An ideal cannot wait for its realization to prove its validity

Lawyers Cleared Destroying Tapes

The former official spoke on condition of anonymity because there is a continuing Justice Department inquiry into the matter. He said he was sympathetic to Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., the former chief of the clandestine branch, who has been described by intelligence officials as having authorized the destruction of the tapes. The former official said he was concerned that Mr. Rodriguez was being unfairly singled out for blame in the destruction of the tapes.

The former official said Mr. Rodriguez decided in November 2005 that he had sufficient authority to destroy the interrogation videos, based on the written authorization given to him from lawyers within the branch, then known as the Directorate of Operations.

It looks like this investigation is going no where. He said that she said that according to so and so because no one expressed any objection and lacking any real leadership from the Whitehouse stuff was destroyed, what can ya do.

Balkinization shows us that Congressional over sight wasn’t exactly stellar, The Government Institution Most in Need of Comprehensive Reform 

But even if we had the very best Dems on the Committee, there would still be virtually nothing they could do to address possible unlawful, or even just unwise, conduct by the intelligence agencies.

You could say that Dems are complicit or simply too trusting of the the Bushies when it came to making important legal decisions in the war on terror,

6. while assuring the legislators that it has been vetted by the lawyers and is legal

7. without showing the legislators the legal analysis supporting the conduct

8. without disclosing the legal arguments that cut the other way

9. without informing the legislators of any policy-based or legal dissent within the executive branch

It as though some Democrats have either forgotten how to be the opposition party or more important have partially relinquished their role as a co-equal branch of government that is supposed to be watchdogs, to prevent the excesses of the executive. At the same time I would hesitate to pile on Pelosi, Harman or Jay Rockefeller. They’re given this information and then forbidden to share it. Perhaps unlike some Democrats I can understand the Maureen Dowd school of liberalism where they see good people that stay in Washington for a certain of years and regardless of party adopt a Beltway mentality. Caution, rather then proactive rules their approach to any issue.

Bush can issue and violate his own executive orders, Bush Legal Docs Declare Him King, Senator Says – Updated 

Apparently — and this is real news of the Whitehouse statement — the President decided to secretly ignore Executive Order 12333, which, among other things, has long been the only real source (other than Fourth Amendment) of legal protection of the privacy rights of U.S. persons overseas vis-a-vis surveillance by the federal government. This is a gap in FISA that the 1978 Congress said it would get around to closing — but it never did. And so the only thing standing between U.S. persons overseas and their own government snooping on them has been E.O. 12333.

If the President publicly rescinded 12333, there would be a huge outcry. It would prompt Congress to act immediately.

Which is presumably why he didn’t do so in public. Whitehouse suggests that the President secretly transgressed 12333. If so — if in fact the President chose to ignore 12333 without notifying the public or Congress, it’s quite outrageous — constitutional bad faith, really, to announce to the world that you are acting one way (in large part to deter the legislature from acting), while in fact doing exactly the opposite. It might even mean that the Administration allowed executive branch officials to mislead Congress by assuring them in testimony that 12333 remained a serious limitation on government surveillance. (Now that’s something worth investigating.)  -emphasis mine

The Ballad Of Abu Zubaydah 

We know that one of the two destroyed CIA interrogation tapes documented the torture of Abu Zubaydah.

We know that Zubaydah was no “high-value” Al Qaeda operative, but an “insane, certifiable” gofer. We know that when this truth was conveyed to George II, his response was to personally press the CIA to pursue further “information extraction.” We know that Zubaydah provided no actionable intelligence, but that his desperate attempts to placate his torturers may have resulted in US-directed “dark side” operations that killed innocent people. And we know that George II, aware of all this, has nonetheless persisted in attributing an increasingly important role to Zubaydah as both Al Qaeda fiend, and key to “cracking” the 9/11 plot.

If there is a consistant thread to the Right’s rhetorc on fighting terrorism it is the meme that anything and everything they do is absoluetly necessary. If you do’t let them do what they want, if don’t let them spin like spiders on scid then we’re all gonna die. The truth is always the same. What they do is frequently counter productive and  the antipathy of American ideals.

An ideal cannot wait for its realization to prove its validity ~ George Santayana


One’s first step in wisdom is to question everything

Gang Rape Cover-Up by Halliburton/KBR Revealed

    A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.

If it wasn’t for a sympathetic guard who let her use their cell phone who knows what would have happened.

Remember good old Freedom Watch the group that bullied NBS into running its ads. Ads that were clearly politically motivated  and the costs of which could have been contributed to the USO or some other well established non-partisan  cause. Maybe they were trying to win back some of the support from military families that the Right and their  Decider Guy have lost,  Bush loses ground with military families

Families with ties to the military, long a reliable source of support for wartime presidents, disapprove of President Bush and his handling of the war in Iraq, with a majority concluding the invasion was not worth it, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.

The views of the military community, which includes active-duty service members, veterans and their family members, mirror those of the overall adult population, a sign that the strong military endorsement that the administration often pointed to has dwindled in the war’s fifth year.

Nearly six out of every 10 military families disapprove of Bush’s job performance and the way he has run the war, rating him only slightly better than the general population does.

Fox’s Shep Smith let’s America know what most of us already knew, Fox is the Konservative Network,  Shepard Smith Says Fox Is President Bush’s Network

Courtney Friel then said to Smith that we (Fox News) had the White House number on their blackberries. This is when Shepard Smith said, ” We’re his network after all, so we do have his number.”

One’s first step in wisdom is to question everything – and one’s last is to come to terms with everything. ~ G. C. Lichtenberg