....LMB: "Mindlessly Anti-Bush"....

June 25, 2003

It's no secret that I hate George W. Bush. But I'd like to think that my desire to get the man out of office (and ideally into a prison cell) does not overwhelm the rest of my faculties and values. But it seems like some lefty-minded folk have let their drive to oust Bush get the better of them.

Here's the story: it appears that before 9-11, Bush had opportunities to kill Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan using the CIA's predator drones, but failed to order the attack. And now some liberals are flogging Bush (or at least his abilities to protect the nation) for this failure.

Well, first let's properly describe the situation.

Bush had the opportunity to order an assassination of bin Laden, and didn't. If he had, such an act would have been illegal. Presidents are prohibited from ordering assassinations.

So... liberals are criticizing the president for following the rules of his office and not assassinating someone. That's not the usual line liberals take.

I also feel the need to point out that assassinating bin Laden would not necessarily have prevented the 9-11 attacks. Sure, it's possible that killing bin Laden might have disrupted Al Qaeda, or that if bin Laden was the one who designed or ordered the 9-11 attacks that those plans and orders never would have come into existence. Or... maybe those terrorists who hijacked the planes would have done the exact same thing.

I also feel fairly certain that if this situation were reversed, if Bill Clinton was under attack for failing to assassinate bin Laden, that the liberals would be defending him by bringing up all the points that I just did.

Partisanship. It ain't pretty.

Of course, we can look at the current scenario objectively. Is it morally acceptable to assassinate someone? Is it acceptable for the president to be able to assassinate people? If not, is Osama bin Laden a special case in which it would have been acceptable? Would this assassination have been the smartest tactic to use? Did the intelligence data at the time suggest that bin Laden was a threat worthy of using this creepy kill power? And probably on most people's minds, would this assassination have protected the Americans who died on September 11? Lots of questions, lots of room for debate, very few answers.

Posted by Jake at 06:53 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Much as I agree with the spirit of your post, I do have to disagree with one point. See this. Right or wrong (and I think it's wrong) the Administration has crossed over the "assassination" line many times. By merely redefining the term. Before the war, there was a CIA drone in Yemen that killed - I mean assassinated - a bunch of alleged Al Qaeda members...

So the question, I think rightfully so, is why didn't they just do this when the Boogey Man supreme was the target?

As I said, just a minor point. Not meant to disagree with your real point...

Posted by: John Constantine at June 26, 2003 01:03 PM

Whoops. My link didn't seem to make it into the comment. Here it is: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/special/terror/front/1108549

Posted by: John Constantine at June 26, 2003 01:13 PM

I'm very aware that the White House often doesn't play by its own rules (and according to several articles I saw, it is "arguable" whether or not the Executive Order banning assassinations actual bans the president from ordering assassinations.

According to the article I linked to, it was infighting and possibly incompetence that prevented the bin Laden hit. I also have to wonder if the "let's do the opposite of what Clinton did" mindset of the Bush administration had anything to do with it.

Posted by: Jake at June 26, 2003 04:09 PM

What amuses me about this whole concept of what's "morally acceptable" is the fact that everything suddenly becomes "morally acceptable" when GW says so. We're going to go tit for tat on whether or not we should've popped Mr. Osama when we had the chance, but all the while we're flying drones over Iraq targeting every suspicious convoy we can set our sneaky little sights on. What makes that morally acceptable? What's the moral difference between ordering the killing of a dozen people, vice the killing of one person? The more the merrier? Better yet...to ask the big question here, what's the moral difference between ordering the pre-emptive attack of a sovereign nation, killing over 3,000 civilians, and ordering the death of one man? Give me a break. The pooch got screwed.

However, I guarantee you, killing the "boogey man" wouldn't have changed a thing. We place ole Osama up on this mythical pedestal, giving him all the credit, making him out to be this massive evil mind that controls all things terrorist, but the man just provides a little cash and training to an already fanatic group of idealists. They won't stop just because we take him out. Sorry guys, no dice. You want to stop terrorists from taking pot shots at us and our buildings? Try a decade or so of new foreign policy and a serious image makeover via a well-paid Hollywood publicist.

Posted by: Don at June 26, 2003 09:35 PM

What amuses me about this whole concept of what's "morally acceptable" is the fact that everything suddenly becomes "morally acceptable" when GW says so. We're going to go tit for tat on whether or not we should've popped Mr. Osama when we had the chance, but all the while we're flying drones over Iraq targeting every suspicious convoy we can set our sneaky little sights on. What makes that morally acceptable? What's the moral difference between ordering the killing of a dozen people, vice the killing of one person? The more the merrier? Better yet...to ask the big question here, what's the moral difference between ordering the pre-emptive attack of a sovereign nation, killing over 3,000 civilians, and ordering the death of one man? Give me a break. The pooch got screwed.

However, I guarantee you, killing the "boogey man" wouldn't have changed a thing. We place ole Osama up on this mythical pedestal, giving him all the credit, making him out to be this massive evil mind that controls all things terrorist, but the man just provides a little cash and training to an already fanatic group of idealists. They won't stop just because we take him out. Sorry guys, no dice. You want to stop terrorists from taking pot shots at us and our buildings? Try a decade or so of new foreign policy and a serious image makeover via a well-paid Hollywood publicist.

Posted by: Don at June 26, 2003 09:35 PM

What amuses me about this whole concept of what's "morally acceptable" is the fact that everything suddenly becomes "morally acceptable" when GW says so. We're going to go tit for tat on whether or not we should've popped Mr. Osama when we had the chance, but all the while we're flying drones over Iraq targeting every suspicious convoy we can set our sneaky little sights on. What makes that morally acceptable? What's the moral difference between ordering the killing of a dozen people, vice the killing of one person? The more the merrier? Better yet...to ask the big question here, what's the moral difference between ordering the pre-emptive attack of a sovereign nation, killing over 3,000 civilians, and ordering the death of one man? Give me a break. The pooch got screwed.

However, I guarantee you, killing the "boogey man" wouldn't have changed a thing. We place ole Osama up on this mythical pedestal, giving him all the credit, making him out to be this massive evil mind that controls all things terrorist, but the man just provides a little cash and training to an already fanatic group of idealists. They won't stop just because we take him out. Sorry guys, no dice. You want to stop terrorists from taking pot shots at us and our buildings? Try a decade or so of new foreign policy and a serious image makeover via a well-paid Hollywood publicist.

Posted by: Don at June 26, 2003 09:36 PM

I am deeply sorry for the trio of posts, browser went haywire for a minute. I assure you I was not THAT hellbent on having my post read as to post it three times.

Posted by: Don at June 26, 2003 09:38 PM

Have you read Gore Vidal's "Dreaming War"? He believes that the September 11 attacks might have been pre-emptive since the Bush administration was already planning on attacking Afghanistan...for oil interests. Unocal wanted to build a pipeline through there but didn't trust the stability of the Taliban government.

Posted by: DMJ at July 5, 2003 12:05 AM

Here's a revealing link:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MAD201A.html

The new Prime Minister of Afghanistan, Karzai, was a consultant for Unocal. Also, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Khalilzad, was also a consultant for Unocal. The Bush administration is brazen with it's schemes for oil, and yet our press turns a blind eye to it. Unless you think these guys links to Unocal are just a coincidence.

My point is that Bush didn't go with the Clinton plan because he had a plan of his own. Why go with a drone and get one man, when you can go with full scale war and control of a country?

Posted by: DMJ at July 5, 2003 12:47 AM

That's new, innovative, unique! Wow! America is the 'root-cause' of the terrorist attacks... now why didn't I think of that?

Maybe I got distracted by the religious leaders of Islam, weekly fanning hatred for technological advance, equality of men and women, individual rights, freedom of speech, and the Great Satan nation which encourages those, daily...

"America gets full control of a country..." Hey, just goes to show how STUPID those earlier presidents were, giving whole countries BACK TO the Germans, the Italians and the Japanese... Think what those would be worth TODAY?

Posted by: Eye Opener at July 10, 2003 05:34 AM

Well I, for one, am glad that you have and exhibit in plain view your strength of character, in your courageous enquiry into ISSUES, despite (Mr Pres or Whoever). I find it refreshing and encouraging.

Now to find some similar on the OTHER end of the spectrum...

Posted by: Sharpshooter at July 10, 2003 05:48 AM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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