Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Tuesday, January 13, 2004  

The President responded to Paul O'Neill yesterday. Sort of.

And, no, the stated policy of my administration towards Saddam Hussein was very clear. Like the previous administration, we were for regime change. And in the initial stages of the administration, as you might remember, we were dealing with Desert Badger, or fly-overs and fly-betweens and looks, and so we were fashioning policy along those lines. And then, all of a sudden, September the 11th hit. And as the President of the United States, my most solemn obligation is to protect the security of the American people. That's my -- to me that's the most solemn thing an American President -- or any president -- must do. And I took that duty very seriously.

It's not exactly the strongest rebuttal in the world. Apparently, Bush has decided not to get in a credibility war with the man he fired for accurately predicting the cost of the Iraq war and occupation. Instead, he's called the dogs of law on O'Neill.

I'm not the first person to say that this may be misguided. There are two possibilities about O'Neill's claims: they're accurate or exaggerated (read: lies). If they're accurate, a probe may punish O'Neill--but it will damage Bush a lot more. (And there's evidence they are not only accurate claims, but come from publicly-available documents.) If they're false, Bush will still have to spend valuable news cycles defending the justification for invasion. And that, as the US Army War College argued in a paper released yesterday, may have been bogus in any case.

"The global war on terrorism as presently defined and conducted is strategically unfocused, promises much more than it can deliver, and threatens to dissipate U.S. military and other resources in an endless and hopeless search for absolute security," Record wrote, concluding his 56-page monograph. "The United States may be able to defeat, even destroy, Al Qaeda, but it cannot rid the world of terrorism, much less evil."

As I said yesterday, it's shaping up to be a great show.

posted by Jeff | 7:39 AM |
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