"I actually, myself, believe that this idea of surging troops, escalating the war -- what Senator McCain has been talking about -- what I would call now the McCain doctrine ... (is) dead wrong."
When President Bush said we were exporting democracy to Iraq, he wasn't kidding. Glenn Greenwald explains the insanity:
President Bush today hailed the critical importance of fair trials and the rule of law . . . . in Iraq:
Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial -- the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.
Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people's resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial. This would not have been possible without the Iraqi people's determination to create a society governed by the rule of law.
The President is certainly right that it is is a good thing that Saddam Hussein was given a trial, represented by lawyers, with an opportunity to contest his guilt, before being deemed to be guilty. That is how civilized countries function, by definition. In fact, allowing people fair trials before treating them as Guilty is one of the handful of defining attributes -- one could even say (as the American Founders did) a prerequisite -- for countries to avoid tyranny.
That is why it is so reprehensible and inexpressibly tragic that the Bush administration continues to claim -- and aggressively exercise -- the power to imprison and punish people without even a pretense or fraction of the due process that Saddam Hussein enjoyed. The Bush administration believes that it has the power to imprison whomever it wants, for as long as it wants, without even giving them access to the outside world, let alone "a fair trial." The power which it claims -- which it has seized -- extends not only to foreign nationals but legal residents and even its own citizens. Read more...
The New York Times has decided to run a redacted version of Floyd Leverett's op-ed about the Bush administrations failed policy towards Iran. Mr Leverett -- who is an established foreign policy expert who worked for the Bush administration in the CIA -- charged earlier this week that the White House stepped in and politicized the Prepublication Review Process in an attempt to silence him when the CIA had already cleared the article in it's entirety.
TPMmuckraker has more.
Here's the video to Nicole's post from before about Fran Townsend and her deep state of denial.
Townsend said something else that I thought warranted its own post:
TOWNSEND: Look, we can't do it alone. We understand from the intelligence that he's most likely in the tribal areas. They are inaccessible. They're difficult to reach. It's difficult terrain. And, oh, by the way, it's part of the sovereign country of Pakistan.
I've heard this argument made time and time again, yet it never ceases to amaze me. Even though it is widely accepted that bin Laden is hiding out in the remote areas of Pakistan, the fact that they are a "sovereign county" precludes our troops from entering and taking care of business. Are you kidding me? President Bush even reiterated this point back in September, telling Wolf Blitzer that he wouldn't send troops into Pakistan unless he was "invited" to do so because Pakistan is a "sovereign nation." With all due respect to Our Dear Leader, Iraq too was a "sovereign nation" but that didn't stop him from invading and deposing a leader who (a) didn't attack us and (b) posed no threat to our national security.
So, as Saddam Hussein awaits execution, the man actually responsible for 9/11 and the deaths of 3000 Americans remains free. What's more, he's being protected by our favorite
dictator ally in The War on Terror, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, whose sovereignty we respect so much.
Yesterday on Hardball, Tweety schooled GOP Strategist Karen Hanretty on why there's no longer a 'left-right' debate on Iraq. Matthews explains that it really comes down to whether or not one subscribes to the neoconservative vision which Presidents Ford & Reagan -- among other real conservatives -- clearly did not. Even Bush 41 knew better than to occupy Baghdad.
Glenn Greenwald wrote a superb post back in August about Holy Joe and the real issues that now determine one's political orientation:
Throughout the 1990s, one's political orientation was determined by a finite set of primarily domestic issues -- social spending, affirmative action, government regulation, gun control, welfare reform, abortion, gay rights. One's position on those issues determined whether one was conservative, liberal, moderate, etc. But those issues have become entirely secondary, at most, in our political debates. They are barely discussed any longer. Instead, what has dominated our political conflicts over the last five years are terrorism-related issues -- Iraq, U.S. treatment of detainees, domestic surveillance, attacks on press freedoms, executive power abuses, Iran, the equating of dissent with treason.
It is one's positions on those issues -- and, more specifically, whether one agrees with the neoconservative approach which has dominated the Bush administration's approach to those issues -- which now determines one's political orientation.
Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for President Bush, AP comes out with a new poll.
SCARBOROUGH: Now you don't have to have a political doctorate in Political Science to realize it's never a good sign when you're outpolled by Lucifer
Good thing he doesn't follow those pesky polls...
Colbert: But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.
Classic skit from a 1996 episode of Saturday Night Live where Tom Brokaw (Dana Carvey) pre-tapes a few segments about the passing of Gerald Ford. The former President was always a good sport about people poking fun at him and Chevy Chase may very well owe his career to Ford's clumsy ways.
Former President Ford told Bob Woodward in a 2004 interview not to be released until after his death that he disagreed with the Iraq War and the WMD justification used to make the case.
Ford was also very critical of Rumsfeld and Cheney -- two men who rose to prominence during his presidency -- that he rightly believed were the driving forces behind the Iraq disaster.
(Videos should be uploaded now)
For the past 60+ years, the United Service Organizations (USO) has provided invaluable support for our brave men and women fighting overseas. This holiday season, spare a few bucks if you can so that our troops can call home and talk to their loved ones. Being deployed overseas must be the toughest thing a family has to endure and I'm sure they'll appreciate whatever we can do for them.
Go here to donate $$ for the desperately needed phone cards.
It boggles my mind that despite appropriations exceeding $300,000,000,000 for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, the troops have to rely on donations just to talk to their families back home. What a disgrace.
From yesterdays oral argument before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Fox Television vs. Federal Communications Commission. How ironic is it that a case dealing with the FCC results in expletives being aired censor-free on national television? (h/t ScoopMag in comments)
From CSPAN :
Fox Television is challenging the FCC's indecency standards and the way it punishes broadcasters for airing shows that contain profanity. The network argues that the government is violating the First Amendment by embarking on a "radical reinterpretation and expansion" of its power to punish broadcasters for indecent speech. Fox Television contends that the FCC sharply changed its standards for profanity, that the standards are vague and make little sense in the face of industry changes. The FCC fined Fox for language used by Cher and Nicole Richie on the live broadcasts of the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards, respectively.