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October 06, 2007


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It is not a "mind set" that describes terrorism as Goldsmith does: a high stakes game with almost zero room for error and major advantages to the attackers. It's a luxury for critics to mock this characterization. What is missing from your analysis and that of most administration critics is a realistic and more robust system of national defense that can deal with terrorists without resort to the various techniques employed by the Bush administration, which I will remind everyone has succeeded in, if nothing else, preventing a major terrorist catastrophe after 9/11, unlike Spain and Britain. The missing link pre 9/11 was intelligence. Without a proposal to get more intelligence post 9/11, any criticism of the Bush administration's response is juvenile and will be the reason why, in spite of every advantage in terms of Bush's various other mistakes, a Democrat will lose the 2008 Presidential election. No one except the extreme left cares much about European criticisms or the rights of Khalid Sheik Mohammad or the various trash housed at GITMO. This is a losing strategy for liberals both politically and for the practical goal of balancing national security and civil liberties.


It's somewhat humorous that Goldsmith desperately makes himself out to be some paragon of morals and ethics, but resorted to policital blackmail to get his way in withdrawing said memos and handicapping the government.

Real class act :)


"His objection is not to the policies, but to the way they were adopted."

Words fail me.


He was right, and it worked.

Or so we thought, until last week's NYT story on Torture Memos Redux.

Without a proposal to get more intelligence post 9/11

"More" is almost never the problem. We're drowning in intel. What's needed is the manpower and the training to figure out what we've got.

No one may care about KSM or the "trash" at Gitmo (guilty of anything or not), but I would think the American people would care that we're copying Soviet torture methods that are not only immoral and repugnant, but less effective than standard interrogation techniques. Ordering that KSM be tortured doubtless made Cheney and Addington feel like they were tough guys, but there's no credible evidence that it produced anything that more intelligent interrogation wouldn't have.


Ah, I see that HTML doesn't work; please take the 1st & 3d paragraphs of that 8:10 comment to be italicized.

David T

"which I will remind everyone has succeeded in, if nothing else, preventing a major terrorist catastrophe after 9/11, unlike Spain and Britain."

Note Roach's completely unproven assumption that it is Bush's tactics that are responsible for America's not having a major terrorist incident since 9/11. There are quite a few other possible explanations (one of them incidentally is called Luck...) notably that the US is more successful in assimilating immigrants (including Muslims) than western Europe, that it gets fewer immigrants from the countries most prone to radicalization, that communication and supply lines are much longer from North Africa to the US than to, say, Spain, etc.

In any event, I am sure that if there is (God forbid) a major terrorist attack in the US tomorrow, Roach will not say that this proves that Bush's tactics haven't worked, but that we need them more than ever! So if the terrorists attack us, that's proof that Bush is right, and if they don't attack us, that's proof that Bush is right.

that one guy

What of aspect of Bush's "system of national defense" does Roach think has prevented the U.S. from suffering another terrorist attack? I can't think of a single Bush administration policy initiative that could be credited with preventing a U.S. analogue to the bombings in London and Madrid. Our port security remains abysmal - if you can smuggle a bale of cocaine into the U.S, you can smuggle a nuclear device. Undercover agents testing our airport security systems have carried dangerous weapons on board commercial flights on numerous occasions. Our actions in Iraq have only exacerbated hatred toward the U.S. in the Middle East, and Katrina revealed our utter inability to cope with large scale disaster.


Probably the most salutary: mass expulsion of illegal immigrants from the Middle East post 9/11. That's the thing, this is a defensive war. Don't let these people in and we don't have to worry nearly as much about internal security. Your other criticisms are all, however, quite sound, and I don't mean to say because the Bush administration's view of the stakes and its demand for certain powers means that it's managing the war or internal security well overall.


Roach, you're way off. The reason no terrorists attacks have happened is becasue I haven't said Beetlejuice three times in a row.

Kimball Corson

As a nation and a people, one thing is for sure. We are terrorized and terrified. It reminds me of the dictum that that cowards die a thousand times before true dead; the valiant die but once.

Kimball Corson

"death," that is.

Kimball Corson

The reason no more terrorist attacks have ocurred is because we are already sufficiently terrorized to do ourselves and our institutions more than enough damage by ourselves. It would be wasteful to try to spook us further

. . . although now that Holloween is at hand . . .

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