Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Terrorism: patriotism vs politics

Short of threatening someone, bloggers can pretty well get away with saying anything they want and criticizing anyone they want - very often in the crudest and harshest of terms. But most are pretty responsible people who do their homework, a euphemism for research, hopefully using credible resources. Reliable sources are not the home pages of political parties or organizations or even other blogs. That's how lies spread.

Politicians are so stupid that they don't realize that whatever they say or do gets recorded for virtual eternity. They don't realize that besides the presence of news sources and other documents on the Internet, there are mega data-bases that make the world wide web seem rather clunky.

In a matter of minutes information from hundreds of publications can be searched, all at the same time, going back to the early 1980s in Dialog, Lexis-Nexis and Dow Jones News Service. So, politicians need to use caution before pointing fingers, making irresponsible statements and lying. Whatever they do or say can come back to haunt them later on.

Irresponsible statements would be the criticism coming from Republican quarters about President Obama's thinking on and handling of terrorist activities. We've had a year of lies from Republican congressmen and their golden girl, Sarah Palin. Obviously, health care reform and the bailouts were wrapped in politics.

But when a tragedy or potential tragedy of horrific proportions occurs, patriotism and carefully worded pronouncements should take precedence over petty, small-minded, offensive politics. Maybe the fear of being charged with treason after 9/11 and the shoe bomber is why the Democrats kept their mouths shut and supported President Bush and Rumsfeld - spelled with a D.

The first person I would lock up and keep in shackles would be former Vice President Dick Cheney. He's such an irresponsible lose canon that maybe psychiatric care in a maximum security ward would be preferable.

Cheney told Politico, "As I've watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war."

"Flat out untrue," says Eugene Robinson.

The fact is that Obama has said many times that we are at war against terrorists. He said it as a candidate. He said it in his inaugural address: "Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred." He has said it since.

It happens that at least two men who were released from Guantanamo appear to have gone on to play major roles as al-Qaeda lieutenants in Yemen. Who let these dangerous people out of our custody? They were set free by the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Here is the one that jumps out at me: The president, Cheney claims, "seems to think that if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won't be at war."

It happens that at least two men who were released from Guantanamo appear to have gone on to play major roles as al-Qaeda lieutenants in Yemen. Who let these dangerous people out of our custody? They were set free by the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Politico points out that while "Cheney and other Republicans have accused Obama of a muted response to the attack, President George W. Bush was quieter for much longer about the attack by shoe bomber Richard Reid in December 2001."

After six days, when he discussed - for the first time - the incident at his Crawford, Texas ranch where he was vacationing, Bush said, "We've got to be aware that there are still enemies to the country. And our government is responding accordingly." Cheney had criticized Obama for a "low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people. . . ."

The day before, Politico reports, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had refused to comment other than to say, "That's a matter that's in the hands of the law enforcement people."

That's about all the Cheney this blogger can take, but there are other non-patriots.
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich) voted against funding for the TSA but has been viciously critical of Obama's handling of the bomb threat - even using the issue in a fund-raising letter. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has also criticized the president for his reaction to the terrorist attempt. DeMint has actively campaigned against appointing a TSA head for fear that the agency would go union. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) chimes in, accusing Obama of being too soft on terrorism. Next they'll be saying he's too soft on Communism


  1. The hypocrisy of these idiots is only equaled by the stupidity of their followers. They have no credibility at all. They open their mouths and nothing but crap comes out. And the press reports it without fact checking. Liberal press, yea right!

  2. I would like to think that hypocrisy of those Republican leaders who have chosen this opportunity to attack the President would somehow come back to haunt them. However it seems that the public's memory is only goes back to the last person who was shouting at them.
    Just as the health care issue, there is a real problem to be tackled, however the opponents of the President spend so much energy attacking him, that the actual problem is not addressed. Or at least not addressed by both sides of the aisle. We have reached a sad state of affairs indeed when the elected officials of the party not in power don't care about being part of the solution.

  3. did you see Rachel tonight? I couldn't wait to put up the video! The GOP=Hypocrites!!!

  4. I used to give Republicans the benefit of the doubt and just thought their actions were a bad judgment of choosing this political strategy. In fact, they are just stupid.

  5. Tom I think it goes deeper than stupid. They are downright evil, they are liars, deceivers, manipulators, hypocritical snakes. I could go on and on but I better stop since I have no spell check! :-)

  6. JC: "And the press reports it without fact checking."

    Or analyzing and then informing the public. I could say I'm ashamed I ever worked for the media but I did have a hell of a good time. But things have changed and not for the better. They bow to the advertisers, they no longer have standards or courage. They really don't even have good news judgement.

    Mycue: I think this may come back to haunt them. Hoekstra is running for governor of Michigan, which is the same as a misplaced Tennessee. He's already receiving some criticism, even from the right - and of course his Republican opponent who would be a full not take advantage of this golden opportunity. I think it was Seymour Lipset who wrote that public memory is short.

    Tom: I used to think there were some decent Republicans until they lost their courage. They dare not say anything disparaging about one of their renegade co-workers for fear of losing funding for the next election. They really don't care or give a thought to what's best for the country or the American people. I have a whole string of epithets I could use but that would take an entire post.

    And Sue, my friend: I'm probably the only one in America without cable, so I rely on you to put up the hot stuff.I'll email you and tell you how to get spell-check and a dictionary on your blog. I couldn't live without them.

    I'm so thrilled to see all of you and hope you'll return. I can't tell you how nice it's been since blocking Mr/Ms Anon.

  7. I voted in 1976 for the first time and then I was content to sit back and not vote again until 2004...

    But watching all the crap of the 2000 election then watching to Swift Boat Veterans in 2004 it became obvious that the Republicans were not interested in anything other than power and that they would say and do anything to keep power made me realize that they were against everything that this country stood for...

    Now for Dick Cheney to get up and say what he said in light of the fact that this Nigerian kid, who attempted to blow up the plane on Christmas day got his visa to travel to the United States under the Bush/Cheney Administration and that the two leaders of Al Qaeda in Yemen were released from Gitmo under the Bush/Cheney Administration it is obvious that the Republicans will do and say anything to stay in power...

    Its time for an investigation of Cheney and all his shenigans while Vice President.

    The man is a traitor...a hired political hack for special interests.

  8. The Republicans are not talking to you or I, they are not talking to people who remember what they said last year or 10 years ago, they are talking to their base and the independents. We will never vote for them, they know that, keeping the base loyal and winning back the independents is the goal. Swing voters win elections. The corporate media goes along because it's good copy to hear a former vice-president criticizing a sitting president, it shows how interested they are in good journalism when very few of them bother to rebut his comments that are dripping with lies. What a country we have, on the one hand creative, artistic, a scientific community that is second to none, on the other hand millions of people believe that Obama is a secret Muslim who was born in Kenya and that Sarah Palin is the messiah.

  9. I can see it now. A plane is wrecked in midair by a terrorist bomb. As it plummets toward the ground, the last thought of all the passengers is: "Well, it could be worse. The terrorist could have been stopped by a unionized security screener."

  10. TAO: You and I are thinking alike. In fact, I was going to suggest that Cheney be tried for treason but decided it might sound a little "extreme."

    Definition of treason:

    1. the offense of acting to overthrow one's government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
    2. a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state.
    3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

    Holte: "What a country we have,
    . . . millions of people believe that Obama is a secret Muslim who was born in Kenya and that Sarah Palin is the messiah."

    And supposedly intelligent/responsible people are stirring the pot.

    Infidel: A great analogy. Maybe the Republicans are ashamed of what might be seen with the scanners.

  11. LP,
    I realize I'm the skunk at the party here, but in the interest of open dialogue, Obama certainly said some things as a candidate that haven't come to fruition while he's president. Many of them I'm sure you aren't too happy with.

    All candidates talk a good game, but eventually reality smacks them in the face. I think Obama has been right to continue predator strikes against terrorists, although those are really an easy decision not putting anyone in harm's way and all.

    Putting the surge into play in Afghanistan was right, although a little too tortured for me. Closing Gitmo will be a mistake, if for no other reason than its an economic hit again setting up another prison, somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion dollars.

    I think he and Bush both overspent our money. I won't even go into the economic or health care situations as I'm sure you know my stance there.

    My closing statement would be one of irony. It certainly isn't as fun defending a president from criticism as it is doing the criticizing. That criticism gets through a thin skin.

    Good day.

  12. Law: All good points - and you don't have to tiptoe around. I think all of us enjoys divergent views. Blogs - and life - would be awfully dull if we just sat around echoing each other's thoughts. As for me, I feel I learn, if not agree, with the well reasoned opposition.

    Being a history teacher, I think you know that there's never been a candidate who, intentionally or in the heat/excitement of the moment, hasn't made comments or promises that he hasn't wanted to eat later on.

    No, I haven't agreed with everything Obama has said or not said, and done or not done. But all-in-all I think there's a lot of proof that he has accomplished a tremendous amount in his first year. A lot of them are small things, which is why we may not have been aware of them.

    Here are a few of sites worth visiting. DemWit's is a straight forward list of 90 items. The others are more talky, talky but good reads - just not all at once.

    "It certainly isn't as fun defending a president from criticism as it is doing the criticizing." Ah, so true. We Dems are a little out of practice on the defensive play.


    Frank Schaeffer:

    Andrew Sullivan writing in The Atlantic:

    Andrew Sullivan writing in the London Times: