March 9, 2004
Bush: Soft-Headed on Military Intelligence.
by The Angry Liberal
Okay, kids, it's quiz time! Ready? Good. Fill in the blank:
Being called "soft on intelligence" by George W. Bush is like ____________.
a) . . . being called "short" by Yosemite Sam.
b) . . . being called "fat" by Jabba the Hutt.
c) . . . being called a "draft-dodging, coke-snorting, privileged, lying, underachieving loser" by George W. Bush.
It is to laugh. In response to John Kerry's relentless attacks on George W. Bush's presidential shortcomings, Dubya has decided to take off his golf gloves and take a little swing at his likely opponent in the November election. Yesterday in front of a room full of Texas fat cats, Bush made perhaps the dumbest charge against Kerry that he could make: It turns out that John Kerry is (you might want to sit down for this) soft on military intelligence.
HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
Sorry. I'm back. I just can't help laughing when the rumpot starts calling the kettle black.
Here are the details of Bush's charge: It seems that in 1995 while newly crowned Governor Bush was busy setting up the state of Texas for massive budget deficits, Senator John Kerry was actually trying to cut a little spending. America had just won the cold war and Kerry thought that since our principle enemies no longer existed, we probably didn't to spend quite as much spying on them. Sure, this makes sense to you and me, but not to Republicans, who would rather spend billions jailing inner city youth than spend millions educating them.
Fast-forward nine years. Candidate George W. Bush, who lost the World Trade Center and 3,000 of its inhabitants to ten guys with box cutters and a good plan, just told us that John Kerry can't be trusted as president because he once tried to introduce a bill to cut some intelligence funding:
"This bill was so deeply irresponsible that it didn't have a single co-sponsor in the United States Senate."
Bush then went on to accuse Kerry of wanting to have it both ways:
"He's for good intelligence, and yet he was willing to gut the intelligence services. That is no way to lead a nation in a time of war."
Of course we weren't at war in 1995, unless you count the occasional arial bombings over Iraq, but, heck, Bush was on a roll. The big problem with George W. Bush trying to paint John Kerry as soft on intelligence is that Bush has a clear and undisputed record of subverting the intelligence community and endangering American lives as president. How do you spell, "Presidential Intelligence Failure?" I-R-A-Q, of course.
Here's a quick rundown on Bush's intelligence trouble in Iraq:
Bush distorted U.S intelligence to justify a war in Iraq, according to former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Hans Blix. In his upcoming book, Blix said it was "probable that the governments (of the U.S. and Britain) were conscious that they were exaggerating the risks they saw in order to get the political support they would not otherwise have had." In the lead-up to the Iraq invasion, Bush made it clear that good intelligence was a mere hindrance to achieving the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Knowing this, why spend any money at all on intelligence? Why not just a) have some staff members sit around reading foreign newspapers, b) choose a few headlines that support the overthrow of some government you don't like, c) go to war, and then d) blame the staff when your justification turns out to be false? I guess the problem is that this approach would save the taxpayers some money, at least on the intelligence side. Apparently Bush wants to be able to ignore or distort the best intelligence that enormous deficits can buy next time.
Bush diverted the intelligence effort against al Qaeda in order to attack Iraq. In the aftermath of September 11, when Osama bin Laden took credit for bringing down the World Trade Center towers, Bush and his band of chickenhawks diverted our Middle East intelligence resources from the search for bin Laden and put them to work preparing for the Iraq invasion. We now know that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and posed no threat to its neighbors or anybody else. While the bed-wetters on the right will still argue the merits of attacking a toothless tyrant in the middle of a war on terror, the rest of us should look at it this way: If America had taken the $100+ billion we just wasted in Iraq and spent it in the pursuit of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, we would have the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks sitting in jail right now instead of the 98-pound international weakling Saddam Hussein. Instead, George W. Bush took our eyes and ears off of al Qaeda and focused them on his pet vendetta against Saddam. This was quite simply the biggest strategic blunder in modern American history. Right now, bin Laden is still at large and likely plotting his next attack. Even if he's caught tomorrow, bin Laden's next 9/11 could already be in motion, thanks to the free pass the Bush Administration gave him since the planning stages of the Iraq war. Folks, these are not just grounds for losing the next election. These are grounds for impeachment and resignation.
So, despite his own minor intelligence faux pas, Bush decided to go after Kerry on intelligence. John Kerry should have greeted this embarrassingly hypocritical attack with the catch-phrase of his campaign:
Bring it on!
Instead, all we heard was a defense of Kerry's proposed intelligence cut from eight years ago.
Senator Kerry, Dubya just tossed you a change-up, letter-high and right over the plate. Are you going to get that bat off of your shoulder or not?
As for Bush, we all remember his attempt to quote the following phrase:
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Well, George, if bin Laden strikes the United States a second time because you took your eye off of the ball in Afghanistan, I really don't think the phrase, "shame on you," is going to cut it.
otherwise noted, all original