Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Howard Dean and Harry Reid took the bait again after President Bush baited them with this:

Bush criticized Democrats who voted against legislation authorizing warrantless monitoring of phone calls and e-mails to detect terror plots and another bill that would allow tough interrogation of terror suspects by CIA agents. “If they feel we are safer without this program, the Democrats in the United States Senate need to explain to the American people which of the attacks that the CIA program stopped would they have been willing to let go forward,” Bush said.

Reid responded this way:

“President Bush is no longer credible with the American people, no matter how many campaign speeches he gives in the next month. The President won’t listen to the 16 intelligence agencies that say that the war in Iraq has made the threat of terrorism worse. His Secretary of State apparently ignored warnings of an Al Qaeda attack months before September 11. His Republican leader in the Senate thinks America should empower the Taliban terrorists who aided and abetted Osama bin Laden.”

Here’s how Dean responded:

“What’s softer than giving up the hunt for Osama bin Laden and ignoring the 16 intelligence agencies who told him that the war in Iraq is making us less safe at home and around the world? It’s time for the truth. All the tough talk in the world cannot hide the fact that President Bush and his GOP Congress’s bad decisions have hurt America’s security.”

The phrase “Monkey see, monkey do” fits Dean’s and Reid’s replies to a T. Both harp on the NIE, which they still think is a winning issue for them. As I pointed out here, Democrats relied on the ‘abridged version’. Once President Bush declassified the key findings so that everyone could read it, Democrats should’ve dropped the subject but they didn’t. Now they’ll pay the price for relying on such a “nothing report”, as I called it earlier.

Reid also harped on the AP’s misquote of Sen. Frist’s statement about Afghanistan while ignoring Sen. Frist’s post on his VOLPAC blog. Here’s what the original article said:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday that the Afghan guerrilla war can never be won militarily and called for efforts to bring the Taliban and their supporters into the Afghan government.
The Tennessee Republican said he had learned from briefings that Taliban fighters were too numerous and had too much popular support to be defeated by military means. “You need to bring them into a more transparent type of government,” Frist said during a brief visit to a U.S. and Romanian military base in the southern Taliban stronghold of Qalat. “And if that’s accomplished we’ll be successful.”
Frist said asking the Taliban to join the government was a decision to be made by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Here’s Sen. Frist’s correction of the facts:

First of all, let me make something clear: The Taliban is a murderous band of terrorists who’ve oppressed the people of Afghanistan with their hateful ideology long enough. America’s overthrow of the Taliban and support for responsible, democratic governance in Afghanistan is a great accomplishment that should not and will not be reversed.
Having discussed the situation with commanders on the ground, I believe that we cannot stabilize Afghanistan purely through military means. Our counter-insurgency strategy must win hearts and minds and persuade moderate Islamists potentially sympathetic to the Taliban to accept the legitimacy of the Afghan national government and democratic political processes.

Obviously, Reid won’t let things like facts get in the way of a contrived diatribe. Neither will Dean. They’ll say anything in their desparate attempt to persuade voters to their side. Desparation doesn’t work because the Right Blogosphere annihilates their baseless accusations almost as fast as they issue their statement.

A good example of this was the Right Blogosphere’s questioning of the leaked NIE information. Many of us questioned the veracity of the NIE information because we speculated that this information was likely leaked by someone wishing to tell one side to the story. When President Bush declassified the Key Findings, our hunch was verified. Jack Kelly did the best job of exposing the fraud here:

“We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere,” the NIE said.

The Times and the Post reported only the first half of that sentence.

“The Iraq conflict has become the cause celebre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.”

The Times and the Post reported only the first sentence in that bullet point. The reason for the omissions is clear. The omitted clause and sentence say jihadist success in Iraq (the likely consequence of a premature U.S. pullout) would increase terrorism elsewhere. Conversely, a perceived jihadist failure in Iraq would discourage jihadists everywhere. These “judgments” in the NIE undermine Democratic calls for withdrawal from Iraq.

This is what Reid and Dean are yapping about when they talk about “The President won’t listen to the 16 intelligence agencies that say that the war in Iraq has made the threat of terrorism worse.”

If ignorance is bliss, then Reid and Dean must be delirious to the point of near inebriation.

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