Wednesday :: Sep 10, 2008

Four More Years Of This?

by Turkana

Those geniuses at the White House have decided to try a new tactic, in their hunt for Osama bin Laden, the guy responsible for the worst terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil, who has successfully escaped justice throughout Bush's presidency. From today's Washington Post:

Frustrated by repeated dead ends in the search for Osama bin Laden, U.S. and Pakistani officials said they are questioning long-held assumptions about their strategy and are shifting tactics to intensify the use of the unmanned but lethal Predator drone spy plane in the mountains of western Pakistan.

The number of Hellfire missile attacks by Predators in Pakistan has more than tripled, with 11 strikes reported by Pakistani officials this year, compared with three in 2007. The attacks are part of a renewed effort to cripple al-Qaeda's central command that began early last year and has picked up speed as President Bush's term in office winds down, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials involved in the operations.

Brilliant idea! Why didn't someone think of that sooner? Well, actually, someone did. As reported more than five years ago, by Ted Bridis and John Solomon, of the Associated Press:

The push to arm Predators and use them to hunt bin Laden was presented to the new Bush administration within days of its inauguration, when top counterterrorism official Richard Clarke cited the 2000 successes for national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and showed videotapes from Predator cameras.

The drones were one component of a broader plan that Clarke, a career government employee, devised during the waning days of Clinton's presidency to go after al-Qaida. But Clinton officials decided just before Christmas to forward the plan to the incoming Bush administration rather than implement it during Clinton's final days, the officials said.

This plan had followed upon the success of the drones, in tracking bin Laden.

But the promising aircraft remained grounded under the new administration until after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, say current and former U.S. officials who describe a paralyzing internal debate over finances, arming the drones with deadly missiles and concern over who would take the blame if something went wrong.

As late as a week before the suicide attacks against New York and Washington, senior administration officials meeting at the White House had not yet resolved questions about plans to equip each Predator with as many as two Hellfire missiles to kill bin Laden, these officials told The Associated Press.

Of course, John McCain is a big fan of Bush's disastrously failed approach to fighting terrorism. As the New York Times reported, four years ago:

''I knew my confidence was well-placed when I watched him stand on the rubble of the World Trade Center, with his arm around a hero of Sept. 11, and in our moment of mourning and anger, strengthen our unity and our resolve by promising to right this terrible wrong and to stand up and fight for the values we hold dear,'' Mr. McCain said.

''He promised our enemies would soon hear from us,'' he said. ''And so they did.''

Yeah. They heard ineptitude and incompetence. As they remain free. Having gotten away with the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil. For which, McCain somehow thinks Bush is praiseworthy.

Turkana :: 10:06 AM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!