November 01, 2005

Would Someone Get Reid Some Smelling Salts?

These people crack me up.

Posted by Attila at November 1, 2005 02:09 PM | TrackBack

I don't know. The Democrats may have some power behind them. The old Defence establishment is pretty pissed. Scowcroft's remarks last week were hardball.

I've never seen a situation where so many retird generals have publicly criticized policy. It isn't just Zinni anymore. Like the CIA or not the new DCI's politically correct Republican cadre is doing the same kind of job the Heritage Foundation did to Iraq.

And this article seems to be the first in a series of body blows "The American Conservative" is making. I don't like Buchanon, but there is no question that a number of people with ties to the "community" are associated with his magazine.

Larry Johnson has some bones to pick, but he does still have connections into te company. This assessment of the CIA versus the administration has been between the lines and fairly open for years.

It's no secrret that similar dissartisfactions exist in the army and elsewhere. The phrase "drink the koolaid" does not indicate delight.

A lot of us are very worried that this administration has handed Iraq to Iran. And left an area of Sunni/Shiite conflict that will aggravate the middle east for years. Unfortunatly this includes countries we depend on such as Saudi Arabia.

A lot of people are mad.

As Colonel Lang says Reid may be playing games (though it's the Republicans that tore down the ld cordiality rulles) but what he is doing is right and he might be sincere.

The simple rule is do not ignore the generals when you go to war. We currently have 160,000 troops and 30,000 mercenaries over there. This is close to the estimate that got a chairman of the joint chief of staff mocked and turned into a lame duck.

Many of the hard core neoconservatives are turning on the administration saying it's their incmpetence that got us into this mess. But they of course were responsible for ignoring all serious planning:

The administration used weapons of mass destruction as the legal justification to go war. The New Republic and other liberal hawks watrned them not to. From the beginning there have been claims of distortion of the intelligence process and now it sems that the famous dirty tricks were used to support "evidence."

But people do remember, people know that Rove encouraged runors that John McCain was a North Vietnamese collaborator to knock him out of the primaries. A long list of dissatisfactions have grown, many involved have long memories and know how to take blood.

And there is a bitterness at an administration that ignored warning signs and alleged "patriots" who shouted down calls for reform with Panglassian views. We needed those extra troops some years ago so they could do things like seal ammo dumps used to provide the explosives for bobby traps. And when it is called to the Sec Def attention that vehicle armor is lacking it was easy enough to see that this was true, to see that the factory that made the stuff for hummers had plenty of production capacity left and that even better vehicles were availible in modest numbers. Instead the story was "debunked" by claiming it was planted.

Rush and those who enaged in this game have some American lives on their conscience, if they indeed had a conscience.

We are in a mess and unlike Vietnam it is right dab smack in the center of our national interests. Hagel said about 3 months ago that we had 3 months to turn this around and we haven't. So any house cleaning is IMO good.

Posted by: david at November 1, 2005 07:20 PM

My take on the kerfuffle (short version).

All of us would like an objective, non-partisan look into how the administration handled the intelligence in making the case for its policy leading up to the war.

The SSCI did promise such a review as part 2 of its look at the runup to the war. in fact, the first part, the look at the intelligence, is a marvel of bipartisanism, every word in the body consisting of statements agreed to by every person on the committee. this long document is must reading for everyonbe who claims an interest in the good of America. We here have already plowed through it, i'm sure.

For the second part, the lofty results of the first part may be much too high to achieve. While the revelations on the failures of intelligence regarding Iraq are frightening and sickening, they involve little of political consequent. In the second part, every statement will be political, making consensus probably unachievable, even when the evidence is clear.

This in itself may explain the slow start, although Roberts outlined some other causes.

Still, Frist called this a slap in the face.
Sometimes a slap in the face is needed. perhaps this little focus will have some good effect.

In the meantime, there is no need for any of us to refrain from trying to identify Bush policy justifications that were "twistings" of the intelligence, or which misled about it, or were out and out lies. it is simple. Take any sttement that you suspect, and look for corresponding intelligence in the SSCI report.

I have been looking for such things in the SSCI report for a year now. I have not found an example where, say, the intelligence says 'X,' while, at the same time, and knowing of the intelligence, said 'not-X.'

So, as i always do when on a board like this, I ask that anyone who finds such an example please tell me about it.

Posted by: Averroes at November 1, 2005 07:48 PM

I consider Colonel Wilkerson, an honorable man.

"The case that I saw for four-plus years was a case I have never seen in my studies of aberrations, bastardizations, perturbations, changes to the national-security decision making process," Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell's former chief of staff and longtime confidant, said in a speech last week. "What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made."

Wilkerson added that when decisions were presented to the bureaucracy, "it was presented in such a disjointed, incredible way that the bureaucracy often didn't know what it was doing as it moved to carry them out."

After remarks like these *finishing* the investigation that we were promised and exploring administration involvement in the intelligence distortions is justified.

Posted by: david at November 1, 2005 08:01 PM

I expect the s.ime machine will soon start on Colonel Wilkerson, but it may not work this time. His remarks alone are a call to *finish* the second part of the investigation we were promised.

"The case that I saw for four-plus years was a case I have never seen in my studies of aberrations, bastardizations, perturbations, changes to the national-security decision making process," Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell's former chief of staff and longtime confidant, said in a speech last week. "What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made."

Wilkerson added that when decisions were presented to the bureaucracy, "it was presented in such a disjointed, incredible way that the bureaucracy often didn't know what it was doing as it moved to carry them out."

Republicans really need to start understanding the meaning of "responsibility." It is to this nation not partisan games.

And the whine that Democrats are not playing fair is pure absurdity, the Republican majority has dramatically reduced many of the courtesies once offered to the minority party.

Given that the majority quite sensibly want a mixed party government this might be a foolish choice. Suppose the Republicans become a minority in Congress and the Democrats start turning offf microphones when they try to speak at hearings?

Only a hypocrite could be outraged.

Posted by: david at November 1, 2005 08:20 PM

Sorry about the double quote, the server indicated the first failed to post.

Talk about hubris, Cheney has replaced Libby with a guy who recieved the forged intel from the INC. On top of this there are the rumoras that Chalabi is and possibly always was primarily an Iranian agent.

I think we are seeing the arrogance that comes before a fall.

Anyway this is my last post. Anyone who states that if you want a promised investigation you have the vapors doesn't have my respect.

The difference between this system and a tyranny is that we dare examine our leaders. To put them above the law is a sign of decadence.

It's not my kind of conservatism.

Posted by: david at November 1, 2005 08:29 PM

My issue was the high drama, and insisting that this be discussed behind closed doors.

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 1, 2005 11:17 PM

I understand that you blog to a specific audience, LMA, but come on! Reid's presentation and request for closed session were not only reasonable and well spoken, but respectful to his fellow lawmakers as well. Perhaps the smelling salts should go to Bill Frist whose performance afterwards bordered on hysteria.

Posted by: yazoota at November 2, 2005 08:20 AM

Okay--I'll try to watch some clips of what was said, since I don't want enough TV and tend to over-rely on print accounts.

I'm aware that the administration is at war with the CIA, and with certain elements within the defense community. But since both are badly in need of reform, I'm not convinced it's a bad thing.

But I'll certainly review Reid's reasoning for the closed session.

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 2, 2005 02:20 PM

I hope no one missed the irony of Reid complaining that the bushies were hiding things from "the people," and then calling a secret session of the Senate. So secret that Barbara Boxer said last night that if she metionerd anythijng that was said, or even who talked to whom, she could be expelled from the Senate!

Wilkrson may qwell be an honest man, but his comments quoted above, and widely quoted elsewhere are just silly. One would have to have a certain prejudice not to see that.

He seems to have the notion that the administration should be working for the entrenched bureaucracy, not the other way around, ad that an administration has some duty to that bureaucracy. It does not.

However, this view is quite porevelant in bureaucracies, including ones I've been in. Those in the bureaucracy see themselves as the professionals, and the elicted officials and those they appoihnt as amateurs who would be better off leaving the bureaucracy to run things.

Posted by: Averroes at November 2, 2005 04:51 PM

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