Monday, August 09, 2004

Schumer wants to know who blew it

Schumer wants to know who blew it

Senator Chuck Schumer has written a letter to White House domestic security adviser Frances Townsend, wanting to know who the heck blew a Pakistani terrorist-informant's cover. Naeem Noor Khan's name was spread like strawberry jam on toast while he was still cooperating with Pakistani authorities as part of a sting operation against Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. Now he's "toast" and we're in a "jam" when it comes to hoping for success in getting allies to cooperate with us in the future. The White House spokesman Scott McLellan offers no details on how it happened or the repercussions it might have, although he did say it was inappropriate. One former senior U.S. intelligence official said he suspected a political motive. I wouldn't doubt it. Call me cynical, but chalk this up to another White House failure in the name of dirty politics.

Gen. Shalikashvili in guarded condition

Gen. Shalikashvili in guarded condition

This is rather shocking news.
Former Joint Chief of Staff chairman and Retired Army General John Shalikashvili has been hospitalized and is in guarded condition, per the Army Times. He entered Madigan Medical Center in Washington state on Saturday morning, and his family is requesting that no more information be released, said Mike Meines, a hospital spokesman. The former NATO supreme allied commander had just spoken at the Democratic National Convention a little more than a week ago, endorsing John Kerry for president. Kerry's statement can be seen here.
My prayers are with the General and his family.

Alan Keyes will need his trademark sweater

Alan Keyes will need his trademark sweater

...for the cold weather in his new "home state" and the cold shoulder he'll be getting in Illinois this November.

Josh Marshall has some amusing things to say about Keyes.


photo by Iddybud

Sunset- Head of the Meadow Beach, Cape Cod

Press Laughs at Bush

Press Laughs at Bush

Question: "Mr. President, what do you think tribal sovereignty means in the 21st century, and how do we resolve conflicts between tribes and federal and state governments?"

Answer: "..Tribal sovereignty means that. It's sovereign. You're a … you're a ... you've been given sovereignty and you're viewed as a sovereign entity."

--Answer by GW Bush, August 6, 2004

I know. My headline sounds mean..maybe even childish. Too bad. It's true. Bush got unexpected laughs after a comment about a worse-than-Chauncey Gardiner response about the sovereignty of Native Americans and I saw journalists with their heads in their hands in the audience at the UNITY conference this past Friday. I also saw one audience-member taken away while yelling about something I couldn't quite make out. No one in the press seems to mention what the heckler had to say. I'll bet it was interesting. Kos has a link to an audio version of the laughter. You can read Albor Ruiz' opinion of Bush's performance in yestrday's Daily News.

Smiling at the Rage

Smiling at the Rage

I've never seen right-wing Republicans expressing and acknowleging such fear of the real and present threat of the defeat of George W. Bush in November.
It's clear they're finally getting it.
And in true form, they're going gonzo-overboard with negativity, betraying themselves for what they've always been, regardless of how affable and positive a frontman they claim Bush to be.
I can just feel those ulcers coming on.

Meanwhile, I'm pulling out all my Bruce Springsteen albums and for the first time in a long time, I'm smiling at the rage.

Scott Ritter's Advice

Scott Ritter's Advice

"The truth of the matter is that Iraq today is not a threat to its neighbours and is not acting in a manner which threatens anyone outside of its own borders. When speaking of international law as set forth by the United Nations Charter it is impossible to come up with any scenario today that would justify military action against Iraq based upon its current behaviour."

--Scott Ritter from a speech in early September, 2002

All along, Scott Ritter is someone I’d trusted to be a non-partisan--especially during the distressing lead-up to the Iraq war. I’d listened closely to what he had to say. Due to his experience in Iraq and his fine service to our country, I'd felt that he was a credible source of information in a world that was in turmoil and in a country where I intuitively doubted the words of my own president.

I still feel that way about Scott and I hope he will read this--my response--to his op-ed that appeared in the Boston Globe last week.

I have heard that president Bush looks forward to pressing John Kerry in the fall debates about Kerry’s apparent support for Bush's Iraq war—Kerry’s “yes” vote on the October 2002 Iraq resolution. I think we should all look forward to this topic in the fall debates. It will be John Kerry’s golden opportunity to separate himself, for once and for all, from the stench of an irresponsible president who would make the one final decision to put our beloved troops’ boots on the ground in a hell-hole we were misinformed to believe would welcome us with flowers and hugs. Instead, we got over 900 draped coffins shamefully hidden from our view by our president—not to mention that he’s a president with a pitiful wartime service record who secretly revels in seeing his supporters (ones who did have a decent wartime service record) disgracing and betraying themselves as partisans by turning on a true brother-in-arms and misleading Americans about what they supposedly knew about Kerry’s service (tantamount to nothing of substance).

I understand that Scott Ritter is confused about the reason John Kerry would choose not to allow him to speak to Congress about what he knew before the war was begun. We have to ask ourselves if Senator Kerry truly believed that Bush would keep his promises to act with the United Nations to enforce all resolutions. Has he ever come out and said he was sorry he ever trusted Bush to do the right thing? We have to ask ourselves if Senator Kerry simply gave Bush far more credit than Bush deserved in October, 2002. We have to ask ourselves if it would have been better to have been a cordial statesman and give this particular president carte blanche-- or to have dug deep into the gut and place the good of the American people before any political importance? We have to ask ourselves if Kerry’s uncertainty about the true nature of the imminent threat to America caused him to give benefit of doubt to this particluar Commander-in-Chief.

We have to ask ourselves. That is the crux of the problem. We shouldn’t have to ask ourselves. Senator Kerry should be steadfastly reassuring us in order to instill our confidence in his personal beliefs about the matter. If he doesn’t do it now, he may be taken off-guard in the debates this fall.

If the Iraq resolution were presented knowing what we all know today, would Kerry still have voted “yes”? If so, why? Sending congressional authority as a strong message to Saddam Hussein may have been a fitting reason back in 2002, but why is Senator Kerry afraid to say he’d never have voted for that resolution knowing what he knows today? Would any of you readers have voted for the resolution knowing what you now know? Personally, I wouldn’t have voted for it back then and certainly would reject it today.

I think this is a topic worthy of a N.Y. Times (or Boston Globe) piece written by Senator Kerry himself.

If this important race is going to come down to the wire and Mr. Ritter’s self-described inspiration of swing voters is needed in order to choose the right candidate, (whom I see clearly as John Kerry), then I firmly believe Senator Kerry had best look all of us directly in the eye and explain how his leader’s heart and intuition lead him to the “yes” vote in October 2002 and, in the case of any ideological metamorphosis since that day, explain how it came to pass.

I don’t think Mr. Ritter’s plea should be underestimated.

Perhaps someone will finally listen to Mr. Ritter. He may be a royal pain in the Democrats’ ass, but he’s no bitter partisan. He loves the United States of America. He makes a lot of sense.

Those who wish the best for Senator Kerry need to offer tough love. Walter Cronkite can be included in this group. I'm another one of the group.

I understand that clarity is the only cure for the "flip-flop" trust-killing talking points..and there can be no one more important topic than national security to be crystal-clear about.

Iraq's been a highway to hell thus far. The Bush administration has failed to take the responsibility for what they have wrought. We've lost track of heaven and anything residing close to it.
I believe John Kerry can raise our eyes back to something both great and achievable.
Draw us a map, John.
It's yours...all yours to win or to lose.
Draw us a map.