Wednesday, May 24, 2006

  • Along with everything else in Iraq, we recently learned BushCo botched the training of the Iraqi police force. Are we surprised or even outraged at stuff like this anymore? (Another reason the dunce must go -- we've become accustomed to incompetence in our highest office!)
    Before the war, the Bush administration dismissed as unnecessary a plan backed by the Justice Department to rebuild the police force by deploying thousands of American civilian trainers....During the first eight months of the occupation — as crime soared and the insurgency took hold — the United States deployed 50 police advisers in Iraq.
  • On May 7th, I wrote:
    For this November's elections, the Dems should coin a phrase using the well-worn Bush line, "Stay The Course". How many times did we have to hear this phrase in the run-up to the '04 election, implying not just stay put in Iraq but stay with GW? Well, now the Dems should truly pound it home hard! They should ask if Americans still think we can afford to stay the course with the GOP in charge (as Republicans flee from wanting any association with GW/Cheney). Throw back at them that hackneyed line, it will work.
    Now I learn that of all people Newt Gingrich recently said in Time that if he were a Democratic strategist he would advise that the Dems simply ask the voting public, "Had enough?" So Newt and I are on the same page (yikes!), just take BushCo's legacy and shove it back at the public (and then watch for faces of disgust and nausea). By the way, it should be fairly obvious to everyone that 1) Gingrich would like to run for president in 2008, and 2) unlike McCain & Giuliani, Newt is taking a different route, not sucking up to Bush Inc. but rather offering some harsh words of criticism.

  • In the latest New Yorker, with regards to the NSA program, Seymour Hersh wrote the following:
    A security consultant working with a major telecommunications carrier told me that his client set up a top-secret high-speed circuit between its main computer complex and Quantico, Virginia, the site of a government-intelligence computer center. This link provided direct access to the carrier’s network core—the critical area of its system, where all its data are stored. “What the companies are doing is worse than turning over records,” the consultant said. “They’re providing total access to all the data.”
    It's obvious that much more needs to come about this program -- conveyed info that goes beyond the USA Today story. What is going on here? To what extent exactly is this program invading our privacy and breaking the law?

    That said, General Hayden seems to be exactly the wrong guy for the CIA job. He's not only neck-deep in the program's operations, he continues to push the non-truths that everything about it is completely legal -- defying the opinions of many legal scholars who have arrived at quite the opposite conclusion (reminder, Hayden is not a lawyer). About Hayden, Hersh writes:
    [Hayden] is seen by many as a competent professional who was too quick to follow orders without asking enough questions. As one senior congressional staff aide said, “The concern is that the Administration says, ‘We’re going to do this,’ and he does it—even if he knows better.” Former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey, who was a member of the 9/11 Commission, had a harsher assessment. Kerrey criticized Hayden for his suggestion, after the Times exposé, that the N.S.A.’s wiretap program could have prevented the attacks of 9/11. “That’s patently false and an indication that he’s willing to politicize intelligence and use false information to help the President,” Kerrey said.
    Yeah, that's what's needed, another yes-man crony in a high office. As Thomas Friedman recently wrote, "I understand that loyalty is important, but what good is it to have loyal crew members when the ship is sinking? So they can sing your praises on the way down to the ocean floor?"
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