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Republican Double Standards, Classified Info Division
by Tamara Baker

July 26, 2004 -- SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA ( -- "Getting mad at Republican hypocrisy is like getting mad at air."

So says James Carville. And yes, it sure is, James -- though that doesn't stop me from blowing a gasket whenever I see examples thereof.

The latest case in point:

As you all know by now, the Republicans and their right-wing media allies, such as Rupert Murdoch's FOX Snooze and the Washington Moonie Times, are attacking a former Clinton aide in order to distract from the revelations of the 9/11 commision report.

If you want to know just why the Bushistas want to make sure nobody actually reads, much less understands the import of, the 9/11 commission report, check this out:

Here's an excerpt in .pdf format from Chapter Six of the 9/11 Commission Report, covering the Clinton era:

President Clinton was deeply concerned about bin Laden. He and his national security advisor, Samuel "Sandy" Berger, ensured that they had a special daily pipeline of reports feeding them the latest updates on bin Laden's reported location. (Page 174.)

Now here are some more excerpts from Chapter Eight, which show the Bush team's pre-9/11 attitudes to dealing with terrorism:

Tenet told us that in his world "the system was blinking red." By late July [of 2001], Tenet said, it could not "get any worse."

Not everyone was convinced.


Hadley told Tenet in July that Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz questioned the reporting. Perhaps Bin Ladin was trying to study U.S. reactions. Tenet replied that he had already addressed the Defense Department’s questions on this point; the reporting was convincing. To give a sense of his anxiety at the time, one senior official in the Counterterrorist Center told us that he and a colleague were considering resigning in order to go public with their concerns. (Pages 259-260.)


During the spring and summer of 2001, President Bush had on several occasions asked his briefers whether any of the threats pointed to the United States.... The result was an article in the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief titled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US." It was the 36th PDB item briefed so far that year that related to Bin Ladin or al Qaeda, and the first devoted to the possibility of an attack in the United States...

[Bush] did not recall discussing the August 6 report with the Attorney General or whether Rice had done so. He said that if his advisers had told him there was a cell in the United States, they would have moved to take care of it. That never happened. (Page 260.)

There's much, much more in both chapters, as well as in the rest of the report, but you get the gist of it.

Synopsis: Bill Clinton, despite having to fight off the never-ending slow-motion Republican coup attempt launched by his GOP enemies, still not only spared the time to pay attention to Al Qaeda, he made it a major focus of his administration -- and Sandy Berger made sure he kept President Clinton on top of the unfolding developments. This constant vigilance, in the face of severe partisan attacks from Congress and from Republicans embedded into the fabric of both the government and the media, is what foiled Bin Laden's efforts to kill tens of thousands of Americans in the infamous Millenium Plot. In fact, when Clinton left office, plans to attack Bin Laden in Afghanistan were drawn up and ready to be implemented: The reason they weren't was because Clinton didn't want to hand off a full-blown war to his successor, whoever that might be.

On the other hand, Bush's people not only refused to implement the plans to finally get Bin Laden once and for all, they refused to do much of anything about Al-Qaeda, or any other terrorist group.

So, of course, what do the Bushistas do to cover this up? They attack the very men who worked the hardest to keep us safe during the 1990s: Bill Clinton and Sandy Berger.

Bear in mind that the official reason that Bush and John Ashcroft sicced the FBI on Sandy Berger, the man who foiled Osama bin Laden's Millenium Plot, was because he'd taken copies of classified materials. (Classified materials, by the way, that he himself had generated while National Security Advisor. Since when does it make sense to charge somebody for "stealing" because he made copies of stuff he himself wrote in the first place. But I digress.)

Anyway, what do the Republicans' Amen Corner in the Wall Street Journal's editorial board propose doing? They insist that all the classified documents be released -- which, by the way, means that they propose doing the very things for which they're attacking Sandy Berger. It's actually worse than what Berger allegedly did, because Berger's copies were only seen by Berger, whereas the WSJ editorial idiots want to put them out publicly, for millions to see.

Now, the possibilities are as follows:

The WSJ editors are incredibly stupid;


they and their friends in the Bush administration understand that, as the 9/11 commissioners themselves have said over and over again, Berger made copies and notes of stuff that is not dangerous at all and can be safely released publicly;


all of the above.

This reminds of a similar anti-Clinton FauxGate over "secret information".

Come back with me, to the thrilling days of yesteryear, when the Republicans and their favorite NYT Whitewater FauxGate pimp stenographer, Jeff Gerth, were trying their best to convince America that Wen Ho Lee, a Taiwanese native, and Bill Clinton, were somehow in cahoots with Evil Red China -- when in fact, the real ChiCom spies had heavy ties to the California branch of the Republican party, and that the laxity of the Reagan and Bush One Administrations was the cause .

The Cox Report was supposed to document the alleged crimes of both Clinton and Wen Ho Lee.

Instead, it did two other things:

It showed that the chief security breaches alleged -- namely, the Communists' stealing missile information -- happened under Reagan and Bush, NOT Bill Clinton;


it in itself, with its easy-to-read full-color exploded-view diagrams of missiles and bombs, was a far greater security breach than anything either Wen Ho Lee or Bill Clinton could ever have dreamed up in Dan Burton's most fevered wet dreams -- and it was posted on the Internet for all to see, and to download.

In other words, just as with the WSJ geniuses today, were have three choices:

The Republican witchhunters back then were morons;


the information really wasn't as dangerous as they claimed it was;


both of the above.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Link: John Swift Boat Veterans John Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Eugene Gaudette Eugene Gaudette, Gene Gaudette, Chris Ruddy, Christopher Ruddy, TrustE, Jeff Koopersmith Link: Ed Gillespie Unelectable Herpes Miserable Failure Venereal Disease Stupid
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