -- my precious gasoline or the lives of some silly birds?

Indeed, but the New York Stock Exchange opened Monday morning, so I have to get a grip on something solid. The Other Shoe is about to drop, and it might be extremely heavy. The time has come to be strong. The fat is in the fire. Who knows what will happen now?

Not me, buster. That's why I live out here in the mountains with a flag on my porch and loud Wagner music blaring out of my speakers. I feel lucky, and I have plenty of ammunition. That is God's will, they say, and that is also why I shoot into the darkness at anything that moves. Sooner or later, I will hit something Evil, and feel no Guilt. It might be Osama Bin Laden. Who knows? And where is Adolf Hitler, now that we finally need him? It is bad business to go into War without a target.

In times like these, when the War-drums roll and the bugles howl for blood, I think of Vince Lombardi, and I wonder how he would handle it. ... Good old Vince. He was a zealot for Victory at all costs, and his hunger for it was pure -- or that's what he said and what his legend tells us, but it is worth noting that he is not even in the top 20 in career victories.

We are At War now, according to President Bush, and I take him at his word. He also says this War might last for "a very long time."

Generals and military scholars will tell you that eight or 10 years is actually not such a long time in the span of human history -- which is no doubt true -- but history also tells us that 10 years of martial law and a war-time economy are going to feel like a Lifetime to people who are in their twenties today. The poor bastards of what will forever be known as Generation Z are doomed to be the first generation of Americans who will grow up with a lower standard of living than their parents enjoyed.

That is extremely heavy news, and it will take a while for it to sink in. The 22 babies born in New York City while the World Trade Center burned will never know what they missed. The last half of the 20th century will seem like a wild party for rich kids, compared to what's coming now. The party's over, folks. The time has come for loyal Americans to Sacrifice. ... Sacrifice. ... Sacrifice. That is the new buzz-word in Washington. But what it means is not entirely clear.

Winston Churchill said "The first casualty of War is always Truth." Churchill also said "In wartime, the Truth is so precious that it should always be surrounded by a bodyguard of Lies."

That wisdom will not be much comfort to babies born last week. The first news they get in this world will be News subjected to Military Censorship. That is a given in wartime, along with massive campaigns of deliberately-planted "Dis-information." That is routine behavior in Wartime -- for all countries and all combatants -- and it makes life difficult for people who value real news. Count on it. That is what Churchill meant when he talked about Truth being the first casualty of War.

In this case, however, the next casualty was Football. All games were canceled last week. And that has Never happened to the NFL. Never. That gives us a hint about the Magnitude of this War. Terrorists don't wear uniforms, and they play by inscrutable rules -- The Rules of World War III, which has already begun.

So get ready for it, folks. Buckle up and watch your backs at all times. That is why they call it "Terrorism."


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Jun 20th, 2007 at 07:43:30 PM EST
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