Tuesday, January 29, 2008

That was then, this is now

Consider this yet another look back at the history of how the USA once dealt with the likes of Usama bin Laden, al Qaeda, Iran and Saddam back during the sweetness and light decade known as the 90s. If you're tired of it, skip it--no offense taken.

But some of us will never let it go, especially while current day media outlets still pump out blatant nonsense while presidential candidates fire off revisionist rhetoric with the speed of a toy cap gun.

The recent Bush lied "study" comes to mind, issued via the MSM without the slightest bit of fact-checking that even a 12-year-old could have done in between IM posts. It's a sort of advocacy journalism. For those who have forgotten, here's what real journalism looks like, where the reporter actually takes a press release and checks the facts. Rosett's piece will likely be rewarded with plenty of dust, just like her reports about the UN's Benan Sevan. American minds are largely made up and locked down.

A Rosset-like diligence could have been employed by the rest of the media in regards to the events leading up to 9/11 but most have preferred to let Dubya stew in his own pot. Clinton's reaction when Chris Wallace tried to broach the subject might have served as a warning in that regard but chances are good it was a path many didn't want to revisit anyway. They too had a history. That tag doesn't apply to Jack Cashill.

Many might see him as a conspiracist, nevertheless his work provides examples of the carelessness of certain officials in their retelling of the terrorism narrative. One such figure is former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, who is now advising the Obama team on national security matters [team Obama is also being advised by former Clintonites Greg Craig and Anthony Lake, while team Hillary has Sandy Berger].

Additionally, Cashill reminds us of several inconvenient facts, one of which was included in the Clinton administration's 1998 indictment of Usama bin Laden:
In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.
Interestingly, the Justice Department press release at the time only used the Iranian reference of that paragraph. But notice also what was said about Hizballah and bin Laden, a synergy now completely ignored. Also note that Patrick Fitzgerald was one of the lead prosecutors. It's a small world.

Perhaps the question voters should ask is this--why would any serious candidate take advice from experts who failed miserably during the 90s? Maybe it's because those failures are now viewed as successes from a political perspective, which is solid gold to a politician. Fine for them, but we're talking about a Commander-in-Chief here. Caveat emptor, as the smart people say.

UPDATE 1/29/08

Oops. This ground has been plowed pretty thoroughly before, but in the interest of fairness and accuracy the above indictment against bin Laden was 'superceded' in Novemeber 1998. Fitz claimed the information received from a captured AQ operative suddenly couldn't be corroborated anymore (coincidentally after the al-Shifa attack had come and gone) but notice they left ties to Hizballah and Iran intact. There were many more examples of the government linking the two after that indictment correction, including Clarke's famous "Boogie to Baghdad" comment in 1999 and the ABC report that same year.

The point was that back in those days it wasn't politically incorrect to link bin Laden to a state. Somehow after 9/11 it became verboten and the same people willing to formerly make those links now laugh at them. And they are advising the candidates.

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