The absence of diplomacy in Iraq is nothing but negligence on the part of the White House. The U.S. needs to lead that effort and we have failed to do so. There is an absence of real leadership on Iraq. He said that he refuses to be a member of the Senate and add one more name to "the wall" without speaking up. We have to have a leadership that stops acting unilaterally.
Tim Russert used past statements to make Kerry look like the flip-flopper that he was made out to be by Republicans in the last election campaign. Senator Kerry said that back in 2004 when he made those statements,he assumed we were primarily fighting al Qaeda in Iraq (as the nation was being told). He now clearly sees that this fight is all about the indigenous population of Iraq. He made no excuses for the confusing things he may have said about the war in 2004, but it pales in comparison to what George W. Bush has done about the war.
Tim Russert read an excerpt from Senator John Edwards' "I was wrong." statement in the Washington Post last fall. Senator Kerry confirmed that he, too, takes responsibility for his Iraq War Resolution vote in 2002.
On the declassification of the NIE by Bush and attorney general Alberto Gonzalez' defense of the president's authority to do so, Kerry said it's time for the attorney general to stand up and defend the constitution rather than defending the President for wrongful acts. It was wrong for Bush to buttress phony arguments for going to war in a way that attacked people politically. The declassification was done for the MISLEADING of America and it's a disgrace, whether or not Bush had a right to do it. Kerry referred to G.W. Bush's own father George HW Bush, who said in 1999:
..we need more protection for the methods we use to gather intelligence and more protection for our sources, particularly our human sources, people that are risking their lives for their country. Even though I'm a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.
Kerry was rather cagey when he was asked about Russ Feingold's move for censure of the president, stepping around the real issue and saying that Americans are looking forward to how the government will lead them. [see this diary from the One America Committee about Senator John Edwards' position].
If the GOP did not have their own internal squabbles, Kerry said we would have had an immigration reform bill today.
He took personal responsibility for his presidential campaign in 2004. Message control will be very important in future elections.
Fox News Sunday: Specter Blames Dems and 'Arcane Rules' for Immigration Reform Failure
Arlen specter appeared on Fox News Sunday and in his first sentence, blamed the "arcane rules" of the Senate and blamed the Democrats for what appears to be the death of the immigration reform bill. Why is it that any time a Republican cannot get his way in the Senate that he blames the rules and ignores the facts?
Specter also strongly defended the President for leaking a CIA agent's name simply because he could....because he had a legal right to declassify information. He then, almost as an afterthought, he said that the matter needs looking further into. I wondered - at what point do Senators stop defending what they (and we) can clearly see as morally and traditionally wrong? Perhaps the Executive order allowing the President to declassify certain documents is already an "ARCANE RULE." [Note: Later in the day, Senator Specter was shown on CNN calling for more investigation into the declassification. I firmly do not believe that Senator Specter communicated the same strength of will when he appeared on Fox. He likely realized he was playing to two different audiences and "acted" accordingly.]
Fox News Sunday had Rep. Peter King (R-NY) as their guest. He's taken a hard-line stand on immigration reform. Brit Hume played semantics with King on the word "amnesty"...trotting out the Webster's Dictionary definition out. King tried to say thatthose who voted against reform were "intimidated" by the protests around the country. He never mentioned that their votes may have been based upon their individual conscience. He said we need to send a signal to other countries not to send illegals here. How about abolishing NAFTA and CAFTA? That would be a good start. They certainly have not created greater opportunity for Latin Americans in their own countries.
Zalmay Khalilzad, ambassador to Iraq, appeared as a guest. Iraqis leaders have not yet agreed on a government - Iraqis are becoming impatient - we need to press them to compromise. Condoleeza Rice and Jack Straw's politically motivated visit to the Iraqi leaders to put pressure on them didn't backfire. If the U.S. "abandons" Iraq, the sectarian conflict (in light of Iranian interests and US interests) will expand. Same old sh*t. Different day. I'm with Sen. Kerry - give them a deadline. May 15th. Or else we pull up stakes. It's going on four years. If they'd been hungry for democracy, they would have stepped up to the plate by now. We've brought them to the doorstep of freedom. Our loyal troops did their very best with the mission they were given - almost 2400 gave all for that mission. It's time for them to come home with honor. This is not worth the spilling of one more drop of American blood.
The Bush Leak and the Outing Of a CIA agent
Charles Krauthammer said that the whoile story about the Bush leak is "absurd." He went on to rehash all the destructive distortions about the victim of the politics of destruction here - Joseph Wilson IV. Maura Liasson ignorantly fell into the meaningless "talking point" question, "What is the definition of a leak?" Bill Kristol did a lot of fast-talking about the matter, bottom line is that he thinks Wilson deserved what he got (and he must think Valerie Plame Wilson deserved being outed, too). Kristol minimized he outing of Plame, framing it as "an afterthought". Juan Williams brought the question back to the crux of the case: "Did the White House lie to a grand jury? Did Bush obstruct justice?" and "Why didn't Libby leak information about the truth about Niger and the lack of credible evidence about WMD instead of outing Plame?" This was a scummy political attack - whether or not it was a leak. It had nothing to do with communicating a truth that Americans can look at today and say "I really trust this White House to do what is right and good for all of us." For Pete's sake - Bush dismantled a sensitive and important CIA operation on Iran with this declassification!
Who's more politically vulnerable on immigration? Juan Williams talked about the Republican base causing a rift among Republicans and the fact that unions are split on the issue which splits the Democrrats. Bill Kristol spoke of the mean-spirited nature of the hardline view. He held out hope for immigration reform to pass with the right bipartisan leadership. Maura Liasson spoke about the hardliner-obstructionists and the upcoming demonstrations having a possibe positive affect on the future of reform. Krauthammer blames Democrats for obstruction. [Blah.] He said Republicans are "stuck" on the "Amnesty word." He thinks the entire bill is a mess. [I'd ask him to look at "the mess" in this country presently because of a broken immigration system and suggest that we do the best we can by passing a bill that eliminates the mean spirit that Bill Kristol spoke about. Complaining will get us nowhere.]