Former President George W. Bush is claiming the $25M bounty on Osama bin Laden.
"President Obama said that he made getting bin Laden the top priority for the CIA", said Bush, "and he is being showered with credit for following through. Well, I told you that my primary goal as ex-president was to 'replenish the ole wallet', and handing me the $25M will be 'mission accomplished'."
"I was the one who made bin Laden a household name," said the former president, "so he became worth $25M. "If I had not demoted Richard Clarke but instead had listened to him or George Tenet, 9.11 would still be just the emergency phone number."
"Heck, if I had read Tom Friedman's column in June 2001, Condi and I would have known who this guy was when she read the President's Daily Brief to me on August 6, 2001. And, I would have learned how bin Laden snookered me into removing our Navy from Bahrain and FBI agents from Yemen by just phone chatter so he would not have thought I was so weak."
"What's more," said Bush, "I might have had to interrupt my holiday, leaving too much of the brush they put there for me to clean up, and perhaps not set the Guinness Record of 30% of my time in office spent on vacation. I wanted to go down in history as the president who spent the least amount of time on his job, and I think I succeeded in that too."
Hearing that Bush was claiming credit for making bin Laden famous, former Vice President Dick Cheney strongly objected: "I had the national security portfolio, so if anyone gets credit for being asleep-at-the-switch and making bin Laden worth anything, it should be Scooter Libby. Come to think of it, I had all the other portfolios as well," remarked the former VP.
"Oh neocontrare", said the most intelligent man Harriet Miers had ever met. "I was the decider. Like David Koch said, all I had to give was a 'yes' or 'no' answer. Obama said 'yes,' I said 'no,' just leave it to the "pc liberals" to make a big deal out of a one word difference."
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would have none of it. "If we had captured him at Tora Bora, he would have been known, dead and gone. By not capturing him then, I gave him the mystique of being an 'unknown known.' Without that, there might not have been enough fear to snooker others into invading Iraq where, unlike Afghanistan, there were oodles and oodles of good targets," said Rummy. "Not that I was ever asked, but who could have ordered 800 Army rangers to capture bin Laden then and there, but didn't, huh?... , huh?..., huh?
"We did everything bin Laden wanted us to do", said former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condolezza Rice. "I did not call any meetings to assess the threat prior to 9/11. After that, bin Laden wanted us to divert attention away from him, so we removed our intelligence assets and troops from Afghanistan to fight in Iraq. Bin Laden said Iraq was the central battleground in the war, and we not only obliged, but we used this as the reason to keep putting our lives, limbs and treasure there. Bin Laden wanted to bankrupt the country, so we fought our wars and cut taxes for the wealthy at the same time. The bush Administration did more than any other party, including al Qaeda, to make him a very valuable target, and thus worth the $25M reward."
"Compared to torture, Condi's contributions were relatively small," rasped Dick Cheney. "We were able, in just a few months, to be Osama's best recruiter, and tarnish the reputation of the United States, just by waterboarding a few people a few hundred times. Without all those recruits, what was he? And, guess who disbanded the bin Laden task force in 2005?"
Frances Townsend, Bush's White House counterterrorism adviser, said that she should get the $25M. "I predicted it all along," she said. "I told you that Bush's inability to get bin Laden was not a failure, but rather a 'success that hasn't occurred yet.' Well, now it has occurred."
"I created the reward" said Bush, "so, 'bring it on' home to me."