[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Fox & Friends had wall-to-wall coverage of the celebrations inspired by news of Osama bin Laden's death this morning, and had on lots of analysts to discuss the Obama administration's big victory in the so-called "war on terror".
To do that, strangely enough, they had on all sorts of commentators, including various politicians, such as Karl Rove, and featured statements from the likes of Dick Cheney. Oddly enough, not a single segment managed to include a Democratic politician or even one person from the Obama administration.
Instead, what we heard all morning was how George W. Bush deserves credit too! They even ran a segment featuring Bush vowing in 2001 he would eventually get Bin Laden, with the longest time frame being a year from then.
As Steve Benen puts it:
There's a fair amount of this rhetoric bouncing around this morning, and it's not especially surprising -- Republicans aren't going to credit President Obama, regardless of merit, so it stands to reason they'll try to bring George W. Bush into the picture.But it's what we expect from Republicans. And especially the crew at F&F.
If this is going to be a new GOP talking point, we might as well set the record straight.
In March 2002, just six months after 9/11, Bush said of bin Laden, "I truly am not that concerned about him.... You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, to be honest with you."
In July 2006, we learned that the Bush administration closed its unit that had been hunting bin Laden.
In September 2006, Bush told Fred Barnes, one of his most sycophantic media allies, that an "emphasis on bin Laden doesn't fit with the administration's strategy for combating terrorism."
And don't even get me started on Bush's failed strategy that allowed bin Laden to escape from Tora Bora.
I'm happy to extend plenty of credit to all kinds of officials throughout the government, but crediting Bush's "vigilance" on bin Laden is deeply silly.