April 2, 2008

During a discussion of Obama's spot on Hardball and the issue of responding to a crisis, cando from the comment section alerted us to this clip.

Gregory: If he talks about what you do in response to a crisis, either you have the right intelligence and you have the right response. Well, there's not a lot of argument that Bush had the right response to 9/11. He didn't jump to invade Iraq even though there was some argument that he should do that in the room. Number one.

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What great judgment it took to not attack a country with no evidence of their involvement in the attack except for Rumsfeld saying that there were no good targets in Afghanistan. We are talking about starting a war after all. It's not a chess move. And how did that original response work out? Did we get Bin Laden? Is Afghanistan a peaceful nation now? I think not. By not sending in enough forces to destroy al-Qaeda originally at Tora Bora, (if you think we should have invaded)---he only strengthened them. Sorry David. He showed terrible judgment in his initial response to the terrorist attacks on US soil. Part of the judgment factor is how one acts long term as well as in dealing to it immediately. How has that worked out so far? This is one of the most moronic defenses of Bush that I've ever heard before.

And Tony Blankley from the Washington Times (owned by Moon) gives an answer that really needs examining and is just as idiotic. He uses Cheney's actions in the bunker. He's not the President! Why was it that Dick Cheney had to order up planes to shoot down the jets? Why couldn't Bush be contacted? "the report portrays the vice president taking command from his bunker while Bush, who was in Florida, communicated with the White House in a series of phone calls and occasionally had trouble getting through." Say---what? Check out the 9/11 Commision report on that one. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Cheney doesn't have the authority to actually authorize the military to attack anyone when he was in the bunker. It is all very vague.

Cheney, who told the commission he was operating on instructions from Bush given in a phone call, issued authority for aircraft threatening Washington to be shot down. But the commission noted that "among the sources that reflect other important events that morning there is no documentary evidence for this call, although the relevant sources are incomplete." Those sources include people nearby taking notes, such as Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and Cheney's wife, Lynne.

Both the mission commander and the weapons director indicated they did not pass the order to fighters circling Washington and New York City because they were unsure how the pilots would, or should, proceed with this guidance," the commission reported...read on

Read the WaPo article. Pretty weird all around. (transcript of Obama and Matthews below the fold)

MATTHEWS: Let me give you a scene that may face you in the next year or two, where the national security adviser calls you at 3:00 in the morning and tells that you a couple of jet -- commercial jets have been hijacked. And they believe it is al Qaeda. And, as we know, al Qaeda always tries a second time. They tried for the World Trade Center after '93. They came back in '01. They're heading for the Capitol. What do you do?

OBAMA: Well, look, I am hesitant to engage in hypotheticals like that, because...

MATTHEWS: But it has been predictable.

OBAMA: Oh, well, the -- I don't think anybody predicted 9/11. And, so, we don't know what kinds of circumstances are going to come up.

Here's the important thing about that 3:00 a.m. phone call. What you want is somebody who is, first of all, going to get all the facts and gather up good intelligence. The second thing you want is somebody who is able to analyze the situation, the costs and benefits of action.

And one of the things that we know this president didn't do is to weigh the costs of going into Iraq vs. the potential benefits of it. We want somebody who is going to be decisive. And I won't hesitate to strike against somebody who would do us harm, if that's what is required.

But the most important thing that you need is somebody who is going to exercise good judgment. And judgment is not simply a matter of sounding tough or talking tough. It is a matter of weighing and making good decisions under stress.

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