So, I had been working on a post about my dislike for Condoleeza Rice and after the latest revelations from Bob Woodward's new book, it seems like pretty small potatoes.  Her failure in the run-up to 9/11 seems much more important than her lies to Katie Couric (which I'll still get to later).  Here's the damning accusastion:

On July 10, 2001, two months before the attacks on the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet
met with his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, at CIA
headquarters to review the latest on Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda
terrorist organization. Black laid out the case, consisting of
communications intercepts and other top-secret intelligence showing the
increasing likelihood that al-Qaeda would soon attack the United
States. It was a mass of fragments and dots that nonetheless made a
compelling case, so compelling to Tenet that he decided he and Black
should go to the White House immediately.

“Tenet called Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, from
the car and said he needed to see her right away?. He and Black hoped
to convey the depth of their anxiety and get Rice to kick-start the
government into immediate action?. First, al-Qaeda was going to attack
American interests, possibly in the United States itself. Black
emphasized that this amounted to a strategic warning, meaning the
problem was so serious that it required an overall plan and strategy.
Second, this was a major foreign policy problem that needed to be
addressed immediately. They needed to take action that moment ? covert,
military, whatever ? to thwart bin Laden….

Afterward, Tenet looked back on the meeting with Rice as a
tremendous lost opportunity to prevent or disrupt the Sept. 11 attacks.
Rice could have gotten through to Bush on the threat, but she just
didn't get it in time, Tenet thought. He felt that he had done his job
and had been very direct about the threat, but that Rice had not moved
quickly. He felt she was not organized and did not push people, as he
tried to do at the CIA.

Black later said, “The only thing we didn't do was pull the trigger to the gun we were holding to her head.”

Of course, Condi is denying this completely, but I don't see any reason to believe she's engaged in anything more than CYA.  It's been pretty well-documented that she went out to the public touting the threat from Iraq's aluminum tubes, supposedly for nuclear weapons enrichment, when she was already in possession of intelligence information calling into doubt this conclusion.  This woman just has no credibility. 

The Authoritarian God

I'm feeling a little out of the loop, as I just learned today about a recent Baylor University study of Religion that had a number of interesting political findings as well.  The study categorizes Americans as having one of four views of God– benevolent, authoritarian, critical, and distant. 

? 31.4 percent believe in an Authoritarian God, who is very judgmental and engaged
? 25 percent believe in a Benevolent God, who is not judgmental but engaged
? 23 percent believe in a Distant God, who is completely removed
? 16 percent believe in a Critical God, who is judgmental but not engaged

The interesting geographical and political finding is that, probably not surprisingly, Southerners are much more likely to have the Authoritarian view.  As the N&O reported in their interesting story yesterday

What received less mention was the finding that Southerners, more
than residents of any other region of the country, believe in a God the
researchers describe as “authoritarian” — one who is highly engaged in
the world and very angry as well.

While 44 percent of Southerners see God in such terms, only 31 percent of all Americans have similar views.

And, again probably not surprisingly, there are clear political relationships as well:

Significantly, the Baylor researchers found that people's views of God
can accurately predict their moral attitudes, political affiliations
and stands on hot-button social issues.

Those who believe in an authoritarian God were nearly twice as
likely as those with other views of God to believe abortion is always
wrong, for example. They also tended to oppose same-sex marriage and to
approve of the death penalty.

The same goes for political
affiliation. The survey found that 56 percent of people with an
authoritarian view of God said they were Republicans, while 49 percent
of people with a distant view of God were Democrats.

No surprise, the authoritarian God favored by many Southerners corresponds to a political conservatism the South is known for.

As for me, you can mark me down for Benevolent God. 

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