More Woodward stuff:

Later, with a Bush back in the White House, Bandar bullied the president into explicitly endorsing a two-state solution to the Israeli-conflict by threatening a total cutoff of Saudi support for U.S. policies. (Bush may never have played poker, but Bandar obviously has.) In another instance, the Saudi prince imperiously demanded — and, worse, obtained — two CIA officials to accompany him on a wild goose chase to Pakistan, where he hoped to kill Bin Laden. During a meeting in the Oval Office, according to Woodward, Bush personally thanked Bandar because the Saudis had flooded the world oil market and kept prices down in the run-up to the 2004 general election.

In those three sentences (not counting the parenthetical) is a dense and damning and altogether new indictment of Dear Leader. The first conclusively snuffs the silly claims of Bush’s alleged fairness to the Palestinians, something not infrequently peddled by that fool Christopher Hitchens and his mentor, that hack Paul Wolfowitz. The third sentence shows the extent of the filthy collusion of the Saudi Royal Family and the Republican Party — the Republican Don thanking his electoral hitmen for a job well done. But the second sentence, the one I’ve highlighted, is the one that really boggles my mind.

Bush really let Prince Bandar commandeer CIA agents to help him chase after Osama bin Laden? This, after Bush so fucked up apprehending bin Laden when there was a real chance of doing it?

…a number of al-Qaeda detainees later confirmed that bin Laden had escaped Tora Bora into Pakistan via an easternly route through snow covered mountains in the area of Parachinar, Pakistan. He also claims that bin Laden could have been captured if United States Central Command had committed the troops that Berntsen had requested. Former CIA agent Gary Schroen concurs with this view.[2] Pentagon documents seem to confirm this account.

It’s my belief that George W. Bush never really wanted to catch OBL — after all, the perpetual war game that gives him so much power would be much harder to play if Evil Doer #1 were captured or killed: if it happened, fine, if not.. so much the better. If Bush really let Prince Bandar (who probably does want to kill OBL) go on a wild goose chance, then, while using US assets, it was only because Bandar bulldogged him into it, and Bush thought the Prince’s hunt was unlikely to succeed anyway.


Also from the same piece, this bit puts the Kissinger news in its proper context:

As Woodward now reveals, they’ve even introduced Henry Kissinger back into the equation, and he now is Bush’s most frequent nongovernmental advisor on foreign policy. Cheney and Rumsfeld were bright young men headed for the top during the Nixon and Ford administrations, both of whom thought of themselves, as others did, as future presidents. Though the disaster in Southeast Asia hardly ruined them, a certain stigma has attached itself ever since.

For them, the Iraq war, the whole wrenching debate over domestic spying, the detainees and unitary executive power is all about Vietnam. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Kissinger all have been convinced for decades that the country drew all the wrong historical and governmental conclusions from Vietnam. The Reagan era intervention in Central America was a first attempt to overturn those conclusions, but it foundered on the arms-for-hostages scandal. Once George W. Bush — for a set of Freudian family issues too tedious to belabor — put himself in their clutches, he became the instrument of a Cheney/Rumsfeld/Kissinger attempt to abolish 30 years of history and their enduring resentment that their youthful exercise of power ended in failure, death and disaster.

So, here we are again.

I’m as cynical as they get when it comes to this crew. These people would have stepped over their own grandmothers (indeed, W. stepped over his own father) to go on their murderous rampage in Iraq, and to hold on to power at home; they really are the scum of humanity. But I never imagined it was this bad. When such people can exceed even my cynicism, they really are the moral equivalent of Nazi child molesters (a.k.a. Chicago Cubs fans); or, put another way, adjusted for respective culture, they’re on par with OBL; they’re our OBL, just as ruthless in the context of what’s permissable in our culture, if somewhat less competent than the crazy fundie bastard who stares back at them through a sand-scratched mirror, carefully violating the decencies of his culture while all the while pledging fealty to its pieties.


Comments: 27


Of recently, I’ve been leaning more and more toward a “Shrubco is really not trying to capture or kill OBL, all the better to have him pop-up like an Osama-in-teh-box on occasion, when a distraction is required, going, ‘booga-booga!!1!'” The inept job at Tora Bora. The closing of the Bin Laden unit at… was it the FBI or the CIA? Well, whatever. The lame “Pakistan can’t go get him, ’cause those mean ol’ tribesmen are just too combative to let their own national troops into Buttfuckistan province and surrounding areas.” It all so very convenient, isn’t it?
Then again, I am probably twelve times as paranoid as the average Sadly, No! denizen. But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me!


Oh, and: FRIST!!1!!!1! And, with NO open tagz! Huzzah!!


My god. I thought he was a loon, but Bartcop has been right all along.


Uh oh, they’re gonna use this post to show how the craaaazy libruls think that Bush is a Nazi bin Laden child molesing cubs fan. Goldstein’s gonna slap you with his cock.


How bad is it when one feels something like relief now that the Shrub-Induced Apocalyptic Rapture Theory seems less likely?

But it’s a really grungy, uncomfortable, compromised relief. Like being happy you got Pinochet instead of Hitler.


Slightly OT, I was listening this morning to John Yoo explaining the Jail and Torture Forever If The President Doesn’t Like You Act of 2006 on NPR, and I realized that there is no way BushCo or the Republicans can ever withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Their ability to hold detainees indefinitely without charges or trial depends on those detainees being enemy combatants (as opposed to criminal defendants). But enemy combatants can only be held until the cessation of hostilities — so if our military stands down, we have to let the detainees go free. And if they go free, then the world gets the full story of how they were treated. So I think BushCo really needs to have troops in active combat zones to keep their whole scheme from unraveling.


Why do you think Bandar wants OBL killed? Why would he?

Bandar is a rent seeker who wants to keep his rent (oil prices) high. The more instability in the middle east, the higher oil prices. While this could eventually endanger Bandar’s ability to seek rents (say if OBL were to stage a coup de etat), but with Bush in office that won’t happen. The US government would never allow the House of Saud to fall.

Exxon Mobil made 30 Billion in profits last year. How much do you think Saudi Arabia made?

Let’s just say that Bandar and OBL have a love hate and codependent relationship.


tomboy, it’s possible that bandar and co. view obl as more of a direct threat to their deal.

Professor Illuminata

I heard that interview too, and actually got teary when I realized that these guys know what they’re doing to the constitution, but they don’t care.

On a (sort of) lighter note, about 20 minutes later Newt Gingrich was talking about why WalMart is so much greater at providing health care, food relief and foreign aid than the government (I swear), and he started at least two sentences with “The fact is”. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Gary and Newt in the same place at the same time. Hmmm….


It is very important to understand that there is more to the Saudi Royal family than oil prices. Their retention of power is the most important thing – accumulating (more) wealth is at this point secondary. Like the Egyptian government under Mubarak, but for completely different reasons, the islamic revolutionaries HATE them and have the stated goal of toppling their government. Remember where Mecca is. No, if the Royal family could kill bin Laden or any of his ilk, they would not hesitate…



Prof – I think it’s just that they are both charlatans. When you know you are saying things that aren’t true, you have to start with ‘the fact is’ because you are also convincing yourself. Otherwise the whole medicine show falls flat.


Tim Rutten, who wrote the LA TImes review this is linked to, is the LAT’s media critic, and his Saturday column is always smart, on target, and etc. And, of course, his reference to “Freudian family issues” is brilliant, because as you all know it’s what I’ve been saying all along. Okay, you all don’t know. But trust me. I have been.


[…] There’s new evidence that the “low” gas prices we’re seeing are the result of outside manipulations. “During a meeting in the Oval Office, according to Woodward, Bush personally thanked Bandar because the Saudis had flooded the world oil market and kept prices down in the run-up to the 2004 general election.” […]


Chris p

I’m sure that Bandar views OBL as a threat; OBL’s main goal would obviously be to overthrow the corrupt House of Saud. But that is years and years off.

The real question is whether Bandar thinks Iran of OBL is a bigger short and medium term threat. Would SA want the US to weaken Iran via military action? That would certainly raise oil prices to unseen levels (over $100 a barrel) and allow the royals to build some enormous golden parachutes in Switzerland, the UAE, and elsewhere. But it would leave SA vulnerable to a coup. In the chaos, a US military involved in Iran, Iraq and maybe giving support to Israel at the same time, would be powerless to aide the House of Saud if OBL or others started shit domestically.

This is one more reason why it would be foolish to create more chaos in the ME. But Bush listens only to a higher father.


Dan, do you really think the “military standing down” will be interpreted by pricks like Yoo as “the war being over?” Of course not. This is The Long War, remember. Just because our troops might not be actively in the field, doesn’t mean the war is over. We are “at war” as long as there is a 1% chance of some sort of terrorist action anywhere on the planet; which means, we are “at war” forever.

We are living through the dying throes (at least I hope and pray it is so) of the theory of Manifest Destiny. The era when Amercans were united in thinking themselves the rightful rulers of the world is over. The neocons are trying to turn back the clock to 1898, and can’t understand why the nation won’t volunteer en masse for their war against Islam.



I’m not so sure. If Musharraf can’t afford to kill or capture Bin Laden due to domestic political problems, I have trouble imagining the Saudis would have less. OBL is probably pretty popular in SA, and if the Saudis killed him they could generate the insurrection such a move would attempt to prevent.


OBL = Goldstien


I watched Frontline last night about the re-emergence of the Taliban. It made my blood boil watching these scum scream “death to America” and here it is 5 years after 9/11 and Bush has our military pinned down in Iraq. It was a great show and made me wonder how there is one single Republican in N.Y.C. How can any self-respecting New Yorker stand by the Bush Admin.? The Republicans could care less if the perpetrators of 9/11 are caught. Why isn’t there massive protests in NYC daily?

I agree the Bushites don’t want BinLaden caught. 1.) It requires political courage to go after and catch what Rumsfeld would call “bad targets” and they don’t have any courage to do the right thing (ie: putting country over party) and 2.) like you said, not catching them gives Bush unlimited power.


I was listening this morning to John Yoo explaining the Jail and Torture Forever If The President Doesn’t Like You Act of 2006 on NPR

Yargghh! I wanted to ring that psychopath’s neck. Yoo even brushed off questions that placed him in the situation of being arrested and detained with no recourse against his internment. Ok, I’m pretty Yoo would not be fine with that. Of course, he can’t come and say what he really thinks. Rot in hell, Leo Strauss.

Why does anyone speak to Yoo with a respectful tone? The man’s radical and reactionary ideas are straight from hell. Does Yoo think that speaking softly and calmly keeps people from recognizing his horrifying theories?

It’s kind of like people who are a little touched in the head. They try to act normal. They think other people treat them as equals, but everyone else can tell they are slightly off. Others avoid this mentally ill person and talk behind his or her back. Meanwhile, Yoo rages on, destroying the Constitution and the rule of law. But really, Yoo writes editorials and is shown on TV like he’s proposing perfectly reasonable ideas. Why can’t media people recognize how crazy our government is?


I think you’re right in what you say, tomboy. I just think the calculation is different in the seat of power. I think they view bin Laden and the islamic revolutionaries as a bigger threat to their power than the reaction from their people if they eliminated that threat. They have a very strong, active secret police in both Egypt and Saudi, and the people don’t have a lot of room to move…



There is also personal bad blood between the House of Saud and OBL; IIRC, OBL was responsible for the assassination of at least one of the Saudi princes. He’s under a standing death sentence in Saudi Arabia, from what I understand.

Add that to the “he’s trying to get the fundamentalists to overthrow us” factor, and I would not be surprised if the House of Saud was trying to kill him.


OBL = Goldstein

Let’s clarify that a little:

OBL = Goldstein’s Cock

Smiling Mortician

OT I know, but still . . . the other thing on NPR this morning was the story about the scores of detainees at Guantanamo who have been deemed either not guilty of whatever or no longer a threat of whatever and whom the U.S. government cannot get rid of (tried to end that sentence without a preposition and couldn’t really do it). Most are British residents, arguably British nationals, but not British citizens — citizens of various ME countries who apparently don’t want them back at this point. The Brits predictably don’t want them back either. So now the thinking is that they’ll be “integrated into American life,” which I’m sure they’ll enjoy. And the best part of the story? The rather creepy announcement that although we NPR listeners know all about their plight, not a single detainee has been told that he’s eligible to leave (if they could just find a place to send him . . . )


Hey, Mort. …of whom they could not rid themselves….Nope, no way. I like it better grammatically incorrect…


Smiling Mortician

Yeah, sometimes you have to just decide to fuck the grammar. Otherwise you end up in that Churchillian morass of saying things like “That is something up with which I will not put,” and you sound like an utter douchebag.


Does Yoo think that speaking softly and calmly keeps people from recognizing his horrifying theories?

Yes. Remember, the Republicans have cast calm reasoned speechifying as inherently factual, as opposed to the tacky passion of that noted nutjob, Dr. Howard Dean. Speaking calmly about throwing away the Consistitution makes it sound like a causal disagreement over obscure legal points, rather than a basic gutting of protections going back 700 years. That is definitely part of Yoo’s shtick. That is one sick sumbitch.


In short, fuck Yoo.

And the horse Yoo rode in on.


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