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May 21, 2004

Sy Hersh's New Yorker Article: A Glowing Endorsement of Bush

We were going to blog this yesterday, but Byron York and Kausfiles beat us to making the point.

We caught Sy Hersh on Hardball earlier in the week. We were all set for a damning indictment of the Bush Administration.

It actually wasn't.

It could be that Sy Hersh intended his report to be a damning indictment. But we were actually thrilled to hear most of what he said.

We had been worried since 9-11 that, despite Bush's claims that this was "a different kind of war," it was actually being fought by the old rules. The old Marquis de Queensbury rulebook.

Sy Hersh increased our support of Bush greatly by informing us the old rulebook had been shredded, burned, pissed on, and buried beneath a brightly-colored garden gnome in Schenectady, NY.

A must-read piece by Byron York newsjacks Sy Hersh's "damning indictment" and interprets it far differently than it was likely intended:

As Hersh tells the story, the secretary of defense was “apoplectic” after U.S. forces blew a chance to kill Afghanistan’s Mullah Omar because a military lawyer wouldn’t approve the strike.

“Rumsfeld was apoplectic over what he saw as a self-defeating hesitation to attack that was due to political correctness,” Hersh writes.

To which many people might say: It’s about time. That’s precisely the reaction a secretary of defense should have.

And Rumsfeld didn’t just rant. According to Hersh, he created a new, top-secret program to get around legal roadblocks in high-importance terrorism cases.

The program gave elite U.S. forces great freedom in nabbing terrorists. “The rules are ‘Grab whom you must. Do what you want,’” one former intelligence official told Hersh.

To which many people might say: Good.

And the plan worked. “In mid-2003, the special-access program was regarded in the Pentagon as one of the success stories of the war on terror,” Hersh writes.

“It’s been the most important capability we have for dealing with an imminent threat,” the former intelligence official told Hersh. “If we discover where Osama bin Laden is, we can get him. And we can remove an existing threat with a real capability to hit the United States — and do so without visibility.”

Although Hersh writes that some of the program’s methods were “troubling,” still many people might say of the program: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

It's a gotta-read.

As a special bonus, it contains the most potty-mouth we've ever seen in a The Hill article.

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posted by Ace at 01:55 PM

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