American Elephants


Remember… by American Elephant
September 11, 2010, 7:01 am
Filed under: Freedom, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: , , ,

September 11 is not a day for “national service”. It is not a day to pick up litter, it is not a day to install compact fluorescent light bulbs, it is not a day to register illegal aliens to vote. September 11 is a day to remember with absolute clarity that which many on the left are trying to obfuscate — that our nation withstood cunning, painstakingly planned attacks that were designed to destroy our economy, our defenses, and our very government all at the same time. It is a day to be acutely aware that others like them are plotting ways to launch even more devastating attacks on us.

It is a day to remember.

And in addition to remembering what happened that day, we should all remember that one of the reasons it happened is because our federal government got so big, and so corrupt, so distracted with things it should not be doing, that it utterly failed in the most important thing it is supposed to do — protect the American people.

In that vein, I re-post the following with very minor changes:

Remember the right things

Remember those who lost family, friends and loved ones. Remember them. They still grieve.

Be there for them, but let them do the grieving. It’s time for the rest of us to stop focusing on grief and remember.

Remember those who looked up at towering infernos, smelled the burning fuel, felt the heat, heard the girders buckle and groan — then gathered their courage and charged inside. Remember, especially, those who never made it back out.

But most importantly, remember what those bastards did to us:

Second Plane Hits Twin Towers

Remember airliners full of terrified men, women and children. Remember flight attendants with knives pressed to their throats.

Remember those trapped above the flames with no way out. Remember their calls to 911 operators. “Oh my God, I’m going to die!”

Remember the unfathomable choice forced on them, do they wait and burn alive, or do they jump 110 stories to their deaths?

Remember the bastards who did this to us.

Falling Man

Falling Man

Remember the passengers who knew. Remember telephone calls and last goodbyes. “I love you! …I’ve got to go now.” Remember how they fought back and sacrificed themselves — most likely saving the United States Congress in the process.

Remember the sound of the second plane full of people roaring in — so very low — and the explosive smack as it hit. Remember that split-second when you and I, and everyone across the country realized as one — this was no accident.

Remember everything those God-damned bastards did to us.

9-11 towers

Remember 2,873 savage murders.

Remember, but for the grace of God, there could have been 50,000 souls in the Trade Center had it been just a little later in the morning. Remember there were to have been more hijacked flights aimed at Chicago and Los Angeles and other cities across the country. Remember the anthrax.

Remember how close they came.

They chose their targets ruthlessly. They weren’t aiming only to kill Americans — to them, death was a fortunate consequence of their plan — they were aiming to destroy America itself.

They struck at heart of American commerce in order to destroy the economy:

9-11

They struck at the heart of American defense in order to destroy the military infrastructure:

9-11 pentagon

And they tried to strike the capitol, hoping to kill as much of Congress as possible, to destroy our government’s ability to recover. Thank God they were thwarted:

9-11 Shanksville

What would have happened to the economy with Wall Street and the financial district destroyed and congress dead? What would have happened to the military with its leadership dead? What would have happened throughout the country with Wall Street destroyed, the military command obliterated and no federal government to put things back together?

And what would have happened when additional attacks followed — as they were meant to?

Too many people think September 11th was only about killing. It was about killing — but it was about much more than that. It was about utterly destroying the entire nation. It was about bringing down America.

Remember it all. Remember everything they did. Remember how close those evil sons of bitches came.

Remember that they are working to attack us again.

[Originally published 9/11/2007]

Update: Michelle Malkin remembers.
Ed Morrissey looks ahead.
President Bush addresses Congress, September 20, 2001.
Gay Patriot remembers his friend, James Joe Ferguson.
Ace of Spades has the live on-air coverage from CNN that day.




Just Watch This! by The Elephant's Child
August 18, 2010, 3:00 pm
Filed under: History, Islam, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

(h/t: Contentions)



Yet Another Reason Americans Don’t Trust Democrats With National Security… by American Elephant
September 12, 2009, 6:44 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

Because they think this

Obama Painting

is an appropriate way to memorialize this

9-11 impact

It’s not. It’s shameful.

Just so you know, the entirely inappropriate idea of turning the anniversary of the biggest attack on our nation’s soil since the War of 1812 into a “Day of Service” is an orchestrated, cynical political ploy by Democrats who feared that remembering 9/11 would be of political benefit to Republicans, and so wanted to “take back 9/11″ — apparently by ignoring it altogether, or at best giving it very short shrift.

A quick moment of silence, and then spend the rest of the day installing compact fluorescent light bulbs or recycling! Grrrr!

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for volunteerism (and not meaningless, time-wasting “green” volunteerism, but volunteerism that actually helps). And unlike Obama, I believe volunteering means volunteering, not being paid. But my response to Democrats’  outrageous “Day of Service” proposal, is the same as your parents told you when you were a small child and you asked them why there is a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day but no “Children’s Day” — because every day is children’s day! Likewise, helping others is something we should be doing all year long, not on some designated holiday once a year. But if you make a “National Service Day” that is precisely what you promote: one day of service.

More importantly, remembering, and in so doing, comparing, the service of police and firefighters who lost their lives racing into towering infernos trying to save others by  painting living rooms, is not honoring their service at ALL, it is a MOCKERY of their sacrifice! Not to mention a mockery of the attacks.

Oh, how I wish I had more time to blog about this. As you can tell, it’s got my dander up. The more I think about it the more incensed I am.

This must not stand. This must not become a national tradition. I expect Republicans, as soon as they get back in power, to restore the focus of this day where it should be, on the attacks and response to 9/11.

What do you think?



Transparency, truthtelling and torture. by The Elephant's Child
April 25, 2009, 6:03 pm
Filed under: Freedom, Law, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: , , ,

Today’s tremendous, essential, must-read article is from Noemi Emery in the Weekly Standard.

Some Democrats, from the White House on down, are pushing the idea of a “truth commission,” à la South Africa, to deal with the “harsh measures” used by the Bush administration in interrogating al Qaeda detainees.  Good.  Let’s have lots of truthtelling.  Please bring it on. [...]

Also dropped down the memory hole — along with the names of all the Democrats who thought Saddam was a menace who cried out for removal — is what the ambience was like in late 2001 and 2002, when fears of anthrax and suitcase bombs ran rampant, and people on all sides tried to seem tough.  Let’s tell the truth about all the liberals who went on record supporting real torture, not to mention the Democrats in Congress, when it was cool to want to seem tough on our enemies, who couldn’t be too warlike.  Then war and tough measures stopped being cool, and “world opinion” became more important.  Nothing like statements under oath to revive ancient memories! And rewind the tapes.

Let’s get at the truth too about the word “torture,” which to different people, means different things.  Some think “torture” means standing on the 98th floor of a burning skyscraper and realizing you have a choice between jumping and being incinerated.  Some think torture is being crushed when a building implodes around you.  Some think torture is not thinking you might drown for several minutes, but looking at burning buildings on television and knowing that people you love are inside them.  They remember that being crushed, incinerated, or killed in a jump from the 98th story happened to almost 3,000 blameless Americans (as well as a number of foreigners), and that 125 Pentagon employees were killed at their desks, while many survivors suffered terrible burns.  They think the choice between stopping this from happening again by slapping around or scaring the hell out of a cluster of brigands, or leaving the brigands alone and letting it happen again, is a no-brainer.

I remember the members of Congress standing, quaking, on the steps of the Capitol building and spontaneously singing “God Bless America” in quavering voices, a bipartisan moment not seen since.  Nancy Pelosi has conveniently forgotten what she was told about interrogation, and many Democrats also conveniently suffer from selective memory.  Lets have a truthtelling session.  After all, this was supposed to be the most transparent administration in history.

Do read the whole thing. My excerpts don’t begin to capture the whole article.  Noemie Emery is a gem.



ABC News Connects Saddam and Bin Laden — in 1999! by American Elephant

I am shocked to have just stumbled across this video for the first time. I’ve never seen it before in my life — and I should have! Every American should have. Have you?

In it, ABC News shows the clear and increasingly dangerous connections between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden… in 1999! Over two years before the 9/11 attacks!

Filmed and aired long before then Governor Bush ever ran for the White House to begin with, and over 2 years before he took office, this video proves several very important things:

  1. That President Bush’s rationale for removing Saddam Hussein from power was entirely justified and based on widely accepted facts.
  2. That the idea that Saddam and Bin Laden would never work together because Saddam was secular and Bin Laden fundamentalist was ridiculous from the get go, and…
  3. That the intelligence that justified removing Saddam existed and was understood long before the Bush administration was even in Washington to supposedly manipulate it.

The deranged left will never be convinced of anything remotely resembling the truth, but remember this video next time you wonder if the war in Iraq was justified…

This video makes it clear: following 9/11, there was no other responsible alternative.

Tom Joscelyn elaborates at Powerline:

In any event, Saddam’s response was telling. Just two days after Operation Desert Fox ended he dispatched one of his top intelligence operatives, Faruq Hijazi, to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden. As I and others have written, Hijazi was no low-level flunky. He was one of Saddam’s most trusted goons and was responsible for overseeing a good deal of the regime’s terrorist and other covert activities. It was this meeting that led to widespread reporting on the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda. I collected a bunch of these reports, including the ABC News report, in “The Four-Day War.” Another, earlier piece also discusses Saddam’s conspicuous response to Operation Desert Fox.

The consensus in the media then was that there was a relationship between the two and that Saddam’s regime was very willing to work with al Qaeda against their common foe: America. And vice versa. Indeed, the reporting indicated that they had been working together even long before Operation Desert Fox…. [Read the rest]

Has anyone noticed ABC airing this report since we invaded Iraq? And why the hell haven’t they!? Where the hell was this report during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings??

Unconscionable!

(h/t: Powerline via Vince P)



Oh, shame on you, Howard! by The Elephant's Child

Demogogue Dean

Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democrat National Committee, was on FOX News Sunday, yesterday, doing the sort of thing that Democrat National Committee Chairmen usually do — accusing Republicans of “race baiting” because people have been shocked by the sermons of the pastor that Obama extolled as his “spiritual advisor”.

CHRIS WALLACE: Governor, are you suggesting that bringing up Jeremiah Wright is race baiting, and
hate and divisive?

HOWARD DEAN: Yeah, I am suggesting that kind of stuff. I think when you start bringing up candidates that have nothing to do with the issue — when you start bringing up things that have nothing to do with the candidate and nothing to do with the issues, that’s race baiting, and that’s exactly what it is, just like Willie Horton was race baiting so many years ago.

I think we’re going to take a — we’re going to turn the page on this stuff. I tell you, you know, there’s a lot of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats on issues, but the biggest issue of all is we don’t use this kind of stuff. We never have used this kind of stuff, and we’re not going to start now.

My reaction to Pastor Jeremiah Wright was shock. When he said “God Damn America” and blamed America for the attacks of 9/11, I would have arisen in the middle of the sermon and walked out, never to return. I don’t look favorably on anti-Americanism. I recognize the free speech rights of anyone, but I don’t have to stick around and listen. And I’m surprised when others do stick around. And I’m sorry, Dr. Dean, but it’s a character thing, not a race thing.



Still a Proud Bush Supporter! by American Elephant

First Lady Laura and President George W. Bush

…and so is the Anchoress, who takes us down memory lane in an excellent post recalling all the great good President Bush has done for conservatives, for America, and for the world. In the face of the most evil vitriol and venom the hysterical left could muster, President Bush has exemplified the very best in grace and character.

In this poisonous atmosphere — where it has become de rigueur for cowed conservatives to qualify their support of the President with caveats like, “well, I don’t agree with everything Bush has done” (Of course you don’t you ninnies!) — there are some on the right who would greatly benefit from (and should be somewhat shamed by) this reminder of what a great man with the courage of his convictions looks like.

The left is hopeless. They are hysterical, ignorant, and naive. They loathed President Reagan much the same way, and look how stupid history has proved them to be. I have no doubt that history will record President Bush as near-great, and the Anchoress recalls many of the reasons why.

Read the entire post.



Terrorism and Communism: Myth or reality? by The Elephant's Child
November 8, 2007, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy | Tags: , , , , , ,

Communism

In spite of 9/11, the first World Trade Center attack, Khobar Towers, the Cole, the London Subway bombers, the Madrid bombers, and dozens of attacks across the world there are still people out there who feel that we have an “inordinate fear of terrorism”, just as Jimmy Carter once accused of an “inordinate fear of Communism”.

Randall Hoven, writing at the American Thinker, takes on the inordinate fear of Communism and clarifies some of the myths and realities of the Cold War.

“To many people today, “communism” is just an old bugaboo–something crazy people used to fear some 50 years ago.  Crazy people like Joe McCarthy.  Or crazy people like John Nash in the movie A Beautiful Mind.  In that movie, Nash’s insanity was manifested in the belief that communists were spying on him.  (The real-life Nash’s schizophrenic hallucinations were of the more garden variety “space alien” type)  Hollywood has given us several films about the bad old days of the Cold War, from The Front and The Way We Were to The Majestic and Good Night, And Good Luck. “

Read the whole thing.



Katie Couric: Press Overwhelmingly Liberal, Biased and Ignorant by American Elephant

Katie Couric

In a rare moment of accidental honesty from the mainstream press, the anchor of the third largest network news broadcast admitted Tuesday that the mainstream news media are overwhelmingly liberal, uniformly biased and incredibly misinformed.

Addressing the National Press Club, Katie Couric made the astonishing admission that, “Everyone in this room would agree that people in this country were misled in terms of the rationale of this war.”

First of all, the National Press Club is one of the largest press organizations in the country — certainly a veritable who’s who of beltway journalism. If you report on Washington, you’re undoubtedly in the club.

With such a large and diverse membership, reporting to news audiences from sea to shining sea, one would theoretically expect their viewpoints to be as vastly diverse as those of the Americans they report to.

Theoretically. But we know better.

Couric not only freely admitted that every one of the hundreds of journalists at the luncheon held exactly the same viewpoint, but that it was common knowledge and so uncontroversial that it could be openly addressed:

Everyone in this room would agree…,”she said.

But not only did Couric admit that they all held the same opinion, she confessed what that opinion is:

“…that people in this country were misled in terms of the rationale of this war.”

And in doing so admitted that the press is overwhelmingly ignorant because that opinion is flatly, demonstrably, 100% contradicted by the facts.

There have now been three separate bi-partisan and non-partisan investigations that have looked at Iraq intelligence: the Senate Select Intelligence Committee Report on Pre-War Intelligence, the Robb-Silbermann Commission and the Dulfer Report (as well as the Lord Butler Report in the United Kingdom) — which interviewed everyone at every level of intelligence, from gathering, to interpreting to disseminating — all of which unanimously concluded that no one lied, no one misled, no one pressured, and no one “cooked the books.”

No, I take that back, the bi-partisan Senate report unanimously concluded that Joe Wilson is a bald-faced liar, but other than him, they all concluded that the intelligence and the processes may have been faulty, but that NO one lied.

And yet here we have Katie Couric brazenly admitting that everyone in the media believes otherwise. Are you beginning to see why Americans are so misinformed?

Furthermore, Couric claimed that among, “accepted truths,” was that the Bush administration erred by“disbanding the Iraq military.”

I’m sorry to break it to you Katie, but that’s not the “accepted truth” by a long shot.

We now know that the Iraqi police force — which never was disbanded — is so riddled with corruption that experts now argue the only chance we have to fix the police is to scrap them completely, i.e. disband them, and start from scratch. So the idea that disbanding the Iraqi army was a mistake is “accepted truth” only by liberals intent on criticizing President Bush without any regard for the facts.

And how can anyone expect the public to be accurately informed when the people disseminating the news are so woefully and willfully misinformed themselves?



Liberals’ Bumper-Sticker Mentality by American Elephant
September 16, 2007, 4:24 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Politics, The Constitution | Tags: , , ,

Benjamin Franklin

I had to laugh when I heard John Edwards call the War on Terror a bumper-sticker — I guess one doesn’t see many bumpers from the backseat of a town-car.

Not once since the war began have I seen those words on any bumper, in fact, other than the apparently controversial sentiment, “Support the Troops,” I don’t see many conservative bumper-stickers at all.

But I have seen, “No Blood For Oil”, “War is NOT a Family Value”, “Bush Lied, People Died”, “War Never Solved Anything”, “Peace Works”, “Practice pre-emptive LOVE”, “War is NOT Pro-Life”, “Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism”, and my favorite, “Pollution is a moral issue” (right above the exhaust pipe of an old black-smoke-belching VW van). Often they’re all on the same car, invariably adjacent to a prominently displayed and fading, “Kerry/Edwards 04,” and a picture of a marijuana leaf.

And that really is just scratching the surface. I know you’ve seen them too. There are thousands of such inanities plastered on thousands of “progressive” Prius posteriors.

No, the fact is that there are very few conservative bumper stickers for the same reason conservative protests are virtually unheard of — they’re silly. They accomplish nothing other than to broadcast the simplemindedness and more often than not, ignorance, of the owner.

War never solved anything? I concede it has a certain ring to it. It’s short, sweet, straight to the point. The problem is that it’s also factually incorrect. Of course war has solved many of the worlds greatest ills — slavery, genocide, Nazism, Fascism, Communism and tyranny of all sorts. It has also now solved the problem of Saddam Hussein. No longer do we need worry about that particular rogue tyrant aiding terrorists bent on our destruction. And that, in itself, makes the world a great deal safer.

And yet this bumper-sticker mentality pervades the left. It betrays the emotionalism that is the foundation of their ideology. That their slogans are so demonstrably wrong is unimportant — that they sound good is all that matters.

An excellent example of this has been the widespread use by liberals of a misquotation of Benjamin Franklin they use to protest the Terrorist Surveillance Program. They plaster it everywhere — from websites to yes, bumper-stickers and protest signs — no doubt you’ve seen or heard it somewhere:

Liberal protestors display their ignorance

Of course Benjamin Franklin would never say such an idiotic thing. We trade some liberty for security every day. If you don’t believe me try exercising your “right” to keep driving next time you see a set of police lights flashing in your rear-view mirror, or try opening a bank account without giving any personal information.

The original quote is actually,

“Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY, deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY”

Now, of course, that’s an entirely different ball of wax.

Anyone who would argue that international phone calls with suspected terrorists compromise an “essential liberty” simply isn’t dealing in reality. You can’t cross the the border without the distinct possibility of a warrantless search of your vehicle, your possessions, and your person — coming and going — how is an international telephone call to suspected enemies more sacrosanct than an innocent day-trip to British Columbia?

The constitution doesn’t prohibit search or seizure, it prohibits government from performing unreasonable search and seizure. And there’s nothing unreasonable about listening in to phone calls placed from telephone numbers found in Khalid Sheik Mohammad’s laptop. Yet the fact that he had a phone number on his hard drive isn’t sufficient evidence to provide the “probable cause” necessary to secure the warrant liberals demand we get. No doubt many of those phone numbers belong to people plotting against the United States, but if we were to follow liberal’s bumper-sticker understanding of the Constitution, we wouldn’t be able to listen to terrorists making calls to cell members inside the United States because simply being buddies with one of the most heinous terrorists in the world doesn’t clear the threshold of probable cause.

The irony is that the essential liberty Franklin was referencing was the right to defend oneself and the temporary safety was a reference to appeasing violent marauders (or dare I say, terrorists) in the hope they wouldn’t attack. He was defending a liberty liberals are against and denouncing the appeasement they favor.

So here we have liberals either knowingly bastardizing or ignorantly misquoting Franklin to make an argument at odds with what he was saying in the first place. Whether they are being intentionally dishonest or naively uninformed is of absolutely no interest to them, either are acceptable, all that matters is that it sounds good.

Or as liberals in the news media have become fond of saying, “the facts are wrong, but the narrative is right.”

Come to think of it, that wouldn’t make a bad bumper sticker:

LIBERALISM: The Facts are Wrong, But the Narrative is Right!

But that would be silly.



Remember… by American Elephant

Remember the right things

Remember those who lost family, friends and loved ones. Remember them. They still grieve.

Be there for them, but let them do the grieving. It’s time for the rest of us to stop focusing on grief and remember.

Remember those who looked up at towering infernos, smelled the burning fuel, felt the heat, heard the girders buckle and groan — then gathered their courage and charged inside. Remember, especially, those who never made it back out.

But most importantly, remember what those bastards did to us:

Second Plane Hits Twin Towers

Remember airliners full of terrified men, women and children. Remember flight attendants with knives pressed to their throats.

Remember those trapped above the flames with no way out. Remember their calls to 911 operators. “Oh my God, I’m going to die!”

Remember the unfathomable choice forced on them, do they wait and burn alive, or do they jump 110 stories to their deaths?

Remember the bastards who did this to us.

Falling Man

Falling Man

Remember the passengers who knew. Remember telephone calls and last goodbyes. “I love you! …I’ve got to go now.” Remember how they fought back and sacrificed themselves — most likely saving the United States Congress in the process.

Remember the sound of the second plane full of people roaring in — so very low — and the explosive smack as it hit. Remember that split-second when you and I, and everyone across the country realized as one — this was no accident.

Remember everything those God-damned bastards did to us.

9-11 towers

Remember 2,873 savage murders.

Remember, but for the grace of God, there could have been 50,000 souls in the Trade Center had it been just a little later in the morning. Remember there were to have been more hijacked flights aimed at Chicago and Los Angeles and other cities across the country. Remember the anthrax.

Remember how close they came.

They chose their targets ruthlessly. They weren’t aiming only to kill Americans — to them it was a fortunate consequence of their plan — they were aiming to destroy America.

They struck at heart of American commerce in order to destroy the economy:

9-11

They struck at the heart of American defense in order to destroy the military infrastructure:

9-11 pentagon

And they tried to strike the capitol, hoping to kill as much of Congress as possible, to destroy our government’s ability to recover. Thank God they were thwarted:

9-11 Shanksville

What would have happened to the economy with Wall Street and the financial district destroyed and congress dead? What would have happened to the military with its leadership dead? What would have happened throughout the country with Wall Street destroyed, the military command obliterated and no federal government to put things back together?

And what would have happened when additional attacks followed — as they were meant to?

Too many people think September 11th was only about killing. It was about killing — but it was about much more than that. It was about utterly destroying the entire nation. It was about bringing down America.

Remember it all. Remember everything they did. Remember how close those evil sons of bitches came.

[Originally published 9/11/2007]



Thank God for Vice President Dick Cheney! by American Elephant

Vice President Dick Cheney

Yes, you heard me right. Such an unpopular sentiment these days, but it’s exactly the right one. Fortunately, our founding fathers—in their great wisdom—knew with such certainty that the majority is not always right that they made it a cornerstone of our republic. Now—just as with President Truman, and his even lower approval ratings—is precisely such a time.

And we are also very fortunate they knew with equal certainty that opportunistic politicians in Congress should have absolutely no powers to command war. Today is a perfect example. While Democrats are doing everything in their power, stooping to all manners of reprehensible new lows to get back in power, including undermining their country in war time for political gain, lying, leaking, and intentionally misrepresenting policy to the American people, (not to mention stealing top-secret documents, stuffing them in their pants and destroying them) —Vice President Cheney and President Bush are very busy doing everything in their Constitutional powers to protect the country and make sure another 9/11 never happens.

Thank God the adults are in charge!

The following is a portion of a must-read article by Stephen Hayes that gives a glimpse into the real Cheney, his essential work, and that lays bare the distortions and bald faced opportunistic lies of the reprehensible Democrats. Read the whole thing here.

Dick Cheney sat transfixed by the images on the small television screen in the corner of his West Wing office. Smoke poured out of a gaping hole in the World Trade Center’s North Tower. John McConnell, the vice president’s chief speechwriter, sat next to him and said nothing.Then, a second plane appeared on the right-hand side of the screen, banked slightly to the left, and plunged into the South Tower. “Did you see that?” Mr. Cheney asked his aide.

A little more than an hour later, Mr. Cheney was seated below the presidential seal at a long conference table in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, better known as the bunker. When an aide told Mr. Cheney that another passenger airplane was rapidly approaching the White House, the vice president gave the order to shoot it down. The young man was so surprised at Mr. Cheney’s immediate response that he asked again. Mr. Cheney reiterated the order. Thinking that Mr. Cheney must have misunderstood the question, the military aide asked him a third time.

The vice president responded evenly. “I said yes.”

These early moments and all that followed from them will define Mr. Cheney’s vice presidency. He was aggressive in those first moments of the war on terror and has been ever since.

Mr. Cheney flew from the White House that night to Camp David, where he stayed in the Aspen Lodge, usually reserved for the president. It was his first night in the “secure, undisclosed location” that would eventually provide fodder for late night comedians. When he woke the next morning, Mr. Cheney asked himself two questions: When is the next attack? And what can I do to prevent it?

They were the questions on the minds of many politicians immediately following 9/11. “When, not if” quickly became one of many clichés to emerge from the national trauma of that day. Democrats and Republicans alike spoke of further terrorist acts on U.S. soil with certainty.

Sen. Bob Graham, a Democrat from Florida who has since retired but at the time was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, described the intelligence after a CIA briefing days after 9/11. “There is evidence that Tuesday’s attack was the first phase of a multi-phase series of terrorist assaults against the United States, all under one umbrella plan,” he said. “It’s critical that we move with what capabilities we have today and strengthen those capabilities so that the next acts of this horrendous scheme against the people of the United States can be interdicted before it is executed.”

No wonder, then, that a Time/CNN poll, taken in September 2001, found that four out of five Americans believed another attack within a year was either “somewhat likely” or “very likely.”

That was nearly six years ago. To many, the threats no longer seem urgent. Critics speak of “the so-called war on terror,” and accuse the administration of exaggerating the threats. Zbigniew Brzezinski, a leading indicator of Democratic conventional wisdom, recently argued that the “culture of fear” created in response to the 9/11 attacks has done more damage than the attacks themselves.

But Mr. Cheney has not moved on. He still awakens each day asking the same questions he asked on Sept. 12, 2001. [read the rest]




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