Thursday, July 07, 2005


Hugh Hewitt has this interview posted from Al Franken's Air America show today regarding the London terror attack. By the way, Drudge as of 6:21 PM Pacific is still linking a discredited story about Ben Netanyahu being warned in advance about the attack; see and for the correct account. Here's my commentary on Al Franken's mental meltdown:

Oliphant: We'll I'll tell you something, Porter Goss, at the CIA right now, is probably scared to death that there might be a revelation in the next few days that some of the people involved in this had moved across international borders. Because if this wasn't a completely home grown thing, the question arises, given the logistics of arranging horrific attacks like this, after four years, how could we have picked up nothing again?

Franken: This is where I am going to disagree with you, because this seems to be your thrust about what happened today. And I think that, and I buy this, and maybe I am naive, that you gotta bat 1,000 and they just got to bat 1. You know, and I don't know what's been stopped and I don't know any way we can know what's been stopped. We don't know. We had Jane Mayer on talking about the abuse at Gitmo, and there's no way to know because they are so secretive, this is the most secretive Adminsitration, we don't know, they say, they've saved American lives from their interrogations there. We don't know that. We don't know if it has cost us in terms of getting information, because it is the wrong way to get information.

Well, duh, Al, Gitmo's supposed to be secret. If anything, we aren't squeezing these guys enough. See the last issue of Weekly Standard.

Oliphant: That's right, and because of Congress now we have no way to really rigorously oversee what the intelligence community does so we can come to an evaluation about its effectiveness.

The last time we had such "rigorous oversight" we shot ourselves in the foot when nitwits like Pat Leahy intentionally leaked things he didn't like. I wouldn't trust Leahy with taking care of goldfish.

But all you have to do is look at the pictures from London, imagine the logisitical work that was necessary to arrange four coordinated attacks within an hour, imagine that a few of these people might have come into Britain in recent weeks or months, and you wonder, what use has this allegedly smooth functioning system, erected over the past four years, what, what's its value? That's the short term consideration. And then you look at the longer term political and diplomatic issues that involve the sea from which these people come, and you ask, are we making enough progress on the basic issues that create the environment out of which terrorism emerges...

Franken: Or have we made things worse...

This is called the Blame America First syndrome. We got hit, must be our fault. Wonder if they apply that logic to rape victims.

Oliphant: Or have they gone in the wrong direction...

Franken: Right

Oliphant: In other words, imagine whoever did this, let's assume for a second that the authroties are correct, that it appears to be jihadists, um, were they inspired by the American occupation in Iraq? The middle east situation? What was it?

What dummies. These guys are inspired by grievances 1000 plus years old.

Franken: I mean, Rumsfeld himself said, openly, a couple years ago, we don't know if we are creating more or less in Iraq.

Oliphant: Not only that, he's begun to acknowledge that our very presence in Iraq, ah, ah, one reason that he doesn't want to increase the force level is to increase the magnitude of the American occupation and its impact in Iraq.

Franken: And, on the other hand, they just killed, you know, Zarqawi's people just killed the Egyptian envoy.

Oliphant: Yes they did, and they just missed on a couple of other hits.

Franken: So these are monsters. We are dealing with monsters.

A rare moment of clarity for Al.

Oliphant: Yes we are, but not very well in my opinion. And, um, what I think is so awful, in the short term, is that we don't see, is this culture that lacks acountability in the United States, just fascinates me.

Franken: You are talking about the Administration?

Oliphant: Yes! And Congress is complicit in this. And I don't care whether you are talking about 9/11 itself, the run-up to the war in Iraq, or the insurgency since then.

Franken: And that's why the [president's] speech [last week] just fried me, because there was not one acknowledgement of a mistake that they've ever made, and it was the same old crap.

In the real world, we call that consistency, Al.

Oliphant: If that fries you, then get get ready, because there is going to be a blitz, you watch, from here, ah, about how, despite what happened today, we're in fact making great progress in the international war on terror, to which I say, bunkum."

Al and Oli are the bunkum kings. As Lileks says, the Achilles heel of the western world is on the left foot.

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