The U.S. Senate is today releasing a report entitled "Tora Bora Revisited: How We Failed to Get Bin Laden and Why It Matters Today," which — if I'm not mistaken — is a kind of modern retelling of Evelyn Waugh's classic "Brideshead Revisted."
Except instead of dealing with "the unmerited and unilateral act of love by which God continually calls souls to Himself," it's more about how former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld let Osama bin Laden slip away from U.S. troops way back in 2001…
It points the finger directly at Rumsfeld for turning down requests for reinforcements as Bin Laden was trapped in December 2001 in caves and tunnels in a mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan known as Tora Bora.
"The vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the marine corps and the army, was kept on the sidelines," the report says. "Instead, the US command chose to rely on airstrikes and untrained Afghan militias to attack Bin Laden and on Pakistan's loosely organized Frontier Corps to seal his escape routes."…
[T]he report — commissioned by Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — says Bin Laden expected to die and had even written a will. But the Al-Qaeda leader would live to fight another day."
From what I understand, they're hoping to get Colin Firth to play Bin Laden in the film version.
You know, so they can capture the terrorist's roguish good looks and recapture some of their "Bridget Jones' Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq" audience.
Tags: Afghanistan, Bush Administration, Donald Rumsfeld, Military, Osama bin Laden, Senate
I have to hand it to the Department of Homeland Security. That threat advisory system they invented is a great way to bring families closer together: you can teach kids their colors, then explain why the bad men want to kill us. But according to a new book from former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge, sometimes the system involved some, shall we say, artificial coloring…
[Ridge asserts] that he was pressured by top advisers to President George W. Bush to raise the national threat level just before the 2004 election in what he suspected was an effort to influence the vote.
After Osama bin Laden released a threatening videotape four days before the election, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld pushed Mr. Ridge to elevate the public threat posture but he refused, according to the book. Mr. Ridge calls it a "dramatic and inconceivable" event that "proved most troublesome" and reinforced his decision to resign.
Most troublesome indeed! Tut, tut, John and Don. That was a very naughty thing you did. What do you have to say for yourselves?
Mr. Ashcroft could not be reached for comment. But Mark Corallo, who was his spokesman at the Justice Department, dismissed Mr. Ridge’s account. "Didn’t happen," he said. "Now would be a good time for Mr. Ridge to use his emergency duct tape."
Coincidentally, Tom Ridge's own personal color-coded threat advisory system has now been raised to fuschia.
Tags: Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Homeland Security, John Ashcroft, Tom Ridge
GQ magazine — the most journalistic integrity-y publication of journalist integrity – released images of the covers of the top secret intelligence briefings concerning the Iraq War produced by Donald Rumsfeld for former president (sounds nice to say "former president") George W. Bush.
The images all consisted of images of soldiers accompanied by a Biblical quote, casting further doubt to the previous administrations religious intentions with the Iraq War. In Rumsfeld's defense, putting color pictures on the briefings was the only way to get Bush to even look at them.
Eeek. Pretty creepy right? Well, wait till you see the intelligence briefing covers that didn't make the cut. We got our hands on some exclusive rough drafts from Rummy's old eMachine PC, and we're posting them on the site for you guys. You're welcome.
Click after the jump to see the exclusive images.
This following image was when they were considering recruiting at local elementary schools. After all, if history has taught us anything, it's that children love crusades.
The Christmas lights were supposed to be a metaphor for Iraq's intricate system, but everyone was worried that George Bush would get confused and send Saddam Hussein a fruitcake, so they ditched this next image.
Everyone at the White House loved this one, but they thought it belittled the troops to use lyrics from a Sugar Ray song. Instead, they decided to honor the troops by cutting funding for body armor.
George W. Bush insisted that flying squirrels be used in briefings whenever possible.
I see why they ditched this next one. Seems kind of ironic to use a scripture quote basically stating the way to silence people who are wrong is by doing good in your personal life rather than out and out confrontation. Especially when you're at war with another country instead of performing any real acts of charity with that war budget. Definitely see why this only made it through the rough draft stages.
Oh, oops, I was wrong. That one was actually a cover for a briefing (it's REAL!). My bad.
This next one seems kind of weird. How did that quote get in there?
Oops, that was just a typo. This is what they really meant.
Tags: Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Iraq, Military
They Were Asking For It: Ladies and germs, the thirteen people responsible for helping America make an awkward transition from civilized beacon of civilization, to barbaric, medieval fiefdom of torture. Bra-VO! [salon.com]
Drug Thugs Prison-Proof: In the pre-post-apocalyptic world that is Mexico, a phalanx of twenty narco-storm troopers traipsed into a prison and freed fifty inmates, who are all likely affiliated with one of the powerful drug cartels the Mexican government is warring with. [cnn.com]
Swine Flu Fatality: Do not panic, but the dreaded swine flu has claimed it's first victim in New York City. Oh heck, panic. Because the media wants to reinforce that this story is about you, not about one family's sudden, tragic loss. [ap.com]
It Burns When I Pee: Once upon a time, there was a little boy who had a fish living in his peehole. This is bad news for this unfortunate young man, and bad news for those with dude-specific genitalia. [news.com]
Tags: Donald Rumsfeld, Drugs, Mexico, Swine Flu, Torture
Here's a cautionary tale, kids.
Whatever you do, don't grow up to become a high-ranking member of a political administration that illegally invades a sovereign nation under false pretenses and drags the country into a long, entrenched police action.
'Cause if you do, you'll have to deal with idiots like this for the rest of your life…
Bear it in mind, those morons were inside the Correspondents' Dinner. Not protesting outside. They were invitees.
And look at the calm expression on Donald Rumsfeld's face. You know that he deals with this bullshit every day of his life, everywhere he goes. I'll bet his wife even screams shit like that at him every once in a while when she gets bored around the house.
Really, neoconservative ideology just isn't worth the trouble.
Tags: Correspondents' Dinner, Donald Rumsfeld, Iraq, Protesters