Friday, September 15, 2006

Bush Remarkably Consistent On Capturing Bin Laden: It Hasn't Been A Priority For Four Years

On the subject of capturing Osama Bin Laden, President Bush has been remarkably consistent of late. It's not a priority, and apparently hasn't been since 2002.

The fact that he is completely out of step with the vast majority of Americans must be our problem.

Here are three quotes that sum up the current philosophy:

"We now know why the Bush administration hasn't made the capture of Osama bin Laden a paramount goal of the war on terror. Emphasis on bin Laden doesn't fit with the administration's strategy for combating terrorism. Here's how President Bush explained this Tuesday: "This thing about . . . let's put 100,000 of our special forces stomping through Pakistan in order to find bin Laden is just simply not the strategy that will work."

-- Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard, Sept. 13, 2006

Q Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican ... said he is absolutely convinced we will capture Osama bin Laden before the election.

BUSH: Well, I appreciate his optimism. I have no idea whether we will capture or bring him to justice, may be the best way to put it. I know we are on the hunt, and Osama bin Laden is a cold-blooded killer, and he represents the nature of the enemy that we face.

-- Speaking to Tim Russert, NBC's Meet The Press, Feb. 8, 2004

Q Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? Also, can you tell the American people if you have any more information, if you know if he is dead or alive? Final part -- deep in your heart, don't you truly believe that until you find out if he is dead or alive, you won't really eliminate the threat of ...

BUSH: Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he's alive at all. Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not; we haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is -- really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission. Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. ... So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you.

-- March 13, 2002 press conference


One more factoid to reflect the administration's post-2002 thinking:

The CIA last year closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Bin Laden and his top lieutenants. Of the decision, Michael Scheuer, a former senior CIA official who was the first head of the unit, known as Alec Station, told the New York Times in July: "This will clearly denigrate our operations against Al Qaeda."


From the wayback machine.

"Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts."

-- Bush, Sept. 11, 2001

"I don't care, dead or alive — either way. It doesn't matter to me."

-- Bush, Dec. 14, 2001


Anonymous whoop4467 said...

David- these are additional facts that Repuks just can not keep in their heads. If OBL means nothing to Bush, then why can't the repuks get over the fact that their mob leader tells them not to worry about OBL. If the repuke leader says OBL means nothing for the fight against "terrorism", then when are the repuks going to stop stressing over the the fact that he was not cpatured during Clinton's tenure? As I stated earlier, once a sheep always a sheep or as Trinity says, once a creep always a creep.

3:40 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

The real dilemma for the Repukes is no matter how you spin it Bush is a failure who has failed to capture the worst criminal in U.S. history.
Nevermind Bush spin that OBL has been "marginalized" and is no longer a threat.
He's still a bigger threat to the U.S. than Sadaam ever was. Besides, has Bush ever considered retribution for murder of 3,000 plus American citizens?

4:54 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

has Bush ever considered retribution for murder of 3,000 plus American citizens?>>

Ah, yes.

Remember that Condi said a few months back that capturing Osama would bring "closure" to the families? That was the main benefit, from what she said.

It's in the JABBS archives, if anyone wants to bother finding it. I remember being aghast at the post at the time.

5:59 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Well, comforting the families does not appear to be much of a priority for Bush (sort of like fighting to prevent the families from having appointed a 9-11 Commission in the first place), or maybe OBL would still not be running free.
Bush said today he cannot send 100,000 troops into Pakistan to look for OBL.
Who the hell says you need troops? Has Bush ever heard of intelligence?
Oh yeah, I forgot. Clintonesque intelligence measures do not apply to "the war on terror", rather failed preemptive war strategies.

7:44 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Sorry to step outside the topic for a moment but I couldn't resist.
Red Alert:
Has anyone else noticed Bush's oft-quoted rebuttal yesterday to opposition from Colin Powell, John McCain and others to his plans to rewrite the torture provisions of the Geneva Convention, IS COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT AT BEST, INCOMPREHENSIBLE AT WORST AND OVERALL MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.

From The Los Angeles Times yesterday:

"Also backing the Republican dissidents is Colin L. Powell, Bush's former secretary of State, who is also a retired general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powell, in a letter to McCain opposing Bush's approach, issued a broad caution that "the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."
Asked whether Powell's letter suggested that Americans were wondering whether the president's strategy was flawed, Bush responded: 'If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorists' tactics of extremists, it's flawed logic.'"

Bush appears the only one guilty of flawed logic.
So Bush is saying if the good ship America loosens restrictions on torture it is improbable to assume other countries, including those sponsoring terrorists, would not look to the U.S. example to do the same, perhaps putting American lives in danger?!? If this is what he means, why so?
The reporters should have pressed Bush to clarify his position, which appears just another obfuscation tactic to dodge the question.
Bush is a danger to America and the world. He must be stopped in his tracks.

3:14 PM  

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