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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Politics is Priority #1

“Congress and the American public must accept that the government cannot protect every possible target against attack if it wants to avoid fulfilling Al Qaeda’s goal of bankrupting the nation, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a Senate committee Tuesday.
Osama bin Laden, Mr. Chertoff said, has made it clear that scaring the United States into an unsustainable spending spree is one of his aims. In a 2004 video, Mr. bin Laden, the Qaeda leader, spoke of ‘bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.’
‘He understood that one tool he had in waging war against the United States was to drive us crazy, into bankruptcy, trying to defend ourselves against every conceivable threat,’ Mr. Chertoff said at a hearing of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. ‘We have to be realistic about what we expect and what we do. We do have limits, and we do have choices to make.’”
-New York Times, September 13, 2006

“You have to pick your battles people.. If we try to defend against everything, like inspecting cargo ships coming into the United States or silly things like that, then the terrorists have already won.”

“It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have written: Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, the Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified ‘Beach at End of a Street.’

But the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, in a report released Tuesday, found that the list was not child’s play: all these ‘unusual or out-of-place’ sites ‘whose criticality is not readily apparent’ are inexplicably included in the federal antiterrorism database.”
-New York Times, July 11, 2006

“We need to protect our Mule Day Parade. Cargo containers?… Not so much. Still, we can’t protect everything and let terrorists bankrupt our nation. We have to be responsible.”

"As of August 31, 2006, 2,635 troops have lost their lives in Iraq and 19,773 have been wounded. On September 30, 2006, the total cost of the Iraq war will reach 318.5 billion dollars.”
-Senator Barbara Boxer, draft of bill before the U.S. Senate, September 2006

“Hey, that’s different! That 318.5 billion dollars was needed to spread freedom in Iraq. I mean sure, originally it was because Saddam was an immediate threat…”

“Rumsfeld: You and a few other critics are the only people I've heard use the phrase ‘immediate threat.’ I didn't. The President didn't. And it's become kind of folklore that that's what's happened. The president went...
Schieffer: You're saying that nobody in the administration said that...
Rumsfeld: I can't speak for ‘nobody’ [unintelligible] everybody in the administration and say nobody said that.
Schieffer: The Vice-President didn't say that?
Rumsfeld: Not...if you have any citations, I'd like to see them.
Friedman: We have one here. It says ‘some have argued’ (and this is you speaking) ‘some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent, that Saddam is at least five to seven years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain.’ [quote displayed and attributed to Donald Rumsfeld, September 18, 2002]
Rumsfeld: and and uh... well I tried to be precise, I've tried to be accurate.
Friedman: ‘No terror state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.’ [quote displayed and attributed to Donald Rumsfeld, September 18, 2002]
Rumsfeld: uh... My view of the situation was we had... we believe... the best intelligence...”
-Face the Nation, with Bob Schieffer and Donald Rumsfeld, March 21, 2004

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people.
The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.”
- George ‘Dubya’ Bush, March 17, 2003

“…But now we know that it was done to spread American Freedom™ to those poor Iraqis who were suffering under Saddam, so at least the money was well spent. I’m sure they appreciate the effort.”

“Iraq, and particularly Baghdad, has been engulfed in sectarian bloodshed since February, as tit-for-tat attacks by militias and death squads have killed thousands of people from both communities.

Bodies of people are found daily across the country, especially in Baghdad, where kidnappers dump the tortured corpses of the victims by the roadside and in the Tigris river.
In May and June alone, around 6,000 people were killed in such bloodletting across Iraq, the UN said in a report last month.”
-Gulf Times, August 8, 2006

“In the U.S. of course nothing is too good for our citizens.”

“He [Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty] said the Justice Department was seeking more funds for its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives division to stem gun trafficking. But reclaiming money that was diverted from crime-fighting to anti-terror efforts may be difficult, he said.
‘I wish I could stand here and say all that will be restored in the next year or two,’ McNulty said. ‘We are facing some big challenges. I see the challenges in fighting the war on terror. I see it is very expensive to fund soldiers overseas. At the same time, we have to find ways to get resources to win here at home.’"
-Associated Press, August 30, 2006

“So we can’t afford to protect our ports, and we can’t afford to stop crime (though our Amish Popcorn Factories are secure), but we are somehow safer. The Administration wouldn’t have it any other way. After all 9/11 changed everything for all time. It was the single worst thing that ever happened. Don’t believe me? How about a US senator?”

“September 11, 2001, was the most tragic event in the history of mankind.”
-Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga), September 13, 2006

“Yep. It was worse than the Children’s Crusade (1212, in which 30,000 children died or were sold into slavery). It was worse than Hiroshima (which killed over 140,000 people and destroyed an entire city). It was worse than the Rape of Nanking (1937, 300,000 dead and a city destroyed by looting, murder, rape and arson). It was worse than the Boxing Day Tsunami (2004, 187,000 dead and 43,000 missing). And it was worse than the last season of ‘American Idol’ (devastation destroying the brain cells of an entire generation).
This is why our government obviously takes it so seriously. The only thing as important as protecting America against the terrorist threat is the cost of protecting America from the terrorist threat.”


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