No no, just kidding: There’s no “maybe” here. On the contrary, he blithely asserts that “there’s no question about it,” which precipitates the first and likely last defense of George W. Bush ever mounted by David Shuster. But then, this is the same guy who once claimed that Karl Rove planted the phony memos that destroyed Dan Rather’s career, who called for nationalizing America’s oil industry, and who thought it’d be super-keen to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. Chock full o’ good ideas, he is; it was only a matter of time before he stumbled across this one.
As for the merits of his argument, let me see if I have this straight. Bush deliberately refused to take out Bin Laden at Tora Bora when he had the chance, even though (a) it would have been an enormous boost for him politically, arguably making his goal of invading Iraq even easier to achieve; (b) Bin Laden’s lingering presence in the tribal areas gave Democrats an effective talking point against Iraq for years afterward about “taking our eye off the ball” and “fighting the real war” (which, at the moment, they no longer want to fight); (c) Bush himself repeatedly emphasized, as one of his own core talking points, that the war on terror is much bigger than one archterrorist and can only be won by democratizing and liberalizing the Middle East. Listening to Hinchey here, you’d think it was Osama, not WMD, that Dubya had claimed Saddam was hiding. But whatever. This isn’t a serious argument being made by Hinchey, merely a little reminder ahead of Obama’s speech tomorrow night that Bush is the devil and responsible for every last problem the left has to deal with, etc etc etc. Take it in the dumb, thoughtless spirit in which it’s offered.