“it’s unlikely that I’ll ever reach the point where I believe that continuing to do that is hopeless”

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) recently voted to condemn MoveOn. Not because of a poor choice of words for their ad so much as the substance of the ad threatened Saxby’s chance to continue playing toy soldier by proxy for the war that his Der Leader lied America into. Maybe that makes Saxby a hypocrite since he ran a Rovian campaign against disabled vet Max Cleland comparing him to Osama Bin Laden. Saxby’s hypocrisy is actually one of his smaller flaws. The way that he has conducted himself suggests that he is so lacking in backbone and integrity that any opinions he expresses about Iraq or any other facet of American foreign policy should be treated as what they are the loathsome irrelevant drivel of a mad man that longs for the return of the Confederacy – Saxby Chambliss GOP Hypocrite of the Week

Okay, we’re not naming Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia a hypocrite for this quotation from awhile back he uttered in the Senate Armed Services Committee: “We need better intelligence. If we had better intelligence in the Civil War we’d be quoting Jefferson Davis, not Lincoln.”

[ ]…Of course, when Rush Limbaugh (who got out of service in Vietnam by claiming that he had an anal cyst, we kid you not) called some anti-war GIs “phony soldiers,” we didn’t hear a word of disapproval from Saxby Chambliss. GOP Chickenhawks need to stick together, we guess — birds of a feather style, so to speak.

For people that insist that English be the official language of the U.S. Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist might want to take some refresher courses at their local community college in English comprehension, Scarborough and Geist repeated Limbaugh’s defense of “phony soldiers” comment without noting its holes

But while Geist claimed that Limbaugh had been referring to a “specific soldier,” the transcript and audio included in the original Media Matters item documenting Limbaugh’s comments make clear that he referred to “phony soldiers,” plural. Responding to a caller’s statement that supporters of withdrawal “like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media,” Limbaugh said, “The phony soldiers” [emphasis added]. Moreover, Limbaugh made no reference to MacBeth until 1 minute and 50 seconds after his “phony soldiers” comment. As Media Matters documented, Limbaugh subsequently cropped the audio clip of his show to falsely suggest that his reference to MacBeth almost immediately followed his “phony soldiers” comment.

Is was inevitable that Scott Beauchamp should make the list of “phony soldiers”. I wonder if the Right who are slipping on their drivel really want to drag Beauchamp into the story as Limbaugh has. Whatever Beauchamp wrote he is fighting Iraq risking his life day in and day out. Limbaugh, Malkin, O’Reilly, Bill Kristol, Scarborough and the College Republicans among many others can manage to talk tough about war, but have always been too busy to put their lives on the line. Sure its their right to express their opinions, but those opinions are awfully shallow especially considering their level of shrillness in attacking others who disagree.

“A Place of Inspiration” Marty Lederman comments on this piece from the NYT.

“[James] Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be ‘ashamed’ when the world eventually learned of it.” Were that it were so.

Between this and Jane Mayer’s explosive article in August about the CIA black sites, I am increasingly confident that when the history of the Bush Administration is written, this systematic violation of statutory and treaty-based law concerning fundamental war crimes and other horrific offenses will be seen as the blackest mark in our nation’s recent history — not only because of what was done, but because the programs were routinely sanctioned, on an ongoing basis, by numerous esteemed professionals — lawyers, doctors, psychologists and government officers — without whose approval such a systematized torture regime could not be sustained.

A commenter or two over at Balkinization seem to want to hang their arguments on the forced prolonged standing and antedoctal stories concerning same and war is hell etc. Again we’re the good guys, if forcing people to stand a few hours was the only problem there wouldn’t be as much outrage from people that are familiar with the law and want the Bushies to adhere to quaint old ideas about morality such as a Republican like Comey. Comey is a near dead breed of Republican that thinks the law matters. Hand picking a few experts to justify bad behavior is not exceptable in people that are supposed to lead the nation by representing the best of American values and legal traditions. Andrew Sullivan writes, War Criminal

There is no doubt – no doubt at all – that these tactics are torture and subject to prosecution as war crimes. We know this because the law is very clear when you don’t have war criminals like AEI’s John Yoo rewriting it to give one man unchecked power. We know this because the very same techniques – hypothermia, long-time standing, beating – and even the very same term “enhanced interrogation techniques” – “verschaerfte Vernehmung” in the original German – were once prosecuted by American forces as war crimes.

Of course the usual suspects are rallying to Bush’s defense. Isn’t it funny how swaggering arrogant dolts like Bush and Limbaugh have to have an army of mindless worshipers constantly come to their rescue, The latest revelations of lawbreaking, torture and extremism

And the more that is revealed about the deep corruption of this administration, the more protective our political elite becomes of the administration, the more insistent their demands become that nothing be done (see Fred Hiatt’s attack today on Pat Leahy for his “irresponsible” refusal to confirm Bush’s Attorney General until the administration discloses information regarding their past lawbreaking and firings of prosecutors). And the more our political elite defends the administration and demands that nothing be done, the more our “opposition party” heeds those demands:

And of course Leahy caved. I’d love to play poker with Pat sometime even when he has the winning hand he folds. If you feel that once again Democrats, on the edge of a winning tactic have squandered victory I sympathize. Another day more Democratic cave ins. And for no reason of any compelling substance other then somehow despite their slim majority Democrats have simply carried over the habits of the previous six years and been inexplicably accommodating to Bush when the majority of Americans don’t want them to. Glenn remains not so much optimistic as determined and maybe that is the best mindset to adopt. Think of it as a generational long grind to get America back on course. To paraphrase a famous quote don’t get mad, don’t settle in to defeatism, get even.

Ultimately, I believe in the power of persuasion. A way can always be found to change how people think. That’s what I devote myself to, and it’s unlikely that I’ll ever reach the point where I believe that continuing to do that is hopeless.