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Wither America

bq. The person responsible for the attacks was Osama bin Laden. Thatís whoís responsible for killing Americans. And thatís why we will stay on the offense until we bring people to justice. This was probably my favorite thing the president said last night, in the face of some really bad questions. It's a simple fact, really, yet one that for some reason needs to be shoved down the throats of the rabid witch hunters of the left time and time again. The Demorats have nerve to talk about Iraq being a distraction to Afghanistan, when the 9/11 commission is the real distraction to the war on terror at large. The partisan badgering of those in office on the day some murdering extremists struck our nation is keeping us from looking at the present and the future. What will finger pointing do? What will all the sniping and belligerence accomplish? I say this as someone who lost friends on 9/11, as someone who, to this day, is psychologically scarred by the events of that day, as someone whose family was deeply and personally affected by crumbling of those towers. bq. Q Do you feel a sense of personal responsibility for September 11th? I don't know who asked that one, but I want to smack him across the face. Bush is no more responsible for 9/11 than Clinton was the first WTC bombing. Let's hold repsonsible for these actions those who committed them. bq. Q: Two weeks ago, a former counterterrorism official at the NSC, Richard Clarke, offered an unequivocal apology to the American people for failing them prior to 9/11. Do you believe the American people deserve a similar apology from you, and would you be prepared to give them one? Richard Clarke's apology was not unequivocal. It was self-serving grandstanding. It was his way of thumbing his nose at the president and his administration. I hope Bush never apologizes to the United States for the events of 9/11, because that would be admitting fault, and he has none here. None at all. Nothing in the world could have prevented those planes from swinging into the towers and the Pentagon and falling in a field in PA except for a very accurate crystal ball. As far as I know, the White House has yet to acquire one of those. bq. Q Thank you, Mr. President. In the last campaign, you were asked a question about the biggest mistake you'd made in your life, and you used to like to joke that it was trading Sammy Sosa. You've looked back before 9/11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it? His biggest mistake is in thinking the press wants the truth when all they want is sensational headlines, frightening ledes and Pulitizer prizes. Another mistake he made is in thinking the press is fair. They are not. bq. Q I guess I just wonder if you feel that you have failed in any way? You don't have many of these press conferences, where you engage in this kind of exchange. Have you failed in any way to really make the case to the American public? There's obviously a reason he doesn't have these conferences too often. When confronted with questions like these, the conferences turn more into a partisan grilling section, with the press playing like Ben Veniste on Condi. You can almost see the foam dripping from their mouths as they behave like lawyers badgering a witness. I'm not naive enough to think that the job of the press is to make the president look good or even to make the country look good. But I do believe in a fair press, in reporters that want to the truth and not just their twisted version of the truth, where they frame their questions in such a way that there is no right or good answer. I thought, as Americans, that we were all on the same side. I thought we all valued freedom and we would value a president who wants to spread freedom, not hatred. Yes, there are many things going on in Iraq that worry me. Which is why I think there were so many more questions that could have been asked. This looking for blame for 9/11 has to stop. The push to get the president to admit culpability and to apologize for something other people did has got to stop. Somehwere in an Arab country, a bunch of militants and terrorists are watching the tape of last night's interview, maybe even tapes of the 9/11 commisson are laughing at us, patting each other on the back and saying, mission accomplished. When did we become at war with each other? When did the Democrats and the left become so concerned with cornering the president into admitting guilt for something he didn't do that they have forgotten we are at war and we have a common enemy who happen to carry bombs and harbor a deep hatred for all of us, Democrat or Republican or socialist or whatever political persuasion you may present? I thought America was supposed to stand together at times like these. Heh. Maybe I am naive. Maybe I'm a hopeless, patriotic romantic who thinks that war and the potential of terrorist threats upon our soil required that we act in concert with each other, not against each other. If we don't get it together soon there will be more dead soldiers, more warfronts, more buildings falling and people dying. The press has the power to pull us together. Instead, they choose play upon our differences, to make those differences more pronounced and to make a great divide even wider. What the hell happened to us? And where is all this finger pointing and blame shifting going to get us?

The person responsible for the attacks was Osama bin Laden. Thatís whoís responsible for killing Americans. And thatís why we will stay on the offense until we bring people to justice.

Repeat the above phrase over and over. You must learn. [Transcribed questions from Ed] Update: "...I don't give two shits today, because what's done is done. The only thing I care about is what happens tomorrow to stop another Sept. 11 from happening again." Read the whole thing. Amen, brother.

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Comments

I was a little tipsy last night, okay I blacked out after the 3rd question. But I am sure that the press asked some smart questions. Like "are we going to get more troops for Iraq by pulling out of Korea, Germany or Japan?" Or "Since we have seen reports of Iranian involvement during the Al-Sadr uprising, are there any plans in the works to repay Iran for their kindness. Or any other country in the region?"

I mean they could not all have asked about why Bush will not admit that everything is his fault. Could they?

I don't like the President's domestic policy but I can't see switching Presidents in the middle of a War since it probably send the wrong message to our enemies.

Osama bin Laden is responsible for 9/11. Hussein's two son's are dead and Saddam is captured but bin Laden is nowhere to be found. OBL is responsible for 9/11. 11,000 troops tracking down bin Laden, 130,000 in Iraq. OBL is responsible for 9/11.

With no disrespect intended, seems, we all need to remember this.

What Norm said. Not all critical questioning is partisan. If the president says OBL is the problem, it's simply logical for a reporter to ask, Well, then, if OBL is the problem, why are we currently devoting a tenth of the manpower to finding him than we are to occupying Iraq?

The problem is that this president and his staff conflate "fighting terror" with "doing everything the way we say we're going to do it." They aren't necessarily the same, and pointing that fact out and questioning that position are not necessarily either partisan or unpatriotic (though they could be).

Lex -- problem is, that's not the question they were asking.

Furthermore, even if it was, the answer is "Osama bin Laden isn't the ONLY problem we have." As well as "Too many guys in the same small place just get in each others' way."

I agree that we all need to stand together during this time.

However, the GOP administration has been painting anyone who disagrees with ANY part of their policy as "part of the problem".

Don't like having your library records looked at by the FBI (Patriot Act)? What are you hiding?

Concerned about the awarding of the reconstruction contract to Cheney's Halliburton? Why are you distracting us from the battle against terror?

Don't think we should have gone into Iraq in the first place? How dare you give aid and comfort to the enemey? You can't possibly support the troops.

This government would like us to think that we can't even have a discussion and some good old American disagreement on even the little points. If you choose to paint someone as anti-American for exercising their American right to free speech and criticism of the government, then we have already lost what the terrorist sought to take away.

The British handle it better - laugh at or ignore the opposition - but don't give them a spotlight by ranting at them.

I was happy when Bush finally flatly stated that OBL deserved the blame for 9/11. That being said, even if Bush has a glimmer of feeling responsible (which I doubt and which he shouldn't) or if he has any regrets re possible mistakes, he is smart to not express those thoughts or feelings. Has it not occurred to people that every statement he makes is not just to Americans but to the whole world? And we are at war with people who perceive the U.S. as weak-willed and a bunch of navel-gazers. Bush cannot contribute to that impression but must, instead, contradict it. If that means the American public and press doesn't get the group hug from him that they want, so be it. Even if Bush wanted to do that, he cannot and should not. We need our enemies to perceive him as tough, determined and not the "I feel your pain" type of person.

OBL isn't the problem. OBL is A problem.

As others have pointed out elsewhere, pouring more troops into Afghanistan won't necessarily boost our chances to catch him.

To use an analogue - Hirohito and Tojo bombed us. Why did we waste so much time and energy attacking Hitler, who declared war against us but wasn't really all that interested in engaging us on our soil? I mean, if the Europeans hated him so much, why didn't they just overthrow him? Meanwhile, we waste troops in North Africa - which isn't even part of the Axis! - and leave Japan untouched.

Meanwhile, has anyone even seen the legendary camera-hog OBL in, like, months? There are other possibilities beyond the standard "He is so smart and cunning and he is making our so-called mighty military look like fools."

This ties into another logical disconnect that might never be bridged: al Qaeda is a terrorist organization, but not all terrorists organizations are al Qaeda.

I wasn't at all impressed with the speech. I am a life long republican - from amny years before I was able to vote I helped with campaigns.

I thought the President was ill prepared to answer questions. He danced around many questions (albeit inane ones) and rambled like he forgot what he was taking about until he got tired of the question and called for another one. The avoidance of certain things and always refering to Afganistan and Iraq in any way possible will cost him some approval ratings. The question about his biggest mistake he should have said 'letting the steel tarifs ride for too long' - that would have diverted the train of thought to the economy and he could have played on positive things going on there and could have even thown in positive economic news from Iraq and Afganistan as a side note. He seemed to preoccupied with trying to get the message across that he is a war president. He also used to many sound bites, 'war footing' being a prime example, especially when he seemed to be rambling.

Who ever prepped him for this appearance needs to be let go. And Rove needs to be bitched alspped for not making sure that GW was 110% ready for the types of questions he would encounter. Did they think this would be a walk in the park? They should have know the press corp would be hostile.

Good points, Steve. The (probably deceased) OBL was so dangerous because of his state sponsorship--Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Afghanistan. They gave him money, safe haven, passports, etc. As a comedian once said about Khadafi, if he didn't have his own country he'd be just another pissed off New York cab driver.

Numerous reports have suggested that OBL's fabled millions were probably gone by the time the Soviets left Afghanistan. It was the continued inflow of cash to his coffers that allowed him to spread death for years afterward. Once Saudi Arabia stopped writing checks, the Sudanese, Yemenis, and others were eager to send him funds. Plus, private funds continued from countries which had stopped supporting him officially.

Dry up the funding, force countries to end their official or unofficial support of terrorists, and then mop up the bankrupt remainders, the terrorist leaders themselves, cowering in caves and basements. We are effectively attacking this infection known as terrorism but, as with any other infection, we can't stop before it's essentially eradicated. Toppling the Taliban and Saddam by itself does nothing to sanitize Iran, Syria, etc., especially if they know we're tired of fighting.

Does this mean terrorism must be entirely ended or the war on it is a failure? Of course not. We still have crime in our cities; we don't disband police departments saying "We'll never eliminate all crime, so law enforcement is a failure."

It's early days yet. Don't despair. Slowly, surely people will tire of the incessant second guessing about who failed to prevent 9/11. The public will kick up its general cynicism level another notch (always bad). But when it comes time to pull the lever in November, they'll tot up in their heads all the actual things Bush has done (some of which suck, others of which are bold and even, yes, brilliant) and compare it to the nuanced verbiage of Kerry. Anyone making more than 30K a year will see that Kerry's tax plans do little for them, that his job-creation proposals will not work, and that his anti-war stance pre and post his stint in Vietnam will not fare well in today's world.

Bush will win.

The removal of the Hussein regime gets us out of Saudi, which is a HUGE long-term consideration for dealing with bin Laden's crowd. Don't get me wrong, they hate us because they hate us -- but there is a significant connection between Iraq and the GWOT full-stop.

Mark,

The Brits handle things like this better? Damn right they do, and you know why? Because if an MP made a statement like, "the PM cooked up this war while on holiday in Woolverhampton to bolster his party in the upcoming bye-election." He'd be shamed off the floor of Commons and probably censured by his own Party. Yet allow Teddy "A blond in every pond" Kennedy sober up enough to croak out how Bush and Cheney cooked up the Iraq war to gin up support for the Republicans and what do we hear? Democrats falling over themselves to attack Republicans for calling his remarks "uncivil". An apology? Puhleeze. Censure? Who you kidding?! Nah, the Democratic opposition has a job to do, defeat Bush, and they won't let a little things like the War on Terror get in the way.

See the truth is, if you aren't part of the solution you ARE part of the problem. And the truth is that a large chunk of the opposition party in this country has become part of the problem, and they'll remain so until they come up with an actual policy for the WoT that doesn't consist of rolling out Teddy and the Tinfoil-Hat brigade to accuse the President of: betraying his country, being AWOL, attacking Iraq for political purposes, being pre-emptive in Iraq, NOT being pre-emptive in Afghanistan, not doing in 8 months what Clinton didn't do in 8 years, or a host of other equally pointless claims.

A perfect example of what I'm talking about here: "Don't like having your library records looked at by the FBI (Patriot Act)? What are you hiding?"

So after we've buried 3,000 Americans who've died in a terrorist attack, it's unconcionable to think that the Government might want to know who's been checking out books on bomb making? Oh, and the relivance of Halliburton - I get it, the whole WoT was Cheney's way of paying back his ZoG overlords right? See it's not the government or the GOP or this Administration that doesn't think we can have a discussion and some good old American disagreement on even the little points, it's the opposition. Don't agree in lock step with what they say? You're a tool of the Bushitler. Don't like my sign that calls for an American intifida or my calling for the mutiny of our soldiers in Iraq (whom I support if they shoot their Officers), well then your crushing dissent!

We keep hearing how dissent and protest are patriotic, that those who oppose the president are patriots just like those that fight for this country. Well that may be true for some, but you're missing a vital part of the equation - it's only patriotic if they're on our side. Sometimes dissent is just dissent, and protesting isn't patriotic. Sometimes being in opposition means being on the other side. If you oppose the war on terror you defacto support the terrorists, there is no third way out - it's blocked by the vicitms of 9/11.

What gets me is why the press is obsessed with only asking questions that the President either can't answer (e.g., those so memorably parodied on Saturday Night Live in the first Gulf War: "What single fact, if it was learned by our enemies, would most endanger American troops?") or won't answer, at least not in the way they want (e.g. "When will you admit you're a miserable failure?" or "Why won't you admit you're a miserable failure?")

I mean, these guys aren't complete idiots, right? They're professional reporters. There are a lot of tough questions they could ask that might actually get an interesting and/or informative response, but they insist on going through these bullshit Kabuki "gotcha!" rituals instead.

Someone suggested that at future press conferences, the President should invite a few bloggers as well as the traditional media. I think it's an excellent idea. CBS, CNN, etc are not called out by name in the constitution and they have no entitlement to exclusively represent the people.

The President would only invite bloggers who favored their policy at the time.

Drew -- and this means what, exactly?

To use one example, Michele favors the President's policy... but do you really think that she wouldn't ask him a good, tough question?

Right, Drew. Just like he only calls on the members of the press corp that favor his policy.

Get real.

So basically get behind Bush or get out of the country?

Lovely sentiment. The reason I'm fighting Bush is because I love this country and I want to see it keep on being what it stood for.

Would I risk my life for that? Apparently so because I don't support Bush's policies (or lack thereof) and that means that I support terrorism.

I can speak only for myself, but as a non-partisan, every time they accuse Bush of being responsible for 9-11 by not taking the kind of pre-emptive action they complain about him taking after 9-11, I become more and more angry and sympathetic for him. For me, anyway, it's backfiring big time.

You've made the all-to-common mistake of assuming that any criticism of the current regime in Washington means that we're blaming them for 9/11. That is simply not true.

We on the Left want to catch the sumbitches who blew up the WTC. We also want to catch the sumbitches who blew our surplus on tax giveaways to the uber-wealthly, curtailed civil liberties under a far-right agenda, and got us into a quagmire in Iraq because they don't know what the hell they're doing.

Let's crush al Queda AND dump the GOP! We can have security AND liberty!

You have no idea what a tough question is. They didn't ask, for example, about the August 7, SEIB. Or about the 80 civilian mercenaries killed in Iraq in the last week.

What do you think the press is supposed to do at a press conference? Gather material for a hagiography?

Don -- anybody who thinks that Iraq has no relevance to the WoT is somebody who doesn't know anything about the WoT.

"I agree that we all need to stand together during this time.
However, the GOP administration has been painting anyone who disagrees with ANY part of their policy as "part of the problem"."

Maybe it's because of statements like these:

"Don't like having your library records looked at by the FBI (Patriot Act)? What are you hiding?"

Well, considering there hasn't been one single instance of a complaint filed over that particular statute in the Patriot Act actually being used... the statement smacks of paranoia.

"Concerned about the awarding of the reconstruction contract to Cheney's Halliburton? Why are you distracting us from the battle against terror?"

The distraction is that I have yet to see anyone that pitches a fit about Halliburton contracts be able to explain how the DOD competitive bid process actually works. A process that has been in place long before this Administration. A process that allows for suspension of the process in time of immediate need. Which this Administration didn't do. But the last one did. When they awarded contracts during the Kosovo conflict to.... Halliburton.

"Don't think we should have gone into Iraq in the first place? How dare you give aid and comfort to the enemey? You can't possibly support the troops."

There is nothing wrong with differing on how the WOT should be waged. That's a lengthy debate. But we are in a war. Those that are more interested in scoring partisan points to win an election, than presenting a united front to our enemies, are not acting in the best interests of this nation. What exactly do you call it when the highlight of your attack speech comes out of the mouth of someone that is calling for killing American solders, the very next day? I do believe that the majority of the left supports the troops... in theory. Sitting here in the States, I don't feel it, though. I'd hate to be oversees and hear the crapfest that passes for "loyal opposition".

You want my respect? Come up with a better plan for fighting this war. "We need more help" is not a plan. Blame Bush for 9/11 is not a plan. We are fighting this one way or another... and it's time to contribute to it's successful conclusion- or shut-up and get out of the way.

Jack,

You want a plan.

If I were in the Oval Office, here's what I'd do:
1. Reinforce our military forces in Iraq with sufficient strength to do two things - suppress attacks on Iraqi and other civilians and US troops, and develop better human intelligence. If that means paying the military better AND increasing taxes for a wartime purpose as a result, so be it.
2. Reduce dependence on foreign oil. President Bush spoke in a State of the Union address about doing so, but there hasn't been any action behind it. We should be looking at mostly hybrid cars and light trucks for the 2006, 2007 model year. We should be looking at increased use of nuclear, solar and biorenewable energy (yes, all in the same sentence). With reduced dependence on foreign oil, we will have less stake in the Middle East and be able to take strong action against our "allies" who really aren't allies (like the Saudis). It's a long walk to get there, but we haven't taken a single step yet.
3. Take a second look at the Patriot Act and the WOT within the US. People are upset about loss of freedoms. People also want protection. The administration should be looking at the parts of the Patriot Act that upset people and determining whether it's truly necessary or was it a mistake? The library book thing - clearly a mistake, since it hasn't been used yet. Creation of Homeland Security - probably a good idea, as it's catching some bad guys AND simultaneously fixing things like the INS backlog. We need to toss out the bad or better explain why it's necessary, and introduce new good. Unfortunately, the current situation looks like Ashcroft is a fascist who has gotten the ability to peek into everyone's lives for no good reason. (I said that's what it looks like, not that it is necessarily true)
4. Take a look at the tax cuts. Our deficit is growing VERY rapidly. I fully expected taxes to INCREASE during a WAR, and to decrease again afterward. That's how it works - in times of crisis we all must sacrifice.

I think part of the problem is that Joe Sixpack isn't expected to sacrifice for the war. In past wars (I'm thinking WWI, WWII and Korea), the public was asked to make sacrifices and change their lives to help. Today (and in Vietnam for that matter), the public is asked to live their lives as normally as possible. That takes us OFF the team, rather than putting us ON the team by sacrificing. "Go out and buy duct tape" isn't a sacrifice - "Buy War Bonds" or "Plant a Victory Garden" is.

Having said all of that, your statement:
"We are fighting this one way or another... and it's time to contribute to it's successful conclusion- or shut-up and get out of the way."
makes my point exactly - the Bush administration sees any criticism of THEIR idea of how the war should be handled as "aiding the enemy".

Kelli. Aren't you just dreaming regarding your prediction?

It is surprising that some of you commenting are so willing to gloss over the terrible mistakes Bush and his gang have made getting us into the WoI. If this administration has intentionally or negliently or stupidly failed to provide US protection before 9/11, don't you want to know that? How can you vote wisely in november? Don't you want to know how it happened so the problem can be fixed and so it won't happen a second time? Are you so blinded by being a Republican or a conservative or a fundmentalist Christian that you cannot be critical of Bush and his policies. He and his administration might have been wrong in their pre-9/11 approach to terrorism in the U.S.and in their WoI instead of continuing after al Qaeda and OBL among other things. We won't know either way without asking the questions.

Let H go, Mark - should we have given the reconstruction contract to Mickey D's??

And it doesn't matter if we use less foreign oil, China will, they'll still be funded.

Besides, we'll find out how much is in ANWR next year.

Not supporting governmental policy is one thing, but actively supporting the civil liberties of the terrorists is another.

I have no problem with the Patriot Act, I want to know this time around who is in the procress of trying to slaughter us.

I am tired of hearing the mumbo-jumbo bullshit that we should never intrude upon the terrorist's civil liberties. This is the reason why 9/11 happened, the government had no legal way of preventing the terrorists from slaughtering our people.

By not having the Patriot Act you are then calling upon the government to commit illegal acts for the purposes of protecting the people. Is this what you want from our government?

Those who are against the Patriot Act are supporting the terrorists.

You're absolutely right that Osama bin Laden is the one responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Which makes me wonder why more than 600 American troops (and counting)had to die and thousands more get maimed in Iraq. Particularly when the rationale for going into Iraq (which you'll recall was WMDs until no WMDs turned up) turned out to be completely false.

I'm glad Saddam is out of power, and I think we need to follow through on what we started in Iraq, but I'm not satisfied that Bush administration has any idea of what to do to fix the problems. If you can't examine what you did wrong in the past (like ignoring repeated warnings from anti-terror experts and intelligence agencies), then how can you correct your mistakes?

What? No bunny?

Robert is special. His "bush lied" posts call for Strongbad.

Hey, zwichenzug: if you're going to toss around big words like "mercenary", you might want to, oh, I don't know, actually bother to learn what they mean.

That's what I'd do, if I were you. On the other hand, I don't like looking like an asshat in public. Your motivations may differ.

Hint: scroll down to Article 47, section 2, subsection d.

"President should invite a few bloggers"

What I'd also like to see him do is ask "The Daily Show" to send a correspondent. Just to show the world exactly how seriously he takes the press.

Damn. I like bunnies.

Thank God I missed McClelland's comment.

What a waste of air that guy is.

Michelle,

Thank you for the most thoughtful post I've seen you make so far.

Many of the points I would normally make have already been covered by others. I think you know which one's I mean.

I'm trying to limit my verbiage by not quoting every previous post that references my point.

I guess the biggest discrepancy I see in your opinion is your belief that the press has a personal vendetta against the President. The function of the political press in our society is to push the politicians for information they're not volunteering.

Regardless of which political party is in office, they feel like their guy is being unfairly grilled.

I understand your unwavering support for Bush, hell I even applaud it. But you should be willing to look at some hard truths regarding the press conference last night.

What you saw as the press holding Bush culpable for 9/11, I saw as opportunities for him to speak on a personal level. Not that I expected him to, nor am I bothered that he didn't.

The 9/11 attacks were unavoidable in the pre 9/11 world. That much is clear.

The thing is, he is a master of talking AROUND a subject. There were several legitimate questions he didn't answer, though he talked for several minutes after the question was asked.

Truthfully, none of us learned anything new last night. So what was the point?

I think that an important function of the press is to give voice to the unanswered questions. To represent the people who DON'T support the person being interviewed.

After all, if they had asked comfortable questions we would have already known the answers. "Grilling" is the function of the press. The fact that he was ill prepared for some questions and unwilling to answer others is not their fault.

The sooner people realize that there are significant questions that remain unanswered, the sooner we'll all feel like we're on the same side again.

No one wants in-fighting in America when we're at war, but unless everyone feels properly represented it's inevitable.

Shame on the press corps for asking uncomfortable questions. After all, they're supposed to only serve up softballs ala the silver platters they whipped up on the eve of shock and awe.

But seriously, if they were going to be hard they could have asked how Mr. Bush plans on supplying more troops if they're called for. "Mr. Bush, you claimed that if General Abizaid asks for more troops, you will supply them. With reserves running thin, and your doctrine of preemptive war and homeland security increasing in importance, where do you plan on getting these troops? Will you call to reinstate the draft? A follow up: if so, how do you plan on conscripting young men in a war which you haven't fully or consistantly justified?"

That's just one example of a tougher query. Another example would have centered around the question regarding the coalition and the independent contractors. Holding him to actually answering the question directly rather than dancing around it would have been more in line with "tough questioning."

They could have also asked him how the idea of terrorists using airplanes as missiles was so foreign to him despite the fact that he claimed to have commissioned the 8/6/01 PDB in light of the terrorist threats that centered around Genoa. Threats that involved hijacked aircraft being used against the G8 conference.

Finally, if they were really ambitious, the press corps could have delved into the implications of Bush's ties with The Saudis, the Bin Laden family, and Taleban pre-9/11 -- all ties that are maybe just happy coincidences, but still worth unvovering.

There was a time when it was the job of the press to challenge the leaders and force them to effectively defend their actions. Either through direct questioning or by playing devil's advocate. Sadly, it is far to shocking these days when they actually come close to doing just that.

Ah well.

Did anyone notice that the pres. was asked why he insisted on meeting the 9-11 commission with Cheney next to him? And after twice saying, "to answer questions", he cut off the reporter and told him that he, [the most powerful man in the world] couldn't answer THAT question because he had to answer other questions from other reporters.

"The function of the political press in our society is to push the politicians for information they're not volunteering."

And I'd have no problem if they did.

"What are you going to do abouut Iran's Sadr?"

"Shouldn't we have gone after Sadr sooner?"

"Why do we haved to hire so many contractors? Is it making up for a lack of suffiecient troops?"

"If the generals in theatre did ask for more troops, where would you get them?"

Now those are hard questions.

"Are gonna apologize?" "Are gonna apologize?" "Are gonna apologize?" "Are gonna apologize?" isn't. It's just dumb.

Yeah, about 5 reporters asked the same stupid question, which is actually to the presidents' benefit. No one asked questions about Plame, about the drug benefit numbers, if he sat through the entire Aug 6 PDB, why he decided to deploy SDI with a presidential waiver of the fact that it has not been declared operational, any thoughts about reviving the draft, if he agrees with repub efforts to deny 527s' participation in the electoral process, and on and on. No doubt he would have acquitted himself amazingly not well and further made a fool of himself. You complain about the press that is actually doing him a favor. Weird.

Agreed, Ralph. Lots of better questions to ask, many of them very very tough for Bush, I would imagine.

"Did we let Sadr happen over the last 6-9 months?" would be a fine starting point.

The problem is the DC press corps can't walk and chew gum at the same time. They're a herd, not a pack. The problem isn't even so much that they're biased -- it's that they're too unskilled and lazy to work to be objective.

"You complain about the press that is actually doing him a favor. Weird."

Not wierd. I care about the Republic more than I care about Bush, I merely consider him "better than Kerry."

I want to see real criticism of how the war is being run from people who also want to win it, rather than poinnt scoring from partisans who care less about American soldiers' lives than about winning a race.

A biased press is bad for society. A stupid press is bad for society. A biased and stupid press is a disaster.

DUMBASS REICH WHING QUOTE OF THE DAY:

Today's quote comes from Matt Shifrin, a first lieutenant in the US Military Dumbass Corps.

"I don't know if we were fighting terrorism directly by invading Iraq and ousting Saddam [Hussein], but I do know that as long as these extremist groups are planning and expending resources by attacking soldiers in Iraq, they are less capable of attacking helpless civilians in the U.S., Israel and other civilized nations."

Ah, such a nice sentiment that Iraq has been turned into a slaughter ground so that the rest of us can be safe and sound from attacks on our soil by terrorists. Following that same logic, I hope Canada remains safe from attacks because terrorists are too busy blowing up American skyscrapers. You stupid, mindless Reich Whingers never learn. I just wish you were too stupid to breed!