Hold John McCain accountable

General Wes Clark has rightly pointed that John McCain has huffed and puffed his commander in chief credentials into something resembling a zeppelin and the general not back off. A democrat willing to ride out the rabid and fact less attacks of the Right. Clark deserves another medal in addition to more support people  like Lt. General Robert G. Gard Jr. (USA, Ret.), Defending Wes Clark

The controversy over my colleague General Wesley Clark’s comments on John McCain have generated a lot of media comment, much of it negative. I have known General Clark for many years: we served in the same Army and for the same country. He’s a patriot. So to suppose that somehow Wesley Clark would denigrate John McCain’s service to his country, while praising his bravery during the time that Senator McCain spent in an enemy prison, is absolutely ludicrous. So let’s check the facts.

On CBS’s Face the Nation, General Clark said that he believed John McCain was “untried and untested.” Journalist Bob Schieffer asked him to explain what he meant. How could Clark make such a claim when “you’re talking about somebody who was a prisoner of war? He was a squadron commander of the largest squadron in the Navy. He’s been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for many years. How can you say that John McCain is un-untested and untried?” And here’s General Clark’s answer:

Because in the matters of national security policy making, it’s a matter of understanding risk. It’s a matter of gauging your opponents, and it’s a matter of being held accountable. John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions. I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility.

As a retired military officer and a soldier who served his country for over thirty years, I can tell you that there’s nothing in what Wes Clark said with which I disagree. He has not only stated the facts, he knows something about them. John McCain was a prisoner of war, an officer who served as a squadron commander, and has been and is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. John McCain can put his service to country up against anyone’s. But General Clark has served also — and with great courage: he was wounded four times in Vietnam — and like John McCain, he has met and seen the enemy.

Is what Wesley Clark said true? Let’s check some other facts: John McCain made claims about progress in security by walking through the streets of Baghdad. But as I recall, he was protected by at least a platoon of American soldiers and helicopters lying overhead. In matters of national security, as General Clark pointed out, “it’s a matter of understanding risk,” and it’s “gauging your opponents;” and it’s also a “matter of being held accountable.”

So I too honor John McCain. And, like General Clark, I acknowledge his sacrifice for his country. But being a prisoner of the Vietnamese and serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee does not automatically qualify one for the position of Commander-in-Chief –– understanding risks, gauging your opponents and being held accountable does. We must end this glib obeisance to sacrifice and ask deeper questions: is a man who sings “bomb, bomb, bomb … bomb, bomb Iran” a man who understands risks? Is a man who says that we must keep our troops in Iraq until we achieve an ill-defined “victory” really know how to gauge America’s opponents. If we want to hold people accountable, then let’s stand behind my friend Wes Clark — and hold John McCain accountable for what he’s said.

Oh, and one more thing: today President Bush signed the GI Bill — which Senator Barack Obama has unstintingly supported. The bill will spend $63 billion over ten years for increased college aid for military service members and veterans who served after September 11, 2001. Good judgment?

John McCain opposed it.

The Right bust out of their bunny slippers, get spittle all over their mom’s basement as much as they like trying to equate questioning McCain’s character and judgment with the ironic claim that it is the same as the Swiftboaters who attacked Senator Kerry. It will only prove once again that the Right has settled into being serial liars incapable of distinguishing between reality and their bent daydreams. Not today, probably not tomorrow and any day in the near future will America wake up and not find yet more proof that McCain lacks the kind of character and good judgment required of the next president. A job that will not only entail his regular duties, but cleaning up the colossal mess that Bush and surrogates like McCain are responsible for. For you loved Bush, you love the sequel, McBush. McCain’s energy record is on/off

“We must steer far clear of the errors and false assumptions that have marked the energy policies of nearly 20 Congresses and seven presidents,” the presumptive Republican nominee told a crowd of oil executives in Houston.

Mr I demand the American people give me the presidency based on my stellar wisdom and judgment has been against and for ANWR drilling. Mr. I served in the military and thus have superior decision making skills has been for and against off shore drilling. Mr. embodiment of leadership has been for enforcing better mileage standards for passenger cars while also being against industry switching some of its energy needs to renewable sources. Mr straight talk has said that ethanol is a dead end as an alternative fuel then turned around and claimed ethanol is a “vital” alternative. This is the same guy that questioned Senator Obama’s intergty just two days ago. If pandering flip flops could run our cars McCain would be a cheap easy supplier.

Ex-Agent Says CIA Ignored Iran Facts

A former CIA operative who says he tried to warn the agency about faulty intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs now contends that CIA officials also ignored evidence that Iran had suspended work on a nuclear bomb.

The onetime undercover agent, who has been barred by the CIA from using his real name, filed a motion in federal court late Friday asking the government to declassify legal documents describing what he says was a deliberate suppression of findings on Iran that were contrary to agency views at the time.

The former operative alleged in a 2004 lawsuit that the CIA fired him after he repeatedly clashed with senior managers over his attempts to file reports that challenged the conventional wisdom about weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Key details of his claim have not been made public because they describe events the CIA deems secret.

The consensus view on Iran’s nuclear program shifted dramatically last December with the release of a landmark intelligence report that concluded that Iran halted work on nuclear weapons design in 2003. The publication of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran undermined the CIA’s rationale for censoring the former officer’s lawsuit, said his attorney, Roy Krieger.

“On five occasions he was ordered to either falsify his reporting on WMD in the Near East, or not to file his reports at all,” Krieger said in an interview.

McCain once “joked” “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran”. This is the kind of issue that Clark was talking about “it’s a matter of understanding risk,” and it’s “gauging your opponents;”. McCain has always been there with his vote to support every action the administration has taken. As we all know from the periodic reports like the National Intelligence Estimate that undermined the Bushies war mongering against Iran McCain has never expressed any objection to using manipulated intelligence – being from a family of veterans I don’t think that McCain learned that world perspective from his service. Its a pure political trait, one that he thinks gives him an edge as a future commander in chief. McCain is in fact hiding his reckless foreign policy views behind his service and that is despicable.  From Israel Enews, Obama Is Best for Israel — What`s Complicated Here?

Dan Kurtzer, the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and an Orthodox Jew, is in Jerusalem for a conference timed for Israel’s 60th birthday celebrations.

[  ]…we have had eight years of disaster with respect to our foreign policy, and I have to share with you as an analyst, we have had eight years that have [compromised] the security of the state of Israel.

And you have an administration that has gotten us engaged in a war in Iraq that has not only cost American lives… but it’s now being called the $3 trillion war…And I would share with you that the cost to the security of Israel is incalculable.

2) John McCain promises another four years of Bush’s mistakes. McCain’s understanding of the Mideast is so weak that he doesn’t know the difference between a Sunni and a Shi’ite. McCain wants to continue Bush’s failed policies in Iraq. McCain actively sought the endorsement of John Hagee, whose policy on Israel is based on eager expectation of apocalypse, bloody battles on Israeli soil and the conversion of the Jews. As I’ve noted before , Hagee has expressed uncommon sympathy, in writing, for Yigal Amir, the terrorist who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in order to prevent peace. If Hagee’s constituency is the one that McCain wants to satisfy, he will avoid any diplomatic involvement in the Middle East. Israelis will pay the price in ongoing conflict and in rising Iranian influence.