Do Americans Have Right To Read New York Times Article On Bush Terrorism Policy?

As I dropped in on a few conservative radio shows on Monday I was struck by the degree of anger there was over the New York Times front page story regarding the clashes within the Bush White House and administration on fighting terrorism, and Al Qaeda.  The first reaction from the conservatives is always shoot the messenger.  Callers on these radio shows wanted an investigation as to who was talking to the newspaper, and others wanted to know how the press could print such a story in wartime.  Never mind the details of the story that outlined how the Bush Administration botched the mission of bringing Al-Qaeda to its death, instead of having its rebirth take place in Pakistan.

How far we have come from the good old days when Republicans could not get enough lurid detail in print about Monica Lewinsky and the blue dress, or where each sexual act was committed in the Oval Office.  There was not enough ink to match the conservative  ‘need to know’ when President Bill Clinton was in office.

But when a President commits himself to a ‘war on terror’ and uses our national resources to achieve it, while the end result is proved to be a shambles of bad ideas built on a pile of political promises, those same Republicans want to shut the presses down.  How convenient.  Never mind the never-ending fear mongering to win another election that is so famously used by the GOP while the real war on terror is a mess.

I am never one to be shocked, as I have seen too much over the past eight years to even pretend that there is any level of shame or embarrassment that these conservatives will not hurdle in an effort to further their cause or cover their flawed policies.

But I think most Americans are like me.  We think our government should work on our behalf, and be open with how the process is evolving on issues that effect our daily lives.  The fact that President Bush and his GOP allies like to call (or strongly infer) that Democrats are soft on terrorism or military policy should not be allowed to just lay there as a fact when quite clearly this conservative republican White House dropped the ball on fighting those who actually attacked us on 9/11.  The New York Times demonstrated that today.

Our nation survives because of intrepid reporters, such as those who reported the NYT story.  These reporters keep the government accountable to the public.  The same public who pay the taxes and cast the ballots to even allow these people to serve us in the first place.

How dare anyone then think they have the right to hide, distort, or conceal the truth of a wretched and highly mismanaged plan when it comes to the issue of terrorism.   The very conservatives who love to talk of law and order and personal responsibility are the very ones hoping to make the messenger the villain in this episode.

As I said, I am beyond shock with Bush and Company.

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Smile

What did many of us say in 2002 about the problems we might face if we invaded Iraq and needlessly used our military forces in a political war? 
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Greg Humphrey For President?

You decide.

Channel 3 has the news report.

Bush White House Infighting Over Al Qaeda Blows Wide Open

The New York Times has a most revealing look at the chaos and mismanagement inside the Bush White House concerning the supposed focus of the real war on terror, that being Al Qaeda.  The war in Iraq, in contrast, was a war of choice by President Bush for purely political purposes.  The story is a major piece and deserves a few minutes of your time with the link above.  I grabbed a few paragraphs below.

Intelligence reports for more than a year had been streaming in about Osama bin Laden’s terrorism network rebuilding in the Pakistani tribal areas, a problem that had been exacerbated by years of missteps in Washington and the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, sharp policy disagreements, and turf battles between American counterterrorism agencies.

The new plan, outlined in a highly classified Pentagon order, was intended to eliminate some of those battles. And it was meant to pave a smoother path into the tribal areas for American commandos, who for years have bristled at what they see as Washington’s risk-averse attitude toward Special Operations missions inside Pakistan. They also argue that catching Mr. bin Laden will come only by capturing some of his senior lieutenants alive.

But more than six months later, the Special Operations forces are still waiting for the green light. The plan has been held up in Washington by the very disagreements it was meant to eliminate. A senior Defense Department official said there was “mounting frustration” in the Pentagon at the continued delay.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush committed the nation to a “war on terrorism” and made the destruction of Mr. bin Laden’s network the top priority of his presidency. But it is increasingly clear that the Bush administration will leave office with Al Qaeda having successfully relocated its base from Afghanistan to Pakistan’s tribal areas, where it has rebuilt much of its ability to attack from the region and broadcast its messages to militants across the world.

A recent American airstrike killing Pakistani troops has only inflamed tensions along the mountain border and added to tensions between Washington and Pakistan’s new government.

The story of how Al Qaeda, whose name is Arabic for “the base,” has gained a new haven is in part a story of American accommodation to President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, whose advisers played down the terrorist threat. It is also a story of how the White House shifted its sights, beginning in 2002, from counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to preparations for the war in Iraq.

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Will Israel Attack Iran With American Support?

Lets see what CBS News had to say this past week about this matter.

Israel has made it clear it intends to end Iran’s nuclear program with or without U.S. support — and before President Bush leaves office. David Martin reports on mounting tensions in Mideast.

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Is Iran To Be Attacked By America?

Is President Bush planning yet another war?  I think so.  As do many others.

The saber-rattling from the Bush White House over Iran has been in full operation over the past months, and even though American foreign policy in Iran is still a mystery to many citizens who have not explored the issue deeply enough, there is sufficient information that is known for concerned citizens to be queasy.

Iran is clearly in the scopes for this president with his very low approval ratings, as he grabs for anything in a last bid attempt to be something other than an impotent leader suffering after two failing terms in office.  President Bush used war once for pure political gain……why not twice?  What is more bloodshed to a man who did nothing more in the military than keep Texas safe from Oklahoma? 

While this blog holds to the belief that a nuclear Iran is an untenable situation for the Middle East, it also holds to the understanding that diplomatic exchanges are the route to alleviating long simmering issues in the region. 

Today the New Yorker builds on that theme.

Military and civilian leaders in the Pentagon share the White House’s concern about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but there is disagreement about whether a military strike is the right solution. Some Pentagon officials believe, as they have let Congress and the media know, that bombing Iran is not a viable response to the nuclear-proliferation issue, and that more diplomacy is necessary.

A Democratic senator told me that, late last year, in an off-the-record lunch meeting, Secretary of Defense Gates met with the Democratic caucus in the Senate. (Such meetings are held regularly.) Gates warned of the consequences if the Bush Administration staged a preëmptive strike on Iran, saying, as the senator recalled, “We’ll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.” Gates’s comments stunned the Democrats at the lunch, and another senator asked whether Gates was speaking for Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. Gates’s answer, the senator told me, was “Let’s just say that I’m here speaking for myself.” (A spokesman for Gates confirmed that he discussed the consequences of a strike at the meeting, but would not address what he said, other than to dispute the senator’s characterization.)

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, whose chairman is Admiral Mike Mullen, were “pushing back very hard” against White House pressure to undertake a military strike against Iran, the person familiar with the Finding told me. Similarly, a Pentagon consultant who is involved in the war on terror said that “at least ten senior flag and general officers, including combatant commanders”—the four-star officers who direct military operations around the world—“have weighed in on that issue.”

The most outspoken of those officers is Admiral William Fallon, who until recently was the head of U.S. Central Command, and thus in charge of American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In March, Fallon resigned under pressure, after giving a series of interviews stating his reservations about an armed attack on Iran. For example, late last year he told the Financial Times that the “real objective” of U.S. policy was to change the Iranians’ behavior, and that “attacking them as a means to get to that spot strikes me as being not the first choice.”

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John McCain On You Tube Driving New Type Of Election Campaign

If you follow politics you already know the huge impact that the highly popular internet site You Tube is having on the presidential election.  A front page story in the New York Times highlights the issue.

And this is one of the type of videos that makes the story so true.

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Not Just Another Dane County Farmers’ Market

If you were watching WKOW Channel 27 news at 6 or 10 last evening, or Fox 47 news at 9, you might have seen the story on what impact higher prices for everything is having on the Dane County Farmers’ Market.  I was the one shopper that was shown commenting for the story.  After all these years of being a huge promoter of the downtown farmers’ market (my blog is proof of that) I was pleased to be selected while buying a couple quarts of strawberries to be interviewed on camera.

I think that the prices at the market, while sometimes higher than previous years, is still a great deal.  First, I know where the food is grown, if it is organic, and that the money I spend is helping the local producers and economy.  Second, the market is much more that just a place to buy produce.  It is also a community event that brings added sparkle and charm each Saturday morning to the statehouse square. 

After the interview the camera followed me for a bit as I browsed plants and other items. 

My mom was right…never leave home unless you are dressed to meet the world.  Saturday morning I ‘had to’ finish up a batch of laundry at home, which delayed us getting to the market, just so the ‘right’ shirt could be worn with my shorts.  

It was a great day at the market!

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