Pre-9/11 Mindset Before 9/11:
So, like, who else besides former CIA agent Larry Johnson had a pre-9/11 mindset prior to 9/11? Johnson, former State Department official, former CIA agent, gave the Democrats' response to the George Bush's Saturday Address That No One Actually Gives a Happy Lemur Fuck About Other Than a Savagely Vibrating Michelle Malkin, and he said, "We deserve people who work in the White House who are committed to protecting classified information, telling the truth to the American people, and living by example the idea that a country at war with Islamic extremists cannot focus its efforts on attacking other American citizens who simply tried to tell the truth."

So now, because he simply believes that outing covert agents is wrong, Larry Johnson must be destroyed, taken apart by Karl Rove's Sodomizin' Stormtroopers, who have been working so hard lately that they've worn down three sets of of their signature ten-inch black strap-on dildos. Johnson was viciously critical of the Clinton adminstration, at one point commenting on Bill O'Reilly's Fox "News" show on January 31, 2001, about Janet Reno's Justice Department: "There were over 23 Arabs that were held in U.S. jails on secret evidence never presented to their lawyers. One gentleman was held for three years, never had a chance to face the charges. We go after other countries on this issue as an abuse of human rights. This gentleman was finally released, no charges brought. It would be one thing if it was one instance. But it happened in 23 cases." So outraged was O'Reilly at the idea of detaining Arabs on secret evidence that he called Reno "incompetent" and "a boob."

Indeed, despite Gary Schmitt's fine showing of that line of Johnson's from a July 2001 New York Times editorial where Johnson said that Americans had little to "little to fear" from terrorism and that Osama Bin Laden was "more of a symptom than a problem," here's Johnson on May 31, 2001 in the Times, commenting about al-Qaeda, "it's really a loose amalgam of people with a shared ideology, but a very limited direction," which sounds like sleeper cells and groups "connected with" al-Qaeda that we hear about every day.

And here he is earlier on CNN on January 3, 2001, making a fuck of a lot more sense than every chattering monkey ready to line up for missle defense: "Proactive security is we need to get away from this nonsense of predicting what the threat is. Even some of the language that was being used in the reports is it's the highest threat ever. We do not know what the threat is actually. We cannot read the mind of the bad guy. We do not have the intelligence access to really know what they're thinking or planning. If we did, we would prevent it...Instead of worrying about what the threat is, let's simply put in place defensive security measures that work." Of course, that pre-9/11 mindset crept in when Johnson noted, "We do it every day for airlines, particularly domestically in the United States, to prevent them from hijacking. It's proactive security instead of waiting to predict what the threat is."

But pre-9/11-ism was quite prevalent pre-9/11. Bill O'Reilly, on March 2, 2001, suffering from what the right might call a post-Clinton mindset, was quite squeamish about giving the President unlimited power to kill foreign leaders under the Terrorist Elimination Act of 2001. Said O'Reilly to Representative Bob Barr (who would undergo another kind of change of heart post-9/11), "See, I'm worried about that kind of power being put in the hands of even the president, because as I've said, we've seen some pretty dubious things go on in that Oval Office...I would vote against this bill, Congressman, if I were in Congress." So Bill O'Reilly wanted to tie the hands of the President.

Pre-9/11 (and post, to be sure) the right was desperately trying to ram missle defense down the throats of retching America. Tony Snow fairly scoffed at the idea of opposing missle defense, saying on July 13, 2001, to Paul Wolfowitz, "There's another argument critics make, which is that if you start doing an assessment of threat, and they say that this has been done at the Pentagon, you start looking down the list, people right now are more worried about terrorist acts, you know, bombs in suitcases and the like, than they are about a ballistic missile threat, and that therefore we ought to be allocating more money to the terrorist problem and maybe slow down the development of missile defense." Wolfowitz offered a conciliatory "let's-spend-money-on-both" answer, but, to be sure, Wolfie wanted him a big ol' laser condom in space.

The answer to the first question is, of course, every fucking person who was alive before 9/11 had a pre-9/11 mindset then. It's why Bush felt so liberatingly free to ignore the PDB about Bin Laden threatening to strike inside the U.S. And you know what? Even if Larry Johnson said that Osama Bin Laden was really just a fluffy bunny who needed to be snuggled and have his beard lightly caressed by waitresses at Hooter's, he was a CIA agent, and he's got a right to be pissed. Everyone in intelligence gets shit wrong sometimes, right? Hell, Gary Schmitt would know. He's just PNAC's chief stooge, the shepherd of a failed flock desperately trying to get those goddamn sheep back in the pen.