Sunday, March 18, 2007

AIPAC: circuslike

* salon:
"Amid an energized and at times almost circuslike atmosphere (at AIPAC), just about everyone in attendance shared two main preoccupations: the 2008 U.S. presidential election and confronting Iran. And this year's conference saw record attendance: more than 6,000 people, coming from every state in the country and exceeding last year's crowd of around 5,000. Many of them were American Jews, of course, but the evangelical Christian community also made a strong showing. For those feeling apocalyptic about the turmoil in the Middle East, pastor John Hagee was there to greet them. Of the many prominent speakers at the conference, Hagee got one of the most enthusiastic receptions
AIPAC, whose own literature notes that it has been described by the New York Times as "the most important organization affecting America's relationship with Israel," has been highly successful in building strong relationships with both U.S. political parties. This year's conference was attended by everyone from Vice President Dick Cheney to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (and other 2008 presidential contenders), as well as former CIA director James Woolsey. Leaders from Congress were there, as were numerous officials from the State Department and White House."

* bill maher in the LAT:
"STOP SAYING President Bush hasn't asked us to sacrifice anything for the war. He's asked us to sacrifice something enormous: our civil rights. To which the American people have responded: "Sure, whatever."

He's asked us to sacrifice the pride and joy that comes from knowing people all over the world look up to you. Yeah, what can you do? And he's asked us to sacrifice our future, because that's where all the real bombs he's planted — economic, environmental and security-related — are going to go off. Have a great weekend, everybody!
Bush took from us the things he knew we didn't care about: our privacy and our morality. He let us keep the money.

And it is morality when the chief law enforcement officer in this country tells Congress he doesn't believe in habeas corpus and is cool with torture and the practice of "disappearing" people. Alberto Gonzales even admitted to abusing the Patriot Act — is it even possible to abuse the Patriot Act?
I mail myself a copy of the U.S. Constitution every morning just in the hope they'll open it and see what it says.
It's been said that evil happens when good men do nothing. And as the Democrats prove, it also happens when mediocre people do nothing."

* calipendence on Plame:
"Another question I'd have in addition to administration officials not taking responsibility to verify her status before saying more about her to the press and their responsibility for that, is asking Ms. Plame if there would have been an expectation of not to ECHO earlier damaging infromation and increasing the amount of damage that's been done because she's now "fair game", but doesn't the CIA have the expectation that if an "accidental" disclosure of a covert agaent's status (which is what they seem to be constantly claiming as a defense) was found, that the remaining folks would be expected to help with doing the damage control and at least try to avoid any further disclosures, if not actually help cover it up again?

It seems like whether or not this was an accidental disclosure or not, the subsequent "disclosures" can't claim innocence "because the damage had already been done". They should have been trying hard as conscientious officials to repair the mistakes that were made. I've seen no effort to "repair mistakes" and can only conclude that in their view, these disclosures were NOT mistakes at the time they were made. I'd like a congressman to conclude that for us when interviewing her!"
good point. there is an argument that once you leak part of a network, you should try to flush it out entirely, as quickly as possible, so that the vulnerable people are aware that they are in danger - still, as we saw, the egadministration didn't even launch an investigation into Plame's outing.

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