Like the current violence in Libya and Egypt, the anniversary of the September 11th attacks has a tendency to bring out the stupid. This year’s model involves former Vice President Dick Cheney showing the sac of a Hefty™ factory by slamming President Obama over the killing of Osama bin Laden. On Tuesday night’s The Young Turks, host Cenk Uygur blasted Cheney, calling him a “miserable failure of a human being” (Cenk will probably get hate mail from liberals for conceding that Cheney is a human being), and challenging the accepted notion that the Bush administration shouldn’t be blamed for the attacks, based on new reporting by author Kurt Eichenwald.
“We have been told over and over again ‘Well, there was nothing that could have been done,'” Cenk began. “Well that turns out to be untrue. But Dick Cheney just went even further–here’s what he said about the President: ‘If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama Bin Laden.'”
Cenk then pointed out that the President has never “taken sole credit,” and that he “thanks the Navy SEALS every single time,” although it’s more likely Cheney was trying to glom credit for himself, not the SEALS, as is the habit of Bush administration officials.
“Second of all,”an apoplectic Uygur continued, “you’re talking about getting Bin Laden, you loser? You miserable failure of a human being, Dick Cheney–what did you do to get Bin Laden for eight years? Not a damn thing. You are a pathetic, miserable failure.”
Cenk went on to argue “Here’s the amount of credit you should get: less than zero,” and explained that in addition to the now-infamous August 6 Presidential Daily Briefing entitled “bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.,” Kurt Eichenwald reports that Bush and Cheney had other, even more dire warnings:
The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.
…the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.
“The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name. Going on for more than a page, the document recited much of the evidence, including an interview that month with a Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack, as well as competitive pressures that the terrorist leader was feeling, given the number of Islamists being recruited for the separatist Russian region of Chechnya.
“Now, when we knew about the August 6th memo it was bad enough,” Cenk added. “Remember in Ron Suskind‘s book there was this passage: ‘The book’s opening anecdote tells of an unnamed CIA briefer who flew to Bush’s Texas ranch during the scary summer of 2001, and a flurry of reports of a pending Al-Qaeda attack, to call the president’s attention personally to the new famous Aug. 6, 2001 memo titled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike US.'”
The news media, along with Democrats, were incredibly generous to President George W. Bush in the years following the September 11th attacks, and despite reporting like this, there has never been a serious attempt by the political media to apportion any blame to the Bush administration for the attacks that occurred on their watch, and Republicans have even tried to pretend they didn’t. In fairness, there’s no way to know if, given the sme warnings, a President Gore would have been able to prevent those attacks, but hopefully, he would have done something. Still, if people want to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt, the forgiveness they, themselves, would want in that situation, that’s fair. If they want to forgive Bush the Iraq blunder, on the basis that he really did believe he was doing what was best for the country, that’s understandable. Democrats supported that war, too, and even the fake case for it wasn’t all that convincing.
But if those same Bush administration figures think they should ever get to sit at the grown-up table and open their mouths, I have to agree with Cenk. Shut your trap.
Here’s the video, in to parts, via Current TV:
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