Live-blogging the Presidential address
The topic for today, according to all of the "pre-game prep," is that the President is announcing the transfer of 14 terrorist leaders to Guantanamo Bay, and the formation of a mechanism for trying them.
1:45 - Punctual as always, we're starting with a recitation of the facts. "Americans awoke on September 11th..."
1:48 - "The foiled plot in London shows that the terrorists are still active, and they're still trying to attack America...Another reason that the terrorists have not succeeded is that the government has changed its policies."
1:50 - Why are the captured terrorists important? "This is information that can not be gotten any other place." It is so straightforward that it continues to boggle the mind how people can have fought so hard against every step this administration has taken and still consider themselves patriotic Americans. Yes, I'm serious about that. And that means you, New York Times. And that means you, ACLU. And that means you, CBS. And Russ Feingold. And Arlen Specter.
2:00 - Wow. He's actually talking about what's been done. "He told us...We captured...He told..." Wow. Wow.
Will ANY of this make the press? Will it make any difference if it does? Will we hear more about Iraq "being a distraction from" the War On Terror? I'd guess some (but not a lot), some (but not a lot) and yes.
2:10 - "I'm announcing today that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, Ramzi Binalshibh and 11 more have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay...As soon as congress authorizes the military tribunals, the men who orchestrated the attacks of September 11, 2001, will face justice."
Good stuff. "We'll also prosecute those responsible for the US Cole and the attacks on the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania."
2:14 - "Of the thousands...only about 770 have ever been transferred to Guantanamo..."
Again, this is the kind of thing that should have been said over and over again for the past several years. This is the defense of everything that should have been made for the past 5 years, repeatedly. And he should be doing this in prime-time - how much of the nation is seeing and hearing this right now? Not enough.
2:22 - "Today's War on Terrorism is, above all, a struggle for Freedom."
About 37 minutes long, and fantastic. I'd call it a grand slam, if I thought that anyone had seen it. I suspect that it goes into the books as a single, because the American people are, by and large, going to get this only through the filter of the media. The media, by and large, has a deep antipathy to the Bush administration, and everything that it attempts to do.
But it was a great speech. A defense of the administrations efforts that really needs to be made frequently and forcefully. It was forceful today, it needs to be done more often.
As great as this was, it's much too little, much too late, if it is not followed up...