"These aren't real problems but it does point to one within our general politico-lifestyle discourse, which is that we've exchanged values for brand loyalties. People are Republicans the way they drink Coke over Pepsi (shut UP, beverage war enthusiasts, I don't want to hear it): Not because the party reflects their values or interests, but because the T-shirt is awesome. People voted against John Kerry because he windsurfed. It's why you can't have an argument with a brand Republican; they're not in it for the argument."
"The Bush administration has filed charges against David Hicks, an Australian citizen suspected of aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan and the first terrorism-war era detainee to be charged by the Pentagon under new rules for military commissions.yay, us. the AP doesn't mention that the attempted murder charges disappeared today.
The decision was made even though officials of Australia already had asked the United States not to bring such charges. Australia has been a steadfast ally to the Bush administration in its war on terrorism."
"Deciphering Cheney's thinking isn't easy when he demonstrates that he possesses most every mental illness known to medicine."* Noise:
"I would venture to say Plame would have been outed one way or another. Revenge against Wilson was a very clever way of disguising the primary motive as it helped address secondary motives as well."* rudepundit:
"How fucked do we have to be here in America in order to read something by Seymour Hersh, about nefarious plots, illegal fund streams to al-Qaeda associated groups, and the fomenting of an enormous war in the Middle East, and fuckin' John Negroponte comes across looking like the most honorable man? What twisted trip into a sphincter-like rabbit hole do we have to be on in order to be able to put those words together, that the depraved motherfucker who turned a blind eye to (and ensured funding for) Honduran death squads that plagued Central America back in the Reagan era (known these days to liberals as "Jesus, who'd've thought it could get worse?"), who was at the center of Iran-Contra, would sound, in the screwed up context of the players in Hersh's article, like the good guy? It's not unlike saying that Charle Manson is the most likeable serial killer because at least he surrounded himself with buddies.
Leaving Congress out of the loop on how the Bush adminstration is funneling money through intermediaries in order to divide the Middle East on along Sunni-Shiite lines has the Bush administration dancing to Dexy's Midnight Runners. But, unlike, you know, Cheney, Elliot Abrams, and others, Negroponte seems to be feeling the cold breath of final judgment on his neck. Says Hersh, A "former senior intelligence official also told me that Negroponte did not want a repeat of his experience in the Reagan Administration, when he served as Ambassador to Honduras. 'Negroponte said, "No way. I’m not going down that road again, with the N.S.C. running operations off the books, with no finding."' (In the case of covert C.I.A. operations, the President must issue a written finding and inform Congress.) Negroponte stayed on as Deputy Secretary of State, he added, because 'he believes he can influence the government in a positive way.'
"The government consultant said that Negroponte shared the White House’s policy goals but 'wanted to do it by the book.' The Pentagon consultant also told me that 'there was a sense at the senior-ranks level that he wasn’t fully on board with the more adventurous clandestine initiatives.' It was also true, he said, that Negroponte 'had problems with this Rube Goldberg policy contraption for fixing the Middle East.'"
And there you have everything you need to know about just how fucked we are, fucked like a household tabby in heat that wanders under the fence at a tomcat convention: If the man who justified the groups that raped and killed nuns as just part of the fight in the Cold War is worried about the legality of something, it's gotta be a bloodcurdling monstrosity, like the moment in the film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (to continue a theme) when Henry catches Otis, his serial killing apprentice, trying to rape his own sister. Some things are beyond the pale. Everyone's got a line in the sand, you know. If we've reached Negroponte's, then, god, what nightmares are we on the verge of?"
* the greatest interviewer in the world interviewed chris deliso.