Archive for the ‘9/11’ Category

“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

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

CHENEY UNPLUGGED: Read excerpts of transcript

December 18, 2008

The following are excerpts from an interview Wednesday with Vice President Dick Cheney:

On similarities between the Ford and Bush administrations:

I think there is a parallel in a sense with my experience during the Ford years. President Ford made a decision that was extraordinarily unpopular at the time when he pardoned former President Nixon.  He suffered – he dropped 30 points in the polls in one week as I recall.

The Guantanamo 'war on terror' detention center should ... 
The Guantanamo ‘war on terror’ detention center should remain open indefinitely Vice President Richard Cheney told ABC News in an interview Monday, while also defending the harsh interrogation method known as waterboarding.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Mark Wilson)

By the time of his passing a couple of years ago, opinion had totally turned on that. In fact, most people by then, even many who had been very critical 30 years before, were in agreement that in fact it was a good decision, it was the right thing to do from the standpoint of the country. …

I’m personally persuaded that this president and this administration will look very good 20 or 30 years down the road in light of what we’ve been able to accomplish with respect to the global war on terror.

On the power of the vice president’s office:

In terms of whether or not [I was] the most powerful and influential [vice president], I’ll let somebody else make those judgments. I think, um, I do believe that the vice presidency has been a consequential office, if I can put it in those terms, in this administration. But that’s first and foremost because that’s what the president wanted.

He’s the one who asked me to take the job, he’s also the one who decided during the course of the process eight years ago that he wanted somebody who would be another member of the team, who had a certain set of experiences and so forth, who could be an active participant in the process.

On charges that terrorism suspects have been tortured:

Before I respond to that, let me state a proposition. It’s very important to discriminate between different elements of, or issues that are often times conflated or all joined together. People take Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and interrogation of high-value detainees and sort of throw that all together and say, you know, characterize it as torture policy.

Read the rest from the Washington Times:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/
2008/dec/18/cheney-unplugged-gitmo-h
as-been-a-first-rate-facil/