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This one they can't blame on Clinton

Remember last year when The Path to 9/11 came out and sent the righties into fits of blogasmatic Clinton hate? They heralded the docudrama as an indictment of the Clinton administration for failing to stop Bin Laden. One scene that had them practically calling for Bill's head on a pike was a scene in which then-National Security Advisor Sandy Berger calls off a special ops mission that could have resulted in the capture or killing of Bin Laden himself. And even though it turned out the scene was complete fiction, righties nonetheless professed it as prime example of the timidity of Clinton's approach to terrorism.

I wonder if they'll express any outrage at the Bush administration's approach.
A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.

The target was a meeting of Qaeda leaders that intelligence officials thought included Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy and the man believed to run the terrorist group’s operations.

But the mission was called off after Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter J. Goss, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled, said a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning.

Consider that this operation occurred (or rather didn't occur) relatively recently. Since 9/11 we've been bombarded with all sorts of warnings about the dangers of Al-Qaeda. Yet when the Bushies had a potential shot at one of the main perpetrators of the worst terrorist incident in US history, they demurred. There must have been a really good reason for not proceeding, other than the nominal claim of not wanting to piss off Perez.
Mr. Rumsfeld decided that the operation, which had ballooned from a small number of military personnel and C.I.A. operatives to several hundred, was cumbersome and put too many American lives at risk, the current and former officials said.

This excuse is both laughable and insulting when you consider that no similar qualms apparently exist for the "cumbersomeness" and "risk" to Americans currently bogged down in Iraq.

The righties were pissed at Clinton for a fake act of indecision. Yet Bush's actual act barely registers a blip on their hardly-ever-right radar.

More from Joe Gandelman (and thanks for the link).

Blog Thanks: Slate.com for picking up the SotD of this post, even though they did attribute it to Creature.

(Filed at State of the Day)

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