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Monday - a new week begins, and everyone is eager to get back to work.
Let's see what the kids in the Senate are up to.
With Democrats stepping up their attacks over prewar intelligence on Iraq, the Republican leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on Sunday that the panel's initial work had found no evidence of "political manipulation or pressure" in the use of such intelligence.The Washington Times:
As part of a report released last year by his committee that found widespread intelligence failures on Iraq's weapons capabilities, "we interviewed over 250 analysts and we specifically asked them: 'Was there any political manipulation or pressure?' Answer: 'No,' " Mr. Roberts said on "Face the Nation" on CBS.
Studies by the independent Robb-Silberman commission, appointed by the president, as well as the similar Butler commission in Britain reached the "same conclusion," said Mr. Roberts, who has been a staunch supporter of the administration's policies on Iraq.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, said on "Meet the Press" on NBC that Karl Rove, the senior presidential adviser, "should leave" the White House because he was found to have had discussions with reporters about the C.I.A. operative, Valerie Wilson.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld looked forward to a fresh start this year in getting the Senate to approve his handpicked staff.The Washington Post:
But 2005 has not turned out to be the breakthrough year for Mr. Rumsfeld.
His deputy secretary remains "acting." Two senior policy advisers got their seatings only through recess appointments by President Bush.
Mr. Rumsfeld has tried twice to win approval of a chief spokesman, but both times ran into trouble.
"It's just business as usual," said a frustrated senior administration official who asked not to be named. "In a time of war, in the department leading the war on terrorism, it is unconscionable."
Most anger at the Pentagon is directed at Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Mr. Levin has been conducting an investigation into Iraq prewar intelligence assessments at the Pentagon. He has requested reams of confidential documents, some of which the Pentagon says do not exist.
In what one official calls "extortion," Mr. Levin has pressured the Pentagon by blocking the nominations of former Ambassador Eric Edelman to be undersecretary of policy and Peter Flory to be his top deputy on European security matters. As the impasse hardened, Mr. Bush resorted to recess appointments.
Mr. Levin's press office did not respond to questions.
We were so stupid that we let our idiot president and an Arab con man fool us on a life-and-death issue.The Philadelphia Inquirer:
As a campaign theme for elections in 2006 and 2008, that proposition may lack a little something. Yet Democrats who supported the invasion of Iraq but now cannot support the consequences of their vote are flirting with it. To them, good night, and good luck.
I doubt that swing voters will buy an admission of faux gullibility as a rationale for supporting Democrats over Republicans. Even when stated in slightly more elegant form, as it must be, that argument trivializes and falsifies the serious debate that did occur over Saddam Hussein's capabilities and intentions. Making President Bush's alleged "lies" on prewar intelligence the campaign focal point also underlines the failure of the Democrats to come up with convincing alternative policies for Iraq and the Middle East.
Worse: A backward-looking strategy obscures the political progress that Iraqis are making against terrorist bombings and assassinations.
The Democratic party appears to have finally come up with a way to explain why so many of its elected leaders gave President Bush the authority to wage war in Iraq.The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Three simple words: "We were duped."
A parade of top Democrats have contended in recent days that they would have been antiwar in 2002 had they known then what they now believe to be true: that the Bush administration manipulated the intelligence in order to build a bogus case for war. In pursuit of that theme, Senate Democrats on Tuesday successfully demanded that their GOP colleagues quit stalling and finish a long-promised investigation that could determine whether the war planners were dishonest.
Many Democrats believe it's good politics these days to say that they were lied to. This message, actually a rite of confession, is designed to help their erstwhile pro-war politicians get back in sync with the party's liberal antiwar base. That's especially important for some of the original pro-war Democrats who want to run for president in 2008. After all, liberal voters tend to dominate the Democratic primaries, and they're expecting to hear apologies.
Hence, Sen. John Kerry (who wants to try again) said in a speech on Oct. 26: "The country and the Congress were misled into war. I regret that we were not given the truth... knowing what we know now, I would not have gone to war in Iraq." Hence, Tom Daschle (the deposed Senate Democratic leader, who is weighing a campaign) said in a speech Wednesday that senators voted incorrectly because "on so many fronts, we were misled."
At least four other Democratic senators who voted to authorize war have use the dupe argument in recent days, including Christopher Dodd of Connecticut (who periodically voices White House ambitions) and Tom Harkin of Iowa (who now calls his war support "one of the biggest voting mistakes of my career"). And once having confessed, these Democrats believe they have sufficient credibility to call for the phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
[Liberal antiwar activist and organizer David] Sirota said Thursday: "Obviously, the [dupe] message needs to be played properly. But most Americans already believe that Bush misled the country" - polls support his contention - "so it makes perfect sense for Democrats to say they too were misled... . They followed tradition and gave the benefit of the doubt to a president on a national security issue, and they were lied to. That doesn't mean they were stupid. They were being patriotic.
"And rather than just apologize for being misled, Democrats need a message of outrage. Make the argument that this administration deliberately manipulated the intelligence."
That message is dismissed by critics as paranoid; [Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the Democratic Leadership Council] calls it "Michael Moore territory."
The president went on television to announce: "Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors."Meanwhile, USA Today reports that one Senator actually in the military may have to give up his job:
"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years," the vice chairman of the Intelligence committee told the Senate.
The president was Bill Clinton (Dec. 16, 1998). The senator was Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia (Oct. 10, 2002).
WASHINGTON ? In a case that could help determine whether citizen-soldiers have a place in Congress, a federal court on Tuesday will weigh whether a U.S. senator who helps make Pentagon policy and has spoken out on issues such as Iraqi prisoner abuse can also serve as a military judge.
The case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces here involves Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., an Air Force Reserve colonel appointed two years ago to the lower Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.
Meanwhile, back in Iraq, the AP reports
U.S. and Iraqi troops battled insurgents house to house Monday, the third day of an assault against al-Qaida-led insurgents in a town near the Syrian border.
Are the Democrats stupid enough to think no one has been recording their speeches? Or are their party members only tuned into the most recent speech and immune to logical, rational rules of discourse?
And why are the Republicans not working together to brand these lying sacks as what they are?
Inquiring minds, etc.Posted by jtb-in-texas at November 7, 2005 07:37 PM
Are Republicans stupid enough to think no one reads their books? Get a load of Scooter's traditional values: voyeurism, bestiality, pedophilia and corpse robbery.
I can see it now...
I really believed Iran was only after nuclear power, not weapons, sorry America, they duped me.
And for Kolb how can a fictional novel be compared to quotes on national policy?
Thanks Greyhawk, and keep up the good work.Posted by Zipline at November 8, 2005 01:46 AM
Given that Scooter was the chief of staff to Cheney, who is directly implicated in ordering torture and has been the point man in preserving it, I'd say ol' Scoot's, um, Republican imagination is relevant. After all, there are the widely dispersed pics (voyeurism); some reports I've read that detainees were forced to have sex with the military dogs (bestiality); the United States military filming Iraqi boys being raped at Abu Ghraib (pedophilia), and the desecration of corpses in the photos from Abu Ghraib.
No, I'd say your boy Scooter is your standard Republican pervert. The big question is this: Why is the right-wing taking such pains to protect him? It's interesting, given the simultaneous hatred for things like gay marriage. Are you all in favor of kinkyness only if force is involved?Posted by Wilson Kolb at November 8, 2005 02:10 AM
Wilson, knowing your committment to the truth I have no doubt that you are either lying, exaggerating, or passing on someone else's lie or exaggerations.
I fully expect that when the truth about his book comes out that you will return here to say that you were wrong. You'll do that won't you?Posted by Nope at November 8, 2005 12:11 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(5) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)