“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy”

We haven’t done the quote of the day for a while. From ex-CIA analyst Larry Johnson writing at TPM ,

If a President can be impeached for lying about a blow job then by God a Vice President should be impeached for setting in motion the forces that destroyed an intelligence network during a time of war.

BarbinMD writes the questions that the press (if they ever completely recover their backbone) should be asking the Whitehouse. I don’t want to steal all his thunder so I’ll just post the first one,

When did the President know that Dick Cheney was behind the outing of Valerie Plame?

If they deny that the president knew anything then ask why a president who has cast himself as the all powerful all knowing decider didn’t know. Is there in fact two Whitehouses, one run by Dick Cheney and one kinda run by a snot nosed frat boy from Connecticut that couldn’t find oil in Texas. This administration would get eaten alive in the private sector. They simply can’t function in this world without the family names, political connections and purging of those that do not tow the ideological line. When you think that you’ve seen the bottom of their bucket of corruption they just lower the bottom another notch, Waxman Seeks GSA Chief’s Testimony

A powerful House committee chairman released new details yesterday about a widening investigation into allegations of “improper conduct” by the chief of the U.S. General Services Administration.

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), head of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said his investigators had obtained information that raises “further questions” about GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan’s efforts to give a no-bid job to a longtime friend and professional associate.

Waxman also revealed new allegations that Doan “asked GSA officials in a January teleconference how the agency could be used to help Republican candidates,” in possible violation of federal law

Is the Bush surge already failing?.

The other problem with Bush’s talk of “encouraging signs” is the steep increase in civilian casualties. Since the security plan began, the guerrillas have pulled off a whole series of horrific bombings right in downtown Baghdad, within spitting distance of the Green Zone, where the U.S. and the Iraqi government planned out the new security arrangements.

The private war of women soldiers

Spc. Mickiela Montoya, 21, who was in Iraq with the National Guard in 2005, took to carrying a knife with her at all times. “The knife wasn’t for the Iraqis,” she told me. “It was for the guys on my own side.”

Comprehensive statistics on the sexual assault of female soldiers in Iraq have not been collected, but early numbers revealed a problem so bad that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld ordered a task force in 2004 to investigate. As a result, the Defense Department put up a Web site in 2005 designed to clarify that sexual assault is illegal and to help women report it. It also initiated required classes on sexual assault and harassment. The military’s definition of sexual assault includes “rape; nonconsensual sodomy; unwanted inappropriate sexual contact or fondling; or attempts to commit these acts.”

Unfortunately, with a greater number of women serving in Iraq than ever before, these measures are not keeping women safe. When you add in the high numbers of war-wrecked soldiers being redeployed, and the fact that the military is waiving criminal and violent records for more than one in 10 new Army recruits, the picture for women looks bleak indeed.

Last year, Col. Janis Karpinski caused a stir by publicly reporting that in 2003, three female soldiers had died of dehydration in Iraq, which can get up to 126 degrees in the summer, because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being raped by male soldiers if they walked to the latrines after dark.

Of the arguments that have to be made for going to war , two are that it must have more strategic and moral benefits then negative consequences. After three years in Iraq, and Afghanistan having fallen in many ways back into the hands of the Taliban its is difficult for non-members of the Bush Cult to see how conservatives who have run every single facet of the “war on terror” have done America or the middle-east any good. Its like a gang of blind folded kids with hyperactive disorder have been unleashed in a China shop. We’re going to be cleaning up – re paying for for – this mess for the next generation.

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” – Norman Schwarzkopf