Sunday, January 25, 2009


If you thought the news media and polling organizations were made up of a collection of incompetents and village idiots (and most people think exactly that) you can now find affirmation of that and their new lows of journalistic stupidity and incompetence with the release of Barack Obama's job approval rating.

Think about that. Barack Obama was sworn in on January 20th and the news media is now giving us his Presidential job approval numbers.

This is finally proof positive that both those who conduct polls and those in the news media who report them are not just incompetent and a collection of village idiots but that they have truly lost their minds.

It is hard to fathom that someone, anyone, would conduct a Presidential job approval poll after Obama has been on the job for only 3 days especially since it takes 3 days to conduct the poll and assimilate the data in the first place. That means the poll reflect how people feel Obama has been handling the job of President based on the fact that he didn't fall down the steps of the Capitol after the Inauguration..

The one valuable thing that comes out of this is that those who conducted the job approval poll as well as any news organizations that have reported it can now be considred to have their credibility shredded since no remotely intelligent news organization would even consider reporting an Obama job approval rating 3 days after being sworn in. This should finally bring the news media's job approval rating down to where it belongs -- zero.

A few days ago the New York Times announced (because they had to announce it) that they were borrowing $250 million from a Mexican businessman named Carlos Slim at 14% interest. The fact that they have to borrow the money at all says a lot about the state of journalism at the New York Times and the state of journalism in general. The fact that they had to go to Carlos Slim to borrow it and borrow at 14% interest tells you even more. But after the release of Obama's job approval rating and the news media's reporting it, I wouldn't be surprised if Slim isn't thinking that 14% wasn't enough for the risk he's taking.

NOTE: For those who care, the approval rating culprit was Rassmussen. This was the poll that during the Democratic primary showed Obama winning in California by 1. Clinton won by 15 making Rassmussen's margin of error 16. Rassmussen missed consistently going way beyond the margin of error many times during the primaries and was one of the most unreliable polls cited along with Newsweek and Gallup.

Rassmussen himself was interviewed on Fox News about his poll and listening to him and the interviewer was truly like watching the blind leading the blind.

Rassmussen pointed out that before the Inauguration, his polling showed that conservatives gave Obama a 56% approval rating but right after the Inauguration the polling showed that conservative approval dropped to below 40%. Even though there could be no logical reason for an approval rating to drop 16 points in 24 hours before a President even takes office, rather than question the possibility that just maybe there was something seriously wrong with Rassmussen's methodology, the Fox interviewer marveled that conservatives could inexplicably change their minds about Obama so fast. Instead of questioning the validity of the polling data she instead asked what the reasons might be that could cause conservatives to change their minds like that. Rassmussen of course answered with the kind of nonsensical possible reasons that belonged in Through The Looking Glass.

Obama's job approval ratings may sink for valid reasons. So far everything he has done has been implementing either Democratic party positions held for the last eight years like reversing the Bush position on climate change and giving California a waiver on emissions controls or listening to and implementing ideas from advisors like Biden, Clinton, Franks and others with regards to foreign policy and the economy.

Eventually Obama's lifelong political strategy of trying to play both sides of the fence isn't going to work and he is going to get himself in trouble. Usually when you try and please everyone for political reasons you end up pleasing no one and it may be that he will get himself in trouble with everyone. But for now, even the decision to poll a job approval rating with less than a week in office shows that so far, one thing that hasn't changed in Wshington is the utter stupidity of the news media.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Last night on the History Channel there was the presentation of the documentary "King" narrated by Tom Brokaw. I couldn't help but notice that about half way through the documentary dealing with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while we watched black and white footage of Lyndon Johnson in the White House at a Cabinet meeting Brokaw's narration was telling us that in 1964 it took all of Johnson's considerable powers of persuasion and political skill, as Johnson, in Brokaw's words, cajoled, arm twisted, called in favors, flattered, threatened members of Congress who had opposed it when Kennedy introduced it, to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

What couldn't be ignored on the eve of Obama's inauguration, is that almost one year ago during the South Carolina Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton said exactly the same thing, trying to make the point that it takes a President who has experience to get things done.

Obama accused Clinton of making remarks that diminished the legacy and importance of Martin Luther King -- remarks that were almost verbatim the same remarks about Johnson and the Civil Rights Act made by Tom Brokaw in the King documentary.

Obama's scurrilous and dishonest accusation and his decision to play the race card, also called Clinton's remarks "unfortunate" and implied she had no understanding of King or his contributions.

This needs to be remembered on the day before Obama's inauguration since the news media, and many others are making Obama's taking office as a fulfillment of King's dream. The fact that Obama's accusation was as much of a lie now as it was then,and that the news media jumped all over Clinton for her comment, ( The NY Times accused Clinton of taking the "low road" of racial politics as did the Nation and most television news outlets) should be kept in mind as they fall all over themselves over Obama's African background.

Of course most of them conveniently miss the most salient point of King's dream which was the he dreamed of a day when a person would be judged on the content of their character and not the color of their skin. For the next few days for the news media and some others, that is going out the window.

Given the obvious deep and demonstrable flaws in Obama's character, one wonders whether Obama's election is a fulfillment of King's dream or a distortion of it. And a distortion caused by mass media and PR.

It's certainly not a distortion caused by the majority of the American people who voted for Obama. People who voted for him were justifiably fed up with eight years of Bush and Republican rule that were the root causes of most of the economic meltdown not to mention all the other costly blunders that occurred under Bush. Obama was elected because people were fed up with Bush and rightly so, not because Obama is half black ( it probably needs to be pointed out, if for no other reason than to show how incredibly stupid it is to make an issue of someone's race no matter what the reason, that Obama is half black having a white mother which most people including the media seem to pretend doesn't exist. So does this mean we need another half black President in order to say we had a whole one?)

In many ways making Obama's inauguration an issue of race by the news media is more than a gross distortion of King's dream especially since the race card was played so dishonestly during the primary campaign. But it is also a distortion of the truth because Obama was elected more because he was a Democrat and more because of his promises than his ancestors. While there were many extremely distasteful comments made by people like John Kerry who said during the primary that Obama should be elected because he is black ( reminding people Obama is half black with a white mother if nothing else shows the stupidity of using race as any kind of measuring stick regarding the content or ability of any person) it was the dishonesty of the media during the primaries and the disasters brought about by the Republicans that are responsible for Obama's victory, not race.

After seeing the King documentary last night, one really can't help but remember the rank hypocrisy and gutter politics played in King's name by Obama and his accusations against Clinton, and then the news media's piling on against Clinton for saying the same thing Brokaw said in his acclaimed documentary.

I wonder where Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann would be now if they accused Brokaw, the iconoclastic anchor of NBC news for more than 20 years, and everyone else associated with the King documentary (including the King family) of diminishing the memory and accomplishment of King by saying it took all of Lyndon Johnson's political skills to get the Civil Rights Act passed. Where they would be now is probably one of the 7.2% who are out of work.

It's not a small thing to remember not only because this is Martin Luther King Day, but because those accusations, (in all probability drummed up by Congressman Clyburn and used by Obama) changed the course of the election process. Up until then Pew Research showed that the African American vote was split 49-48 between Obama and Clinton. After Obama accused her of making statements that diminished King's legacy Obama went on to get 90% of the African American vote in every primary from that point on. It was one of the things that made the difference.

As Obama takes the oath of office and the news media proclaims him the first African American President ( because half black with a Kenyan father and a white mother and a background that has no ancestral ties to slavery or racism in America doesn't fit the storyline) it's important to keep all this in mind because King's dream still matters, not just to African Americans but to anyone with asspirations. But when Obama is sworn in, the legitimate question can be asked as to whether or he is someone who has fulfilled King's dream or someone who was able to manipulate it. And the answer in many ways is both.

But once the pomp and circumstance is over the country will quickly get back to the only thing that really matters. Because starting on Wednesday Obama's election will have nothing to do with race but only whether he can deliver, and if he can't, who his ancestors were isn't going to help him. In that sense Obama's election will be prove useful. It's going to put an end to race as something that matters in relation to accomplishing anything that counts in American life once and for all, and that is what King's legacy is all about.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Before Bush leaves office and a new President is sworn in, it has become imperative that before the page is turned on the Bush Administration that he finally be held accountable for something the Democrats, the Republicans, and most of all, the news media never had the stomach or the backbone to do -- hold Bush and Rice completely accountable for the 911 attacks.

The failure of those responsible for insisting on such accountability not only is an insult to history and the consequences of Bush's failure, it also resulted in subsequent disasters that never would have occurred had those responsible for holding those in power accountable for their mistakes, negligence and incompetence, did their jobs as they are supposed to. And what they never did was hold Bush and Condoleeza Rice completely accountable for the worst attack and the worst loss of life on American soil caused by a foreign enemy in US history and all that has followed.

The evidence against Bush and Rice for not only gross, but virtually criminal negligence in the 911 attacks is so overwhelming and irrefutable, that if Bush were the CEO of a large corporation whose headquarters happened to be the World Trade Center, where tens of thousands of his employees worked, and if Condoleeza Rice had been the company's chief security officer, and the exact same set of facts as existed leading up to the 911 attacks were applied to Bush as a CEO, George W Bush in all probability would have been indicted and convicted of 3,000 counts of criminally negligent homicide and Rice would have been an accessory.

And yet from that time and to this day, Bush and Rice have never been held accountable for the most disastrous negligence with regards to National Security ever committed by a President. Instead Bush, Rice and Cheney with the help of a cowed press actually fostered the fantasy that its been the Bush Administration who took terrorism seriously and kept us safe, when it was the Bush Administration who never took terrorism seriously until it was too late and through a series of negligent acts and failure to act in a reasonable way, allowed the 911 attacks to happen. And what's more Bush himself knows it.

We know that Bush was petrified of any real investigation into 911 and what it might reveal and the conclusions it would reach as evidenced by his refusal at first to cooperate with the 911 Commission and even vehemently opposed its creation. After it was created over his objections he at first refused to allow Rice to cooperate. It is obvious that he didn't want to cooperate because he knew that in the end, he would be held accountable for the same kind of gross negligence that eventually became apparent in his decisions to invade Iraq, the post invasion mismanagement of Iraq, his handling of Katrina and what we know now about the failures of the lack of oversight involving massive fraud which has caused the economic meltdown.

The difference of course being that all those things hadn't happened yet. But Bush himself knew it was his fault. One only has to remember that look on his face when Andy Card whispered that two planes had hit the World Trade Center in a terrorist attack, to see that at that moment Bush knew that all the people who had warned him that such an attack was not only possible but imminent, all the people who warned him that Al-Qaeda was the biggest threat to US national security in the world, were all right, and that he and Rice who both dismissed terrorism as a major threat were wrong,

Bush finally agreed to cooperate with the 911 Commission when they promised not to include in their report any blame for the 911 attacks and changed their stated goals to investigating what happened limiting themselves to intelligence failures and to make recommendations for the future to fix the problems they found, explicitly stating they would not come to any conclusions for the purposes of fixing the blame for the attacks in any one place, to but look toward fixing problems with the intelligence apparatus.

But the biggest problem, the real problem behind the 911 attacks never got fixed. And that problem was Bush himself and the simple, irrefutable fact that 911 happened because Bush never took terrorism seriously before the attack, in spite of constant warnings to the contrary. This is why that stupid deer caught in the headlights expression crossed his face in the schoolroom that day when Andy Card whispered in his ear and told him what happened. At that moment he knew everything everyone had been telling him about terrorism was right and he and Condoleeza Rice was wrong and now thousands of Americans were killed because of it.

The other major failure was of course the press. Unfortunately for this country for the last 15 years the United States has been saddled with the biggest collection of journalistic cowards to ever carry press passes in this country. The evidence of Bush's negligence, which will be presented here and itemized, was overwhelming and obvious. And no member of the press wanted to touch it with a ten foot pole. For no other reason than fear. They were scared to death what the reaction would be from the Republicans who would accuse them of lack of patriotism at holding Bush accountable at a time when the country needed to be pulled together.

To reiterate the famous saying. " the first casualty of war is truth" and nowhere was it more apparent than with Bush and the 911 attacks, politicians and the press.

Had it been a Democratic President in the White House with the same set of facts the Republicans would have been screaming for impeachment. And they would have been right. Only it was a Republican in the White House and the press was cowed and so were the Democrats who were as frightened as being called unpatriotic as the press was. And so Bush and his administration was not only never held accountable for the worst attack and the biggest loss of life on American soil caused by a foreign enemy in US history, they were actually presented as the administration that was keeping America safe.

The worst part of all this is, 911 could have and would have been prevented had there been a more competent President and National Security Advisor. And the evidence of this, again, is overwhelming and irrefutable.And to this day the press still doesn't have the stomach the backbone or any other part of the anatomy related to courage, to simply state it -- Bush and his administration and their negligence are to blame for those attacks succeeding.

And the evidence is this:

During the transition period in January of 2001, as part of the transition of power, Bush had a face to face meeting with then President Clinton in which Clinton told him face to face that Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were the single biggest threats to US national security in the world. During the same transition period Bush and Rice met face to face with outgoing National Security Advisor Sandy Berger where Berger told both Bush and Rice and that Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were the single biggest threats to US national security in the world. And to further emphasize the point and the threat they represented, Berger told them the threat from Al-Qaeda was so great that he predicted that Bush and the Bush Administration would spend more time dealing with Al-Qaeda than any other single issue.

Continuing in January of 2001, prior to the Inauguration, as part of all Presidential transitions, Bush had two national security briefings at Blair House, the briefings all Presidents-elect get before taking power. At that meeting, George Tenent and the CIA made the case to George W. Bush that Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were the single biggest threats to US national security in the world. And in the national security briefing he received from the FBI, Bush again was told that Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were the single biggest threats to US national security in the world.

So in January of 2001 before Bush even took the oath of office he was told by the outgoing President of the United States, the outgoing National Security Advisor,the head of the CIA and the head of the FBI that Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were the single biggest threats to US national security in the world (all of this comes from first person testimony in front of the 911 Commission, corroborated by all participants and never refuted by anyone).

And so what did Bush do with regards to terrorism and Al-Qaeda's threat to US national security when he took office? The first thing he did was demote Richard Clarke the anti-terrorism czar who served in that post for 20 years under four Presidents from a cabinet level position to a sub cabinet level position. And the reason is Bush, Rice Cheney and the majority of Republicans didn't believe terrorism was the threat Clinton and his people said it was. Bush didn't think terrorism was important enough to warrant Clarke having a cabinet level position and so demoted him. Remember, it was the Republicans who accused Clinton of a Wag the Dog ploy when Clinton, acting on CIA intelligence, launched a missile barrage at Bin Laden and an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. The Republicans led by Orin Hatch roundly accused Clinton of doing it to try and take the focus off his Lewinsky problem.

The next thing Bush did after taking office with regards to terrorism, according to Richard Clarke's testimony before the 911 Commission and stated in his book, was to disband what Clarke was describing as the Principals Meeting. As Clarke described this to the 911 Commission, in the Clinton administration there was a daily meeting chaired by Clarke and attended by relevant members of the Cabinet who had a role in fighting terrorism: the Attorney General, Bob Mueller, the director of the FBI, George Tenent at CIA, and directors of ATF,Immigration and other departments directly involved in anti-terrorism. According to Clarke, at these meetings, the latest intelligence regarding terrorism collected by each agency in the previous 24 hours was shared among the heads of all the agencies present. ( a big problem the 911 Commission found was the lack of sharing of intelligence -- but in keeping with their promise not to fix blame on any one individual they never stated the obvious -- that is was because of Bush's discontinuing of this process that vital information that would have prevented 911 was never received and shared). Then, according to Clarke's testimony, the heads of these agencies would go back to their respective departments and in his words, "shake the trees" for the latest information developed over the next 24 hours which they would then bring to the next meeting.

Taking terrorism seriously and continuing the counterterrorism policies of the Clinton Administration as described by Clarke in his testimony including his ability in the Clinton White House to meet with cabinet level officials to share intelligence alone would have prevented 911 ( though there would be even more action Bush could have taken to prevent the attacks that he chose not to take).

The first piece of evidence supporting this conclusion is the famous Phoenix Memo. An FBI agent in Phoenix had been called by the owner of a Phoenix flying school who was suspicious of two new students. The agent agreed the activity was suspicious and wrote up a report. What made it so suspicious was that the two flying students were both middle eastern men here on a visa ( a visa that unbeknownst at the time had expired) and the men wanted to learn how to fly jumbo jets but curiously didn't want to learn how to take off or land. They were also paying for their flying lessons with cash. One of those two men was Mohammed Atta.

The report was never sent up the ladder by the agent's superior at the Phoenix office. Under the old process during the Clinton Administration where terrorism had the highest priority, that information would have been sent right to the top and would have been something Mueller would have shared with Clarke.

Under that scenario, from that moment on, Atta and all of his associates wouldn't have been able to sneeze without the FBI knowing about it. They would have been under surveillance 24 hours a day. Their phones would have been tapped. The plot undeniably would have been discovered and 911 never would have happened with this one piece of information alone. But there was more. There was the Minneapolis Memo that finally came to light and resulted in the prosecution,after the fact, of Moussaoui. But Collen Rowley, the FBI agent most familiar with the Moussaoui case and how it could have prevented 911 wrote this in her memo to FBI director Mueller:

"I feel that certain facts, including the following, have, up to now, been omitted, downplayed, glossed over and/or mischaracterized in an effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrassment on the part of the FBI and/or perhaps even for improper political reasons:( italics mine)."

She went on to say,

"The Minneapolis agents who responded to the call about Moussaoui's flight training identified him as a terrorist threat from a very early point. The decision to take him into custody on August 15, 2001, on the INS "overstay" charge was a deliberate one to counter that threat and was based on the agents' reasonable suspicions."

Her memo continued, "Although the last thing the FBI or the country needs now is a witch hunt, I do find it odd that (to my knowledge) no inquiry whatsoever was launched of the relevant FBIHQ personnel's actions a long time ago. Despite FBI leaders' full knowledge of all the items mentioned herein (and probably more that I'm unaware of),

And this:

"In the day or two following September 11th, you, Director Mueller, made the statement to the effect that if the FBI had only had any advance warning of the attacks, we (meaning the FBI), may have been able to take some action to prevent the tragedy. Fearing that this statement could easily come back to haunt the FBI upon revelation of the information that had been developed pre-September 11th about Moussaoui, I and others in the Minneapolis Office, immediately sought to reach your office through an assortment of higher level FBIHQ contacts, in order to quickly make you aware of the background of the Moussaoui investigation and forewarn you so that your public statements could be accordingly modified. When such statements from you and other FBI officials continued, we thought that somehow you had not received the message and we made further efforts. Finally when similar comments were made weeks later, in Assistant Director Caruso's congressional testimony in response to the first public leaks about Moussaoui we faced the sad realization that the remarks indicated someone, possibly with your approval, had decided to circle the wagons"

You can read the entire memo here.

The fact is there was enough known well before the 911 attacks to have prevented it. Under the authority given Richard Clarke in the Clinton Administration and the priorty terrorism was given as a serious threat to US national security, that information would have been sent to the highest levels of government and it is virtually impossible that it would have been ignored by Clarke had he known about it.

Given Muellers testimony before the 911 Commission that he had told Bush that Al-Qaeda was the biggest threat to US national security in the world, it is unlikely that the dismissing of the suspicion raised by Moussaoui were the result of official FBI policy.It is a virtual certainty that the "improper political considerations" cited by Crowley in her memo for what she tries not to call a "cover up" involved the negligence of Bush and Rice in their dismissal of terrorism as a real threat. Add to this Clarke's testimony that he and George Tenent were "running around the White House like men with our hair on fire" in August of 2001 because of the big spike in Al-Qaeda intercepts and their translations, its not likely that there was any official playing down of the threat by either CIA or FBI. It simply fell on the deaf ears of Bush and Rice.

But this wasn't the only chance the Bush Administration had to prevent 911.

A year ago the media reported on Tenent's statements that the intelligence coming in pointing to a major Al-Qaeda attack in July of 2001 was so disturbing he went to the White House for what he thought was an emergency meeting with Rice about what he saw as a serious impending Al-Qaeda threat. Rice was so dismissive at the time that when asked about the meeting in 2007 she said she couldn't even remember having it though White House logs show that in fact Tenent did have a meeting with her on the date in July that he claimed.

But the two most damning pieces of evidence against Bush, Rice and Cheney is the August 4th PDB (Presidential Daily Briefing) entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the United States" and an August CIA memo indicating that a CIA translation of an Al-Qaeda intercept said that there was going to be an imminent major attack against the United States and in the words of the CIA memo it was going to be "spectacular".

While the memo could not say where in the world this attack would take place, whether it would be against US interests overseas or in the US itself, the most important thing is that it was completely ignored by Bush and Rice.

Rice's flimsy defense of herself regarding the August 4th PDB was that it was, in her words, "a historical overview" of Al-Qaeda and didn't contain any actionable intelligence or specific threats. It's hard to imagine what part of the word "daily" in Presidential Daily Briefing Rice thought was about history. Maybe she thought the CIA didn't have anyone smart enough to title a paper "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Within the US: A Historical Overview" if that's what was intended. But on page 2 of that document (which can be found online) there was the mention of "30 current FBI investigations" into Al-Qaeda cells which were known to be in the United States. And as if that weren't enough, Rice's one time claim that they "had no idea Al-Qaeda was going to use airplanes as weapons", is totally undermined on page 2 where the joint intelligence report says that Al-Qaeda planned to use hijacked airliners as part of their plan to strike inside the United States. This remember, was on August 4th 2001.

While it does not specifically say they would use those hijacked airliners as missiles, to use that as a defense puts Rice in the position of trying to make the argument that simply hijacking airliners and holding passengers hostage was nothing to get excited about and not actionable therefore she and Bush were not to blame for not knowing that Al-Qaeda would use them as missiles on Sept 11.

But this is what was known before the attack: There were all the warnings given to Bush by Clinton,Berger,the FBI, the CIA and Richard Clarke during the Presidential transition about the threat Al-Qaeda posed that Bush and Rice totally ignored. There was the Tenent meeting in July. And in August of 2001 not only was there the August 4th PDB, but Clarke testified that the spike in Al-Qaeda intercepts were the highest he had ever seen in 20 years of fighting terrorism, and the translations indicated a major Al-Qaeda attack against the US was imminent. So imminent that he testified that in mid August of 2001 he and George Tenent were "running around the White House like men with their hair on fire", trying to get Rice's attention and a meeting with Bush to warn him of the impending danger. Their requests for a meeting with Bush who was on vacation in Crawford were denied. And Rice took no action herself.

If Bush and Rice had taken the threats seriously from the beginning and the warnings contained in the Aug 4 memo coupled with Clarke and Tenent's sounding the alarm based on the intelligence they did have at the time, how simple would it have been to issue an urgent high alert to every major airline and airport in the country against possible hijackings by Middle Eastern men? How basic would it have been to issue those directives and warnings and put airline and airport security on alert to be watchful of Middle Eastern men between the ages of 18-50 and to report any suspicious behavior or red flags? And what would that alert of airline and security people have found on the morning of Sept 11th at Logan International Airport at 8 am if people had been looking? It would have found that 6 Middle Eastern men all bought one way tickets on transcontinental flights to San Francisco, all paid cash and none of them had any luggage. What kind of red flags would that have sent up if people were operating under a security directive to be alert for possible hijackings by Middle Eastern men?

And if one wants to make the argument that no one knew when those attacks would take place, remember that all of the Al-Qaeda intercepts the CIA translated indicated the attack was imminent.

The spike in Al-Qaeda intercepts, the Al-Qaeda cells under surveillance and the indication that the US was going to be hit with a major attack should have been enough to cause Bush and Rice to act. It wasn't. Bush and Rice completely ignored these warnings because they didn't take terrorism seriously. That's why you see that stupid expression on Bush's face in that Florida schoolroom the morning of September 11th when he was told the news. He knew he had been wrong and now 3,000 Americans were paying for it with their lives and the country would be thrown into a convulsion.

When Bush came to office, his and the Republicans primary national security concern was getting out of the ABM treaty with Russia so they could re-start Star Wars. The Bush Administration believed the biggest threat to US national security in the world wasn't Al-Qaeda, but China.

Not only was the gross negligence of Bush and Rice totally responsible for allowing the 911 attacks to occur, but thanks to timid Democrats, unpatriotic Republicans too afraid to speak out against a Republican President who should have been impeached, and a spineless cowardly press who was afraid to hold Bush accountable for fear of being labled unpatriotic themselve by the Republicans, Bush, Rice and Cheney were actually able to promote themselves as the watchdogs and saviors of US National security and the leaders in the fight against terrorism. They with the help of the press promoted the fallacy that they were the ones keeping America safe, they were the party of anti-terrorism, when the truth is, if it weren't for their gross national security negligence, arrogance and bad judgement, 911 would have easily been prevented.

Instead they blamed the intelligence agencies who, for all of the criticism sent their way, had in their possession and had developed enough intelligence to have prevented the 911 attacks had their been someone at the top who cared enough to take it all seriously.

Three weeks after the attacks Rice held a press conference, the purpose of which was to state that there was nothing they could have done to have prevented the attacks. All they had, she said, was this August 4th PDB and she outlined some of the things in it. Watching that press conference and hearing about that memo I almost fell out of my chair and said to myself, uh-oh, its going to hit the fan now and Bush is going to get impeached. It wasn't until 5 years later that the press decided this was news and there was a brief flurry of stories about that memo which quickly died down.

At that same press conference Rice's defense for why they couldnt have prevented 911 was that they didnt know the day or date, they didnt know the names of the hijackers, they didnt know the target and they didnt know they were going to use airliners as weapons.

I dont know how much consideration Rice or Bush ever gave to the idea that there wasnt a cab driver in America who couldnt have prevented 911 with that kind of information but the irony is most of that information was available and knowable if only Bush or Rice had cared enough to want to know.

And if the press had done their jobs, something we havent seen in 20 years, and held Bush and Rice accountable for their mistakes in judgment and gross negligence and incompetence, even if Bush hadnt been impeached, he never would have had the political capital to invade Iraq, so the value of holding Bush accountable not only would have been a service to history and justice and the people killed that day, it would have prevented another huge mistake.

The gross incompetence of Bush and his whole administration which became obvious with the unnecessary Iraq invasion that the press would have stopped with some honest reporting, the incalculable mess caused by the mismanagement of post invasion Iraq, the disastrous and deadly response to Katrina, and now the worst financial crisis since the Depression, all of that Bush Administration ineptitude and incompetence first reared its ugly head and became apparent in the 911 attacks which the equally inept mass media ignored.

Unfortunately, when it came to Iraq, the majority of mass media, led by the journalistically challenged Judith Miller and her unchallenged (editorially and otherwise) front page New York Times stories promoting the fallacy of Sadaams nuclear threat, were the same collection of mouthpieces for the Bush Administration that they were with regards to the Bush role in the 911 attacks. Bush and Rice were obviously demonstrably guilty of gross negligence bordering on criminal, not to mention violating the oath to protect the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic when it came to their ignoring of warnings leading to the 911 attack. But Republicans, Democrats and most of all the press, when it counted most, became the Three Monkeys -- See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil -- and share the responsibility in everything that America went through from that day forward by doing the last thing they should have done --they kept their mouths shut in the face of all the evidence and did their best to silence those who wouldn't.

Copyright 2009 Marc Rubin

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


In the last 40 years there have been three Presidents whom I felt from the very beginning, from the very moment the election returns were in and we knew they had been elected, were complete jokes as President of the United States.

The first was Nixon in 1968 and while I was still a teenager I knew enough of his background to come to the conclusion that this guy as President of the United States would be nothing but a bad joke. The second was George W Bush in 2000. It took Al Gore, along with Donna Brazile as his campaign manager, to conduct the most incompetent Presidential campaign in history to get Bush, who Ralph Nader called at the time " a know nothing one term govenor of a state where the legislature only meets twice a year", elected President. Third of course is Barack Obama who, even now, two months after the election, cannot take the podium as the President elect without me laughing out loud at what I can't help but view as a Saturday Night Live sketch somehow magically transformed into real life.

I can't watch Obama disembarking from a plane, introducing a cabinet pick, smiling for a photo op, or having a statement issued in his name by a spokesman without laughing or at least breaking into a smile just short of laughter. This is not mean spirited snickering. It's not derisive laughter. I'm not laughing through my tears. I'm really laughing at the sight of Barack Obama as President of the United States. I swear that just writing it makes me laugh. It hits me as that much of a joke.

The first two members of the Presidential Three Stooges completely lived down to my expectations. Nixon became the first President to resign from office over Watergate and what his own Attorney General called "The White House Horrors". The second member, George W Bush, has been the most disastrous President in history, presiding over and in fact causing and being ultimately responsible for, four of the biggest disasters in the country's history-- the 911 attacks which were the result of his and Condoleeza Rice's gross negligence and incompetence, the unnecessary Iraq invasion, the response to Katrina, and the worst economic meltdown since the Depression.

Now Barack Obama joins my group as the most under-qualified, intellectually dishonest, integrity challenged Professor Harold Hill of a candidate for President in history. While his political dishonesty equals Nixon's at this stage in Nixon' political life, no one ever said Nixon didn't have the experience of qualification to be President, only the lack of integrity.

Obama hasn't even been sworn in yet and he is caught up in two brewing scandals, one from the sewer of Illinois politics embodied by Blagojevich and Rezko, and now Bill Richardson, as seedy and two faced a politician as there is in the Democratic Party,and one of Obama's political henchmen during the Democratic primary, having to withdraw his name as Commerce Secretary because an FBI investigation is coming uncomfortably close to his conduct as Governor of New Mexico.

Watching Richardson slink away and Obama's ridiculous statement that Richardson's withdrawing was Richardson "putting the country first", should be seen as another shot across the bow and a warning to the Democratic Party that there is going to be a more trouble ahead.

You know the Democrats are aware of this when you see the photo ops of Obama and Nancy Pelosi, the most inept Speaker of the House in history, sitting together for the cameras with Pelosi wearing that stupid painted on smile, looking like a character actress who just lost the Academy Award and is trying to pretend it doesn't matter.

I recently commented that Obama's cabinet picks, with a couple of exceptions, were relatively sound and showed that he is more than willing to play the part of Prime Minister more than President, letting key cabinet picks make the policy he will announce as his own. This will most certainly be true of foreign policy, something Obama has already demonstrated he knows nothing about, with Hillary Clinton at State. It is a certainty that it will be her foreign policy that will be formulated and carried out, not Obama's since he doesn't have a foreign policy,and this will be especially true in the Middle East where Bill Clinton came closer than anyone to brokering a deal for a Palestinian State.

And his recent pick of Leon Panetta to head the CIA confirms now with a degree of 100% certainty what I had thought from the beginning regarding his cabinet picks -- that Obama will really be nothing more than a puppet with Democratic insiders pulling the strings, making and formulating policy with Obama announcing them.

If you lean towards the Democrats in terms of both foreign and domestic policy that isn't necessarily a bad thing. But the choice of Panetta to head the CIA is so unexpected, and so unconventional, there is no doubt it was pushed by someone Obama has decided to rely on for advice. It never could have been Obama's idea. Given that Panetta was Bill Clinton's chief of staff, that advisor wouldn't happen to be named Clinton would it?

As for Obama himself, the real question is going to be, will he be another Teflon President as Reagan was, or will mismanaged scandals, mistakes, and missteps stick? He will have a lot to deal with once he takes office and unlike his 12 years of prior public service in which he did nothing and accomplished nothing, he is going to have to do something this time, even if its just to put his signature where Clinton, Daschle or Pelosi tell him.

I have a bold prediction to make. Obama will be a one term President. And not because he gets defeated in the next election. If scandal and saying the wrong thing at the wrong time doesn't get him, or listening to the wrong person, or, heaven forbid, he decides to actually wield the power he has himself and screws up royally, I really believe that the realities of the office will cause Obama to say, at least privately that he doesn't want it anymore and enough is enough.

Obama never accomplished anything in 12 years of elected office so accomplishing something isn't why he wanted to be President. He wanted to be President out of sheer ambition, an ambition that has been achieved. Once he actually takes office and has to fulfill the duties of the President and realizes he is not going to be able to vote "present", or get out from under the glare of the spotlight shinning on his every move and every word, he is going to come to the realization that this isn't for him.And he will find a way to announce he is not going to run for re-election.

There are only so many times he will be able to make a speech telling us he is going to take a 21st century approach to a problem. There are only so many speeches he will be able to make telling us the economy is in bad shape and needs fixing. With the Middle East exploding he has already damaged his credibility with both sides when, during the primary, he declared in front of an audience of American Jews that he supported Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. When the Palestinians went berserk over his comment he backed off the next day and tried to pretend he never said it, uniting both the Israelis and the Palestinians in their disdain for him. If there is any success in the Middle East it wont be because of Obama but because of Clinton.

If scandal doesn't cause him to unravel, either his lack of ability or his own realization that he is in over his head, will.That doesn't mean the policies that will be carried out wont work. Everyone hopes they will. But those policies will not be his but those around him. But as soon as something doesn't work, as soon as something goes wrong ,finger pointing will start since Obama will not sit quietly and take the blame even though he will be willing to take the credit for what works.

With Richardson's withdrawal, the Blagojevich scandal and Senate appointment getting headlines before he even takes office, with the economy in recession and the Middle East exploding, and based on what is known about Obama's 12 years of anemic public service and his lack of demonstrable ability ( which I am perfectly willing to be proved wrong about) the unraveling we are seeing now may get worse. And if it does, for the second time in a row we will have standing before the media and the country an emperor with no clothes, this time a Democratic one.