Bush is finally getting serious about catching bin Laden - seven years late (h/t Digby):
My goodness. I wonder why they're suddenly interested in actually pursuing terrorists into countries where they're actually hiding? Couldn't have a thing to do with an upcoming election the Cons are bound to lose and the fact that Obama's taken them to the woodshed over their failures, now, could it?
U.S. ground forces crossed the border from Afghanistan and attacked suspected al Qaeda targets in Pakistan on Wednesday as part of an aggressive new strategy to kill or capture Osama bin Laden before President Bush leaves office, U.S. officials said.
The strategy also appears intended to take advantage of political turmoil in Pakistan, where militants associated with Pakistan's Taliban movement attempted to kill the prime minister Wednesday and parliament is due to elect a new president on Saturday.
"I know the hunt is on; they're pulling out all the stops," said a Defense Department official with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be named. "They are leaving no stone unturned. They want to find bin Laden before the president leaves office and ensure that al Qaeda will not attack the U.S. during the upcoming elections."
You'll note that Obama said, way back when, he'd do something like this if he had "actionable intelligence" and Pakistan refused to act. Reports are still sparse, but it seems like the Bush regime went off half-cocked, and doesn't seem to have even bothered talking to Pakistan about their plans:
Nadeem Kiani, a spokesman for the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, said representatives of his government met with U.S. Ambassador Anne W. Patterson in Islamabad on Wednesday to protest the strike and complain that the United States did "not coordinate the operation with Pakistan."
Impulsive as always. I'll lay you odds that they acted on shoddy intelligence, the mission suffered from poor planning from start to finish, and all they're going to get out of it is a pissed-off Pakistan and gloating terrorists. They don't fucking know how to fight wars, people.
In his fourth book on President Bush, called “The War Within,” journalist Bob Woodward reveals a president who was hardly at the helm of his own Iraq war policy. The Washington Post offered a preview of the book:
According to Woodward, the president maintained an odd detachment from the reviews of war policy during this period, turning much of the process over to [National Security Adviser Stephen] Hadley. “Let’s cut to the chase,” Bush told Woodward, “Hadley drove a lot of this.” […]
In response to a question about how the White House settled on a troop surge of five brigades after the military leadership in Washington had reluctantly said it could provide two, Bush said: “Okay, I don’t know this. I’m not in these meetings, you’ll be happy to hear, because I got other things to do.”
He's got "other things to do." The fucking "Commander in Chief" has "other things to do." He's not in these meetings deciding the military details of the war. He's being driven by other people.
It's his legacy, but it's not his fault.
Un. Fucking. Be. Lieve. Able.
And John "We only mentioned I was a POW 14 times" McCain wants us to believe that he and his team are the ones who will lead America to victory and change, you know, stuff, and other things that sound really nice until you ask for substance. Let's just keep one thing in mind, here. These people can't even choose a vice presidential candidate that can be trusted not to make an ass of herself in front of the press:
Yesterday, McCain adviser Nicolle Wallace dismissed the fact that Gov. Sarah Palin has yet to take any questions from the press. “So what?” she scoffed. Today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, campaign strategist Rick Davis suggested Palin might never sit down for an interview if, he said, it’s “in our best interest” to keep her away from the media:
SCARBOROUGH: Yesterday Nicolle Wallace suggested that she was sitting right there and told Jay Carney of Time magazine ‘Sarah Palin doesn’t have to talk to you, she doesn’t’ have to talk to the press.’ … Can we expect Sarah Palin on Meet the Press and other one on one interviews throughout the course of this campaign?
DAVIS: We’re going to do whatever we think is the best to win. We have 60 days left and if we think it’s a good idea to go out there and do those shows, we’ll do them.
SCARBOROUGH: Can you avoid it? Meet the Press?
DAVIS: We can afford anything we want to do. … We’re going to do what we think is in our best interest. If that means access to the press, we’ll give it to you.
And what have they decided's in their best interest? Heh:
Right there with all the mooseburgers, I'm sure.
Judging from his public statements shortly after he announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain thought she had opposed the Bridge to Nowhere. She hadn't. He thought she had sold the state's executive jet on eBay and made a profit on it. On both counts, she didn't. He thought she had cut taxes as both mayor and governor. She hadn't. He apparently thought she had fully explained her part in pressuring the state police chief to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She hasn't. He thought she was an enemy of earmarks and federal pork. In fact, she was a pioneer of both. And now Marc Ambinder confirms that Palin is being kept deeply under wraps:
A senior McCain campaign official advises that, despite the gaggle of requests and pressure from the media, Gov. Sarah Palin won't submit to a formal interview anytime soon. She may take some questions from local news entities in Alaska, but until she's ready — and until she's comfortable — which might not be for a long while — the media will have to wait. The campaign believes it can effectively deal with the media's complaints, and their on-the-record response to all this will be: "Sarah Palin needs to spend time with the voters."
The McCain campaign is scared to death. They knew nothing about Palin before they announced her, they relied on a cursory vetting process that has turned out to be shot full of holes, they realize now that she has no settled views on any issue of national importance and could blurt out anything at any time, and they're terrified about what might crop up next. So they're keeping her in the deep freeze.
They're right to be concerned. The media's showing a disconcerting (or delightful, depending on your POW POV) tendency to stop drooling all over McBBQ and start biting. McCain's lies have become so egregious that even Faux News - Faux fucking News - has called bullshit:
We talked the other day about a surprising Washington Post editorial, which criticized John McCain's demonstrably false claims about Barack Obama's tax policies. Hiatt & Co., hardly a reliably liberal bunch, didn't pull any punches, concluding that "McCain's ads on taxes are just plain false," and noting his campaign's message is peddling a "phony, misleading and at times outright dishonest" line. The Post indirectly noted that candidates shouldn't "outright lie" about each other's policy positions.
How transparent are McCain's bogus claims? Even Fox News has noticed. Consider this report from Major Garrett:
Based on the crowd reaction to recent attacks from Barack Obama and Joe Biden about John McCain's tax policy, the Republican nominee may have something to worry about. [...]
The crowds roar with approval when Obama and Biden describe their plans for a middle class tax cut and boo loudly at statistics showing how McCain's continuation of the Bush tax cuts favor the wealthy. Of course, these are partisan Obama crowds. But it would be unwise for anyone seriously backing McCain to dismiss their full-throated roars for Obama-Biden on an issue that historically has favored the GOP nominee. [...]
Add to this the mounting evidence that McCain's TV commercials assailing Obama's tax policy contain serious distortions, if not out-right lies.
Holy fucking shit, Batman! I think that was Faux News doing some actual reporting! And it might be a trend - at least with Faux News reporters whose names end in "arrett." Here's Greg Jarrett merrily taking a machete to the "Palin's gots lotsa foreign policy experience" myth:
JARRETT: But she has no foreign policy experience. She doesn’t know anything about —
HARBER: But she does. She does have foreign policy experience.
JARRETT: She does?
HARBER: Now let me point out, she’s worked with Russia – she’s worked with Russia on fishing issues. She’s worked with Canada on transportation issues.
JARRETT: In what capacity has she worked with Russia?
HARBER: She worked with permitting issues and with fishing issues dealing with the sea fishing industry there in Alaska.
JARRETT: Oh, come on. That’s a far cry from major international experience.
Now if only he'd called bullshit on Harber's earlier claim that Palin's visited the Middle East as many times as Obama, Faux News may have been in the running for a cub reporter's badge.