John McCain actually compared a planned raid to a surprise attack: bin Laden vs. Benghazi


pimmyjalmer: Rachel Maddow facepalm.

Josh Marshall asks: is this the stupidest thing McCain ever said?

“Under what circumstances? Why was reference to Al Qaeda left out? There are so many things that have happened. The interesting things finally, we knew in hours of all the details when we got bin Laden, they making a movie out of it and we are ten weeks later and finally our ambassador to the United Nations, who appeared on every national Sunday show, is now saying that she gave false information concerning how this tragedy happened as far as the spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video.”

As Josh points out: “…you tend to know more about a raid you spent a year planning and executed yourself than a raid on your compound which, as kinda tends to happen in these [situations], you didn’t know about in advance and happened in dark.”

Yes, it’s a great mystery that we had “all the details” about a long-planned raid — and it’s simply dereliction of duty that we can’t foretell the future.

After his comment, perhaps it’s worth noting that John McCain graduated sixth from last place (894th out of 899th) in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy. Ironically, he called Susan Rice “not very bright” (Rice graduated from Stanford University with honors, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. at Oxford University). Of course, he’s a rich conservative white man, so… that makes him qualified to judge those who aren’t.

It’s somehow fitting that John McCain’s legacy will be Sarah Palin, who has proven herself to be one of the dullest knives rattling around in our nation’s junk drawer.

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The conspiracy therefore was not to mislead the American public but to mislead America’s enemies. If Rice had gone beyond her unclassified talking points and said that Ansar al-Sharia was suspected to be behind the Benghazi attacks, no doubt she would now be being hounded for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” — Peter Bergen, CNN (AS)

Mitt Romney isn’t qualified to run U.S. Foreign Policy

When conservatives want to put another version of George W. Bush in charge of U.S. foreign policy:


OFA: In a series of interviews, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Senator John Kerry, Admiral John Nathman (ret.), and Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy explain why Mitt Romney is not prepared to be commander-in-chief. They each lay out how President Obama’s leadership has made America stronger, safer and more secure while Mitt Romney has nothing to offer except bluster, chest-thumping, and a commitment to endless war. As Monday’s debate will demonstrate, blunder and bluster are no substitute for strong leadership.

And this:

Mitt Romney’s Neocon War Cabinet: “Romney is loath to mention Bush on the campaign trail, for obvious reasons, but today they sound like ideological soul mates on foreign policy. Listening to Romney, you’d never know that Bush left office bogged down by two unpopular wars that cost America dearly in blood and treasure. Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush. Many hail from the neoconservative wing of the party, were enthusiastic backers of the Iraq War and are proponents of a US or Israeli attack on Iran. Christopher Preble, a foreign policy expert at the Cato Institute, says, “Romney’s likely to be in the mold of George W. Bush when it comes to foreign policy if he were elected.”

Happy Birthday to America’s longest war

  

thepoliticalnotebook:

A happy eleventh birthday to the war in Afghanistan, which it rather quietly celebrated on Sunday. (It’s almost a teenager, how time flies.)

Here are a selection of photos from the past month in Afghanistan, from The Atlantic’s In Focusblog.

Photos: French soldiers in their vehicle on their way to an operation in Kabul.  Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty. US Army soldiers based at Zangabad Forward Operating Base in Panjwal on an operation. Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty. A young Pashtun boy watches a joint Afghan-NATO patrol. Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty.

theamericanbear: 11 years ago, Oct. 7th, 2001, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. Thus began the longest war in American history, going on for over 4000 days. This milestone rolled by almost without mention yesterday. Is it possible that we feel shame?*

comic source, david rees, get your war on, Oct. 9th, 2001.

*No.

The Romney Big Bird Meme


via: think4yourself


via: lycanpedia


via: barackobama


via: denverpost


cognitivedissonance: Big Bird don’t play, Mittens.


via: deadcrackerstorage


timemagazineNovember 23, 1970: SESAME STREET: TV’s Gift to Children

In 1970, a certain yellow bird graced the cover of TIME. Something tells us this feels relevant today, no? (read the cover story here)


via: abaldwin360


via: infpsoup


via: mattystanfield


via: sarahlee310

NOTE: The federal government gave $445 million this year to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes that money to PBS and, to a lesser degree, NPR member stations across the country. That $445 million works out to about 1/100 of 1 percent of the federal budget. – Chicago Sun-Times

UPDATE / MORE:

  
  

via: teamcoco

President Obama DNC2012: More war and defense spending, or invest in America again?

“In a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven.  Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq.  We did.  I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11.  We have.  We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over.  A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.

“[...] So now we face a choice. My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.

“After all, you don’t call Russia our number one enemy – and not al Qaeda – unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War time warp. You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally. My opponent said it was “tragic” to end the war in Iraq, and he won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan. I have, and I will. And while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our Joint Chiefs don’t even want, I’ll use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work – rebuilding roads and bridges; schools and runways. After two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it’s time to do some nation-building right here at home.”

— President Obama, DNC2012

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Dick Cheney still pissed Bin Laden killed on Obama’s watch

Kevin Drum wins best headline of the year. And he’s right:

Drum scoffs at the sheer hypocrisy and selective memory inherent in Cheney’s complaints. He says, “This came on the same day that Kurt Eichenwald told us what he’d learned after seeing a series of daily briefings from the months prior to 9/11. Presumably Dick Cheney saw them all too.”

  • By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation.
  • Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible. But some in the administration [i.e., Cheney's clique of neocon nitwits -ed.] considered the warning to be just bluster….In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.
  • “The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name
  • On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.”
  • On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews.
  • On July 24, Mr. Bush was notified that the attack was still being readied, but that it had been postponed, perhaps by a few months. But the president did not feel the briefings on potential attacks were sufficient, one intelligence official told me, and instead asked for a broader analysis on Al Qaeda, its aspirations and its history. In response, the C.I.A. set to work on the Aug. 6 brief.
  • August 6, of course, was the infamous daily brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” — the one that prompted George Bush to tell his briefer, “All right. You’ve covered your ass.”

NEVERFORGET™ how much good it did us for Bush to attend his daily briefings in the summer of 2001.

Drum reminds everyone, “Obama reads the daily brief and sometimes he attends briefing sessions. Either way, though, he certainly seems to pay more attention to them than either George Bush or Dick Cheney ever did.”

“The President is among the most sophisticated consumers of intelligence on the planet.” — National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, in response to this criticism

Kurt Eichenwald | NY TimesKevin Drum | Mother Jones – Jamie Weinstein | TDC

11 years: What did Bush know, and when did he know it? (More and earlier than we realized)

Posted in full without comment:

Bush Knew More About Bin Laden’s Plans Than We Realized

Now, 11 years later, new details of the attack on the World Trade Center continue to emerge from the government’s vault of classified documents and the journalists who’ve gained access. This year, the reporter with the jaw-dropping scoop is Kurt Eichenwald, a former Timesman and present contributing editor at Vanity Fair. After reading more than one tweet with the simple instructions “Read this,” we clicked on the link to Eichenwald’s powerful op-ed, due to be published in The New York Times on September 11. In it, Eichenwald goes into teeth-grinding detail about how the Bush administration had even more advance notice about Osama Bin Laden’s attack than we previously realized. You should read it, too.

With the infamous August 6 White House briefing as a focal point, Eichenwald walks through the months and years of warnings leading up to the September 11 attacks. Some of these are events and reports that remain classified, but Eichenwald says he’s “read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed.”

Again, we already knew that Bush had some advance warning. We just didn’t realize how much. This passage from Eichenwalds piece reads like a nightmare:

An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.

In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.

That was in June of 2001. Three months later, the White House didn’t have the luxury of avoiding reports about Bin Laden any more.

Read Eichenwald’s piece in full.

Pentagon denouncing “swift-boat” style attacks on President Obama by “OPSEC group”

The CSMonitor reports that the Pentagon is denouncing “swift-boat” style attacks on President Obama from the group “Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc.” They are critical of the president over what they call dangerous leaks about the bin Laden raid.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded to the film, warning that using the uniform for partisan politics erodes the trust that people have in their military. “One of the things that marks us as a profession in a democracy is, it’s most important we remain apolitical,” he said Wednesday. “That’s how we maintain our trust with the American people. The American people don’t want us to become another special-interest group. In fact, I think that confuses them.”

[...] For special operators to take part in political campaigns is “in violation of everything we’ve been taught, and the opposite of what we should be doing, which is being quiet professionals,” Army Special Forces Maj. Fernando Luján told the Associated Press.

[...] President Obama has spoken out against the OPSEC group. “I don’t take these folks too seriously… One of their members is a birther who denies I was born here, despite evidence to the contrary.”

[...] The group criticizes the president in particular for what it says was a politically motivated push to take credit for the bin Laden raid.

Adm. William McRaven, head of Special Operations Command, which planned the raid, took on such criticisms in an interview last month with CNN, noting the great risks involved in the operation. “At the end of the day – make no mistake about it – it was the president of the United States that shouldered the burden for this operation, that made the hard decisions, that was instrumental in the planning process,” he said, “because I pitched every plan to him.”

If you’re wondering which anonymous billionaire is funding the non-profit swift-boaters at OPSEC, jamess at DailyKos has run down who’s affiliated with / running the group (all Republicans!), but not who’s giving them money — that bit of information doesn’t ever have to be disclosed:

The group claims to have raised almost $1 million between June and mid-August 2012.[4][2] Because it claims that its primary purpose is to further the common good, the group doesn’t have to disclose who is funding it to the public.[3]

A very dishonorable use of veterans by the Republican Party, and a dishonorable use of their own military careers by the veterans themselves.

Morning Bunker Report: Saturday 5.5.2012

WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—



images: sandandglass

MICHELE BACHMANN and a Christian Broadcasting Network reporter think she ran an ‘impeccable’ and ‘mistake-free’ campaign — Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody: You ran pretty much an impeccable campaign, in terms of a mistake-free campaign. Michele Bachmann: Thank you, it really was. Brody: It pretty much was. Bachmann: It really was, we were extremely careful, and we were almost mistake free, but for those two points, Elvis Presley’s birthday and John Wayne’s birthplace. I’ve apologized, and we moved beyond. Brody: Interesting. – A conversation that really happened

MITT ROMNEY spent a total of 219 days outside of Massachusetts in 2006, during his first campaign for president, an average of four days each week. Romney visited over 35 states in the efforts to build his Presidential network, with state taxpayers picking up the tab for his security detail. [...] Romney also took vacations that year, including trips to Utah, Michigan, California, and Alaska. The trips combined his Presidential ambitions with downtime with his family. Many of the trips were funded by Romney’s political action committees, the Commonwealth PACs, with some trips being funded by the Republican Governors Associations, of which he was the Chair. Romney has been on the campaign trail, more or less, ever since. — Buzzfeed

TED NUGENT is but a loving and passionate man who will fellate and rape CBS reporters and producers to prove it!  CBS interview, yesterday, 5.4.2012:
ACCORDING TO FOX NEWS host Laura Ingraham, Ted Nugent was “winning” when he started yelling at a CBS News reporter and made sexually explicit threats during an interview that aired on May 4. The National Rifle Association board member and Washington Times columnist blew up at CBS’ Jeff Glor when he raised the suggestion that Nugent will have a hard time attracting moderate voters for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Nugent responded by citing his charity work with children, then exploded: NUGENT: “Call me, when you meet someone who does that more than I do. Because that’s really moderate. In fact, you know what that is? That’s extreme. I’m an extremely loving, passionate man, and people who investigate me honestly, without the baggage of political correctness, ascertain the conclusion that I’m a damned nice guy. And if you can find a screening process more powerful than that, I’ll suck your d–k.” Turning to a female producer off-camera, he shouted: “Or I’ll f–k you. How’s that sound?” – Fox’s Laura Ingraham On Ted Nugent’s Profanity-Laced Tirade: “Winning”  [images: Buzzfeed]

GOP WAR ON WOMEN: The GOP-led House’s version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) would not only strip away Senate-passed protections for undocumented, LGBT, and Native American victims, it also contains a dangerous provision that violates an undocumented victim’s confidentiality by allowing immigration officials to speak with, and ask for evidence from, his or her abuser. – Think Progress

IN OHIO, Romney referred to the Bush/Cheney era as “before the recession.” The recession began in late 2007, more than a year before President Obama’s inauguration. The economy crashed in September 2008, four months before Obama took office. Someone who claims an expertise in economic policy probably ought to know that. — Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XVI [You must read these posts -- Romney lies chronically, all the time!]

MITT ROMNEY set the entirely unrealistic goal of creating 500,000 jobs per month [yesterday] on Fox News, then added another unreasonable metric of 4 percent unemployment at a campaign event in Pennsylvania this afternoon… the unemployment rate hasn’t been that low since December 2000, at the end of President Clinton’s second term. Meanwhile, there have only been 16 months since 1939 — and only four in the last 50 years — in which the economy added 500,000 jobs or more. – Romney Sets Second Ridiculous Standard For Jobs Growth

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

IN CASE YOU’RE INTERESTED, here’s the basic Obama jobs record. His first full month in office was February 2009, and employment bottomed out a year later. Since then, employment has increased steadily and is now above the February 2009 level. That’s a pretty slow and disappointing level of employment growth, but it is what it is. Employment is now officially higher than it was when Obama took office. — Kevin Drum

OBAMA’S WEEKLY ADDRESS: Time to focus on nation building here at home – Turning to domestic politics, Obama asked what kind of country will greet U.S. troops as they return from war. “Will it be a country where a shrinking number of Americans do really well while a growing number barely get by? Or will it be a country where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules — a country with opportunity worthy of the troops who protect us?” he asked. Taking a veiled stab at Republicans, the president said the country should not “prioritize things like more tax cuts for millionaires while cutting the kinds of investments that built a strong middle class.” “That’s why I’ve called on Congress to take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America,” he said. – ABC News

USED TO BE KNOWN AS UNPATRIOTIC: “There is no need to butt into a fast moving story when the secretary of state is in Beijing with delicate negotiations and say it’s a day of shame for the Obama administration. Hillary Clinton is waking up right now. Let’s see if she can pull this off in the next 12 hours or so,” – Bill Kristol, on Romney’s approach to Chen Guangcheng. — Andrew Sullivan

BACK TO THE OBL AD. The argument is that Obama, having ordered the OBL operation, does not have the right to brag about it. Only the SEALs do. And they would never brag. It’s a kind of “stolen valor” theory. Except… the commander-in-chief isn’t stealing valor when he talks about a mission he ordered. That’s what “commander-in-chief” means. The average American who fist-pumped at the OBL news had much less to do with the operation than Obama. I’d doubt he/she feels guilty and wants to take back the “USA!” or the “wooooo!” into the TV camera. – The New Swift Boaters? Really?

THE TRUTH IS that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can’t have a short-run solution—this may sound sophisticated, but it isn’t. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines. But don’t we have to worry about long-run budget deficits? Keynes wrote that “the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity.” Now, as I argue in my forthcoming book*—and show later in the data discussed in this article—is the time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to carry the economy forward again. At that point, the US would be in a far better position to deal with deficits, entitlements, and the costs of financing them. Meanwhile, the strong measures that would all go a long way toward lifting us out of this depression should include, among other policies, increased federal aid to state and local governments, which would restore the jobs of many public employees; a more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing (that is, purchasing bonds in an attempt to reduce long-term interest rates); and less timid efforts by the Obama administration to reduce homeowner debt. – How to End This Depression by Paul Krugman

“We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority.”

“And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out.

We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority.”

— President Obama in the October 7, 2008 debate in Nashville, Tenn.  Bill Adair of PolitiFact dug up the comment, which Obama made in response to a question from moderator Tom Brokaw.

Source

Issa plans to expand investigations into the executive branch

For the next two years…

Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is planning to massively expand investigations into the executive branch.

Issa plans to hold hundreds of hearings, create new subcommittees, and launch investigations into the bank bailout, the stimulus, and health care reform, according to Politico.

“I want seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks,” Issa said.

On Monday, Issa apologized for calling President Barack Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times” on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.

“Do I think the president is personally corrupt, no, I should never have implied that or created that in a quick statement on a radio call-in,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

New GOP chairman of Oversight Committee plans hundreds of hearings into executive branch

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Great! Issa will probably want to start at the beginning, right? So obviously he’ll start by investigating the Bush Administration and split up some of those “hundreds” of hearings on:

  • how 9/11 happened on Bush’s / Cheney’s watch
  • how they missed Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan
  • the lies they told us to get into Iraq
  • the war crimes committed all along the way (with Bush’s admitted approval)
  • and, of course, how Bush / Cheney tanked our economy and the American middle-class for decades to come.

The serious issues listed above accumulated over eight years and surely deserve complete investigations before the House can legitimately deal with issues of the current administration’s first two years.

I look forward to Rep. Issa not making his chairmanship of the House committee about politics and the 2012 election, but as an opportunity to discover both the Truth and some real solutions for our country’s problems.

… I totally just made myself laugh / cry a little.

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