A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


I read where some (R) Senator was blaming the lack of proper equipment on the cuts made by Clinton to the military budget. Of course, the world had been changed for the better since Ronald Reagan single-handedly defeated the oppressive Soviet Union and we foolishly believed they were no longer a threat.

So why didn’t Clinton supply all the troops with the new ceramic body armor? Well, because it was being developed, improved and made more economically feasible while he was President. In fact, the first orders for the new ceramic plates came in early 2001 and additional units were contracted for by the pentagon. What little I know about military procurement leads me to conclude that these upgrades were ordered during the Clinton Administration.
[By early 2001, the U.S. government had procured more than 30,000 of the new plates and had another 130,000 on contract. It wasn’t long before the new armor was tested in combat—U.S. troops first wore the IBA system in operations in Afghanistan, where it was credited with saving numerous lives. According to one report, some soldiers pinned down in firefights survived AK-47 and other small-arms fire to their chest and back because of the new vest, and most of the wounds suffered by U.S. troops were in the arms and legs. Many of these same systems have been credited with saving soldiers’ lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom.]

Chuck Hagel on “Meet the Press”

But Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, said he had "no confidence" in Rumsfeld." Hagel, R-Neb., did not say that Rumsfeld should step down.
"I find it astounding. … Things are worse than they've ever been" in Iraq, Hagel told CBS' "Face the Nation." Hagel said the decision to replace Rumsfeld was Bush's.

Andy Card on “This Week”

"Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a spectacular job," the president's chief of staff, Andrew Card, told ABC's "This Week."

"The president has provided good direction for our military, and Secretary Rumsfeld is transforming our military to meet the threats of the 21st century," Card said.

While security remains a concern in Iraq, Card said the growing economy and the establishment of the educational and electrical systems in the country were positive developments, Card said.

"There are no guarantees, but we'll work hard to provide security," for the elections, Card said. "It'll be a wonderful success story."

Card said Rumsfeld has a good relationship with Congress and "knows the budgets that are needed to fight the war."

"And he will fight to get those budgets, and he will earn the confidence of the people in the Senate and the House so that he can continue to do that which is best for the country," Card said.


Card painted such a rosy picture of Iraq I’m thinking of going there for my next vacation. Here’s my fantasy interview with Card:

Me: Mr. Card, can you tell me why you’re here today?

Mr. Card: Well, I wanted to state positively that we should not focus on the negatives In Iraq. There are plenty of things which we can be proud of. For instance, the schools have a fresh coat of paint and most of the blood stains can no longer be seen on the city sidewalks.

Me: What about the reports of all the civilian casualties, including woman and children.

Card: Sure, that’s a negative, but this is war. There’s also a positive aspect; the lowering of class size at the schools.

Me: Seems a little drastic, what else can you tell us about why you’re here?

Card: I wanted to positively spin all the negative reports and not actually answer any question without some circumlocution.

Me: I often wondered, how do you prepare for such an interview?

Card: First we try to get the questions ahead of time. Failing that, we try to anticipate the questions to be asked. Then, either way, we get together and try to formulate responses that don’t actually answer the question posed while exhausting time allotted for the interview always keeping in mind not to take responsibility for anything that did not go well. Didn’t you see Condi at the 9/11 Commission hearings?

Me: That can’t be all there is to it!

Card: You’re right. An important step is for me, or any other administration official, to memorize our canned, cliché’-filled answers. Haven’t you ever noticed that when you pose the same question, perhaps in a different way, that we recite nearly verbatim the answer we just gave. No one really communicates that way unless they planned it in advance. Think telemarketing without ethics.

Me: Earlier, when you talked about Bernard Kerik, you said that the administration had expressed an intention to nominate Mr. Kerik. Is this just word play like what would have gotten Bill Clinton or Al Gore into trouble or like GWB’s weapons of mass destruction program related activites?

Card: No, clearly, we had not nominated BK so you should hold us to a lower standard for vetting. See, even if we have to admit a mistake, we always try to mitigate the circumstances. You know, like everyone thought Saddam had WMD so don’t blame us for being wrong.

Me: Thank you Mr. Card. Have a good flight back to Stepford. (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog)

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