Feeling Safer Yet?

In the spring of 2003, President Bush dismissed any questions about Osama bin Laden. “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and don’t care. It is not important, and it is not our priority.” He added: “I am not truly concerned about him.”

He should have been. In a stunning admission of failure, the Bush administration admitted this week that the war on terror is a total bust. “FUBAR,” as we used to say in college.

According to the government’s own National Intelligence Estimate, al Qaeda has regrouped and re-armed and is stronger than ever; Osama bin Laden is still in charge; and the threat of terrorist attacks on American soil is growing. We are right back to where we were before Sept. 11, 2001: al Qaeda, led by bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri, hiding in the mountains on the Afghan-Pakistani border, and plotting terrorist attacks against the United States.

In other words, everything President Bush has told us about the war on terror is false. He said the terrorists are on the run. They’re not. He said their leadership was disbanded and dysfunctional. It's not. He said we’re safer. We’re not. He said as long as we’re fighting them over there, we’ll never have to fight them over here. He’s wrong. Dead wrong.

It’s the final installment in a long list of Bush failures. There’s no doubt he screwed up on healthcare, stem cells, jobs, global warming, immigration and the war in Iraq. But at least, we thought, he was on top of the war on terror. Now it turns out he screwed that up, too.

After reading the administration’s own National Intelligence Estimate on terror, Bush should be charged with dereliction of duty. The war on terror: FUBAR, indeed.

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