April 16, 2008

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Remember that scene in Animal House where Kevin Bacon is trying to convince the panicked, rioting crowd that "all is well"? Welcome to damage control under the Bush administration.

First up is the disturbing story that the Justice Department Inspector General assures us that while there has been abuses of personal information gathering of Americans from National Security Letters in the past (to the tune of, oh about 6,400), all is well now. Really.

And then there is more proof of that the occupation in Iraq can not be resolved militarily when the Commander of the 25th Infantry division recalled a recent battle in the Sadr City portion of Baghdad, where an Iraqi militia, charged with holding back the Mahdi Army, abandoned their position.

"It bugs the hell out of me," said Sergeant George Lewis, the platoon sergeant for Company B's Third Platoon. "We don't see any progress being made at all. We hear these guys in firefights. We know if we are not up there helping these guys out we are making very little progress."

And finally, there is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who bemoaned the fact that she could find no volunteers for foreign service in Iraq, oddly enough, necessitating a stop-loss strategy similar to the one that forces service members to go through three, four and five tours of duty in Iraq. The nerve of these diplomats! I mean, who doesn't want to work in the largest embassy on the planet? Rice claims that she was "deeply offended" by those who resent being forced to go to Iraq or quit working for the Foreign service altogether.

Well, here’s a suggestion, Madam Secretary, your term is expiring in no more than nine months and four days, why don’t you show your devotion to the country and that department you’ve headed and show those who made those “offensive” remarks what you’re made of? Why don’t you ask the next administration to let you continue to serve at State in one of those great jobs in Iraq?

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