Archive for the ‘9-11’ Category

Guantanamo detainees gloat; say they planned Sept. 11

March 10, 2009

The five detainees at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison camp charged with plotting the September 11 attacks have filed a document expressing pride at their accomplishment and accepting responsibility for the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Reuters

File:National Park Service 9-11 Statue of Liberty and WTC fire.jpg

The document, which the newspaper said may be released publicly on Tuesday, describes the five men as the “9/11 Shura Council,” and says their actions were an offering to God, according to excerpts of the document read to a reporter by an unidentified government official, the report said.

“‘To us,’ the official read, ‘they are not accusations. To us they are a badge of honor, which we carry with honor,'” the paper said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090310/t
s_nm/us_guantanamo_document

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/u
s/10gitmo.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=guant
anamo&st=cse

Related:
 Al-Qaeda, Gitmo Quandary: After Prison, Suppose Just One Terrorists Destroys Your Way of Life?

President Obama says he will close Gitmo next year….

Time Runs Out on Trashing Bush: Now? Reality

January 19, 2009

To trash Bush was to belong. There was little upside in supporting Bush, even if you had supported his agenda.

So now, time runs out.  And time is also ticking on the Obama “honeymoon.”

There is a lot to deal with: the economy, environment and the world.  Now starts the hard part: getting the job done….

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By Debra J. Saunders
Jewish World Review

From the day President Bush took office, the long knives were out for him — in ways they will not (and should not) be out for President-elect Barack Obama. The chattering class saw Dubya as a walking style crime in a cowboy suit. They hit Bush for everything — for the way he mangled syntax, for the books he read and because he worked out too much.
Note that now that the buff Obama is taking office, stories gushing about Obama’s daily workouts flood the channels. Oh, yes, and the same people who belittled Bush for sending troops to war even though he only served in the National Guard somehow do not seem to notice Obama’s utter lack of military experience.

goodbye-mr-bush
.

To trash Bush was to belong. There was little upside in supporting Bush, even if you had supported his agenda.
.
Most of the Democratic candidates for president in 2004 and 2008 voted for the Patriot Act — and then campaigned ….

Read the rest:
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0
109/saunders011909.php3

Related:
In China, Bush remains a popular president
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 Bash Bush; But China Will Miss Him
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Editorials worldwide pillory Bush one final time

“Worst president in American history?”

January 15, 2009

The American lady who called to see if I would appear on her radio programme was specific. “We’re setting up a debate,” she said sweetly, “and we want to know from your perspective as a historian whether George W Bush was the worst president of the 20th century, or might he be the worst president in American history?”

By Andrew Roberts
The Telegraph (UK)
.
“I think he’s a good president,” I told her, which seemed to dumbfound her, and wreck my chances of appearing on her show.

In the avalanche of abuse and ridicule that we are witnessing in the media assessments of President Bush’s legacy, there are factors that need to be borne in mind if we are to come to a judgment that is not warped by the kind of partisan hysteria that has characterised this issue on both sides of the Atlantic.

Related:
 Lessons for Obama … From George W. Bush (And Bob Woodward)

George W Bush

George W Bush’s supposed lack of intellect will be seen to be a myth Photo: AP

The first is that history, by looking at the key facts rather than being distracted by the loud ambient noise of the
24-hour news cycle, will probably hand down a far more positive judgment on Mr Bush’s presidency than the immediate, knee-jerk loathing of the American and European elites.

At the time of 9/11, which will forever rightly be regarded as the defining moment of the presidency, history will look in vain for anyone predicting that the Americans murdered that day would be the very last ones to die at the hands of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in the US from that day to this.

The decisions taken by Mr Bush in the immediate aftermath of that ghastly moment will be pored over by historians for the rest of our lifetimes. One thing they will doubtless conclude is that the measures he took to lock down America’s borders, scrutinise travellers to and from the United States, eavesdrop upon terrorist suspects, work closely with international intelligence agencies and take the war to the enemy has foiled dozens, perhaps scores of would-be murderous attacks on America. There are Americans alive today who would not be if it had not been for the passing of the Patriot Act. There are 3,000 people who would have died in the August 2005 airline conspiracy if it had not been for the superb inter-agency co-operation demanded by Bush after 9/11.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal
-view/4241865/History-will-show-that-George-
W-Bush-was-right.html

It’s Obama Time But: “He Doesn’t Get It” or “Did The Right Thing” Depending Upon Your View

January 13, 2009

The President-elect is already enjoying the spotlight and adulation and comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln.  But the stage still has other actors and they of course spark great discussion and disagreement….

George W. Bush gave what he promised was his final press conference as President of the United States Monday, an event that re-opened much of the discussion and criticism of him and his presidency.

You either love George Bush or you hate him, it seems.  Nobody, some say, is in the middle.

Transcript:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/rele
ases/2009/01/20090112.html

Fred Barnes, the Weekly Standard editor and an unabashed conservative, mentioned on Fox News (where else?) last evening that he wrote about Bush’s accomplishments.

He even told Charles Krauthammer and the other pundits that he listed 10 Bush accomplishments and then got many others from readers via e-mail.

So, during a sleepless night, we went for a look.

Bush Ground Zero.jpg

Barnes has said about George Bush (43): “Bush, of course, is a conservative, but a different kind of conservative. His tax cuts, support for social issues, hawkish position on national security and terrorism, and rejection of the Kyoto protocols make him so. He’s also killed the ABM and Comprehensive Test Ban treaties, kept the United States out of the international criminal court, defied the United Nations, and advocated a shift in power from Washington to individuals through an ‘ownership society.’ On some issues–partial privatization of Social Security is the best example–he is a bolder conservative than Ronald Reagan, the epitome of a conventional conservative.”

So below, here is the list of President Bush (43) and his accomplishments, according to Mr. Barnes:

1) His decision in 2001 to jettison the Kyoto global warming treaty.

2) The selective use of enhanced interrogation of terrorists. Along with use of secret prisons and wireless eavesdropping, this saved American lives.

3) Bush’s third achievement was the rebuilding of presidential authority, badly degraded in the era of Vietnam, Watergate, and Bill Clinton.

4) Achievement number four was Bush’s unswerving support for Israel. Reagan was once deemed Israel’s best friend in the White House. Now Bush can claim the title.

5) His fifth success was No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the education reform bill cosponsored by America’s most prominent liberal Democratic senator Edward Kennedy.

6) Sixth, Bush declared in his second inaugural address in 2005 that American foreign policy (at least his) would henceforth focus on promoting democracy around the world.


President Bush boards Air Force One (AP Photo)

7) The seventh achievement is the Medicare prescription drug benefit, enacted in 2003. It’s not only wildly popular; it has cost less than expected by triggering competition among drug companies.

Eight: John Roberts and Sam Alito. In putting them on the Supreme Court and naming Roberts chief justice, Bush achieved what had eluded Richard Nixon, Reagan, and his own father. Roberts and Alito made the Court indisputably more conservative. And the good news is Roberts, 53, and Alito, 58, should be justices for decades to come.

9) Bush’s ninth achievement has been widely ignored. He strengthened relations with east Asian democracies (Japan, South Korea, Australia) without causing a rift with China.

10) Finally, a no-brainer: the surge. Bush prompted nearly unanimous disapproval in January 2007 when he announced he was sending more troops to Iraq and adopting a new counterinsurgency strategy.

We might add the fight against AIDS in Africa and other accomplishments…but we know, if you hate the guy you hate the guy…..

See Fred Barnes’ entire view:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/P
ublic/Articles/000/000/015/986rockt.asp

Bush was never afraid to make the tough call:
Bush Personally Redirected SecState Rice To Support Israel

Panetta Loyalty to Obama Key to Improved CIA?

January 8, 2009

In selecting Leon Panetta as head of the CIA, Mr. Obama has chosen a trusted person whose loyalty is assured, a person he will support when the going gets tough. George W. Bush erred in not immediately replacing CIA chief George Tenet, a holdover from the Clinton administration.

By Ishmael Jones
The Washington Times

The CIA is meant to be America’s early warning system, providing the intelligence that is used to prevent attack. But the CIA has become a bureaucratic creature, loyal only to itself, and its ability to produce human source intelligence is dismal. Reliance upon it is our major national security weakness.

Americans may disagree on the reasons for our lack of preparedness prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and our response to those attacks in the subsequent Afghan and Iraq wars, but we should agree that much of the intelligence provided to President Bush by the CIA was false or nonexistent.

Leon Panetta 
Above: Leon Panetta.  Photo by AP

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan
/08/where-loyalty-is-vital/

Obama Didn’t Want Man of Knowledge and Integrity at CIA

January 7, 2009

WOULD you ask your accountant to perform brain surgery on your child? That’s the closest analogy I can find to the choice of Democratic Party hack Leon Panetta to head the CIA.

Earth to President-elect Obama: Intelligence is serious. And infernally complicated. When we politicize it – as we have for 16 years – we get 9/11. Or, yes, Iraq.

The extreme left, to which Panetta’s nomination panders, howled that Bush and Cheney corrupted the intelligence system. Well, I worked in the intel world in the mid 1990s and saw how the Clinton team undermined the system’s integrity.

Al Qaeda a serious threat? The Clinton White House didn’t want to hear it. Clinton was the pioneer in corrupting intelligence. Bush was just a follow-on homesteader.

By Ralph Peters
New York Post

Now we’ve fallen so low that left-wing cadres can applaud the nomination of a CIA chief whose sole qualification is that he’s a party loyalist, untainted by experience.

The director’s job at the CIA isn’t a party favor. This is potentially a matter of life and death for thousands of Americans. But the choice of Panetta tells us all that Barack Obama doesn’t take intelligence seriously.

Mark my words: It’ll bite him in the butt.

After the military, the intel community is the most complex arm of government. You can’t do on-the-job training at the top. While a CIA boss needn’t be a career intelligence professional, he or she does need a deep familiarity with the purposes, capabilities, limitations and intricacies of intelligence.

Oh, and you’d better understand the intelligence bureaucracy.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), who was blindsided – and appalled – by the Obama mafia’s choice, has the essential knowledge of how the system works. She, or a similar expert, should have gotten this nod. But the president-elect wanted a clean-slate yes-man, not a person of knowledge and integrity….

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/01072009/post
opinion/opedcolumnists/an_awful_pick_148973.htm

Obama Is Under Fire Over Panetta Selection

January 7, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama said yesterday that he has selected a “top-notch intelligence team” that would provide the “unvarnished” information his administration needs, rather than “what they think the president wants to hear.”

But current and former intelligence officials expressed sharp resentment over Obama’s choice of Leon E. Panetta as CIA director and suggested that the agency suffers from incompetent leadership and low morale. “People who suggest morale is low don’t have a clue about what’s going on now,” said CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield, citing recent personnel reforms under Director Michael V. Hayden.

By Karen DeYoung and Joby Warrick
The Washington Post

On Capitol Hill, Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence were still stewing over Obama not consulting them on the choice before it was leaked Monday and continued to question Panetta’s intelligence experience. Vice President-elect  Joseph R. Biden Jr. acknowledged that the transition team had made a “mistake” in not consulting or even notifying congressional leaders, and Obama telephoned committee Chairman  Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and her predecessor,  Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), yesterday to apologize.

“Obama trusts [Panetta] — that’s a huge plus,” committee member  Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said, citing Panetta’s management expertise as Clinton White House chief of staff and budget director. But “after the past 24 hours, Leon Panetta is likely to get a good grilling” at his confirmation hearing, Wyden said.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/
2009/01/06/AR2009010603587.html?hpid=topnews

Bush Terribly Unpopular Now, But History May Still “Vindicate” Him

December 23, 2008

The argument for his eventual vindication is stronger than many might expect.

On foreign policy, Bush emphasizes that he pursued a “freedom agenda” and spread freedom to Iraq. While the Iraqi future is far from clear, it is possible that the country becomes a democracy and a reliable ally of the U.S. If that transformation is completed, then it could well be viewed as a turning point in the war on terror.

On the home front, to virtually everyone’s surprise, we’ve avoided a terrorist attack since Sept. 11.

Hard to Argue

So it is hard to argue that Bush’s policies were a failure. The unpopular war may have trashed his party, but it didn’t have the same effect on the country.

Turning to the economy, the pro-Bush argument becomes more of a stretch. First, his accomplishments were few. He passed a relatively small tax cut and was unable to hold the line on government spending.

By Kevin Hassett
Bloomberg

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi
d=washingtonstory&sid=acJBjLS7oKAc

Cheney Really Is Most Disliked, Poll Says: Implications For Executive Branch?

December 23, 2008

Most Americans do not approve of Dick Cheney as vice president.  But the bad news it that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are talking about a lesser role for the next Vice President and that may mean a lesser role for all future vice presidents.

Maybe the lesson should be that a guy like Cheney is never going to be popular in the polls — and maybe that is all right.  Maybe even a good thing.

Said Keating Holland, CNN polling director, “The messenger may be getting in the way of the message.”

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Well maybe, just maybe, Cheney should never have been a messenger and should not be spinning the message.  The man cannot spin.  He really is that sure and unaware or uncaring (probably the later, the man is very aware) about what many others think — even what they think of him.

Part of Cheney’s problem, if it is that, is that he never wanted to be liked and he never watched opinion polls.  He told Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday that he never watched the polls and concentrated on what he thought to be the “right thing.”

“I’m very comfortable with where we are and what we achieved substantively. And frankly, I would not want to be one of those guys who spends all his time reading the polls. I think people like that shouldn’t serve in these jobs,” Cheney said on “Fox News Sunday.”

A Fox News handout image shows US Vice President Dick Cheney ... 
A Fox News handout image shows US Vice President Dick Cheney (left) being interviewed by Mike Wallace in Washington, DC. Cheney has strongly defended controversial interrogations and surveillance operations in the US “war on terror,” while acknowledging he was not sure if terror mastermind Osama bin Laden was still alive.(AFP/HO Fox News/File)

But we are at war and in our constitutional system the executive branch is permitted greater scope and power during war — hundreds of Congressmen and Senators can’t even come up with an auto industry bailout let alone wage war.

So we have some regrets when we hear Barack Obama and Joe Biden talking about a diminished role for the Vice President…

I like Cheney’s use of the word “substantively.”  The Veep is not just a messenger to the media: he is the president’s “thinker in chief.”

Maybe we should allow the president to determine the value of the VEEP — not the polls.

Asked about Biden’s role as Vice President, Cheney said that he had heard that Biden was seeking a smaller role as Vice President but that “it will be President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to diminish the office of the Vice President”….

Sure.  Former Chaiman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden will be busy with the White House Task Force on Working Families.

A spokeswoman for the vice-president-elect said “Biden had no intention of continuing the practice started by Vice President Cheney of regularly attending internal legislative branch meetings — he firmly believes in restoring the Office of the Vice President to its historical role.”

Maybe we are returing to the era of Vice President John Nance Garner who was quoted as saying his job was “not worth a bucket of warm spit.”

Or maybe future Vice Presidents will be more like dynamo Dan Quayle….

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A new national poll suggests that almost a quarter of Americans think that Dick Cheney is the worst vice president in American history.

Twenty-three percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday say that Cheney is the country’s worst vice president, when compared with his predecessors.

From Paul Steinhauser
CNN Deputy Political Director

An additional 41 percent feel that Cheney is a poor vice president, with 34 percent rating him a good number two.

Only one percent of those polled say that Cheney is the best vice president in U.S. history.

“On the Sunday talk shows, Cheney took on the job of making the affirmative case for the Bush legacy,” said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. “But the messenger may be getting in the way of the message.”

Cheney steps down as vice president January 20. He will be succeeded by Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

Vice President-elect Joe Biden listens as President-elect Barack ... 
Vice President-elect Joe Biden, in focus but in the shadow, listens as President-elect Barack Obama makes remarks.(AP Photo)

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/22/poll.cheney/index.html

Related:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/22/biden.lkl/index.html