The road goes ever on and on, down from the liberal sinkhole where it began:
WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on Tuesday defended the decision to tighten security in New York and Washington even though the intelligence behind the latest terror warnings was as much as four years old.
So I was having a conversation with a friend the other night, and I mentioned how much I like Cheney and Rumsfeld, mostly because they just don’t take a lot of crap from reporters. Once, just once, I’d love to see a press conference that went something like this:
Press: “Mr. Ridge, how do you respond to charges that this security alert is really a scare tactic being used for political purposes by the Bush administration?”
Ridge: “Christ almighty, what is it with you people? You’ve spent a couple of years asking why we didn’t prevent 9/11, calling for an investigation, asking ‘how much did Bush know and when did he know it?’ You blamed us for something we failed to prevent after eight months in office, and yet to this day you give the Clinton admin a free pass, even though he had eight years — eight fucking years, people — to do something about al Qaeda and didn’t do one goddamned thing.
“You finally get your investigation, the results of which confirm most of what we’d been saying all along, but you don’t want to hear that any more than you wanted to hear about the fact that one of the Democrat commissioners, Jamie Gorelick, was responsible for the so-called “wall of separation” prohibiting information-sharing between the FBI and CIA, which nearly everyone now acknowledges was one of the biggest problems preventing any effective defense against terrorist networks. You do deign to acknowledge that problem, but the part you originally claimed to be most interested in — who was responsible — is suddenly not so interesting anymore the moment you realized you couldn’t reasonably blame us for it.
“You insist that Condi and Bush must testify publicly to the commission (even though Condi had already testified once), but it doesn’t seem to bother you when Clinton gets to testify behind closed doors. You laud Richard Clarke’s and Joe Wilson’s credibility, but when it’s clearly shown that they’re liars you don’t seem to want to bring it up anymore. You hint at all sorts of sinister skullduggery on our part, but when Sandy Berger openly admits to stealing classified documents for God only knows what reason, you couldn’t care less.
“Meanwhile, al Qaeda continues to plot and scheme, and we all know that these major attacks aren’t something that Osama and a few others cobble together over tea and crumpets on Wednesday afternoon and then perpetrate the following Friday lunch. We go to no little trouble to get what information we have out there in hopes that people will be more alert and perhaps be of some help in their own defense, and also in hopes that al Qaeda will know we’re awake to the threat and will possibly cancel out. And damned if you people don’t find some way to bitch about that.
“You piss and moan about everything we’ve done to deal with the threat — and when you’re not complaining about how little we’re doing about it, you’re complaining that we’re either doing too much, doing the wrong things, or even worse, you try to claim that there isn’t a threat in the first place.
“We go after al Qaeda and its sponsoring government in Afghanistan — and you complain about it. We identify an emerging threat in Saddam’s Iraq — and everybody but you Einsteins and those who still swallow your thin gruel whole knows he was a threat not only to us but to his neighbors in the Middle East; hell, he’d only been shooting at our pilots for ten fucking years, which is apparently not enough to qualify as a threat for you security experts — and you take time out from the last several years’ worth of bitching about how awful the sanctions against him are (sanctions which were on the way to collapsing completely, by the way) to complain about the fact that we actually had the temerity to not just identify the threat, but do something about it.
“You still insist that a Democrat, any Democrat, would do a better job of defending the country than we have, but in the meantime there have been no — repeat, no, zip, zero, nada — successful attacks on US soil since 9/11, and we both know that ain’t because of the fine job Clinton did in scaring them off, or because John Kerry spent four months in Vietnam on his way to a career as a professional political nonentity. We free 50 million — that’s 50 with six zeros behind it for you economics-beat reporters — oppressed Muslims and you guys don’t notice anything but a handful of prisoners with panties on their heads and a shitload of illegal combatants in Gitmo getting fat and sloppy from their ‘inhuman’ bondage.
“You care about the Geneva Conventions — irrelevant in this war because our opponents have certainly neither signed on to it nor abided by it — only when you think you might be able to use it to help pour another bucket of shame and contrition over American heads. You care about freedom and liberty and democracy only when you’re whining about “stifling of dissent” here at home — even in the middle of dissenting at the top of your lungs with no repercussions beyond the ridicule of the still-sane — and not about the fact that 90% of eligible Afghans are now registered to vote. You worry about civilian casualties in the war, but not so much that you can’t find a way to hint now and then that maybe three thousand office workers in the WTC might’ve had it coming in some small way because Reagan thought the Sandinistas sucked. You paint us as the enemy, when most Americans know we’ve got enemies aplenty without having to waste time fooling around with nut-job Art Bell-like conspiracy theories to find them here at home.
“You show endless repeats of that panty-on-the-head video because it’s awful and Americans have a right to know the whole truth, but atrocities committed by our enemies are carefully hidden away. Hell, you won’t even show footage of 9/11 anymore because Americans might actually remember it and wonder who the hell’s side you’re on in the first place. Shit, you people don’t even have the stones to show videos of Islamist whackjob imams calling for our destruction at wholesale rates in mosques all over the world. But if Falwell offered Muslims the choice between conversion or violent death you’d be all over it with both feet — and you’d blame Bush for the fact that Falwell was nuts.
“You complain about divisiveness and uncivil discourse, but Bush is a Nazi and all Republicans are extremist right-wing religious maniacs. You call Dick Cheney Bush’s “hitman” but Howard Dean is just a reasonable Democrat floating interesting ideas about terror alerts. Israelis are genocidal monsters for building a security fence to keep murderers from their midst, but the Palestinian killers they’re trying to thwart are ‘militants.’ Terrorists in Iraq trying to kill not only our servicemen and women but any civilians they can get within machete’s reach of are ‘gunmen’ or ‘extremists’ — when a handful of you aren’t gushing outright about how they’re no different from George Washington. Who owned slaves, let’s never forget, the dirty terrorist.
“Wonder how awful you people would think it was if any Al Jazeera reporters “destroyed their credibility and objectivity” by wearing little pins identifying them as jihad supporters in their lapels? I bet it wouldn’t bother you nearly as much as Fox News reporters’ wearing American flags in theirs seems to.
“You bitch about how horrible and irresponsible SUVs are and drive them yourselves. You complain that Bush misled the entire world, and applaud the “importance” of a movie that is nothing but a steaming, stinking pile of innuendo-laden propaganda. Politicians who have money are “oligarchs,” unless they’re Democrats. Campaign finance reform is a wonderful thing, until it works against Democrats. American gun owners are talked about as if they were terrorists, and terrorists are talked about as if they were simply misunderstood children. And the only time you even use the word “terrorist” at all anymore is when they’re attacking the hotel in Baghdad where you all cower and file reports from.
“You decry the importance of cheap oil to the world’s economy and complain about what a terrible thing higher gas prices were earlier this year — and it’s all Bush’s fault again, of course. You talk about how vital it is to have France’s support in the WoT when France said in no uncertain terms that they would never, ever support enforcing the UN’s own resolutions against Saddam. You talk about our “unilateralism” when we went to Iraq with the support of nearly 40 countries, and you lament the “rush to war” when we spent more than a year at the UN begging for them to make themselves useful for once.
“You bitch about how awful corporate corruption is, and can’t be bothered with reporting on a UN oil-for-bribes scandal that makes the gang at Enron look like a bunch of half-assed pikers, like kids toilet-papering a suburban lawn on Halloween. You talk about how the Bush admin calls its opponents “unAmerican” — not bothering at all with the fact that we’ve never actually done it — but when your choice for future first lady does precisely that, you get pissed off because an actual journalist has the audacity to ask her for a clarification.
“Al Gore tried his damnedest to steal the election in 2000 and failed, and you guys still claim that Bush not only tried to, but did. Gore failed because the Supreme Court finally stepped in to put a halt to Gore’s shenanigans, and you guys lament a supposed “activism” on the part of the Supremes that you’ve spent the last thirty years applauding.
“You complain that Bush has no ‘exit strategy’ in Iraq, no plan for ‘winning the peace’ — as if any plan ever survives first contact with the enemy, as any first-year West Point cadet knows — but you don’t go after Kerry when he refuses to talk about his “secret plan” to get us out of there – a Nixonian subterfuge if there ever was one, and we all remember how much you guys liked him. You take the word of insane dictators on simple blind faith, but if Bush mentions that he took a dump this morning after two cups of coffee you’ll claim he’s lying and call for an investigation.
“You people are, frankly, full of shit. It’s damned if we do and damned if we don’t with you Clymers, and I’m beginning to wonder why we even bother at all. No wonder nobody but yourselves and those pitiful few poor saps you still manage to fool pays much attention to you anymore. It’s too damned bad it’s come to this, but it’s your own damned fault.
“No more questions. Shove it.”