Condoleezza Rice

The US Has No Plan To Defeat al Qaeda

Yes, that's the title.

So there you have it. This report was released today by the General Accountability Office. It couldn't be more plain. The report is drawn from several government agencies. Although the primary role of the GAO is to track government expenses, this extraordinary report details hhow billions have gone to Pakistan to help us exterminate al Qaeda, and virtually nothing has been done to accomplish that goal.

The executive summary couldn't be more plain:

The United States has not met its national security goals to destroy the terrorist threat and close the safe haven in Pakistan's FATA region.

FATA is the region along the 373-mile-long Pakistani-Afghan border. It stands for Federally Administered Tribal Region. It is over 10,000 square miles.

The report concludes:

We conclude that the National Security Advisor and the Director of the NCTC, in consultation with the Secretaries of Defense and State, and the Administrator of USAID, the intelligence community, and other executive departments as deemed appropriate, implement the congressional mandate to develop a comprehensive plan using all elements of national power to combat the terrorist threat and close their safe haven in Pakistan's FATA region.

Bush and Rice had six years to exterminate al Qaeda. Six years. We have seen the largest, most inexcusable failure to defeat an enemy of the United States in this country's history.

And the wingnuts think we're 'winning.' And they boast the we liberals want to offer al Qaeda counseling and therapy, rather than destruction. The truth is now clear. The Bush administration never had a plan to win. What say you now, wingnuts?

UPDATE: Emptywheel has an excellent timeline outlining the failures of Bush's War on Global Terrorism.

A Rare Domestic Condoleezza Rice Sighting

She has collected a ton of air miles, but she apparently has been an almost-do-nothing Secretary of State. And where she has performed, she has left her mark on the biggest failures of the Bush presidency.

She is the last of the major loyal Bushies to stick around. She still might resign next summer. But for the time being, she is serving out her term. The corner office at Stanford can wait until January 2009.

It's August. Brace Yourselves.

Cartoon by the great Ted Rall. (Yes, I said great).

It is August, the month with a very bad rap. While I don't agree with all of his assessments, this article by David Plotz has become somewhat famous since it does sum-up a lot of reasons to dislike August (and it helps that Slate re-posted it in 2006). But what makes it worth reading each year for me is the context in which it was written. Look at the original date. Remember those times? Those were the days, right?

What were we talking about by the water cooler seven Augusts ago? We had a missing, white, female intern in Washington (what was her name again?). We had rumors that Bobby Fischer was resurfacing in Internet chat rooms. We were content with our economy, despite the dot-com bust. And according to our president, we lived under the false notion that the Atlantic and Pacific oceans protected us. But George W. Bush knew better. He was working hard to protect us from attack, right?

He was in Crawford, Texas all that month. But make no mistake, it was a working vacation. On August 6th, he was handed a Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) that sprung him to action. It had an unmistakable warning in its title. What was the title, again? Anyone?

Dr. Rice, maybe you remember? You weren't there in Crawford, but you were the NSA Director. You might know.

Riiiiiiight. Bin laden Determined to Strike in US. Thank you for feigning the recall of that title, Doctor. Nice effect.

And George W. Bush applied his success in August 2001 to other crises that occurred in future Augusts. Like this one in late August 2005. Imagine the catastrophe that would have ensued had FEMA not recognized that the citizens of New Orleans were unable to evacuate, and that the levees were likely to break. Imagine that.

So sleep tight, America. There's no need to worry about our leaders. They are waking-up every morning with our safety and security as their top priority. They will protect us. I have no doubt.

Secretary Rice Subpoenaed to Testify Before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee

She can squirm and claim that she is too busy globetrotting or catching Broadway shows, but Congressman Waxman has made a compelling case for Dr. Rice to appear before his committee and explain the Niger yellowcake intelligence. We have not had closure on the story of how the yellowcake report got added to the President's 2003 State of the Union Address. It is not a mystery, but there are gaps that need to be filled. Waxman believes (correctly) that Dr. Rice can provide the necessary details. She played a key role in promoting the invasion of Iraq, and we think that she approved the report being referenced in the President's speech. So it has become necessary to subpoena her to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Condoleezza Rice Says She's Glad Imus is Fired. Whatever.

She's glad there was a consequence for Imus' words, but there will never be a consequence for hers. Shouldn't she be drinking with the President at Camp David? It's the weekend, already.

The irony here is that she has said far worse things than he has. Don't lies that result in thousands of violent deaths count? Doesn't lying to congress count? I would think so.

I'm shocked the press asked her for her opinion. Just because she is a black woman, who personally witnessed the implementation of desegration, doesn't mean that she has anything of value to add to the Imus conversation. She belongs in The Hague, but has a plush job waiting for her at Stamford University in 2009.

Let's keep things on-topic and on-message. The White House has "lost" 5 million e-mails, as if they are suddenly using pre-1991 technology. Jeffrey Feldman of the Huffington Post writes that here is no excuse for it. And we need to get to the bottom of it, and find out who ordered it, STAT.