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How the Gingrich Stole the Hunt for Osama

Several people have noted this in depth expose by Evan Thomas about the stalled hunt for Osama Bin Laden. And like them, this bit here stuck out to me.
Rather than send the snake eaters to poke around mountain caves and mud-walled compounds, the U.S. military wanted to fight on a grander stage, where it could show off its mobility and firepower. To the civilian bosses at the Pentagon and the eager-to-please top brass, Iraq was a much better target.

By invading Iraq, the United States would give the Islamists—and the wider world—an unforgettable lesson in American power. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was on Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board and, at the time, a close confidant of the SecDef. In November 2001, Gingrich told a NEWSWEEK reporter, "There's a feeling we've got to do something that counts—and bombing caves is not something that counts."

Now this revelation isn't exactly new. It's been reported before that the Bush administration had set their sights on Iraq because it provided "good targets" for the US military. But this is, to my knowledge, the first time that Newt Gingrich has been implicated in setting the policy that shifted assets away from the hunt for Bin Laden to Iraq. The reason I find this interesting is because the former Speaker very recently said the "war on terror" was "phony" and said we are losing ground to the terrorists.

Perhaps if Newt had been more adamant about the need to "bomb a few caves" and less about hitting the "good targets" so we "do something that counts", we might not be losing this "phony" war.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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