Friday, September 22, 2006

Clinton Didn't Need Torture To Fight Terror, So Why Does Bush?

By MARC McDONALD

The recent clash between George W. Bush and three rebel Republican senators over the interrogation of accused terrorism suspects brings to mind a question that I haven't seen the mainstream media talk about. That is: how is it that President Clinton was able to successfully counter terrorism without resorting to torture and other illegal and immoral activities that have tarnished the name of the United States?

Bush likes to say that Sept. 11, 2001 marked the dawn of a new era and that "everything changed" on that date. I say bullsh*t. Nothing changed. We already knew that Al-Qaeda was targeting America. We already knew Al-Qaeda was plotting to hijack airliners and crash them into buildings. We already knew that Al-Qaeda was interested in bringing down the World Trade Center towers (something they'd already attempted once).

Bush would have known all this, too, had he bothered to read his PDBs in August 2001, which specifically warned that Osama bin Laden was planning to strike inside the U.S.

Bush likes to ramble on about "the lessons of 9/11," like he's some sort of seasoned expert on preventing terrorism--even though 9/11 happened on his watch.

NeoCons have worked hard to try to portray the Clinton years as a "failure" in the War on Terror. But it's important to remember that the Clinton years were a hugely successful era for countering terror. What's more, Clinton was able to fight terrorism without resorting to torture. Nor did he need to use all the other shady, immoral methods that Bush has employed since 2001.

How successful was Clinton in fighting terror? Let us count the ways.

For a start, take a look at how Clinton responded to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The terrorists who were responsible were promptly captured, tried and imprisoned. Quite a contrast to the 2001 WTC attacks. Here we are, five years later, and Bin Laden still roams free.

Clinton thwarted at least 15 major terrorist plots on his watch, including a plan to simultaneously blow up 12 U.S. airliners over the Pacific. He also prevented attacks aimed at the Israeli embassy in Washington, the UN headquarters, U.S. airports in Boston and Los Angeles, as well as a plot to blow up the Lincoln Tunnel.

Clinton successfully fought terror without resorting to torture. He did it without alienating the rest of the world, including America's closest allies. He did it without bankrupting the U.S. He did it without running Nazi-style secret CIA prisons. He did it without illegal wiretaps. He did it without shredding the U.S. Constitution. He did it without sullying the good name of the United States and making us the most hated nation on the planet.

By contrast, Bush has embraced torture, as well as a sickening collection of other immoral and illegal activities.

But has Bush's approach to tackling terrorism worked? The numbers tell the story.

Terrorist attacks worldwide are at an all-time high. Despite Bush's claims that "we're winning" the war on terror, the U.S. State Department reported in April that the number of terrorist attacks worldwide increased nearly fourfold in 2005 to 11,111, with strikes in Iraq accounting for 30 percent of the total. The attacks killed more than 14,600 noncombatants, including 56 Americans.

5 comments:

creature said...

But... but... he lied about a blowjob...

Anonymous said...

I don't trust the Bush White House on any issue. But still, it's hard to fathom that they're planning war on Iran as an "October Surprise." The U.S. military's infrastructure and assets have been so degraded and battered by the Iraq fiasco that I'm not sure that it's in the necessary condition it needs to be in in order to launch another major war.

Anonymous said...

Dick gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and safe because some tree-hugging liberal fought for high water-quality standards.
With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.
All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - and now Dick gets it, too.
He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Dick's bacon is safe to eat because some girlie-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat-packing industry.
In the morning shower, Dick reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby granola liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body.
Dick dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our atmosphere.
He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.
Dick begins his work day. He has a good job with good pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some commie leftist union members fought and died for these working standards.
Dick's employer pays these standards because Dick's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Dick is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some ridiculous liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.
It's noontime and Dick needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Dick's deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who gamed the banking system just before the Great Depression.
Dick has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some liberal whiner decided that Dick and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.
Dick is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal traitor fought for car safety standards.
He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal (FDR) stuck his nose where it didn't belong and created the rural electrification act.
He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking,
quiche-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Dick wouldn't have to.
Dick gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved conservative Republicans fought against every protection and benefit Dick enjoys throughout his day.

Anonymous said...

Liberals focus on how horrible the Bush presidency has been. But this latest Congress, the 109th, has to rank as one of the worst in our nation's history. If there isn't major turnover in November, then there is clearly something wrong with our electoral system.

Anonymous said...

How else do you get someone to admit to something they didn't do??