The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

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Thursday, February 3, 2011


Please follow this chain of logic and tell me where I made a mistake:

Although Bob Woodward claims that on July 10, 2001, George Tenet and his counterterrorism deputy were so alarmed about an impending Al Qaeda attack that they demanded an emergency meeting at the White House with Condi Rice and her National Security Council staff, Condi cam’t recall such a meeting, and finds it ”incomprehensible” that she would have received such a warning and then failed to respond to it. So, no such meeting could have occured.

However, White House records confirm that this meeting did take place (“Records Show Tenet Briefed Rice on Al Qaeda Threat – New York Times.”

And, as her 9/11 commission statement indicates, Condi took no action agasint a possible attack except to “continue pursuing the Clinton administration’s efforts.” (And, as we all know, Clinton didn’t do anything at all to counter al Qaeda because he was too busy fooling around with Monica. And as we further know, only George Bush has done anything to keep you safe, because he’s the Steely-Eyed Rocketman, and Terror is his middle name.)

Therefore Condi was warned, but did nothing.

But that’s incomprehensible!

So, I guess the only thing we can conclude is that we live in a surreal universe where nothing makes sense, and George Bush is President of the United States of America.
18 Responses to “Q.E.D.”
Well, you know. I mean, I personally find it incomprehensibly out of character that I would have ever dated that stuck-up sorority girl, therefore it never happened. How could it have? It’s not the sort of thing I would do, and even though I don’t remember not doing it, I must not have.
So, I guess the only thing we can conclude is that we live in a surreal universe where nothing makes sense,
Yeah, I gotta tell ya, that’s been my conclusion for a long, long time – at least ever since we elected Ronald Reagan as President. Twice, no less! And called him The Great Communicator! And don’t forget that I’m from Texas – the state where George W. Bush beat Ann Richards to become Governor. Drugs and alcohol notwithstanding, I’m pretty damned used to surreal.
Yeah, I’ve been trying to understand “Republicans as better public stewards” ever since ole Red-Ink Reagan sent the deficit into the stratosphere. Watching the once proud and capable FEMA being ground down by political hacks into a shadow of its former self just in time for Katrina was pretty much the last straw. Man, I wish the grown-ups were still in charge…
Really? George Bush is President of the United States…crap, and all this time I thought the ass-hat was ruler of the World.
In the last century–where I was educated–it was popular at one time to imagine that H. sapiens sapiens had unstuck himself in time, evolutionarily speaking, and might no longer be subject to the same selective pressures as the rest of the Living World, or not at the same rate, anyway. I have no idea where I was headed when I began that sentence.
Oh, I know. Reagan is apt (and aptly described above). Reagan “unstuck” the connection between scientific and cultural advancement and society at large. Not the “affable” dunce himself, of course, but his election represents the voting public, following its tastemakers and high priests, announcing it was tired of trying to keep up, figure stuff out, and think things through. It was pop-post-modernism, continuing at least a century-long trend of society catching up with the arts or sciences by misunderstanding them a couple decades later (think social Darwinism, Hollywood’s pop-Freudianism of the 30s-50s, or Fifties style as a suburban accomodation to Modernism itself.) Pop-post-modernism severed the bond, and, of course, was also extremely useful to people who are only interested in seizing power, whether behind Christianity or Communism or whatever. Truth was what Reagan needed it to be, and, as BtW points out, the truth about Reagan was whatever his followers wanted it to be.
And so you now can lie America into war so long as it’s in no danger of being drafted itself, and you can show it pictures of feces-smeared men menaced by German shepherds and then conduct a public debate on the vagueness of the Geneva Conventions. It takes something the size of Katrina to wake people up, momentarily, or for as long as it takes them to discover a new ringtone or Howie Mandel to get a game show. Next time even that won’t be enough.
I’m glad I’m getting old.
I note that Doghouse seems to carry considerably more world-weary wisdom and gravitas in this new font–Times Roman 10pt, I would guess–than he did in the default font I’d had my previous incarnation of Firefox set to, though he certainly had significantly more of an air of the street philosopher about him in 14 pt Tahoma than anyone really should.
It seems to be working with just about everyone–even the snarky bastards of Sadly, No! come off with a great deal of dignity.
I can trust you guys to use this power only for good, but I’m staying the hell away from the wingnut sites until I remember how to change it back. Actually, I should probably see if I can default the wingnuts sites to a Dingbats font.
Please follow this chain of logic and tell me where I made a mistake
Your mistake is expecting the GOP version of logic to actually be logical.
My lightning-struck machine came back from the shop typing like this:
y lhtning-stuckachine cme backrom the sop typn like ths:
It does not appear to be anything to do with keyboard response rate or the controls for Universal Access for the disabled, and it has happened across three keyboards now. Gravitas is my response to the seething rage I feel every time I hit the backspace or move the insertion point, which is, roughly, once every eight seconds. Complete reinstall dead ahead.
It actually makes sense (in a perverse sort of way) when you consider that Dubya’s foreign policy team was made up of a bunch of Cold Warriors. Condi’s specialty was the Soviet Union and therefore her “expertise” was totally useless in a post-Soviet world.
To the Cold Warriors, the only legitimate threats to US national security were potential military attacks by “rogue” states–hence their obsession with Iraq and the emphasis on missle defense prior to Sept 11, 2001.
In my view, they discounted the warnings of Richard Clarke, George Tenet, et al. about Al Queda because in their know-it-all arrogance, they felt a small stateless terrorist group did not pose a serious threat to the US compared to their other bogeymen. This despite the embassy bombings in Kenya, the previous bombing attack on the WTC in 1993, the Millenium Plot, and the attack on the USS Cole.
Doghouse – I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but it sounds like your motherboard is hosed. Reloading the OS isn’t going to help – you need a new motherboard. Given the cost of the replacement, (unless you can do it yourself) you might be better off considering a new machine.
You’re right in the “Cold War expert” comment: they wanted to fight last decade’s enemy that they did so well against, like the Harlem Globetrotters get to play the same ineffectual team over and over again for entertainment.
Another aspect, I think, is that there’s no money in small, disorganized, stateless actors. You can’t justify bigger bombs to kill five guys or a missile defense system to guard against a plane hijacking. Remember how Reagan and Bush 1 had to wage a “war” against drugs–a social justice and law enforcement issue? See, social justice and law enforcement take long term investment in education, build-up of social support structure, increase in medical care spending, and lots and lots of lots of human labor.
Where’s the profit in that?
Looking around at this world is, oddly, helping me catch my Zen. Like there’s a heckuva lot of this “reality” nonsense worth hanging on to.
I found your mistake:
Condi took no action agasint a possible attack except to “continue pursuing the Clinton administration’s efforts.”
That should be “against.”
Also, she didn’t “continue pursuing the Clinton administration’s efforts.” But that would just be piling on.
Dubya’s at least as effective as Officer Pupp. See:
Allow me to point out the error in your thinking:
“It wasn’t a warning, it was a historical summary.”
The above-stated problem should now become known as “Condi’s Paradox”. Philosophers and mathematicians will work on it for years.
Easy, S.Z. It’s the “Chewbacca Defense”:
“Why would a Wookee, an eight-foot tall Wookee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I’m a lawyer defending a major record company, and I’m talkin’ about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you’re in that jury room deliberatin’ and conjugatin’ the Emancipation Proclamation, [approaches and softens] does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.”
I hope this makes everything clear.
well, since there was no inherent blame on the Clenis, the entire argument has no basis from the rightard POV

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