Failures of the Bush Administration
Here's what the present course looks like:
1) Outing our only mole in Al-Queda 2) Freeing three known terrorists 3) Botching a case against terrorists here 4) Allowing opium production in Afghan to explode 5) Refusing to increase efforts to track terrorist money 6) Botching the post-war in Iraq 7) Turning away from the hunt for Bin Laden 8) On the verge of breaking our Army 9) The terror threat has grown 10) With current policies, the federal debt by 2009 will be double the size it was on Jan 2001. 11) Outed an undercover CIA agent who was tracking WMD 12) Alienating most of the world.
SOURCES: (1) Al Qaeda mole row reveals US intelligence disarray By Jon Boyle, Reuters 08/10/04 11:32 ETPARIS, Aug 10 (Reuters) - The unmasking of an al Qaeda mole after a U.S. security alert points to disarray within U.S. intelligence and could mean President George W. Bush is accused of playing politics with security, the top U.S. election issue.Washington raised its security alert to high on August 1 and disclosed a man held in secret by Pakistan was the source of information that justified the alert.U.S. officials next morning confirmed a media report naming the man as Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, a computer expert arrested secretly in July and used by Pakistan to track down al Qaeda militants in Britain and America.Pakistani intelligence told Reuters that Khan was still working undercover when the U.S. security status was raised to orange and his name appeared in a U.S. newspaper.
Leak Allowed al-Qaida Suspects to Escape By MATTHEW PENNINGTON, AP 08/10/04 11:53 EDT Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, a 25-year-old Pakistani, was nabbed in a July 13 raid in the eastern city of Lahore. His capture was a signal victory for Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism. He led authorities to a key al-Qaida figure and sent e-mails to terrorists so investigators could trace their locations. But on Tuesday, two senior officials expressed dismay that the arrest of Khan made it into the media too soon - reported first in American newspapers on Aug. 2 after it was disclosed to journalists by U.S. officials in Washington. "Let me say that this intelligence leak jeopardized our plan and some al-Qaida suspects ran away," one of the Pakistani officials said on condition of anonymity. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice acknowledged Sunday that Khan's name had been disclosed to reporters in Washington "on background," meaning that it could be published, but the information could not be attributed by name to the official who had revealed it. US apologises for terror news leaks
Richard Norton-Taylor Friday September 17, 2004 The Guardian
President Bush's chief domestic security official yesterday apologised for the disruption of a big MI5 and police surveillance operation in Britain. Tom Ridge, the homeland security secretary, said the leaking of intelligence in the US about alleged terrorist suspects here was "regrettable". Mr Ridge was speaking to journalists in London before meeting David Blunkett and Sir David Omand, the prime minister's security and intelligence coordinator. Whitehall was furious early last month when individuals were named and allegations about terrorist attacks were made public in the US. The claims, about putative attacks on buildings in the US and on British targets, including Heathrow, were based on information found on the computers of an alleged al-Qaida sympathiser in Pakistan. The disclosures forced the police to quickly arrest 12 suspects in raids across England.
(2) Earlier this year, the Justice Department deported Nabil al-Marabh, No. 27 on the FBI's list of most-wanted al-Qaida operatives, to Syria earlier even though prosecutors in Detroit, Chicago and other cities had built criminal cases against him. AP, 9/8/04
U.S. Agrees to Release Terror Detainee By CURT ANDERSON, AP WASHINGTON (Sept. 22) -- The Justice Department has reached agreement with a U.S. citizen held as an enemy combatant for more than two years that clears the way for him to return to Saudi Arabia, officials said Wednesday. The agreement also means that despite his long incarceration, Yaser Esam Hamdi will not face any criminal charges in the United States. Hamdi was captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan where he was fighting alongside the Taliban in late 2001.
Militants Holding 2 Chinese Engineers in Pakistani Tribal Area; Al Qaeda Ties Alleged Associated Press Wednesday, October 13, 2004; Page A16 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28039-2004Oct12.html?referrer%3Demail&sub=AR ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 12 -- A former prisoner at the U.S. Navy facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, thought to have forged ties with al Qaeda since his release, is leading a militant band whose members kidnapped two Chinese engineers in a lawless region of Pakistan near the Afghan border, officials said. Mehsud, 28, came to Pakistan in March after about two years of detention at Guantanamo Bay. He was captured by U.S.-allied Afghan forces in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan in December 2001 while fighting for the Taliban, Pakistani officials said. It was not clear why U.S. authorities released Mehsud. After he returned to his tribal homeland in South Waziristan, he became a rebel leader and had opposed Pakistani forces hunting al Qaeda fighters in the semiautonomous area.
(3) U.S. Seeks to Throw Out Terror Convictions By JOHN SOLOMON and CURT ANDERSON, APWASHINGTON (Aug. 31) - The Justice Department asked a judge Tuesday to throw out the convictions of a suspected terror cell in Detroit because of prosecutorial misconduct, reversing course in a case the Bush administration once hailed as a major victory in the war on terrorism.In a late-night filing, the department told U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen that it supports the Detroit defendants' request for a new trial and would no longer pursue terrorism charges against them. That means the defendants at most would only face fraud charges at a new trial.
(4) Rumsfeld Says Drug Trade Is Threat to AfghanistanIn Visit to Kabul, Secretary of Defense Touts Progress in War on Terror By Tabassum Zakaria, APKABUL, Afghanistan (Aug. 11) -- The war against terror was being won in Afghanistan, but the country faced a new danger that threatened the entire international community, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld warned on Wednesday.Speaking at a news conference in the Afghan capital, Rumsfeld said the growing international heroin trade -- which originated with opium production in Afghanistan -- posed a grave danger to the country's fledgling democracy.The danger a large drug trade poses in this country is too serious to ignore, Rumsfeld said. The inevitable result is to corrupt the government and way of life, and that would be most unfortunate.”
British Report Warns Afghanistan Could 'Implode' Lawmakers Join Karzai's Call for More TroopsBy JANE WARDELL, APLONDON (July 29) - A British parliamentary committee called for more troops and resources to be sent to Afghanistan, warning the country could "implode" if its fragile situation is not shored up. It added that "there is little, if any, sign of the war on drugs being won," and it called on the British government to explain how it intends to meet targets on reducing poppy cultivation by 75 percent by 2008. It said that the coalition's failure to bring law and order to parts of Iraq had created a vacuum for criminals and members of the former regime, making the country a battle ground for al-Qaida.
(5) Last month the administration shot down a request from the Internal Revenue Service to increase the number of criminal investigators working to obstruct the financing of terrorist organizations. DOBBS,USN&WR, 4/19/04
(6) "We so underestimated and underplanned and underthought about a post-Saddam Iraq that we've been woefully unprepared." --Sen. Chuck Hagel R-NE [Washington Post, 11/14/03]The CPA was built from a staff of mainly young backers of the Bush administration who volunteered for what they believed would be the major event of their lives. They arrived in Iraq with a missionary's zeal. Many observers think the CPA's hard work was undercut by its employees' lack of experience, a focus on Washington's needs over Iraq's, and the lack of a plan for rebuilding the country. And Bremer's dismissal of the Iraqi army created a security vacuum that guerrillas soon filled. When the insurgency kicked in last summer, the CPA was knocked off balance. "We were just fighting fires. There was no Plan B," Fatfat said. "We didn't have time to plan things. We created a vacuum and it attracted people to fill it. It created the insurgency." The entity that became the CPA was itself formed in haste, in November 2002, just a few months before the war. The State Department's Iraq experts were deliberately left at home in favor of more politically reliable Bush appointees given temporary Pentagon jobs. AP, 6/20/04
(7) Washington shifted many of its highly classified special-forces units and officers who had been hunting bin Laden in Afghanistan, moving them to Iraq. TIME, 8/04/03 Mr. Woodward says in the book that the administration -- without informing Congress -- also diverted $700 million in funds, including military appropriations for Afghanistan, for Gen. Tommy Franks, who was secretly planning the campaign against Iraq. The plan, known as "Running Start," included about 30 preinvasion construction projects in Kuwait, which was used as a U.S. staging ground. Latest Book on Iraq War Raises Political Pressure on White HouseRobert S. Greenberger and David Rogers. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Apr 19, 2004. pg. A.4
(8) Tolerance of the situation in Iraq also appears to be declining within the U.S. military. Especially among career Army officers, an extraordinary anger is building at Rumsfeld and his top advisers."Like a lot of senior Army guys, I'm quite angry" with Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bush administration, the young general said. He listed two reasons. "One is, I think they are going to break the Army." But what really incites him, he said, is, "I don't think they care."Dissension Grows In Senior Ranks On War Strategy; U.S. May Be Winning Battles in Iraq But Losing the War, Some Officers Say; [FINAL Edition]Thomas E. Ricks. The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: May 9, 2004. p. A.01
In a bipartisan show of concern that the military is dangerously overworked, lawmakers said Wednesday the Pentagon is stretching troops to their limit and perhaps undermining the nation's future force. AP, 7/7/04About 43% of National Guardsmen returning from deployments in Iraq said they intend to leave when their contracts are up, according to the survey of 11,000 returning Guardsmen. WSJ, As Ranks Dwindle In a Reserve Unit, Army's Woes Mount:After Tours in Two War Zones, Many in 211th Are Fed Up; Tough Sell for Recruiters, 8/4/04
(9) Correcting an inaccurate report, the State Department announced Tuesday that acts of terror worldwide increased slightly last year and the number of people wounded rose dramatically. AP, 6/22/04Worldwide terrorism-related deaths on the rise NBC News findings run counter to recent Bush administration claims By Robert Rivas and Robert Windrem Of the roughly 2,929 terrorism-related deaths around the world since the attacks on New York and Washington, the NBC News analysis shows 58 percent of them - 1,709 - have occurred this year. [NOTE: This excludes the recent deaths in Beslan, Russia]
(10) CBO: Deficit-cut goal unlikely Projections grim even when using optimistic figures THE NEW YORK TIMES 9/8/04 WASHINGTON - Even if the United States saved billions of dollars by withdrawing all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush would still be unlikely to fulfill his promise of reducing the federal budget deficit by half within five years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. In the last independent assessment of Bush's fiscal policies before the November election, the CBO predicted that, if no existing laws change, the federal deficit will decline to $312 billion in 2009 from a record of $422 billion in 2004. If Bush persuades Congress to make his tax cuts permanent, the federal deficit would increase to about $500 billion in 2009. Over the next 10 years, the congressional agency said, the federal debt could swell by $4.8 trillion and climb rapidly after that as the nation's baby boomers start to draw Social Security and Medicare benefits. But in this new report, congressional analysts reached their conclusions even when they made extremely optimistic assumptions about war costs in Iraq and robust economic growth over the next few years. "The message is that you cannot grow your way out of this," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, CBO director and a former chief economist on Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. (11) “10 former CIA analysts and operatives called the disclosure of Plame's identity a "shameful event in American history" that had damaged national security.” REUTERS, 1/22/04 WASHINGTON (AP,June 2, 04) -- President Bush has consulted an outside lawyer in case he needs to retain him in the grand jury investigation of who leaked the name of a covert CIA operative last year, the White House said Wednesday. (12) Foreign Affairs Experts Criticize Bush Policy-Open Letter Dow Jones Equity News, Tuesday, October 12, 2004 at 17:06
NEW YORK (AP)--More than 650 foreign affairs experts from the U.S. and abroad have signed an open letter condemning the Bush administrationn's foreign policy, saying it has harmed the fight against terrorists and calling for a change of course. ."We judge that the current American policy centered around the war in Iraq is the most misguided one since the Vietnam period, one which harms the cause of the struggle against extreme Islamic terrorists,"the letter states. Poll: War in Iraq has increased terror threat THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 10/12/04 http://www.dailystar.com/dailystar/news/42926.php WASHINGTON - More than two-thirds of the people living in Australia, Britain and Italy - three countries allied with the United States in the Iraq war - believe the war has increased the threat of terrorism. More than half of those in the United States, 52 percent, believe the Iraq war has increased the threat of terrorism, while three in 10 in the United States think it has decreased the threat - a view promoted by President Bush. World 'wants Kerry as president' http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3640754.stm POLL RESULTS (KERRY-BUSH)
Norway: 74%-7% Germany: 74%-10% France: 64%-5% Italy: 58%-14% Spain: 45%-7% UK: 47%-16% Canada: 61%-16% Mexico: 38%-18% Brazil: 57%-14% China: 52%-12% Japan: 43%-32% Indonesia: 57%-34% India: 34%-33%