Posts Tagged ‘rumsfeld

07
May
11

morning

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New from Pete Souza:

President Obama greets 9/11 families and elected officials from the New York area at Ground Zero

A signed message from President Obama is seen on a pamphlet during his meeting with 9/11 family members

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Paul Krugman: After reading John Yoo’s attack on the president for not taking Osama alive and bringing him to Gitmo, I thought I might take a minute to explain something I sometimes say … the Bush administration saw torturing people as a plus, not a cost … not because they’re sadists, but because it suited their self-image.

From day one of the War on Terror (TM), it was clear that the Bush people reveled in the notion that they were tough guys, willing to Do What Needs to be Done. They were all wannabe Kiefer Sutherlands. Far from showing qualms about suspending the rule of law and using torture to extract information, they obviously enjoyed the idea that they were willing to go all the way, unlike those wimpy liberals…..

…And so they are, inevitably, deeply upset that someone who isn’t a tough guy by their standards seems to be doing a better job of getting the terrorists than they did.

Krugman: ….isn’t the GOP showing a stunning lack of grace in this whole affair?

It’s particularly striking if you remember the atmosphere from 2001 through until 2004 or so. Back then, any hint of criticism of Bush’s War on Terror, or even a failure to show sufficient enthusiasm for his leadership, led to accusations that you were unpatriotic and somehow warped by your partisanship.

Now Obama actually gets his man – and does it in what seems to have been a truly gutsy fashion – and all we get is carping.

I can’t actually say I’m surprised, but it’s still kind of amazing.

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It’s hard to believe this was only a week ago …. think of all that has happened since:

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Michael Hirsh (National Journal): Ever so gingerly, even as they praised President Obama’s success against Osama bin Laden, some former senior Bush administration officials have sought to take a little credit for the mission themselves. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, interviewed by MSNBC this week, even called the operation “a good story for continuity across two presidencies.”

That assessment couldn’t be further from the truth.

Behind Obama’s takedown of the Qaida leader this week lies a profound discontinuity between administrations – a major strategic shift in how to deal with terrorists. From his first great public moment when, as a state senator, he called Iraq a “dumb war,” Obama indicated that he thought that George W. Bush had badly misconceived the challenge of 9/11. And very quickly upon taking office as president, Obama reoriented the war back to where, in the view of many experts, it always belonged. He discarded the idea of a “global war on terror” that conflated all terror threats from al-Qaida to Hamas to Hezbollah. Obama replaced it with a covert, laserlike focus on al-Qaida and its spawn….

…Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once famously lamented that “we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror.” Neither he nor other senior members of the Bush administration ever developed those “metrics.” But by any metric, Barack Obama has just tallied a major victory.

Full article here

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David Rothkopf (Foreign Policy): …..let’s try to put this week in perspective by highlighting a few winners, a few losers…The winners who have thus far emerged from the shootout at the Abbottabad corral include, in reverse order of the size of the win:

….The Families of U.S. Service Men and Women in Afghanistan: They’re coming home sooner now. This was their mission too. You can hardly beat that … and because there are so many of you, that’s why you edge out those folks at the pointy end of the spear who completed the mission.

….Barack Obama: His finest hour. Decisive. Cool. Able to both strike hard and do so with the kind of American values and restraint that elevated the mission and stands in stark contrast to the bombast and recklessness of some of his predecessors.

….The Planet Earth: A day without bin Laden is a better day for everyone.

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Ah, very nice redesign at Steve Benen’s site

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Washington Post: …..When bin Laden’s corpse was laid out, one of the Navy SEALs was asked to stretch out next to it to compare heights. The SEAL was 6 feet tall. The body was several inches taller.

After the information was relayed to Obama, he turned to his advisers and said: “We donated a $60 million helicopter to this operation. Could we not afford to buy a tape measure?”

Thank Edwina ;-)

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Daily Texan: Meet Rick Perry. He’s been the governor of the great state of Texas since Dec. 21, 2000. Meet Hannah Treadway. She’s my little sister, who lives with my family in Oakville, Ontario, Canada and was born on July 20, 1999.

Gov. Perry and Little Sister Hannah seem like they have a lot in common – strong leadership skills, great hair and my best guess is that they’re both into watching cartoons.

…I decided it would be a fun exercise to test how closely they align or differ on policy issues …  I’m going to write out the question I asked my little sister, and then I’m going to put two answers. One will be the response my little sister gave me, and one will be a quote from our governor….

Question 1: What is Juarez, Mexico?

Answer 1: “It’s a place in Mexico. My dad says it’s not very safe.”

Answer 2: “Juarez is reported to be the most dangerous city in America.”

If you guessed that it was Hannah’s dad that told her that Juarez is not very safe, you are correct. In February, Perry delivered the second answer to reporters, but in fairness, it was an honest mistake that any politician who doesn’t speak in front of the media very often could have made. Now, moving on to question two.

Question 2: Who is responsible for the BP oil spill?

Answer 1: “From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.”

Answer 2: “BP.”

Answer 2 belongs to my naive 11-year-old sister, who in her youth thinks oil companies that skirt regulations are accountable for their mistakes. Fortunately our governor, in all his experience, has enough perspective to realize that it could have just been God’s fault.

Full article here

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03
May
11

commie denies waterboarding worked! oh, wait….

Keith Olbermann: The GOP spin machine, caught with its Abu Ghraib pants down, has come up with only two rickety memes with which to pull itself out of the deep end of the political pool. The first was the simplest: “Obama merely finished what Bush began.”

But the second was a little more robust: The Peter King (R-Stupidity) claim mirrored by a tweeter who asked me: “how does it feel knowing Bin Laden courier was discovered under Bush admin & info was obtained in Gitmo?”

King: “We obtained that information through waterboarding. So for those who say that waterboarding doesn’t work, who say it should be stopped and never used again, we got vital information, which directly led us to Bin Laden.”

Two problems with that. There is the unfortunate realization that if this information truly germinated during the Bush Administration, and truly came from waterboarding, that means The Bush Administration Had A Direct Link To Bin Laden Eight Years Ago And Either Didn’t Know It Or Didn’t Bother To Figure It Out.

Oops.

Wait, it gets worse. Guess who’s out tonight denying that waterboarding, or even “harsh treatment” led to the info that led to Bin Laden?

“It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.”

That was said by Don Rumsfeld.

I’ll stop writing now so you can spend a few minutes laughing through your mouth, nose, ears, feet, and eyeballs.

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I don’t often (ever?) quote Olbermann, but this was utterly irresistible ;-)

25
Mar
11

‘born-again doves’

Sacramento Bee editorial: It didn’t take until Monday for the Monday morning quarterbacks to start criticizing President Barack Obama’s decision to join U.S. allies in a campaign to stop Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi from killing his own people.

Born-again doves such as George Will, Donald Rumsfeld and Newt Gingrich ganged up on the president for the bombing Saturday of Gadhafi’s air defenses and implementation of a no-fly zone over Libya.

….Gingrich says that, if he were president, he “would not have intervened,” even though on March 7 he criticized the president for his restraint on Gadhafi. “This is a moment to get rid of him,” Gingrich said then. “Do it. Get it over with.”

….Obama did act, and part of the delay involved assembling an international coalition to carry out the mission. And what is the mission? At least part of it – the major part – is to prevent Gadhafi from engaging in a further bloodbath. The allies have been largely successful in that goal, a fact that detractors such as Will, Rumsfeld and Gingrich should at least acknowledge.

Americans should also recognize that, unlike the intervention that Rumsfeld helped orchestrate in Iraq, this one wasn’t grounded in false pretenses of “weapons of mass destruction,” etc.

President Obama has been clear that allies and U.S. forces are carrying out a humanitarian mission, not a chess move in an attempt to reshape the Arab world. And though the international coalition seems divided on responsibilities and the endgame, it is far more broad and cohesive than the one the Bush administration assembled in its reckless invasion of Iraq…..

Full article here

The Syracuse Post Standard: Wonder why the United States has just one president and one secretary of state? Imagine trying to set U.S. foreign policy with 535 members of Congress in charge.

House Speaker John Boehner this week sent a huffy note to the president complaining that Congress wasn’t sufficiently consulted in the decision to help implement the United Nations resolution calling for measures to protect civilians from a vengeful Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Libya….

Is Boehner’s second-guessing really saying it was a mistake to commit the United States to the U.N.-sanctioned effort to prevent Gadhafi from his avowedly “merciless” campaign to subdue his own citizens? That the administration acted too precipitously in joining its allies to prevent more bloodletting?

…it’s pretty clear that if the U.N. and allied nations had not acted, Gadhafi would be back in control, with blood flowing in ever-greater quantities. What message would that have sent to democracy advocates in Tunisia and Egypt, not to mention Syria, Iran, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere?

There’s no question that this is a messy operation. Libya’s rebels appear nowhere close to organizing a coherent democratic alternative to Gadhafi’s police state — hardly surprising, considering his relentless mission to crush any opposition. Efforts by the Obama administration to hand off major responsibilities for the operation may bring results as soon as this weekend….

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton notes that the protection of civilians in Benghazi already is a sign the U.N.-backed effort is succeeding — though she added Gadhafi’s defiance poses a continuing challenge. Meeting that challenge will require dexterous diplomacy in coming days. But it’s worth the effort.

22
Feb
11

‘the apology tour never happened’

“I think he had made a practice of trying to apologize for America. I personally am proud of America.”
–Former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Feb. 20, 2011

“I will not and I will never apologize for America. I don’t apologize for America, because I believe in America.”
–Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (author of “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness”), Feb. 11, 2011

“Mr. President, stop apologizing for our country.”
–Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Feb. 11, 2011

Washington Post: The Fact Checker senses a campaign theme emerging: Obama the apologist. As the above quotes illustrate, it is an article of faith among top Republicans that President Obama has repeatedly apologized for the United States and its behavior. Even more, the argument goes, he does not believe in American strength and greatness. The assertion feeds into a subterranean narrative that Obama, with his exotic, mixed-race background, is not really American in the first place.

.. Let’s look at the evidence – See ‘The Facts’ here

….The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context …. in other cases, Obama’s quotes have been selectively trimmed for political purposes …. Republicans may certainly disagree with Obama’s handling of foreign policy or particular policies he has pursued, but they should not invent a storyline that does not appear to exist.

Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened.

Full article here




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