As the final minutes of the Bush administration tick away, I'll rush to throw one final dart. One of the things the few remaining Bush supporters try to salvage from the ashes of his reign is the notion that he kept us safe. That is, after 9/11, there have been no more attacks on U.S. soil.
This, supposedly, makes everything okay--the abuses of Gitmo, the horrors of Abu Ghraib, the illegal wiretapping and suspension of civil liberties. It's all good, or at least forgiveable, because, dammit, it helped protect us.
Except...relatively few of the prisoners in Gitmo could be tied to terrorist cells in any meaningful way (most were transparently innocent), the prisoners in Abu Ghraib were Iraqis who posed absolutely no threat to America, and it has yet to be demonstrated that any of the sweeping constitutional changes brought about by the Homeland Security boys have had any impact on the war on terror whatsoever. (Most likely, warrantless wiretaps were used to keep tabs on political enemies.)
But even that pales beside the obvious fact that The Decider's apologists choose to ignore: HE DIDN'T KEEP US SAFE! 9/11 happened on his watch, after all, nearly a year after the al-Qaeda- backed bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, an act designed to prompt a response from the U.S., an act that was not forthcoming. Though the Cole bombing took place during the waning days of the Clinton administration, the aftereffects were up to Team Bush...and they responded by doing nothing. They took no action against Bin Laden, and they ignored intelligence reports suggesting an attack on U.S. soil was imminent.
As a result, nearly 3000 Americans died. The Bushinistas like to claim everything they did was done to keep us safe, but they did nothing when it counted. They failed us, as they failed us in every other way. This was, surely, the most callously unfeeling regime in the nation's history. None of them will be missed, and their absence should be celebrated.