Released on Sunday, the SFRC report [pdf] provides a harsh indictment of the Bush administration's actions in the early stages of the search for bin Laden.
"Removing the Al Qaeda leader from the battlefield eight years ago would not have eliminated the worldwide extremist threat," reads the executive summary. "But the decisions that opened the door for his escape to Pakistan allowed bin Laden to emerge as a potent symbolic figure who continues to attract a steady flow of money and inspire fanatics world-wide. The failure to finish the job represents a lost opportunity that forever altered the course of the conflict in Afghanistan and the future of international terrorism, leaving the American people more vulnerable to terrorism, laying the foundation for today's protracted Afghan insurgency and inflaming the internal strife now endangering Pakistan. Al Qaeda shifted its locus across the border into Pakistan, where it has trained extremists linked to numerous plots, including the July 2005 transit bombings in London and two recent aborted attacks involving people living in the United States. The terrorist group's resurgence in Pakistan has coincided with the rising violence orchestrated in Afghanistan by the Taliban, whose leaders also escaped only to re-emerge to direct today's increasingly lethal Afghan insurgency."
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The "Change Congress" group, envisions political campaign reform combining public financing with just this sort of small-donor energy.
the CC-supported "Fair Elections Now Act" would establish that "congressional candidates who raise a threshold number of small-dollar donations would qualify for a chunk of [public] funding—several hundred thousand dollars for House, millions for many Senate races. If they accept this funding, they can't raise big-dollar donations. But they can raise contributions up to $100, which would be matched four to one by a central fund. Reduced fees for TV airtime is also an element of this bill. This would create an incentive for politicians to opt into this system and run people-powered campaigns."
The CC website cites a "November 2008 poll finding that "the public supports such a proposal 69% to 13%, including overwhelming majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents".
And even though it would obviously help THEIR CAUSE in races like this upstate NY-23 showdown, I'd bet the farm not a single "Patricia Teabag" anywhere across Lee Greenwood's 'Murrica will get behind anything like it (no reason to even guess about the GOP candidate)...which is a crying shame, and why this AM radio right wing populism is a big phony dead end, and WORSE than useless even as a raw show of "people-power".
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