Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Don't Worry, We're Always One Step Behind Them

Here's a moment from President Bush speaking to the press, off the cuff (don't worry, they aren't French cuffs), yesterday. I heard it live on NPR but couldn't believe it until I saw the transcript on the White House site today. First, let's examine the doozy of a question, which one can assume is so bad only because either: 1) the reporter Bush called "Michael" is really Dr. (of Physiology) Laura Schlessinger or 2) the reporter was so surprised he had a chance to ask a question at an unscripted moment that his brain let out a fart larger than one the dogs can let loose (not from their brains).

Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Until the other day, few Americans thought about liquid explosives when they got on a plane. What are the other emerging or evolving threats to the homeland that are most on your mind? That is, what else needs to be hardened as convincingly as cockpits have been hardened?

OK, the reporter didn't make a snakes on a plane joke, so that's good. But while "few Americans" have thought about liquid explosives, shouldn't the reporter know that the Americans actually in charge of keeping us safe have known about this threat since the mid-90s, just decided it was best to wait and see if the terrorists re-figured it out? Shouldn't that be the question--why are we all surprised by what we should already know and have a plan for? And I know it's called Homeland Security, but does the reporter have to use "homeland" in that "fatherland" kind of way? As for "what else needs to be hardened," well, I can only guess that the journalist assumes that there's some sort of liquid Viagra that might lead to high-flying explosions....

THE PRESIDENT: Michael, we will take the actions that are necessary based upon the intelligence we gather. And obviously, if we find out that terrorist groups are planning and plotting against our citizens--or any other citizens, for that matter--we will notify the proper authorities and the people themselves of actions that we're taking.

One thing you have to say about George W. Bush--he instills confidence. Once those terrorists make plans, we will figure them out. Until then, let's face it, it's silly to get too worked up about anything.


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