May 31, 2009

Rice and Cheney, People Who Don't Know

Update: "The one trait that defines establishment pundits more than any other is a pathological inability ever to accept blame or admit error. That's because they work in the most accountability-free profession in America, where people like Bill Kristol (with a record like this) and Jeffrey Goldberg (with a record like this) get promoted despite no retractions or remorse, and establishment media stars in general can pretend that they bear no responsibility for enabling the abuses and crimes of the Bush years."
- Glenn Greenwald, Salon

First-rate Sunday morning reads in the New York Times and Washington Post rebutting the always foolish Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice.

Frank Rich and Richard A. Clarke, the national coordinator for security and counterterrorism under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, rip apart the recent Cheney-Rice lies that even now continue apace with the "unsettling return to the post-9/11 dynamic (Frank Rich)" on the part of the corporate media and Congressional Democrats.

Writes Clarke:

'Unless you were there, in a position of responsibility after September 11, you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that you faced in trying to protect Americans,' Condoleezza Rice said last month as she admonished a Stanford University student who questioned the Bush-era interrogation program. ...

Yet listening to Cheney and Rice, it seems that they want to be excused for the measures they authorized after the attacks on the grounds that 9/11 was traumatic. ...

I have little sympathy for this argument. ...

Careful analysis could have replaced the impulse to break all the rules, even more so because the Sept. 11 attacks, though horrifying, should not have surprised senior officials. ...

Yes, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice may have been surprised by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 -- but it was because they had not listened. And their surprise led them to adopt extreme counterterrorism techniques -- but it was because they rejected, without analysis, the tactics the Clinton administration had used. The measures they uncritically adopted, which they simply assumed were the best available, were in fact unnecessary and counterproductive.
The reaction of thinking journalists when Rice and Cheney began their we know better, you had to be there line should have been extreme skepticism and consider-the-source, there-they-go-again ridicule.

As President Obama is aware, this skepticism resides in the electorate that put him into office and remains impatient for a complete presidential repudiation and reversal of Cheney-Rice disgrace.

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