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  #1  
Old 11-14-2015, 02:20 PM
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Default He Kept Us Safe...

"The Attacks Will Be Spectacular"

Multiple, repeated warnings of an impending attack all ignored. Pretty much the worst President since Hoover or Harding at this point.
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2015, 03:04 PM
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Oh come on. Lets say the Bush Administration accepts this wholeheartedly. What, exactly, is the expectation. The entire article is ridiculous. What the hell does it mean to go "on a war footing"?

And by the way, Dav, you're the first person complaining about curtailed civil rights if they DO start taking drastic measures. There are a thousand places a terrorist could do significant damage in NYC alone, and a dozen ways to do it in every case.

With a better sense of security, 9/11 was definitely avoidable, at least in the form it took. But its outrageous to say that when the CIA says "an attack is imminent in the coming months" to think that's some heightened level of responsibility. Thanks, George Tenet, an attack is coming. No word on where, when, who, or how. Makes the whole "stopping it" thing a whole lot easier, now doesn't it.

And you only have to go so far down to see that the CIA was equally certain there was a "second wave" attack coming.

My point being, hindsight is 20/20. None of the information presented here is even remotely helpful or revealing in showing how 9/11 could have been avoided beyond what we knew, which is that US security personnel were pretty lax in their threat assessment after the Cold War. Which, mind you, is more a reflection on the attitudes the Clinton Administration instilled at the CIA over eight years.

Bush did a lot of things wrong, and 9/11 happened on his watch. But acting like this is some sort of damning new report is ridiculous. The one silver lining to those attacks is that it woke the US, and to a lesser degree, the rest of the world, up to the fact that there is a large and organized group of (almost exclusively) fanatical Islamists who oppose most Western values and are willing to die to undermine them.
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:08 PM
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You actually call that a silver lining, Ozy? Seriously?
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Old 11-16-2015, 06:54 PM
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Yes. Better to know that there is a thanatophiliac cult out there that believes free speech and doctrinal diversity are qualities which are to be attacked with violent prejudice. Its not much, but its a minor positive.

The ongoing struggle between Islamist terrorism (and the now much less prominent other forms of zealous religious fanaticism) and what we now call Western values (or, "civilization") is going to be the defining conflict for the current generation, and generations to come, for the foreseeable. Better that we find ourselves armed with knowledge about the enemy earlier, rather than later.

I don't exempt other religious fanatics, either. The Jewish kind is rather regionally located and is at least nominally beholden to the values which underpin the world. And Christian extremism seems less violent, if equally stupid and anti-intellectual, than its Islamic counterpart these days.
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
Oh come on. Lets say the Bush Administration accepts this wholeheartedly. What, exactly, is the expectation. The entire article is ridiculous. What the hell does it mean to go "on a war footing"?

And by the way, Dav, you're the first person complaining about curtailed civil rights if they DO start taking drastic measures. There are a thousand places a terrorist could do significant damage in NYC alone, and a dozen ways to do it in every case.

With a better sense of security, 9/11 was definitely avoidable, at least in the form it took. But its outrageous to say that when the CIA says "an attack is imminent in the coming months" to think that's some heightened level of responsibility. Thanks, George Tenet, an attack is coming. No word on where, when, who, or how. Makes the whole "stopping it" thing a whole lot easier, now doesn't it.

And you only have to go so far down to see that the CIA was equally certain there was a "second wave" attack coming.

My point being, hindsight is 20/20. None of the information presented here is even remotely helpful or revealing in showing how 9/11 could have been avoided beyond what we knew, which is that US security personnel were pretty lax in their threat assessment after the Cold War. Which, mind you, is more a reflection on the attitudes the Clinton Administration instilled at the CIA over eight years.

Bush did a lot of things wrong, and 9/11 happened on his watch. But acting like this is some sort of damning new report is ridiculous. The one silver lining to those attacks is that it woke the US, and to a lesser degree, the rest of the world, up to the fact that there is a large and organized group of (almost exclusively) fanatical Islamists who oppose most Western values and are willing to die to undermine them.
You mean the same Clinton Administration that at least tried to take out Bin Laden but got accused by the Right of trying to distract from his domestic issues after the joke of an impeachment? The same Clinton Administration that warned the incoming Bush administration and got laughed off? That one? Yeah, they were so lax there.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
Yes. Better to know that there is a thanatophiliac cult out there that believes free speech and doctrinal diversity are qualities which are to be attacked with violent prejudice. Its not much, but its a minor positive.
Then why not start a similar "War on Buddhism"?
It's not as if it isn't know that there is a Buddhist thanatophiliac cult out there too, is it?

Why not do the same kind of profiling and entrapment against Christians that is used against Muslims?
You do know about the LRA, I would hope.

If Bush and his Republicans had taken the threat of this Islamic death cult really serious, then they would have made peace with Iran. After all, those are Shia Muslims, and they've had a quarrel with that death cult for more than five times as long as the entire USA exists.
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:13 AM
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This isn't going to define anything for more than a year. Human beings are always either at war or preparing to be at war. It's old territorial instincts rationalized and redirected with the eternal pattern of excuse -> blame -> "justice"(revenge). The other groups act of revenge becomes another groups excuse and the pattern repeats. All that changes is who is in which group. Hardly something that redefines the whole world. It's just minor detail.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:09 PM
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You mean the same Clinton Administration that at least tried to take out Bin Laden but got accused by the Right of trying to distract from his domestic issues after the joke of an impeachment? The same Clinton Administration that warned the incoming Bush administration and got laughed off? That one? Yeah, they were so lax there.
In common parlance, we call this kind of argument a "straw man argument".

Because it does nothing to devalue the refutation of the argument you were trying to make.

Whatever else you may think of Bush or his administration, the reveal in this article does absolutely nothing to move the needle on the appropriateness of his security establishment's actions leading up to 9/11.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:42 PM
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Then why not start a similar "War on Buddhism"?
It's not as if it isn't know that there is a Buddhist thanatophiliac cult out there too, is it?
Well, the 1,000 or so members are under constant surveillance to this day, have not committed any serious crimes we know of since the attempted bombing, and anyway I don't their underlying desire is to convert or kill anyone who doesn't agree with them.

Plus, its difficult to compare a splinter cult to something like Wahhabist Islam, which has millions of followers and is a state religion in a politically relevant and powerful nation. Which is not to say the same as violent Islam, which is tacitly condoned by many hundreds more millions are the globe as some sort of legitimate reaction to "Western imperialism".

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Why not do the same kind of profiling and entrapment against Christians that is used against Muslims?
You do know about the LRA, I would hope.
I do. Again, there is a difference between the obvious personality cult of the LRA and the mainstream nature of fanatical Islamist terrorist cells. The LRA can also accurately be described as wanting multi-party democracy (or at least they claim such) and to have been founded to defend an oppressed ethnic group.

And, again, the fact of the matter is that Islam, even the supposed minority of hard line fanatical Muslims, is many orders of magnitude bigger than the LRA. Many of these zealots control huge nation states, massive armies, and have or could conceivably gain control of human extinction grade weapons systems.

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If Bush and his Republicans had taken the threat of this Islamic death cult really serious, then they would have made peace with Iran. After all, those are Shia Muslims, and they've had a quarrel with that death cult for more than five times as long as the entire USA exists.
Those Shi'a Muslims don't have any important doctrinal issues as far as I'm concerned with their Sunni cousins (and for the record, I am concerned with keeping my rights to free expression, free practice of religion, freedom from censorship, and the relatively unfettered ability to do what I want with my liver and my genitals).

500 years ago I would have considered the positions of Islam and Christianity reversed, with the Islamic world being relatively cultured, tolerant, and intellectual compared to a disgusting, violent Christian backwater. And I wouldn't care now, except that the fear created through these attacks leads to appeasement of the most shameless kind, be it the censorship of someone like Salman Rushdie, or the eviction of Ayaan Hirsi Ali due to the cost of protecting her, or the attacks on free expression as represented at Jyllends-Posten or Charlie Hebdo. Those are more than just attacks on people. They are attacks on the very heart of our way of life, which, put simply, is the idea that one can live free from the tyranny of the majority.

Recall that the reaction of many if not most "moderate" Muslims in the aftermath of the Jyllands-Posten attacks was that while violence was not the answer, the paper should have shown more sensitivity. Which, frankly, is just a backdoor approval of the methods use. Until there is a desire on the part of the majority of the Muslim population to rise up and reject the "hijacking" of their religion, one can only assume that they tacitly approve of the methods, means, and goals being employed. No movement like ISIS can exist without the support of at least a significant minority of the population on which they are supposedly preying.
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:12 PM
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Ozy, you still don't understand people, do you?
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:55 PM
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In common parlance, we call this kind of argument a "straw man argument".

Because it does nothing to devalue the refutation of the argument you were trying to make.

Whatever else you may think of Bush or his administration, the reveal in this article does absolutely nothing to move the needle on the appropriateness of his security establishment's actions leading up to 9/11.
No, its a refutation of your claim that the lax nature of the Clinton Administration is what caused the Bush people to ignore these warnings. A straw man is something quite different.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:20 PM
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No, its a refutation of your claim that the lax nature of the Clinton Administration is what caused the Bush people to ignore these warnings. A straw man is something quite different.
My point was that if you are accusing the CIA, NSA, or whoever of having been lax in their duties, then you have to take into account that 8 months and a couple high-level appointee changes at the top are not enough to change 8 years of institutional culture. As I said, I think that the warning signs that were ignored were pretty egregious. I don't think the "revelations" in this article do anything to change that. I happen to think the Bush Administration made mistakes leading up to 9/11 that were preventable. I also am of the opinion that it is very easy to cast stones in hindsight. The strong implication of this article is that Rumsfeld et. al. were deliberately negligent in their hopes of creating a scenario in which foreign policy aims could gain support through the sacrifice of American lives.

I'm sure there were signs the 1993 WTC bombings were going to occur that were ignored. The security establishment of this country, both before and after, gets a ton of "credible" threats. Look at the derision they receive for the warnings and "threat levels" they initiated after 9/11. I am not in that field, but I imagine parsing through all of those threats is a very stressful, very difficult job where you get no thanks for being right and a ton of opprobrium for being wrong. Does that mean we should excuse them, when innocent people die because of their mistakes? Of course not. But as I said, its very easy to connect the dots once someone traces out the pattern for you. And I imagine that George Tenet and the folks at the CIA are very eager to assure us all that they KNEW this was the real threat but that it was ignored.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:47 PM
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Ozy, you still don't understand people, do you?
Nor do I understand non-sequiters such as the one you just posted.

Some of the basic tenets of Islam are antithetical to my way of life. Censorship of the press. The willingness to convict others for thought crime. Unabashed sexism and misogyny. To name just a few.

Now, normally, that doesn't bother me, because frankly, I think whatever someone wants to do, as long as everyone is a consenting adult, that is fine. But Islamist terrorists, as we well know, are quite committed to making sure that I am also following their bizarre creed, backed up by the threat of violence. And it often seems that the majority of their more passive co-religionists, while perhaps not willing to condone or participate in the violence being perpetrated against me and mine, are perfectly content that I be forced into acceding to their way of thinking at the barrel of a gun, as long as someone else is holding it aside from them.

There shouldn't even be debate here. When an NFL player beats his wife and a pastor stands up and says, "violence is wrong but women should know their place," there is an outraged howl across the land, as there should be.

After the Jyllands Posten bombing, the Justice Affairs Minister of the UAE called the cartoon "cultural terrorism." Saudi Arabia withdrew ambassadors. Ditto Libya. PM Erdogan of Turkey, a nominally secular country, called for limited freedom of expression. The Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs said that freedom of expression ends when sacred values are offended (keeping in mind that it is the "offended" party who decides what is sacred, effectively killing freedom of expression entirely). Iran blamed it on the Jews, obviously. All you have to do is Wikipedia this shit (I am aware that is not always the most rigorous citation process, but in this case they source the articles so I'll stand by it).

These are not fringe countries (except the UAE), nor are these factional or niche publishers or groups. These are accredited representatives of governments, important ones, and in some cases governments taking significant diplomatic steps to protest the freedom of the press. How can one not see a basic clash of values, beyond just terrorists and the West? Saudi Arabia believes that diplomatic ties with a government that will not censor its own press from printing a cartoon are not worth having.

So fine, point out your 1,000 splinter members of a Buddhist sect. Or the several thousand rebels in the Lords Resistance Army. When the US legalized gay marriage, I didn't see Argentina withdraw its ambassadors. I don't see Jews going on murderous rampages when they hear a Holocaust joke; in fact, the ACLU has famously protected the rights of neo-Nazi's to congregate in public. That is a tradition of civil liberties I am unwilling to cede to fanatics OR moderate Muslims.

If Jews, the most persecuted group in the history of mankind, can find it to support the rights of numbskulls who, in living memory carried out the worst genocide in history, to congregate and display their beliefs, then you are damn right that I expect Muslims the world over to grin and bear it if a cartoon offends their personal sensibilities. The fact that few could do so, that few could offer an unqualified support for a cartoon even after murderous physical violence had been done to the publishers, speaks volumes to my point about there being a fundamental conflict between those who are in support of diversity of thought, and those who support forced conformity of thought, either by the sword or the pen.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:03 AM
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Well for one they aren't the numbskulls who carried out the genocide. They are different numbskulls who admire the numbskulls who did, hence the prefix neo.
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:12 PM
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Some of the basic tenets of medieval Christianity are antithetical to my way of life. Censorship of the press. The willingness to convict others for thought crime. Unabashed sexism and misogyny. To name just a few.
Humans are human. There will be a few that follow the zealous, and make murder most holy whilst most just want food on their table and for their families to be safe and warm.

Similar case I read about recently. A couple of the grandaughters of Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church), ones who grew up on zealotry spewing vile hatred in the name of God renounced their sect and left because they realized that the message and hate wasn't right.

I'll leave it up to others to figure out who's worse: terrorists or those that celebrate when terrorists kill people, but, humans are human.

The culture you see now has been around for a blink of an eye. In another half century things will be differen...and in half a millenia probably utterly alien to us, just as we would seem to the medieval Christians.
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Old 11-18-2015, 02:19 PM
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My point was that if you are accusing the CIA, NSA, or whoever of having been lax in their duties, then you have to take into account that 8 months and a couple high-level appointee changes at the top are not enough to change 8 years of institutional culture. As I said, I think that the warning signs that were ignored were pretty egregious. I don't think the "revelations" in this article do anything to change that. I happen to think the Bush Administration made mistakes leading up to 9/11 that were preventable. I also am of the opinion that it is very easy to cast stones in hindsight. The strong implication of this article is that Rumsfeld et. al. were deliberately negligent in their hopes of creating a scenario in which foreign policy aims could gain support through the sacrifice of American lives.

I'm sure there were signs the 1993 WTC bombings were going to occur that were ignored. The security establishment of this country, both before and after, gets a ton of "credible" threats. Look at the derision they receive for the warnings and "threat levels" they initiated after 9/11. I am not in that field, but I imagine parsing through all of those threats is a very stressful, very difficult job where you get no thanks for being right and a ton of opprobrium for being wrong. Does that mean we should excuse them, when innocent people die because of their mistakes? Of course not. But as I said, its very easy to connect the dots once someone traces out the pattern for you. And I imagine that George Tenet and the folks at the CIA are very eager to assure us all that they KNEW this was the real threat but that it was ignored.
Um, I'm not accusing those people of being lackadaisical...I'm accusing the people they were advising in the Administration of being that way. CIA/NSA, etc heavily warned Bush & Co and they ignored all the warnings. So we got caught with our pants down reading My Pet Goat instead.
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Old 11-19-2015, 04:33 AM
GonzoTheGreat GonzoTheGreat is offline
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Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
So we got caught with our pants down reading My Pet Goat instead.
Muslims claim that Christians too are People of the Book. Until now, I'd thought they meant a different book, though.
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