I tape Morning Joe and watch it when I can. I usually skip through much of it to real discussions. This morning I watched the interview with Kurt Eichenwald. I have to say that once again I was shocked by the lack of Republicans ability to be able to look at 9/11 and learn any leason other than to show that they (Bush) kept us safe. Of course we all know that that is not true. I understand and appreciate that it must be very difficult to know that as a group more could have been done. That being said we will never know if they had done more that the plot would have been stopped.
This morning Governor Pataki missed the point of Mr. Eichenwald's statements and immediately became very defensive. Mr. Eichenwald pointed out that the Bush administration, and Republicans, had been out of power for 8 years and therefore had missed all the intelligence leading up to what was a fundamental change to the threats to the United States. He believes that when the Republicans left power the threat was from nation states and that therefore when the CIA is increasingly warning the Bush administration of Bin Laden their capability of properly assessing the threat was greatly diminished. They just could not grasp that the threat was coming from a small group of terrorist in caves in Afganistan.
His research showed that the Bush administration tried to tie Bin Laden to Iraq and Saddam Hussein even though he was really a secularist and completely at odds with the fundamentalist dedicated to Bin Laden. He described the Bush administration dismmissing the warnings because Bin Laden "was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein".
Pataki tried to claim all he was doing was trying to blame President Bush for not protecting America from the attack. Of course that is self evident, the attack happened. Governor Pataki misses the point. When any of us are unwilling to look at other factors and refuse to critically look at our own pre-conceived notions we are at risk. The Republicans have never learned this lesson. Worse, this more than anything explains why they ignored all information from every source and invaded Irag. It was inconceivable to them that Bin Laden could have done this horrible act without the help of the person they were perfectly willing to believe had acted, Saddam Hussein.
Instead of really evaluating the intelligence they were receiving that Saddam Hussein had not participated, they looked the other way and invaded Iraq. The invasion was based on lies and their own unwillingness to admit they were wrong and that the world had changed. Nation states were not the emerging problem. Small groups of terrorist cells were.
This rigidity is what, in my opinion, caused President Bush to all but abandon the hunt for Bin Laden. The head of the snake he cared about was Saddam Hussein not Bin Laden. Bin Laden was not important because he did not head a state.
I have not read Mr. Eichenwald's book, but unlike Governor Pataki who says he doesn't intend to, I will. I will read it to see what his investigation shows about how we took our eye off the ball. I will read it to hopefully learn how we assure that rigidity of thought should always be guarded against.
The Republicans will always take the approach of a noun, a verb . . . 9/11, just another political point to show how strong they are and to stir up fear rather than learn the leasons available. Their failure overwhelms their ability to learn from their mistakes.
Finally, look at the people that Governor Romney is surrounding himself with, every one of them was there during the invasion of Irag. It is a reason to be very scared of him.
Kurt Eichenwald is showing the detailed warnings prior to 9/11, but we should take them as a very serious warnings regarding the people who surround Governor Romney. These people have continued to dismiss the lessons of 9/11 and that should be a warning to every United States citizen.