mm438: Post Bush administration destination – jail?

July 13, 2008
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MUDGE’S Musings

Those looking for the smoking guns on torture and the mishandled war on terrorism within the Bush administration seem to have found them.

Frank Rich has a must read column in today’s NYTimes, reviewing “The Dark Side” by Jane Mayer, to be published July 15.

thedarksidejanemayer

Seems like the book is going to be a must read, also.

nytimes

The Real-Life ‘24’ of Summer 2008

Op-Ed Columnist | By FRANK RICH | Published: July 13, 2008

WE know what a criminal White House looks like from “The Final Days,” Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s classic account of Richard Nixon’s unraveling. The cauldron of lies, paranoia and illegal surveillance boiled over, until it was finally every man for himself as desperate courtiers scrambled to save their reputations and, in a few patriotic instances, their country.

“The Final Days” was published in 1976, two years after Nixon abdicated in disgrace. With the Bush presidency, no journalist (or turncoat White House memoirist) is waiting for the corpse to be carted away. The latest and perhaps most chilling example arrives this week from Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, long a relentless journalist on the war-on-terror torture beat. Her book “The Dark Side” connects the dots of her own past reporting and that of her top-tier colleagues (including James Risen and Scott Shane of The New York Times) to portray a White House that, like its prototype, savaged its enemies within almost as ferociously as it did the Constitution….

In the name of defending against terrorism, the Bush administration has systematically violated the law, and the evidence is finally exposed to the light of day.

Nixon parallels take us only so far, however. “The Dark Side” is scarier than “The Final Days” because these final days aren’t over yet and because the stakes are much higher. Watergate was all about a paranoid president’s narcissistic determination to cling to power at any cost. In Ms. Mayer’s portrayal of the Bush White House, the president is a secondary, even passive, figure, and the motives invoked by Mr. Cheney to restore Nixon-style executive powers are theoretically selfless. Possessed by the ticking-bomb scenarios of television’s “24,” all they want to do is protect America from further terrorist strikes.

So what if they cut corners, the administration’s last defenders argue. While prissy lawyers insist on habeas corpus and court-issued wiretap warrants, the rest of us are being kept safe by the Cheney posse.

But are we safe? As Al Qaeda and the Taliban surge this summer, that single question is even more urgent than the moral and legal issues attending torture.

Thus the illustration at the top of this post. In fact, some top administration officials, past or present, have been warned publicly not to travel outside the U.S., due to international war crimes court exposure!

Read the rest of this entry »

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mm231: mudge deserves some topical credit

December 23, 2007

MUDGE’S Musings

We’re not a news organization here at Left-Handed Complement nor do we aspire to be.

But, we can be quick. We posted the following at approximately 8:05pmCST on Wednesday, 19-December-2007, in response to that day’s news of the fire in Dick Cheney’s ceremonial offices in Washington.

mm226: Tricky Dick’s burn bag blew out of control…

… tell me you didn’t think of that!

White House Office Building Catches Fire
Blaze May Have Started in Utility Closet

By Allison Klein, Debbi Wilgoren and Michael Schmuhl

Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 19, 2007; 3:11 PM

The historic Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door to the White House caught fire this morning, and D.C. firefighters broke windows and doused the second and third floors with water to extinguish the two-alarm blaze.

At an afternoon news conference, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Fire Chief Dennis L. Rubin said security concerns prevented them from saying exactly where or how the fire started.

So here’s a member of L-HC’s blogroll blogroll2 The Raw Story, pointing out that we were hardly the only curmudgeonly comedian on the story:

rawstoryinvestigates

Post columnist jokes: What was Cheney trying to hide with that office fire?

Nick Juliano  | Published: Friday December 21, 2007

Conspiratorial wheels started spinning in plenty of people’s minds this week when a fire broke out in Dick Cheney’s ceremonial offices. The vice president is known for his penchant for secrecy, and between destroyed CIA tapes and missing e-mails, the government he helps run hardly lacks precedent for getting rid of potentially incriminating evidence.

For one Washington Post columnist, Wednesday’s fire sparked reminders of an abandoned plot from the Watergate era, when a young Cheney was cutting his teeth of government service.

“Arson might seem a bit far-fetched to folks outside the Beltway, but it would not be the first time a small conflagration was planned by a White House official,” writes Al Kamen Friday in his “In The Loop” column. “We recall that Watergate burglary mastermind G. Gordon Liddy plotted firebombing the Brookings Institution — ‘as a diversion,’ he writes in his memoirs — to get into the security vault and steal Daniel Ellsberg’s Vietnam War papers.”

Is it a joke?

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

The Raw Story | Post columnist jokes: What was Cheney trying to hide with that office fire?

Remember how we finished up the other day?

… in advance of impeachment, right?

I know there’s only a year left, but you have to send a message to the evangelicals and the neocons that they’ll remember, and you can’t get to George III until you remove his even worse alternative.

We’ve had occasion to make this point previously: the only scenario for which impeachment is really practical eerily mirrors the situation in 1973, when the vultures started circling around our first nefarious Dick; the Senate and Congress couldn’t seriously consider impeachment of Nixon with slimy Spiro Agnew ready to succeed.

They got Agnew on tax evasion charges from his Maryland governorship days, and then the path toward Nixon’s impeachment was clear.

Thus it could be for George III.

Maybe our present Dick is feeling some heat… and feels compelled to do some inflammatory housekeeping.

Faithful reader heard it here first, or at least could have, as early as 8:05pmCST on 19-December.

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE


mm226: Tricky Dick’s burn bag blew out of control…

December 19, 2007

MUDGE’S Musings

… tell me you didn’t think of that!

White House Office Building Catches Fire

Blaze May Have Started in Utility Closet

By Allison Klein, Debbi Wilgoren and Michael Schmuhl

Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 19, 2007; 3:11 PM

The historic Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door to the White House caught fire this morning, and D.C. firefighters broke windows and doused the second and third floors with water to extinguish the two-alarm blaze.

At an afternoon news conference, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Fire Chief Dennis L. Rubin said security concerns prevented them from saying exactly where or how the fire started.

White House Office Building Catches Fire – washingtonpost.com

… in advance of impeachment, right?

I know there’s only a year left, but you have to send a message to the evangelicals and the neocons that they’ll remember, and you can’t get to George III until you remove his even worse alternative.

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

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mm096: Bush’s non-exit exit strategy

August 4, 2007

MUDGE’S Musings

Completing today’s war trilogy is this excellent commentary…

salon

Bush’s non-exit exit strategy

Not only is the “surge” not working, it’s destabilizing Iraq. Yet military leaders say troops should stay for the long term.

By Joe Conason

mullen

Aug. 03, 2007 | To read the prepared testimony of Adm. Mike Mullen, President Bush’s nominee for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is to understand that the Bush administration’s Iraq strategy requires U.S. troops to remain in that country for a long time, perhaps permanently. With unusual candor, the admiral explained in answers submitted before his appearance in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that he and the president believe in the necessity of a “pragmatic, long-term commitment that will be measured in years not months.”

How many years Mullen did not say, but he did offer a suggestion in this tangle of redundancies: “We must commit to a long-term security relationship with Iraq that facilitates political reconciliation, supports development of a stable Iraq, and is directly tied to our enduring long-term interests in the region.” American forces will be there for the long term, just in case that wasn’t clear the first few times.

Mullen forthrightly admitted that there is no “purely military solution” to Iraq’s problems, and his testimony was refreshingly honest about the catastrophic errors committed by the Bush administration over the past four years, from disbanding the Iraqi army and purging all Baathists from government to the failures of war planning and diplomacy. As he noted during his live testimony, the prospects for “victory” are mixed at best because Iraq’s political leaders have made so little headway toward a political settlement among the country’s warring ethnic and religious communities.

[Per L-HC’s reformed process, please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!] Salon.com | Bush’s non-exit exit strategy

Adm. Mullen is well respected by MUDGE‘s own military advisors, his son and daughter-in-law, both former Navy lieutenants with front line experience, and his testimony this week is a clear demonstration that at the Joint Chiefs level, politics always trumps military excellence. Think Colin Powell.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. have led us to the point where there are only bad choices, where the only sure bet is that many, many more of our daughters and sons will die, fighting battles that everyone now understands are unwinnable in a country that will blow itself apart even if our troop strength was an order of magnitude greater.

As Conason writes:

But at this late date, as the political structures in Iraq fall, the war’s advocates cannot pretend that their strategy is working, either. The way to encourage compromise, if not reconciliation, among the Iraqis is to place our withdrawal on the negotiating table — and to warn those we have brought to power that we are leaving, sooner rather than later, and that their only hope for stability is to dither no longer. That was the essential recommendation of the Iraq Study Group, and it is still the only plausible exit strategy.

Plausible, of course. But if there’s one sure fact that emerges from six years of war, it’s that logic will never budge this administration. Only the next election, or given a gutsier Congress, impeachment.

January 20, 2009 can’t come soon enough.

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE