Accusing this administration of incompetence is easy to do. The president is a boob who can't tie his shoes without getting instructions through a hidden earpiece. He hires cronies like Brownie, who's main qualification for becoming head of FEMA was failing as a commissioner for a horse association. So when things go wrong, it's easy to attribute that to incompetence.
But often the truth is much worse, and incompentence is simply used as a cover-up for intentionally criminal acts. This article will look at the three most glaring examples of this.
This is the most obvious, and most well accepted, instance of the incompetence excuse. If you were to believe this administration, it was all "curveball's" fault. Everybody was being misled! If only we had better intelligence.
Of course, we didn't need the Downing Street Memo to know that ''the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy''. As the NY Times puts it, while trying to squirm out of their lack of reporting on the memo while it was making international headlines, it wasn't that important because "Three years ago , the near-unanimous conventional wisdom in Washington held that Mr. Bush was determined to topple Sadam Hussein by any means necessary". The recent comments by Paul Pillar also serve to emphasize this point: the intelligence was irrelevant.
This one has gotten so much coverage that over half of the country understands it was a hell-bent administration, not incompetent intelligence, that led us into this war.
"Failure to connect the dots." That's the big catch phrase about 9/11. Once again, our intelligence community just didn't get it right. Once again, this alleged incompetence is hiding the reality that many powerful people in this administration were part of the 9/11 operation, and were working hard to make sure that the dots were not connected.
Colleen Rowley, the FBI agent whose attempts at investigating the 9/11 plot were thwarted from above at every turn, says it best: "jokes were actually made that the key FBIHQ personnel had to be spies or moles, like Robert Hansen, who were actually working for Osama Bin Laden to have so undercut Minneapolis' effort". Of course it was Cheney and Rumsfeld's moles that she was dealing with, though she had no way of knowing that. Many others have reported similar obstructions (see chapter 6, "Did US Officials Obstruct Investigations Prior to 9/11" of David Ray Griffin's "The New Pearl Harbor").
Similarly, the FAA and NORAD are the convenient foils for the failure to get fighters up in time to intercept the hijacked aircraft. The DoD order issued in June 2001 requiring Rumsfeld to OK such interceptions, the redirection of the planes into holding patterns or over the Atlantic, and the multiple war games going on that both confused NORAD personnel and served as cover for the operation are rarely mentioned.
And, most famously, there is the inability to capture bin Laden. As Kerry liked to say, we "outsourced" his capture to the Northern Alliance, a major military blunder. But the reality was quite different: the escape route was intentionally left open, and helicopters assisted in rescuing the remaining Al-Qaeda members.
It's possible to go on, but these examples illustrate how incompetence becomes a cover story for a complex plot that was, in the end, fairly competently carried out.
Who knew the levees were breached? And when did they know it?
If you read the news right now, you'd think that was a major issue, a crucial problem to be solved in ascertaining blame for the failure to help those stranded in New Orleans after Katrina.
Everybody knew the levees might be breached. The mainstream news was screaming this in the days before Katrina arrived - others, for much longer.