Democrats & Liberals Archives

It's the message... stupid.

During the big build-up for Patriot day festivities and photo-ops, the Bush administration’s announcement, in early September, of a new Bin Laden video illustrated clearly one of the Bush administration’s major priorities. It appears that the administration cares little about securing this nation; the real mission for this administration is the message.

According to the (Washington Post,) when the Bush administration received confidential information about a new Bin Laden video before its actual release their first reaction was to use it as a backdrop to the upcoming Patriot's Day festivities. I guess the video also served to distract the media with a new shiny object, since the media was busy following the Gonzales resignation.

But the real message that Bush and his cohorts needed to show when they released information about the video to the news outlets, was that Bin Laden is still a bad guy and he still wants us dead. It appears that Bush wanted the news organizations to pull out the file footage of the 9.11 attacks, dust off the bullhorn picture of Bush standing next to rumble and reiterate, along with the new video, that Bin Laden is determined to kill all Americans.

But the sad-but-true moment during this PR event, was that a small, private intelligence company, SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors Islamic terrorists groups through a complex network of informants, was essentially shut down in the process. I guess SITE, in the eyes of the Bush administration, was just more collateral damage in the war against terror.

"Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless," said Rita Katz, the firm's 44-year-old founder, who has garnered wide attention by publicizing statements and videos from extremist chat rooms and Web sites, while attracting controversy over the secrecy of SITE's methodology. Her firm provides intelligence about terrorist groups to a wide range of paying clients, including private firms and military and intelligence agencies from the United States and several other countries.

If you're keeping score, first there was Brewster Jennings, the CIA-fronted company that spent more than a decade clandestinely tracking nuclear arms throughout the world. The closing of Brewster Jennings was just more collateral damage, since the objective was to smear former Ambassador Joe Wilson. Now, with SITE, the administration put its PR ahead of the safety of its citizens.

Safety? Nah... It's the message... stupid.

Posted by john trevisani at October 10, 2007 2:41 PM
Comments
Comment #235805

This is a really huge story. Someone in the White House was more concerned about the polls than the potential compromise of our intelligence communities assets and channels, rushing the video to the media for ‘Brownie’ points before clearing it with the intelligence community, whose years long efforts to build these intelligence channels were shut down by the news running of the video.

Turns out al-Queda was able to deduce from the airing of the video where their own information leaks were and shut them down, and thereby shut our intelligence gatherers out of the clandestine loop. It has long been obvious that Bush is not a competent manager of people or resources, but, someone in the White House responsible for this waste of tax dollars and intelligence channel building, should be fired at the very least.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 10, 2007 7:08 PM
Comment #235812

John: I agree with David this is a big story, thanks for writting it up. Actually, the story is just another reel in the wide screen spectacular that has been going on for two many years now.

David R: Isn’t Dick Cheney the man responsible for classifying and declassifying information? Don’t you remember that it is not a leak if the VP declassifies it? I would be willing to bet that there is a standing order in the White House to send any Bin Laden tapes and terrorist threats (substantiated or not) straight to the VP’s office.

Posted by: jlw at October 10, 2007 8:38 PM
Comment #235814

jlw, who in turn sends them straight to Fox News to keep the minions “AFRAID, very, very AFRAID”. A cowardly bunch full of fear are suckers for anyone who will step up to the plate to lead them. A very old strategy dating back to Greece and Ancient China, promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church, adopted by Hermann Goering, widely practiced by the KKK and Jim Crow advocates, exercised by most American presidents at one time or another, but, elevated to an art form by the Cheney/Bush Administration with much input by Rove.

I am sorry, but, I just don’t get it. Me, be afraid of terrorists? It does not compute. Go after them, take measures against them, but, be afraid of them? That is about as unAmerican as anything I have ever witnessed. Like the McCarthy era’s scare tactics. I am far more worried about American drivers on our roads, and hospital personnel should I need to visit. Statistically, these are far, far, far greater threats to American health and well being.

I, and dare I say, 99% of our military would not dignify the acts of terrorists by allowing themselves to be afraid of them. Ironic, sort of, that those most afraid support the administration that considers O.Bin Laden of little concern and sends billions to the country that harbors him.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 10, 2007 9:06 PM
Comment #235826

BUT, Pelosi came into her position as Speaker of the House proclaiming that impeachment is “off the table”. Any attempt at accountability ended right then.

Given the current bunch of weasels occupying the White House and Congress we’d have to follow the line of succession down to the White House janitor before we found someone honest in DC. Accountability increased from 0% to 1% when we Dems took hold of the majority.

What happened to Valerie Plame-Wilson was an outrage and no one paid for the crime. IMO the crime was treason. House investigations showed that the “leak” was systematic and widespread.

No one has ever paid for the lies that lead us into a war against Iraq and the occupation that’s followed. It’s since become very clear by GW’s own words that a continual occupation (Korea style) was planned from the get-go! We were NOT told that during the build-up to war!

But Pelosi says impeachment’s off the table. Well, that makes three that need to be impeached. Every time an abuse of power goes unchecked you can expect more of the same. Or possibly worse. What’s next?

The White House has already said that there will be no intensive internal or external investigation. Uh, duh ……… that’s code for “we leaked it ourselves”!!!!!!!!!

Me thimks that we need to surveal them who is survealing us :^/

Posted by: KansasDem at October 10, 2007 10:50 PM
Comment #235837

Just another treasonous outrage to add to The Big Wheel of Impeachable Offenses. Our founders would no doubt have already hung this Gang of Thugs from the highest trees they could find. Me, I’d settle for life in prison for the lot of them.

Kansas Dem, spot on, and well said.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 11, 2007 12:14 AM
Comment #235850

Both parties are in it for the politics of winning of elections, running the country is secondary at best, and on the really major items, completely buried under the carpet.

Why are the debates NOT addressing the looming entitlement and national debt crisis? This 2 party system is killing my daughter’s future in America. And voters are oblivious, still playing the team loyalty game as if America’s future had all the consequence of winning or losing the NFL Superbowl.

Canada has been quietly stiffening their immigration laws, against? Take a guess. Middle Easterners? Chinese? NO. Americans. Canada is preparing for the day when growing numbers of Americans will be looking to abandon this sinking ship, and they don’t want Americans importing the political behaviors and apathy that led to their nation’s demise. Canada is doing what we should be doing. Taking steps to deal with the consequences of today’s actions.

While America is letting anybody with a need for money to cross its Southern border, Canadians are quietly taking steps to insure Americans can’t do the same thing on their Northern border when the economic crunch comes from debt and chasmic holes in its social safety nets. Canada has no intention of becoming American’s safety net. An incredibly foresightful and shrewd move by Canadian government representatives. They are looking out for their own citizen’s futures. Wish we had a government and political system that could do that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 11, 2007 3:31 AM
Comment #235852

john trevisani- Since the Bush Administration has

had no qualms about outing a covert CIA agent, I
am confident there was no second thoughts about

divulging an showing a video of Osoma Benladen

before the regular sources got it out. I am quiet
sure the people helping delivering the tape, will

not be herd from again. On the other hand, the
tape may be just another scare tactic in order

to get the Patriot Bill, (no prosecutions for any
past wire taps) passed. I wounder how many more

times the nit wit pres. can fleece the clueless
Congress, I sometimes have a good chuckle with

which of the two parties are the most ignorant,
but then again I am reminded that our Politicians

have become a National Tragedy, so sad isn’t it.


Posted by: -DAVID- at October 11, 2007 5:51 AM
Comment #235854

Kansas dem:
The time, unfortunately, has passed for impeachment. Impeachment should/could have been done many many times before and like Mr. Remer remarked, everyone is either focused on gaining new political power or grasping to hold onto what little power they still have.

from the WashPost Article:

But privately, some intelligence officials called the incident regrettable, and one official said SITE had been “tremendously helpful” in ferreting out al-Qaeda secrets over time.

As Mrs. Gump once philosophized: “Stupid is, what stupid does.” The administration should be held accountable for the damage that they’ve caused to this nation and many other nations throughout the world that have been actively engaged in routing out terrorists.

i quote our esteemed leader himself:

Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk.” December 17, 2005 President Bush about the NY Times article on the illegal NSA wiretapping.

Posted by: john trevisani at October 11, 2007 7:51 AM
Comment #235878

At this point, I think it’d be faster to replace him in an election than it would be to impeach him. What we should do is make it clear to any candidate running for office that those who engage in this kind of politically driven recklessness will not see much benefit for their obsessive focus.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 11, 2007 1:17 PM
Comment #235888

http://www.vajoe.com/candidate_calculator.html
This is just kind of a fun thing to do if you have a spare few minutes…….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at October 11, 2007 2:56 PM
Comment #235889

John an Stephen - I find that by showing a defeatist
response is the same problem our Congress has where
as they have responsibility to a least, [Do
No More Harm,] they should have am extenuation of
government by passing no further Bills except
to keep the gov. running only,, until after the
elections. In the event that some Democrats here want to be passive, at least, be Passive Aggressive. Do Not Let BBBBBBBBBBBush TTTTTTrick
you again. What a bunch of Dummies (Didn’t you
all know that kindness is taken as ignorance.)
Trying with a very dry sense of Humor.^


Posted by: -DAVID- at October 11, 2007 3:23 PM
Comment #235894

Stephen, it may be more efficient to just wait for the elections. But, in the long run, failure to exercise impeachment against perpetrators of high crimes and misdemeanors in our government, wounds the public faith in this system of government, and that has far graver consequences than political party efficiency gains or losses.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 11, 2007 6:17 PM
Comment #235900

David R. Remer- In the Inherent Clause of the

Constitution, plainly states that (A U.S. Attorney *(in regards to subpoena powers)

an does not say The U.S. Attorney General.)— By

at least going after all those who refused to comply

with appearing, or answering questions, or by

refusing to turn over requested material, this

action would convey the message to all, that

Democrats were serious about bringing Integrity an

Character to this party plus display a willingness

to at least, do the right Dam thing!

Posted by: -DAVID- at October 11, 2007 8:46 PM
Comment #235907


Do we all take it for granted that George Bush or Dick Cheney will not be the President on January 21,2009? I don’t think we can.

Posted by: jlw at October 11, 2007 10:42 PM
Comment #235910

DAVID, but we know how long a US Attorney would remain one, if they launched impeachment proceedings against their own party in the White House. The founding fathers never intended Presidents to dislodge US attorneys at the beginning of his term, for any reason other than incompetence or willful breach of oath of office. They certainly never intended that a president would populate the Justice Department with party loyalists. That would clearly have been viewed as antithetical to the design of the Constitution and its checks and balances.

You see, when the Constitution was drafted, political parties did not yet exist. George Washington was elected in the absence of any political parties. One of those little unforeseeables which the founding fathers could not address.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 11, 2007 11:31 PM
Comment #235917

Is there anything that this Administration has not screwed up? There has to be something important that they hve done correctly, someone appointed to inportant positions that was qualified and not just a loyal “Bushie.”

Posted by: C.T. Rich at October 12, 2007 12:08 AM
Comment #235922

David Remer- I remember that during the Nixon
impeachment hearings, when Nixon fired Archibald
Cox,(not for sure on the name) on his stance on
Nixon’s case? An we all know what happened to
President Nixon. By the way, I liked Nixon an was
disappointed with his departure. I believe the
difference between Nixon and Bush was that Nixon
believed he was doing the best he could for his
Country, I do not believe Bush acts or believes
his Country comes first.

Posted by: -DAVID- at October 12, 2007 2:05 AM
Comment #235925

DAVID, Nixon knew he was breaking the law, but, justified it on the basis that preceding presidents had done very similar law breaking.

Bush, doesn’t have a law degree, and very likely has relied nearly completely on his aides and agency heads to tell him what can be legally defended and what is crossing over. Though the Unitary Executive theory was a stretch way over the line, and indefensible in and of itself, let alone other actions its invocation attempted to defend.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 12, 2007 7:24 AM
Comment #235931

Completely off the subject, but I wanted to throw this link out on the blogosphere, just so you all can see it.

Georgia prosecutor bias.

This blew my mind.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at October 12, 2007 9:07 AM
Comment #235949

I just want to take a moment and consider what the man who was the alternative to Bush has been up to:

Gore Wins Peace Prize for Climate Work

OSLO, Oct. 12 — The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded today to Al Gore, the former vice president, and to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its work to alert the world to the threat of global warming.

Remember, everyone said Gore was the same as Bush and there were no differences between the parties?

Posted by: Max at October 12, 2007 11:42 AM
Comment #235979

Max - I believe in America an Al Gore has displayed

that which many Americans have, (valor) his

reverence for the environment commands respect from

all. Would it not benefit the United States, were

all our politicians could search their soles, and

bring out valor, and show the World that America

is the Greatest Symbol of Peace an Freedom!


Posted by: -DAVID- at October 12, 2007 3:32 PM
Comment #235985

Do you all really believe gore would be able to bring this country together?

Posted by: kctim at October 12, 2007 4:26 PM
Comment #235993

yes kctim, I do. I also believe that had he been president we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Posted by: max at October 12, 2007 5:09 PM
Comment #235996

Thanks Max.
What is it that makes you think gore would be able to bring the country together?

Posted by: kctim at October 12, 2007 5:18 PM
Comment #236007

Al Gore’s success as a environmental advocate and whistle blower no more qualifies him to be president as the President of GreenPeace or CEO of Exxon-Mobil.

The people had the opportunity to evaluate him, and they chose to NOT overwhelmingly endorse him as their president. I don’t see that anything has changed by his success with the Global Climate Change issue, which I highly commend him for, and commend the Committee for awarding him this prize.

He is still Al Gore, and lacks whatever it would take to unify the country around his personality, characteristics, and policies.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 12, 2007 6:15 PM
Comment #236009

David R. Remer- Who would you recommend an why?

Posted by: -DAVID- at October 12, 2007 6:29 PM
Comment #236033

“He is still Al Gore, and lacks whatever it would take to unify the country around his personality, characteristics, and policies.”

Insert the name of any politician running for president and the statement is true. he/she/his/her

Posted by: jlw at October 13, 2007 12:28 AM
Comment #236057

DAVID, I have yet to see the candidate that can unite the majority if Americans on a set of policies that would move our country ahead on the really big issues.

I like most of the policy approaches of both John McCain and Barack Obama. But, neither of them is capable of uniting the people. In fact, I question whether any person could.

I know the majority of the American people want the direction our country is headed in to change. But, the American people are not united on which direction that change should take. Al Gore carries the same divisive baggage Hillary does, and therefore, I don’t think he is the optimal candidate.

Obama has as his albatross the border security issue, and McCain of course has as his albatross, the Iraq occupation. If either of these men would reverse their position on that one issue, they could potentially have a policy platform that could united the majority of Americans if elected.

But, McCain is out of the race for intents and purposes. And Obama is hanging on waiting for a kick start in Iowa or New Hampshire, without which, he hasn’t a chance of getting the nomination. The money - media system is precluding choices other than Guiliani or Clinton. Either of them would improve a few things, while exacerbating many of our nation’s growing liabilities.

Some of our liabilities need resolution in the next term or America will pass a point of no return en route to an economic crisis that has no solution. I haven’t heard anything from Guiliani or Clinton that would indicate they would take the needed the steps to avert that crisis. And worse, neither has the personna to move the Congress to make the very tough and risky political decisions that are needed to avert the crisis.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 13, 2007 4:27 PM
Comment #236065

DR
You might want to take a good look at Edwards. He is not taking corporate pac money and has spent his life fighting them for consumers. He scares the hell out of them(so does Mcain to a degree). If elected he would likely actually start enforceing anti-trust laws and consumer protection measures. There is a whiff of the Roosevelts about him that would serve the country well.We need a populist at the helm now to make FAIR trade deals among other things.That is one reason the Corporate media has sentenced him to such little coverage.

Posted by: BillS at October 13, 2007 6:47 PM
Comment #236066

BillS, I have a real problem with Edwards as he fails to define how the safety nets can be salvaged while erasing the deficits and hopefully at least some of the debt. This is in fact, the problem I have with ALL of the Democratic candidates. Sure they say we should save entitlements, but, not one has come forward with realistic details on how this could be done without bankrupting the taxpayers and the economy.

Broad sweeping handouts are not the answer. Nor is the Republican solution of privatizing services which by definition precludes the poorest from obtaining needed services.

I am waiting for the candidate who proposes ALL tax dollar assistance to individuals be means tested, and no corporate assistance, UNLESS the absence of such assistance would negatively affect 25% or more of the population over a 10 year period. And I am waiting for a candidate with an economically solid plan to move this country toward an affordable health care delivery system and away from the unchecked inflation occurring in that industry. Health care inflation is one of the biggest challenges facing the U.S. in dealing with the baby boom (70+ million of them) retirement years.

Our debt and unfunded entitlement mandates pose the greatest threat to the well being of American families over the next several decades, as well as our economy. A much greater and more sure threat to more Americans that global terrorism.

Energy runs a more distant second place which includes environmental change: also a serious threat to American family well being in coming decades.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 13, 2007 8:15 PM
Comment #236067

David R. Remer - Excellent posts, thanks

- I wish you had the time for your expertise for

the rest of the candidates.

Posted by: -DAVID- at October 13, 2007 8:27 PM
Comment #236097

Adrienne- Thanks for the information Adrienne, I

suspect, they more than likely took over where

J.”Edgar” Hoover left off, with a lot more

sophistication.

Posted by: -DAVID- at October 14, 2007 7:06 PM
Comment #236134

DAVID, indeed.

Good questions being asked about the Bush/NSA/telecom spying issue over at Huffington Post:
Why Do You Need Immunity, If You Haven’t Broken the Law?

Posted by: Adrienne at October 15, 2007 11:47 AM
Comment #236511

David R.Remer- I was hoping some folks would

reconsider Bob Kerry as a Presidential candidate,

because he has most of the qualities you expect

from a leader, he walked softly, and carried a

Big Stick!( For all the right reasons. )

Posted by: -DAVID- at October 20, 2007 5:04 AM
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