In late 2005, the retiring CIA station chief in Bangkok sent a classified cable to his superiors in Langley asking if he could destroy videotapes recorded at a secret CIA prison in Thailand that in part portrayed intelligence officers using simulated drowning to extract information from suspected al-Qaeda members.
The tapes had been sitting in the station chief’s safe, in the U.S. Embassy compound, for nearly three years. Although those involved in the interrogations had pushed for the tapes’ destruction in those years and a secret debate about it had twice reached the White House, CIA officials had not acted on those requests. This time was different.
It’s difficult to know what to make of this since they also report that the CIA director, the acting AG and the Whitehouse had sought to preserve the tapes at least at one point. Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who was then director of clandestine operations asked some CIA lawyers and then he decided to have the tapes destroyed fearing bad publicity if the tapes somehow became public. The Bourne Ultimatum premise of rogue elements within the CIA doesn’t seem so far fetched at this point. Still there is the possibility that “silence” from the Whitehouse may have given Rodriguez the signal that it was Ok to destroy the tapes.
“Jose could not get any specific direction out of his leadership” in 2005, one senior official said. Word of the resulting destruction, one former official said, was greeted by widespread relief among clandestine officers, and Rodriguez was neither penalized nor reprimanded, publicly or privately, by then-CIA Director Porter J. Goss, according to two officials briefed on exchanges between the two men.
Goss was definitely a Conservative crony so his attitude toward any activity that would reflect badly on the Bushies would be to conveniently ignore the destruction of evidence that would highlight the administration’s wrong doing. Goss is on record with the predictable boiler plate non-denial denial that there was just a whole lotta important stuff going on and this one just happen to slip under the radar.
Talking Points Memo gets banned from receiving DOJ media updates via e-mail.
But despite Goldberg’s protestations and caveats, “Liberal Fascism” is indeed a remarkably silly work that’s jam-packed with the same sloppy logic and dodgy research that we’ve come to expect from today’s conservative pundit class. On page 2, for instance, Goldberg admits that he doesn’t really know how to define fascism and that “not even the professionals have figured out what exactly fascism is.” But as anyone who’s followed Goldberg’s career can tell you, lacking knowledge on any given subject in no way impedes him from writing over 400 pages on it. Indeed, not providing a concrete definition of fascism is essential to his case, since it allows him to define fascism however he pleases. Goldberg puts this conceit to good use throughout the book, as everyone from the French revolutionaries to Teddy Roosevelt-era Progressives to the New Dealers to communists to the ’60s New Left to Hillary Clinton is linked with fascism at one point or another. By the end of the book, Goldberg comes off as a lonely, belligerent drunk who shouts obscenities at people leaving his local 7-11.
“You’re all fuh-fascists!” you can picture Goldberg hollering on a city street corner. “Every damn onea ya’s a fuh-ffffffffascist!”
Four hundred pages of name calling only passes for thoughtful insight in Conservative circles. Keeping Goldberg’s love of illogical logic in mind a snip from a recent column on John Edwards, Jonah Goldberg: Big business loves big government
Meanwhile, small firms and butchers who’d earned the trust of consumers would be forced to endure onerous compliance costs, while large firms not only could absorb those costs more easily but also claim their products were superior to uncertified meats. This story played itself out repeatedly during the Progressive Era. Big Steel actually sought out government regulation because it feared free-market competition. During the New Deal, FDR supposedly carried on his (distant) cousin Teddy’s crusade against the “malefactors of great wealth.” But the truth is that big business often welcomed government regulation. Clarence Darrow, surveying the National Recovery Act’s record, found that the keystone agency of the New Deal had served only to help big business.
Goldberg admits that regulation is good for business and consumers, and thus for investors. Furthermore that businesses themselves are often the biggest lobbyist for regulation. Yes he bends himself into quite a twisted little pretzel in making that admission, but there it is, all the while praising that liberal president and arch enemy of the Right Franklin Roosevelt. Not to worry a few columns from now he’ll reverse himself. One gets the impression that Goldberg once took a semester in Logic and swore to fight against it the rest of his life.
There’s something screwy around here ~ Elmer Fudd