Some really, really stupid questions

I was going to comment at length about the President's news conference last night - how stupid the questions were, how noticeably absent questions on the economy were, how the self-aggrandizing media idiots asked questions obviously intended to give Kerry a Presidential soundbite for one of his "Hate-Bush" ads - but frankly, Michelle's post says it all. (paraphrased):

1. Why are you and Cheney going together to meet with the 9/11 panel? (I can't even believe this is a question...)

2. Do you feel you owe America an apology for 9/11? (For what? Bush isn't to blame, OSAMA is!)

3. What is your biggest mistake since 9/11? (Thinking for one second that America's media is halfway interested in the truth, I would say...)

4. What do you think about comparing Iraq to VietNam? (Only a complete idiot would think there's a sliver of a comparison...)

5. You said Iraqis would greet liberating forces with flowers, how do explain that it isn't so? (Actually, they have, but the liberal media won't show you those pictures, will they?)

6. Do you feel personally responsible for 9/11? (OMG, this is so assinine.)

7. All your speeches sound the same. Do you feel like you've failed? (Failed only in not allowing more of these idiots to be embedded in the frontlines last year, if you ask me.)

What Bush Knew Before

What Bush knew before September in 2001 depends on your politics - not the facts. For Democrats, Socialists, liberal wackos and left-wing nuts the President not only knew about Osama's plan to hijack airline jets and slam them into buildings, he sat back and waited with anticipation, fantasizing about the doors a terrorist attack would open for him to pursue an agenda of invasive government and warmongering. For Republicans, conservatives and the general right-wing of America the President knew what he was told, i.e., that there was a real threat against America posed by a terrorist organization known as Al Qaeda, headed by Osama bin Laden. Where is the truth? Before this question can be asked, one has to look introspectively for a moment and put aside the groupthink that drives most human cognition. Do I really want to know the truth, or am I only looking for evidence to support my suspicion and/or opinion?

What are the most basic facts out there about 9/11 and who knew what?

The August 2001 PDB recently released for examination reveals that (a) it is a generally historical document, discussing Al Qaeda activities pre-2001, and (b) the one paragraph that discusses Al Qaeda's desire to hijack an airplane begins with "We have not been able to corroborate..." - furthermore, all hijack situations prior to September 11th 2001 were treated in the same way: give the hijacker whatever he wants and do not resist. Even if the President had received clear warning of the attack to unfold that morning, the most he could have done is shut down all airports. This would have only postponed the inevitable attack. The airports could not have stayed shut until the FBI uncovered all guilty parties, it would have completely ruined the economy. Further, the World Trade Center towers were not federal buildings as outlined in the PDB, so they would have remained unprotected. And don't forget, those Arab men did not carry anything illegal aboard with them. Remember your own surprise when you first heard they used boxcutters?

There was a clearly defined warning of Al Qaeda's intention to hijack airplanes - it was given to President Clinton in a PDB in 1996. And to his livejasmin credit, he acted on it. He appointed VP Al Gore to head a panel to investigate the issue and make recommendations, which Mr. Gore did. The panel advised the FAA of their alarming findings and recommended several steps that the airline industry should do to dramatically increase their security, but the FAA ignored it. They didn't want to seem politically incorrect in steps that called for a closer look at Arab men boarding planes. They didn't want to spend more money on increasing security measures which would cut into their profit margin. After all, terrorists simply didn't hijack American airplanes, and when they did, it usually ended safely with them getting to an alternate destination or demands to release colleagues in prison are met. There wasn't an example of the threat the government was describing to warrant the level of security they were being asked to provide.

And was incoming President Bush given the clear and direct warning President Clinton had received in his PDB? Unfortunately not. The CIA director could have been more specific, but for some reason was not.

Could there have been a direct warning that may have prompted a more preventative measure? Yes, but again - what measure? Did President Bush allow the terrorist attack that leveled a beloved landmark in New York, tore open the Pentagon, and buried thousands of innocent people? A resounding no.

I'll ask a question for you to ponder: have you forgotten just how dramatically eveything in our lives changed on that day, and how easy it is to measure events before that day based on what we now know? Truth is, we can see now how imminent the danger was; we can see now how naked we were to the enemy. You could drive to the airport, run unimpeded to the ticket counter, check your bag and grab a ticket, run unimpeded to the gate, and board the plane without being stopped by anyone other than the airline person taking your jasminlive ticket. The only thing you couldn't take aboard was a gun. Pocketknives, scissors, fingernail clippers, even boxcutters, weren't given a seond glance. Who would have stopped those well-dressed, pleasant-talking Arab men...and for what?

Aug 2001 PDB

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997' has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."

After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a [deleted text] service. An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an [deleted text] service at the same time that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.

Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Ladin has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Ladin associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a http://www.livesexchat.net/ service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar' Abd aI-Rahman and other US-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conductig approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks

with explosives.

Some salient points to remember, people: (1) the standard policy up to September 11 2001 for hijack situations was to give the hijackers what they wanted and present no resistance, (2) boxcutters were not illegal carry-ons up to September 11 2001. The staff aboard those fated flights and on ground responded to the hijacking exactly as policy dictated. The Muslim men who carried boxcutters in their carry-ons did not look different than anyone else. They did not do anything suspicious or illegal until they were in the air.

The media is scrambling in a joint effort to use cutout parts of this PDB to forward the accusations against President Bush by the leftist extremists. Watching the news on Sunday was as predictable as it was disappointing. As President Bush and Condi Rice said: if they had any way of knowing that airline airplanes were to soon be hijacked and crashed into buildings like bombs they would have stopped them.

But that is the 20/20 vision of hindsight, seeing what might have/could have/should have been done to prevent a disaster. The problem with using that method is you can never judge what current actions actually prevented a disaster. It's easy for liberals to say Bush was warned, he could've stopped that attack now, but who in God's name would have believed him on September 10th? And what behind-the-scenes activities have occurred since September 2001 have prevented a similar attack within our borders that you and I do not know about?

If you are going to analyze the entire situation, you have to examine all the data, you can't pick and choose data based on your personal interests. And that is what the Left in America are doing - disecting information and projecting the pioeces that they hope will lead to a Bush downfall in November. God help us if that happens.

Why did so&so

People, this isn't hard. The Bush Administration is not to blame for Mr. Casazza's death. The CIA isn't to blame. The federal government isn't to blame. A terrorist organization known as Al Qaeda is to blame. Al Qaeda, headed up and financed by wealthy Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, planned the attack against the United States using airliners as missiles. I just bring that up because you infants on the left don't seem to get it. Here's another newsflash: the United States government does not have a future-telling crystal ball. No American woke up on that September morning in 2001 thinking, this is it, today's the day! It was Arab men who woke up thinking that. Arab men who committed their very lives to the mass murder of innocent civilians BECAUSE of their seething hatred of all thing not Islam.

What Condoleeza Rice should say is this: Your husband didn't have to die, except for the attack against us by Muslim extremists. If it weren't for murderers in Islam, he would still be with you today. The United States government works hard to protect the American people, as evidenced by the lack of further (planned) attacks occurring post 9/11. He died a useless death, as a direct result of an act of terrorism and mass murder against the United States on our own soil. And the President has acted with strong leadership and resolve in retaliating against our enemy, deterring further attack, and punishing those responsible. Al Qaeda had training camps in Afghanistan and Iraq, sheltered by their respective governments who refused to condemn them, and the United States military has removed those criminal governments from existence. The Taliban and Saddam Hussein are no longer in power. Al Qaeda was shocked by US retaliation. We have come a long way, and there is a long road ahead. Let's just be sure we put the blame for those tragic deaths where it really truly belongs, at the door of terrorist groups.