The General’s Report – How Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties
At best, Taguba said, “Rumsfeld was in denial.” Taguba had submitted more than a dozen copies of his report through several channels at the Pentagon and to the Central Command headquarters, in Tampa, Florida, which ran the war in Iraq. By the time he walked into Rumsfeld’s conference room, he had spent weeks briefing senior military leaders on the report, but he received no indication that any of them, with the exception of General Schoomaker, had actually read it.
Firedoglake describes it this way, Violations
For the Bush Administration, first and foremost, it has been consistently about maintaining a public level of plausible deniability for each and every scandal that has arisen during their tenure in office. Over and over, the phrase we have heard is that an official could not look into particular charges because of “an ongoing criminal investigation.”
What that has meant, for close to seven years now, is that when a substantial problem arises in any executive agency, that problem is left to fester — for days, months, even years — while members of the Bush Administration sit back and bide their time, and allow the problem to continue unabated under the cloak of plausible deniability — unless and until someone outside the Administration begins to ask the tough questions that need to be asked.
This is a large part of what the Bushies did and they did so in relative safety as long as they had a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress. But there is an element of the Bushies lawless shenanigans that is much more straight forward: When asked, deny. When evidence suggests that they are being less then truthful, deny. When pushed against the wall, say you don’t recall. When historians and political scientists look at political movements especially in the modern era they frequently start with the question, how did this happen, how did the people let this happen. The Bushies are seen as leaders. They’re Americans. As cynical as our culture is many people across the political spectrum do not want to believe that their leaders, regardless of politics will look into a TV camera lie, distort and mislead. When the Bushies go into denial mode they offer people a thread of doubt. Many people just hang onto that thread and hope against hope that same of their fellow Americans that have been voted into positions of power and trust did not or have not betrayed them. Deny and don’t recall, its simple and it works. Throw in some static from the right-wing noise machine and you have an administration that has operated outside the realm of the law and the moral obligation to act on behalf of the common good. More here, Of Course They Knew
“It is troubling that so many senior White House officials, including Karl Rove and his former deputy Sara Taylor, were engaging in an effort to avoid oversight and accountability by ignoring the laws meant to ensure a public record of official government business,” said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee. “This extensive end run around the laws leads one to wonder what these officials wanted to hide from the public and Congress.”
On right on cue we get some plausible deniability,
White House press secretary Tony Snow declined to respond in detail but said the purpose of the RNC accounts was to make sure officials did not violate the Hatch Act, which prohibits the use of official government resources for partisan political activities.
If you’re an average quiet suburban street Republican voter there you have your thin sliver of hope that its all just politics. But that’s the thing. The plausible part only works if you’re very partisan and have decided not to see the forests for the trees or because of the monotonous regularity of Republican scandals you’ve suffering from scandal fatigue and started tuning everything out.
The committee did not say how much of this e-mail pertained to official government business but noted it received partial inventories of e-mails from some of those who communicated with White House officials using RNC and Bush-Cheney ‘o4 accounts. Inventories from the Transportation Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Election Commission said that many of these e-mails were about official appointments and personnel matters, the report said.
CREW has learned that to fulfill its statutory obligations under the PRA, the White House email system automatically copies all messages created by staff and sends them to the White House Office of Records Management for archiving. It appears that the White House deliberately bypassed the automatic archiving function of its own email system that was designed to ensure compliance with the PRA.
Tony Snow might want to explain why Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove’s former assistant Susan Ralston used three different e-mail accounts to communicate with convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Wa it to comply with the Hatch Act or was it to cover the Whitehouse tracks. If she used outside e-mail accounts during working hours on the Whitehouse’s taxpayer provided computers why was she under the impression that she should be able to conduct political business on the taxpayer’s dime and equipment.
Ironically where there is lawlessness in the Whitehouse you’ll probably find former Whitehouse counsel and our current Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Not standing up for law, order and ethics, but lurking in the shadows: Investigation Uncovers ‘Extensive Destruction’ Of RNC Emails, Violations Of Records Act
– Gonzales may have known about RNC account use. According to a deposition from Rove’s former assistant Susan Ralston (pdf), in 2001, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales “may have known that White House officials were using RNC e-mail accounts for official business, but took no action to preserve these presidential records.” The committee calls for an investigation into Gonzales’ actions on this matter.
Pakistan demanded on Monday that Britain withdraw a knighthood awarded to author Salman Rushdie, as a government minister said the honour gave a justification for suicide attacks by Muslims.
Angry protesters in several cities torched British flags and beat them with their shoes in protest at the accolade for the Indian-born writer of “The Satanic Verses” and chanted “Death to Britain, death to Rushdie.”
This is the Pakistan that is run by a military dictator. Whose population generally sympathizes with Al-Queda and they’re telling a stable western democracy how to conduct its affairs.
“We demand an apology by the British government. Their action has hurt the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims.” (Pakistani Religious Affairs Minister Ijaz-ul-Haq)
Welcome to the 21st century. Free speech trumps religious dogma every time. By the way Mr. Ijaz-ul-Haq lighten up and get a little humility you do not speak for all the world’s Muslims. The guy sounds the Pakistani version of Tony Snow.
“People love high ideals, but they got to be about 33-percent plausible” – Will Rogers