BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Keith Olbermann: Working for You

Keith Olbermann is doing the Lord's work on MSNBC. He's put together a "Bad News for BUSH, Terror Alert for YOU" timeline for public consumption.

In a nutshell...last week's "terror" threat in NYC, hot on the heels of a possible Rove indictment, got Keith thinking:
I suggested that in the last three years there had been about 13 similar coincidences - a political downturn for the administration, followed by a “terror event” - a change in alert status, an arrest, a warning.

We figured we’d better put that list of coincidences on the public record.
I've condensed his list (a bit) for easy reading.
We bring you these coincidences, reminding you, and ourselves here, that perhaps the simplest piece of wisdom in the world is called “the logical fallacy.”

Just because Event “A” occurs, and then Event “B” occurs, that does not automatically mean that Event “A” caused Event “B.”
Right.

Having said that, here we go --

1. May 18th, 2002. The first details of the President’s Daily Briefing of August 6th, 2001, are revealed, including its title - “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.” The same day another memo is discovered - revealing the FBI knew of men with links to Al Qaeda training at an Arizona flight school. The memo was never acted upon. Questions about 9/11 Intelligence failures are swirling.

May 20th, 2002. Two days later, FBI Director Mueller declares another terrorist attack “inevitable.”


2. June 6th, 2002. Colleen Rowley, the FBI agent who tried to alert her superiors to the specialized flight training taken by Zacarias Moussaoui, whose information suggests the government missed a chance to break up the 9/11 plot, testifies before Congress. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Graham says Rowley’s testimony has inspired similar pre-9/11 whistle-blowers.

June 10th, 2002. Four days later, speaking from Russia, Attorney General John Ashcroft reveals that an American named Jose Padilla is under arrest, accused of plotting a radiation bomb attack in this country.

Padilla had, by this time, already been detained for more than a month.


3. February 5th, 2003. Secretary of State Powell tells the United Nations Security Council of Iraq’s concealment of weapons, including 18 mobile biological weapons laboratories, justifying a U.N. or U.S. first strike.

Many in the UN are doubtful. Months later, much of the information proves untrue.

February 7th, 2003. Two days later, as anti-war demonstrations continue to take place around the globe, Homeland Security Secretary Ridge cites “credible threats” by Al Qaeda, and raises the terror alert level to orange.


4. July 23rd, 2003: The White House admits the CIA -- months before the President's State of the Union Address -- expressed "strong doubts" about the claim that Iraq had attempted to buy uranium from Niger. On the 24th, the Congressional report on the 9/11 attacks is issued; it criticizes government at all levels; it reveals an FBI informant had been living with two of the future hijackers; and it concludes that Iraq had no link to Al-Qaeda. 28 pages of the report are redacted. On the 26th, American troops are accused of beating Iraqi prisoners.

July 29th, 2003. Three days later, amid all of those negative headlines, Homeland Security issues warnings of further terrorist attempts to use airplanes for suicide attacks.


5. December 17th, 2003. 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Thomas Kean says the attacks were preventable. The next day, a Federal Appeals Court says the government cannot detain suspected radiation-bomber Jose Padilla indefinitely without charges, and the chief U.S. Weapons inspector in Iraq, Dr. David Kay, who has previously announced he has found no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, announces he will resign his post.

December 21st, 2003. Three days later, just before Christmas, Homeland Security again raises the threat level to Orange, claiming “credible intelligence” of further plots to crash airliners into U.S. cities.


6. March 30th, 2004. The new chief weapons inspector in Iraq, Charles Duelfer tells Congress we have still not found any WMD there. On April 1st: Four BLACKWATER-USA CONTRACTORS working in Iraq are murdered, their mutilated bodies dragged through the streets and left on public display in Fallujah.

April 2nd, 2004. The next day, Homeland Security issues a bulletin warning that terrorists may try to blow up buses and trains, using fertilizer and fuel bombs.


7. May 16th, 2004. Secretary of State Powell appears on “Meet The Press” -- admitting that much of the information he had been given about Weapons of Mass Destruction was “inaccurate and wrong, and, in some cases, DELIBERATELY MISLEADING."

May 21st, 2004, new photos showing mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison are released.

SO...

Wednesday the 26th. Two days later, Attorney General Ashcroft and FBI Director Mueller warn that intelligence from multiple sources, in Ashcroft’s words, “indicates Al-Qaeda’s specific intention to hit the United States hard,” and that “90 percent of the arrangements for an attack on the United States were complete.” The color-coded warning system is not raised, and Homeland Security Secretary Ridge does not attend the announcement.


8. July 6th, 2004. Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry selects Senator John Edwards as his vice presidential running mate, producing a small bump in the election opinion polls, and a huge swing in media attention towards the Democratic campaign.

July 8th, 2004. Two days later, Homeland Secretary Ridge warns of information about Al-Qaeda attacks during the summer or autumn.


9. July 29th, 2004. At their party convention in Boston, the Democrats formally nominate John Kerry as their candidate for President. (More attention on the Dems.)

Monday, August 1st, 2004. The Department of Homeland Security raises the alert status for financial centers in New York, New Jersey, and Washington to orange.

The evidence supporting the warning - reconnaissance data, left in a home in Iraq - later proves to be roughly four years old and largely out-of-date.


10. Last Thursday. Rove. Bad poll numbers. "Our Kid" is getting killed over the Miers' nomination. (My description.)

"At 5:17 PM Eastern Time, seven hours after the President’s speech has begun, New York officials disclose a bomb threat to the city’s subway system - based on information supplied by the Federal Government."

A threat that turned out to be...a hoax.

Read Olbermann's blog here, and check out the full video of his show at Crooks & Liars.

"More conspiracy theories from you commiepinkofaggots! What's it like to be you?! G'damn America haters! Aaaggghhh!!!"

I say, "If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying."

Capice?

One last thing...

Josh Marshall has a great post on Bush's "tele-conference" with soldiers in Iraq. (If you didn't see it this morning...it was a TRAINWRECK.)
Another great Bush administration moment.

In this morning's gaggle, SCOTT MCCLELLAN got asked whether the teleconference the president had with troops in Tikrit was scripted. Here's what he said --

QUESTION: How were they selected, and are their comments to the president pre-screened, any questions or anything...

MCCLELLAN: NO.

QUESTION: Not at all?

MCCLELLAN: This is a back-and-forth.

*

Here's how the pool report (i.e., from the designated reporter on the scene) described what happened.

"The soldiers, nine U.S. men and one U.S. woman, plus an Iraqi, had been tipped off in advance about the questions in the highly scripted event. Allison Barber, deputy assistant to the Secretary of Defense for internal communication, could be heard asking one soldier before the start of the event, 'Who are we going to give that [question] to?'"

Oh well...
Indeed.

Why do the WH reposters even bother to deal with "Scotty?"

BTW - Our Kid concluded this tele-conference by telling the soldiers --

"I wish I could be there to see you face to face and thank you personally. PROBABLY A LITTLE EARLY FOR ME TO GO TO TIKRIT. Perhaps one of these days the situation will be such that I'll be able to get back to Iraq."

Hmm.

"Probably a little early for me to go to Tikrit?" Sounds like he has been reading the papers.

More later...

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