Frist Fence Flakeout?

A mostly political Weblog.
Sept. 25 2006 12:10 AM

Frist Fence Flakeout?

Some conspiratorial speculation.

The 'Bad Timing' Con: ABC's The Note--

Will the Medicare prescription drug benefit (and the ill-timed doughnut hole press coverage) be a net plus or net minus for the Republicans?  ...

On "Good Morning America," ABC News' Jessica Yellin reported, "It is just terrible timing for the White House. Just as there are signs that the President's poll numbers are starting to rise, leaked portions of the classified report are turning the attention back to the key issue that has dragged down the President's Administration and his party, the war in Iraq." [E.A.]

Yes, it's such terrible bad luck that these anti-GOP stories and leaks just happened to surface a few weeks before the election!  ... [Are you saying the press shouldn't report this stuff?--ed No. WaPo's "doughnut" story  was excellent. I'm saying sophisticated political reporters covering the impact of these stories shouldn't pretend there's any luck or mystery to their timing, It's a disingenuous pose designed to heighten their impact.] 1:17 P.M.

Elvis Down: Chris Wallace did too ask a Bush aide (Rumsfeld) pointed questions about why Bush didn't go after bin Laden-- Patterico's got 'em. ...

P.S.: In the stimulating Wallace v. Clinton confrontation--which Clinton was winning before he plowed on into paranoia about Rupert Murdoch and Fox--Clinton spent a lot of time discussing Osama bin Laden and Somalia. Specifically, Clinton said:

"He wasn't involved in that, that's just a bunch of bull. That was about Mohamed Aideed, a Muslim warlord ...."

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My impression--from Mark Bowden's book, Black Hawk Down--is that al Qaeda operatives had taught Somali warlord Aideed's men how to bring down U.S. helicopters with RPGs. (See, e.g., here.) Did Clinton misspeak, or does he really not know of this Al Qaeda connection? Or does he have information that Bowden's claim really is "bull"? Update: Bin Laden's Somalia role was included in a U.S. Justice Dept. indictment.  ... Clinton also said:

"We were all there on a humanitarian mission; we had no mission, none, to establish a certain kind of Somali government or keep anybody out ..."

That's a highly distorted summary of the Somalia mission, which started out humanitarian but later  devolved into a U.S.-supported U.N. decision to build a government and then to "marginalize" Aideed.

P.P.S.: Next time, Wallace should ask Clinton about Dubai. Seems like another promising sore spot! ...

TODAY IN SLATE

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