this interview of bill clinton by wallace is fascinating stuff.. find it here: http://thinkprogress.org/clinton-interview
there's a video of the interview too...
My conclusion has to be that President George W. Bush has little interest in finding Osama Bin Laden. Otherwise his actions make no sense. Primarily of course the diversion of resources from Afghanistan to Irak. We know Bin Laden is not in Irak. My conclusion crystallized during the President's last press conference (a week or two ago) when he was asked if the United States would send troops/forces/whatever (can't remember exact word) to Pakistan if the United States knew Bin Laden was hiding there. Bush responded that we couuld not because Pakistan was a sovereign country. This answer was particularly striking because only minutes earlier the President had criticized the United Nations for not sending troops to Darfur even if the Sudanese government, presumably sovereign, objected.
Why do I think this was an important answer by Bush? Becuase I believe he said what he truly believed without giving it too much thought to what he was actually saying. It is not shocking that he said what is perfectly obvious. After all it has been five years since September 11 and have we made any progress in finding Bin Laden??..By all accounts the trailer is colder than a witches tit. By all accounts we find ourselves further than ever from finding him!!!!!! It is obvious that very quickly after the War in Afghanistan the President began a campaign with single minded focus and tenacity of tying Saddam Hussein to evil while downplaying Osama. At times we have even observed the President, unwittingly, give his hand away when he has mistakenly referred to Osama Bin Laden as Saddam Hussein. Lets face it people: the focus since late 2002 has been Irak. Therefore, what is shocking is not what he said but that he said it at all!!!!!
A few days ago the President was asked about this matter again and this time he replied that of course the US would send forces into Pakistan to get Bin Laden if it counted with intelligence that he was in Pakistan. I believe this was a lie. I believe his advisors said to him after the press conference "Mr. President, whether true or not that is simply NOT the correct answer. Next time say that we willl go in and for God's sake man say it like you mean it!"
I don't get the sense the press has reported too much on this story. I remind the reader that this amounts to what the President says on finding the man that we are told is responsible for killing thousands of americans, the man responsible for turning the world upside down, evil incarnate, etc. Well , what he says about that is hardly news. The AP coverage of the press conference had his incredible revelation somewhat buried in the middle of the story. It did, however, point out the Sudan statement without spelling out the obvious inconsistency.
If i was the editor of a newspaper I would have thought the President's confession would be the cover story!
But its not a cover story. Its not really a story at all is it? The story is that Venezuela's President Chavez called Bush the devil or the story is about what specifically amounts to torture (something I think is incredibly obvious! we all know what would be torture if were being tortured, don't we?)...something like that..we are apparently condemned to debate what is torture and what is interrogation for the next fifty years..what a patently absurd waste of time! we know perfectly well that if the US decides to torture it will torture..end of story..the national security interest of the United States, as determined by whoever is president and his appointees and their employees, will not play second fiddle to some arbitrary definition of what constitutes interrogation and what constitutes torture and whats permissible under the geneva convention and what is not... does anyone seriously believe that? yet the press continues to report on this story and bush seems content to let the story live....one has to wonder whats going on there but its not what i wish to focus on here..
i learn that bush met with Pakistan's leader Pervez Musharaff today (a man who became leader via a military coup)..our "friend" pervez apparently recently negotiated some sort of deal where he leaves the tribes in the northern border of his country alone... of course one can assume this is where bin laden would be hiding..the nature of the deal is not entirely clear.. some say its basically a deal by musharraf not to mess with bin laden/taliban in his country..musharaff claims its the opposite.. and bush said today one of his classic phrases "i looked into his eyes and i believed him.." or some such..( a variation on his statement about putin back in 2001 in a pre-september 11 world if you recall.. putin of whom he said "i looked into this man's eyes and saw a man america could do business with.." or some such...the same putin who recently railed about america being "..the wolf.." etc.. the same putin who by all accounts is quite the autocrat etc..the same putin who does not seem to be america's friend... but i digress......
of course bush is going to say that about musharaff.. after all he's perfectly content with the way things are.. if bush really wanted to find bin laden and by all accounts bin laden is somewhere near the pakistani/afghani border..well if he really wanted to find him wouldn't he say something like "its been five years..we are not happy he has not been found.. we expect more results from our pakistani allies..we would like to take a more agressive role in the hunt for this cold blooded killer"...????? but if he did not want to find him.. if he did not care then i think bush would say just what he said which amounts to "the pakistanis are people we can trust.. musharraf is doing what he can..... thank you"...
i mean by all accounts the US is neglecting afghanistan vis a vis irak... by all accounts the US displaced an enemy of bin laden's.. yes saddam hussein.. one hopes the american people begin to wonder about what is going on.. but with a complicit US press it seems difficult.... recently a richard cohen piece in the washington post (september 12) .. a piece aptly titled "Bin Laden Won" made some very asute observations about how the US was doing exactly what was most convenient for Bin Laden.. i don't think the piece got too much play.... the bushies have been very succesful- unbelievably so- in turning bin laden into yesterday's news and tying him to bill clinton... as if when they arrived the problem already existed and they are not responsible for september 11 happening under their watch and they are not responsible for their failure to find him and punish him....
if i did not see it i would not believe it.
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