Emptywheel: Who is lying? The torturers? Or John Yoo?
Danger Room: U.S. Soldier on 2007 Apache Attack: What I Saw
his vorpal sword: Hart has written a fascinating, and very detailed post about an old boys’ club, together for decades, and their selfless devotion to ordinary Americans like you and me. These guys keep changing the names and the offices, the issues and the addresses, but it is, in fact, a small core of “libertarians” attached to Charles and David Koch.
Newsifact: GOP Senator who looks like a tortoise, keeps trying to slow down reform legislation
Have you ever wondered what life would be like in an alternative universe where people lived their lives in the shadow of paranoid fantasies and incompatible superstitions, and acted accordingly?
Well… wonder no more! I went to CPAC and shot a bunch of video.
Unfortunately, I was only able to attend for a day, so I missed an awful lot of funhouse insanity. But… Friday was a day that will remain with me forever. There aren’t enough therapists in the world to scrub that experience out of my psyche.
I should have known better, but I was kind of hoping that CPAC would attract conservatives on the leading edge of their movement who would be intellectually prepared and eager to wield their razor-sharp rapiers in defense of all that is good… you know… God and Ronald Reagan and… uhm… whatever else there is.
Sadly, that wasn’t quite the case.
The first person I ran into was Daryll Issa. I tried to ask him about the stimulus and recovery; he wasn’t much interested in silly and irrelevant things like facts:
Later in the conference, I caught up with Mike Pence and Steve King. They had lotsa time to stand in the spotlight and bask in adulation, but when it came time to answer a question or two about policy and stimulus/recovery/pork… well… they suddenly had more pressing things to do as staff hustled them away, telling me they were in a very big hurry. Like Issa before them, they were simply hustled a few yards away to a place they could bask in more spotlight and adulation.
So… unfortunately, I do not have a lot to report on when it comes to elected officials.
I also ran into John Bolton, Kenneth Blackwell and John Ashcroft. I told each of them that in person, they look a lot less evil than they do in the blogosphere. They were each gracious and good humored, but I was unable to secure an interview with any of them.
I did run into Jonah Goldberg. We had met previously on the set of Reliable Sources and although I do not think he recognized me, he did give me a lengthy interview. First we talked stimulus and economic policy, then we turned to his book and his ideas regarding fascism.
That House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has badly bungled the imbroglio over what she knew and when about the Bush administration's regime of detainee torture is hard to dispute. Seemingly snatching PR defeat from the jaws of victory, Pelosi should have instead simply called the Republicans' bluff and insisted on investigations of torture architects, perpetrators and "accomplices" alike, letting the bipartisan chips fall where they may. But by savaging Pelosi for her statement that the CIA "misled" Congress, Bush's Republican water carriers are again exhibiting selective amnesia. After all, just two years ago it was the same raging right which insisted the CIA was an "anti-Bush cabal" behind a "bureaucratic coup d’état" seeking to "undermine" the President.
To be sure, the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame in retaliation for her husband's revelations regarding President Bush's bogus claims that Iraq sought uranium in Niger prompted right-wing calls of betrayal by the agency. In March 2007, California Republican Darrell Issa accused Plame of perjury, insisting "She has not been genuine in her testimony before Congress." For his part, former Fox News host John Gibson argued that ending the classified career of CIA agent deeply involved in critical nuclear proliferation work and compromising her global network was essential because "this was about an anti-Bush cabal at the CIA" that needed to be "rooted out."
"I'm the guy who said a long, long time ago that whoever outed Valerie Plame should get a medal. And if it was Karl Rove, I'd pin it on him myself."
Among Speaker Pelosi's interlocutors now is former Intelligence Committee chairman, Republican Pete Hoekstra (R-MI). But as ThinkProgress detailed, years before he claimed Pelosi was "blaming the CIA," Hoekstra blasted "an intelligence community that covers up what it does and then lies to Congress." And when it came to the 2007 NIE which asserted Tehran halted its nuclear program in 2003, Hoekstra insisted the agency was holding back:
Similarly, in 2007, Hoekstra described a closed-door briefing by representatives from the intelligence community (including CIA) on the National Intelligence Estimate of Iran's nuclear capability, saying that the members "didn't find [the briefers] forthcoming."
For his part, Newt Gingrich, who claimed that Nancy Pelosi had "disqualified herself" from the same Speaker's position he once held, took to the op-ed pages to make his case for her to "step down" and to the airwaves to defend Hoekstra. But while Gingrich today redefined what the meaning of "is" is by claiming Hoekstra "did not say the CIA routinely lies," back in December 2007 he accused the CIA of precisely that over the Iran NIE:
"[The NIE] is so professionally unworthy, so intellectually indefensible and so fundamentally misleading that it is damaging to our national security.
[The NIE appears to be a deliberate attempt to undermine the policies of President Bush by members of his own government by suggesting that Iran no longer poses a serious threat to U.S. national security because we apparently have credible reports that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003."
"The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran can only be understood as a bureaucratic coup d’état, deliberately designed to undermine the policies of the United States, on behalf of some weird goal." (Applause)
Glenn Greenwald -- we've got your back! Lee Siegel -- we've got your number! Brian Turner -- we've got your book! And the Opinion Mill has got -- Sunday Bookchat! Electronic Cerebrectomy: A lively rant on women and comedy.
Perrspectives: Top 10 Darrell Issa (R-CA) "Hall of Shame" Moments
Words of Power: Why work to save Darfur, Tibet, and Burma? Duh, because it's in our best interest.