Advisor Sees Future Terrorist Attack As “Big Advantage” For McCain

Photo credit: The Boston Herald

One of John McCain’s top advisors has something unusual in mind when it comes to the possibility of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil: a campaign victory. During a recent interview with Fortune Magazine, Chief Strategist Charlie Black revealed that such an attack “certainly would be a big advantage” for the presidential hopeful. 

The quote detonated in Black’s face shortly after it surfaced. He issued a public apology, McCain distanced himself and Obama released a typical rebuttal. But I’m not over it.

The problem is not that Black let something slip, as if he accidentally dropped the f-bomb in front of some school kids. His thoughts are telling because it reflects the political climate in Washington. The “power at any cost” mindset has infected the GOP since 9/11, and this is only the latest example of it oozing into view. Black should be apologizing for his priorities and alliances. Why is he even thinking of the “advantage” to McCain when asked about a terrorist attack? This kind of hunger should sound a big alarm. It’s a disgrace- seven years after a hit on our nation and the chief strategist for one of the two presidential candidates is essentially saying “if another occurs, we’ll be using it to get ahead.”

Here’s what I can’t get past: Bush and his government failed us on September 11th. His administration ignored the Bin Laden threat for months leading up to the strike. The federally-governed aircraft were not secured on that day. And yes- it does matter that Bush stayed in his seat for seven minutes after being told “the nation is under attack,” and not because Michael Moore included it in his movie. Now as I’ve said before- no government can provide a shield against every threat, but a little research on the topic reveals a White House operating prior to 9/11 with systemic negligence in relation to such external threats.

So who was fired? Where are the apologies from those who failed us on that day, and who has been held accountable? No one. The militant majority of the Republican party refuse to apologize, and will not turn away from their ongoing blunders. Even something like a terrorist attack, which is both grim and unthinkable for the rest of us- is just fodder for GOP supremacy. If this were the first time, I’d be downplaying the significance of the whole matter. Unfortunately the “advantage” quote arrives at the tail end of years filled with threats fabricated, manipulated and made useful- from WMDs to “smoking guns” and “mushroom clouds.”

Hundreds of thousands are dead in Iraq since our invasion began, and many of those are our own soldiers; millions more have been driven from their homes and are now refugees throughout the middle east. Our global reputation is rightfully damaged after the policies of torture and abuse, secret prisons and endless detention for suspects without trial or writ of habeus corpus (though that’s finally been overturned). Here at home, we’ve seen police and spy powers ramped up and federal debt nearly doubled. And for what? Even after all of that, the neocon hawks continue to say and use anything- including attacks both real and imagined- as a means to their end. This is not the same country that I was born into, and I’m a young guy.

17 thoughts on “Advisor Sees Future Terrorist Attack As “Big Advantage” For McCain

  1. Unfortunately, the scariest thing about the populace’s response to all of this unlawful and illegal activity…..*crickets*…….

    Why are we, as a nation, not up in unified arms about how this administration has sullied our national reputation? Because it is so damn overwhelming that most of us have tuned out. With the economy listing and the dollar shrinking we are saddled with so much additional baggage that we just want to close our eyes and pretend its business as usual. We are in a National denial. I feel it, I see it and I hear it.

    My hope is that we snap OUT of this malaise once this monkey leaves the White House, and we finally make some people accountable for all these blunders. I see that Vincent Bugliosi has just released a book called “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder” and its making some waves. Why? Because Bugliosi isn’t some whack job standing on the corner screaming about aliens reading his thoughts through his tin foil hat. He is a respected former prosecutor from Los Angeles — he is the one that prosecuted Charles Manson and his minions.

    Here is a book blurb from Amazon:

    “In The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, Bugliosi presents a tight, meticulously researched legal case that puts George W. Bush on trial in an American courtroom for the murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers fighting the war in Iraq. Bugliosi sets forth the legal architecture and incontrovertible evidence that President Bush took this nation to war in Iraq under false pretenses—a war that has not only caused the deaths of American soldiers but also over 100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women, and children; cost the United States over one trillion dollars thus far with no end in sight; and alienated many American allies in the Western world.”

    While I have not read the book, I have heard him interviewed twice now, and I found the idea fascinating. What will our country do once Bush is just a “regular” citizen again? Will those who always scream to the mountain tops about “accountability” and “taking responsibility” follow their own principles and take action? I AM holding my breath.

  2. sig heil my brutha! may i recommend an excellent film for your review- fahrenheit 9/12: one degree hotter. it’s produced by michael mooreved and funded by it’s a fascinating, fascinating read.

  3. Great post as always, Bri- i think you really have a strong grasp on the context of this issue in how it relates to our country and our future.

    So funny that you mentioned that book- I just learned of it for the first time in Barnes and Noble while Josh and I were killing time before Hulk. I was really close to buying it- and for the exact reasons that you point out- a skilled and restrained look at the facts from someone who can speak as an expert to the legality of things. I got no sense of “left-wing hit job” as I looked through it.

    Hmmmm…too many books to read. I can never find enough time. Do let me know if you buy it and read it all- a strong recommendation will bump it to the top of my to-get list.


  4. I was unaware that a citizen such as yourself had been briefed of all political acts leading up to 9/11, you must be pretty important. It’s arrogant to assume that you have all the same information as a president/congressman/senator so on and so on. You are basing (just like everyone else) your opinion on interviews and press conferences. I am sad that this blogger is just like every other one, uninformed and so mislead.

  5. Hi Anonymous- thanks for firing a shot off but you’re going to have to do better than that. So the government DID secure those airplanes on 9/11? Airline security falls under Federal jurisdiction, you realize. Or maybe the footage of the crumbling towers and burning pentagon was forged? Who is ultimately responsible for that, and who was the head of government on that day?

    You just gave yourself quite a large pat on the back by saying that every blogger is uniformed and mislead, and based on what you assume to be our only avenue to information- “interviews and press conferences.” Aside from the fact that your assertion is wrong, you must have insider information that the rest of us are lacking? In your world only the president/congressman/senators have that kind of info. So what makes you right besides the fact that you prefer your opinion over mine?

    I doubt you’ll come back to respond but I hope that you do. Next time- bother to be specific in your challenge instead of lobbing vague grenades in my direction. Then we can have a more focused conversation.


    ps- interviews are very compelling. When several employees of the CIA all agree that intel pre-9/11 was ignored, you then have a monumental problem for those who ignored it. Testimonial evidence is good enough to get someone convicted in a court of law. Should it not be good enough for the rest of us searching for truth when weighed along with other evidence?

  6. Please tell me that you are not a “conspiracy theorist” who waves signs at protests ranting”9/11 was an inside job”. Of course airport security is under federal jurisdiction, was security what it should have been? No. Considering that an attack of that magnitude (or at all) has not happened since, I would say that they took what happend pretty seriously, and made adjustments accordingly. And please also remind yourself that Clinton had plenty of information about Osmama and Al Quaida and did nothing. Bush had been in office for 9 months when this happened. He was not the one who sat on this forever and did nothing. And I’ll thank you for not making an assumption that I would not have the courage to come back and defend my opinions. I’m sorry that I can’t just bend and agree with all your other readers, I just don’t think that you have all your information correct. Show me legal documents, I would love to see the proof behind you accusations.

  7. By the way, your Mark Twain quote may be your attempt at a virtual bitch slap to people who don’t agree with you, but it sure seems to be something you struggle with yourself.

  8. So to confirm- 9/11 was Clinton’s fault? While I am no huge fan of Clinton’s and he may share some responsibility for failing to persue bin laden, Bush bears the greater responsibility. That should be fairly obvious. 9/11 didn’t happen two hours into his presidency. For months- intel came his way from the CIA about bin laden’s intent to attack, and that intel was not acted on.

    No I am not a conspiracy theorist. Are you actually reading the content here? Do let me know when you find an example of me saying 9/11 was an inside job. You’ll be searching for awhile.

    Your logic is severely flawed on this matter, and heavily aided by Rush Limbaugh/Fox News talking points like “well nothing has happened since so bravo to Bush.” What thinking like that does is excuse the government’s blunder of failing to protect the nation on 9/11, and also justifies the reckless war and assault on our constitution since that time. That’s ironic- because Rush and Fox appeal to a conservative audience, but their positions are not. If only Bush and his supporters were serious about the “smaller, less intrusive government, no policing the world and no nation building” policy that he ran on in 2000. That’s true conservatism, and the world would be a much safer place if that mindset were adopted.

    What do you mean by “legal documents?” It’s not my responsibility to equip you with a full plate of evidence and when that fails to satisfy- offer even more. But for starters, consider what former Bush administration counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke told the 9/11 Commission in 2004: “To the loved ones of the victims of 9/11, to them who are here in the room, to those who are watching on television, your government failed you.” Hmmm, and he was in the security bunker with Cheney on 9/11. Can’t get much closer than that. How about a little more from Clarke? “Frankly, I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he’s done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11.” Check his book out.

  9. Anonymous- yes, I struggle with faith and politics (and other things too). That’s an intentional aspect of this site- I’m not interested in presenting myself as a polished and perfect guru. If you’ll bother to read the content here, you’ll see that I reflect and question my own shortcomings often. And I hope that readers are willing to do the same.

  10. Hey anonymous…
    If you would actually research the many laughable “coincidences”, you might reconsider your views about the many still UNANSWERED, strange “conspiracy” concerning 9/11.

    The reason these questions go unanswered is because 99% of the country thinks, “that would never happen”. Of course, this is followed by the ever popular, “no research” and calling those who don’t think as they do, “crazy”, “stupid”, “wacko” and many other words that belong in parenthesis.

    It really isn’t that shocking if you think about it.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to start an un-endable debate about UFO’s and moon landings.

    To just blindly follow the words of our “leadership” is foolish. Their powerful positions bring about more evil influence than you or I will ever see… and when you combine that with a DEEP love for money, that’s a scary combination (a hush falls over the crowd while all of those present ponder the life changing epiphany that just took place. lol)

    and, no, I didn’t look up epiphany.

  11. lol. I didn’t mean to leave “Yoda” as my name. haha.

    There’s no editing allowed on this site… just as Hitler would have it. :)

  12. Black’s comments are a classic case of surrogates not having thier campaign talking points in front of them. The end result is that they actually let slip what they are thinking. HRC did the same thing with her remarks about Bobby Kennedy’s assassination, making her case to stay a little longer in the race for the presidency.

    Two things are in play here, society’s view of the presidency and the 24 hour news cycle. Most who aspire to the presidency (now and in the past) for the entitlement it brings and the possibility that one might leave some sort of legacy in the bargain. There have only ever been a handful of occupants in the white house who ascended to the position because of a sense of duty to his fellow man. They know that the presidency is about responsibility and accountability and through acting that out are actually able to awaken those same qualities in others.

    The all news, all the time cycle powered by the internet doesn’t allow presidential candidates or thier handlers to hide anything for very long. Black’s true ambitions were unveiled and they reveal the world in which he lives, measuring political power and advantage rather than an interest in exhibiting leadership. The blogger is right, there is no monopoly by either party, on this kind of cynicism.

    We can be hopeful, as our country’s history has proven, that the leaders we desperately need will come to power at the times when we need it most. That is to say, that these difficult times will awaken humble, resolute leadership in America.

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