Saturday, May 26, 2007

the appearance of a conflict of interest

* Marcy:
"After all, if Libby gets off easily because a bunch of VERYIMPORTANT people who may have just appointed Reggie Walton to the FISA Court weigh in in his favor, it will further undermine confidence in a judicial system that is undergoing a crisis. (Note, I'm not saying I suspect there was any funny business in the FISA appoint and I think Walton is very principled. But it's a question of Walton judging those who have significant power over him.)"
Some of us do have doubts about Walton, however. Shaun Waterman @ UPI wrote yesterday:
"Earlier last year FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds unsuccessfully tried to get Walton to recuse himself from her case, arguing his decision to keep federally required financial disclosure information private created the appearance of a conflict of interest."
* Glenn:
"The GOP debate in South Carolina two weeks ago was something of a watershed moment in American politics. It really was like watching a debate between Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Reynolds and Michael Savage -- with the LGF commenters as the audience, cheering most boisterously for the most extreme warmongering, pro-torture and pro-lawless-detention sentiments. It is one thing to encounter that level of extremism in the right-wing blogosphere or on talk radio. But to see that embraced so openly and so eagerly by virtually all of the GOP presidential candidates is rather staggering, and self-evidently meaningful."
* juancole:
"Bush was out there again on Wednesday trying to link Iraq to al-Qaeda and maintaining that the US was mainly fighting it in that country. In fact, No Mahdi Army Shiites are al-Qaeda. Almost all Sunni Arab guerrilla cells are Baathist or Salafi rather than al-Qaeda. Probably of 100,000 guerrillas fighting in Iraq, perhaps 2% could be categorized in some vague way as "al-Qaeda" if you take that term as referring to a franchise. They are mainly foreign fighters and if the US left Iraq, the local Sunni Arabs would slit their throats. Some slitting is going on even now, and the Bushies celebrate that while not seeming to recognize the implication that "al-Qaeda" doesn't amount to anything as an Iraqi political force."

* juancole:
"This sort of allegation was typical of Feith, who had been asked in January of 2002 to come up with material on the [imaginary] relationship of Bin Laden and Iraq by his superior (who had hired him apparently for this sort of purpose), Paul Wolfowitz.

Feith had been investigated by the FBI earlier in his career as a possible Israeli intelligence asset and was raised in a fringe, far-rightwing Zionist family. His father was a member of Betar, the organization devoted to teachings of fascist Zionist thinker Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky and to "Greater Israel" expansionism. Persons in this tradition often believe that Israel extends into Iraq itself."

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