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 Saturday, August 14, 2004

  Bill Maher: "Bush blew it the morning of 9/11"

Other Breaking News
  • British journalist James Brandon, a freelancer working for the U.K.'s Sunday Telegraph newspaper, who was kidnapped late yesterday in Basra, southern Iraq, has been freed by his captors, Sky News reported. Read here for more
  • The Washington Post apologized for flawed reporting in the runup to war in Iraq last year, publishing a front-page story by media reporter Howard Kurtz that called the paper's coverage "strikingly one-sided at times." In his 3,000-word article, Mr. Kurtz said Post editors tended to relegate pieces that criticized the Bush administration's war plans and the rationale for invading Iraq to the back pages of the paper. Read here for more
  • Judith Miller, the star New York Times reporter widely criticized for exaggerating the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, was subpoenaed yesterday by a Washington grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of a C.I.A. undercover officer to the columnist Robert Novak and other journalists. Read here for more
  • Shiite radical leader Muqtada Sadr has not been wounded, Iraqi Defence Ministry spokesman said without explaining whether the reports about Sadr’s being wounded had led to the ceasefire. Muqtada Sadr is safe and sound, Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Nakib said. Read here for more
  • With its twin minarets and glinting gold dome, the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf has been a beacon for the Muslim faithful for more than a thousand years. But with fighting raging around the Iraqi shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam is reprising a different historical role: rallying point against foreign forces. Several Shiite Muslims likened any attack on the mosque to bombing the Vatican and predicted that it would spark retaliatory attacks on U.S. facilities in Afghanistan , India, Pakistan, Lebanon and other nations with significant Shiite populations. Read here for more
  • Thousands of Shiites have headed from Karbala to Najaf to make a “live shield” and protect Muslim sanctuaries. Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr’s supporters from Kut have also headed for Najaf. Read here for more
  • Two young Army officers with time in Iraq are the brains behind a new Web site called Operation Truth that will be launched later this month. Former Capt. David Chasteen and 1st Lt. Paul Rieckhoff, who is still serving in the Army National Guard, hope to "educate the American public about the truth of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the perspective of the soldiers who have experienced them first-hand." Their brochure says, "We intend to publicize how poorly planned policies and approaches have manifested themselves as problems on the front lines and back at home. We will act domestically to protect our troops and to aid them in their fight to protect us." Read here for more

  • Read here full article by Bill Maher
    Maher is the host of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."

    11th August 2004

    John Kerry has waded into an issue raised by Michael Moore in his film "Fahrenheit 9/11," namely:
    President Bush's sitting for seven minutes in a Florida classroom after being told "the country is under attack."
    The fact that Bush wasted 27 minutes that day - not only the seven minutes reading to kids but 20 more at a photo op afterward - was, in my view, the most outrageous thing a President has done since Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the Supreme Court.

    Watergate was outrageous but it still did not carry the possibility of utter devastation, like a President's freezing at the very moment we needed his immediate focus on an attack on the United States.

    This is an issue about the ultimate presidential duty, acting in an emergency.

    Republicans are tying themselves in knots trying to defend Bush's actions that morning.

    The excuses they put forward are absurd:

    (1) He was "gathering his thoughts."

    This was a moment a President should have imagined a thousand times.

    There is no time in the nuclear age for a President to sit like Forrest Gump "gathering thoughts" after an attack has begun.

    Gathering information is what he should have been doing.

    (2) From the White House press secretary: "The President felt he should project strength and calm until he could better understand what was happening."

    I agree that gaining a better understanding of what was happening should have been his goal.

    What I don't get is how that goal was reached by just sitting there instead of getting up and talking to people.

    Is he a psychic? Was he receiving the information telepathically?

    (3) "He didn't want to scare the children."

    Vice President Cheney has said of Kerry, "The senator from Massachusetts has given us ample reason to doubt the judgment he brings to vital issues of national security."

    But at a moment of national crisis, Bush's judgment was: Better not to scare 20 children momentarily than to react immediately to an attack on the country!

    If he had just said, "Hey, kids, gotta go do some President business - be good to your moms and dads, bye!" my guess is the kids would have survived.

    I cannot see how someone who considers himself a conservative can defend George Bush's inaction.

    Bush choked at the most important moment a President could have.

    We're lucky Al Qaeda had done its worst by the time he pulled himself away from the photo op.

    Next time, it might not be that way.

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