Tuesday, December 16, 2003


"..In any case, all I want to say this morning is that HOWARD DEAN IS ABSOLUTELY, UNARGUABLY CORRECT when he notes that the capture of Saddam makes America no safer. America was never threatened by Iraq. Every single one of the scare tactics employed by the administration in their game of bait and switch designed to exploit the trauma of 9/11 to deploy the neocons’ longtime plan to invade Iraq has proven an exaggeration, a chimera or a lie. There were no WMDs; no nukes, and no connections to Al Qaida. Saddam was being effectively contained at the moment George Bush chose to plunge the world into war. Meanwhile, the men who attacked us REMAIN FREE TO DO SO AGAIN—in part due to the fact that we have wasted our resources—and the world’s good will--on Bush’s Iraqi obsession. And we are hardly much better prepared than we were last time. Our nuclear and chemical plants remain all but unprotected; so too our ports and infrastructure. Our first responders are untrained and our cities starved for resources to defend themselves. The mass media might not remember that a “war on terrorism” is supposed to address actual terrorists, but we at Altercation do. Capturing Saddam Hussein is a blow for justice; and it will be a good thing for Iraqis, no doubt. But if all this war was about was making Iraqis safer, well, then, Bush should have said so. But then, of course, it would never have happened. And we would all be better off.

In the meantime, if Cheney’s ticker prevents another run, Bush should replace him with JOE LIEBERMAN. Nobody right now is doing more for the president’s first honest election victory than the Wall Street Journal’s favorite Democrat. And oh yeah, TWO CAR BOMBS went off yesterday killing six Iraqi policemen and wounding twenty more, and an American soldier was killed on Sunday by a roadside bomb near Baghdad; the same day a car bomb exploded in Khaldiya, killing 17 police officers. Didn’t anyone tell these guys we won the war?"

Grover Norquist--A Fall Guy?

Geez, and they talk about in-fighting with the Democrats!
The Right has some real house-cleaning problems, folks.
The Bushies are about to take incoming damages if this one starts circulating in the mainstream.

Frank Gaffney's making Grover Norquist, gatekeeper to Karl Rove and the White House, out to be a bloomin' traitor.

This is a follow-up to yesterday's blog about the Norquist fiasco.

Eric Alterman's tongue-in-cheek observations about the witch-hunt:
"...Speaking of witch hunts, an intramural GOP one has broken out, pitting neocon Frank Gaffney, who’s hunting anti-tax guru Grover Norquist for his side outreach project to win over Muslims voters for Republicans. Read the piece and a play a drinking game; take a shot for every time Gaffney constructs a guilt-by-association charge, where so-and-so is tainted because he’s on the board of such-and-such a school that once invited a lecturer who’s suspected, but never charged, with having terrorist ties. You know, a troubling alliance.
Let’s just put it this way, if Gaffney’s as good at uprooting dangerous Islamists inside America as he was at pinpointing Saddam’s WMD (and boy, pre-invasion, Gaffney was mighty confident), than Norquist doesn’t have much to worry about."

I know Alterman is taking the "ooomph" out of many of Gaffney's arguments, yet I'll wager Karl Rove's worried about taking heat on this one.
I predict, when this is said and done, he'll need luck in skating clean away from it all.
The Investigatory-Waxmans of this world aren't going to let this die.
I believe that, sooner or later, if we dig deeply enough, we may find that Saudi money may have been be slithering its way into Bushie- conservatives' pockets.

While today's media spins webs and webs of concocted twistings of Howard Dean's words about his position on the Middle East, we can look back and see how the Rove/Bush/Norquist GOP-machine kissed up close and flirty to extremist Islam to snare the vote in 2000. (A decided anti-Israel direction). It's no wonder Bush took virtually no action on behalf of peace in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict when he was selected into power by five on the Supreme Court. It's no wonder Bush held General Zinni back from doing all he could in the Middle East the first year of the Bush presidency. (By 2002, we realized it was no more than a cease-fire mission--in no small part to run interference for Cheney's efforts to recruit Arab support against Saddam.)
There was a great conflict of interest. And Bush is supposed to be a FRIEND to Israel?
Excuse the expression.. Bullshit.

From New Republic (in 2001): "Grover Norquist's Strange Alliance With Radical Islam"
"....When I recently spoke to the Muslim Public Affairs Council's Salam Al-Marayati, the man who fingered Israel as a potential sponsor of the World Trade Center attacks, he recited Norquist's phone number from memory. When University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian e-mailed The Wall Street Journal in response to an op-ed that tied him to Islamic Jihad, he CC'd Norquist. Last year at its annual dinner, the AMC presented Norquist with an award for his service..."

From March, 2003, National Review-Byron York: Fight on the Right
"..the argument between Norquist and Gaffney is about much more than two men, or even the conservative movement. At its heart, it is about the Bush White House and whether its contacts with some Muslim groups might someday make the administration vulnerable to charges that it cultivated close relations with groups tied to radical Islam — even as it conducted a war on terror around the world. The Norquist-Gaffney feud, some conservatives fear, might be just the first act of a very long play...."

"....The Institute's mission is to "build relationships between American Muslims and policy makers in the United States," and it has in the past promoted conservative positions on such issues as free trade, school choice, and tort reform.
While those matters are important, Norquist reserved his highest praise for Saffuri's work in having "brought to the GOP's attention the most important issue for the Muslim community — the misuse of 'secret evidence' in immigration cases." Urged on by Norquist, Saffuri, and others, Candidate Bush denounced secret evidence during the 2000 campaign. In his second debate with Gore, he brought the subject up when asked a question about racial profiling: "There's other forms of racial profiling that goes on in America. Arab-Americans are racially profiled in what's called secret evidence. People are stopped, and we got to do something about that

".....What particularly worries some observers is the possibility that White House contacts with some of the Muslim groups and leaders might be more extensive than is publicly known — and that the president's political opponents will try to exploit them. Indeed, on February 27, California Democratic congressman Henry Waxman wrote a letter to the Secret Service requesting all electronic records of visits by Sami al-Arian to the White House complex. Waxman also asked for "all requests, whether granted or denied, by White House employees that Sami al-Arian be admitted to the White House complex." And he asked whether the Secret Service had identified al-Arian's alleged terrorist connections and objected to his visit, only to be overruled by White House officials.
Administration officials say they will try to "accommodate" Waxman's request. Perhaps nothing will come of it, but they cannot simply dismiss his concerns..."