* Larisa has an open thread. go pretend that people actually read her silly little blog.
* from the Guardian re the BAE/Saudi dustup:
"Last night, the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, said that he had no intention of interfering with the investigation, following talks with the SFO director, Robert Wardle. A spokesman said: "His general position is that he will not stop a prosecution for political reasons in any case.""heh. imagine an american politician saying that.
"As the next Defense Secretary, Robert M. Gates will be in charge of a new star-chamber legal system that can lock up indefinitely “unlawful enemy combatants” and “any person” accused of aiding them. Yet, despite these extraordinary new powers, his confirmation is being treated more like a coronation than a time for tough questions."
"Rhetorically, it’s an attempt to apply jiu-jitsu to the standard interpretation of asymmetrical war, that it’s the insurgent who “wins by not losing.” The President is arguing that the US “wins by not losing.”* spencer to j-pod: "And buy a fucking bra.'
It’s a nice trick if you can get away with it. I can even admire the cleverness. That said, it’s nothing more than a variation on “leaving is losing”; it does not make Iraq the Model which other Arab and Muslim countries aspire to emulate; it will tend to breed complacency among policy-makers since it revalues “just showing up” as 100% of life instead of the cliched eighty; it doesn’t magically undo the damage to America’s standing in the world; and, oh by the way, it entails massive expense, death and maiming for Iraqis and Americans alike, much more expense for us and much more death and maiming for them, but plenty of all for everybody."
*Stephen Cambone leaving the DoD December 31 to spend more time with his
Spencer Ackerman has the details, and adds: "See you under oath!"