Why We Will Win

— is nicely, and literally, illustrated by A Better Tighty Whitey, currently #6 on Blogdex, in which citizen volunteers make great strides in improving the Presidential Daily Briefing process. Combined with things like technology transfer from FedEx and Wal-Mart and the role of Jeffrey “Skunk” Baxter in missile defense (210 kB *.pdf), this demonstrates the strengths provided by a healthy civil society.

UPDATE: If anybody in government is actually paying attention, that is. Jon Osborne, author of Miss Liberty’s Guide to Film and Video, writes:

Apparently John Kerry was given specific and actionable evidence of wholesale security breaches at Boston’s Logan International Airport, over which he had potential authority, with the specific warning that it could be used by jihadists to kill passengers–and he did nothing. More here.

Spread the word.

13 thoughts on “Why We Will Win”

  1. “Potential authority” ? What the heck is that ? The guy did nothing with his “potential authority” ? A Senator is responsible for security in a given airport because he has “potential authority” ?

    Riiiight….Must be an election year.

  2. Forget about “potential authority”. Kerry could have made a phone call, or held a press conference. A senator can raise a stink about something if he wants to. It there had been, say, a leak of benzene into Boston Harbor, Kerry would have been on TV looking somber. He decided not to get involved in this Logan security issue because … Why, exactly?

    What did you know Senator, and when did you know it, and why did you FAIL TO ACT???

    Heck yeah, it’s an election year. What’s bad for the Donks is categorically good. Smack ’em around. I have my elephant badge on from now until election day.

  3. I see. So if a bunch of political hacks will hint that Bush “did” 9/11, we need some of the same claptrap to show that Kerry had a hand in it too. Definitely elevates the level of the debate.

    This is typical opportunistic 20/20 hindsight I-told-you-so junk. “They got Dick Clarke so we need one of our own”. Before 9/11, hijackings were not about crashing airplanes in buildings. Since the President himself said so to minimize the relevance of the now famous PDB, I don’t see why the argument would not apply to Kerry. Synchronized hijackings by 19 terrorists were simply so far-fetched scenario back then that you would have been hard-pressed to find a single Senator ready to go to the mat and spend political capital to prevent that kind of scenario from happening.

    The NY Post writer asks : “Where was his urgency ?”. There was none, anywhere. From Kerry or anyone else. Duh.

  4. I would expect this sort of thing from the Post but at this site? there is and remains a big difference between the president of the country with all the intelligence info flowing into his office and a US Senator, whose main job is serving his state in DC…and the governor of the State? He is in the “clear”?

  5. “…So if a bunch of political hacks will hint that Bush “did” 9/11, we need some of the same claptrap to show that Kerry had a hand in it too. Definitely elevates the level of the debate.”

    A bunch of political hacks are going to say every bad thing they can dream up about Bush, true, false, sane or crazy. So, that’s the game. Play or get off the ice.

    I have no interest in trying to elevate the debate with the Democrats. The debate has consisted for all 40 years of my life of being called a fascist for being a Republican. There is no debate. There is an effort to win.

    I am only interested in beating Kerry.

    Others on this site may have other interests as far as the election goes. To me, two things are clear: (1) either Bush or Kerry will win, and (2) Bush is my man. I don’t have to love GWB. As it happens, I do hate Kerry, which makes it easier. But there is not much to debate about. Any “debating” is about trying to pick up undecided votes. No one is going to change their mind about anything. This election is a very clear choice.

    Anyway, if the shoe were on the other foot and a Republican Senator had received this information, it would be front page news in the NYTimes and it would be on the network newscasts. Absolutely. So, that’s the game. If this fact can be used to hurt Kerry, good. Use it. Spread it around.

    I hold Kerry responsible for the dirty bathrooms at Logan, too, by the way.

  6. Lex, we disagree. Just because that’s what the opponent does, it doesn’t follow the opposing party does not have a choice, nor that it should lower itself to the same level, thereby justifying their tactics. That’s not how the game is played; this is how the parties involve are choosing to play it. Big difference. And neither the GOP nor the Democratic Party can excuse themselves with that line, anymore than we should use suicide bombers against civilians because “that’s the way the game is played over there”. It sure is, but we don’t.

    Now, if the GOP wants to follow their opponents tit-for-tat because “that’s the way the game is played”, that’s fine by me. I just don’t want to hear any nonsense about “leadership”.

  7. Sylvain, somebody has to be the gentleman and the voice of political rationality around here, and it might as well be you.

    Me, I’ll just keep on my tribal warpaint, sharpen my tomahawk, and give forth fierce ululations, like I do every four years.

    Yeah, I’m seeing how this can all work out … You be the good cop, I’ll be the bad cop, and between us we’ll take this down this chump Kerry like a wounded bison. Yes. Yes.

  8. Lex, let’s put it this way. I see a huge abyss between this NY Post editorial on the one hand, and, for instance, Condi’s classy performance in front of the 9/11 panel. And the gap is large enough to make one incompatible with the other, imho; at least in the sense that, at best, they cancel each other out. Given the choice, I’d choose the latter any day. You prefer the former mostly because that’s the way it’s always been done around here. Fine by me.

    I’ll grant you one thing : given how lame this Administration has been at communication and PR, it’s probably easier for them to aim low.

  9. Geez, guys. I post for the first time in a month and it’s like throwing a rock into a beehive.
    I should clarify something. Actually, several things:
    The warnings about Logan which were ignored by Sen Kerry (and lots of other people) were far more specific than those in the 8/6/01 PDB. Criticisms of W based on the PDB, especially given the design/process problems pointed up at Airbag, thereby lose most of their strength.
    To the extent that the situations are analogous, they illustrate that it makes surprisingly little difference who is President (indeed, the older I get, the more continuity I see across Administrations). It’s not clear that in the pre-9/11 environment, anyone would have taken a warning seriously enough.
    The danger remains that the immense organizational, practical capabilities of American civil society will go untapped if political leadership is sufficiently unimaginative. We could have the best intelligence-gathering apparatus in the world, and bureaucratic territoriality and narrow focus could still render it impotent.
    A productive version of the 9/11 hearings would consist of root cause analysis, perhaps an exercise in Theory of Constraints. Assigning individual blame should be a separate exercise.

  10. I post for the first time in a month and it’s like throwing a rock into a beehive.

    Maybe the bees are hungry because we haven’t been feeding them much lately.


  11. I know. Freakin’ lazy bloggers.

    Jay, back in July 2001, if a Senator – any Senator – had come public with accusations against the FAA in general and Logan Airport in particular regarding the handling of synchronized hijackings on a large scale, everybody would have thought he was nuts. In fact, I’d assert that coming from a Democrat, it would have been dismissed as utter nonsense. So I’d say Republican officials ought to be thankful Kerry did what he did and no more than themselves. Had he done more, he’d look like a genius now, and they’d probably look pretty darn shortsighted.

    And I don’t agree it was any more specific than the PDB. Did the person in question have evidence of such attempts being made ? No. He submitted that if such a scenario happened, Logan was unprepared. As, I might add, pretty much every other airport in the country. Huge surprise there.

  12. “…pretty much every other airport…”

    Actually, Logan had a reputation for being sloppy about security.


  13. Well..amongst the buzzing in this beehive, “leadership” was mentioned. Whether Kerry was the ultimate authority on logan airport security, the issue appears to have been brought to his attention with significant urgency. If we are to take his prophetic national security notions seriously, I think his reaction to this information makes his “leadership” ability especially questionable. It would be, perversely, an expected response by someone oblivious to the issue, not someone with elevated insights. if only this had been one of those reported moments where he cut in line to say “Don’t you know who I am?”

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