September 26th, 2006

fashionable

Bush decided not to attack Bin Laden before 9/11.

In a recent interview, Bill Clinton said that he came "closer to killing" Osama bin Laden in a 1998 missile strike on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan than anybody has since.

"I didn't get him," Clinton said. "But at least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried. So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted."

After he made the statement, Bush had Condoleeza Rice defend him, denying that Clinton left a comprehensive strategy for fighting Bin Laden, and saying that "'What we did in the eight months (before 9/11) was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years."

Except, of course, that it wasn't

Yesterday afternoon, former 9/11 report commission member Richard Ben-Veniste revealed in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the commission, which did a private, unrecorded interview with the President, asked Bush why he did not respond to the Cole attack. His response was that he did not want to launch a cruise missile attack against bin Laden for fear of missing him.

Many of those involved in the 9/11 commission wanted to release the full transcripts of the Bush and Clinton interviews of the 9/11 commission to the public in the report, but a slim majority of the commission refused to do so, based on a party-line vote.  

It was only a few weeks ago that Ron Suskind revealed in his book, "The One Percent Doctrine," just how President Bush responded to being briefed on the al Qaeda threat, just a month before the attack. He documents an unnamed CIA briefer who flew to Bush's Texas ranch during the summer of 2001, to personally brief the president on the Aug. 6, 2001, memo titled 'Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.' Bush listened to the briefer and replied: 'All right. You've covered your ass, now.'" No action was taken against Al Qaeda, however.

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This Just In -- Turkish Prime Minister Blows Goats!

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the somewhat malformed but otherwise comparatively charismatic Turkish Prime Minister, took a bit of a break today from flogging Kurds in a nearby gulag to make a statement supporting a new law that criminalizes insults against Turkey, "Turkishness", and, perhaps most importantly, Turkish politicians, saying that he and his cronies did not have to stand for being a target of abuse.

In fact, in a recent poll, the great majority of Turks indicated that they would gladly stop insulting Erdogan and the others running their country, if only they would be willing to step down instead.

The Turks, known for centuries as smelly, genocidal goat fondlers, totally incapable of winning wars against anyone with less pigmentation than themselves, are apparently so profoundly insecure about their "national identity" that they need to pass laws in order to defend it. Not that you can tell that they're a bit... insecure... about certain aspects of their "identity", of course. 

Turkey is still trying -- and, apparently, still failing -- to become a part of the European Union in the hope of undercutting the Spanish and the Poles in the European market for inexpensive, poorly-manufactured products. Despite this, they have a long history of export into Europe; their primary European exports the past include figs, the Black Death, menial laborers, genocide, fascism, and, of course, overpriced rugs -- an ancient art they learned by intricately braiding their pubic hair, in the hope of attracting the really good looking goats.

Turkey's new law shows that clearly, the best way of improving your national identity is to threaten to arrest those Turks who actually *think* about the state of their country, and who, as a result, feel compelled to swear profusely and constantly... especially while driving.

This also explains in part why the most common career path for a Turkish intellectual is that of a bathroom attendant working in a foriegn country, as only Turkey's best and brightest find a way to leave.

In other words... lighten up, Erdogan. Learn to take a f*ckin' joke.