House of Cards

Pic via Bootload at

Bush had few tasks he was good at as President.  He was good at standing on top of rubble, literally and metaphorically, a fortunate talent given his other accomplishments. He was good at commanding McDonalds bring back the McRib. And then in an article about tracking down Osama bin Laden there was this, symbolic of his acuity:

At any one time, the list would contain between 10 and 30 names, the most obvious ones being bin Laden and his Egyptian deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the former officials said. At one point, Bush’s advisers prepared for him a rogues’ gallery of about 20 top suspects on the list, which was laminated in plastic. Bush kept it in his Oval Office desk. When militants on the chart were captured or killed, Bush would take it out of his desk and mark them off.

So, the “Iraqi Playing Cards” idiocy was hardly unique.

Oh, and there was this:

The plan to create CIA hit-squads proved another dead end…revived by Porter Goss with a twist: the agency would use outside contractors for the hit teams, to give it more deniability. Erik Prince, founder-owner of the controversial private military contractor then known as Blackwater and a former Navy SEAL, was invited to participate in brainstorming sessions.

They were going to supplant Special Forces with private hit squads. The Samozas and Duvaliers would be proud.  Perhaps, as Emptywheel noted a few months ago and others as well, Raymond Davis has something to say on the matter and whether such programs actually ended?

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