One way the Bush Administration has played CYA is to cut off the flow of information about what they are doing. For instance, why did the DOD suddenly classify the tally on the number of attacks per month on our troops in Iraq, after supplying this data every month since the war began? Could it be the figures tell the public how poorly the war is going?
And after consecutive reports showed that terrorist attacks worldwide had climbed since 9/11, the Bush Administration stopped publishing those reports.
For a full list of outrageous acts of hiding information, see TPMmuckraker .
I think most Americans fully understand the importance of success; they're wondering whether we have a plan to succeed. It's my job to listen to a lot of opinions and come up with a strategy that says we have a plan."
Should we worry that the commander-in-chief doesn't know the difference between plans, strategies and goals?
The Bush administration routinely has underreported the level of violence in Iraq in order to disguise its policy failings, the Iraq Study Group report said Wednesday.
On page 94 of its report, the Iraq Study Group found that there had been "significant under-reporting of the violence in Iraq." The reason, the group said, was because the tracking system was designed in a way that minimized the deaths of Iraqis.
"The standard for recording attacks acts a filter to keep events out of reports and databases," the report said. "A murder of an Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack. If we cannot determine the source of a sectarian attack, that assault does not make it into the database. A roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn't hurt U.S. personnel doesn't count."
When does spinning become lying?
First, never try to clean up someone else's mess when you can get him or her to do it. George Bush and Karl Rove and friends would like nothing better than to have the Democrats take responsibility for correcting the Iraq debacle, the obscene debt, the Katrina shame, and a host of atrocities perpetrated on America and the world. Were the Democrats to come in on their white chargers ready to restore America, to FIX the problems, they'd fall right into the hands of clever Republican strategists planning for 2008. There is only one group that should FIX the messes we're in right now both at home and around the world -- that is the Bush Administration.
Wise, indeed. The Republicans have been trying to bait the Democrats into coming up with solutions for Iraq, for which the Dems have wisely avoided. Bush created the problem. It's his to solve. It's just that now he will have someone looking over his shoulder and holding him accountable, instead of getting away with saying things are improving when they aren't.
It should surprise few readers that we think a vote that is seen--in America and the world at large--as a decisive "No" vote on the Bush presidency is the best outcome. We need not dwell on George W. Bush's failed effort to jam a poorly disguised amnesty for illegal aliens through Congress or the assaults on the Constitution carried out under the pretext of fighting terrorism or his administration's endorsement of torture. Faced on Sept. 11, 2001 with a great challenge, President Bush made little effort to understand who had attacked us and why--thus ignoring the prerequisite for crafting an effective response. He seemingly did not want to find out, and he had staffed his national-security team with people who either did not want to know or were committed to a prefabricated answer.
As a consequence, he rushed America into a war against Iraq, a war we are now losing and cannot win, one that has done far more to strengthen Islamist terrorists than anything they could possibly have done for themselves. Bush's decision to seize Iraq will almost surely leave behind a broken state divided into warring ethnic enclaves, with hundreds of thousands killed and maimed and thousands more thirsting for revenge against the country that crossed the ocean to attack them. The invasion failed at every level: if securing Israel was part of the administration's calculation--as the record suggests it was for several of his top aides--the result is also clear: the strengthening of Iran's hand in the Persian Gulf, with a reach up to Israel's northern border, and the elimination of the most powerful Arab state that might stem Iranian regional hegemony.
The war will continue as long as Bush is in office, for no other reason than the feckless president can't face the embarrassment of admitting defeat. The chain of events is not complete: Bush, having learned little from his mistakes, may yet seek to embroil America in new wars against Iran and Syria.
We were so worried about Saddam Hussein giving WMD to terrorists that we invaded Iraq. But now we find out that the Bush Adminstration did even worse. They posted detailed plans for building an atomic bomb on the Internet. They were written in Arabic, so Osama and his buddies wouldn't even need to translate them.
Watch the video:
"In 1942, the first election after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was ... emphatic about separating war and politics. Roosevelt spent much of that fall visiting defense facilities on a tour during which he barred press coverage and insisted on being accompanied by Republican as well as Democratic local officials. When the chairman of the Democratic National Committee suggested that a GOP takeover of the House would be bad for the country, Roosevelt publicly rebuked him...
As a result of Bush's polarizing strategies, Brownstein writes, "he now looks less like the president of all the people than the champion of a single faction."
Condi Rice shot back this morning at Bill Clinton, to say they did try to get Bin Laden before 9/11.
The 9/11 Commission Report contradicts Rice's claims. On December 4, 1998, for example, the Clinton administration received a President's Daily Brief entitled "Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks." Here's how the Clinton administration reacted, according to the 9/11 Commission report:
The same day, [Counterterrorism Czar Richard] Clarke convened a meeting of his CSG [Counterterrorism Security Group] to discuss both the hijacking concern and the antiaircraft missile threat. To address the hijacking warning, the group agreed that New York airports should go to maximum security starting that weekend. They agreed to boost security at other East coast airports. The CIA agreed to distribute versions of the report to the FBI and FAA to pass to the New York Police Department and the airlines. The FAA issued a security directive on December 8, with specific requirements for more intensive air carrier screening of passengers and more oversight of the screening process, at all three New York area airports. [pg. 128-30]
On August 6, 2001, the Bush administration received a President's Daily Brief entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S." Here's how the Bush administration reacted, according to the 9/11 Commission report:
[President Bush] did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so.[p. 260]
We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the President and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al Qaeda attack in the United States. DCI Tenet visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas, on August 17 and participated in the PDB briefings of the President between August 31 (after the President had returned to Washington) and September 10. But Tenet does not recall any discussions with the President of the domestic threat during this period. [p. 262]