Home / General / It’s been said a paranoid person is somebody who suspects what’s really going on

It’s been said a paranoid person is somebody who suspects what’s really going on

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That’s so funny I forgot to laugh.

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  • c u n d gulag

    The entire Bush mis-administration should either be in jail for the rest of their miserable lives, or trying to atone for their grievous sins through daily acts of charity.

    That speech in Tampa should be the last time we ever hear from Ms. Rice again.
    And the rest of that foul crew needs to stay home, STFU, and be grateful they aren’t at the Hague, or some US Supermax. Or sued to the point where they don’t have money to eat, let alone get dressed up, and go to “news” shows to pontificate and opine.

    The fact that these “people” aren’t pelted by rotten fruits, vegetables, and meats, every time they leave their homes, is testament to either America’s forgiveness, or stupidity.

    My money’s on the latter.

    • wengler

      How dare you!

      Throughout the summer of 2001, Ms. Rice steadfastly assured that the Soviet Union did not nuke us.

  • WhatDragon

    One thing I have never seen discussed about 9/11 is the degree to which neo-conservative and realist approaches to IR colored the Bush administration’s view on terror reports.

    Just cause I haven’t seen it discussed doesn’t mean it hasn’t been discussed.

    • Heron

      It certainly played a role.

      Recall the mindset of the late 90s. Every time Clinton did anything targeted at Al-Qaeda, the response form the Republicans, from the geo-political “Realists” like Ms. Rice, and even from the political media was “Wag the Dog”. By the time he left office, what had begun as yet another cynical ploy to undermine Clinton had become accepted wisdom in those circles; people like Ms. Rice honestly thought terrorism was just a red herring, and anyone who was reading her scholarly articles and other works at the time can attest to that.

      “Realists” have always been obsessed with geo-political grand-strategy and a Hobbesian view of state relations; views that not only assume the irrelevance of non-state actors, but also downplay the importance of the sort of cross-boarder law-enforcement and intelligence work that is most effective at combating terrorism. Instead of paying attention to our intelligence services they were more interested in having a stare-down with China over the Pacific. Neo-Conservatives flat-out reject reality, preferring instead “noble” fictions that give us some great evil to define and unify ourselves against; a view that seeks to twist any fact it encounters to fit whatever conclusions its holder has already reached. To them, Islamic Fundamentalists were merely catspaws of Saddam.

      Even then, back in the late 90s, the Republican party and Conservative academia was already corrupted by unrealistic delusions and distracted by fantastical obsessions. In the UN, where many saw a focus for peaceful dialogue and concerted action on global issues, they saw a sinister weight around the Union’s neck. In International law, where most saw a rule-based system for ordering international relations and adjudicating conflicts without recourse to war, they saw a thousand fetters, hampering the Union’s “freedom of actions”. In the long successful history of Spain’s and INTERPOL’s law-enforcement approach to anti-terrorism they saw coddling. Those sorts of absurd ideology-driven interpretations have obvious and dire implications for policy making, and we’ve now lived through them at our cost.

  • Jameson Quinn

    Thank you for a post on this issue that’s not just Nader-trolling.

  • Paul, Iraq was a solution looking for a problem.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the Eichenwald post as quickly as you are. I don’t think that Bush knew or was allowed to understand the information the CIA uncovered, for various reasons but primary among them was the bloody incompetence of the entire administration, a trait they demonstrated time and time again over the following seven years.

    That the events dovetailed neatly with the “solution” is irrelevant: given Al Qaeda’s increased activity over the previous administration, it was unlikely that Bush would never have to deal with a terror attack on American soil.

    Ergo, the planning for an Iraq invasion was simply accelerated, plus it was given a bonus in that Afghanistan was quickly uncovered as complicit in the attacks, a win-win situation: Afghanistan provides unplanned political cover for Bush to attack Iraq.

    Or to put it in plain English, Bush was planning to attack Iraq anyway, but got a gift from bin Laden.

    • I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the Eichenwald post as quickly as you are.

      I’m usually not this redunant and repetitive.

    • Paul Campos

      What strikes you as dismissive in my article in regard to the NYT piece? I certainly didn’t intend to convey anything like that.

      • This:

        Now, do I believe in this meta-conspiracy theory? Of course not, because I am – or at least aspire to be – a Very Serious Person, and Very Serious People do not believe in conspiracies. They do, however, participate in them.

        It comes off as dismissive of Eichenwald, at least to me.

        • I’m pretty sure that excerpt is 1) acknowledging the validity of Eichenwald’s reporting and analysis while 2) acknowledging the reality of its not being discussed with either the intelligence or volume it deserves because of dynamics within the media.

          • firefall

            Plus of course, it’s Prof Campos ‘fessing up to being part of the conspiracy himself

    • Sherm

      Maybe my reading comprehension is off this morning, but that article didn’t strike me as dismissive.

  • The Bush administration foreign policy team stands out for their non-reality-based, ideological understanding of the world.

    Instead of basing their perception of the world on facts and evidence, their primary method was to interpret every question through their ideology, and to then assume that the facts were whatever best supported their ideological understanding (a habit not unique to neoconservatives). In short, they checked their guts.

    Before 9/11, this meant that terrorism was no big deal, and that the most important threats to the United States involved great power rivalries, especially with China. Thus, the intelligence people warning them otherwise were ideologically suspect, probably a bunch of eastern Ivy League elitists, whose opinions could therefore be dismissed as biased.

    • Scott Lemieux

      See also: Plan B. Reagan, to his credit, eventually figured out that the people arguing that the Soviet Union was as strong as ever in 1987 were wrong. Bush would buy anything neocons told him.

      • Reagan’s flip-flop towards the Soviets in the middle of his presidency, after being a leading voice for rollback for decades, is one of the most astounding events in American political history.

        Who could have predicted that someone so passionately ideological, someone with such a history of steamrolling right over contrary information, would be capable of making such a dramatic correction, and at such an advanced age?

        • gorillagogo

          Who could have predicted that someone so passionately ideological, someone with such a history of steamrolling right over contrary information, would be capable of making such a dramatic correction, and at such an advanced age?

          Not to make light of the situation, but I have to wonder if the onset of Alzheimer’s was a contributing factor.

          • ajay

            It’s not often that Alzheimers leads to increased mental acuity. How ironic if it actually meant that he misunderstood the wrong advice he was getting and actually ended up doing the right thing…

            • gorillagogo

              I didn’t mean to imply increased mental acuity. I’m thinking more along the lines of general confusion leading to a random and at times fervent belief that X is true, even if X is diametrically opposed to what the person believed earlier in his or her life.

        • Sev

          Well, it probably helps when your strong-minded wife has a gifted astrologer.

      • rea

        And note, the Team B people during the Reagan administration were largely the same people in the Bush administration behind the attack on Iraq. The fact that they had been proven completely wrong about Soviet capabilities did not hurt their careers in the slightest.

    • Cheap Wino

      In short, they checked their guts.

      That’s how Bush discovered that Putin was such a great guy, too. Shit, this foreign policy crap is hard, just go with the gut!

      • Bruce Baugh

        Pro tip: If you find a lot of hard crap, something’s wrong with the gut.

  • Steve

    Well, claiming that some unnamed neocons were “not wholly displeased” with the failure to stop the attack isn’t much of an allegation.

    It would be vastly more interesting to suppose that specific neocons actively dismissed the threat with some particular motive. But you don’t go there, and you can’t because the eichenwald piece doesn’t name names or provide evidence for what you’re positing.

    Was one of these neocons Doug Feith? Because then we could chalk up Eichenwald’s story about apoplectic CIA agents etc. to stupidity rather than malice.

  • Scott Lemieux

    Um, are we sure we want a “truther” who thinks security policy affects outcomes on our roster? We do have to watch what we say on 9/11, after all.

    • Boudleaux

      That’s going to depend on whether or not one is in a Free Speech Zone at the time.

      • firefall

        Well its America so .. no

  • This was a very good article. I agree that the Bush admin needs to be tried, sentenced, jailed and the key thrown away.

  • herr doktor bimler

    David Frum (Sensible Conservative) popped up on the NZ radio the other day, giving an interview as he waited for a plane after the DNC. His biggest regret about the Bush administration, apparently, was that they ever invaded Afghanistan at all; in retrospect he would have argued for ignoring Al Qaeda’s role in the Twin Towers attack, instead invading Iran right from the start.

    • rea

      invading Iran

      Iran? Are you sure? Not Paraguay?

  • Njorl

    I just couldn’t help being reminded of the best Xfiles episode ever:

    MULDER: Similar things are said about the men in black. That they purposely dress and behave strangely so that if anyone tries to describe an encounter with them, they come off sounding like a lunatic.

    1ST MAN IN BLACK: I find absolutely no reason why anyone would think you crazy if you described this meeting of ours.
    (The second man in black puts his hand on Mulder’s shoulder. He bears an uncanny resemblance to Alex Trebek.)

    • wengler

      Jesse Ventura and Alex Trebek.

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