Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Cognitive Dissonance

Thy name is Bush (courtesy Richard Cohen):

[...] Don Rumsfeld assured us nearly two years ago that wherever bin Laden is, "you can be certain that he's having one dickens of a time operating his apparatus." The U.S. ground commander in Afghanistan at the time was even more confident. "We don't have to find him," Lt. Gen. Dan McNeil said of bin Laden, "because we're going to shut down his terrorist apparatus."

But somehow, this terrorist whose capture did not matter all that much, whose apparatus would be shut down by Pentagon apparatchiks, has now caused much of Washington to break out in hives. The election may be interrupted. New York may be attacked. Still, we are safe. Check that: We are safer. In fact, we are both safe and not safe because, as the record makes clear, it is both important to get bin Laden and not important to get him -- depending, of course, on which mistake some nincompoop is trying to excuse.

The most solemn obligation of a president is to keep us safe. This is something Bush has not done. Not only did Sept. 11 occur on his watch but nearly 900 Americans have been killed in Iraq, a war that could have waited . . . maybe forever. [...]


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