Rice vs. Bush

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Apparently, Dr. Rice doesn’t read my posts here. Like this one.

Today, before the 9/11 Commission, she characterized the threats that were coming in (during the Spring and Summer of 2001) as:

"Troubling, yes. But they don’t tell us when; they don’t tell us where; they don’t tell us who; and they don’t tell us how . . . "

To which I ask (again quoting Bush’s 2003 SOTU) "Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?"

Of course, it HELPS to have exact details if we can get them, but their unavailability shouldn’t deter our government from taking action.

And that’s the difference between Clinton and Bush. Clinton, in late 1999, was aware of a possible millennium attack by terrorists. He, too, was hampered by a frustrating lack of detailed information about where, when, and who would attack. But Clinton, you know, did something about it — our borders were tightened, etc. We picked up several people crossing the borders and quite possibly avoided a major terrorist attack.

The Bush Administration, on the other hand, was annoyed at the idea of "swatting flies". So — as as they sat around trying to find develop some grand fly-decimating strategy (and taking their sweet time) — we got bitten. Big time.

Sorry, kids. "We didn’t know the exact details of a specific terrorist attack" is a lame excuse for doing NOTHING.