Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hey Sugartits, vol. 2


"If the legislature passed a death penalty law, I would sign it," Palin, November 2006.

So, let me get this straight: You gotta be born, but once you are, if we don't like you, we can take you out.

There. Did I get it right? Good.

I'm learning so much from you, Sugartits! I guess the term "right to life" is a lot more selective than I realized. Who'da thunk it?

Are you there God? It's me, Erin. We both know I don't check in very often, but I had to put this bug in your ear. This asshole is poking around in your territory and it ain't pretty.

Further Reading: Alaskans on the Girl Wonder and dig you some Troopergate.

35 comments:

Alice said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that irony of the Extreme Right too.

Pro life ... yet pro guns/NRA and pro death penalty. The most ridiculous, country bumpkin back asswards thing ever?!

Anonymous said...

Just to play devil's advocate...

While it would immediately seem like pro-life and pro-death penalty are inherently contradictory, is that really the case? That is, killing is killing, right? But do we all knowingly agree that an unborn person is and/or represents the same thing as a murderer? Yes, life is life. But is the life of a person who has no choice, who has no voice the same as one who made choices?

Now, the argument against that is often the same: well, people who commit crimes didn't have a choice because of life circumstances (poverty, race, etc.). Ok, fair enough...not every gets an equal shake. No arguments. And yes, the DP, as it stands, is no deterrent, and ir racially unequal (see Sister Helen Prejean's work). Pretty well proven.

But there are a myriad of questions this all raises: WHOSE rights are being protected? Whose right deserve protecting? What is society's obligation to those who have chosen (circumstances noted) to forgo law and others' rights (ie, criminals)? Can defending the rapist from the death penalty be done in the same breath as defending the rights of the raped to abort? It goes on and on.

So, before people dismiss anyone because they hold beliefs that seem contradictory because on some level they're the same thing (life is life), the issue demands further questioning. And yes, its been questioned forever. But clearly the perfect answer hasn't been found. Need to keep questioning.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and all that said, Obama's getting my vote (always was).

The point being: "country bumpkin ass backwards"...
That's the kind of crap people spewed after Bush got the job again in '04. You know what that sounds like? "People think differently from me, therefore they're stupid." Isn't that supposed to be the conservative mindset? I'd like to know when left-voting people decided it was ok to be complete a-holes when it came to political/ideological difference? Since when has it been NOT ok to have different beliefs? That mindset is, um, how can I put this nicely...um...unAmerican.

Seriously...

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous playing devils advocate,

There is no debate. The prolifers state emphatically and unconditionally "Every Life Is Sacred." They do not specify that the value of a life is established by its presence in or out of the womb or whether or not it has engaged in antisocial behavior. Yet you find very few (Yes, I am aware of a few) prolifers protesting executions.

RJ

DogsDontPurr said...

The death penalty is wrong because it forces another person (an employee of the state) to kill another person.

But now, if we're allowed to do that, why can't we have an abortion? Don't even get me started on all the reasons why a woman may want or should need to have this done. And why, in the long run it would be so much better to not have that unwanted child, rather than bring it into a possibly abusive and neglectful family.

It really is a full circle when you look at it carefully.

Ok. I'm rambling now.

But once again, Erin, Great Post!

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying the prolifers are right. Although, they are, in that funny double-entendre sorta way. The point is, I think it's possible to be anti abortion and pro-death penalty. Although, when you look more closely, it's really neither of those things, is it? It's really about protecting the lives of those who have no choice, and relieving society's burden of those who have chosen poorly. Or at least, that's one way to look at it.

I could sit here and pontificate as to what I believe all day long. Kinda pointless. What IS important is that I disagree with your conclusion that there is no debate. If we willing categorize people as crazy because they disagree with our views--or more accurately, because national organizations espouse things with which we disagree--then we're never going to get anywhere.

Alas, the lovely owner of this blog is likely not looking for further debate on all this. So, apologies for perhaps overly stirring the pot. I just remain concerned with the degradation of civility when it comes to American politics. We mindfully removed religion from our gov't (more or less...less, really) in order that we not tear each other apart over ideology. I'm less and less convinced that it was a completely successful endeavor....

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous devil,

Please point out where I called you or anyone else crazy.

RJ

spants said...

The reason why they're backwards is because they're so hypocritical AND so vehement in their hypocrisy. The inherent hypocrisy in being pro-life and also pro-death penalty and pro-gun is evidence that thinking has nothing to do with their position.

Look: Pro-lifers disagree with abortion because they say ALL LIFE (debatable whether it is life, but alas) is sacred. But not if it's a life they don't like, or a life who is mentally ill, or a life who is criminal, or a life of an enemy. Those lives don't count.

But hey! We're pro-life*!

(*life = whatever we say it is, even when it cannot sustain itself)

It's not about the disagreement. It's about the HYPOCRISY.

Tim said...

Oh, come on. It's not difficult. "Pro-lifers" believe some combination of:

1. Innocent human lives are sacred, but people who've done bad enough things should be punished by death, under some circumstances.

or

2. None of this is really about life being sacred as such, it's about sex [especially outside wedlock] being bad, and therefore having to have unpleasant consequences. Things which inhibit the unwanted consequences of sex (contraception, condoms, HPV vaccine, HIV drugs, abortions, looser social mores) are therefore evil and to be opposed.

"Pro-life" is not a definition; it's a sales slogan. Accusing them of hypocrisy is like arguing that coca cola isn't REALLY "the real thing", it's a particularly popular flavour of soda water. And you gotta have a good slogan when you really don't want to think about what it is you're selling. (Disclaimer: Damn, this is a good analogy, but I don't really hate the Coca Cola company that much. Sorry).

Erin O'Brien said...

There was one other thing I didn't spotlight in my post. Most of the pro-life, pro-death penalty contingent also support the war in a swallow-it-whole sense.

They don't like to talk about innocent civilian deaths, which undoubtedly include any number of pregnant women. They mumble "collateral damage" and shuffle off.

I hate abortion too, hate to see anyone go through it. It is always a horrible and painful situation. But I've seen plenty of things. Let Palin be the one to send a pregnant 14-year-old home to a father whose going to beat the hell out of her and rape her a few times for good measure when he finds out she's got a bun in the oven. Girls like that chose the clothes hangar for a reason in the pre-RvW days.

And just one quick thing on Palin's vocal NRA support. Sure the NRA is the voice of sport and gun enthusiasts, but we all know this lobby supports putting as many weapons solely designed to kill humans and as much ammunition in the hands of as many people as they possibly can, regardless of consequence.

No one hunts rabbits with a semi-automatic.

I just don't respect any cries of "sanctity of life" unless they come from a cross-legged guitar-playing type. And I know some of those, Anon. They hate the war, abortion and Bush.

It all goes back to the 300 pound American Gorilla controlling everything he can get his hands on. The world is sick of it.

swine said...

I'll steer away from the eloquent discussion up above. Not much more to say. Except this: her hubby works for BP. Yet another check in the "con" rubric.

Dudesworthy said...

I'm sorry Erin but I can't help but think that you're overdoing the whole 'sugartits' thing.

Firstly I think that when we nickname someone we pigeonhole them, create a false identity for them and consequently underestimate them, which we can't afford to do. Palin is a Governor with notably high approval ratings, no one reaches that position through dumb luck.

Secondly, haven't you been listening to what Obama has been saying about there not being red States and blue States but rather United States? We do not need this kind of totally negative partisan politics that degenerates into hatred.

Erin, you're a great writer and I love reading your work, but I honestly think that crass name-calling is beneath you.

Erin O'Brien said...

Dudesworthy,


Thanks for reading and commenting. You are right of course.

Truth is, the Palin pick insulted me so profoundly and on so many levels that I reacted with no small amount of mean spirit and emotion. Although I did feel somewhat entitled to pick on her as her as she's a forty something American mom and so am I.

When I read the litany of her issue stances, every single one of pushed my "yuck" button hard.

Really, really hard.

deangc said...

Wow, good discussion on this one.

I'll agree with dudesworthy. You are an intelligent and insightful woman, and 'sugartits' is neither.

They win when you stoop to their level. The old saw about wrestling with pigs applies here. I think there is more than sufficient room to be cynical about Palin's selection without getting into the mud.

re: abortion and the NRA. People with an old testament fundamentalist fire-and-brimstone bent will say that every INNOCENT life is sacred. As Tim says above, 'pro-life' and its counterpart, 'pro-choice' are slogans, neat little tags behind which to hide broad social movements. This is an old fight, and the logic of these arguments has been hammered fine by years of suburban warfare.

I don't think there is anything inconsistent in being against abortion and for gun ownership, or for the death penalty.

I also don't think that McCain's choosing a person who holds these views should be even a tiny surprise to anyone. The core of the Republican base, those people who still support Bush in spite of the colossally awful job he has done, would not accept a woman VP under any other circumstances.

The fact that this transparent ploy seems to be working to some degree, as evidenced by the hilaryis44 people, is particularly galling, but the answer to that isn't namecalling, it is pointing at the transparency.

Erin O'Brien said...

You are right, Dean, but the idea that the value of an "innocent" life in the womb lessens with life's tarnish is so repellent to me.

Anonymous said...

On the death penalty: I support it. Why? I feel there are some folks that should be permanently removed from the gene pool, you know, like John Wayne Gacy; Timothy McVeigh; Osama Bin Laden; Adolf Hitler; the BTK killer; Ted Bundy; Jeffrey Dahmer; and so on. Also, I have four sisters and a wife, as well as nieces. As far as I'm concerned, a rapist should be locked in a very dark place, and repeatedly raped until they die, most likely shouting "no!" and "stop!" the entire time.

On guns: If we banned guns or severly limited access to them, the only thing that would happen would be that folks would find other ways to kill each other. What's next, banning steak knives?
The fact is there are folks out ther who, for a variety of reasons are inclined to harm other folks. And they will do this regardless of the means available to them. Guns are most efficient for obvious reasons for these people; knives, ropes, etc. less so. This is why they try to get their hands on them and as much ammunition as they can (most often illegally).

Erin: actually people do hunt rabbits with a semi automatic. A semi automatic is a weapon which can fire single shots rapidly in succession, such as an automatic pistol (in this sense automatic refers to the fact that a round is automatically placed in the chamber due to the operation of the slide of said pistol) or a rifle with a magazine. However, the rapidity is limited to how fast one can pull the trigger, so they are not fully automatic (like a machine gun or an fully equipped assault rifle such as an M4 or an AK47). I have many friends who are hunters and use hunting rifles with magazines and semi-automatic shotguns while hunting.

"It all goes back to the 300 pound American Gorilla controlling everything he can get his hands on. The world is sick of it."

I'd ask what we're controlling? Surely not the production of oil. Surely not international commerce with the weakness of the dollar pitted against the Euro and other currencies. Surely not the regime in North Korea. And recent history suggests that we no longer have the kind of power we once had - witness the Iraqi government's efforts to get us out of Iraq, or our ability to get the North Koreans/Iranians to abandon their nuclear ambitions.

And I'd ask, what would you want to see, then? Europe controlling things? Nut jobs like Ahmedinejad in Iran? Kim Jong Il? Or do you have an alternative solution? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this one, Erin.

There is, I think, a tendency to hate the big kid on the block. All of the other kids don't like it, and they're constantly looking for ways to knock him off his pedestal. Some of it stems from jealousy (Europe). Some of it stems from a misguided belief that all of their problems are caused by an outside entity when in reality it is their own corrupt regimes (the Arab World). The bottom line is there have always been a lot of folks who didn't like the US, and I suspect this will continue for reasons genuine and specious.

Al
TRAG

Erin O'Brien said...

Al--I think countries should control themselves unless they ask for help or the global community agrees that military action is justified and only then after all diplomatic avenues have been explored.

And right now, we're controlling Iraq, that country we invaded on account of nonexistent WMD, remember?

Anonymous said...

Erin,

As you know, I've explained what I think about Iraq here and elsewhere.

As to the non-existent WMD, I'll restate:

Both our intelligence agencies and those of our Allies (most notably the British) believed prior to our entry into Iraq that Saddam had WMD. It was only after we got there that we found out that intelligence was incorrect. It is not the first time our intelligence apparatus has failed us (think Pearl Harbor; the Tet Offensive of 1968; the first Battle of Bull Run in 1861, etc., etc.). A President, any President regardless of party relies on his intelligence agencies to provide him with their best estimate of any given situation. And that's what they gave him at the time.

Note my use of the word estimate. Having been on the receiving end of many an intelligence briefing, I can tell you that analysts look at all the information available to them and make their best guess on what they think the current situation is and what they think is likely to happen. It is what it is - a best estimate that may subsequently be proven wrong (or right). As we are fond of saying in the military, the enemy gets a vote. In this case, Saddam did, and in many ways he fooled not only his own people but us, the Brits, and everyone in the Arab world as well. There was simply no way for us to know for sure what the reality was on the ground until we got there.

And are we really "controlling" Iraq? If we were, we would not be engaging the Iraqi government as to the status of our forces there, the prosecution of security contractors under Iraqi law, or our ultimate departure. Control implies that one makes the rules. That we're engaging them in discussions on these and many other documents illustrates the length and breadth of our "control," such as it is. If we truly controlled Iraq as you assert, we would simply tell the Iraqis how things were going to be. We're not doing that, and I'd submit that our "control" isn't what you and perhaps others perceive it to be.

Al
TRAG

spants said...

Pro-lifers want an across-the-board-ban on abortion because it takes a "life." Accidental gun deaths, random acts of violence caused by guns, war crimes, civilian casualties... these don't matter because the life taken isn't "innocent?" Says who? Who are they to determine who is innocent and who isn't? Pro-lifers play God just as much as the people who terminate pregnancies, if not more so, because they are setting the value of existing lives as below the value of a cluster of cells or potential life. The term "innocent" is also a slogan. Everything is a slogan if you want to break it down.

What I was taking issue with was the statement that "life is sacred." It's only sacred when they say so, when that life is deemed innocent. By whom? By them! They decide who is worthy of protection.

(It's just like the slogan "sanctity of marriage." You know who is most likely to get divorced at this day and age? Evangelical Christians from the Bible Belt! Where is the sanctity in that? They're again determining the value of another person and want to restrict their rights because they disagree with them. Playing God is the name of the game with the Christian right.)

Also, as far as the sex issue is concerned...

Rape isn't sex. It's VIOLENCE against an innocent person. Why pro-lifers would want it illegal to terminate a pregnancy caused by that circumstance is inhumane. In doing so, they regard rape as sex, which is twisted. Rape is only sex (and even then power-trip, violent sex) for the rapist. They would force a child who has been raped by a family member to carry the pregnancy to term. What about the value of that girl's life? She doesn't fit the slogan (or it's meaning). Who cares about her life? Not the Christian right. Why? Because she has sin! According to them, only those in utero are without sin and therefore innocent. What a bunch of bullshit! Something tells me that Jesus wouldn't be fond of all this equivocation...

It is hypocrisy. We're not talking about soda. We're talking about fundamental beliefs. There are inherent, undermining conflicts to the beliefs of the Christian right, especially regarding the "pro-life" and "life is sacred" position. Someone above put it plainly:

"I don't think there is anything inconsistent in being against abortion and for gun ownership, or for the death penalty."

To paraphrase Bill Clinton, "It depends on what you think the definition of inconsistent is..."

Anonymous said...

Al,

George Tenet and the CIA knew our evidence on Iraqi WMD was scant at best. It was not until Rumsfeld (your boss at the time I guess) developed the Office of Special Operations in D.O.D.(his own intel boys) that the evidence for WMD became a "slam dunk".

The truth is out there.

RJ

Anonymous said...

RJ,

To my knowledge, there is no Office of Special Operations within DoD. There is the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict (commonly known as ASD-SO/LIC); the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) which is, BTW, most definitely not an intelligence organization (I know personally many people who have worked there); the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) (also not an intelligence organization); the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) (also not an intelligence organization); and the US Army Special Forces Command (ditto). There is no intelligence agency within DoD that I am aware of referred to as the Office of Special Operations. And Rumsfeld, like every SECDEF before him had his own intelligence agency, better known as DIA, or the Defense Intelligence Agency. Is this what you're referring to?

You say the truth is out there - until you can show me evidence backing your claims, my 20 years plus of service (BTW, I held a Top Secrect - Sensitive Compartmented Informmation (TS-SCI) clearance, and was also cleared for certain programs; I also worked at the headquarters of the U.S. Army Intelligence Command at Fort Belvoir, VA for two years - just to get in the building you needed a TS-SCI clearance as it is considered a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility)) leads me to be skeptical. If you can show me proof of what you say I'd appreciate it.

I don't know you personally. Perhaps you worked in intelligence in some capacity, I don't know. I do know there is no Office of Special Operations (other than as noted above) unless you have evidence to the contrary.

Al
TRAG

Erin O'Brien said...

Maybe if I post a pic of my boobs, everyone will play nice again.

Anonymous said...

I thought I was playing nice - I've just never heard of the Office of Special Operations within DoD other than as I've noted. As I said, if RJ can point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it. Until then, I remain skeptical.

Al
TRAG

P.S. Done packing. Off tomorrow for Vermont. They're going to love me in the land of Howard Dean.

Anonymous said...

RJ,

BTW, ASD-SO/LIC isn't an intelligence organization either. And again, I personally know people who've worked there (I spent 12 years in the Special Operations community of the U.S. Army). Simply stated, it's not their job to collect and analyze intelligence.

Regards,

Al
TRAG

swine said...

Actually, "they" don't win when you stoop to their level. Time and time again Conservatives have proven that it works when you attack people; that is to say, votes start going their way when you name-call and attack. Personally, I wanted to see more of that from the DNC convention last week. The majority of people ONLY understand "the club upside the head" routine. Something most Republicans are masters of. And so Erin's "sugartits" name-calling works for me, even though I realize "stooping to someone's level" isn't necessarily a great argumentative tactic. In this case, and for the American voter, it seems to work.

swine said...

P.S. Al, as an "insider" and career military man obviously with allegiance to the present administration, I am afraid that your expostulations on "intelligence" and mis-information are subject to distrust and much skepticism. "The proof" (or lackthereof) has been outlined in hard-hitting, legitimate pieces by Hersh of the New Yorker, and books by the likes of Suskind and Woodward. As an immigrant from a (former) communist country I can tell you first-hand that blatant abuses such as the passing of the Patriot Act and eavesdropping/"intelligence" gathering and reporting by credit card companies on citizens' activity is unequivocally parallel to totalitarian dogma and practices. At the very least and with all respect, please take from my comment the fact that your views and allegiance will be questioned and looked at with distrust by dissenters and people who refuse to follow political dogma for partisanship's sake, in light of the last 8 years and the cover-ups perpetrated by the Bush administration. Please realize that even some of us, nearing 40 now and having lived long enough to be hyper aware of politics and its games, don't trust people like you. (Anymore)

Anonymous said...

Al,(late getting back, sorry)

I could easily have mistated. I'll have to find it. But the point was (this has been reported in mainstream media, I'll have to find a citation)that Tenets/CIA position on WMD was very skeptical. Rumsfeld and Cheney did not trust CIA. Had D.O.D. people go back over the evidence and then the famous "slam dunk" position was adopted and plans for the invasion continued.

One issue apparently never in doubt, from 9/11 on. Al Queda was behind 9/11. Al Queda was headquartered in Afganistan.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

to whom it may concern,

I belive Al TRAG is in disposed for a day or two, so don't think that he's avoiding you.

I would type my own opinions to all of this, but I'm just trying to hang on!

This is all controversial and tough, but good too--really good.

I love you guys.

Anonymous said...

To Swine:

"P.S. Al, as an "insider""

Could you clarify what you mean by "insider?" I don't consider myself one.

"and career military man"

True.

"obviously with allegiance to the present administration,"

Not true. As an officer, I took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. I also to an oath to obey the orders of the President and those appointed over me by him. Please note that nowhere in that oath does it say "Republican President's and Administrations Only" or "Democratic Presidents or Administrations Only." My oath is to the Constitution, and I was bound to obey the orders of the President, regardless of Party affiliation. For the record, I served two years under Reagan, four under Bush the Elder, eight under Clinton, and seven under Bush the Younger. BTW, I haven't voted since I entered the Army? Why? Because I believe that the career military should steer clear of politics, and attend to the business of national defense. This means not taking sides in a political election regardless of personal opinions. This year, however, I'm retired, so I'll be voting.

"I am afraid that your expostulations on "intelligence" and mis-information are subject to distrust and much skepticism. "The proof" (or lackthereof) has been outlined in hard-hitting, legitimate pieces by Hersh"

Hersh is a documented liberal. He can write whatever he wishes, but he definitely has his own opinion and axe to grind.

"of the New Yorker, and books by the likes of Suskind and Woodward."

I've read Woodward's Books, which I consider excellent. The third one on Iraq was spot on IMHO.

"As an immigrant from a (former) communist country I can tell you first-hand that blatant abuses such as the passing of the Patriot Act and eavesdropping/"intelligence" gathering and reporting by credit card companies on citizens' activity is unequivocally parallel to totalitarian dogma and practices. At the very least and with all respect, please take from my comment the fact that your views and allegiance will be questioned and looked at with distrust by dissenters and people who refuse to follow political dogma for partisanship's sake, in light of the last 8 years and the cover-ups perpetrated by the Bush administration. Please realize that even some of us, nearing 40 now and having lived long enough to be hyper aware of politics and its games, don't trust people like you. (Anymore)"

I don't know you, and you don't know me. You have no more idea of the kind of person I am anymore than I do of you. This being said, you can trust whoever you wish. It is a free country. In the end, though, it is of no concern to me personally whether you do or not, as I'm sure it is with you as regards myself.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

RJ,

I've noted elsewhere that intelligence estimates are just that - estimates. The reality after the fact can be very different from the estimate.

When I was in college my last history course (I was a history major, which means that along with my diploma, I got a card that read "would you like fries with that?") for seniors. Basically we took one historical topic and studied it in depth. Ours was designed to answer the question "why did Pearl Harbor happen?"

During the course of the quarter we read lots of books, had discussions, wrote papers, etc. The bottom line is that there were those in the intelligence business who believed that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor; others believed they'd attack the continental U.S.; still others believed they'd hit Guam, Wake Island, etc. All of this was based on intelligence available to most of the intelligence agencies extant at the time.

What I'm saying is that it isn't unusual for different intelligence agencies to have different estimates. That DoD and the CIA differed should come as a surprise to no one. An analyst looks at the information and makes his best guess. If I were to give you the same information on Pearl Harbor that I had, you might well come to a conclusion as to why it occurred completely different from my assessment.

The bottom line is that intelligence is not an exact science (though the hindsighters would like it to be). Folks look at the info and take a guess. There are lots of theories out there as to why Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al. bought into the slam dunk argument. Which one is true I have no idea. I do know that Colin Powell was left with his ass hanging in the wind at the UN. I remember watching that in the lobby of the Nolan Building at Fort Belvoir, turning to a friend of mine and saying "we're going to war on this?"

I do agree we needed to go after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and by association the Taliban that supported him. My position on Iraq is well known by some, but should you feel inclined feel free to email me offline and I'll share my thoughts with you.

Looking forward to hearing about the differing CIA/DoD assessments on WMD. I'd go back and look at Woodward's book, but it's in North Carolina at the moment. I am currently in Brattleboro, VT on my way to cooking school in Montpelier.

V/R,

Al
TRAG

swine said...

Al,
To clarify: "an insider" to the American military machine/system.

By the direction of your comments and political ideas, I assumed you align yourself with the conservative line of thinking, and so I wrote that you bear allegiance to the present-day administration. If I am wrong, then your comments certainly don't align themselves to the liberal platform, and therefore I was fooled or mis-led. I do appreciate your personal oath of staying out of politics while active in the armed forces--although I would venture to say you are one of the few. And certainly, that is NOT a requisite of armed forces members (staying neutral or--rather--not voting).

Yes, Hersh is an admitted liberal journalist. He is also a respected one, and his pieces for the New Yorker have not been challenged on their accuracy. Nor have Remnick's, for that matter. Although much maligned by the "liberal media," Woodward --imo--- outlined quite methodically in his books the modus operandi of the Bush administration and for that I was grateful. I was able to make my own decisions as to its intentions and desires, as well as its historical legacy. In my liberal political circles I am ostracized for that. Most liberals say Woodward is too comfy and buddy-buddy with the administration. He may be; it's the only way one has been able to gain access to Rove-Cheney and company. But he outlines facts, and I appreciate that.

The trust issue in my earlier comment only pertains to your rhetoric and arguments, not to your personal choices, values, and integrity. I only know you (and others here) from what you (and they) write. I was merely saying that there are increasing numbers of people who now look with raised eyebrows at redundant conservative arguments regarding security and abortion and social issues, based on the track record of the Bush administration in the last 8 yrs.

Anonymous said...

Al,

I found this:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/bushswar/

Go to: "Bush's War - PBS"

On the Homepage you will see "400+ Extended Interviews" Click that, then click on "Richard Armitage."

You can read the transcript or watch the interview (I have seen the whole documentary and recommend it). Armitage talks about the process in re: deciding there was compelling evidence of WMD. Granted, Armitage has an agenda because his boss, Powell, was hung out to dry, but it's interesting. I understand that only those present will ever know what really happened but I have concluded there was an agenda on Iraq that was executed using 9/11 as cover.

RJ

Anonymous said...

Excerpt from Armitage interview:

I talked to George Tenet all the time, as he would tell you. We're friends as well, and I'm proud of that. I don't want to say he was looking to knock down the Al Qaeda-Hussein [connection]. If he'd seen it, he'd have come forward with it. But he explored every avenue and couldn't find the threads that hooked up, and he looked and he looked and he looked.

And every time he'd come up and say, "No, I can't connect the dots there," there would be some static in the system from the vice president or from certain parts of the Pentagon, who were running their own intelligence-gathering operation, trying to connect dots which were unconnectable.

RJ

Anonymous said...

More:
(Following Cheneys speech to VFW)

This is the first time Cheney mentions weapons of mass destruction. He turns from ... the connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein to weapons of mass destruction, which is something we all worry about.

We all did worry about it. I must say that finally to find out that he didn't have them -- he had programs, but he didn't have weapons -- was a great surprise to all of us, and, by the way, a great surprise to many Iraqis in the military.

During the vice president's speech, where is the secretary? Where are you?

I don't recall. We heard about it almost instantly because the CNN is always on in our offices, or BBC, by the way -- in my office, both. We didn't see the speech beforehand. I know that.

They didn't vet it?

We didn't vet it.

Is that unusual?

For a vice president, no, it's not.

Is the vice president's speech a kind of call to arms?

Yeah, as it turned out. We were all astonished.

Astonished?

I was, yeah. It seemed so far ahead of where we had understood the president's decision-making process was.


RJ

Anonymous said...

RJ,

I can't speak to the VP or the State Department, but if DoD was "running their own intelligence operation," most likely it would have involved DIA, as that is the arm of the military involved in intelligence collection and analysis. This is nothing new - that's what DIA's job is. That Tenet didn't find a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq doesn't surprise me - personally I don't think there was one, though Saddam may have provided financial or other support at some time if it suited his wishes and agenda.

As I've said, I remain unconvinced that we needed to go into Iraq in the first place. Once there, I believe we did the right thing removing Saddam based on what I saw. It's the aftermath we screwed up terribly, and I hold Rumsfeld, GEN Tommy Franks, and several others directly accountable.

Al
TRAG

P.S. PBS is not exactly the most balanced of platforms, but I did enjoy that documentary.