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21 November 2005


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I do not think anyone who thinks for themselves takes Cheney seriously anymore, and those that don't...


I'm reminded of Rummies "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.".

Pat would you venture an opinion on Wilkerson's assertion that he was pretty convinced that Saddam still had WMDs even if now looking back he's unsure why he was so sure. The man is impressive, does not strike me as a fool and if he's not sincere he imitates it well.

W. Patrick Lang


He is a bit late as a convert and now can not account for his own foolishness and willingness to accept BS in order to stay "on board."



In a comment to an earlier post I said I was beginning to believe that Cheney was insane. Let me amend that. He is insane.


Or maybe when W. was filmed searching for WMD's underneath his desk they were really there in the Oval Office. He just couldn't find them. Can Cheney prove they weren't?
Down the rabbit hole and through the looking-glass ...

Some Guy

Cheney's flailing, self-contradictory and disingenuous attempt to "push back" is surprising. It is surprising first because it is so bad. His arguments have been refuted ad nauseum and they do not sell anymore. There are a shrinking number who think Iraq could be end up being a good venture despite its bad beginnings but only if we achieve a democracy. That entails a stiff drink or too and some very rose colored glasses.

It is surprising second because the timing is so wrong. Yes, the lid came off Congressional "debate" about the war this week ("talking shit" would be a more apt term). But we are passed the justifying stage. The congressional debate it about how to get out of this mess. Cheney cannot go back now and act like we need to re-argue the whole WMD-as-valid-reason question. Its like trying to re-debate who will lose the World Series after it is over. The anachronistic quality is jarring.

Michael Murry

Great points Pat and everyone. May I venture to now state the obvious?

The fat lady has sung on this one.

Now, with the simple, awful truth at last out of the way, we still need (as the sailors say) to "keep a weather eye" out for the ass-covering propaganda that our government and its (adjunct mouthpiece) pet press continue to disseminate at us without shame or pause.

Pat Lang, for example, correctly points out the malicious meme (in broad circulation for some time now) blaming Saddam Hussein for "kicking out" the UN inspectors in 1998. He did no such thing. President Bill Clinton specifically requested their removal, since he planned to do the bombing Pat mentions, and did not want another Jimmy Carter hostage crisis on his hands should Saddam Hussein react by grabbing the inspectors for POW bargaining leverage.

Anyway, I once wrote an exasperated letter to the Newshour with Jim Lehrer after watching former (Democratic) Secretary of State Madeleine Albright publicly repeat the canard without either moderator Jim Lehrer or "opposing point of view" guest James Schlesinger, a (Republican) former Secretary of Defense, correcting her. I had thought for sure that Schlesinger would nail her for her lie, but he instead carefully chose his words and said "after the inspectors had finished." This dodge immediately reminded me of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland who orders an "off with their heads" execution and then asks one of the guards: "Are their heads off?" The guard cleverly replies (of the escaped prisoners): "Their heads are gone, if it please your majesty!" What a farce.

I once wrote a poem (part of the larger Fernando Po opus) called "Boobie Official Mendacity") which dealt with just this issue.

These once and (they hope) future members of the cabinet club will back up each others' lies to the detriment of public understanding every time. Those that "go overboard" rather than staying "on board," as Pat Lang says, can look for employment in the private sector for what remains of their careers. Levelling with the public doesn't come as part of the "public servant" job description. Just ask Daniel Ellsburg. Mr. Wilkerson will -- if he hasn't already -- discovered the same bitter truth. I think Pat Lang calls it "shunning."

We have only ourselves and our own resources to help us learn the truth. The government and its suck-up, sycophant stenographers will just forever go on moving their lips -- and we know what that means.

"Sentence first! Verdict later!"

Now, with our very own Genghis Con off riding his bike in Beijing (while his marooned troops ride the IEDs to their deaths in Baghdad) I think I'll return to writing today's epic episode: "Boobie Meretricious Mongoloids." Stay tuned . . .

Gerald A. Lechliter

There is much confusion about the bombing of Iraq in 1998. Some pundits today even say it was part of the effort to remove Saddam from power in support of the "Iraqi Liberation Act" (ILA). President Clinton in his December 16, 1998, public explanation said, however, that the strike was due to Iraq's refusal to accede to an agreed to UN weapons inspection protocol conducted by UNSCOM. There was no mention of the ILA. I agree with COL Lang's point about COL Wilkerson because there were many who thought Iraq was qualitatively disarmed in 2003. For example, Powell and Rice, based on a 2000 NIE, publicly stated Iraq was not a threat to its neighbors in 2001. What changed between 2001 and 2003. Nothing except the cherry picking of intelligence reports for information from already discredited sources.


Just dropped by to wish everyone happy Thanksgiving.

Saw this interesting article over at Salon(you may need a site pass to read it, but it's easy) about the ten major pro-war talking points.

They turn a listener's mind to mush which is apparently the purpose. Mr. Daou demolishes these straw men very effectively.


@Michael Murry:

The SRF in Shenandoah County originated in the nationwide Support Cindy Sheehan vigil night. Don't know how one would contact Sheehan; saw a news clip where she soon will go on another camping trip in Texas. I was amazed by how many people showed up at our rally. As Pat points out this county is pretty conservative.

Sheehan almost single-handedly started a serious debate on Iraq. She deserves a great deal of credit.

And getting out of Iraq is not strategically obtuse.

William Odom outlines the advantages here and here:



J Thomas

Burden of proof? We've had pretty much the whole top layer of the iraqi government in Gitmo for well over 2 years. We got no info about WMDs. Or rather, under torture they came up with all sorts of stories that didn't match up with each other or with any of the evidence.

If there was a WMD program, it was run by junior officers and junior scientists and it had no funding.

If there was a WMD program, this is an awful predictor of our ability to use interrogation to find a ticking bomb.


Isn't the basic tenet of empirisism that you can't prove a negative.

During his five deferments didn't he take a basic course in logic.


Theleftcoaster summarize our current world image problem rather succintly.


It's not that it [9-11 of course, what, you were thinking the Theory of Relativity?] changed us so much as it revealed us, I think. A society that can so easily discard it's legal and ethical taboos against cruelty and barbarism, is an unstable society to begin with.

At this rather late stage in life, I'm realizing that the solid America I thought I knew may never have existed. Running very close, under the surface, was a frightened, somewhat hysterical culture that could lose its civilized moorings all at once. I had naively thought that there were some things that Americans would find unthinkable --- torture was one of them.

Some Guy

Curious, you capture my feelings exactly.


Laura Rozen's take on latest Waas revelation.


Talk about revisionist history. What is most offensive about the revelations in Murray Waas' new National Journal article is not that Cheney sought out and received sci-fi intelligence from the Pentagon zealots who shared his obsessions, but that they have all been denying it for the past two years, and trying to blame their mistakes and zealotry on the CIA. That's what's offensive. Their utter reckless disregard for the truth, and contempt for the American people they've lied to over and over again. Here's what's needed: "I'm sorry. We got carried away. We believed and still believe it was for a worthy cause ... " Something like that. Instead, we get this snivelling slandering of everybody else but themselves. It's hard to have anything but contempt for people who don't have the courage to admit their mistakes, who demonstrate so little in the way of personal responsibility. And I believe that's why we are seeing Bush's and Cheney's and Rumsfeld's numbers taking a nosedive on just that issue, personal integrity. Everybody in the world knows the difference between "steadfastness" and CYA. And they know the latter when they see it.

see the article

Some Guy

This WH only has a small bag of tricks, ad hominem and misdirection. Granted you can do a lot with those if done with unrelenting viciousness, as this WH has done. But when they lose a critical mass of public opinion on trust, that strategy is defunct. I am sure they must be aware of this but I do not think they have any clue how to govern with straightforwardly: laying out your plan, pointing to the relevant evidence and listening to critiques to modify the plan as makes sense. Nope, it is about getting what you want, forget what anybody else thinks.

Such a vile bunch of slimers too, willing to say anything to create doubt about others' credibility.

The disdain Bush et al. have earned they have earned well.

The article states ---

In barely legible handwriting, Cheney wrote in the margin of the report:

"This is very good indeed … Encouraging … Not like the crap we are all so used to getting out of CIA."


I would love to see an image of that notation in its "barely legible handwriting."

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