Saturday, October 26, 2013

Donald Rumsfeld Said Bin Laden's Mountain Lair was Serious Business

The fictoid of Bin Laden's mountain fortress
Paul Waldman has a great piece that will defibrillate your memory of the kind of BS that was coming out of the Bush-Cheney administration after they got caught with their pants down--after W himself had told the CIA agent that gave him the PDB on August 6, 2001 entitled Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US, "All right. You've covered your ass, now."

Here's a paragraph and the footnote from Paul:
The answer, in case you've forgotten, is that [Cheney] and so many other Bush administration officials were basically enacting a fantasy in which the enemy—"the terrorists"—were not actually a bunch of semi-literate religious fanatics who got incredibly lucky one time with an extraordinarily low-tech attack, but were actually evil geniuses, had unlimited resources at their disposal, and could execute complex, highly technical schemes with multiple interlocking parts that enabled them to do things like get close enough to the Vice President to deliver him a fatal electric shock. And of course, we can't close Guantanamo and house the prisoners now there in supermax prisons in the United States, from which no inmate has ever escaped, because they're terrorists, and who knows what super-powers they might have developed in the fantastically well-equipped lab in their hollowed-out-mountain lair? 1 
1 I joke, but do you remember Bin Laden's mountain fortress? It was quite a remarkable feat of engineering—check out this conversation between Tim Russert and Donald Rumsfeld, going over all its amazing details. "A ventilation system!" marveled Russert. "The entrances large enough to drive trucks and even tanks!" Even computer systems and telephone systems. It's a very sophisticated operation!" "Oh, you bet," responded the Secretary of Defense. "This is serious business. And there's not one of those. There are many of them." You may also remember that the mountain fortress never existed. It was all made up.
It's amazing alright. Go read the story of how this particular piece of bullshit made it out of Rumsfeld's mouth,  from Edward J Epstein, and how, perhaps even more horrifying, the press ate it up.

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