The Freeway Blogger shoots and scores.
If this guy can climb a radio tower in Afghanistan, you should be able to reach that fencing next to the freeway behind the dumpsters at the mall.I'll get right on that.
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"Despite failing to stop the fighting, Rice earlier said in Jeruslam that she believed she had managed to underpin a future lasting peace.These pronouncements come less than 24 hours after announcing that she personally put the Israelis in a headlock until they agreed to cease aerial attacks for 48 hours.
"As I head back to Washington, I take with me an emerging consensus on what is necessary for both an urgent ceasefire and a lasting settlement," Rice said.
"I am convinced we can achieve both this week," said Rice, who laid out broad principles of a proposed deal, but did not discuss the exact measures that would be adopted to put it in place.
Israel launched airstrikes on Lebanon in response to attacks by Hizbullah earlier this month, and George W. Bush called it "self-defense." But what to tell the Turks, who over the last week lost 15 soldiers to terror attacks launched by sepa-ratist Kurds from neighboring Iraq? Many Turkish leaders are pressing for cross-border tactical air assaults on the guerrillas. But Bush, fearing yet another escalation of the Middle East's violence, urged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to hold off. "The message was, unilateral action isn't going to be helpful," says a senior U.S. official, describing the 15-minute phone conversation. "The president asked for patience."And then we've really got ourselves a ballgame. And it's not like we can go in and "buyoff" the PKK, because we have nothing they want, right now, other than the keys to a Greater Republic of Kurdistan.
The Turkish press has been baying for action, with even the solidly pro-American Turkish Daily News railing in an editorial that "Turkey is no banana republic that can leave its security to the mercy of others." Another editorial posed the question more directly. "Why is it that Israel has the right to 'self-defense'," the paper asked, "and not Turkey." The country's usually fractious parliamentary opposition, in a rare moment of unity, called for active intervention. "Opposition," says True Path Party leader Mehmet Agar, "ends at Habur"—Turkey's border crossing with Iraq."
"The U.S. is considering concrete steps with Iraq against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), said National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, after Tuesday's talks between the U.S. president and the Iraqi prime minister.[sic] Now we've got to deliver on it."Oh. My. God.
"There are concrete steps the U.S. can take to show both Iraqis and Turks that there is a plan to deal with the problem and it has to be done more aggressively," Hadley told reporters following talks with Iraqi officials who accompanied Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to the White House. "We identified some steps that can be taken and that the Iraqis are going to take," he said.
Stressing that U.S. President George W. Bush has given assurances to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hadley said, "I think he was relived.
[...]I'll just bet they are. My, what lovely weather we're having, isn't it?
According to the former official, Israel and the United States are currently discussing a large American role in exactly such a “multinational” deployment, and some top administration officials, along with senior civilians at the Pentagon, are receptive to the idea.
The uniformed military, however, is ardently opposed to sending American soldiers to the region, according to my source. “They are saying 'What the fuck?'” he told me.
Conservative national security allies of President Bush are in revolt against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying that she is incompetent and has reversed the administration’s national security and foreign policy agenda.[former Chair of the Defense Policy Board Richard] Perle wrote in a June 25 Op-Ed article in the Washington Post that has been distributed throughout conservative and national security circles. "What matters is not that she is further removed from the Oval Office; Rice's influence on the president is undiminished. It is, rather, that she is now in the midst of—and increasingly represents—a diplomatic establishment that is driven to accommodate its allies even when (or, it seems, especially when) such allies counsel the appeasement of our adversaries."Now, I am not going to be a big Condi supporter. I do think she has been an incompetent Secretary of State, who's primary qualification for the job has been a nominal loyalty to the Preznit. Unfortunately, you all know who the next Secretary of State is going to be if Condi's career ends up being tossed under the merciless treads of the Mighty Wurlitzer...
"We are sending signals today that no matter how much you provoke us, no matter how viciously you describe things in public, no matter how many things you're doing with missiles and nuclear weapons, the most you'll get out of us is talk," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said.
"Condoleezza Rice has moved from the White House to Foggy Bottom, a mere mile or so away," Mr.
Miss Rice served as Mr. Bush's national security adviser in his first term. During his second term, Miss Rice replaced Mr. Powell in the wake of a conclusion by the White House that Mr. Bush required a loyalist to head the State Department and ensure that U.S. foreign policy reflected the president's agenda.[emphasis added]This is a major point. The last thing the neoclowns and Big Time's pals want is the President of the United States actually making foreign policy, for good or ill. The nerve of the uppity little dilletente twit, he actually thinks he should run the country instead of Big Time.
Tom Ricks, the journalist, and Andrew Bacevich, the soldier-turned-academic, know war. They have studied it, researched it, and in their cases, seen it as well. There are also a limited number of qualified commentators out there as well, but the number, sadly, is entirely too small for our Republic, especially when we are at War. We need more people, educated in the history/theory/practice of war, participating in our democracy, for without the depth of knowledge, we do not have a breadth of opinions, and again, in a democracy this is not good. Given that we are a nation which increasingly relies upon 3 percent to protect the other 97 percent, we will have less and less personal understanding and experience, which is OK. But we need to replace that with something.
Note, in all of that I did not say that you should like war, or that you should condone war, or even that you should agree with the idea of war in any way shape or form. But just as an environmentalist must study economics and the science of, say, the logging or oil industry to be an effective environmentalist, so too must a citizen study those things which affect their nation most directly. For four years now, the thing which has affected us most directly has been, well, war. Even our presidential elections, to some degree, hinged upon events in a war long past and even more on perceptions of who would be more astute in their application of force within war. (No, I am not endorsing one side or the other, I am merely noting how reputations on some topics affect larger events.)
Bacevich, in his title, makes assumptions about his readers. I think we should stop making those assumptions. I have realized that almost nobody has actually read Clausewitz, and even fewer have read the thought-pieces which resulted in the idiotic theory of “Shock and Awe.” But you need to read a lot of history, and at least some military theory, to really understand how damned stupid the idea of Shock and Awe really was, and how it has been tried (under different names) over and over again since the late 1920s, and it never works! Perhaps, just perhaps, if some people in the right places had read more military history, well, things might have turned out different.
[...] transparency is essential if the American people are to have confidence that the rule of law is being respected by both citizens and government leaders. ... Abuse of presidential signing statements poses a threat to the rule of law,"But it is also important to note this line from the report released on Monday:
That the American Bar Association urges Congress to enact legislation enabling the President, Congress, or other entities or individuals, to seek judicial review, to the extent constitutionally permissible, in any instance in which the President claims the authority, or states the intention, to disregard or decline to enforce all or part of a law he has signed, or interprets such a law in a manner inconsistent with the clear intent of Congress, and urges Congress and the President to support a judicial resolution of the President's claim or interpretation.Now not even I believe that Specter woke up Monday morning, cracked open The Post and thought to himself: "Hey... that's a hell of an idea, let me get my top legislative aids on the phone to start working up some language I can put in front of my colleagues by the end of the week." This was coordinated. The ABA doesn't issue many press releases, much less hold full blown press conferences that are then followed up 24 hours later by ranking senators on senior committees introducing legislation to pimp the bar's position, unless there is some coordination.
I like this ballot initiative.
- Establish the Clean Alternative Energy Program within an existing bureacracy I've never heard of before called the California Energy Alternatives Program Authority, which will be empowered in a bunch of new ways to spend money on behalf of the program. Also establishes a special purpose fund, separated from the general fund, called the California Energy Independence Fund and authorizes the Authority to spend four billion dollars from it on a variety of projects described below.
- Imposes the California Energy Independence Fund Assessment "upon the privilege of severing oil from the earth or water in [California] for sale, transport, consumption, storage, profit or use" applied to the gross value of each barrel of oil. The rate is 6%, but it could go lower if the price of oil magically drops (due to price manipulation, for example).
- Allocates the four billion dollars raised by the assessment to a Gasoline and Diesel Use Reduction Account, a Research and Innovation Acceleration Account, a Vocational Training Account and a Public Education Account and Administration Account. Or, in English, the money will go toward providing incentives to reduce gasoline and diesel consumption, produce alternative clean energy systems, research and development activity, some public service announcements, and the big deal that will get all the press chattering: grants to promote the rollout of E85 refueling stations, i.e. 85% ethanol fuels for existing "flexible fuel vehicles" in California.
- Reorganizes the California Energy Alternatives Program Authority. Adds four new members, appointed by various high-level positions in the state government, e.g. the governor, the speaker of the assembly, etc. Replaces the President of the PUC with the Secretary of California EPA. Replaces the Director of Finance with the State Treasurer. Requires the Authority to appoint a CEO.
- Authorizes the California Energy Alternatives Program Authority to incur its own debts. It may only service those debts from its own revenues, i.e. not from the State general revenues.
- Forbids the producer, first purchaser or anybody else from passing the costs of paying the assessment onto retail fuel customers. Authorizes the State Board of Equalization to investigate such attempts to hide the salami.
- A whole bunch of stuff that looks like boiler plate to my untrained eye.
The lawyers, Paul Bergrin and Michael Waddington, also said that after the soldiers captured the three Iraqis, a sergeant in the company asked over the radio why they had done so, instead of killing the Iraqis as they had been told to do.So they released these guys and then shot them as they were leaving, apparently. It is also interesting to note that there have already been two command reviews of the incident, neither of which found any wrongdoing by the soldiers. What does that tell you?
The soldiers killed the first Iraqi they came into contact with, an older man who was looking out through the window of a house, Mr. Bergrin said. Then, he said, they went to a second house, where they found three men hiding and using women and children as human shields.
Mr. Bergrin gave the following account of what happened next. The soldiers separated the men from the women and children and bound their hands. One of the accused, Sergeant [Raymond L.] Girouard, called the company’s first sergeant on the radio. The response to the news that there were prisoners was: “Why did you take them prisoner? Why didn’t you kill them?”
After comparing a sequence of satellite photos, the institute analysts estimated that the new reactor was still "a few years" from completion. The diameter of the structure's metal shell suggests a very large reactor "operating in excess of 1,000 megawatts thermal," the report says.My major question is "why?" They already possess a significant nuclear deterrant to India (and China, for that fact).
"Such a reactor could produce over 200 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium per year, assuming it operates at full power a modest 220 days per year," it says. "At 4 to 5 kilograms of plutonium per weapon, this stock would allow the production of over 40 to 50 nuclear weapons a year."
I repeat, this is nothing less than an ethnic cleansing of the Shiites of southern Lebanon, an assault on an entire civilian population's way of life. Aside from ecology, it is no different from what Saddam Hussein did to the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq, and the Israelis are doing it for exactly the same sorts of reasons that Saddam did.Pretty harsh, but then I have to agree with his analysis after hearing Rush Limbaugh on his radio show today make basically the same case— except he was praising the Israelis for it, rather than denouncing them.
Confronted with the obvious absurdity of their military strategy, the Israelis are already falling back on alternative arguments -- much like the Cheney administration putting forward its ever-changing reasons for why turning Iraq into a cauldron of anarchy was a good thing. Now we're being told the real logic behind bombing the crap out of Lebanon's infrastructure is that it will induce a political solution. The pain of seeing their recently rebuilt country turned back into rubble will force Lebanon's gang of feuding feudal politicians to rise up and confront Hezbollah -- the best-organized and most well-armed militia movement on the planet -- after which the peacekeepers can move in and gently herd all those meek, pacified Shi'a fighters back from the border.Look. I don't follow the Arab/Israeli conflict with nearly the attention to detail that others do. I am not an expert on the issues there, and I will freely admit it. That said, there are some things about the Israeli actions in this event sequence that have me genuinely cronfoozled.
Billy Kristol is going "Vrrrrow, Vrrrrow, rat-tat-tat-tat" and dive-bombing his shampoo and conditioner bottles in the tub; Roger L. Simon is telling the terrified Lebanese citizens to take their bombing like men -- "Starbucks can come later, if you really think you need it" (?!? -- RE); and this guy cheerfully compares the new Mideast war to a plucky little sailor (Israel) beating the shit out a Marine (Hezbollah) -- with (one must assume) Beirut's civilians in the role of unfortunate bystanders to the brawl who are struck by the Marine's flying teeth, which for some reason are filled with high explosives. It's getting so George Fucking Will sounds almost sane.
With the emergence of an aggressive and perhaps soon-to-be nuclear-armed Iran, the strategic map of the Middle East is in the throes of fundamental change. This overarching threat should provide the backdrop for every Israeli decision going forward Â whether to retake territory in Gaza, what to target in Lebanon and whether to launch military actions against Syria.
Paradoxically, developments of the past week bring good news: Many Middle Easterners, not just Israelis, fear Iranian ambitions. Worries about Iran prompted the Saudi kingdom to take the lead in condemning attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah on Israel as "rash adventures." As the Jerusalem Post's Khaled Abu Toameh has documented, Israel's counterattacks have prompted "an anti-Hezbollah coalition." Sound Israeli policies will greatly influence the evolution of this nascent force.
One useful thing about all this is that we atheists are going to be able to make the case, if a draft is ever reinstated, that we wouldn't be able to trust our fellow soldiers to refrain from killing us, and that we therefore must have a deferment. I know I would never allow any of my kids to go off to a war where they can't rely on the raving religious fanatics around them…and commanding them.I don't think they'll be asking us for our permission to give our kids tin hats and guns, and send them off to the 21st century Gallipoli.
This is a call to action! These anti-American liberalsIt's a pretty standard intimidation tactic. As Glenn Greenwald observes, the goal here is simple:
are dangerous people and need to be stopped!
One person can make a big difference!!!
There are those that read about history.
There are those that make history.
Which one do you want to be?
One of the favorite tactics used by such [fascist] groups is to find the home address and telephone number of the latest enemy and then publish it on the Internet, accompanied by impassioned condemnations of that person as a Grave Enemy, a race traitor, someone who threatens all that is good in the world. A handful of the most extremist pro-life groups have used the same tactic. It has happened in the past that those who were the target of these sorts of demonization campaigns that included publication of their home address were attacked and even killed.The editorial staff here at The MojoWire has been interacting with someone claiming to be a supporter of TargetOfOpportunity.Com in the comment thread attached to my previous post. This commenter posts under the pseudonym "TOP" and we have not been kind to her. (Please note the banner text at the top of our page which advertises that we are "liberal brawlers" who take pleasure in Afflicting The Comfortable. We make no apologies for using rude and unkind language in our interactions with pseudo-fascist pinheads.)
But these intimidation tactics work even when nothing happens. Indeed, these groups often publish the enemy's home address along with some cursory caveat that they are not encouraging violence. The real objective is the same one shared by all terrorists -- to place the person in paralyzing fear. The goal is to force the individual, as they lay in bed at night, to be preoccupied with worry that there is some deranged individual who read one of the websites identifying them as the enemy and which provided their address and who believes that they can strike some blow for their Just Cause by visiting their home and harming or killing them. The fear that they are vulnerable in their own home lurks so prominently and relentlessly in a person's mind that it can be as effective as a physical attack in punishing someone or intimidating them.
Yes, it has occured to me that we may have uncovered a false flag operation.
P.O. Box 191
St. Bruno, QC J3V 4P9
Domain name: TARGETOFOPPORTUNITY.COM
Advocate, R4L Privacy <C00rHH1x@privacyadvocate.org>
P.O. Box 191
St. Bruno, QC J3V 4P9
Advocate, R4L Privacy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
P.O. Box 191
St. Bruno, QC J3V 4P9
Registration Service Provider:
Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 10-Apr-2006.
Record expires on 10-Feb-2007.
Record created on 10-Feb-2005.
Domain servers in listed order:
Domain status: ACTIVE
In my tribute to the mighty and glory of blogofascism, Joe's troubles with women got left on the cutting room floor. I believe "grotesque indifference to the plight of rape victims" was in an earlier draft. But, those issues require a few extra words to explain for those not already familiar with them, and print doesn't allow one the luxury of verbosity. I suggest all punditry be moved to the internet where it belongs.The technical term for the constraint of newspaper publishing that caused this to happen is "the news hole."
Back in 1966, Israel recoiled from attacking Syria and instead raided Jordan, inadvertently setting off a concatenation of events culminating in war. Israel is once again refraining from an entanglement with Hezbollah's Syrian sponsors, perhaps because it fears a clash with Iran. And just as Israel's failure to punish the patron of terror in 1967 ultimately triggered a far greater crisis, so too today, by hesitating to retaliate against Syria, Israel risks turning what began as a border skirmish into a potentially more devastating confrontation. Israel may hammer Lebanon into submission and it may deal Hezbollah a crushing blow, but as long as Syria remains hors de combat there is no way that Israel can effect a permanent change in Lebanon's political labyrinth and ensure an enduring ceasefire in the north. On the contrary, convinced that Israel is unwilling to confront them, the Syrians may continue to escalate tensions, pressing them toward the crisis point. The result could be an all-out war with Syria as well as Iran and severe political upheaval in Jordan, Egypt, and the Gulf.
But if the Supreme Court decides that post-debate signing statements should also be routinely considered as part of a bill's legislative history, then surely Congress will start to insist on negotiating these statements before legislation is sent to the president for his signature. I'll bet John McCain wishes he had done that on the torture bill that George Bush so casually gutted after months of arduous negotiation."Mr. President, if you issue the following signing statement with this bill, then we will... um... what will we do, Denny?" Gawd. The STUPIDITY! It burns!
What has really robbed the conspiracy theories of their effectiveness is how the war in Iraq has been conducted. Bush and his advisers have sought to use the war not only to punish their enemies but also to reward their supporters, a bit of political juggling that led them to demand nothing from the American public as a whole. Those of us who are not actively fighting in Iraq, or who do not have close friends and family members who are doing so, have not been asked to sacrifice in any way. The richest among us have even been showered with tax cuts.He makes one other observation in the middle of the piece that jumped out at me. I've always thought there was something peculiar about those black and white POW/MIA banners you see all over the place, particularly among the wingnut factions. Mr. Baker clears the fog (my emphasis in bold):
Yet in demanding so little, Bush has finally uncoupled the state from its heroic status. It is not a coincidence that modern nationalism dates from the advent of mass democracy—and mass citizen armies—that the American and French revolutions ushered in at the end of the eighteenth century. Bush’s refusal to mobilize the nation for the war in Iraq has severed that immediate identification with our army’s fortunes. Nor did it begin with the Bush Administration. The wartime tax cuts and the all-volunteer, wartime army are simply the latest manifestations of a trend that is now decades old and that has been promulgated through peace as well as war, by Democrats as well as Republicans. It cannot truly be a surprise that a society that has steadily dismantled or diminished the most basic access to health care, relief for the poor and the aged, and decent education; a society that has allowed the gap between its richest and poorest citizens to grow to unprecedented size; a society that has paid obeisance to the ideology of globalization to the point of giving away both its jobs and its debt to foreign nations, and which has just allowed one of its poorer cities to quietly drown, should choose to largely opt out of its own defense.
Anyone who doubts that this is exactly what we have done need only look at how little the war really engages most of us. It rarely draws more than a few seconds of coverage on the local television news, if that, and then only well into the broadcast, after a story on a murder, or a fire, or the latest weather predictions. Even the largest and angriest demonstrations against our occupation of Iraq have not approached the mobilizations against the war in Vietnam, but a close observer will notice that we also have yet to see any of the massive counterdemonstrations that were held in support of that war—or “in support of the troops.” Such engagement on either side seems almost quaint now.
Who could possibly believe in a plot to lose this war? No one cares that much about it. We have, instead, reached a crossroads where the overwhelming right-wing desire to dissolve much of the old social compact that held together the modern nation-state is irreconcilably at odds with any attempt to conduct such a grand, heroic experiment as implanting democracy in the Middle East. Without mass participation, Iraq cannot be passed off as an heroic endeavor, no matter how much Mr. Bush’s rhetoric tries to make it one, and without a hero there can be no great betrayer, no skulking villain.
And yet, a convincing national narrative, though it may be the sheerest, most vicious fiction, can have incredible staying power—can perhaps outlast even the nation that it was meant to serve. It is ironic that, even as support for his war was starting to unravel in May of 2005, George W. Bush was in the Latvian capital of Riga, describing the Yalta agreement as “one of the greatest wrongs of history.” The President placed it in the “unjust tradition” of the 1938 Munich Pact and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which together paved the way for the start of World War II in 1939. Bush’s words echoed his statements of three previous trips to Eastern Europe, dating back to 2001, during which he had pledged, “no more Munichs, no more Yaltas,” and called Yalta an “attempt to sacrifice freedom for the sake of stability,” a “bitter legacy,” and a “constant source of injustice and fear” that had “divided a living civilization.”
The ultimate irony of Bush’s perpetuating this ageless right-wing shibboleth is that for once it wasn’t intended for home consumption. The Yalta myth has finally lost its old magic, here in historically illiterate, contemporary America. Nor did Bush make any special attempt to let his countrymen know he was apportioning them equal blame with Stalin and Hitler for the greatest calamities of the twentieth century.
Bush’s pandering was directed instead to the nations he was visiting, in a region that still battens on any number of conspiracy theories. Why he should have so denigrated his own country to a few small Eastern European nations might seem a mystery, until one considers that this is the “new Europe” that Bush has solicited for troops for his Iraqi adventure . . . and where he appears to have found either destinations or conduits for victims of “extraordinary rendition,” en route to where they could be safely tortured in secrecy.
An American president, wandering the halls of Eastern European palaces, denounces his own nation in order to appease his hosts into torturing secret prisoners. Our heroic age surely has come to an end.
Soon after we had bugged out of Saigon, millions of Americans became convinced that American prisoners of war had been left behind in Vietnamese work camps, by a government that was too cowed or callous to insist upon their return. Numerous groups sprang up to demand their release, disseminating flags with a stark, black-and-white tableau of a prisoner’s bowed head against the backdrop of a guard tower, a barbed-wire fence, and the legend: YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN POW*MIA.America has a very serious "Dolchstoß!" problem, if you ask me. I'm not as convinced as Mr. Baker that the wingnut tribal nation won't be able to enhance and extend the Stabbed-In-The-Back myth even after it finishes grinding the modern American republic into bankruptcy and moral ruin. My concern is that America could very well devolve into a full-on guns-whores-and-dope anarchy and the pseudo-fascists in Wingnut Nation will still manage to fuel their culture war against liberals into the sort of affair where children are taught how to perform prisoner exchanges in school and I'll be carrying two pistols and a sword every time I drive across the Altamont pass into Modesto.
It would do no good to point out that there is no objective evidence that veterans were ever spat upon by demonstrators or that POWs were ever left behind or that Jane Fonda’s addle-headed mission to Hanoi did anything to undermine American forces. The stab-in-the-back myth is much more powerful than any of these facts, and it continues to grow more so as time passes. Just this past Christmas, one Faye Fiore wrote a feature for the Los Angeles Times about how returning Iraqi veterans are being showered with acts of good will by an adoring American public, “In contrast to the hostile stares that greeted many Vietnam veterans 40 years ago.” The POW/MIA flags, with their black-and-white iconography of shame, now fly everywhere in the United States, just under the Stars and Stripes; federal law even mandates that on at least six days a year—Memorial Day, Flag Day, Armed Forces Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, and one day during POW/MIA Week (the third week of September)—they must be flown over nearly every single U.S. government building. There has been nothing else like them in the history of this country, and they have no parallel anywhere else in the world—these peculiar little banners, attached like a disclaimer to our national flag, with their message of surrender and humiliation, perennially accusing our government of betrayal.
This is a call to action! These anti-American liberalsNo, The MojoWire editorial staff have not yet been declared a "target of opportunity" but some of our friends have been.
are dangerous people and need to be stopped!
One person can make a big difference!!!
There are those that read about history.
There are those that make history.
Which one do you want to be?
These people and organizations are Enemies of Freedom,
the American people, and the American way of life!!!
Each and every one should be considered a:
"Target of Opportunity"!
This, folks, is the very real threat of fascism I've been warning about for some time, rearing its truly monstrous head. You know it when you see it -- and seeing it, perhaps, some of my readers (who keep wondering when I'm going to declare the American right truly fascist) will understand why I'm insisting we're not there yet -- that what we are currently coping with is a kind of pseudo-fascism whose chief threat is that it will give birth to the real thing.It isn't fascism yet, but it would be very wise to start noting the sight lines in your environment...
What pseudo-fascism is all about, really, is the end justifying the means. And when the end justifies the means, there are always a thousand untold consequences. We are beginning to glimpse them now.
An exchange between Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Justice Department legal council chief Steven Bradbury regarding prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay ended with Bradbury announcing "the President is always right," RAW STORY has learned.You heard it here first, boys and girls. The Preznit is always right!
Leahy had asked Bradbury about what the Department of Justice had advised the President, and how certain decisions regarding Guantanamo Bay had been made. A transcript of the rest of the exchange follows:
MR. BRADBURY: Well, Senator, I think -- as I said in my testimony, obviously the court's decision does not call into question our ability to hold detainees --
LEAHY: Not my question. The president said very specifically -- and he said it to our European allies -- he was waiting for the Supreme Court decision and that would tell him whether he was supposed to close Guantanamo or not. After, he said it upheld his position on Guantanamo. In effect, it actually said neither. Where did he get that impression?
BRADBURY: Well --
LEAHY: The president's not a lawyer. You are. The Justice Department advised him. Did you give him such a cockamamie idea or what?
BRADBURY: Well, I try not to give anybody cockamamie ideas, and I --
LEAHY: Well, where'd he get the idea?
BRADBURY: Obviously -- the Hamdan decision, Senator, does implicitly recognize that we're in a war, that the president's war powers were triggered by the attacks on the country, and that law of war paradigm applies. That's what the whole -- the whole case was about --
LEAHY: I don't think the president was talking about the nuances of the law of war paradigm. He was saying that this was going to tell him whether he could keep Guantanamo open or not. Afterward, he said it said he could.
BRADBURY: Well, it's --
LEAHY: Was the president right or was he wrong?
BRADBURY: It's under the Law of War that we --
LEAHY: Was the president right or wrong?
BRADBURY: -- the president is always right, Senator.
There seems to be a common perception among many Bush critics -- one which is a not-very-distant relative of all-out defeatism -- that something as weak and unmuscular as a lofty Supreme Court ruling isn't going to have any effect on the Bush administration, and that they are just laughing at the idea that what the Supreme Court says matters. But that is simply not what senior Justice Department lawyers and senior administration officials are doing in the wake of Hamdan.<
The Supreme Court unquestionably rejected the very theories which the Bush administration has been using to defend themselves from accusations of criminal conduct. The ruling in Hamdan stripped those defenses away and the lawbreakers in the administration are left standing exposed. There is simply no question that the five-Justice majority in Hamdan would reject with equal vigor, at least, the administration's claim that the AUMF authorized them to eavesdrop in violation of FISA and/or that the President has the inherent authority to violate Congressional law in the area of national security.