Friday, September 23, 2005

JONATHAN CHAIT writes in LAT: No more free passes for Bush & Co.; from now on they pay full price, just like the rest of us.

Now that all but the most partisan and stubborn defenders of President Bush agree that he screwed up his response to Katrina, and nearly as many agree that he screwed up the occupation of Iraq, it probably seems unnecessary to continue beating up the administration over those failures of the past.

Instead, I say we dwell on some other administration foul-ups from even further in the past that most people have forgotten about by now. You know, in the spirit of magnanimity.

I'm thinking specifically of two controversies. First, the administration's failure to act on intelligence that could have stopped the Sept. 11 attacks. And second, its refusal to commit ground troops to the battle of Tora Bora in 2001, leading to the escape of Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants.

In both cases, the administration received the benefit of the doubt. In light of what we now know about the administration's incompetence, however, this benefit is wholly unwarranted.

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