Fauster's Facts Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Bush on 911

Review of CNN videos related to the Jim Guckert scandal. According to Aaron Brown: "There is I think here a kind of so-what quality here... so why the fuss?" Guckert has a whitehouse press corp pass 6 days after setting up a "news" website. A few months later, he's getting CIA documents regarding Valerie Plame, who's identity as an undercover CIA agent was illegally exposed. When the real name of this Whitehouse press patsy was revealed, we quickly learned that he owned the domain names hotmilitarystud.com militaryescorts.com, and militaryescortsm4m.com. On CNN he claimed that he was in the web development business and he was holding these domains for someone else, and no escort functionality was ever incorporated into these sites. Wolf Blitzer accepts this explanation without blinking an eye. The MSM barely mentions these websites as if it would denigrate the discussion. But come on, the Secret Service approving background checks on someone owning gay escort sites? Also, it's reported in the above link that they won't even accept an application to the whitehouse press corp without congressional press corp certification.

Review of President's April 2004 Press Address in wake of Guckert Scandal:
  • White House Press Corp plant James Guckert lobs one softball question to Bush as he is grilled about 9-11. Implies that the number of 70 FBI agents on terrorism was exaggerated: "do you now believe you were falsely comforted by the FBI?" Interestingly enough, Bush knew "Jeff Gannon's" real first name.
  • Question to Bush from mainstream reporter: "...Did [the August 6th PDB that mentioned Bin Laden and hijackings]the trigger some specific actions on your part and the administration, since it dealt with potentially hundreds of lives?"
    Bush: "Had there been a threat that required action by anybody in the government, I would have dealt with it. In other words, had they come up and said, this is where we see something happening, you can rest assured that the people of this government would have responded, and responded in a forceful way." Okay, so the only something that this document see's happening is Al Qaeda hijacking planes inside the United States. However, since it doesn't mention which particular planes, the government doesn't respond in a forceful way?? Earlier in the session Bush laments only that the Department of Homelands Security wasn't formed before 9-11.
  • Additionally, Bush asserts: "nobody in our government, ...could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale." Of course, Bush knows that people in his governemnet did envision terrorists using airplanes as weapons before 911, but the "massive scale" modifier makes the sentence true. Finally, Bush indignantly asserts: "had I had any inkling whatsoever that the people were going to fly airplanes into buildings, we would have moved heaven and earth to save the country!" I believe Bush when he implys he had no inkling that people were going to fly planes into buildings. However, Bush did have an inkling that Al Qaeda might try to to hijack airplanes in the U.S.. Granted, a hijacking is less serious a threat than a suicide hijacking, but in either scenario, a non-trivial number of people will die. Heaven wasn't moved. Earth wasn't moved. The country wasn't saved. The FAA was informed but passed little information on to the airlines. Congress wasn't notified that legislating locks on cockpit doors might be a good idea. Airline security wasn't upgraded. Why not? Is a hijacking a more manageable crisis? Can we reactively deal with a mere hijacking when a suicide attack would require proactive action? Were there threats posed by other governments abroad that better warranted the presidents attention?

The Onion the week of Bush's initial inauguration (updated by Chak).

The Memory Hole: More recently purged government documents.

Five common features of all fundamentalist Religions:
  • Men rule the roost and make the rules. Women are support staff and for reasons easy to imagine, homosexuality is intolerable.
  • all rules must apply to all people, no pluralism.
  • the rules must be precisely communicated to the next generation
  • "they spurn the modern, and want to return to a nostalgic vision of a golden age that never really existed.
  • Fundamentalists deny history in a "radical and idiosyncratic way."
However, the study also concludes that major successful liberal movements must have crossover fundamentalist appeal and rhetoric.


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