Saturday, May 05, 2007

Wolfowitz and Gonzales: utter contempt

* Other Horton:
"Indeed, what links the affaires Wolfowitz and Gonzales is simple: utter contempt towards the institutions that the two head. The Bush band came to power cursing government and its institutions as a sort of menace. But perhaps they were sincere about that. They’re delighted to see the Department of Justice go up in flames. And if the World Bank and the international financial system that it created, the baseline for the global economy, teeters and implodes, they’ll be cheering from the sidelines, too.

What really matters to men like Wolfowitz and Gonzales? The exercise of power. If it serves that end to destroy a world, by all means, let the destruction begin. This is scorched earth politics. Why would we expect anything different from a crew who seek to revive the notion of the “total war” with respect to a war of choice fought without a draft?"

* Talkleft:
"A computer guy explains the danger of proposed legislation that would require computer technicians to report to the authorities any child pornography or other evidence of child abuse they encounter while servicing a customer's computer:
Potentially incriminating material can end up on a computer in any number of ways that have nothing to do with a deliberate request for questionable content. Even worse, the range of expertise among computer technicians varies enough that you could conclusively say that not all such technicians have the skills to distinguish between deliberately accessed content and that which may have found its way onto a system through other means (spam, malware, another user, etc.). It's a recipe for disaster when you consider how being accused of child porn/abuse usually turns into a guilty-until-proven-innocent scenario of the sort that can destroy lives and families."
* amblog:
"The ten GOP candidates combined mentioned the name of their current party leader, George Bush, exactly once during the big debate last night
The GOPers made George Bush. They let him launch the Iraq war. They never did any oversight. Now, they can't even say his name. The 2008 election will be about George Bush and his disastrous legacy. The Republicans own George Bush and his legacy."

* meanwhile, Indy:
"During the debate, the 10 candidates invoked Mr Reagan by name no less than 20 times, compared with just seven mentions for Mr Bush."

* atrios is excited because Juan Williams said this NPR:
I think the direction has been moving more towards the idea that this could be another sort Jack Abramoff style scandal in which you see that women, prostitutes here or call girls, were given to people as part of lobbying efforts, part of efforts to persuade people to do things on Capitol Hill.
ftr, earlier in the week, Williams made a similar point on Faux - except he was arguing that it might be related to Wilkes et al. (his issue appears to be that it's a Fed case)

* simon catches Blair saying that Saddam used biological weapons. I suspect that Blair was just spouting nonsense, Simon may take a less benign view.


«—U®Anu§—» said...

The way the Bush administration is turning up the volume on all their programs, who knows? He may achieve the same legendary, Greatest Man Who Ever Lived status of Ronald Reagan Himself. But, it may involve concentration camps and crematoria.

noise said...


The Wall St. Journal online has today published a lengthy and truly astonishing article by Harvard Government Professor Harvey Mansfield, which expressly argues that the power of the President is greater than "the rule of law."

The article bears this headline: The Case for the Strong Executive -- Under some circumstances, the Rule of Law must yield to the need for Energy. And it is the most explicit argument I have seen yet for vesting in the President the power to override and ignore the rule of law in order to recieve the glories of what Mansfield calls "one-man rule."

Of course authoritarianism extends to the President's subordinates.

Simon said...

For a moment yesterday, Tony Blair looked like he had seen Banquo's ghost. He was asked by John Baron MP on what basis he had told Parliament that Iraq could develop a nuclear weapon in one to two years. He had a look of panic in his eyes, and did not answer the question. Perhaps he didn't get it. But, undoubtedly, the claim was made up. It does not get any more serious than this.

As Blair prepares to leave office, the lies he told over Iraq are coming back to haunt him.

No Luke, not really a benign view. We're passed that now. Blair is on his way out of the door in any case. A bit over a week ago I forecast that we were going to hear Blair announce his departure last Tuesday. We didn't exactly get that, but we did, on cue, get an announcement that we would get an announcement next week coming. He held back for the sake of party unity because of the local elections held here this week.

This was probably his last big lie about Iraq from the position of being Prime Minister. He simply forgot his lines. I saw it on TV when it happened - he did indeed look flustered. You can put it down to a slip of the tongue if you like, but [ ;-) ] I do have it on good authority that John Baron MP, the asker of the question, is now fully aware of Mr Blair's slip-up. He is writing to Mr Blair to press him for a more complete answer on the substance of his question in any case.

It does seem that the Dossier is set to follow Mr Blair to his grave, the Information Commissioner yesterday issued his decision that the very first draft of the Dossier must be released by the Foreign Office. They have 35 days to do so (just enough time for Tony to leave the door open for Mr Brown, resign as an MP, and leave the country for a long holiday), and right of appeal also, but failure to comply appropriately is threatened by High Court action. The 12 page judgement (5.06 Mb pdf) by the IC includes this wonderful snippet:

The document at issue here is described by the FCO as a preliminary document used in the production of a draft dossier concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. It was requested by the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee to provide an expert’s view of how the information in the draft might be presented in a published document. However, as it was designed to give a communication professional's perspective on the matter, the FCO argue that it was not an intergral part of the iterative drafting process. The FCO further stated that the document was before the Hutton Inquiry, but that the Inquiry did not see fit to discuss it or include it in the annex of his report.

So there you have it. A "preliminary document" is not a draft, John Scarlett actually requested it in the first place, a "communication professional" is not a spin doctor, and the buck gets passed to Hutton, despite the fact of this:

James Dingemans (Inquiry QC):

"We have not been given a copy of a dossier on 9th September. Do you recall whether or not at 9th September there was a dossier?"

Alistair Campbell (accused of "sexing up" the dossier):

"No, there was not."

(Hutton Inquiry 19 August am; Section 25, lines 19-21)

Oh well, back to waiting I suppose. It'll be interesting to see which door Mr Blair leaves by in the meantime though...

Kax said...


Thank you for that link. I had seen this article and the one in Weekly Standard. It makes the point I've been trying to make with Simon in another thread, that playing with War Powers on average citizens is a core reason for War in Iraq or elsewhere to justify their Fascification of America.

I disagree with only one point in this article and that is that the GOP will soon be lead by someone other than Busholini. I think it is entirely within the realm of possibility for Dopey and Darth to declare Marial Law and cancel further elections. All they need to do is call up Bin Laden and order up another attck, say in another liberal bastion, like Boston.

Uranus, see you at camp. Don't forget to bring your paddle.

lukery said...

thanks for that, Simon.

dammit. i wish we had that doc. let's hope chris sticks at it.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

They'll never take me alive, BUWAHAHAHA. Cheney needs to go look for some terrorists putting subliminal hate messages in mountain bluegrass gospel music, and leave me the hell alone.