A former senior C.I.A. official says that officials in the Bush White House sought damaging personal information on a prominent American critic of the Iraq war in order to discredit him. Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war. – Ex-Spy Alleges Bush White House Sought to Discredit Critic



E.J. Dionne has written a whopper today by trying to be clever, but just comes off as daft analysis combined with negligence for uttering such blather. His a weird little column about his nostalgia for George W. Bush seems instead like a love letter to encourage Republicans. It’s all predicated on this week’s GOP debate, because he’s scared of Michele Bachmann, forgetting that Obama and the Democrats helped create her, while the Tea Party started as a reaction to George W. Bush on his watch.

That’s why I felt nostalgia for Bush, especially the guy who was a candidate for president in 2000. Unlike this crowd of Republicans, Bush acknowledged that the federal government can ease injustices and get useful things done.

At least he admits Bush’s debacle in Iraq is “why Bush nostalgia takes you only so far.”

This is the kind of stuff that’s written when you don’t hold a president accountable for his unspeakable acts, starting with war in Iraq and Abu Ghraib, but also allowing his vice president to run the show, while the man who killed over 3,000 people got away. A man who kept wars off the books and broke our economy with tax cuts, which Pres. Obama embraced with both arms. This man Mr. Dionne is nostalgic for was a failed businessman, prodigal son and duty dodging Guardsman, ran a race-baiting campaign in South Carolina against John McCain, all of while conspiring with Roger Ailes and one of his relatives on the Fox payroll who was primarily responsible for the Bush won theme that developed on election night.

From Rolling Stone magazine, a president who used Roger Ailes as an adviser, that’s who Mr. Dionne is getting wistful about today:

[...] After Bush took office, Ailes stayed in frequent touch with the new Republican president. “The senior-level editorial people believe that Roger was on the phone every day with Bush,” a source close to Fox News tells Rolling Stone. “He gave Bush the same kind of pointers he used to give George H.W. Bush “” delivery, effectiveness, political coaching.” In the aftermath of 9/11, Ailes sent a back-channel memo to the president through Karl Rove, advising Bush to ramp up the War on Terror. As reported by Bob Woodward, Ailes advised Bush that “the American public would tolerate waiting and would be patient, but only as long as they were convinced that Bush was using the harshest measures possible.”Fox News tilted the electoral balance to George W. Bush in 2000, prematurely declaring him president in a move that prompted every other network to follow suit. It helped create the Tea Party, transforming it from the butt of late-night jokes into a nationwide insurgency capable of electing U.S. senators. …

Bush ignored warnings about Al Qaeda and bin Laden, with the list of economic incompetency lingering in a legacy that has us still suffering from it economically today.

Mr. Dionne conveniently forgets there was a set-up for all this and it began with Pres. Obama and Democrats not making their own case for what the Democratic Party believes government can do, but instead adopted Republican economic theory that got us into this mess in the first place.

Now we find, unsurprisingly let me add, that George W. Bush wanted to target Juan Cole because of his effectiveness at criticizing the Iraq war.

Suck on that morsel from Mr. Dionne’s nostalgia pie.

However, the pathetic part about E.J. Dionne’s nostalgia is that it’s not his fault. This absurd nostalgia for Bush should be laid at the door of Congress, when Speaker Pelosi refused to strip the bark off a president whose malfeasance and recklessness was the worst since Nixon. When a president turned the C.I.A. into his own personal misinformation center on a war that we’re still fighting in a country that never attacked us.

It’s this same presidential hubris that inspired Barack Obama to bomb Libya and many other things he’s done to mimic the imperial presidency of George W. Bush. Glenn Greenwald keeps a running list if you’ve forgotten.

That Pres. Obama had to tape Afghanistan back together because of Bush’s negligence, which evolved into a nightmare scenario of unending occupation is another example of why nostalgia for anything George W. Bush is simply a pathetic case of selective amnesia. Bush’s Pakistan strategy part of the disaster that allowed the ISI to likely shelter him all these years.

But Bush nostalgia really owes a debt of thanks to the Democrats. They’re the ones who allowed former Pres. Bush to ride into the sunset and set up his rehabilitation tour that never should have been allowed, let alone have history rewritten by he and Rumsfeld, with Cheney’s tome about to drop.

E.J. Dionne adds his piece of rewriting history to make 2012 Republicans look bad, by positing that George W. Bush was not a nightmare. His case falls apart as he ties himself in knots trying to prove a case that only could have been suggested by one of his Republican bosses trying to save the GOP from themselves.

I wish the gods could save us from amnesiac political writers in the traditional press and the partisan hacks who suck it up, but it seems people are suckers for stupidity.