Thursday, July 13, 2006

Iraq is better off

* interesting smackdown between larry johnson and michael scheuer

* wilkerson:
"There is, in my view, insufficient evidence to walk into an American courtroom and win a legal case (though an international courtroom for war crimes might feel differently). But there is enough evidence for a soldier of long service -- someone like me with 31 years in the Army -- to know that what started with John Yoo, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes at the Pentagon, and several others, all under the watchful and willing eye of the Vice President, went down through the Secretary of Defense to the commanders in the field, and created two separate pressures that resulted in the violation of longstanding practice and law."

* clemons:
"Cheney and his team argued that the horror of 9/11 terrorism and the uniqueness of America's place in the world allowed America to strip itself out of legal norms and routines that had been fashioned for centuries and which were part of America's sense of self.

Wilkerson has the goods on Cheney. He has the memos, emails, files, and other briefs that show that the environment Cheney & Co. created produced horrible behaviors that popped up in many different parts of the military mission. This was a systemic problem -- not a bunch of coincidental, isolated incidents.

TWN again applauds the honesty and candor of Col. Wilkerson who is making sure that the history of what happened inside the Bush administration is told relatively squarely and that when the political pendulum swings that accountability can be fixed on those that crippled America's position in the world."

* froomkin:
"But the stymied reporter gave up and substituted a question on Bush's relationships with the current and previous Italian prime ministers.
Bush's rambling response included the following newsmaking assertion: "There's a huge number of Italian Americans. A lot of Russian Americans. You know, Norm Mineta in my Cabinet is a Japanese American.""

* froomkin:
"Fred Barnes writes in the Weekly Standard with what appears to be the new -- but not exactly reality-based -- White House line: "There's joy at the White House again and less anxiety among Republicans in Congress. The excesses of the press and Supreme Court are bringing Bush and rebellious conservatives closer together. Iraq is better off. The American economy is humming. The White House has made no harmful missteps. And the president's job approval rating is rising. . ."

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