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National Security Politics

Defying Common Sense Since 2001

Mr. Bush would like to be remembered for his leadership in fighting terrorism, but his decisions have defied common sense, including his dismissal of the fact that Mr. bin Laden remains at large. In a 2002 press conference, he said, “I just don’t spend that much time on him.” In 2006, he told conservative columnists that sending troops “stomping through Pakistan in order to find bin Laden is just simply not the strategy that will work.”

Mr. Bush is operating according to a logic that says the right way to win against Al Qaeda is to invade Iraq, which had no connection to Al Qaeda. And the right way to dismantle Mr. bin Laden’s terrorism network is to express unconcern about chasing him down while relentlessly pursuing his driver.

The New York Times editorializing on the Hamdan case.

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