Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Pray I win the powerball, so I can run some ads

The DNC is close, but they use the wrong quote, and don't connect all the dots.
Text: President Bush speaks on Osama bin Laden. September 17, 2001

VO: George W. Bush [9/17/01]: "...there's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, `Wanted: Dead or Alive.'"
Text: Six months later...March 13, 2002

VO: George W. Bush [3/13/02]: "I don't know where he is. I, ah [laugh] I repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."

Text: Three years later..."U.S. General Says bin Laden al-Zawahri Still Directing Attacks" Source: USA Today, 9/11/04 "Bin Laden is said to be Organizing for a U.S. Attack" Source: New York Times, 7/9/04

VO: Word tonight that Osama bin Laden is very much alive, and coordinating plans for new attacks on America and American allies.

VO: George W. Bush [3/13/02]: "I don't know where he is... I truly am not that concerned about him."

VO: The Democratic National Committee is responsible for the contents of this advertisement.

The better ad:

George Bush claims he talks straight and you always know where he stands. Really?

On Sept. 13, 2001, George Bush made this promise:

Video: "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him."

But only 6 months later, as he prepared to invade Iraq, he changed his mind about Bin Laden:

Video: "I don't know where he is. I, ah [laugh] I repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."
3,000 Americans dead, planned by Bin Laden, and Bush is "truly not that concerned."?

This has to be the biggest flip-flop of all time.

Do you really trust this man to keep us safe?

Its time for a change. America deserves better leadership.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The real story: Bush did not dispute the content of the memos

Atrios has a post that recalls what I posted the other day on Dailykos.

Q Scott, on the National Guard documents on "60 Minutes," the First Lady says she believes these are forgeries. The RNC has accused the Democratic Party of being the source of these documents. Knowing then what you know now, would you still have released those documents when you did?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that's a hypothetical question, John. We received those documents from a major news organization. We had every reason to believe that they were authentic at that time.

If the basic thrust of the memos was false - if, say, Bush came forward and said "Hey, wait a minute! Those can't be real! I never disobeyed a direct order..." then why would our dear Scotty say such a thing?

My previous post:

There are two major options in the "Memo Debate:'  1) They're forged; or 2) They're not forged.

Frankly, I don't claim to know the answer.  Interesting questions have been raised, but the arguments I have heard to disprove the possibility that they might be real have proven hasty and inadequate.  Either way, however, I think the memos have served to distract from the larger issues.  Also, either way, the following exchange between Dan Rather and Dan Bartlett raises interesting questions that should be the focus of discussion.

Q: Is your suggestion that these documents, at least a couple of them, could have been fabricated?

DAN BARTLETT: I'm not saying that at all. I'm just saying that the fact that documents like this are being raised when, in fact, all they do is reaffirm what we've said all along, is questionable.

The President's spokesman did not dispute the validity or content of the memos.  In fact, he said they "reaffirm what we've said all along."

The White House has not issued a statement about any of the memos, one of which was addressed to George W. Bush, ordering him to get a physical.  Even faced with the question of whether Bush disobeyed a direct order, Bartlett, nor the White House since, has denied the veracity of that memo.  Nor did they claim Bush never received that memo.  They took it totally in stride as if, "Of course that memo was written.  It is consistent with our version of events.  We have no reason to dispute it."   The only thing he ever questions is the timing of their release.

DAN BARTLETT: The two official documents that notified that he did not take the flight exam, which is exactly -- it is explained in your document that he did not take the flight exam because he was going to Alabama in a non-flying capacity because, in Alabama, they weren't flying the same plane that President Bush was trained on.

Q: But what about these two documents is rumor and innuendo?

DAN BARTLETT: ... But these documents state exactly what we said, and that is President Bush didn't take the flight exam because he was going to a unit that didn't fly his plane. And in that very document you're showing it says that he was working out with the staff to find a unit that he could train with, but it was going to be in a non-flying capacity.

Far from disavowing the memo, Bartlett embraces it and confirms that Bush did exactly what it said.

Q: But these are two official memorandums. Any idea of why these would not be in the record?

DAN BARTLETT: I can't explain why that wouldn't be in his record, but they were found in Jerry Killian's personal records themselves, is what I've been told. But it reaffirms exactly what President Bush said. Everybody knows President Bush didn't take his flight exam. After flying for 400 -- more than 500 hours in the cockpit, President Bush, after his fourth year in service, asked for permission to go in a non-flying capacity to Alabama. There was not reason for President Bush to take a flight exam if he wasn't going to be flying.

Again, "there's nothing new here.  We don't dispute it.  It doesn't surprise us."  Rather continues:

Q: Okay. So you seem to paint that as an option, that he could have taken the flight exam if he wanted to continue to fly, but didn't really have to take it. But this first document, dated 4th of May 1972, specifically says, "You are ordered to report for a physical examination." So he either ignored, or didn't fulfill a direct order, not an option.

DAN BARTLETT: Well, in fact, the memorandum shows -- the other memorandum in your possession shows that he spoke to the commander who made that order to talk about his personal situation in the fact that he was going to Alabama. So at every step of the way, President Bush was meeting his requirements, granted permission to meet his requirements. And that's why President Bush received an honorable discharge.

Bartlett again embraces and confirms the content of the memos, including the "note to file" describing the phone conversation.  Bush has not corrected this position.

Two reasons come to mind for this response: 1)  The Bush folks know the official documents are valid; or 2)  They are forged and they know they are forged, i.e. the "Karl Rove bugged his office again" theory

They may know they are valid because, as has been previously alleged, Dan Bartlett "scrubbed" them from the file in 1998.  Or they may suspect all of them are valid, because Bush knows he ignored the memo ordering him to get a physical.

If the memos are ultimately discredited and Bush calls "foul!", the media will need to be reminded that they were never denied, in fact, they were confirmed and eagerly embraced as true, but meaningless.  Which tends to point a suspicious finger in the direction of one Karl Rove.  We need to keep the media focused on these key facts.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

You can’t trust this administration to keep you safe

You can’t trust this administration to keep you safe. Two key messages attacking two key “strengths” of Bush in voters minds. Kerry needs to hit hard now and not let up. I’m waiting…

Narrator: After 9/11, the Bush administration instructed the Environment Protection Agency to provide misleading information, telling New Yorkers the air was safe to breath when it was not. The government agency charged with protecting the public from dangers in the environment was instructed to mislead the public about their safety.

Respiratory illnesses are dramatically up for people who trusted this President.

New Yorker: “We were lied to. I can’t believe they lied to us after all we had been through.”

American citizens need to be able to trust their government. Now more than ever.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Tired of being misled?

Kerry needs to add some more punch to the 200 billion for Iraq in a way that questions Bush's honesty and credibility and reminds people how pissed they were about the 87 billion.

Here's my ad:

When Bush’s Senior Economic Advisor estimated that a war with Iraq would cost up to 200 billion dollars, he was first “corrected” and later fired.

Less than two months before the war, Donald Rumsfeld said it would cost about 50 billion, but indicated the U.S. share would be less.
Media Stakeout, 1/19/03

One month before the war, Bush’s spokesman said, “There are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction.”
Ari Fleischer, White House Press Briefing, 2/18/03

Days after the invasion of Iraq, Bush’s Undersecretary of Defense said, ““There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money…the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”
Paul Wolfowitz, House Committee on Appropriations Hearing on a Supplemental War Regulation, 3/27/03

But when Congress proposed that Iraq reconstruction be paid back by Iraqi revenues, George W. Bush promised to veto the entire 87 billion dollar package, including money for troop support. Washington Post 10/30/03

Over 200 billion dollars and counting. More than 1000 troops lost.

Are you tired of being misled?

Don't you think it’s time for a new direction.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Where have I Heard that Before?

Bush is trying to link Kerry with Howard Dean:

For his part, from his first stop this morning on a football field in Lee's Summit to a late-afternoon rally at a fairgrounds here, Mr. Bush ridiculed Mr. Kerry for his saying on Monday that Iraq was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time."

"He woke up yesterday morning with yet another new position," Mr. Bush told more than 10,000 people gathered for a breakfast-hour rally. "And this one is not even his own. It is that of his one-time rival, Howard Dean.

"He even used the same words Howard Dean did, back when he supposedly disagreed with him. No matter how many times Senator Kerry flip-flops, we were right to make America safer by removing Saddam Hussein from power."

Well, a lot of people may have said it-- cause it's true. But Dean's most famous comment was this:

Dean said in Monday’s speech to the Pacific Council in Los Angeles that Bush had “launched the wrong war, at the wrong time, with inadequate planning, insufficient help and at extraordinary cost.

Granted, that's close-- but not as close as these guys:

General Zinni

Gen. Zinni: Heads Should Roll


In a slashing criticism of the Bush White House and Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon leadership, General Zinni, former Commander of Central Command of U.S. Military, and Special Envoy to the Middle East in the Bush Administration until he resigned in disgust, said "Heads should roll at the Pentagon--Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith and those who foisted the Iraq war on the U.S. despite my objectioins and those of most U.S. Generals including, Schwartkopf, Skowcroft, Clark, Shinseki and others."

Speaking on 60 MINUTES,May 23, Zinni said, "The plan was wrong, it was the wrong war, the wrong place and the wrong time--with little or no planning." He stated that there were serious "derelections of duty," "criminal negligence," and poor planning that put U.S. forces in harm's way and left Iraq in chaos after the invasion. Further, he added that the Pentagon's man on the ground, Paul Bremer, had made "mistake after mistake after mistake."

Arthur Schlesinger

The immediate reason that Mr Bush opened Pandora's box in the Middle East and invaded Iraq was his moral certitude that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that he was working in close partnership with Osama bin Laden and al-Qa'ida. Those convictions turned out to be delusions. This denouement does great harm to Mr Bush's credibility and to that of the United States; it has got us into a ghastly mess in Iraq; and it has diverted attention, resources and military might from the war that should have commanded the Bush administration's highest priority - the Afghan war against al-Qa'ida and international terrorism. Meanwhile Afghanistan is a mess too. Mr Bush chose the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Does it really matter who said it first? The real question is, is it correct? I prefer Kerry's company on this one. Kerry should point out that he's quoting Zinni and read the quote in his stump speech.