Saturday, July 01, 2006

Insanity Defense: Power, Paranoia and Presidential Tyranny

In August 2001, while Bush dawdled on his Texas dude ranch, the entire national security system was, in Tenet's words, "blinking red" in expectation of a major terrorist strike; indeed, Tenet later said that the threat was so imminent that his "hair was on fire."

On Aug. 6, a CIA official brought the infamous "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" memo to Crawford, to read it out personally to the President and make sure he got the warning. Bush sat in silence as the briefer delivered his full message. Duty done, the agent awaited the president's orders, or the president's guidance, or the president's questions. He got nothing but a curt, snide dismissal: "All right, you've covered your ass now."