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Sunday, September 10, 2006

The War on Logic Continues

The Bush Administration is attempting to conduct another full court press on the American press and public in selling their "war on terror" (TM). That can only mean one thing. The administration is slipping in the polls and an election is coming.

Bush in the Weekend Wall Street Journal

Paul Gigot published a lengthy interview with President Bush in the 9/9/2006 edition of the Wall Street Journal. Early on in the piece, Gigot addresses concerns about our fixation on "democracy" given what seems to be arising from some of those elections:

Mr. Bush concedes that Hamas's "militant wing," as he calls it, is "unacceptable." But he says he sees a virtue in "creating a sense where people have to compete for people's votes. They have to listen to the concerns of the street." The answer is for other Palestinian leaders to out-compete Hamas to respond to those concerns. "Elections are not the end. They're only the beginning. And, no question, elections sometimes create victors that may not conform to everything we want… On the other hand, it is the beginning of a more hopeful Middle East."

Hmmmm. Governments should listen to the concerns on the street. Except the Bush Administration, which refuses to put Bush in any situation where a stray word of dissent might be heard. Except Bush himself, who feels he was already held accountable to the American public in November of 2004 and can do as he likes for the rest of his term because he's the "decider." Congress, the courts and the public be damned. The only street Bush listens to begins with a K.

Cheney on Meet the Press

First of all, the appearance of Dick Cheney on ANY television program can only mean one of two things: 1) the administration has decided to begin beating the drum to build support for some new fiasco or 2) George Bush has been losing ground in the polls by opening his mouth and attempting to explain the unexplainable and the Administration needs someone to speak in complete sentences to mitigate the damage.

Russert played a snippet of a speech Cheney made in August 2002 in which Cheney stated: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

Based on what you know now, that Saddam DID NOT HAVE the weapons of mass destruction you described, would you still have gone into Iraq?

Yes , Tim, because what the reports also showed while he did not have stockpiles, clearly the intelligence that said he did was wrong, that was the intelligence all of us saw, it's the intelligence that all of us believed, it was, when, when George Tenet sat in the oval office and the President of the United States asked him directly, he said "George, how good is the case on Saddam and weapons of mass destruction?" and the Director of the CIA stated "It is a slam dunk, Mr. President, a slam dunk.", that's the intelligence that was provided to us at the time and based upon which …

So if the CIA said to you at that time Saddam does not have weapons of mass destruction, his chemical and biological have been degraded, he has no nuclear program underway, you'd still invade Iraq?

Because again look at the Dulfer report, look at what it said. No stockpiles, but they also said he has the capability, he done it before, he had produced chemical weapons before and used them, he had produced biological weapons, he had a robust nuclear program in 91. All of this true. Said by Dulfer. Facts. Also said that as soon as the sanctions lifted, they expected Saddam to be back in business.

So there you have it. Given EVERYTHING we now know about Saddam having NO weapons of mass destruction or current abilities to manufacture them, the Bush Administration would STILL invade Iraq, squander over 2600 American lives, and burn over $313 billion dollars for NOTHING.

Simply mind boggling.

Rice on Face the Nation

Bob Schieffer asked Rice about this week's Senate Intelligence report that confirmed US operation of secret CIA prisons.

Last week, the President announced the people that were in these secret prisons were going to be transferred to military control. I'm told that within the Administration you were one of those who argued that this needed to be done. I'd like to ask you, Madame Secretary, when did you learn that the CIA was operating these secret prisons?

Well, Bob, we've talked in the past… When I was in Europe, I talked about the fact that yes, we had intelligence activities that were trying to gain essential information from detainees because the President early on…"

Did you know early on about this?

I'm not going to talk about intelligence activities.

Hmmmm. Condi, you just WERE talking about intelligence activities.

She stepped around this when question because her comments in Europe earlier in the year claimed we had not / are not / will not use torture for intelligence operations. Yet the facts now clearly indicate this has been the case and that Rice and other Administration officials knew of it from the start because THEY DIRECTED THE POLICY.

Schieffer then asked her "Is what you are saying that it is all right for a democracy to operate secret prisons but we just got all we could out of these people so we took them out of the prisons?"

Bob, it is clearly an important thing for a democracy to protect itself and to use all legal means available to it and including those that live up to our treaty obligations to do that. Of course we are going to continue to run intelligence activities when they are needed.

Hmmmm. So transporting suspected combatants to secret prisons not in America, not in the country where they were captured and not in a country directly involved in an active war such as Afghanistan or Iraq meets our obligations under the Geneva Conventions? Does lying about the existence of these operations for four years to the American public meet the expectations for a democratic government?