Don't blame me -- I was out of the loop
Josh Marshall over at TalkingPointsMemo has an interesting take on a recent Washington Post piece, but I'm not sure he hammers home hard enough the implications of something George W. Bush said in response to the now-notorious Aug 6 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing. According to the Post, Bush stated:
"I am satisfied that I never saw any intelligence that indicated there was going to be an attack on America -- at a time and a place, an attack ...
When you think about it, this is an amazing demonstration of CYA (covering one's posterior). Normally, you'd think that, if something as devastating as the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened on your watch as president, you'd be pretty steamed. You'd probably be wandering the halls of the West Wing, in a foul mood, demanding to know whose heads should roll for this unforgivable lapse in national security. How the $#^@$@$ could this have happened, you'd be hollering. Get me Tenet! Get me Rice! Somebody is in serious crap here, and I'm going to find out who, by God!
But not George. Instead, by saying, "I am satisfied that I never saw any intelligence that indicated there was going to be an attack on America,", what he appears to be saying is, "Hey, I'm satisfied that I was so utterly and unspeakably ignorant of the gathering warnings of impending attacks that, well, come on, you can't hold me responsible."
This appears to represent a whole new standard in plausible deniability -- don't blame me, I'm way too stupid to have been able to do anything about it. And the scary thing is -- a lot of people are going to accept that.