April 13, 2004

"Japanese Determined to Attack the United States in the Pacific" Jim Pinkerton of Newsday: "If you knew that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had received a memo a month before Pearl Harbor [with that title] and that he had done nothing about that information, would that knowledge change your perception of FDR as a wise war leader? Roosevelt received no such memo, of course, but President George W. Bush got a blunt warning five weeks before 9/11 and he did little or nothing. He even presided over a stand-down in preparations, concentrating on other concerns."

The warning came on August 6, 2001. News reports at the time say Bush quit work early that day and went fishing (he was on a month-long vacation after all). What did he do the following day? He went golfing at the Ridgewood Country Club in Waco, Texas. The Washington Post: "Bush seemed carefree as he spoke about the books he was reading, the work he was doing on his nearby ranch, his love of hot-weather jogging, his golf game and his 55th birthday. ... His staff said at the time that by far the biggest issue on his agenda was his decision on federal funding of stem cell research, followed by education, immigration and the Social Security 'lockbox.'"

Bush: "[The Aug. 6 PDB] included the fact that the FBI was conducting field investigations, which comforted me. You see, it meant the FBI was doing its job, the FBI was running down any lead. And I will tell you this, Scott, that had they found something, I'm confident they would have reported back to me. That's the way the system works. And whoever was the Acting FBI Director, had they found something, would have said, Mr. President, we have found something that you need to be concerned about in your duties to protect America. That didn't happen."

Amazing. Simply amazing. ... Also at that link: "Only George W. Bush could study a memo titled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US", and then blithely assert that it "said nothing about an attack on America." Note to the President: "US" is a common abbreviation for "the United States of America", the country we live in and of which you are the highest elected official, a country also often referred to in shorthand as "America." Good luck with that whole national security thing from hereon out."

One of my new favorite political blogs is by David Sirota, who also does work for the Center for American Progress. Go now.

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