Join 3,432 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Ashcroft rejected counterterrorism funds on Sept. 10
April 13, 2004 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Ashcroft rejected counterterrorism funds on Sept. 10
"Yet the commission staff statement quotes a former FBI counterterrorism chief, Dale Watson, as saying he ``almost fell out of his chair'' when he saw a May 10 budget memo from Ashcroft listing seven priorities, including illegal drugs and gun violence, but not terrorism.

Additionally, on Sept. 10, Ashcroft rejected an appeal from Pickard for additional funding, the commission said."
posted by specialk420 (39 comments total)

 
In a normal world, rather than the Bizarro-land in which we find ourselves, Ashcroft would have been long-gone from office. The fact that he's still there is a new testament (groan) to the complete ownership of this admin by the far-right. How else could he survive, spending money to cover up stone tits, while rejecting anti-terror funds?
posted by stonerose at 9:54 AM on April 13, 2004


John McCain was interviewed on Morning Edition today in regards to the 9/11 Commission hearings and made the observation that not one person has been fired because of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

He said one of his first memories as a child* was when the battleship Missouri ran aground off Norfolk. The ship's navigator was at the helm while the captain napped. Within two hours, the captain was relieved and taken off the ship.

*The first memories of an admiral's son are different than yours or mine.
posted by y2karl at 10:05 AM on April 13, 2004


Wasn't this about the same time Ashcroft had bunches of FBI agents investigating prostitution in New Orleans?

Gotta have priorities!
posted by nofundy at 10:06 AM on April 13, 2004


fish. barrel. gun.

and i'm as liberal as they come.

no, really. unless there exists a tape of dub, ashy, cheney and atta shaking hands after agreeing on the time of the attacks, none of this pre-9/11 memo shit is going to stick on anyone but the wrong people and it's getting embarrassing.
posted by quonsar at 10:12 AM on April 13, 2004


Jun. 09, 2001
Ashcroft's Hard Line on Hardcore


June. 9. 2001. That was three months and two days still to go.

the War on Porn. heh. talk about moral equivalency.

Al Qaeda = "Rear Entry no. 28"
Al Zawahri = Jenna Jameson

the possibility for (dark, bitter) humor boggles the mind
posted by matteo at 10:13 AM on April 13, 2004


not one person has been fired because of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

You'd think they would have told the office cleaners to stop coming in by now.
posted by biffa at 10:15 AM on April 13, 2004


fish. barrel. gun.

but i should note emphatically that stone tits are actually funding terrorism and the sooner they are all covered, the safer we'll all be.
posted by quonsar at 10:16 AM on April 13, 2004


Oh, y'all are too quick to point out the failures in the way our AG has been protecting us, but what about the victories? I feel safer ...
posted by madamjujujive at 10:22 AM on April 13, 2004


I'm actually pretty impressed by Big Media's ability to stay on this rather than allow ShrubCo to whitewash the whole thing and concentrate on John Kerry's "Frenchness".

And why would they fire anyone, I mean, that would be like admitting that someone made a mistake in all of this. And we all know that ShrubCo doesn't make mistakes. Or tell lies. Or engage in illegal wars for fun and profit.
posted by fenriq at 10:25 AM on April 13, 2004


stone tits are actually funding terrorism


indeed.
(please excuse the self-quote)
posted by matteo at 10:28 AM on April 13, 2004


I'm no Ashcroft fan, but let's have a litte context shall we? He rejected the further increase because the Bush Administration had already "proposed an 8 percent increase in overall FBI funding for fiscal year 2002. This included the largest proposed percentage increase in the FBI's counterterrorism program since fiscal year 1997."
posted by shinnin at 10:35 AM on April 13, 2004


shinnin: If we're going to bring context into it we're going to lose 3/4 of the Iraq/Bush posts and wouldn't that be horrible?
posted by xmutex at 10:43 AM on April 13, 2004


If you want the liberal main line (which, while indeed biased, is far closer to the truth than the Right's) go to the bookstore and read the "Operation Ignore" chapter of Al Franken's Liars book.
posted by abcde at 10:49 AM on April 13, 2004


no, really. unless there exists a tape of dub, ashy, cheney and atta shaking hands after agreeing on the time of the attacks, none of this pre-9/11 memo shit is going to stick on anyone but the wrong people and it's getting embarrassing.
posted by quonsar at 12:12 PM CST on April 1


Yes, but what is now known indicates a real lack of leadership, which is unacceptable in the President of the United States.

George W. Bush has skimmed by his entire life; as President, this cost thousands of American lives.

As a failure to the GOP and to the American people, it is time for Bush to be held accountable.
posted by the fire you left me at 10:50 AM on April 13, 2004


xmutex: what? fewer trumped up and blissfully data-free administration indictments masquerading as the best of the web? That would be a crying shame. Honestly, I wouldn't mind newsfilter posts if they included (1) an assessment of real supporting and contradicting evidence from different sources and (2) something meaty to ponder and discuss.
posted by shinnin at 10:52 AM on April 13, 2004


BUSH SUXXX0RZZ!!!11FREE MUMIAS OIL IN PALESTINE
posted by dagny at 11:01 AM on April 13, 2004


While we're keeping in focus the importantce of context, let's keep in mind how the industries that both Bush and Cheney participated heavily in prior to their current employment both are benefiting quite well from our current situation.

I'm not saying anything, just putting things in "context".
posted by joquarky at 11:03 AM on April 13, 2004


I still wonder what that "threat assessment" was all about.
posted by Buck Eschaton at 11:21 AM on April 13, 2004


not one person has been fired because of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Yeah, but the WTC's Chief of Security, John O'Neill lost everything. Required viewing for anyone not totally committed to covering up for the Bush Administration when it's rebroadcast Thursday.

And I would welcome any defense for the Bush Administration's foreign policy that actually addressed the true-fact-based indictments of his/their willful wrongdoing. But apparently, when one is totally unable to assemble a cogent arguement, it is so much easier to be "blissfully data-free" yourself while attacking the people with the facts.
posted by wendell at 11:24 AM on April 13, 2004


good O'Neill profile here



If we're going to bring context into it we're going to lose 3/4 of the Iraq/Bush posts and wouldn't that be horrible?

no. that wouldn't be horrible.
this is horrible.
it's different.

anyway feel free to provide context, with links, on the Front Page, to explain to the nay-sayers how the Iraqis are in fact greeting coalition forces as liberators. please do. deliver MeFi from the grip of the nay-sayers with your all-powerful links. and with context.

posted by matteo at 12:04 PM on April 13, 2004


Oddly, John Ashcroft stopped flying on commercial planes sometime in August, 2001. He cited terrorist threats.

Top Pentagon officials took the threat seriously enough to cancel their travelplans on September 10th.

But, here's a longer list of such curiousities (generally sourced), and at the end of my ridiculously long list is a link to the voluminous "Complete 9-11 timeline" (or just look it up yourself) which - in print form - would weigh more than enough to stun a water buffalo.
posted by troutfishing at 12:32 PM on April 13, 2004


Fortunately for the country, the USA Government's 9/11 Commission appears to be largely concerned with a full, even handed, bi-partisan assessment of various agencies within the US government, in the several years leading up to 9/11 - in an effort to determine what lessons need to be learned, and what changes made, to prevent future attacks.

(This is quite unlike the MeFi's unofficial 9/11 Commision - which actually, if possible, seems to generate more verbiage than the US Commission - in an effort to determine how many little news snippets can be taken out of context for FPP's intended to slam the Bush administration, and once posted, how many snide, clever one-liners can be posted to support the Bush bashing).

I can understand why the MeFi 9/11 Commission might want to focus on out-of-context minutae rather than the larger picture ... because there are, in fact, a few general consensus items emerging out of the government hearings - things that almost everyone that has testified (right or left) has agreed upon.

One of the biggest, for instance, was that prior to 9/11 there were serious legal and structural limitations that prevented information sharing among agencies (CIA, FBI, & etc.), and between the public and private sectors. Pickard (Acting Director of the FBI during 2001, currently testifying in front of the Commission) was talking about the fact that the FBI knew of two of the hijackers, but on 9/11, didn't have much info on them - didn't know where they were, whether they had left the country, etc., etc. The questioner then pointed out that an investigation of private sector databases (like the big organizations that track credit card use) had pretty full info on the men. Pickard responded by saying that he knew that now, but at the time, the FBI was not legally allowed to access those records.

In other words ... THE PATRIOT ACT. It is coming up over and over, and has been mentioned by almost everyone that has testified - as a vital piece of actually solving some of the problems that lead to 9/11.

Only trouble is, the MeFi 9/11 Commission hates the Patriot Act. And so it focuses on garbage like this FPP. For those that love the MeFi 9/11 Commission, it will continue to serve its purpose: Bush-bashing and cute one-liners.

Thank goodness that the Government's 9/11 Commission increasingly appears to be behaving quite differently. While there's a bit of partisanship, they don't seem to be indulging in cheap mudslinging, scapegoating, or figuring out who to "fire". They seem to be genuinely attempting to investigate a situation that is enormously complex, and for which there are no easy answers.

That's it. Apologies for disrupting the troll du jour.
posted by MidasMulligan at 12:37 PM on April 13, 2004


the troll du jour

he'll be on deck shortly doing his best to defend his obsession with pornography and bong sales prior to and after 9-11.
posted by specialk420 at 12:49 PM on April 13, 2004


but i should note emphatically that stone tits are actually funding terrorism and the sooner they are all covered, the safer we'll all be.

Well, there haven't been any more terrorist attacks since Ashcroft covered the stone tits, have there? Have there? Okay then.

THE PATRIOT ACT. It is coming up over and over, and has been mentioned by almost everyone that has testified - as a vital piece of actually solving some of the problems that lead to 9/11.

Midas, decent points. My own concern with the Patriot Act is that it will exceed its mandate. That is, people like Ashcroft will use its power to go after non-terrorism related actvities, as is already happening. (scroll down for NYT article)
posted by Ty Webb at 1:03 PM on April 13, 2004


Watch live as Ashcroft blames Clinton and says things like "funds that were cut for counterterrorism in the Bush budget does not directly mean funds cut were funds for counterterrorism."
posted by the fire you left me at 1:24 PM on April 13, 2004


Sorry about the WTC and all that, but we did get the Tommy Chong.

-Ashcroft's FBI
posted by skallas at 3:49 PM on April 13, 2004


Watch live as Ashcroft blames Clinton and says things like "funds that were cut for counterterrorism in the Bush budget does not directly mean funds cut were funds for counterterrorism."

Well - what he did point out was the the actual budget the country was operating under on 9/11 was, in fact, the last Clinton budget. He did, in his opening remarks, seem to blame the previous administration (at least indirectly) in one substantive area: Information Technology - pointing out that the FBI's IT infrastructure was positively abysmal - due to years of funding neglect ... a point that a good number of FBI agents themselves would not dispute.

My own concern with the Patriot Act is that it will exceed its mandate.

Actually Ty - I worry about that a bit too. And I do believe that over the next few years some modifications will be made. Further, I don't actually agree with a number of the details of what Ashcroft has proposed over the last couple of years. Although on MeFi, things tend to be black and white, and everyone gets placed in a category - I'm not just automatically pro-Bush, or pro-Ashcroft. I guess what I do believe is that government bureaucracies - especially those as huge as the US Federal government - are generally very slow moving beasts ... and quite often reactive rather than pro-active.

I do not, for instance, personally blame the Clinton or Bush administrations for 9/11 - then again, I'm a businessman ... when something goes wrong, my first thought is not "who should I blame, who should I fire", but rather, "I need a complete picture of what went wrong, and need to know whether structural changes, or staff training is necessary to make sure it is not repeated".

I do think much of what happened post 9/11 ... from taking out the Taliban in Afghanistan, to significantly increased funding for the FBI and CIA, to a number the Patriot Act's provisions ... has indeed helped make the US safer. However, I also believe that prior to 9/11 neither administration - Clinton or Bush - would have been able to do any of those things. It is just not where the nation's mentality was ... and the political (and public) support just would not have been there.

I also think the nation slightly (and quite understandably) overreacted in the months following 9/11 ... but because this is a democratic nation, I also think that over time a sort of balance will be reached. I do think Bush, Ashcroft & Co. probably did as good a job as anyone could have at reacting to the events of 9/11. It is always easy to critisize what is being done, quite another thing to figure our genuine alternatives. (If Kerry is elected, and has to face the responsibility and knowledge that if someone does pull off a terrorist attack in the US, it will be on him, you'd better believe he won't try to throw out the Patriot Act ... he'll make minor adjustments for political purposes ... but he'll discover that when the buck stops on his desk, he needs a lot of what the Act gives an administration).

Point is, there are no perfect people, doing perfect jobs, anywhere. If we are intelligent as a nation, we'll attempt to figure out how to walk the fine line between safety (in the face of people that want to kill us) and maintaining the openess and freedom that is central to the meaning of America. We've probably become a bit too draconian at present - but that is an overreaction to not having taken things seriously enough prior to 9/11.

Being hyper-partisan (on either side) is not, IMO, a means of arriving at the clarity required to walk the line mentioned above. We are trying, as a nation, to figure something out for which there are no existing models.
posted by MidasMulligan at 3:52 PM on April 13, 2004


I do not, for instance, personally blame the Clinton or Bush administrations for 9/11 - then again, I'm a businessman ... when something goes wrong, my first thought is not "who should I blame, who should I fire", but rather, "I need a complete picture of what went wrong, and need to know whether structural changes, or staff training is necessary to make sure it is not repeated".
Well, the President and the entire adminstration work for us, no? We're their boss, and we want answers and the truth, and we're not getting them. What do you do, Midas, when the people who work for you aren't doing what they're supposed to? And furthermore, lying and covering their asses each time they're questioned about it?
posted by amberglow at 4:45 PM on April 13, 2004


here's the invaluable Center for American Progress report: If Ashcroft Says... Remember this
posted by amberglow at 5:35 PM on April 13, 2004


Well, the President and the entire adminstration work for us, no? We're their boss, and we want answers and the truth, and we're not getting them. What do you do, Midas, when the people who work for you aren't doing what they're supposed to? And furthermore, lying and covering their asses each time they're questioned about it?

That's you're opinion. I actually do think we're getting the truth. Everyone you ask, about any situation in which a problem develops, "covers their asses". Welcome to the human race. And the larger the situation, the more likely it is that there is not a single problem, or a single person, that is the root cause - in fact, more often than not, it is a combination of many people, interacting in a variety of ways, with processes and procedures and corporate culture. (Rendered even more difficult in the case of government, where you're talking about the added difficulty of laws, regulations, and the fluctuations of public opinion).

So when you investigate, you talk to a wide variety of people, and hear multiple perspectives. Some of them will always conflict with others. However, if you investigate correctly, it almost inevitably is possible to arrive at a fairly clear view of what needs to be fixed.

I will say that it is my experience that the degree to which an investigation is conducted as a sort of witch hunt is the degree to which you will (quite naturally) make people more defensive, and inclined to only provide the minimum genuine information required.

My own view comes from Thomas Watson - the greatest CEO IBM ever had. I remember an anecdote ... a VP had taken a huge risk, and had spent close to $5 million on a project that had ultimately failed badly (at a time when $5 million was a lot of money). His fellow management colleagues had cornered Watson at a meeting, and were pushing him about when the guy would be fired (several of them wanted the guy's position). Watson looked at them - aghast - and replied "Fire him, hell, I just paid his tuition!"

That is how a good CEO thinks. (Fuck Donald Trump and the Apprentice ... it is dramatic television, but it is not good business). She/He does not immediately leap to "I want to find out who is responsible and fire them" ... rather, s/he assumes everyone is always learning. (I should also mention that my employees do tell me the truth - because they know I am never looking for an excuse to crucify them).

Bush is an idiot in some areas ... but he is a good CEO - and the fact that he kept people like George Tenent and Richard Clarke on his staff for the sake of their expertise and continuity is something that very few Presidents would have done.

Point is ... I do - personally - want to know what lead to 9/11 ... I was in the World Financial Center on that day, 500 feet from one of the WTC buildings, watched the second plane fly by my office window, and damn near died. But I approach the whole thing from my own background - as someone that runs companies, and has had to do his own investigations into significant events. I am not interested in firing people, or blaming people. I am interested in learning from mistakes, and making sure they don't happen again.

If some of my employees made mistakes ... then I want them to feel free to cop to those mistakes without feeling like I'm going to burn them at the stake. And I also want my employees to feel free to critisize me - and my corporate structure - without any fear of reprisal.

Are you genuinely willing to do that? You say "Well, the President and the entire adminstration work for us, no?" ... and you are correct. You are their employers. Are you - as part of the American public - willing to accept part of the blame for what happened? You want to stand there as a boos as say it is them (Bush, or Clinton, or Ashcroft) that are "responsible". But if these hearings have revealed anything, it is that we - as a nation - have to accept part of the responsibility. We had people in the FBI, and CIA, who knew that something nasty was afoot. And we, as a people, tied their hands - both legally and financially.

Congresspeople, and Presidents, can, to some degree, lead, but largely they can only do so to the degree the American public permits them to do so. Would you have supported storming Afghanistan and trying to disable bin Laden prior to 9/11? Would you have supported the provisions of the Patriot Act that allow the FBI and CIA to share information, or require financial firms to check transactions and clients against lists of known terrorists? Would you have agreed if your Congressperson or Senator had voted to significantly increase funding for FBI and CIA information technology systems ... or would you have bitched and moaned, and threatened to kick him/her out of office?

If you want to stand back and say "I am a shareholder ... the government works for me ..." well ... you're right. It does. But you do not get power without getting responsibility.

On the whole, our government was doing nothing but representing us as a people. Its priorities were - plain and simple - our priorities. No leader, be it Bush or Clinton, could have gotten the political support (and hence the funding support from Congress) to do even a fraction of what was necessary to prevent 9/11 - or a fraction of what has been done since 9/11 to prevent further attacks.

If you want to assign blame ... assign it to all of us. Our government did (and is still doing) what democratic governments do ... it represented us. It gave the same attention to terrorism that we, as a people, were giving to it.

As someone that does have people working for him, and has had to investigate serious mistakes ... I can say this for certain ... the degree to which you want to use an investigation as an excuse to condemn some person or persons is the degree to which you'll invite distortions, and produce difficulties in arriving at the clarity needed to make certain the same mistake is not repeated.

So I DO take issue with those that seem to be analyzing the 9/11 Commission with ulterior motives, and picking and choosing from its findings as a means of taking partisan political shots. You are right amberglow - you (and all of us in the US) are the Boss ... we run the government, and it answers to us. But the power that comes with being the Boss also means that we have the responsibility to treat our employees have to be treated with respect ... and furthermore, that ultimately WE have to accept a healthy dose of the blame for any failure.

I want to know the truth of 9/11 - not to fire someone, nor blame someone, but with the intention of figuring out how to make certain that it is not repeated. While we differ on most things - I suspect you do too. All I'm asking you to consider is that our political leaders - Democrat and Republican - are simply human beings ... and that the environment we (as their "bosses") create will have an effect on how completely we understand what happened, and how fully we can change things to make certain it does not happen again.

[Sorry for a post that is soemwhat long - even for me - but I ran through falling bodies and buildings, and still have some personal issues to deal with here ...].
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:25 PM on April 13, 2004


I was impressed with how informative and even handed the Staff reports have been. The one from this morning was a good picture of the problems and challenges before 9/11.

Staff Statement No. 9: Law Enforcement, Counterterrorism, and Intelligence Collection in the United States Prior to 9/11
posted by soulhuntre at 6:32 PM on April 13, 2004


And we, as a people, tied their hands - both legally and financially.
Congresspeople, and Presidents, can, to some degree, lead, but largely they can only do so to the degree the American public permits them to do so. Would you have supported storming Afghanistan and trying to disable bin Laden prior to 9/11? Would you have supported the provisions of the Patriot Act that allow the FBI and CIA to share information, or require financial firms to check transactions and clients against lists of known terrorists? Would you have agreed if your Congressperson or Senator had voted to significantly increase funding for FBI and CIA information technology systems ... or would you have bitched and moaned, and threatened to kick him/her out of office?


You're setting up false choices there. We wouldn't have had to do any of those things to have stopped most if not all of the hijackers. You know that. There was a vacuum of leadership at and near the top. Bush and Rice have both admitted they were waiting for dates, and times and places--Well, sorry, they're the leadership--they're supposed to take action, not wait for action. Someone obviously told Ashcroft and others not to fly commercial--no one told us, or the airports and airlines. That's all that was needed--no invasion, no Patriot Act (and they cut the funding for counterterror anyway) . That's a failure that cost thousands of lives.

In November, we will change all that.
posted by amberglow at 6:39 PM on April 13, 2004


You're setting up false choices there.

Actually, I don't really think you're hearing me. That's ok. And I can see you trying to change things in November ... but also know that even if someone else is elected President, things are unlikely to chnge that much - and the changes that are made will not necessarily make the US any safer.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:52 PM on April 13, 2004


I am hearing you Midas, believe me--you're saying that we didn't do our part, and that the actions needed wouldn't have been popular, or viable. I'm saying that's not so, and that the man I just watched live on TV has failed us, and the team he assembled failed us too. It's obviously a difference of opinion, but i find it curious that you refuse to hold them accountable in any way. It's been proven that when it came to their own skins they were all too quick to take action by not flying commercial.

They failed us. We didn't fail us.

We're always ready (as evidenced by all the millenium scares, etc) to take precautions, and listen to warnings. You and I both, living here, have done so, and will always have to. We trust that our Mayor and Police, etc will warn us and alert us to the dangers we face, while taking every precaution they can, and acting on threats--the administration didn't do that. It's simple.
posted by amberglow at 7:05 PM on April 13, 2004


Midas, your points here are interesting and well-taken. I just wish the "good CEO" wouldn't stonewall the honest investigation quite so much. Appearing only with Cheney, when the investigation asked to question them separately. Only declassifying documents when the uproar became too loud to ignore. Not allowing the National Security Advisor to testify under oath in public until, again, the uproar was too great not to let her.

We can talk all we want about how we all learn from big mistakes, but that's not the behavior that's in evidence.

I'm not convinced the Administration is operating in good faith here, if indeed it ever has.
posted by Vidiot at 7:12 PM on April 13, 2004


Midas: And I can see you trying to change things in November ... but also know that even if someone else is elected President, things are unlikely to chnge that much

I bet that just warms your heart. Yes, the Bush administration has fucked up America to the point where it will take decades to even begin to approach the prosperity of the Clinton administration. It will take generations to undo the damage in the middle-east. It will take decades to remove the right-wing extremist judges from power. We may never have a balanced Supreme Court if one happens to die or retire and Bush gets to appoint another Scalia or Thomas.

I bet that just makes you smile, knowing that if your guys lose you're taking the ship down with you.
posted by skallas at 8:33 PM on April 13, 2004


I bet that just makes you smile, knowing that if your guys lose you're taking the ship down with you.

Funny ... I thought the same thing in 2000 ... understanding that Clinton was going to hand the next administration a tanking economy, collapsing stock markets, a completely demoralized and underfunded FBI, CIA, and military, and a big mess in the Middle-East. Did it make you smile?
posted by MidasMulligan at 8:56 PM on April 13, 2004


OK, but at least that nice, bipartisan congressional Republican lynch mob avenged the terrible crime of Oval Office blow-jobs. not to mention travel office firings, Vince Foster's suicide, and Whitewater's losing investment.

oh, Midas, you forgot the huge deficit Clinton handed over to your guy, didn't you? thank God the grown-ups, finally in charge, turned it into a massive surplus. heh.

anyway, since you're so fascinated by bipartisanship:
(all emphasis mine)

Ashcroft Gets a Free Pass
Are the commissioners afraid to seem partisan?


Zelikow reported that Dale Watson, the FBI's counterterrorism deputy, asked Ashcroft for more money, and Ashcroft turned him down. Watson also "fell off his chair" when he read Ashcroft's formal list of the Justice Department's top five priorities and realized that not one of them concerned terrorism, even though Ashcroft was privy to the same spike of threat alerts as President Bush and other officials.
This afternoon, right before Ashcroft appeared, Thomas Pickard, a former career FBI agent who served as the bureau's acting director for the three months before 9/11, testified that he had briefed Ashcroft twice about the growing terrorist threat—and that, when he tried to brief him a third time, Ashcroft told him that he didn't want to hear about the subject anymore.
...
And yet not only did the commissioners fail to lay a glove on the guy, they barely took a swing.
Something weird is going on in a session when former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson—the panel's fiercest Republican attack dog—asks the most critical question.
But that's what happened this afternoon. Thompson asked Ashcroft about Pickard's claim that he didn't want to hear any more briefings about counterterrorism. Ashcroft replied, "I never said I didn't want to hear about counterterrorism."
That was the end of the exchange. No follow-up. Somebody's lying—Ashcroft or Pickard—about an important matter. The commission didn't seem bothered by that fact.
...
Ashcroft insisted that he added more money to the Justice Department's budget for counterterrorism than for any other function. This is patently untrue. It has been disputed by the commission's staff, several previous witnesses, and public budget-documents. Yet none of the commissioners called him on it.
Richard Ben-Veniste, the Democratic former Watergate prosecutor, who has been a tough interrogator in previous sessions, went easy on the attorney general.
He did ask about the fact that Ashcroft's top five priorities—listed in a policy document of May 10, 2001—did not include fighting terrorism. Ashcroft answered that, at May 9 hearings before the Senate Appropriations Committee, he cited terrorism as his No. 1 priority. Ben-Veniste let it go.


where does the bipartisan part end and the wimp part begins, Midas?

people like Ashcroft have the gall to blame 9-11 on Clinton. one imagines the polite line of questioning by, say, Tom DeLay if President Gore had been in charge on 9-11-2001.
I can understand a Republican's joy when seeing the Democrats acting as such sad wimps, and I understand the satisfaction in having managed to cowe political opponentes into submission. but really, it's illogical to argue that savage partisanship is OK only when one side puts it in practice.
I seriously doubt Kerry gets elected in November (not to mention, I'm sure there'll be lots of upset Republican victories in Diebold blue districts come November), but if he does and America is attacked when that French-looking person's in charge, you just wait for the soft, bipartisan congressional Republican line of questioning. especially if, you know, it turns out that Kerry's family is a decade-long business partner of the Bin Ladens and Kerry's philandering brother shills for Saudi interests in the US. you just wait for the delicate flavor of bipartisanship then. wanna bet?
posted by matteo at 4:43 AM on April 14, 2004


...and these assholes want to rule the fucking world? Ha ha haaaaa!
posted by acrobat at 6:02 AM on April 14, 2004


« Older The Jefferson Muzzles...  |  Have some extra free time? Why... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments