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Thread: U.S. Aborted Raid on Qaeda Chiefs in Pakistan in ’05

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    U.S. Aborted Raid on Qaeda Chiefs in Pakistan in ’05

    NY TIMES


    WASHINGTON, July 7 — A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.

    The target was a meeting of Qaeda leaders that intelligence officials thought included Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy and the man believed to run the terrorist group’s operations.

    But the mission was called off after Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter J. Goss, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled, said a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning.

    Mr. Rumsfeld decided that the operation, which had ballooned from a small number of military personnel and C.I.A. operatives to several hundred, was cumbersome and put too many American lives at risk, the current and former officials said. He was also concerned that it could cause a rift with Pakistan, an often reluctant ally that has barred the American military from operating in its tribal areas, the officials said.

    The decision to halt the planned “snatch and grab” operation frustrated some top intelligence officials and members of the military’s secret Special Operations units, who say the United States missed a significant opportunity to try to capture senior members of Al Qaeda.

    Their frustration has only grown over the past two years, they said, as Al Qaeda has improved its abilities to plan global attacks and build new training compounds in Pakistan’s tribal areas, which have become virtual havens for the terrorist network.

    In recent months, the White House has become increasingly irritated with Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, for his inaction on the growing threat of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

    About a dozen current and former military and intelligence officials were interviewed for this article, all of whom requested anonymity because the planned 2005 mission remained classified.

    Spokesmen for the Pentagon, the C.I.A. and the White House declined to comment. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed about the planned operation.

    The officials acknowledge that they are not certain that Mr. Zawahri attended the 2005 meeting in North Waziristan, a mountainous province just miles from the Afghan border. But they said that the United States had communications intercepts that tipped them off to the meeting, and that intelligence officials had unusually high confidence that Mr. Zawahri was there.

    Months later, in early May 2005, the C.I.A. launched a missile from a remotely piloted Predator drone, killing Haitham al-Yemeni, a senior Qaeda figure whom the C.I.A. had tracked since the meeting.

    It has long been known that C.I.A. operatives conduct counterterrorism missions in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Details of the aborted 2005 operation provide a glimpse into the Bush administration’s internal negotiations over whether to take unilateral military action in Pakistan, where General Musharraf’s fragile government is under pressure from dissidents who object to any cooperation with the United States.

    Pentagon officials familiar with covert operations said that planners had to consider the political and human risks of undertaking a military campaign in a sovereign country, even in an area like Pakistan’s tribal lands, where the government has only tenuous control. Even with its shortcomings, Pakistan has been a vital American ally since the Sept. 11 attacks, and the militaries of the two countries have close ties.

    The Pentagon officials said tension was inherent in any decision to approve such a mission: a smaller military footprint allows a better chance of a mission going undetected, but it also exposes the units to greater risk of being killed or captured.

    Officials said one reason Mr. Rumsfeld called off the 2005 operation was that the number of troops involved in the mission had grown to several hundred, including Army Rangers, members of the Navy Seals and C.I.A. operatives, and he determined that the United States could no longer carry out the mission without General Musharraf’s permission. It is unlikely that the Pakistani president would have approved an operation of that size, officials said.

    Some outside experts said American counterterrorism operations had been hamstrung because of concerns about General Musharraf’s shaky government.

    “The reluctance to take risk or jeopardize our political relationship with Musharraf may well account for the fact that five and half years after 9/11 we are still trying to run bin Laden and Zawahri to ground,” said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University.

    Those political considerations have created resentment among some members of the military’s Special Operations forces

    “The Special Operations guys are tearing their hair out at the highest levels,” said a former Bush administration official with close ties to those troops. While they have not received good intelligence on the whereabouts of top Qaeda members recently, he said, they say they believe they have sometimes had useful information on lower-level figures.

    “There is a degree of frustration that is off the charts, because they are looking at targets on a daily basis and can’t move against them,” he said.

    In early 2005, after learning about the Qaeda meeting, the military developed a plan for a small Navy Seals unit to parachute into Pakistan to carry out a quick operation, former officials said.

    But as the operation moved up the military chain of command, officials said, various planners bulked up the force’s size to provide security for the Special Operations forces.

    “The whole thing turned into the invasion of Pakistan,” said the former senior intelligence official involved in the planning. Still, he said he thought the mission was worth the risk. “We were frustrated because we wanted to take a shot,” he said.

    Several former officials interviewed said the operation was not the only occasion since the Sept. 11 attacks that plans were developed to use a large American military force in Pakistan. It is unclear whether any of those missions have been executed.

    Some of the military and intelligence officials familiar with the 2005 events say it showed a rift between operators in the field and a military bureaucracy that has still not effectively adapted to hunt for global terrorists, moving too cautiously to use Special Operations troops against terrorist targets.

    That criticism has echoes of the risk aversion that the officials said pervaded efforts against Al Qaeda during the Clinton administration, when missions to use American troops to capture or kill Mr. bin Laden in Afghanistan were never executed because they were considered too perilous, risked killing civilians or were based on inadequate intelligence. Rather than sending in ground troops, the Clinton White House instead chose to fire cruise missiles in what became failed attempts to kill Mr. bin Laden and his deputies — a tactic Mr. Bush criticized shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Since then, the C.I.A. has launched missiles from Predator aircraft in the tribal areas several times, with varying degrees of success. Intelligence officials say they believe that in January 2006, an airstrike narrowly missed killing Mr. Zawahri, who hours earlier had attended a dinner in Damadola, a Pakistani village.

    General Musharraf cast his lot with the Bush administration in the hunt for Al Qaeda after the 2001 attacks, and he has periodically ordered Pakistan’s military to conduct counterterrorism missions in the tribal areas, provoking fierce resistance there. But in recent months he has pulled back, prompting Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to issue stern warnings in private that he risked losing American aid if he did not step up efforts against Al Qaeda, senior administration officials have said.

    Officials said that mid-2005 was a period when they were gathering good intelligence about Al Qaeda’s leaders in Pakistan’s tribal areas. By the next year, however, the White House had become frustrated by the lack of progress in the hunt for Mr. bin Laden and Mr. Zawahri.

    In early 2006, President Bush ordered a “surge” of dozens of C.I.A. agents to Pakistan, hoping that an influx of intelligence operatives would lead to better information, officials said. But that has brought the United States no closer to locating Al Qaeda’s top two leaders. The latest message from them came this week, in a new tape in which Mr. Zawahri urged Iraqis and Muslims around the world to show more support for Islamist insurgents in Iraq.

    In his recently published memoir, George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director, said the intelligence about Mr. bin Laden’s whereabouts during the Clinton years was similarly sparse. The information was usually only at the “50-60% confidence level,” he wrote, not sufficient to justify American military action.

    “As much as we all wanted Bin Ladin dead, the use of force by a superpower requires information, discipline, and time,” Mr. Tenet wrote. “We rarely had the information in sufficient quantities or the time to evaluate and act on it.”

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    MSNBC.com
    Osama bin Laden: missed opportunities
    The CIA had pictures. Why wasn’t the al-Qaida leader captured or killed?
    By Lisa Myers
    Senior investigative correspondent
    Updated: 6:40 p.m. ET March 17, 2004

    As the 9/11 commission investigates what Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush might have done to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, one piece of evidence the commission will examine is a videotape secretly recorded by a CIA plane high above Afghanistan. The tape shows a man believed to Osama bin Laden walking at a known al-Qaida camp.

    The question for the 9/11 commission: If the CIA was able to get that close to bin Laden before 9/11, why wasn’t he captured or killed? The videotape has remained secret until now.

    Over the next three nights, NBC News will present this incredible spy footage and reveal some of the difficult questions it has raised for the 9/11 commission.

    In 1993, the first World Trade Center bombing killed six people.

    In 1998, the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa killed 224.

    Both were the work of al-Qaida and bin Laden, who in 1998 declared holy war on America, making him arguably the most wanted man in the world.

    In 1998, President Clinton announced, “We will use all the means at our disposal to bring those responsible to justice, no matter what or how long it takes.”

    NBC News has obtained, exclusively, extraordinary secret video, shot by the U.S. government. It illustrates an enormous opportunity the Clinton administration had to kill or capture bin Laden. Critics call it a missed opportunity.

    In the fall of 2000, in Afghanistan, unmanned, unarmed spy planes called Predators flew over known al-Qaida training camps. The pictures that were transmitted live to CIA headquarters show al-Qaida terrorists firing at targets, conducting military drills and then scattering on cue through the desert.

    Also, that fall, the Predator captured even more extraordinary pictures — a tall figure in flowing white robes. Many intelligence analysts believed then and now it is bin Laden.

    Why does U.S. intelligence believe it was bin Laden? NBC showed the video to William Arkin, a former intelligence officer and now military analyst for NBC. “You see a tall man…. You see him surrounded by or at least protected by a group of guards.”

    Bin Laden is 6 foot 5. The man in the video clearly towers over those around him and seems to be treated with great deference.

    Another clue: The video was shot at Tarnak Farm, the walled compound where bin Laden is known to live. The layout of the buildings in the Predator video perfectly matches secret U.S. intelligence photos and diagrams of Tarnak Farm obtained by NBC.

    “It’s dynamite. It’s putting together all of the pieces, and that doesn’t happen every day.… I guess you could say we’ve done it once, and this is it,” Arkin added.

    The tape proves the Clinton administration was aggressively tracking al-Qaida a year before 9/11. But that also raises one enormous question: If the U.S. government had bin Laden and the camps in its sights in real time, why was no action taken against them?

    “We were not prepared to take the military action necessary,” said retired Gen. Wayne Downing, who ran counter-terror efforts for the current Bush administration and is now an NBC analyst.

    “We should have had strike forces prepared to go in and react to this intelligence, certainly cruise missiles — either air- or sea-launched — very, very accurate, could have gone in and hit those targets,” Downing added.

    Gary Schroen, a former CIA station chief in Pakistan, says the White House required the CIA to attempt to capture bin Laden alive, rather than kill him.

    What impact did the wording of the orders have on the CIA’s ability to get bin Laden? “It reduced the odds from, say, a 50 percent chance down to, say, 25 percent chance that we were going to be able to get him,” said Schroen.

    A Democratic member of the 9/11 commission says there was a larger issue: The Clinton administration treated bin Laden as a law enforcement problem.

    Bob Kerry, a former senator and current 9/11 commission member, said, “The most important thing the Clinton administration could have done would have been for the president, either himself or by going to Congress, asking for a congressional declaration to declare war on al-Qaida, a military-political organization that had declared war on us.”

    In reality, getting bin Laden would have been extraordinarily difficult. He was a moving target deep inside Afghanistan. Most military operations would have been high-risk. What’s more, Clinton was weakened by scandal, and there was no political consensus for bold action, especially with an election weeks away.

    NBC News contacted the three top Clinton national security officials. None would do an on-camera interview. However, they vigorously defend their record and say they disrupted terrorist cells and made al-Qaida a top national security priority.

    “We used military force, we used covert operations, we used all of the tools available to us because we realized what a serious threat this was,” said President Clinton’s former national security adviser James Steinberg.

    One Clinton Cabinet official said, looking back, the military should have been more involved, “We did a lot, but we did not see the gathering storm that was out there.”

    Tuesday: How close the U.S. may have com to getting bin Laden?
    Wednesday: What more could the Bush administration have done to get bin Laden?
    Thursday: Did Bush take terrorism seriously before 9/11 or was focus too much on Saddam?

    Lisa Myers is NBC’s senior investigative correspondent
    © 2007 MSNBC Interactive

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    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/....ap/index.html

    Al Qaeda is gaining strength and the United States is still not as safe as it should be, former Indiana congressman Tim Roemer said Saturday.

    Speaking about a week after failed bombing attacks in Britain, the 9/11 commission member chided Congress and the White House for not taking enough action to secure the country from another attack.

    Roemer urged lawmakers to move forward on adopting safety measures the commission suggested and asked President Bush not to threaten to veto the proposed legislation.

    "Only half of these bipartisan recommendations have been passed," Roemer said during the weekly Democratic radio address. "The White House's execution and funding of them has received failing grades."

    He identified border security as one of the most critical issues for protecting the country.

    "We still do not have the ability to know fully who and what is crossing our borders and sailing into our ports," he said. "We've left the door open to attacks."

    Roemer emphasized his belief that al Qaeda is training more people to participate in terrorist activities and that the war in Iraq is "creating a new generation of jihadists."

    He listed information sharing, infrastructure protection and first responder communication among other domestic priorities to combat these threats. Internationally, he stressed the importance of securing "loose nuclear material" and increasing educational opportunities for people in the Middle East.

    "We need to fix the logjam in Washington," Roemer said. "We cannot afford to wait any longer."

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/....ap/index.html

    Al Qaeda is gaining strength and the United States is still not as safe as it should be, former Indiana congressman Tim Roemer said Saturday.

    Speaking about a week after failed bombing attacks in Britain, the 9/11 commission member chided Congress and the White House for not taking enough action to secure the country from another attack.

    Roemer urged lawmakers to move forward on adopting safety measures the commission suggested and asked President Bush not to threaten to veto the proposed legislation.

    "Only half of these bipartisan recommendations have been passed," Roemer said during the weekly Democratic radio address. "The White House's execution and funding of them has received failing grades."

    He identified border security as one of the most critical issues for protecting the country.

    "We still do not have the ability to know fully who and what is crossing our borders and sailing into our ports," he said. "We've left the door open to attacks."

    Roemer emphasized his belief that al Qaeda is training more people to participate in terrorist activities and that the war in Iraq is "creating a new generation of jihadists."

    He listed information sharing, infrastructure protection and first responder communication among other domestic priorities to combat these threats. Internationally, he stressed the importance of securing "loose nuclear material" and increasing educational opportunities for people in the Middle East.

    "We need to fix the logjam in Washington," Roemer said. "We cannot afford to wait any longer."
    ironic....didn't the rats run on a platform that they would implement ALL the reccomendations of the 9-11 commission during the campaign last November?? what happened there???

    maybe they should start with defeatocrat murtha who spoiled that promise by refusing to give up his power on the House Appropriations Committee....

    Democrats Reject Key 9/11 Panel Suggestion
    Neither Party Has an Appetite for Overhauling Congressional Oversight of Intelligence

    By Jonathan Weisman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, November 30, 2006; A07


    It was a solemn pledge, repeated by Democratic leaders and candidates over and over: If elected to the majority in Congress, Democrats would implement all of the recommendations of the bipartisan commission that examined the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    But with control of Congress now secured, Democratic leaders have decided for now against implementing the one measure that would affect them most directly: a wholesale reorganization of Congress to improve oversight and funding of the nation's intelligence agencies. Instead, Democratic leaders may create a panel to look at the issue and produce recommendations, according to congressional aides and lawmakers.

    Because plans for implementing the commission's recommendations are still fluid, Democratic officials would not speak for the record. But aides on the House and Senate appropriations, armed services and intelligence committees confirmed this week that a reorganization of Congress would not be part of the package of homeland-security changes up for passage in the "first 100 hours" of the Democratic Congress.

    "I don't think that suggestion is going anywhere," said Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.), the chairman of the Appropriations defense subcommittee and a close ally of the incoming subcommittee chairman, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.). "That is not going to be their party position."

    It may seem like a minor matter, but members of the commission say Congress's failure to change itself is anything but inconsequential. In 2004, the commission urged Congress to grant the House and Senate intelligence committees the power not only to oversee the nation's intelligence agencies but also to fund them and shape intelligence policy. The intelligence committees' gains would come at the expense of the armed services committees and the appropriations panels' defense subcommittees. Powerful lawmakers on those panels would have to give up prized legislative turf.

    But the commission was unequivocal about the need.

    "Of all our recommendations, strengthening congressional oversight may be among the most difficult and important," the panel wrote. "So long as oversight is governed by current congressional rules and resolutions, we believe the American people will not get the security they want and need."

    Now Democrats are balking, just as Republicans did before them.

    The decision will almost certainly anger commission members, as well as families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, many of whom have pressed hard for implementation of the recommendations.

    "The Democrats pledged to implement all the remaining 9/11 reforms, not some of them," said former representative Timothy J. Roemer (D-Ind.), who served on the commission.

    Carie Lemack, whose mother was in one of the jets that hit the World Trade Center, echoed that sentiment: "It wasn't a Chinese takeout menu, the 41 recommendations. You have to do all of them."

    Democratic leadership dust-ups this month severely limited the ability of House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) to implement the commission's recommendations, according to Democratic aides.

    Pelosi strongly backed Murtha for House majority leader, only to see him soundly defeated by Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (Md.). That chain of events made it difficult for her to ask Murtha, a longtime ally, to relinquish control of the intelligence budget from his consolation prize, the chairmanship of the Appropriations defense subcommittee, according to Democratic sources.

    Likewise, a controversy over the choice of a new chairman of the House intelligence committee proved to be a factor in the decision. The Sept. 11 commission urged Congress to do away with traditional term limits on the intelligence committees to preserve continuity and expertise, a recommendation the House implemented in 2003. But in her search for a reason to drop the committee's most senior Democrat, Jane Harman (Calif.), from the panel, Pelosi fell back on the tradition of term limits. She has decided to pass over the intelligence committee's second-ranking Democrat, Alcee L. Hastings (Fla.), as well.

    To the Sept. 11 commission, the call for congressional overhaul was vital, said former New Jersey governor Thomas H. Kean (R), the commission's co-chairman. Because intelligence committee membership affords lawmakers access to classified information, only intelligence committee members can develop the expertise to watch over operations properly, he said. But because the panels do not control the budget, intelligence agencies tend to dismiss them.

    "The person who controls your budget is the person you listen to," Kean said.

    Those people, the appropriators, do not seem to care much, he said. The intelligence budget is a small fraction of the nearly $500 billion overseen by the armed services committees and the appropriations panels' defense subcommittees. Kean said that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), an Armed Services Committee member, told the Sept. 11 commission that if his panel spends 10 minutes considering the intelligence budget, it has been a good year.

    "We think this is extremely crucial," Kean said of a reorganization shifting budget authority to the intelligence committees. But, he added, there are "a lot of old bulls in both parties who just don't want to do it."

    In 2004, the Senate tried to reach a compromise on the issue, proposing to create intelligence subcommittees under the House and Senate appropriations committees. The appropriators would maintain most of their power, but at least distinct panels would have to watch over intelligence spending.

    The idea went nowhere in the House. To make it work, total spending on intelligence would have to be declassified, another commission recommendation that Congress has rejected. Besides, Young said, an intelligence subcommittee effectively exists in the form of the Appropriations defense subcommittee chairman and ranking member, who have taken serious interest in intelligence spending.

    Democratic aides yesterday chose to talk up what they will do in the opening hours of the 110th Congress. Plans are not complete, but the incoming Democratic majority is likely to expand efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; ensure the interoperability of communications equipment so first responders can communicate more effectively; develop a comprehensive screening system for air cargo; and establish a civil-liberties board to protect the public against intelligence agencies expanding their reach.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...901317_pf.html

    and maybe congressman Tim Roemer should get a fuqin clue....
    Last edited by Come Back to NY; 07-08-2007 at 01:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Back to NY
    ironic....didn't the rats run on a platform that they would implement ALL the reccomendations of the 9-11 commission during the campaign last November?? what happened there??? ....
    What? You think I'm going to defend the Dumbocrats ineptitude? I don't support them, Choco, and I don't vote for them. It just goes to reiterate my point that THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEFT AND RIGHT IN THIS COUNTRY.

    It's an illusion manufactured to keep the American public confused and uninformed. What happened to all the election year promises from 2004? Nothing...now they can bring up those same wedge issues next election. Fags still f***, flags still burn, war still rages.

    You are so caught up in this whole left/right illusion that it is quite amusing. Free your mind, brother...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan
    What? You think I'm going to defend the Dumbocrats ineptitude? I don't support them, Choco, and I don't vote for them. It just goes to reiterate my point that THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEFT AND RIGHT IN THIS COUNTRY.

    It's an illusion manufactured to keep the American public confused and uninformed. What happened to all the election year promises from 2004? Nothing...now they can bring up those same wedge issues next election. Fags still f***, flags still burn, war still rages.

    You are so caught up in this whole left/right illusion that it is quite amusing. Free your mind, brother...
    That's a great post 'Khan..and I mean that.

    The is little difference between the parties anymore...it's why for the past 6 years I have ceased donating to the Republicans. Every time they call, I blow a gasket and inform them that I'll start contributing when they start acting in my political interest which is CONSERVATISM. I used to play the game of 'pubbies vs 'rats, but the present day republicans aren't even worth defending...they'd sell you down the river for a nickel if they had the chance.

    I don't care what's 'left or right', I care what is conservative and anything that limits government interference in individuals lives..I couldn't give a rat's a&& about 'compassionate conservatism' ala George Bush either..it's nothing more than 'liberal lite' and the socialist road to hell. I'm not going to support someone like Bush..it ain't worth the effort and it isn't deserved.

    I'm not one to not vote, but I can understand now why some people feel like 'what's the difference'? There isn't any.

    The country used to be comprised of bold individuals, now we're a bunch of whiny *****es...it's gimme this, gimme that, it's not my fault, i'm oppressed..it's ridiculous. We're now a bipolar nation that has forgotten to take our meds...either party is manic or manic depressive based on who has the one seat majority in the congress.

    I'm not saying this to you because I believe you feel as I do about political beliefs, but only because I agree with your point about the idiocy and reflex name-calling and defensiveness between two parties that aren't all that much different...neither stand for much of anything when you come right down to it. Certainly neither care about the long-term future interests of the country...all they want to do is get re-elected and stay in power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwave81
    I'm not saying this to you because I believe you feel as I do about political beliefs, but only because I agree with your point about the idiocy and reflex name-calling and defensiveness between two parties that aren't all that much different...neither stand for much of anything when you come right down to it. Certainly neither care about the long-term future interests of the country...all they want to do is get re-elected and stay in power.
    I think we probably stand a little closer than partisan bickering would have it appear. The loony righties on this board like to constantly lambaste me as a liberal. Why? Because I don't think my taxes should go to help some welfare a-hole who doesn't want to bother to find a job? Or because I think tax relief should go to everybody, not just the rich? Trickle down this, ya jerks. I want tax relief. Me personally. Or am I a flaming liberal because I think the government should be reduced...a lot...a whole whole lot?

    No. Its because I think this war we got is past asinine. So automatically, because the current moron-in-chief is a republican and I don't agree with him, I must be from the OTHER party. It just gets sickening after a while. George Bush is not a Republican. He perverted the republican base into believing he was one. The slack jawed dumb ass actually has people convinced he is a Texan and fears god. Bullsh*t. He is a silver spoon fed former New Haven resident who hasn't had to work for anything in his life. He is the epitome of liberal elitism.

    The goal of the attacks of 9/11 are reflected in this very message board. Bin Laden wasn't banking on a body count. Their goal was to get our government to promote fear to the point that we start distrusting each other, that we start turning on ourselves. We focus our paranoid energies on our fellow countryman across the aisle that we take our eye off the ball. We are going down a long dark path in this country. We need somebody to rise above the idiocracy of Washington and ACTUALLY reflect the views of Americans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan
    No. Its because I think this war we got is past asinine. So automatically, because the current moron-in-chief is a republican and I don't agree with him, I must be from the OTHER party. It just gets sickening after a while. George Bush is not a Republican. He perverted the republican base into believing he was one. The slack jawed dumb ass actually has people convinced he is a Texan and fears god. Bullsh*t. He is a silver spoon fed former New Haven resident who hasn't had to work for anything in his life. He is the epitome of liberal elitism.

    The goal of the attacks of 9/11 are reflected in this very message board. Bin Laden wasn't banking on a body count. Their goal was to get our government to promote fear to the point that we start distrusting each other, that we start turning on ourselves. We focus our paranoid energies on our fellow countryman across the aisle that we take our eye off the ball. We are going down a long dark path in this country. We need somebody to rise above the idiocracy of Washington and ACTUALLY reflect the views of Americans.
    I've got mixed emotions about the war...not so much that we went, but because we should have ended it quickly. You cannot fight a war half-a$$ed...either you go in and subdue the enemy no matter what the costs, or don't bother. If you don't do that, you get what we're seeing now...especially with the advent of immediate journalism. If you are going to risk American lives, at least they deserve the opportunity to limit their risk/exposure by ending the war quickly. Yes, I understand that the war would have been more brutal, and that perhaps more innocents would have been killed...but you don't 'win' a war by attrition, you win it by subduing and punishing the enemy until they no longer have the will to fight.

    I'm pissed at Bush more for other things than the war, which I understand...personally, I think that we're going to be fighting the radical islamists for a long time...I'd rather do it there than here. What I don't understand is his apparent policies on illegal immigration, free benefits for seniors, failure to follow through on reforming the biggest ponzi-scheme in history (SS), expanding the government, seemingly in favor of globalist intentions...in short, he was elected to be a conservative, and he's not.

    If it weren't for his two choices for the USSC, the whole Bush presidency would be a waste.

    As far as distrusting ourselves and turning on each other, that IMO started years ago and was accelerated through the idiocy of government largesse or handouts. We now have an entire generation of individuals that if they forgot the way to their mailbox, they'd starve...they don't want to learn anything, they certainly don't want to work and most of the time all they do is ***** about America.

    It's a great country. [/rant]

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan
    What? You think I'm going to defend the Dumbocrats ineptitude? I don't support them, Choco, and I don't vote for them. It just goes to reiterate my point that THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEFT AND RIGHT IN THIS COUNTRY.

    It's an illusion manufactured to keep the American public confused and uninformed. What happened to all the election year promises from 2004? Nothing...now they can bring up those same wedge issues next election. Fags still f***, flags still burn, war still rages.

    You are so caught up in this whole left/right illusion that it is quite amusing. Free your mind, brother...

    sure...

    yet you'll post something from rat congresssman Tim Roemer to prove a point that just isn't there....and you're tell me to free my mind?? laughable...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan
    I think we probably stand a little closer than partisan bickering would have it appear. The loony righties on this board like to constantly lambaste me as a liberal. Why? Because I don't think my taxes should go to help some welfare a-hole who doesn't want to bother to find a job? Or because I think tax relief should go to everybody, not just the rich? Trickle down this, ya jerks. I want tax relief. Me personally. Or am I a flaming liberal because I think the government should be reduced...a lot...a whole whole lot?

    No. Its because I think this war we got is past asinine. So automatically, because the current moron-in-chief is a republican and I don't agree with him, I must be from the OTHER party. It just gets sickening after a while. George Bush is not a Republican. He perverted the republican base into believing he was one. The slack jawed dumb ass actually has people convinced he is a Texan and fears god. Bullsh*t. He is a silver spoon fed former New Haven resident who hasn't had to work for anything in his life. He is the epitome of liberal elitism.

    The goal of the attacks of 9/11 are reflected in this very message board. Bin Laden wasn't banking on a body count. Their goal was to get our government to promote fear to the point that we start distrusting each other, that we start turning on ourselves. We focus our paranoid energies on our fellow countryman across the aisle that we take our eye off the ball. We are going down a long dark path in this country. We need somebody to rise above the idiocracy of Washington and ACTUALLY reflect the views of Americans.
    so let me get this straight....

    when GWB or someone in his administration talks about the increased possiblity of attacks they are promoting fear...yet when Tim Roemer tells us we are not safe, as your post suggests, he's making a point....

    got it....

  11. #11
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    Just read that Cindy Sheehan plans to run against Pelosi. What a weird world!

    Interesting take on the war in this thread. I didn't buy the WMD or imminent threat reasoning that was trumpeted, but as Guliani put it, Bush was in effect carrying out a previous Clinton policy. I could buy justification for other reasons, but not what was sold. As Wolfowitz put it, summarized, we thought WMD was the easiest package to sell to the world.

    It does bring to question, was the war only started half assed and if so why? Norman Schwartzkopf, who questioned the justification before the war, said he believed there were those that had the misconception that as we rolled into Bagdad that they'd all be throwing flowers at our feet in thanks. Did we make the same mistakes as Somalia? Did we not have enough heavy armor? After the military drawdown and BRAC's that began with Bush 1, and continued with Clinton, was our military properly prepared for this type of operation? Rumsfeld was planning to transform the military into a light, efficient, quick strike unit that could quickly respond to put out fires. Sexy, but really the right answer? Too much reliance on National Guard/Reserve units?

    This country has defeated religious zealots before...like Japan. We broke the back of their people. However, we all understood then that our very survival depended on the outcome of that war. I'm not sure that everyone is as committed as back then-it would seem.

    Sad part is, nobody- at least to my satisfaction, has demonstrated they have a good answer to end this war.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by frostlich

    It does bring to question, was the war only started half assed and if so why? Norman Schwartzkopf, who questioned the justification before the war, said he believed there were those that had the misconception that as we rolled into Bagdad that they'd all be throwing flowers at our feet in thanks. Did we make the same mistakes as Somalia? Did we not have enough heavy armor? After the military drawdown and BRAC's that began with Bush 1, and continued with Clinton, was our military properly prepared for this type of operation? Rumsfeld was planning to transform the military into a light, efficient, quick strike unit that could quickly respond to put out fires. Sexy, but really the right answer? Too much reliance on National Guard/Reserve units?

    This is a very good point.

    Whether you supported the decision to go to war in Iraq or not (I didn't), the people who took us there said they did so because victory in Iraq was all-important, and central to fighting terrorism.

    Now I couldn't disagree with that more (before the invasion, at least), but it begs the question: If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld etc. truly believed Iraq was going to be the defining conflict of our time, how come they half-assed it?

    No plans for the occupation. No imagining the possibility of an insurgency led by foreign jihadists. Disbanding the Iraqi army when it could have helped maintain order. The list goes on and on.

    The truth is that, to sell the war, the Bushies argued that it would be easy, we'd be greeted as liberators, etc. And, ultimately, they forgot it was just BS spin and began to believe it themselves.

  13. #13
    I have a problem with anti-war folks criticizing the US for not being aggressive enough in fighting it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sackdance
    I have a problem with anti-war folks criticizing the US for not being aggressive enough in fighting it.



    btw frostlich:

    Interesting take on the war in this thread. I didn't buy the WMD or imminent threat reasoning that was trumpeted, but as Guliani put it, Bush was in effect carrying out a previous Clinton policy. I could buy justification for other reasons, but not what was sold. As Wolfowitz put it, summarized, we thought WMD was the easiest package to sell to the world.
    the only person who claimed "imminent threat" before the war was john edwards....the President said, on a number of occassions, once the threat was imminent it is too late...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sackdance
    I have a problem with anti-war folks criticizing the US for not being aggressive enough in fighting it.
    I have a problem with warmongers not bothering to at least be competent when they wage war, particularly when that incompetence leads to thousands of dead soldiers and god-knows-how-many billions of taxpayer dollars.

    (And, for the record, I'm not anti-war. I was against invading Iraq and for invading Afghanistan.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nuu faaola
    Now I couldn't disagree with that more (before the invasion, at least), but it begs the question: If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld etc. truly believed Iraq was going to be the defining conflict of our time, how come they half-assed it?
    You misunderstand...they didn't half-ass it because the miscalculated anything...they half-assed it because the hamstrung the troops with ridiculous rules of engagement, and were far too concerned with collateral damage. There were/are plenty enough assets there to do the job, if they were turned loose to prosecute the WAR and not occupation.

    At least IMO...that's my impression, from someone that spent 22 years in the military..the problem isn't the military, it's the civilan managers who give unrealistic parameters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Back to NY

    the only person who claimed "imminent threat" before the war was john edwards....the President said, on a number of occassions, once the threat was imminent it is too late...
    Not gonna argue that. Never saw or remember the words 'Imminent Threat' said by President Bush. However, 'Grave Danger', 'Immediate threat', etc, all said at one point by folks in his administration. Not going to debate definitions of the words imminent, threat, etc. Pointless to do so.

    Greenwave, would you elaborate on your post? Rummy was criticized by some in/out of the Army early on saying he wasn't listening to his Generals. Is this part of what you were talking about? Besides the ROE, what are your views on how differently the war should be executed?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Back to NY
    sure...

    yet you'll post something from rat congresssman Tim Roemer to prove a point that just isn't there....and you're tell me to free my mind?? laughable...

    You see, Comeback...that's the big difference between me and you.

    I posted the article, not because I believed in what it contained...as I did not comment on it, but because it was vaguely about the other two articles that were posted before. I was just posting some other info as I had stumbled across the article when reading the links the other two posters had put up.

    But you, in your typical partisan manner, instead of looking to just discuss the topic at hand you look to turn everything into a pissing contest. Relax man...I'm not your enemy...I'm just a Jet fan as yourself.


    Think about it. Learn to find common ground with people you disagree with. Our founding fathers could have spent the first continental congress bickering about their differences, and there were many. But they didn't. They put the differences aside to unite against a common foe. We should be doing the same thing today as we face an even graver threat than Jolly Olde England.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by frostlich
    Greenwave, would you elaborate on your post? Rummy was criticized by some in/out of the Army early on saying he wasn't listening to his Generals. Is this part of what you were talking about? Besides the ROE, what are your views on how differently the war should be executed?
    Certainly.

    What I mean is that if something is worth fighting and sending American boys over, then you should be willing, everytime, to limit their risk...and the only way to do that is to fight balls to the wall, take no prisoners, all the time.

    Of course, we are too 'civilized' to do that...it's a joke. Nothing is civilzed with war...if it is a 'war' you are fighting. With the ROE we have now, WWII would still be ongoing. If the enemy is in the mosque, you blow up the mosque. If they are hiding among civilians, well that's sad...but at a certain point you need the civilians to take up against the enemy too becuase they're tired of being shot at.

    While losing any American life is a tragedy, the real tragedy is unnecessarily losing more American lives because you fought in a limited capacity. That's my opinion. Fighting 80% of the war properly and then turning it into a police action before it's over to 'clean it up' out of concern for collateral damage or whatever is wrong, and is a recipe for disaster. Either a war is worth fighting all out or it's not.

    I don't presuppose to know what happened between Rumsfeld and his staff, and I treat any media reports these days with a wide amount of skepticism; with their questionable reporting and the every 30 second update on the situation and casualties, sometimes I wonder just whose side they're on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwave81
    You misunderstand...they didn't half-ass it because the miscalculated anything...they half-assed it because the hamstrung the troops with ridiculous rules of engagement, and were far too concerned with collateral damage. There were/are plenty enough assets there to do the job, if they were turned loose to prosecute the WAR and not occupation.

    At least IMO...that's my impression, from someone that spent 22 years in the military..the problem isn't the military, it's the civilan managers who give unrealistic parameters.

    I agree for the most part. Although I wouldn't call disbanding the Iraqi Army, not guarding the weapons depots and severely underestimating the chaos that would ensue "ridiculous rules of engagement". I would definitely call them "miscalculations".


    Rumsfeld gets a bad rap for the most part. Sh*t flows downhill and there were a few sh*theads upstream from him. Namely Wolfowitz and Feith. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzalas...I can deal with all them. But Wolfowitz and Feith? If those two never got involved in politics this country might be in a better place now. Those two guys put the "dee" in "dee dee dee".

    BTW...if anybody here has the Google toolbar w/ spellcheck, look at what it suggests for the spelling of "Wolfowitz"...."Halfwits"

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