Texas Rainmaker
June 30th, 2004 5:42 pm

Disassembling the Lies of the Left

So the recent crockumentary delivered by the Left tries to assemble a line of facts, combined with outright lies and not so subtle insinuations to claim fault by the Bush administration for some flights out of the U.S. shortly after 9/11. Apparently the claims are trynig to portray these flights as some sort of buddy agreement between Bush and Osama bin Laden. Amazing. Let’s just take a look at the facts.

Why did bin Laden family members want to leave the U.S.?

Why bin Laden family members (and other Saudis) wanted to leave the U.S. in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks should be obvious: most of the hijackers who perpetrated the attacks were Saudis, as was the mastermind of the plot, Osama bin Laden. Many Saudis temporarily residing in the U.S. (not just bin Laden family members) feared they might become victims of anti-Arab, anti-Saudi, and anti-bin Laden reprisals at the hands of angry Americans:

Many [young members of the bin Laden clan] were terrified, fearing they could be “lynched,” after hearing news reports of sporadic violence against Muslims and Arab-Americans.

The Saudi government is worried about an anti-Arab backlash against its citizens. Those concerns are heightened because many of the 19 hijackers used either Saudi passports or affiliations with the Saudi national airline, Saudi Arabian Airlines, to gain entry to the United States and access to the flight schools.

The Saudi government, one of the staunchest Arab allies of the United States, stopped sending its citizens to the United States for medical treatment after last week’s attack. One diplomat said a Saudi citizen with the same name as one of the hijackers called him in tears from his hospital bed yesterday, saying he feared for his life.

“It’s terribly sad,” the diplomat said.

The Saudi diplomat said his government had advised Saudi citizens, including some 3,000 students attending universities and medical schools around the United States, to be vigilant against possible retaliatory violence.

A 20-year-old Saudi man who is studying at Boston University was stabbed early Sunday morning outside a Back Bay nightclub, Club Nicole, at the Back Bay Hilton.

Those fears were not unfounded, as the stabbing incident involving a Saudi student in Boston demonstrated:

The Boston police hate crimes unit is probing the stabbing of a Saudi Arabian man who was attacked Sunday morning by a group of men as he left a Back Bay nightclub, where people had taken up a collection to benefit disaster relief work in New York.

The 20-year-old Boston University student remained in a Boston hospital after suffering two knife wounds in his arm and a third puncture to his back that missed his kidney by four inches, according to police and a relative.

“I’m honestly shocked,” said the victim’s brother, a recent MIT graduate, who asked that his name not be printed. “My parents were worried about this, obviously, after the tragedy in this country. I reassured them that Boston was a safe city. But I have lost my faith.”

Boston police said the Community Disorders Unit is probing the attack, searching for leads to identify the four or five suspects who attacked the man and a friend as the two waited for others who had gone to fetch a car.

The victim’s brother said one of the assailants allegedly yelled, “You Arab (expletive)” during the assault on Belvidere Street after the victim and his friends had left Club Nicole in the Back Bay Hilton.

Were bin Laden family members told to leave the U.S.?

Whether Saudis were told to leave the U.S. by the FBI, whether they were urged to leave by the Saudi government, or whether they left of their own accord remains murky, as reports and statements from government officials were contradictory:

A spokesman for the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington denied claims that the bin Ladens had been told by the FBI and the Saudi government to return. He said: “There was no official warning from the government that they should go but maybe they thought it would be better if they went home.”

A Saudi diplomat told The Boston Globe that the relatives of bin Laden had been advised by both the Saudi government and the FBI to return to Saudi Arabia at least temporarily for their own safety. [He] said that while his government and the FBI had advised the bin Ladens to return home for their safety, they had not recommended that other Saudis return home.

In addition, many US-based relatives of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born terrorist who is accused of masterminding the hijackings, returned to Saudi Arabia on chartered jets. A Saudi diplomat said his government and the FBI advised the bin Ladens to leave for their own safety.

Which Saudis left the U.S.?

A good deal of the confusion over this issue stems from the fact that several different groups of Saudis left the U.S. in the wake of the September 11 attacks, not all at the same time. Among the Saudis temporarily staying the U.S. at the time were a number of Saudi government officials and royal family members (and their families), dozens of bin Laden family members, and thousands of young Saudi students enrolled in American high schools, colleges, and universities. The priority seemed to have been getting the first two groups out of the country quickly while students who wished to return home were flown back to Saudi Arabia somewhat later, at the Saudi government’s expense. Reports at the time indicated that Saudi officials felt students who were not bin Laden relatives were not in immediate danger and therefore did not encourage the students to leave the U.S., but they nonetheless offered to fly the students home at government expense anyway. Anywhere from “a few” to 300 students reportedly took the Saudi government up on its offer before it was rescinded because “too many people were abusing it”:

The Saudi government is assisting in travel plans for any Saudi students in the United States who want to return home out of fears of a violent backlash against Muslims, a Saudi embassy official said.

While the official, who did not want to be identified because of security reasons, said that the embassy is not encouraging students to leave the country, he said that the Saudi government will pick up the travel tab and put their scholarships on hold until they feel it’s safe to return to America.

“This is the same thing we did for students during the Gulf War,” said the official, who added that the Saudi government cannot yet guarantee the universities will hold the students’ spots. “We’ve gotten just a few takers, mostly in the first few days (after the attacks).”

According to the Saudi embassy, about 300 Saudis living in the United States took up their government’s offer to fly home if they feared reprisals in the wake of the hijackings. But that repatriation program has been shelved, according to a Saudi diplomat, because at least some of those who volunteered to fly home did so for reasons that had nothing to do with fear. The diplomat said Saudi officials learned that some who flew home were students who were in danger of flunking out. “Too many people were abusing it, so we suspended the program,” said the diplomat.

When did bin Laden family members leave the U.S.?

This component is another great source of confusion, and the crux of the overall issue. Reports indicate that some prominent Saudis were ferried around the U.S. via automobile and airplane in the days immediately after the September 11 attacks, even though the ban on general air travel was still in effect:

The young members of the bin Laden clan were driven or flown under F.B.I. supervision to a secret assembly point in Texas and then to Washington from where they left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened.

Two armed bodyguards hired to chaperon [three Saudis out of Florida] recall a 100-minute trip Sept. 13 quite vividly. In the end, the son of a Saudi Arabian prince who is the nation’s defense minister, and the son of a Saudi army commander made it to Kentucky for a waiting 747.

The hastily arranged flight out of Raytheon Airport Services, a private hangar on the outskirts of Tampa International Airport, was anything but ordinary. It lifted off the tarmac at a time when every private plane in the nation was grounded due to safety concerns after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Tampa detectives guarding the men were ordered to stay in Tampa by Police Chief Bennie Holder, so [private investigator Dan Grossi] was offered the job of escorting the trio to Lexington, Ky., where the prince’s relatives were buying race horses.

But the Lear was not headed back to Fort Lauderdale, Grossi said the pilot told him. It was bound for New Orleans to pick up someone who needed a ride to New York.

But the key point is that the Saudis mentioned in these accounts were not flown out of the country � they were assembled at locations from which they could be conveniently flown out of the country once regular airline travel resumed.

The terrorist attacks occurred on the morning of Tuesday, September 11. Air travel was immediately shut down for the next few days; limited flight operations (mostly commercial carriers completing interrupted flights from September 11 or repositioning empty aircraft) resumed on Thursday, September 13, and regular air travel (as well as private flights) began operating on Friday, September 14:

Boston’s Logan International Airport reopened Saturday [Sept. 15], leaving Reagan National Airport at Washington the only major U.S. airport still closed to travel.

Federal officials also reopened the skies to most private planes for the first time since grounding them in the wake of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Limited air travel resumed over the country Thursday [Sept. 13] and was lurching toward normalcy Friday [Sept. 14] and Saturday [Sept. 15]. The first flight from Logan airport left just before 7 a.m. Saturday for Chicago.

No news account had a flight of Saudis leaving the U.S. until after the resumption of normal air traffic. The earliest date posited for a flight bearing bin Laden family members leaving the U.S. was September 14, a date by which the resumption of air travel had already begun:

[Two] planes, one jumbo jet carrying 100 family members, and the other 40, were eventually allowed to leave when airports reopened and passports were checked.

The young members of the bin Laden clan were driven or flown under F.B.I. supervision to a secret assembly point in Texas and then to Washington from where they left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened three days after the attacks.

The bolded text in the preceding and following articles describes flights that did not depart the U.S. until after airports had reopened. Other accounts indicate that flights of bin Laden family members didn’t leave the U.S. until several days later:

The Vanity Fair article depicts an elaborate but hurried evacuation carried out within a week of the hijackings in which private planes picked up Saudis from 10 cities.

They left on Tuesday 18 September � a week after the terror attacks on New York and Washington � in a privately chartered aircraft, its seats rearranged to give the handful of passengers more room. They left from Logan airport, Boston, the airport from which two of the hijacked planes had taken off seven days earlier.

It is unclear how many relatives of Mr bin Laden have returned in recent days to Saudi Arabia, most probably to the city of Jedda where the family is based. Some reports said just five members left on 18 September, flying in a Boeing 727 that had been reconfigured and contained only 30 seats, all in first class.

Boston-area relatives of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born terrorist who stands accused of masterminding last week’s suicide hijackings, flew back to Saudi Arabia in the last two days [Sept. 18 and 19] because of concerns for their safety, according to the Saudi government. It was unclear how many members of bin Laden’s family flew home over the last two days, but aviation sources said a flight that left Logan on Tuesday night [Sept. 18] contained only five passengers, all of whom were said to be members of bin Laden’s family. A second flight, paid for by the Saudi government, was scheduled to depart Logan last night [Sept. 19], after making stops in other cities, including Los Angeles and Orlando.

However, records obtained from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seem to indicate that one flight carrying approximately 46 Saudi citizens may have left the U.S. from New York as early as September 13, before the general ban on air travel was lifted. The records do not identify who these passengers may have been � bin Laden relatives, royal family members, or other Saudi nationals. (The “Class of Admission” column in the document lists the departing passengers as a mixture of foreign government officials and their employees and temporary visitors to the U.S. for either business or pleasure.)

Whether these accounts are all describing the same flights or different flights (and hence the several-day difference in departure dates) is difficult to determine, but in many cases it appears that the issue of Saudis flying within the U.S. has been confused with the issue of their leaving the U.S.

Who paid for the flights?

None of the news accounts cited on this topic reported that the U.S. government paid for flights which returned bin Laden family members to Saudi Arabia. All accounts stated the flights were chartered and operated at the Saudi government’s expense, or that bin Laden family members paid their own way home:

Dozens of Saudi citizens were flown back to Saudi Arabia at their government’s expense, while the bin Ladens are believed to have paid their own way. A Saudi government spokesman said the plane used by the bin Ladens was privately chartered by the family. Sources familiar with that plane said it was a Boeing 727 that had been reconfigured so that it had only about 30 first-class seats.

Did flights of bin Laden family members leave the U.S. “secretly”?

“Secret” is something of an subjective term, because everything is known to some people and unknown to others. Obviously neither the U.S. nor the Saudi government was going to announce that planes full of bin Laden family members fearful for their lives were about to leave the country (or put the matter up for a vote), since publicizing the event would have defeated its purpose by providing potential attackers with valuable information on their whereabouts. The flights were conducted in a hush-hush manner, and the U.S. government didn’t (and still hasn’t) officially acknowledged their existence, yet the secret was not of the “to be kept for all time” ilk in that these flights were reported upon in major newspapers (both in the U.S. and in other countries) within days of their occurrence.

Their departure was effected quietly, but once the Saudis were gone the “secret” no longer needed to be guarded all that scrupulously.

Did flights take bin Laden family members out of the U.S. over the objections of the FBI?

It’s hard to make the case that flights of Saudis departed from the U.S. over the objections of the FBI when, according to former White House counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke, the FBI itself gave the go-ahead:

“Somebody brought to us for approval the decision to let an airplane filled with Saudis, including members of the bin Laden family, leave the country,” he told Vanity Fair magazine.

Mr Clarke said he checked with FBI officials, who gave the go ahead. “So I said, ‘Fine, let it happen’.”

And, as noted, the FBI was directly involved in the process of collecting bin Laden family members and ferrying them to departure points from which they could leave the country:

The young members of the bin Laden clan were driven or flown under F.B.I. supervision to a secret assembly point in Texas.

Was the FBI denied the chance to question departing bin Laden family members?

Again, it’s hard to make the case that the FBI was denied any opportunity to question bin Laden family members given that they were directly involved in the process of rounding them up and gave the go-ahead for the flights to leave. Moreover, news accounts indicate that the FBI was not only “all over” the departing flights (grounding some of them temporarily), but had the opportunity to question passengers, and in at least some cases actually did:

All of those who took up the Saudi government’s offer to fly home were reportedly questioned by the FBI before being allowed to board the flights. A source at Logan said that the FBI was “all over these planes” prior to takeoff.

[P]rivate planes carrying the kingdom’s deputy defense minister and the governor of Mecca, both members of the royal family, were grounded and initially caught up in the F.B.I. dragnet

Did bin Laden family members have any important information to impart to the FBI?

The term “bin Laden family member” is rather misleading, as it is often mistakenly assumed to indicate a person with close ties to Osama bin Laden. By most accounts, Osama bin Laden was one of more than fifty children fathered by the same man; the bin Laden family is huge, with hundreds (if not thousands) of members spread all over the globe. Many, many of these family members are only tangentially related to Osama bin Laden and never had much (if any) contact with Osama himself. Moreover, his family disowned him after he fled Saudi Arabia in 1991 and was stripped of his Saudi citizenship in 1994 for smuggling weapons from Yemen. According to another news account about Saudis leaving the U.S. in the wake of the September 11 attacks:

Most of Mr. bin Laden’s relatives were attending high school and college. They are among the 4,000 Saudi students in the United States. King Fahd, the ailing Saudi ruler, sent an urgent message to his embassy here saying there were “bin Laden children all over America” and ordered, “Take measures to protect the innocents,” the ambassador said.

The fact that “most of Mr. bin Laden’s relatives were attending high school and college” in 2001 means that most of them were somewhere between 4 and 12 years old when Osama bin Laden fled Saudi Arabia. Students who were mere children when Osama bin Laden left Saudi Arabia, and who had spent at least some of their intervening years living in the U.S., were not likely sources for information regarding his current whereabouts and operations:

“We did everything that needed to be done,” said John Iannarelli, a bureau spokesman. “There’s nothing to indicate that any of these people had any information that could have assisted us.”

Did the FBI in fact question the Saudis before they left?

As noted above, the FBI had opportunity to question the departing Saudis, and contemporaneous news accounts indicate that at least some of them were indeed questioned. More recent articles offer conflicting statements from current and former FBI personnel:

Dale Watson, the FBI’s former head of counter-terrorism, said that, while the bureau identified the Saudis who were on the plane, “they were not subject to serious interrogations.”

While F.B.I. officials would not discuss details of the case, they said that in the days immediately after Sept. 11 bureau agents interviewed the adult relatives of Mr. bin Laden, members of one of Saudi Arabia’s richest families, before the White House cleared them to leave the country. Mr. bin Laden is said to be estranged from his family, and many of his relatives have renounced his campaign against the United States.

“We did everything that needed to be done,” said John Iannarelli, a bureau spokesman. “There’s nothing to indicate that any of these people had any information that could have assisted us, and no one was accorded any additional courtesies that wouldn’t have been accorded anyone else.”

Note that the former statement doesn’t say that bin Laden relatives weren’t questioned; it says they weren’t subjected to “serious interrogations.” What level of questioning Mr. Watson would have considered a “serious interrogation” is difficult to determine (and one always has to be wary that former government officials often have axes to grind and frame their statements in such a way as to make their former employers look bad).

This page should be read for what it is: an analysis of some of the commonly-circulated claims about a complex issue (many of which are factually correct or misleading), not a denial of the larger arc of the story. Clearly bin Laden family members were allowed to leave the U.S. shortly after the September 11 attacks, and this was effected with the approval and assistance of the American government. Yet not all the Saudis flew out during the ban, nor was the FBI denied access to them while they were here or prevented from knowing who was going to be on those flights. In preparation for the exodus, a number of Saudis were ferried to central locations where those outbound jets would eventually leave from, which means they were allowed to violate the ban on air travel within the U.S. Was it right that fear for their safety and/or favors owed abroad should have prompted their being treated as special circumstance exceptions to the ban? That question lies outside the scope of this page, but rest assured it will be hotly debated around many a dinner table.

Thanks to Snopes for the analysis.

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (0) Comments
June 29th, 2004 10:07 am

This one speaks for itself

Hillary Clinton, in San Francisco, said, “Many of you are well enough off that … the tax cuts may have helped you, we’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” source

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (0) Comments
June 28th, 2004 1:45 pm

Oh the beautiful irony…

Kerry Spokesperson Calls on Bush to Apologize for Using Images of Hitler on Website

June 25, 2004

For Immediate Release
Washington, DC

Kerry campaign spokesperson Phil Singer issued the following statement in response to the Internet ad on George Bush’s website featuring images of Adolph Hitler:

�The fact that George Bush thinks it�s appropriate to use images of Adolf Hitler in his campaign raises serious questions about his fitness to spend another four years in the White House. Adolf Hitler slaughtered millions of innocent people and has no place in a campaign that is supposed to be about the future and hope of this nation. The President�s use of these images during a month that evoked the memory of World War II is remarkably insensitive to the sacrifices of the millions of people who lost their lives during Hitler�s reign of terror.

�The Bush Campaign should immediately remove these hateful images from its website and apologize for using them. The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong.� >source

The images they are referring to are in the video linked below - a video which is SOLELY comprised of snips from various DEMOCRAT ads against George W. Bush. So John Kerry is calling on Bush to stop using images created and used by KERRY’S OWN PARTY.

Here’s the video

I’ve also seen the criticism over about the RNC’s use of this ad. They’re claiming it’s ok that Moveon.org hosted the Hitler ad because it “wasn’t selected for use on television.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Internet have a wider audience than American television?

If Kerry objects to the use of such ads in political campaigns, where was John Kerry’s disgust when he hired Zack Exley - the man responsible for encouraging the production of these ads as part of a MoveOn contest - to run the Kerry campaign’s internet operation?

Where was John Kerry’s sense of outrage when Al Gore compared the Bush Administration to the Nazis saying, “The Administration works closely with a network of ‘rapid response’ digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for ‘undermining support for our troops.’”

Where was John Kerry’s anger when Al Gore in May spoke of “Bush’s Gulag”?

Why has John Kerry not denounced billionaire and Democrat Party donor George Soros for comparing the Bush Administration to Nazis. Soros stated, “When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us,’ it reminds me of the Germans. It conjures up memories of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit (’The enemy is listening’).”

Why has Kerry not spoken out against filmmaker Michael Moore who last October compared the Patriot Act to Mein Kampf. “The Patriot Act is the first step. ‘Mein Kampf’ - ‘Mein Kampf’ was written long before Hitler came to power.”

You gotta love the irony.

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (0) Comments
June 26th, 2004 9:26 am

“One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.” - President Bill Clinton (February 4, 1998)

“If (Saddam) accepts (the UN Resolutions to disarm), force will not be necessary. If he refuses or continues to evade his obligations through more tactics of delay and deception, he and he alone will be to blame for the consequences.” - President Bill Clinton (February 17, 1998)

“Well, (Saddam) will conclude that the international community has lost its will (if they do not act). He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal.” - President Bill Clinton (February 17, 1998)

“If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program. We want to seriously reduce his capacity to threaten his neighbors.” - President Bill Clinton (February 17, 1998)

“The risks that the leader of a rogue state can use biological or chemical weapons on us or our allies is the greatest security risk we face,” - Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (February 18, 1998)

“The only answer to aggression and outlaw behaviour is firmness. . . He (Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983.” - National Security Adviser Sandy Berger (February 18, 1998)

“Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” - Representative Nancy Pelosi CA (December 16, 1998)

“There has never been an embargo against food and medicine. It’s just that Hussein has just not chosen to spend his money on that. Instead, he has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction, and palaces for his cronies.” - Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (November 10, 1999)

“We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the Middle East. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.” - Senator Carl Levin (Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee) (September 19, 2002)

We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” - Senator Ted Kennedy MA (September 27, 2002)

“The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability. It is now October of 2002. ” - Senator Robert Byrd WV (October 2002)

“Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq. … I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.” - Bill Clinton, 1998

“The decision to use force is never cost-free. Whenever American forces are placed in harm’s way, we risk the loss of life. And while our strikes are focused on Iraq’s military capabilities, there will be unintended Iraqi casualties. … Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people. … But once more, the United States has proven that although we are never eager to use force, when we must act in America’s vital interests, we will do so.” - Bill Clinton, 1998

“I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in [Saddam’s] hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” - John Kerry, 1998

I can’t believe they all lied to America about Saddam and the threat he posed to us. They ought to be ashamed.

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (0) Comments

Let’s look at two scenarios, played out by two Presidents:

1. War in Iraq insures Saddam Hussein, a ruthless, murdering dictator guilty of invading neighbor countries, using WMDs and hating America, will never get a chance to build and use a nuke.

2. A framework agreement with North Korea asking for the promise not to build nukes from a ruthless, murdering dictator gets us this:

BEIJING - North Korea has threatened to test a nuclear weapon unless Washington accepts Pyongyang’s conditions for a freeze of its nuclear weapons program, a senior U.S. official said.

North Korea said it wants hefty energy aid in exchange for the freeze, calling on the United States to make a “responsible, bold decision.” The demands came at six-nation talks Friday. source

The very kind of blackmail we didn’t want to see.

Any questions?

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (1) Comment
June 25th, 2004 9:55 am

What a difference 4 years makes….

In December, 2000, when all indications were pointing to a slowing economy, the Clinton administration was accusing incoming President Bush of “talking down the economy.”

“When most experts are still projecting solid growth and a soft landing, a new president should not be hurting confidence by talking down his economy,” White House National Economic Adviser Gene Sperling said.

White House officials sent that unified message Thursday on the heels of a
series of public statements by Bush that the economy might be tanking.

“It is important to be guarded and measured in what you say about the
economy,” White House Press Secretary Jake Siewart said Thursday. Siewart
said that most analysts agree that the economy will grow by around 2.5
percent next year and statements to the contrary could be detrimental.

“It is important for an economic team that is part of the government to be
careful about what they say,” Siewart said. “People take these comments very seriously.”

Just 3 months later, an official recession had been declared. It wasn’t a big surprise, as the bottom had fallen out in the Spring of 2000. But Democrats certainly couldn’t have Americans thinking their “legacy” of alleged peace and prosperity was tanking. No, they had to blame the economy on a President who hadn’t even taken office yet. It was either that or ignore all the signs, stick their fingers in the ears and march around yelling “la, la, la”. I guess they chose to do both.

Now, here we are 4 years later. We’ve come through the downturn and most signs are showing strong economic growth. So where are the Democrats? Well, they started with comments about the economy being the worst in 50 years. They claimed the markets were down, confidence was low and things were just bad. Then when the markets kept moving up and consumer confidence strengthened, they blamed Bush for losing more jobs than any President since Hoover. Nevermind that we suffered the worst terror attack, exposed massive corporate scandals that had been proliferating through the 90s, fought two wars and many jobs had become obsolete thanks to technology, that doesn’t matter to them. And when Bush’s plan created over a million new jobs in less than a year, what did they say? Well, they claimed they weren’t the “right kind of jobs.” Imagine that.

So in spite of the real numbers showing an economy that’s is actually growing, John Kerry is on the campaign trail, claiming the American middle class has been faring miserably under President Bush’s stewardship of the economy. (source) Kerry’s even gone so far as to create his own version of the misery index. Why did he create his own version? Because the original calculation of the misery index shows the economy at a level rarely bettered since WWII.

But, not surprisingly, we don’t hear complaints from Democrats about John Kerry “talking down the economy.”

Friggin’ hypocrites.

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (1) Comment
June 24th, 2004 9:51 am

When you have it both ways, how can you be wrong?

Washington, DC– In a major Washington policy address this Thursday, former Vice President Al Gore will accuse the Bush Administration of intentionally misleading the American people by continuing to falsely claim a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.

He will charge that Bush and Cheney have “institutionalized dishonesty as an essential element of their policy process.”

Well, I don�t think Al Gore�s really in a position to determine honesty, is he? Unless he WAS really stupid enough not to know the �Buddhist Fundraising Party� wasn�t really for fundraising or that fate miraculously stepped in due in part to drinking too much iced tea and sent him to the bathroom at the precise moment illegal fundraising was being discussed at his dinner table. Yours was truly an administration built on a foundation of truth, wasn�t it?

Ok, I�m done laughing now, let�s continue.

So you say there has never been an Iraq/al Qaeda connection? You say Bush lied, again and again and again.


In an August 25, 1998 report, ABC news discussed the missle strike ordered on the el Shifa plant in Sudan:

Before the pharmaceutical plant was reduced to rubble by American cruise missiles, the CIA was secretly gathering evidence that ended up putting the facility on America’s target list. Intelligence sources say their agents clandestinely gathered soil samples outside the plant and found, quote, “strong evidence” of a chemical compound called EMPTA, a compound that has only one known purpose, to make VX nerve gas.

The U.S. had been suspicious for months, partly because of Osama bin Laden’s financial ties, but also because of strong connections to Iraq. Sources say the U.S. had intercepted phone calls from the plant to a man in Iraq who runs that country’s chemical weapons program.

Maybe it was a different U.S.?

Of course, then there�s ol� trustworthy Richard Clarke.

“There’s absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever,” declared Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism official under George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, in an interview on March 21, 2004.

Funny, does �no evidence�ever� cover 1998?

[Richard] Clarke did provide new information in defense of Clinton’s decision to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles at the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan, in retaliation for bin Laden’s role in the Aug. 7 embassy bombings.

While U.S. intelligence officials disclosed shortly after the missile attack that they had obtained a soil sample from the El Shifa site that contained a precursor of VX nerve gas, Clarke said that the U.S. government is “sure” that Iraqi nerve gas experts actually produced a powdered VX-like substance at the plant that, when mixed with bleach and water, would have become fully active VX nerve gas.

Clarke said U.S. intelligence does not know how much of the substance was produced at El Shifa or what happened to it. But he said that intelligence exists linking bin Laden to El Shifa’s current and past operators, the Iraqi nerve gas experts and the National Islamic Front in Sudan.

Given the evidence presented to the White House before the airstrike, Clarke said, the president “would have been derelict in his duties if he didn’t blow up the facility.”

Your own words damage you more than I could ever do, with say��.a document linking Iraq/alQaeda directly.

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (0) Comments
June 23rd, 2004 6:00 am

Give me a break

First, I read the headline: “Bush Claimed Right to Waive Torture Laws”. I think to myself, “boy the Left is going to jump all over this.” Then I have to read nearly to the end of the long article to find this:

“I accept the legal conclusion of the attorney general and the Department of Justice that I have the authority under the Constitution to suspend Geneva as between the United States and Afghanistan, but I decline to exercise that authority at this time,” the president said in the memo, entitled “Humane Treatment of al-Qaida and Taliban Detainees.”

So the headline has left the impression with the average person unwilling to actually read the entire article that Bush has somehow personally declared himself above international laws relating to the treatment of prisoners in an attempt to paint Bush as a monster and insinuate that he ordered “torture” of the terrorists held at Abu Ghraib. It’s pretty sickening what passes for journalism these days. Perhaps we ought to demand a “truth in headlines” requirement, like the FDA requires on food labels, where the headline must refer to the actual ingredients of the article.


and in other news…. well, actually, the same article, we see a list of items “Donald Rumsfeld approved” regarding the terrorists captured.

Let’s do a simple comparison between the evil U.S. regime and the rat bastard terrorists we’re fighting:

Rumsfeld: Use of 20-hour interrogations.
Terrorists: Beheading a live human being.

Rumsfeld: Removal of all comfort items, including religious items.
Terrorists: Burning alive and hanging from bridges.

Rumsfeld: Removal of clothing.
Terrorists: Flying airplanes into office buildings.

Rumsfeld: Using detainees’ individual phobias such as fear of dogs to induce stress.
Terrorists: Detonating a truck bomb outside office complex or residence.

Sometimes it just simply amazes me that we’re having to fight a battle on two fronts. One against those who wish to kill us by any means necessary…. and the other against those who wish to afford the first group the benefit of the doubt at every turn.

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (0) Comments
June 22nd, 2004 9:27 am

Playbook of the Left

The standard operating procedures for the Left are:

1. Illustrate all the negatives of your opposition
2. If you can’t find enough, make some up
3. Toss in innuendo and conspiracy theory
4. Ignore anything positive
5. If you can’t ignore the positive, spin it negatively
6. If contradictions arise with your theories, just keep going, your audience is too dumb to notice
7. Claim Republican questioning of your methods as facist or totalitarian
8. Claim you’re more American for bashing America than for supporting it
9. Compare your country to terrorists
10. Dismiss responsibility as ‘close minded’

Here are some examples of the game plan in action:

1. Claim the Bush family and the Saudis are best friends, but ignore the fact the Saudis didn’t join the coalition in Iraq

2. Claim America should never have gone to war (even call it illegal) and now say we can’t win because we sent too few

3. Claim blacks are overrepresented in the military unfairly but ignore their fight to be included in such military for a hundred years

4. Claim Richard Clarke is an upstanding, honest man when he says the Bush admin failed, but ignore the fact Clarke said, in 1999, that Iraq and Al Qaeda were partners in WMD development

5. Claim Iraq never attacked Americans and ignore Leon Klinghoffer’s murder by Abu Nidal, a Baghdad resident, or the killing of Westerners (including Americans) in Kuwait when Iraq invaded in 1990

6. Support one President attacking Iraq but oppose another simply because of their party affiliations

7. Claim the administration didn’t warn citizens enough about terror dangers and then, in the wake of the worst terror disaster, say it’s issuing too many warnings

8. Claim outrage at the killing of innocent people during war and support people in our own country killing unborn babies everyday (just call it “choice”)

9. Claim security failings led to our demise but oppose security enhancements (call them ‘totalitarian’ or ‘facist’)

10. Call for Campaign Finance Reform, then, once in place, exploit the loopholes to try and gain an advantage by allowing the ultrarich to offset donations of thousands of citizens

11. Call America the worst offender on the planet and ignore the fact it’s one of the best charitable givers

12. Call SUV owners unAmerican….then hop onto your private jet and fly to one of your many million dollar homes…

and on and on and on….

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (0) Comments
June 21st, 2004 8:41 am

Apology, anyone?

Revisiting my post from Friday, June 18, where we saw John Kerry jumping on what he thinks is another opportunity to exploit an event for political gain, he stated:

This administration took its eye off of al-Qaida, took its eye off of the real war on terror in Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan and transferred it for reasons of its own to Iraq, and the American people are paying billions of dollars now because of that decision. And most importantly, American families and American soldiers are paying the highest price of all… It is clear that the president owes the American people a fundamental explanation about why he rushed to war for a purpose that it now turns out is not supported by the facts, and that is the finding of this commission.” source

Not supported by the facts? Or not supported by the LIMITED facts released for all the world to see? Kerry, you really ought not try to capitalize on the fact that some evidence supporting the admiinistration’s actions is actually classified for the protection of national security. Because the moment you try to seize on this intellectually dishonest line of debate, you once again are proven to be the schmuck we all thought. Let me elaborate.

Here’s what came from UPI today:

WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) — The commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks has received new information indicating that a senior officer in an elite unit of the security services of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein may have been a member of al-Qaida involved in the planning of the suicide hijackings, panel members said Sunday.

John F. Lehman, a Reagan-era GOP defense official told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that documents captured in Iraq “indicate that there is at least one officer of Saddam’s Fedayeen, a lieutenant colonel, who was a very prominent member of al Qaida.”

Now that there are “facts to support the purpose”, I wonder if John Kerry will offer the required apology to the American public, and more importantly, the families and American soldiers who are paying the highest price of all?

Posted by TexasRainmaker | (0) Comments

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