Saturday, August 05, 2006

mystified by Pat Roberts’ public denunciation

* laura:
"Given the fact that Roberts is a close White House ally who has maneuvered to stymie investigations the White House finds inconvenient, a committee source said that staffers are mystified by Roberts’ public denunciation of the White House for allegedly dragging its heels on declassifying the two newly completed sections of the report. “The [completed] sections were sent to the administration for fact checking and they were asked to do a classification review. And the sections came back with a lot more stuff to be classified. I am not convinced this has anything to do with the administration” trying to suppress parts of the report. “This is what we always go through with the intelligence bureaucracy.” Given that this is business as usual, staffers were scratching their heads over Roberts’ public expressions of annoyance at the White House."

* rawstory:
"A year after his “Axis of Evil” speech before the U.S. Congress, President Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq’s first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.

Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”

Research by RAW STORY has confirmed a surprising lack of public statements from the president regarding the branches of Islam, but did uncover at least one mention of their existence...
Galbraith argues that because the new Iraq was never a voluntary creation of its people--but rather held together by force--America’s ongoing attempt to preserve a unified nation is guaranteed to fail, especially since it’s divided into three different entities.

“You can’t have a national unity government when there is no nation, no unity, and no government,” said Galbraith. “Rather than trying to preserve or hold together a unified Iraq, the U.S. must accept the reality of Iraq’s breakup and work with the Shiites, Kurds, and Sunni Arabs to strengthen the already semi-independent regions.”

Galbraith further argues that the invasion of Iraq destabilized the Middle East while inadvertently strengthening Iran. One of the administration's intentions in invading Iraq was to undermine Iran, but instead, the Iraqi occupation has given Tehran one of its greatest strategic triumphs in the last four centuries."
* billmon:
"The Problem With Parody"
* wapo:
"A White House-endorsed plan to formally legalize the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program ran into more political problems yesterday in the Senate, as Democrats successfully maneuvered to block a committee vote on the proposal.

In addition, three of the committee's leading Democrats announced that they would block the confirmation of a senior Justice Department official in protest of a recent move by President Bush. The president effectively stopped a probe into the NSA program by denying security clearances to Justice Department investigators."

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