Keith Olbermann’s Special Investigation of the Months Leading to 9/11

Keith Olbermann takes a look back at the Bush Administration in the months leading up to the 9/11 attacks. He shows that, despite several warnings, they did nothing. The sure have no business now trying to blame Clinton or anyone other than themselves for the lack of preparation. Crooks and Liars has the video. Transcript below the fold.


Republican Senators Pretending To Be Tough on Terrorism While Ignoring Civil Liberties

In an attempt to counter recent evidence that Republican policies have increased our risk from terrorism, Congress is preparing legislation before the election to use to claim they are tough on terrorism and Democrats are aiding the terrorists by voting against their actions.
Latest word on the Senate’s consideration of legislation on detaining and trial of terror suspects is that a Democratic-sponsored amendment to guarantee suspects access to the courts was defeated. The New York Times also has an excellent editorial summarizing the flaws in the bill.

Yesterday the ACLU issued a press release on the National Security Surveillance Act, debunking Senator John Sununu’s claims that the compromised reached “protects the rights afforded to citizens in the Constitution.” I’ll post their debunking of these claims under the fold.


UN Report Finds That Iraq War Causing Increase in Islamic Extremism

Following the recent National Intelligence Estimate, there is yet another report showing that the Iraq war is making the threat from terrorism worse:

A U.N. report released on Wednesday said the Iraq war provided al Qaeda with a training centre and recruits, reinforcing a U.S. intelligence study blaming the conflict for a surge in Islamic extremism.

The report by terrorism experts working for the U.N. Security Council said al Qaeda was playing a central role in the fighting in Iraq as well as inspiring a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan, several hundred miles (km) away.

“New explosive devices are now used in Afghanistan within a month of their first appearing in Iraq,” said the report. “And while the Taliban have not been found fighting outside Afghanistan/Pakistan, there have been reports of them training in both Iraq and Somalia.”

Al Qaeda, it said, “has gained by continuing to play a central role in the fighting (in Iraq) and in encouraging the growth of sectarian violence, and Iraq has provided many recruits and an excellent training ground,” it said.

The report said that al Qaeda’s influence may soon wane in Iraq, citing some fighters’ complaints that they were unhappy to learn upon arriving in the country that they would have to kill fellow Muslims rather than foreign fighters or could serve their cause only as suicide bombers.

The report was prepared by a team of experts set up to monitor the effectiveness of Security Council sanctions imposed on the Taliban and al Qaeda shortly after the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Roger Ailes Pretends That Fox News Employs Journalists

Roger Ailes calls Bill Clinton’s response to Chris Wallace’s questions “an assault on all journalists.”

If Bill Maher will allow me, New Rule: Only networks which practice real journalism can complain about an assault on journalists.

Studio 60 and the Culture Wars

I finally found time to catch up with Monday’s television shows, including the second episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Now that the premise was set up in the pilot, this episode is more likely characteristic of what the series will be like. In some ways, The West Wing was also a good preview of this episode and perhaps the series. The show starts with Jordan handling a press conference while Matt and Danny watch on a monitor until it is their turn to come out. It felt like a scene in which Josh Lyman is watching C. J. Cregg at a press conference while talking with another member of the West Wing staff.

The press conference provided the opportunity to quickly recap the what the series is about and then show where it is going. A reporter for Rapture magazine asks if the “Crazy Christians” sketch Danny wrote will be aired. When it comes out that they plain on showing the sketch, a red state boycott of the show is launched. Jordan, as president of the network, stands up for principle similar to how President Jeb Bartlett would, except looking a lot cuter and perhaps a little less convincing in the role. This all leads to the grand finale of the episode, complete with a Gilbert and Sullivan opera. They even managed to bash television bloggers along the way.

Democratic Prospects Improving For Control of Senate

Conventional wisdom has been that the Democrats will win control of the House but are not likely to win enough seats to control the Senate. The New York Times finds more possibilities for the Democrats to win in Senate races. They report on Democratic prospects for victory in Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. It is far too early to predict what will happen in these states, but if the Republicans fail in their strategy of going negative to distract voters from their dismal record, there is the possibility for national trends to lead to Democratic control of both houses of Congress.