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Tony Snow contradicting the New York Times (and the NIE) leaves Bill O'Reilly in a quandary

Reported by Chrish - July 19, 2007 -

O'Reilly, whose mission has been to sow division and hatred among Americans, and mistrust of the mainstream media, has fallen victim to his own spin. He claims in his Talking Points Memo 7/18/07 that he doesn't know whom to believe, White House spokesperson (and "buddy") Tony Snow, or the liberal Bush-hating New York Times. Ordinarily it would be no contest, but the New York Times happens to be reporting the findings in the just-released National Intelligence Estimate, which says that Al Qaeda is strong.

At the top of the segment, O'Reilly revealed the NYT headline that read "Bush advisers see a failed strategy in Iraq - A grim assesssment." (He neglected to read aloud the rest of it, "Aggressive moves in Pakistan weighed.") Talking Points immediately called the White House, who denied the headline. Points doesn't know who to believe: Tony Snow or the New York Times "and many Democrats." Howsabout the National Intelligence Estimate, compiled from reports from all 16 intelligence agencies, that was the basis for the report?

O'Reilly maintains, as he did yesterday, that both parties are using Al Qaeda for political purposes, with the 2008 election the endgame. Also, as he did yesterday, he said Democrats have opposed most of the Bush administration anti-terrorism efforts yet are now saying Bush policies have actually helped terrorists.

Comment: First, as noted yesterday, "More misrepresentation of liberal/left stances. We oppose indefinite detention without charges or representation, torture, extraordinary rendition, and warrantless wiretapping - all un-American, un-Constitutional practices apparently okey-dokey by the radical right. We can fight terrorism without subverting the Constitution. If Bush and Republicans can't then get out and let someone else do it." Second, those two stances are not mutually exclusive; the left can oppose the un-Constitutional practices of this administration and claim that the Bush strategy, such as it is, has backfired.

O'Reilly surmises the terrorists must be enjoying this division, but he is not. He wants to know if the hundreds of billions (amended from yesterday's mere billions) spent "fighting terrorism" have been wasted, if OBL is prospering, and what the left would do to neutralize him? He is very disturbed that he can't get clear answers on any of those questions.

Horse hockey. He knows damn well what's been going on and now that the wheels are all coming off he's trying to find an exit strategy that doesn't make him look like a dupe. Or an unindicted co-conspirator.

He brought on two guests to discuss. I thought for a moment he was going to reveal his business association with Peter Zeihan of Stratfor.com, but instead he said

"Now I want to tell the audience before you... these are the two best guys I could get on this; I can't get any better guys on this. Um, so, Dr. Scheur, we'll begin with you."

Michael Scheur Ph.D., former CIA Analyst and head of the (disbanded) bin Laden Unit, agreed with the New York Times article but shared the blame on Bush with all the leadership, and the media. Al Qaeda has been damaged, but only on the surface, as they have a
tremendously effective program of succession.

Zeihan, of course, disagreed; as he put it, "that's crap." He says, essentially, that because of the attention brought by 9/11 they've had to take their operations underground so cannot be effective, and notes there hasn't been a terrorist attack in over 5 years.

(Over)simplified, Ziehan said there's the top tier Al Qaeda (bin Laden, western Pakistan, his circle) and Al Qaeda franchises (wannabes and admirers).

Scheur said that as a life-long Republican, he is sick of being manipulated by this White House. The NIE is a good piece of work, and then today they pulled this al-Mashhadani thing out of their hat today, blaming Al Qaeda for being behind the insurgency. They really think Americans are stupid people.

Ziehman overall gave the Bush war on terror a B-, while Scheumer gives it a D-.