Tuesday, November 10, 2009

While 9/11 took place during Bush's presidency, it was agreed that he shouldn't take all of the blame, that he hadn't enough time in office to completely undo the triple sins of the Clinton Administration: not taking terrorism seriously enough, intelligence agencies that couldn't and wouldn't talk to one another and a 'law enforcement' approach that worried more about probable cause and warrants and maintaining walls between agencies than in gathering and sharing and acting on the intelligence that could have prevented the attacks from taking place.

So... the same logic dictates that Bush should receive a lot of the blame for what happened at Fort Hood. Obama's been in office a bit under 10 months, not much longer than Bush was on 9/11. And it wasn't Obama that put in the rules and attitudes that kept authorities from learning and acting on the intelligence that could have prevented this attack from taking place.

While one usually associates the Democrats with pushing PC thinking that keeps people from reporting suspicious behavior for fear of being labeled a bigot and that keeps people in the military from doing the same for fear of being seen as not sufficiently supportive of the diverse military Army Chief of Staff Casey is so proud of, this isn't an attitude that sprung up only in January of this year (and if anyone can provide evidence that Obama reversed a Bush policy that would have prevented this attack, I stand ready to back off).

Bush was a huge proponent of the 'we're not at war with Muslims' mantra that did so much to discourage critical examination of suspicious behavior of Muslims; it was members of the Bush Administration who criticized the actions taken against the 'flying imans'. Bush was the President when the attitudes in the military were set and hardened. Bush promoted and retained those who are now in top spots at the Pentagon, it isn't as if these guys all went soft only after Bush left office. Bush was the President when agencies were supposed to give up their turf wars to instead focus on sharing information with one another; Bush presided over a huge government re-organization that was supposed to eliminate screw ups such as this. Bush was the President whose Vice President famously said they didn't want to wait until the smoking gun was a mushroom cloud.... as it turns out, the smoking gun was a smoking gun.

Hasan was able to do what he did because the people and policies Bush put in place were not up to the task. And for a President whose supporters claimed kept us safe ever since 9/11, I think the Fort Hood shootings is pretty good evidence that the reason we weren't attacked isn't because we were detecting and preemptively acting against threats such as Hasan... we weren't attacked in spite of what Bush was doing and not because of him.