David Ignatius Obfuscates Issues To Cover Up Republican Failures on Iraq

David Igatius tries to distract from the recently released evidence (verifying what was already known) that Bush’s policies have increased our risk from terrorist attacks by reviving the old canard that Democrats have no plans. After noting that the National Intelligence Estimate contradicts the Republican claim they are making America safer, Ignatius tries to use this to attack the Democrats:

The issue raised by the National Intelligence Estimate is much grimmer than the domestic political game. Iraq has fostered a new generation of terrorists. The question is what to do about that threat. How can America prevent Iraq from becoming a safe haven where the newly hatched terrorists will plan Sept. 11-scale attacks that could kill thousands of Americans? How do we restabilize a Middle East that today is dangerously unbalanced because of America’s blunders in Iraq.

There has been considerable evidence of the incompetence of the Bush Administration in planning this war, including in recent books such as Cobra II and Fiasco. Studies available even prior to the NIE have shown that the war is increasing our risk from terrorism. British studies one year after the war began showed that the number of al Qaeda recruits has increased as a consequence of the war. Saudi and Israeli studies from over a year ago found that the vast majority of those fighting in Iraq are not previously terrorists, but are people radicalized by the war. When one party is digging us into such a hole, the obvious response is to stop digging–and throw out the party responsible.

Every day we remain in Iraq we are strengthening al Qaeda, as well as Iran. Every day we remain the tensions between the United States and the Muslim world continue. A plan designed to get us out of Iraq as quickly as possible is not cutting and running. It is the sensible course of action.

As the minority party the Democrats do not have a single voice, making it easier to fabricate claims that there is no Democratic solution. There is no single Democratic plan, and there is no reason for there to be while they are out of power. Instead we have many voices providing better ideas than those offered by the Republicans.

John Kerry led the party in 2004 as presidential candidate, and offered many suggestions as to responding to the underlying problems. During two of the Presidential debates John Kerry also laid out plans for improving our homeland security. George Bush’s response was “I don’t think we want to get to how he’s going to pay for all these promises. It’s like a huge tax gap.” In other words, he didn’t want to spend the money to really keep America safe.

Public Not Buying Republican Misinformation on 9/11

The latest Gallup Poll has bad news for the Republicans. Polls are a poor way to settle the debate over who is more responsible for 9/11, but the polls are a fair measure of how the Republican misinformation campaign is working at the moment. The Republicans, who have a very serious problem if the pubic ever figures out how badly they messed up defending the country from terrorism both before and after 9/11, have been launching a misinformation campaign designed to place the blame on Bill Clinton rather than on George Bush where it belongs. The specific question is only on blame for failure to capture bin Laden, but it likely provides a clue as to how people are buying the whole blame game on terrorism.
The latest Gallup Poll shows that the Republican attempts to blame Clinton may not be working:

According to a recent Gallup Panel survey, the American public puts the primary blame on Bush rather than Clinton for the fact that bin Laden has not been captured. A majority of Americans say Bush is more to blame (53%), compared with 36% blaming Clinton.

As with any poll, this is a snap shot of a particular point in time. The Republicans have been spreading misinformation for years, and had a recent prime time miniseries promoting their views, while the Democrats have just begun to fight back. It will be interesting, and significant for the upcoming election, if the Democrats can shift more votes.

Bush’s Powerful Team of Defenders at Fox News

John Stewart exposes Fox News. Video here. (Hat tip to Donklephant).

Bush Administration Covers Up Reports on Climate Change

Perhaps one reason the Bush Administration gets away with so much is that they have so many lies and cover ups going on that it is too hard to keep up on each one. Yesterday I looked at their cover up of their failure to act on recommendations from the Clinton Administration on handling terrorism, including their efforts to cover up the fact that they even received the proposals. Nature reports on the Bush Administration covering up reports on climate change:

A statement on the science behind the politically sensitive issue of hurricane activity and climate change has been blocked by officials at the US Department of Commerce, Nature has learned.
Work on the statement began this February after complaints about the actions of political appointees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency that falls under commerce-department control. NOAA researchers accused the appointees of ignoring – on the agency’s website and at press conferences – the possibility that global warming could cause hurricanes to become more intense or frequent. The agency was also accused of preventing scientists who believe there might be such a link from speaking out (see Nature 439, 896-897; 2006).The link is a sensitive issue because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the US government’s reluctance to restrict the greenhouse-gas emissions that are driving climate change.

NOAA officials denied both of the accusations from researchers. But e-mails obtained under freedom-of-information legislation by the environmental group Greenpeace USA, based in Washington DC, show that several NOAA scientists told their seniors that the agency was not properly representing hurricane science. The scientists’ complaints prompted the creation of an internal seven-member panel charged with preparing a consensus statement on the views of NOAA researchers on hurricane science. A draft seen by Nature states that global warming may be contributing to hurricane intensity and that further research is needed to clarify the issue.

The document was finalized by the panel in mid-May and was due to be released to the public and the media in time for the start of this year’s hurricane season in June. But panel chair Ants Leetmaa, director of NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University, New Jersey, received an e-mail on 18 May from a commerce-department official informing him that the document needed to be made less technical and was not to be released. Leetmaa says department officials have not responded to his efforts to contact them since.

The report in Nature follows similar accusations published recently in Salon: (more…)

Republicans Ads Not Very Nice

The New York Times  follows yesterday’s article in the Los Angeles Times on negative ads with an article showing that current campaign ads are not very nice. Once again, it is the Repubicans who are making personal attacks while Democrats can afford to concentrate on a more relevant liability of thier opponents–their records:

While Democrats have largely concentrated their efforts on the political records of Republicans, the Republicans have zeroed in more on candidates’ personal backgrounds.

Representative Thomas M. Reynolds of New York, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said his investigators had been looking into prospective Democratic challengers since the summer of 2005.

“These candidates have been out there doing other things — they have never seen anything like this before,” Mr. Reynolds said of the Democratic challengers.

“We haven’t even begun to unload this freight train,” Mr. Reynolds said.