October 19, 2015

Did Jake Tapper "destroy" Jeb Bush with the question how can we blame Hillary for Benghazi if we can't blame George W. Bush for 9/11?

If you think Jeb is disastrous here, I'd say you're averse to his style and manner of speech — not just on this issue, but on everything. It's not that different from what bugged some people about his brother and that was mocked in his father. There's something modest and mild that reads to me as an expression of good character, but I know that's not how everyone sees it and the question Republicans face is who they want making their argument that they deserve the power of the presidency. I can see fretting about whether Jeb can step up and get the message across.

ADDED: Something I said in the comments: "There is so much more Jeb could have said making the distinction. He just doesn't have a go-for-the-jugular instinct. His deer-in-the-headlights moment was very similar to Mitt Romney's disastrous self-restraint in the second debate with Obama. I think that moment is indicative of a conscience, but it wrecked Romney's momentum and began his journey to electoral defeat."

135 comments:

damikesc said...

Bush was in his eight month on the job. Hillary eas in her 44th month and her policies caused it.

mccullough said...

Not a great communicator but he has a reassuring temperament. We focus on whether people are good candidates not whether they did a good job in their previous office and would be an effective president. Jeb was a good governor overall and exhibits good judgment most of the time. He's pretty lackluster as a candidate

Ann Althouse said...

There is so much more Jeb could have said making the distinction. He just doesn't have a go-for-the-jugular instinct.

His deer-in-the-headlights moment was very similar to Mitt Romney's disastrous self-restraint in the second debate with Obama. I think that moment is indicative of a conscience, but it wrecked Romney's momentum and began his journey to electoral defeat.

Ann Althouse said...

go-for-the-jugular ... deer-in-the-headlights

predator and prey

Ann Althouse said...

I'd like a calm, boring President. Too bad that can't be the theme for a campaign.

chuck said...

Depends on the listener, I suppose. I think it is an idiotic question that Tapper puts out there in order to obfuscate Hillary's incompetence.

Graham Powell said...

I don't think you can blame Hillary for how things went down that night in Benghazi - by then it was too late to help - but Ambassador Stevens had been asking for more security for months. For all I know, EVERY ambassador thinks they need more security, but to me the failure came well before anyone died.

lgv said...

It is not an appropriate comparison. Perhaps a more appropriate comparison would be to substitute Bill Clinton for George W. Bush.

Benghazi was a direct result of a policy promoted and implemented by HRC. Without HRC convincing BHO to intervene in Libya, there would have been no Benghazi incident. The 9/11 event was in the works before GWB. If Bill Clinton had captured/killed Bin Laden when he had the chance, there might not have a 9/11. But, while better, this too isn't a good comparison either. There is no direct Clinton policy that initiated the build up to 9/11.

The more apt comparison is the emergence of the caliphate in Syria/Iraq to GWB. If we had left the dictator in power in Iraq, would there be a territory held by ISIS right now?

Tank said...

Jeb Bush's problems are:

1. He is Republican Inc., at just the moment most conservatives/libertarians are sick to death of them.

2. His immigration position.

3. Tapper's question is a fair question, which could be answered in a nuanced and fair way. Bush is the worst person to do this, just as Romney was the worst person to criticize O'Care.

Tank said...

Carson's campaign is calm and boring and resonating.

Big Mike said...

There is so much more Jeb could have said making the distinction. He just doesn't have a go-for-the-jugular instinct.

And his likely opponent, Hillary Clinton, certainly does, plus she's surrounded herself with a phalanx of nasty people -- James ("the talking skull") Carville, Sid Blumenthal -- who are as bad or worse. So far only Fiorina has demonstrated any skill at attack and counterattack versus the Clinton machine.

I'd like a calm, boring President. Too bad that can't be the theme for a campaign.

You voted for "no drama Obama" in 2008. How'd that work out?

More to the point, I don't think "calm and boring" go well with the situation this country faces in the world today, nor will "calm and boring" go very far in addressing our economic problems.

Mick said...

Hillary Clinton the criminal committed treason in allowing a US Ambassador, who had inside knowledge of US weapons running through Libya to Syrian rebels now known as ISIS, to be killed, and then LIED about the cause of it (blaming a silly movie).

Do you think ISIS sprang up with brand new Toyota trucks out of the desert? They were US supplied, and Clinton and the Usurper Hussein Obama helped create them. Now their creation is committing genocide against Christians in the middle east. The destabilization of all secular governments in N. Africa by the Usurper and his fellow travelers created the
"refugee crisis". The Usurper Hussein Obama told you that he would "side with the Muslims" "law prof". How could you vote for these criminals-- twice.

Clinton showed that she wiped her ass with the constitution when she violated the emoluments clause. What is the penalty for treason?

rhhardin said...

Using lots of words with latin roots makes you boring, if you want to run.

walter said...

I'd "stumble" too if trying to follow and answer Tapper's weird poker faced false equivalencies. The only thing arguably destroyed in that exchange is Tapper's attempted logic.

But since it seems politically fashionable to blame past presidents for inaction, Clinton 1.0 might have been mentioned.

Emil Blatz said...

A. Ted Cruz.

Brando said...

It's a very weak analogy. I at least am not blaming Hillary for "Benghazi" in that I don't think she could have expected the attacks on the consulate or been in much position to stop them. But I do blame her for "Libya" in supporting an ill-conceived military intervention that made that country far worse and created the very situation that engulfed it, and leaves it a haven for extremists today (though the primary victims are Libyans themselves). This mess indirectly did cause the deaths at our consulate.

Bush II did nothing I can imagine that could reasonably be linked to the 9/11 attacks. This idea that he should have been able to prevent it is absurd. At most he had a document (one of the millions presidents receive) that said "Bin Laden determined to attack U.S.". If you think that means he should have known who would have attacked where and how and when, and he could have prevented 9/11 as a result, then you have a fascinated thought process.

Bob Boyd said...

Igv is right. Its not a fair comparison.

Was there anybody warning about the danger of kamikaze style attacks on Manhattan and DC using airliners full of passengers? Right up until it happened it was almost beyond imagining.

On the other hand, when you put your people into a place like Benghazi, Libya and they are begging for more security every day and they are refused...
Then when it all goes pear-shaped you do everything you can to block inquiry into what happened and why they were there in the first place.

For the sake of argument let's say Hillary isn't responsible, why has she made it so hard to find out what went wrong?

Jeb could've just said, "W didn't go into CYA mode after 9/11."

Bob Boyd said...

We can't stop terrorists if we prize our leaders' reputations over the safety of our people on the ground.

Hagar said...

9/11 did not throw the State Department and associated cliques at CIA, DoD, etc. into full panic mode with invented stories of anti-Moslem videos, etc., and there were not 3 years of consistent lying and stonewalling about every detail asked for an explanation of since.

Writ Small said...

Everyone saying what Jeb could or should have said are making Althouse's point. Surely we can find something between Bush's milquetoast responses and Trump's I-would-have-prevented-Pearl-Harbor braggadocio.

Brando said...

In any event, Jeb won't be the nominee. Anyone in his position who seriously wants to be president is going to have his argument on this issue all fleshed out and ready to go. To be caught flat footed on questions about his brother's foreign policy legacy (as he was months ago with the Iraq question) suggests he is either woefully underprepared or lacking in basic political skills.

GOP needs someone who can take down Hillary. Jeb I think would be a sacrificial lamb.

Quaestor said...

Tapper: How can we blame Hillary for Benghazi if we can't blame George W. Bush for 9/11?

Jeb Bush: Well....

Tapper's question is an idiot trap, and it seems to have caught one. The way to disarm the trap is to answer correctly: Jake -- May I can you Jake? -- That's a hell of a stupid question. Do you know any of the history of the 9/11 attacks? If you did you'd know that the 9/11 and Benghazi are hardly comparable. 9/11 was the end result of many years of planning and preparation by Osama bin Laden and his cohorts, mostly during the presidency of Bill Clinton. GWB had been in office less than eight and a half months when 9/11 happened. He was just getting his feet wet, as they say.

If any American president shares a measure of blame for 9/11 it's Bill Clinton, who bungled two opportunities to decapitate the Al-Qæda organization long before 9/11. The first was an offer by Sudan to turn Bin Laden over to the FBI, an offer Clinton refused for some reason. Another was a clear opportunity to kill Bin laden and several of his lieutenants by airstrike. Two CIA paras had identified Bin Laden entering a remote house in Afghanistan. They reported him to Langley via a satellite uplink. They were equipped with a laser target designator. All that was needed was one jet with one JDAM bomb, and all this suffering could have been curtailed. But Madeline Albright, Clinton's idiot Secretary of State, called the Pakis to tell them about the operation, who in turn warned Bin Laden. The paras watched him rush out of the house and drive away at high speed, and he was never seen by US agents again for almost 15 years.

But blaming Clinton for 9/11 is unfair. It's like blaming FDR for Pearl Harbor. The Japanese succeeded at Pearl Harbor because they planned and prepared brilliantly, because their pilots and planes were first rate. Some people blame FDR because he "goaded Japan" into war by embargoing US oil and steel shipments to Japan. What these people ignore is the fact that if America did not embargo those resources this country would have seen to be a de facto ally of Japan in their brutal warring in China. Roosevelt could have mitigated the damage done at Pearl Harbor by keeping more fleet oilers in the Pacific (the battleships were there because there wasn't enough tanker capacity to keep the Fleet at sea) but by doing so FDR would have shortchanged his efforts against Germany in the Atlantic, seen as the most dangerous enemy at the time. By the same token Clinton refused the Sudanese offer because the political price they demanded was too high. The assassination attempt by fighter-bomber was bungled by Albright, who acted on her own when she spilled the beans to the Pakistanis.

Quaestor said...

(Continued...)

No one is blaming Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi attack itself. What they blame her for is the deception she tried to pull on the American people after the attack. American's also blame her for her unwillingness to frankly and honestly answer some fundamental questions about Benghazi, instead of shrieking "What difference does it make?" The difference is lessons we may learn from the unvarnished truth. The difference is history versus CYA mythology. One question she has never answered is this one: What was Amb. Stevens doing in Benghazi in the first place? The embassy is in Tripoli. The Benghazi compound was a consulate, and very insecure compared to the embassy. What was he doing there. He would have been stupid to leave Tripoli on his own account. Stevens wasn't stupid. He was ordered to Benghazi. Who ordered him there, and why? What was he to do there? In the chain of command ambassadors are directly under the Secretary of State. We can assume Hillary ordered Stevens to Benghazi. The rumor is that Stevens was sent to negotiate with Al-Qæda affiliated militiamen who had gotten their hands on some very potent US-supplied anti-aircraft missiles. The rumor is he was to offer gold for the missiles. If true we may assume it was Hillary who gave the order for those negotiations; ff not the American need to know why the chain of command was broken. If Hillary sent Stevens to Benghazi to negotiate with terrorists, then she can fairly be blamed for that debacle.

Hagar said...

Where are the 40 or so people airlifted out of Libya after the attack on Benghazi, and why are no newshounds searching for them or even asking questions?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...
I'd like a calm, boring President. Too bad that can't be the theme for a campaign.


Sort of like a no-drama Obama?

Martha said...

Problem is Jeb! is not too bright and cannot think on his feet. He is a legacy candidate.

Quaestor answered Tapper's gotcha question the way Jeb! should have.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...His deer-in-the-headlights moment was very similar to Mitt Romney's disastrous self-restraint in the second debate with Obama. I think that moment is indicative of a conscience, but it wrecked Romney's momentum and began his journey to electoral defeat.

Yes and yes. Note too that these examples exist due in part to the (baised) intervention of the Media. Consider what it means when candidates who evidence conscience stand no chance against candidates who don't, and despair.
President Hilldozer, here we come.

Jim said...

There are to many questions, and way to many people trying to hide what really happened. The Clintons have a long history of evading responsibility for their actions. the media, and others, are more than willing to provide cover.
We had boring in Mitt. We need someone who can get angry at what is taking place, now and over the past decade.
Time to wake up.

Hagar said...

As Reagan said, "With so much horse manure, there just has to be a pony in there somewhere!"

Quaestor said...

Althouse wrote: I'd like a calm, boring President.

I'd like a calm, boring epoch. The problem with calm, boring epochs is that they tend to prelude disaster. Much like a Wagner opera tragedy often starts off quietly with a lot of strings. The brass and drums come later. Trying to think of a calm, boring president (rules of capitalization, professor...) I came up with William Howard Taft as a recent example. Much of political poison that became the "Great War" was brewed up during those calm and boring days

We live in interesting times, therefore we need an interesting leader. The times call for a Napoleon or a Caesar. I doubt we'll get one. We'd be lucky to get Reagan. Don't see one of those either.

Quaestor said...

Where are the 40 or so people airlifted out of Libya after the attack on Benghazi, and why are no newshounds searching for them or even asking questions?

For fear of getting embarrassing answers. Newshounds are really lapdogs, or didn't you known that already?

rehajm said...

Ann Althouse said...His deer-in-the-headlights moment was very similar to Mitt Romney's disastrous self-restraint in the second debate with Obama. I think that moment is indicative of a conscience, but it wrecked Romney's momentum and began his journey to electoral defeat.

Yes and yes. Note too that these examples exist due in part to the (baised) intervention of the Media. Consider what it means when candidates who evidence conscience stand no chance against candidates who don't, and despair.
President Hilldozer, here we come.


Do voters today recognize Candy Crowley lied to get the Romney moment, or that it was orchestrated to achieve the result it did? To me the all Clinton moves all feel old and tired: the obfuscation, the conspiracy theories, the logic fallacies, but I now realize they aren't obvious to others. I guess it's true people also fail to recognize today's media as the political operatives they are.

Tank said...

Steve Sailer had some interesting thoughts here about how Bush might have contributed to 911.

Michael K said...

"There is no direct Clinton policy that initiated the build up to 9/11."

Oh yes there is. Some have been described. In addition there is "the Chinese Wall" between CIA and FBI created by Jamie Gorelick, that barred sharing intelligence that would,have identified the plot.

the pre-Patriot Act "wall" that prevented communication between intelligence agents and criminal investigators -- a wall, Mr. Ashcroft said, that meant "the old national intelligence system in place on September 11 was destined to fail." The Attorney General explained:

"In the days before September 11, the wall specifically impeded the investigation into Zacarias Moussaoui, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. After the FBI arrested Moussaoui, agents became suspicious of his interest in commercial aircraft and sought approval for a criminal warrant to search his computer. The warrant was rejected because FBI officials feared breaching the wall.

"When the CIA finally told the FBI that al-Midhar and al-Hazmi were in the country in late August, agents in New York searched for the suspects. But because of the wall, FBI headquarters refused to allow criminal investigators who knew the most about the most recent al Qaeda attack to join the hunt for the suspected terrorists.

"At that time, a frustrated FBI investigator wrote headquarters, quote, 'Whatever has happened to this -- someday someone will die -- and wall or not -- the public will not understand why we were not more effective and throwing every resource we had at certain 'problems.' "


This was the proximate cause of the failure to identify the danger.

Michael K said...

"how Bush might have contributed to 911."

"Arab-Americans are treated with respect."

That's a fair speculation but none of the hijackers was "an Arab-American." They were all on visas they should not have had.

rcocean said...

Bush is a modest man who has much to be modest about. He's never been a player on the national scene. He got tagged as the front-runner because his name is Bush and the Big Donors and GOPe decided he was their boy.

He's a safe, boring, establishment candidate. I'm sure plenty of comfortable, well-off-people who like the status quo will be perfectly happy if he becomes President. He'll be the slightly less Liberal Hillary.

William said...

I liked Quaestor's answer, but in an extemporaneous setting, that's not the way people think or respond. Fess up Quastor: did you look up any of that info before framing your answer......The examples of Napoleon and Caesar are why we find dull, boring Presidents reassuring.

Tank said...

@MichaelK

Sailer's point is that people might have "not noticed" things they noticed because of PC pressure.

Quaestor said...

Anybody here remember an ABC docudrama called The Path to 9/11, starring Harvey Keitel? That was a pretty accurate digest of the events and bungles that led up to that sad day. The bigwigs at ABC decided the truth was too damaging to Bill 'n Hill so they killed it. The program aired once and disappeared. It's watchable on Youtube for the time being, however.

Anonymous said...

Ann Althouse said...
I'd like a calm, boring President. Too bad that can't be the theme for a campaign.

Then vote for TED CRUZ!!!

Quaestor said...

Fess up Quastor: did you look up any of that info before framing your answer..

Absolute not! My answer came straight out of my brain, which thinks in complete sentences most of the time. If you knew me you'd recognize my native voice. Unlike Jeb! Quaestor can think on his feet.

Achilles said...

Obama polls in the single digits among Veterans? How could this be? Hillary is even less popular? How could veterans hate someone with so much experience?

Truly a mystery.

I Callahan said...

There is so much more Jeb could have said making the distinction. He just doesn't have a go-for-the-jugular instinct.

In this case, he's similar to his brother. 8 straight years of constant lambasting by the left, and it rankled me that GWB never went back after those trying to destroy him. Thanks to that approach, most people still think the guy is an idiot, when anyone with a working brain can clearly see he wasn't an idiot.

exhelodrvr1 said...

This was a great opportunity for both Jeb and the Republicans in general; too bad for all of us he screwed it up.

machine said...

...not like he got a memo or anything.

n.n said...

Obama and Clinton created a war zone with the assassination of regime members. Clinton was responsible for Benghazi before the fact, and Obama was responsible during and after.

damikesc said...

Callahan, it also helped crater conservative support. Why defend a dude who won't defend himself?

damikesc said...

...not like he got a memo or anything.

He handled the memo. OBL was plotting to attack NYC and was focused on government buildings in Manhattan with literally no date on when or idea on how. No government buildings were touched in Manhattan on 9/11, though.

Now Hillary received alerts about risks of violence in Libya on 9/11. I wonder how well she handled her memo...

damikesc said...

All we've seen is that Republicans still don't like dynastic politics while Democrats still have a hard-on for the concept. I give 30 years before Dems demand a monarchy.

Kirk Parker said...

"I'd like a calm, boring President."

I'd like a blogress with enough self-awareness to know that she would never in a million years vote for Coolidge.


I image we're both going to be disappointed.

Sebastian said...

All GOP candidates need to call MSM lackeys on their BS all the time. Any GOP candidate who accepts MSM framing of issues shows incompetence.

Yes, Jeb shows good character. He might be a good executive. But he he also shows incompetence as a candidate.

Quaestor-like lines should be totally engrained, on any issue.

Only one candidate beats the MSM at their own game (Cruz), two seem at least prepared (Fiorina and Rubio), and one sidesteps their circus "unpredictably" (Trump).

EMD said...

A counter could have been, well, W never blamed a YouTube video for 9/11 or had someone hauled off to jail in California for 9/11.

CStanley said...

All that he had to say to point out the marked difference between responsibility for these two events:

We know in hindsight that NYC and DC were under threat on the morning of 9/11/01, but if you were to poll the first 100 people in the phone book on the morning of 9/11/12 and ask if they thought that a high ranking American diplomat should travel to a remote outpost in Libya that day without adequate security, what would their response be? Why in the hell would he do that??

There was a general threat level that W had been made aware of, but the specific danger of the situation that Stephens was put in was much more predictable, and should not have happened.

Quaestor said...

Clinton was responsible for Benghazi before the fact, and Obama was responsible during and after.

I am uncomfortable with such all-or-nothing characterizations of events, partly because they aren't historically or psychologically accurate, and because they reduced our foes to mere robots without volition or moral accountability. Based on my understanding of the events, which is probably inaccurate thanks to the mendacity of the Obama Administration and the curious incident of the newshounds in the night-time, the whole imbroglio was the result of Hillary's completely bogus grasp of the nature and scope of the so-called Arab Spring.

Clinton thought she saw an opportunity to gut the Gordian Knot of the Middle East, and by such cutting gain a Nobel Prize and the Oval Office for herself. It was her machinations that led to the arming of anti-Gaddfi rebels in Libya and anti-Assad rebels in Syria. Clinton hoped that thus armed they would be able to overthrow the strongmen and establish Arab democracy in those unhappy lands -- an admirable plan. Unfortunately her plan was foiled by her illusions (History is replete with cunning plans spoiled by illusory expectations.) She and her myrmidons had no real understanding of the ideology of the rebels, many of whom opposed Gaddafi because of his secularism and not for his dictatorship. Just as in Syria the US policy was bungled by arming anti-Western groups as well as genuine pro-democracy fighters.

When Clinton learned the truth of the situation she panicked. Her concern became hiding her incompetence and complicity. Consequently she cooked up a plan to buy back the most dangerous weapons to fall into the hands of auto-Western militants, among them shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, before those arms were used in a terrorist attack somewhere. She sent Stevens to Benghazi to negotiate with those anti-Western militants, who showed their contempt for the offer of gold by attacking the consulate and murdering the ambassador. It has been Hillary's aim ever since to hide the facts behind the attack from the American people, hence the hastily cooked-up and monumentally stupid "Youtube" explanation.

William said...

"Absolute not!" That should have been "Absolutely not!" This leads me to believe that it is possible you would make a mistake in an extemporaneous setting. But that doesn't mean you're an evil person or that your answer to Tapper's question wasn't well thought out.......I think Bush's answer was clumsy and halting. I think Trump's answer to the question would be that Tapper wasn't as good looking as Anderson Cooper and his ratings aren't too high. People would applaud that answer, not for its wit or wisdom but for the hostility that underlined it......,.I don't think Jeb Bush will give eloquent or carefully crafted answers to such questions. Nor like Trump will he call his interlocutor a dickwad for raising such a question. I do, however, think that in most situations Bush will act in a wiser and more prudent way than Hillary, Trump, or Obama. That's an even lower bar than better than nothing, but it's something.

retired said...

Funny when leftist s like althouse opine on and give advice to conservatives. I doubt they have the best interests of their subject in mind.

Quaestor said...

Typo: gut the Gordian Knot. Almost a Freudian typo, I think.

CStanley said...

Also...a hypothetical:

To make these situations more comparable, imagine that the Port Authority had been emailing the Bush administration for months about security concerns, then the 9/11 Commission has to wade through a year of investigation to find out that the Bush Cabinet member who had received these emails was working off of a private server so a lot of the relevant documentation is missing....and they finally get the emails and see that these requests were made and the administration was not responsive.

Yeah, I'll just bet the Democrats would have said, "No biggee, shit happens!"

Michael K said...

"Sailer's point is that people might have "not noticed" things they noticed because of PC pressure."

Oh, I agree but the hijackers should not have been here at all. The guy who planned to bomb LAX the year before was stopped by a border guard. The al Qeada hijackers were smart enough to come in with only box cutters. They did not have valid visas and one, Mousasaoui, was caught on an immigration violation, which could have alerted the feds to the plot but for Gorelick's "Chinese Wall."

Bush was too naive about Muslims but not many people recognized the danger.

Quaestor said...

William, Quaestor makes typographic errors routinely. Nevertheless typos are irrelevant to your original notion that I didn't compose my alternative reply to Tapper's question extemporaneously. In fact, they mitigate against your thesis. If my comments here are composed at length and revised, do you not think it likely they would be typo-free?

Lem said...

There was an investigation and a 9/11 report after 9/11/2001.

So far it has taken the courts to force Hillary to part with documents, some of which she says she destroyed, and we are still no closer to finding out what happened on 9/11/2012.

I think the 9/11 commission had access to everything they asked for.

Lem said...

Can you imagine a press sitting idly by while the Bush White House fights the 9/11 Commission request for documents in the courts?

But Hillary is allowed to get away with that.

traditionalguy said...

Hillary is toast. She keeps every move she makes a super secret and pleads that she is normal. But the raw truth is that she is always doing Avon game with Foreigners buying influence from her by paying into Bill's hot pockets and a semi-charity with lofty goals, such as looting Haitian Gold Mine monopolies.

Obama is sending Biden in to stop her.

traditionalguy said...

Con games are better than Avon games.

JHapp said...

I recall being taught in my public high school about how important debate is as well as other language skills - more important than facts, math, and science. The English department was king, and only had competition from the sports nuts. I hated that school and still do. As a general rule I don't trust or like the company of good debaters. I don't think Jake Tapper would agree on much.

traditionalguy said...

Apparently we are being told to make Barbara Bush's sweet and humble boy our next GOP loser who loves the Sheiks and the Mexican elites so much he never criticizes them.

SoTapper did us all a favor if he made that harder.

tim maguire said...

Much was made of the memo titled "bin Laden plans attacks on US soil" as though that should have been all the government needed to stop the Trade Center attacks, but not much is made of Chris Stevens' specific requests for protection.

Jon Burack said...

"I'd like a calm, boring President. Too bad that can't be the theme for a campaign."

I agree one hundred percent. Joe vs. Jeb would suit me fine. Though I lean to Rubio, who may not be boring but he'd calm my nerves nonetheless. As to campaign theme and slogan: "Oh, oh, are we gonna fly/Down in the easy chair."

Michael K said...

"Joe vs. Jeb would suit me fine."

Joe would giggle his way through the debates.

Beldar said...

No, Tapper's question really wasn't a very good one at all, for one really good reason: Benghazi is not in the United States.

Yes, the POTUS has general and continuous responsibility for protecting the United States, especially within its borders. George W. Bush shares -- with every POTUS going back at least as far as Jimmy Carter (and arguably back to Jefferson, specifically with respect to U.S. relations with Islamic bad actors -- responsibility for the diplomatic and intelligence failures that culminated in 9/11. Like his immediate predecessors (and, alas, his immediate successor, too), George W. Bush failed to recognize the risks from this sort of attack on the homeland, which killed thousands of civilians who had not volunteered or sought to travel into harm's way.

But the Obama Administration and its SecState certainly knew that Benghazi was in harm's way. And when it comes to protecting the lives and safety of the Americans whom Barack Obama had placed there, in a hot civil war halfway across the world from us, every American government must be held to very high standards of responsibility and accountability.

So if "blame" is apportioned based on specific and clear responsibilities, and upon advance knowledge and failure to act upon it or defend against its consequences, the two attacks are wildly non-comparable.

But "blame" can, and should, also include considerations of response to the attack. For that, compare George W. Bush, roaring defiance and then raining hell, upon the terrorists who'd attacked on 9/11 to Hillary Clinton lying through her teeth about a YouTube video for the most craven of political purposes, viz, to keep her sorry principal from losing re-election.

So yeah, if one is feeble-minded and ignorant of history and immoral, then sure: One might conclude that Tapper's question just destroyed Bush. Otherwise, not.

R. Chatt said...

Instead of simply pretending to be serious, Jeb! should have admitted that his brother and Hillary both made the same mistake by underestimating Al Qaeda. That would have been a serious answer. Jeb! instead tries to split hairs by arguing that the issue is what did W do after the attack versus how did Hillary handle the extraction of the ambassador. Ludicrous and cunningly deceptive in that Jeb implies that W had no way of knowing that a 9-11 attack was possible. Jeb! isn't as innocent as he appears.

In fact, W was warned in advance about an Al Qaeda attack using airplanes and chose to ignore it. AUGUST '01 BRIEF IS SAID TO WARN OF ATTACK PLANS and The Deafness Before the Storm

Etienne Mathieu said...

The problem with Bush, is he doesn't feel like a CEO. He kind of reminds me of the loading dock manager, who got the job through family connections.

If he had to make a decision to save his life, he'd probably be on the phone to mama.

damikesc said...

Chait,do you understand the difference between actionable Intel and unactionable Intel? Being told "group wants to attack US at some point, somewhere, by some means" isn't actionable.

And what would have to be done with that to "make us safe" would require impressive violation of rights.

Quaestor said...

William wrote: The examples of Napoleon and Caesar are why we find dull, boring Presidents reassuring.

Those who long for dull and boing presidents (rules of capitalization, William) often get their wish. Good and hard.

Quaestor said...

[Do] you understand the difference between actionable Intel and unactionable Intel?

This isn't about underperforming investments, is it?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Beldar,
The underlying questions are:
1) Was it reasonable for Bush and Clinton to be doing what they were doing on their respective 9/11s AND
2) How do their post-9/11 actions compare?

tim in vermont said...

Obama just released the 20th hijacker a month ago, on a Friday afternoon when other big stories were breaking.

Obama is not, however, not a Muslim... Noooooo....

Brando said...

Look--terrorists have to be lucky just once, while those trying to stop them have to be lucky every time. If a group is determined enough and has enough resources--and it doesn't take a whole lot of resources to launch attacks on us--it's only a matter of time before they succeed. I'm not expecting our leaders to be perfect in stopping our enemies, particularly as they have to consider tradeoffs (we have only so many resources to fight terrorism, and we don't want to completely trample our civil liberties in the process either). If another major attack happens, I'll be interested in exactly how it happened before I start blaming presidents for not stopping it.

If it does turn out there's negligence behind our failure, or if the president makes some inexplicably bad call, it's absolutely fair to rail him on it. But we can't expect anyone to anticipate every single thing that can be done to us.

Quaestor said...

Though exhelodrvr1's comment wasn't directed to me,

1) We have no clear idea what Hillary Clinton was doing before, during, or after Benghazi, so the question of reasonableness can't be answered reasonably.

2) Bush was hellbent on crushing the perps. Hillary spent her time obfuscating (see point #1).

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

I would have just turned the question around on Tapper:

"How can the Obama administration say, seven YEARS in, that they inherited an impossible situation from the previous admin, without our being able to say that, 7 MONTHS in, so did 'W'?"

Quaestor said...

If it does turn out there's negligence behind our failure, or if the president makes some inexplicably bad call, it's absolutely fair to rail him on it. But we can't expect anyone to anticipate every single thing that can be done to us.

And nothing happens in a vacuum, either. As I note elsewhere the Sudanese offered Bill Clinton Osama's head on a platter, but the offer wasn't without caveats. Clinton isn't the man to turn down a freebie (just ask Monica Lewinsky) so it is reasonable to presume an unacceptable price was demanded. As commander-in-chief a president must weight all foreseeable consequences of any action, but at the same time he must not allow foreseeable consequences to hamstring American power, which is the epitaph of the Carter Presidency and is likely to be chiseled on Obama's headstone as well.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Quaestor said...

By the same token Clinton refused the Sudanese offer because the political price they demanded was too high.

That's not what Bill Clinton claimed, in a poorly recorded statement at some kind of political meeting in 2002 or so. [The Long Island Association on Feb. 15, 2002]

He claimed that the reason the United States rejected the Sudanese offer was that bon Laden hadn't been indicted (so they wouldn't know what to do with him, or maybe he'd be acquitted?)

Later on, after Sandy Burglar had checked the archives or maybe removed documents from there (but he probably did that before leaving office on January 20, 2001) Bill Clinton claimed that the Sudanese offer hadn't happened at all, and he'd mis-spoken and it was all an error of memory based on what he'd read in the press.

This is in the report of the 9/11 commission.

See Note 7 to Chapter 4, starting at the top of page 480, referring back to page 110

For a review see http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1176505/posts?page=53

The assassination attempt by fighter-bomber was bungled by Albright, who acted on her own when she spilled the beans to the Pakistanis.

I doubt that Albright would have made such a decision.

Besides, Bill Clinton backed out another time when it looked like an assassination (technically a capture or kill) attempt might succeed.

Later, he claimed he had had a clear intent to want him dead all the time.

This was not the case.

See pages 131-133 of the 9/11 report:

In particular: (on page 133)

In February 1999...President Clinton crossed out key language he had approved in December and inserted more ambiguous language. No one we interviewed could shed light on why the President did this. President Clinton told the Commission that he had no recollection of why he rewrote the language.

Later in 1999, when legal authority was needed for enlisting still other collaborators and for covering a wider set of contingencies, the lawyers returned to the language used in August, 1998, which authorized force only in the context of a capture operation. Given the closely held character of the document approved in December, 1998, and the subsequent return to the earlier language, it is possible to understand how the former White House officials and the CIA officials might differ as to whether the CIA was ever authorized to kill bin Laden





Sammy Finkelman said...

Brando said...

Look--terrorists have to be lucky just once, while those trying to stop them have to be lucky every time

Not if they want to do simultaneous attacks.

Brando said...

"As I note elsewhere the Sudanese offered Bill Clinton Osama's head on a platter, but the offer wasn't without caveats."

Absolutely. I'm no Bill Clinton fan, but the idea that he should have been far more aggressive in the late '90s is just as unfair as saying Bush should have been far more aggressive in the first seven months of his presidency. Terrorism up to that point was simply something that happened overseas and a big attack in the U.S. was considered unlikely, by Republicans and Democrats alike. With hindsight we can say Clinton absolutely should have made sure bin Laden was in custody, but Clinton didn't have hindsight then and had to weigh his options in 1998 without knowing just what was going to happen.

We can learn from it though, and one thing we can learn is that 9/11 was a one-shot deal--no one can hijack an airliner in America after this and expect hostages to sit quietly like in the old days. So the next attack will be a lot different, and we need to consider where we're vulnerable and what we can do to reduce that vulnerability.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

There's no great answer to Tapper's question. We lost 3,000 Americans on the day of the attack and 7,000 Americans in the subsequent wars. We lost 4 that night in Benghazi. The Neocons, Stalinists that they are, may think they can pass off one as a statistic and the other as a tragedy, but that's not going to work in a free society.

The mistake of Mitt Romney and now Jeb Bush is to come unprepared for the CNN questioner, probably because they are taking all of their prep advice from neocons. They need someone from Rand Paul's corner of the party to help them prepare for the obvious questions that can and will be asked.

The really funny part is the role that Fox's Sean Hannity played as the journalist asking the question that brought out the admission from Kevin McCarthy that the Benghazi Committee was designed to bring down Hillary Clinton's poll numbers. That's dog-eat-dog predation.

bbkingfish said...

Althouse overvalues modesty and mildness.

She thinks they are hallmarks of good character, when, in fact, they are hallmarks of good training.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I agree with a couple of the commenters above. What Hillary did before and during the Benghazi attack was dubious at best, but arguably defensible. It's what she did afterwards that's utterly despicable. It was obvious from the first that this wasn't a rinky-dink protest over a YouTube video clip, but she and Ambassador Rice and the President all fixed on that, and stayed fixed, hammering it home over the dead men's coffins, for Pete's sake.

What casual "protesters" launch a coordinated mortar attack? What "spontaneous" uprising happens to fall on 9/11? This is such obvious blarney. And as to what's happened to Libya afterwards ... well, I just hope Obama is as pleased with it as he is with his work in Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan and Yemen. I gather Tunisia isn't quite wrecked yet.

Sammy Finkelman said...

@tim in Vermont.

Which 20th hijacker?

1) Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who was supposed to be the 4th pilot, but was denied a visa for pilot training into the United States because he was from Yemen (whose citizens had a record of overstaying visas) and not from Saudi Arabia (whose citizens had a very good record of not overstaying visas?

2) Mohammed al-Qahtani, who was stopped in Orlando Airport in Florida (I thought Miami) Miami, although his papers were entirely in order, because he wouldn't say who was supposed to meet, and I think got a bit belligerent, so José Meléndez-Pérez, an immigration inspector, revoked his visa on the spot, beause he suspected, from his attitude and whatever, that he was a "hit man" sent by a drug gang to kill someone?

As a result of this refusal of admission, which - VERY IMPORTANT - came late in the plot, so no substitute could be recruited, one of the airplanes - the lowest priority one maybe - was short a hijacker, and the Capitol building, where the U.S> Congress meets, was saved, because the passengers were able to mount an assault on the cockpit.

Theer were also several others, who, for whatever reason, didn't make it into the United States, but this one came so late in the process that al Qaeda was missing a hijacker.

OR

3) Zacarias Moussaoui, who was really not the 20th hijacker, but the 5th pilot, who spent so much time trying to learn how to fly, that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed decided to hold him over for a possible follow-up attack.

In the meantime, al Qaeda managed to get Ziad Samir Jarrah back into the plot. He had wanted to quit because he had a Turkish girlfriend, and he really preferred to marry her rather than commit suicide, but he was persuaded to get back into the plot, and was the pilot of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.

Only the pilots, by the way, knew anything about the plot before it happened. the muscle men only knew there was be a hijacking and that they might die. None of them, unlike the pilots, prepared for death.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Brando,

We can learn from it though, and one thing we can learn is that 9/11 was a one-shot deal--no one can hijack an airliner in America after this and expect hostages to sit quietly like in the old days.

Isn't this just what Ben Carson was saying the other day about Umpqua? That we have to learn not to give quarter to terrorists? My husband was absolutely furious with me for agreeing with him. I said, "So you don't think the passengers on Flight 93 behaved well? You don't think the passengers on that French train did?" He said, sure, but you can't expect that sort of thing. Well, can you or can't you? Apparently only in the air.

I'm reminded of the Montreal Polytechnique massacre, where the gunman ordered all of the men out of the room, and then shot all the women. Not one man willing to fight? All of them would've been great, but one would've been something. But no, every last one left, and then the shooting started. No one rushed back in, either.

Brando said...

"Isn't this just what Ben Carson was saying the other day about Umpqua? That we have to learn not to give quarter to terrorists? My husband was absolutely furious with me for agreeing with him. I said, "So you don't think the passengers on Flight 93 behaved well? You don't think the passengers on that French train did?" He said, sure, but you can't expect that sort of thing. Well, can you or can't you? Apparently only in the air."

It's similar, but one key difference is that pre-9/11 passengers on a hijacked plane normally believed--reasonably--that while there was a chance they could die, the odds were teh hijacker wanted to keep them alive (as a bargaining chip) and the rational thing is to behave. But after 9/11, any future hijacking means the passengers are going to remember that the planes were used as missiles, and everyone was going to die anyway, so why not at least take a chance at overcoming the hijackers? That then becomes not just the brave move, but the rational one (increasing your chance of survival from zero to something above zero). In fact, the 9/11 precedent became inoperable in middle of the fourth plane's flight, when the passengers learned what happened to the earlier planes and took action. They were unable to save themselves, but likely saved a lot of lives on the ground wherever that last target would have been.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Left Bank of the Charles said...The really funny part is the role that Fox's Sean Hannity played as the journalist asking the question that brought out the admission from Kevin McCarthy that the Benghazi Committee was designed to bring down Hillary Clinton's poll numbers. That's dog-eat-dog predation.

Designed, Left Bank? I don't think McCarthy stated/admitted that, although I understand that's what people took his statement to mean.

McCarthy's quote: "What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought."

I'm not going to put too much effort into defending McCarthy since he should have had the common sense to understand anything he said would be taken out of context/in the worst possible light, but he's not saying the Benghazi committee was set up to go after H. Clinton, he's saying it's only because of the Benghazi committee's work that people know about some reasons H. Clinton is "untrustable." Now, between you and me anyone who didn't already know that...well, anyway, it's true no matter what you think about Republicans' intentions that if they hadn't pushed through the State Dept's stonewalling w/r/t Clinton's GOVERNMENT communications (which were oddly missing from the State Dept emails about Behghazi that were actually turned over) no one would know the Sec of State was using her own server for official gov business (including communicating secret info in non-secure ways).
So no, McCarthy didn't admit the Benghazi committee was designed to bring down Hillary Clinton.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said... 10/19/15, 3:05 PM

It was obvious from the first that this wasn't a rinky-dink protest over a YouTube video clip, but she and Ambassador Rice and the President all fixed on that, and stayed fixed, hammering it home over the dead men's coffins, for Pete's sake.

No, she didn't. She didn't challenge it, but she was very careful not to join in.

I mean, it was Susan Rice who was all those network interview shows. And if you examine her words carefully, she never blamed the video for the attack in Benghazi, or even associated the video with it.

There were indeed, and she will no doubt testify to that, fresh demonstrations being planned all over the Islamic world about the video (part of the cover-up by teh terrorists of course) and she was talking about that.

The video was one cover-up story by the perpetrators. It seemed to have gotten the most traction, better than the fact it was Sept 11, or "revenge" for a member of al Qaeda from Libya who had been killed, so they went with that.

The attackers had posted guards around the known U.S. mission in Benghazi, spread rumors that peaceful demonstratorsd had been fired on, attracted a crowd, and harrangued them about the video. The New York Times stringer said that was the first he (or really anybody in Benghazi) had heard about the video.

The point about the video story was, that if this was because of the video, the attack could not have been planned in advance!

Because nobody knew about it a day before.

I think this piece of disinformation was actually aimed at the U.S. government, so that it would not look for planners, but some people in the White House found the idea that this wasn't planned such "good news" that they decided to tell everyone.

Nobody in Benghazi knew about the video till after the attack started.

The terrorists, of course, had complained about the video (but that was in Egypt only) a bit before and probably put it on the Internet in July and in fact, I think, commissioned it.

There hadn't been a demonstration of any kind in Benghazi before the attack, and the one in Cairo, Egypt wasn't really about the video.

What casual "protesters" launch a coordinated mortar attack? What "spontaneous" uprising happens to fall on 9/11? This is such obvious blarney.

The story they were telling in the "talking points" was that some Islamic extremists took advantage of the demonstration. This was actually implausible militarily.

I gather Tunisia isn't quite wrecked yet

It's the one success. Which proves that the other ones could have been too, maybe.

Sammy Finkelman said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Kevin McCarthy was trying to defend the Republican leadership against the charge of not having accomplished anything.

gadfly said...

As with all misdirection presented in the Republican debates, this one also would have gone away had T-rump not revisited the subject. Dubya is not permitted to run again for president and the terrorist attack occurred 15 years ago.

Immigration policy was not hot then and Donnie's claim that he would have sent the hijackers home for visa violations is made up inside the mind of a deranged narcissist. Four of the Saudis came here on business visas, 14 were here as tourists and one held a student visa. All had been granted automatic 6-month extensions after their visas expired. Only two of the hijackers, both pilots, violated the terms of their visas.

gadfly said...

As with all misdirection presented in the Republican debates, this one also would have gone away had T-rump not revisited the subject. Dubya is not permitted to run again for president and the terrorist attack occurred 15 years ago.

Immigration policy was not hot then and Donnie's claim that he would have sent the hijackers home for visa violations is made up inside the mind of a deranged narcissist. Four of the Saudis came here on business visas, 14 were here as tourists and one held a student visa. All had been granted automatic 6-month extensions after their visas expired. Only two of the hijackers, both pilots, violated the terms of their visas.

Anonymous said...

"GWB had been in office less than eight and a half months when 9/11 happened. He was just getting his feet wet, as they say"

And don't forget that W was in office only 3 months when the Chinese downed an American reconnaissance plane in international waters. His administration was still dealing with the after effects of that incident, trying to figure out what the Chinese were up to, whether they were just testing the new president or had something much more serious in mind, when 9/11 happened.

J. Farmer said...

Benghazi is a stupid sideshow. The real scandal is the Libya War.

walter said...

"All had been granted automatic 6-month extensions after their visas expired"

That was nice of us.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Eh, no one cares. Almost no one gives a shit that the President's team put out clearly-wrong "talking points," then blamed the CIA for the talking points, then just bluffed past any questions with overly-emotive calls to respect dead Americans, then stonewalled and talked-down actual investigations for a few years afterwards. This all happened in service to a President running for office avoiding blame for mistakes that lead to American deaths, and the Media doesn't care--they didn't really care then and they sure as hell don't care now. The filmmaker was arrested, the Sec State told family members she'd make sure the filmmaker was punished, all of it bullshit, and no one cares.

The committee actually tried to get a sense of the decision making that went on within the Admin, and asked for a full record of documents that would show that, and State (along with other agencies) more-or-less refused to turn those documents over, dragging things out...and then Dem members of the committee complain about the time and $ spent. No one cares. The Sec State took deliberate actions to hide her email communications, risked exposing US secrets to anyone who bothered to look for them, and no one cares.

The Media has their story. It's the Republicans vs. innocent Dems, and of course it's the Dems getting the positive coverage. Remember how Pres Clinton's perjury and obstruction of justice were just "lying about sex," and the Republicans were creepy and wrong to pursue the case? Same shit, man, different Clinton.

In the end no one cares about the truth or what could be learned or even something as silly as justice. The Media has its story and has its reason to attack Republicans. The Story is that smart, successful female Sec State fights off craven, ideologically-blinded retrograde Republicans and saves the Administration/secures her place as the next President.

Hillary the Champion, it's written already. No one cares how we get to that point, it's the story that will be written and it's all anyone will remember.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"We came, we saw, he died" Hillary Clinton joked about Gaddafi. This was her big story, she pushed for intervention into Libya, got it, and toppled a dictator. This whole Benghazi mess just cluttered that story up, so obviously it had to go.

R. Chatt said...

RE: Bush didn't have actionable intel on the terror threat about hijacking airplanes. That claim has been debunked here and elsewhere.

jr565 said...

The two are not necessarily analogous. For example Bush was warned that Al Qaeda was determined to ataack us somewhere someohow.
Clinton was warned that a specific embassy needed more security. And then that embassy was attacked. Further, Obama and the administration blamed it on a film maker rather than the terrorists that obviously flooded the embassy.

Michael K said...

"all of it bullshit, and no one cares. "

That's pretty much the Democrats' position on anything. I look at Huff Po every day just to measure the temperature of the looney left.

jr565 said...

R. chatt wrote:
RE: Bush didn't have actionable intel on the terror threat about hijacking airplanes. That claim has been debunked here and elsewhere.

So you provide the link. Where does it show there was actionable intel. Seriously, which link?

OGWiseman said...

Jeb looks bad here because he's left defending an untenable position. It's not his "style" of speech. He's wrong, and Tapper asks a fair and unanswerable question.

Drago said...

Without even reading the postings yet on the "Listening continuously and taking notes for an hour is an unusual cognitive experience for most young people.", I'm going to go out on a limb and venture a guess that garage avoided that one like the plague.

Drago said...

R. Chatt: "RE: Bush didn't have actionable intel on the terror threat about hijacking airplanes. That claim has been debunked here and elsewhere."

Egads! Self-refuting links!

Venturing into garage mahal territory.

jr565 said...

R. Chatt,
Rather where is there actionable intel that Bush knew or should have known? Lets first remember that there was a wall of silence between the CIA and FBI and that was one of the problems that was highlighted. And Jamie Gorelick was one of the people who set up that wall. So when she asks in the Malaysian meeting portion "You knew that Midhar had a U.S. visa. And so my question is, why at that point was he not put on the tip-off watch list?" maybe she could ask and answered her own question.
The fact of the matter is the CIA had info that was not disseminated. If it wasn't disemmnated HOW WOULD BUSH KNOW IT? The CIA didn't tell anyone. So, blame the CIA. NOT BUSH"S FAULT.
I'm now going to go section by section to show that your links showing actionable intel instead show failures of the itel community to connect the dots.

Infiltrating the Enemy:
America’s CIA failed to infiltrate al-Qaida's top ranks. "We ran over 70 sources and subsources, 25 of whom operated inside of Afghanistan. … However, we never penetrated the 9/11 plot overseas."

In the fall of 1999, bin Laden and his aides began secretly planning the 9/11 attacks.
No actionable intel. But not for lack of trying.

The Malaysia meeting
THe CIA tracked operatives to the meeting. But failed to bug the building. NO ACTIONABLE INTEL. CIA knew one of the potential terrorists had a visa but failed to inform anyone. So then, no one knows, correct?
Two hijackers made their way into country in 2000. Attack didn't take place for more than 19 months. Now, you might say, that's an awful lot of time to not notify anyone. Which is true. Its also an awful long time since they arrived to assume they would carry out the attack. 19 months of them not tracking these people who fell through the cracks.
Bush wound not know about these people if the CIA didn't reveal it to ANYONE.

The Calls
The NSA intercepted the calls and knew they were to someone named Khalid. But it failed to detect the crucial fact that this known terrorist facility was calling someone inside the United States.

LEt me highlight the relevant portions - FAILED TO DETECT. IF they failed to detect it means they didn't get the info. So how would Bush know it? Dummy!
And if they failed to connect, remember this is why Bush tried to modify the NSA program so they woudnt FAIL TO CONNECT again. And the liberals had a shit fit! Police state! Fuck off! The Times leaked the program! We had years of debates where people were convinced the NSA was spying on everyone. So, apparently you don't want them to detect these things. it should be the way it was when they FAILED TO DETECT.

jr565 said...

(cont)
The Walk In
""I told them before 9/11, about more than year, be hijacking in America or on [an] America airline," Khan says.

THIS IS NOT ACTIONABLE INTEL. note its' more than a YEAR before 9/11. Do you know how many airlines there are in the US and how many flights in a day? If you scream about something that doesn't happen, FOR A YEAR, its not exactly believable is it. saying someday something might happen is pretty vague. And the FBI never shared this with the CIA. So even if it was Actionable, THEY KEPT IT TOO THEMSELVES. and it was a year before Bush took office. If anyone should have been notified IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLINTON. But you want to say Bush should know about some obscure intel that the FBI never told the CIA when the current president apparently didn't know it either?

THe Sighting
Yes, Clinton should have taken the shot. We could have gotten Bin LAden. THis has nothing to do with Bush. It has nothing to do with 9/11. It was simply a missed opportunity. Why is it even on the list? Seriously.

The chatter
Now it gets good, right? This is where we start knowing the details of the plot. What does it say?
"In the United States, between May and July 2001, the NSA, which eavesdrops on communications around the world, reported 33 messages that suggested "a possibly imminent terrorist attack," according to a congressional investigation.
POSSIBLE IMMINENT? SO not imminent? Well where? when and how?

"In May, an intelligence report indicated al-Qaida operatives were planning to infiltrate the United States to carry out an attack using explosives."
What explosives were used on 9/11. Clearly this was WRONG info.


In June, a CIA report said important bin Laden operatives were "disappearing." Others were preparing for "martyrdom."
YEs, and what does that mean for 9/11? That says nothing actionable does it? Since it doesn't answer where, when or how.

The False Documents.
This link would have you believe that all the hijackers came in right before 9/11. Many were hear up to a year before. ANd they had their flight training from 1998-2000. All when Clinton was still in office. It says nothing about Bush, but it says a lot about open borders and not adhering to immigration laws DOESNT" IT?
If you are lax with following the law, people like this get through. Is that a surprise to you?
"It’s probably the most graphic example of the inability to share information inside the federal government,"
YEs, and if the information isnt' shared, BUSH will probably not get the info. Its not as if Bush has special access to the info that the CIA and FBI don't. He gets info from THEM. If they don't provide it, he's effectively blind.

THe Phoenix Memo
again, it's misleading. Yes, there was a july memo about muslims attending flight schools. But they had already attended the flight schools from 1998 to 2000. He just got wind of it, two months before the attack. THat's how behind the 8 ball the intel agencies were. But it was not true that the 19 hijackers were training to fly in July 2001. Like all the intel, it was old news. And not actionable.


Jim S. said...

A lot of the problem with Benghazi was the response to it while it was ongoing. There is no comparable situation with 9/11.

jr565 said...

(cont) this also highlights the BIG reveal the big kahuna that the libs keep highlight. Threat memo that said "Al Qaeda determined to attack us!!!!" Bush knew!!! it says they are determined to attack us!
it then higlights various plots none of which resemble 9/11 'including one in 1998 in which bin Laden wanted to hijack a plane to gain the release of an extremist radical sheik." Was that what 9/11 involved? Where was the sheik who was released? Also IT WAS IN 1998. That's an awful long time to NOT carry out an attack when they are determined to attack us. DO you see how its not actionable? THat would mean 3 years went by when they DIDN"T attack us.
Also the CIA says "We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting." So, if they haven't been able to corroborate it, they don't know that its true. DO THEY?

THe MOussai arrest
Another example where we almost had a chance to stop the attacks if everyone wasn't in the dark and didn't connect the dots. But not an example of actionable intel.
"Yet, FBI agents were denied a warrant to search Moussaoui's computer and other belongings."
So, they didn't check his computer and his belongings? So then bush wouldn't know what was on his computer, yes? Since there was no actual details of a terrorist plot, many would argue that you can't arrest Moussai since he hasn't commited a crime yet. Which is probably why a judge didn't provide a warrant. No probable cause. We all wish the judge had, but he hadn't.
And at any rate "Information on Moussaoui's arrest never made its way up the FBI chain of command. When did acting director Tom Pickard finally hear of it?

"That was about 3:00 in the afternoon, Sept. 11"
So, since the FBI didn't tell anyone Bush would not know it. And not actionable.

jr565 said...

(cont)
The search
"On Aug. 23, less than three weeks before the attack, the CIA finally told the FBI that Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hamzi may be in the U.S. and put them on most government watch lists.

But investigators say the FBI conducted an inept investigation and failed to locate either hijacker, even though they had their names listed in the San Diego phone book and were living in an apartment."
Yet more examples that the FBI were inept and didn't tell Bush anything

damikesc said...

That PDB had little new info from the multiple ones beforehand that mentioned his plans to attack the US.

Without a location or something to narrow the focus, there is literally nothing that can be done outside of grinding air travel forever.

THAT is the action you seem to think Bush should've taken.

Michael K said...

It's also useful to read Lynn Spencer's riveting book, "Touching History," which describes the response of the airlines and the military on 9/11.

She also has information that there were other attackers on planes that were grounded and who then disappeared.

General Larry Arnold tells how he was informed by a superior that, "If everyone would turn off CNN, there wouldn't be a threat from Osama bin Laden." General Arnold was, at the time, commander of the Continental U.S. North American Air Defense Command and the statement was made two weeks before 9/11.

jr565 said...

The watch lists
"Even though al-Hazmi and al-Midhar were put on the State Department watchlist in late August, they were not put on the Federal Aviation Administration’s "no fly" list. That would have kept them from boarding flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon."
It doesn't say when they were put on the watch list. But if they weren't put on the Federal Viation Admins no fly list, why would you assume that bush would have known? THis is the job of the FBI, and CIA. they don't know. They are letting stuff fall through the cracks. But if they don't know THE PRESIDENT doesn't know.

From the NYT: "The C.I.A. first learned of Mr. Midhar and Mr. Alhazmi in 2000, (Clinton NOT Bush) after the men were identified as participants in a January meeting of terrorist suspects in Malaysia. Sometime in 2000 (Clinton NOT Bush) the agency also learned that both men had visited the United States, Mr. Midhar on several occasions. But it did not understand the men's significance until after the Cole bombing in October 2000 (Clinton not Bush). By late that year or early the next, it had connected Mr. Midhar with a Qaeda suspect in that attack. The C.I.A. then learned that Mr. Midhar had entered the country multiple times before the Cole incident.

Yet it was not until Aug. 23, 2001, after the C.I.A.'s review of its terrorism files, that the names of the two men were passed on to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

So these two names didnt' even make it the the immigration and naturalization services until August 23, which is like two or so weeks before 9/11. NOT actionable and certainly not the fault of Bush.

Airport Security
Not actioanbble intel and not Bush's fault or problem. If the airport couldn't spot the boxcutters, that is the fault of the airline.

Air Defenses
"At 8:37 a.m., the FAA finally informed the military of the hijacking, but by the time jets scrambled, it was too late. At 8:46 a.m., the first plane hit."

"Audiotapes reveal that for the next crucial minutes, federal agencies that were supposed to protect the public were crippled by confusion, chaos and indecision.

FAA command center: "Do we want to think about scrambling aircraft?

FAA headquarters: "God, I don’t know."

FAA command center: "That's a decision somebody's going to have to make, probably in the next 10 minutes."

FAA headquarters: "You know, everybody just left the room."

Was Bush in the FAA or directing FAA while they dawdled and dithered and wasted time? NO, at this point its not actionable since it already happened. So why this In put in a list of so called actionable intel is beyond me. But it has nothing to do with what Bush might have known or did. It's more about what the FAA didn't do.


SO, if you want to say that the CIA and FBI and FAA and immigration depart and the airport security all screwed up, yes. that was the whole point of the 9/11 commission. We failed to connect the dots. You however are suggesting that it means we had actionable intel about attack and Bush did nothing. Not accurate.

Rhythm and Balls said...

There's something modest and mild that reads to me as an expression of good character,

To wit:

"So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."

I never knew Ann was the anti-Christ. I guess it's all starting to make sense now.

Rhythm and Balls said...

No one is blaming Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi attack itself. What they blame her for is the deception she tried to pull on the American people after the attack.

It took you three, VERY long, winding paragraphs (too long to for Blogger to allow you to fit them into a single comment entry) to get to this part and you still don't understand why it's a losing issue! Damn. How stupid are Republicans?

The American people have the attention span for a 15-second sound bite and Quaestor proposes that Jedediah's answers (and the Republican case) for making Hillary's loss of 4 Americans abroad in a war zone worse than 3,000 killed on U.S. soil, just aren't long enough. You guys really are too retarded for politics.

What you want is for the American people to share your susceptibility to self-hypnosis. Not rational persuasion. But when was a Republican ever rational?

Not for a very long time.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I'd like a calm, boring President.

You have one right now. What you resent about him is that he's actually, somewhat effective.

Your own self-delusion is even worse than the average Republican's. How can you fail to see how much drama you prefer in your politics?

If not, then this is a very new sort of Althouse.

Michael K said...

Oh God ! Ritmo woke up !

Goodnight.

Rhythm and Balls said...

No. I just had better things to do than look at a blog all day.

You presume me to be like the intellectual vampire you are. Seeking mental sustenance from a blog with some of the most closed-minded commenters.

Ha ha hahaha!

JamesB.BKK said...

Who says Bush cannot be blamed for 9/11? It's not just Bush but the whole lousy operation of freely giving entry passes and flying lessons (except for landings) to Islamist enemies, disarming pilots, keeping cockpit doors lock-free, and telling passengers to be so many sheep. That was all on his watch. Much the same lousy operation persists or has degraded. Nonetheless, Bush did not give an order to "stand down" when there was support ready to go to the aid of the folks in that "mission" in Benghazi. He also did not pathetically blame and then jail some no-name filmmaker. Hillary, among others, did both of those things. Lame.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

JamesB BKK,

It's not just Bush but the whole lousy operation of freely giving entry passes and flying lessons (except for landings) to Islamist enemies, disarming pilots, keeping cockpit doors lock-free, and telling passengers to be so many sheep. That was all on his watch. Much the same lousy operation persists or has degraded.

No, it hasn't. Cockpit doors are now locked, and passengers know better than to be sheep. I don't know whether pilots are now armed (I suspect not), but I imagine that student visas from Arab nations for flight school are being scrutinized a bit more carefully these days. Though Mark Steyn did have a priceless line about that, when Mohammed Atta's visa-renewal came up, about six months after 9/11. It was sent to his last address, as the Federal Government was "unaware that his address had changed to 'large hole in the ground, Lower Manhattan.'"

Achilles said...

Rhythm and Balls said...
I'd like a calm, boring President.

"You have one right now. What you resent about him is that he's actually, somewhat effective."

How is Obama effective with respect to foreign policy? He has turned the world into a disaster. War is tearing several countries apart. There is a migration crisis in the middle east because the area is so bad. He is effectively making a mess.

Paul said...

Bush did not sit there watching the place burn down and NOT DO A DANG THING TO SAVE THEM.

Hillary and Obama just sat there in front of the TV in the situation room and did NOTHING.

Yes big difference between Bush and Obama/Hillary.

Rusty said...

Michael K said...
Oh God ! Ritmo woke up !

Goodnight.


The meth must have kicked in.

Michael K said...

"No. I just had better things to do than look at a blog all day. "

Day shift at McDonalds.

damikesc said...

The American people have the attention span for a 15-second sound bite and Quaestor proposes that Jedediah's answers (and the Republican case) for making Hillary's loss of 4 Americans abroad in a war zone worse than 3,000 killed on U.S. soil, just aren't long enough. You guys really are too retarded for politics.

Want a sound bite? OK.

Middle East is having a nuclear arms race and Hillary is responsible for it.

Didn't even take 15 seconds and was accurate.

Robert Cook said...

"How is Obama effective with respect to foreign policy? He has turned the world into a disaster. War is tearing several countries apart."

How do you know this isn't what our government wants? Whatever Washington wants in the Middle East, it's a mistake to judge how effective our government is or how well they're doing by using the measurement of how well their actions benefit we, the American people. They are not working for us of for our better interests. They are working for the financial elites, Wall Street and the big banks, and the international corporations.

(Of course, on any terms by which a non-psychopathic person could judge, Obama has been a disaster for humanity, as have his predecessors and Washington policy going back decades.)

Robert Cook said...

"Bush did not sit there watching the place burn down and NOT DO A DANG THING TO SAVE THEM."

What do you refer to when you say "the place?"

tim maguire said...

Robert Cook said...(Of course, on any terms by which a non-psychopathic person could judge, Obama has been a disaster for humanity, as have his predecessors and Washington policy going back decades.)

No, an educated person looking at the state of the world would immediately recognize that most modern presidents have left the world better than they found it. Obama is the one obvious exception. Nixon and Johnson are arguable exceptions. Overall, an honest informed person would clearly see that the United States is, in general, a force for good in the world. Except under Obama.

The problem with liberals is they focus on whatever narrow subset of facts that buttress their preferred world view and convince themselves that they're being sophisticated and nuanced.

machine said...

Obama is the one exception? say what?!?

talk about a narrow focus (cough...made-up casus belli...cough...economic disaster, etc...)

"honest" and "informed"...O'Reilly style!

EMD said...

I can give Hillary a pass if there was no 'stand down' order or the logistics for support wouldn't have mattered anyway. Shit happens. Yeah, Stevens wanted more security and should've received more, but that's as much on how the system is dysfunctional no matter who might be SoS or Preezy.

But the fucking bullshit with the video is what really nags at me.

walter said...

"What do you refer to when you say "the place?"

What? Like with a cloth?


"Yeah, Stevens wanted more security and should've received more, but that's as much on how the system is dysfunctional"

Oh..and she's really been hammering that notion home...

jr565 said...

Left bank of Charles wrote
night in Benghazi. The Neocons, Stalinists that they are, may think they can pass off one as a statistic and the other as a tragedy, but that's not going to work in a free society.

of course Obama escalated one of those wars, and even today is going back on his promise to remove troops. While he was doing that Americans were dying. Or are you not aware that there were casualties under Obama?
Also, dems signed off on the Iraq war too. And supported Obama when he escalated and again when he had his little endeavor in Libya. And they were saying that Iraq was a diversion from the real war on terror. Meaning, THAT war was ok to fight. Because it was the real war, versus the fake war of choice.
So you are arguing out of your anus. As libs are wont to do.

jr565 said...

James B.BBK wrote:
Who says Bush cannot be blamed for 9/11? It's not just Bush but the whole lousy operation of freely giving entry passes and flying lessons (except for landings) to Islamist enemies, disarming pilots, keeping cockpit doors lock-free, and telling passengers to be so many sheep. That was all on his watch. Much the same lousy operation persists or has degraded. Nonetheless, Bush did not give an order to "stand down" when there was support ready to go to the aid of the folks in that "mission" in Benghazi. He also did not pathetically blame and then jail some no-name filmmaker. Hillary, among others, did both of those things. Lame.

actually all those pilots flying planes occurred under Clinton. They got their lessons from 1998-2000. If you look at r.chatts link it says as much. And they didn't have cockpit doors with locks prior to bush either. Nor was there a call to put locks on cockpit doors that bush scuttled beciase he didn't care. There were planes hijacked prior to this you know? And there too, they were able to storm the cockpit.