May 16 2004
SEYMOUR HERSH: I don't pretend to be an expert
on Sy Hersh. However, about a week into the war with Iraq
I remember reading a Hersh piece in The New Yorker.
I remember the article so vividly because it was at the
height of the press hysteria that the war was turning into
a disaster; sandstorms, not enough troops, Rumsfeld, Myers
and Bush had no idea what they are doing, etc....
a little sample from Hersh's
appraisal on the Iraq War posted on March 31, 2003.
simply failed to anticipate the consequences of protracted
warfare. He put Army and Marine units in the field with
few reserves and an insufficient number of tanks and other
armored vehicles. Supply lines—inevitably, they say—have
become overextended and vulnerable to attack, creating
shortages of fuel, water, and ammunition. Pentagon officers
spoke contemptuously of the Administration’s optimistic
press briefings. “It’s a stalemate now,” the former intelligence
official told me. “It’s going to remain one only if we
can maintain our supply lines. The carriers are going
to run out of jdams” Much of the supply of Tomahawk guided
missiles has been expended. “The Marines are worried as
hell, they’re all committed, with no reserves, and they’ve
never run the lavs”—light armored vehicles—“as long and
as hard” as they have in Iraq. There are serious maintenance
problems as well. “The only hope is that they can hold
out until reinforcements come.”
4th Infantry Division—the Army’s most modern mechanized
division—whose equipment spent weeks waiting in the Mediterranean
before being diverted to the overtaxed American port in
Kuwait, is not expected to be operational until the end
of April. The 1st Cavalry Division, in Texas, is ready
to ship out, the planner said, but by sea it will take
twenty-three days to reach Kuwait. “All we have now is
front-line positions,” the former intelligence official
told me. “Everything else is missing.”
week, plans for an assault on Baghdad had stalled, and
the six Republican Guard divisions expected to provide
the main Iraqi defense had yet to have a significant engagement
with American or British soldiers. The shortages forced
Central Command to “run around looking for supplies,”
the former intelligence official said. The immediate goal,
he added, was for the Army and Marine forces “to hold
tight and hope that the Republican Guard divisions get
chewed up” by bombing. The planner agreed, saying, “The
only way out now is back, and to hope for some kind of
a miracle—that the Republican Guards commit themselves,”
and thus become vulnerable to American air strikes.
a retired four-star general subsequently told me, “is
not a course of action.” Last Thursday, the Army’s senior
ground commander, Lieutenant General William S. Wallace,
said to reporters, “The enemy we’re fighting is different
from the one we war-gamed against.” (One senior Administration
official commented to me, speaking of the Iraqis, “They’re
not scared. Ain’t it something? They’re not scared.”)
At a press conference the next day, Rumsfeld and Myers
were asked about Wallace’s comments, and defended the
war plan—Myers called it “brilliant” and “on track.” They
pointed out that the war was only a little more than a
of course, was nine days before the fall
of Saddam's statue in Baghdad and the collapse of Hussein's
evil regime. The war plan was in fact "brilliant"
and "on track" and Hersh's reporting and characterization
of the war was about as wrong as you can get.
brought back a memorable recollection from Bob
Woodward's, Bush at War:
said his deep fear was that the United States would in
the end abandon Pakistan, and that other interests would
crowd out the war on terrorism.
fixed his gaze. "Tell the Pakistani people that the
President of the United States looked you in the eye and
told you we wouldn't do that."
brought up an article in The New Yorker by investigative
reporter Seymour Hersh, alleging that the Pentagon, with
the help of an Israeli special operations unit, had contingency
plans to seize Pakistan's nuclear weapons should the country
Hersh is a liar, " Bush replied.
people who think President Bush is a liar, this opinion
of the President's might not hold that much weight. But
the directness of his answer to Woodward coupled with Hersh's
article on the Iraqi War plan has made me extremely skeptical
of anything Seymour Hersh has to say.
takes me to his latest from The
New Yorker, with the heading:
Gray Zone - Did secret Pentagon decisions trigger the Abu
Ghraib scandal? by Seymour M. Hersh:
roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the
criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in
a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation,
which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the
interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld’s decision
embittered the American intelligence community, damaged
the effectiveness of élite combat units, and hurt America’s
prospects in the war on terror.
is the first paragraph from this week's
article. Hersh lays out a plausible story of how Rumsfeld
and Under-Secretary for Intelligence, Stephen Cambone, are
ultimately responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib.
big question is whether Hersh has this story as wrong he
had the story from March 31, 2003 of the "faltering
ground campaign against Saddam Hussein."
spokesman Lawrence Di Rita issued a statement calling
the claims "outlandish, conspiratorial, and filled with
error and anonymous conjecture." Di Rita went on to say:
responsible official of the Department of Defense approved
any program that could conceivably have been intended
to result in such abuses as witnessed in the recent photos
and videos. This story seems to reflect the fevered insights
of those with little, if any, connection to the activities
in the Department of Defense.
is no question that Rumsfeld and the Bush White House have
made many mistakes as far as the postwar administration
of Iraq. The biggest mistake may have been the idea that
the war was over last spring. However, mistakes are an inevitable
part of all wars, even successful wars. But the enemies
of Bush and his policy in Iraq, which like it or not happens
to also be America's policy, are willfully using those mistakes
to misrepresent and exaggerate the reality of the overall
suspect there is a good chance we have seen the peak of
the Abu Ghraib hysteria, and people should read Hersh's
latest "investigative report" with a good deal
of skepticism and remember he has gotten a great deal very
wrong in the past. J. McIntyre 2:11 pm Link
to a Friend
May 14 2004
COVERING NICK BERG: The Washington
Times reports the press is being accused of giving short
shrift to the Nick Berg story while continuing to flood
the zone on the scandal at Abu Ghraib. This isn't surprising
Anyone who pays even the slightest attention to media bias
knows that the treatment of the two stories was entirely
me the real story is how Nick Berg's murder has been covered
in the blogosphere. Why? Because in addition to being a
vastly bigger place with infinitely more diverse viewpoints
than you'll find in any newsroom across the country, the
blogosphere makes no claims of being objective.
are no editors, no deadlines, no external pressures that
color or shape the views of the author. The only restraints
on partisanship, political correctness, and even decency
are those that each blogger places on him or herself. In
other words, in the blogosphere you get unvarnished opinion,
and you learn what people really think about things.
I've been fascinated by the different reactions of the big
blogs. I read three liberal-leaning blogs regularly: Atrios,
Daily Kos, and Josh Marhsall. They're the biggest, the most-widely
read, and certainly the most influential lefty blogs around.
of early this morning, here is how they've covered the Berg
story. Atrios devoted one post to the story (here).
Daily Kos has devoted two posts (here
Josh Marshall devoted zero posts to the story, but he did
post an email exchange with a reader yesterday explaining
why he had skipped over the story (here).
Atrios and Marshall take the line that Berg's murder was
an outrage and, well, there just isn't much more to say
about it than that. (You certainly don't get that impression
if you read the coverage at the three biggest conservative-leaning
Sullivan, and The
goes a step further, however, rebuking his reader and telling
him "you're not in a position to judge what I think
based on my silence." This is a colossal red herring
(not to mention an insult to his reader) and Marshall knows
are judged by their silence all the time, and the amount
of space one devotes to issues on their blog (even if it
isn't a "journal of record") is a good indication
of what they find interesting and relevant.
example, I suppose we could have skipped commenting on the
whole Trent Lott affair (the one Marshall covered so thoroughly,
by the way) and excused ourselves for it by saying something
like, "gee, what Lott said was wrong, but there's not
much more to say about it." We didn't do that, however,
because we knew it was a story that demanded our attention
and that people would judge us and make assumptions about
us if we didn't voice an opinion.
Kos lack of comment is more understandable, since he's
already told us what he thinks about civilian contractors
working in Iraq ("I feel nothing over the death of
the context of his post is still instructive, because Kos
quickly draws the conclusion that Berg's murder wasn't the
fault of the monsters in the video but of the Bush administration:
no, the prison abuse didn't cause Berg's horrific murder.
Bush's (inept) War, in all its glory, did. The Neocon
agenda, in all its folly, did. The war cheerleaders now
trying to use this for propaganda purposes, in all their
Your war spirals ever out of control. Good luck trying
to wash the blood out of your hands.
not that those on the left, both in the mainstream press
and the blogosphere, don't think Nick Berg's murder was
outrage. They do. It's just that they think the abuse of
prisoners in Iraq is the real outrage and they don't want
anything to interrupt the narrative of Americans being seen
as the victimizers rather than the victims.
difference between the two, however, is that the mainstream
press is obligated to give the Nick Berg story coverage,
even if it is just lip service. Liberal bloggers, on the
other hand, are under no such obligation, and we've seen
the results - they've given the Nick Berg story no service
at all. As I said, in the blogosphere, you learn what people
really think. - T. Bevan 11:45 am Link
to a Friend
May 13 2004
HOLD YOUR POLLS: There seems to be a euphoria on the
left (see here,
over the new
CBS poll showing Bush's approval rating hitting a new
low of 44%. Let's not get carried away, shall we?
rabid partisans on the left should know better than to take
a single snap poll by CBS (which, if you've looked at their
sampling is only about a notch or two above a poll coming
straight out of the DNC) with a whopping 5% margin of error
and conclude that Bush numbers are "collapsing"
and "in free fall."
the most recent Pew and Gallup numbers also have Bush's
approval rating in the mid-forties, Bush's job approval
is at 48.2% in our latest
RCP Average. Even if you discount the Ayers McHenry
poll because they have a Republican bias Bush would still
be in the 47.5 range.
from saying it's a "collapse", a more objective
analysis of Bush's job approval numbers would be to say
this: right now they are a cause for concern and the current
trendlines do not favor the President.
the election is still a long way off and Bush's job approval
(as reflected in our RCP Average) would have to decline
at least another few points before we'd consider him in
we've noted before, given the state by state polling data
and the incongruous results that have persisted in poll
after poll between the horserace numbers and other internal
numbers, Bush will most likely remain very competitive even
though he may carry a lower job approval into election day
than past presidents.
thing worth noting: Bush's job approval numbers are linked,
more so than we've seen in a very long time, to events that
are largely beyond his control (i.e. what happens in Iraq).
Any number of things could happen between now and November
to give him a short-term boost, start a real reversal, or
send him even lower than he is today.
MAN: You may remember that a few months ago we awarded
Derrick Z. Jackson of the Boston Globe the runner
up Op-Eddy for "Worst Columnist of the Year."
effort yesterday is a good example of just how well
deserved the award was:
happened in Iraq is a natural extension of the humiliation
that has gone on for two decades in this country. Whether
Americans' behavior in Iraq is due to racial, religious,
or other cultural feelings of superiority -- or a numbed
acceptance of government sponsored violence -- the abusing
soldiers and the commanders who let it happen assumed
that they were dealing with people who had no voice. So
thought the Los Angeles police who clubbed King in 1991
-- until the videotape.
lately is fond of saying, "Freedom is the Almighty's gift
to each man and woman in this world." Yet for tan Muslims
in Iraq and black men in the United States, the gift is
too often incarceration and worse.
you speechless, doesn't it?
AMERICAS: Compare two letters I received after yesterday's
post. First this one:
can only say that 99.99999999% of the Marines out there
have the same philosophy as the Marine quoted in your
article. I served for 8.5 years in the Corps before transferring
to the US Navy and served in the military for 20 years.
I can tell you that the 8.5 years I served in the Corps
were some of the finest times of my life. You will not
find anyone more dedicated to God or country than those
serving in the Corps."
should stop sobbing just long enough to read the Red Cross
report that debunks your pro-Bush, anti-American "Abu
Garayb was an aberration" myth."
T. Bevan 12:52 pm Link
to a Friend
May 12 2004
HONOR, DIGNITY AND GRACE: Hugh
Hewitt has posted a letter from a Marine in Iraq that
everyone in America should be forced to read. It's a fascinating
look at circumstances our forces are operating under and
the psyche of the Iraqi people.
part about Abu Ghraib stopped me cold:
for the Abu Garayb atrocities, that is exactly what they
are. I have been inside this prison several times. I never
saw anything like what is now on the news but we did see
a general lack of discipline among the service members
in there when we arrived. We are horribly ashamed that
fellow service members would do such a thing. It does
not matter that it was Army or National Guard. Most Marines
and Sailors in the Regiment have had their hands on detainees.
It is a very emotional and taxing situation especially
if the guy was just shooting at you. However, these prison
guards didn't go out on patrol and capture the Iraqis,
nor did they conduct a raid and grab them in a very dangerous
operation. They simply failed at every level to maintain
even the most basic standards not only of US servicemembers
but as human beings. They traded the Nations moral high
ground and fueled the extremists message of hate as a
result of their weakness. Unfortunately they did it not
just to themselves but every where a Marine or Soldier
patrols tonight across the globe and even for every American
citizen who travels abroad and naturally represents the
do we do? I can only imagine this is what people must
be asking. I can only share what the Marines here believe.
We stand and fight. We honestly and absolutely accept
responsibility and do our best through out actions to
convince the world that those acts were conducted by criminals
and are not indicative of our values or intentions. We
continue to go on patrol and do our best to kill the terrorists
and protect the people. We stay tolerant one second longer.
We adjust to a very fluid environment and stay faithful
to our values. We live up to what the American people
expect of United States Marines and we maintain high expectations
of the American people. We share our courage with both
the Iraqi people and even our neighbors, fight like hell
when the situation dictates and maintain our humanity
through it all.
I'm a bit of a sap. But this letter filled me with such
pride for our servicemen and our country that it literally
brought me to tears.
astounds me, however, is that there are people in America
who would read this same letter and feel nothing but indifference
(or worse) instead of pride. They would call its author
an "idiot" rather than a hero.
people live in Ted
Rall's America. It's hate-filled, morally inverted place
where the U.S. military is an oppressive, evil force (only
when Republicans are in the White House, of course) and
those serving are not individuals worthy of honor but mindless
cogs in a killing machine. We can all be thankful the people
living in Ted Rall's America represent only a tiny minority
of the real America.
disturbing than than the bile-spitting wingnutters on the
left, however, we're seeing a broader section of the Democratic
party willing to take the honor and integrity of the Marine
who wrote this letter and all those like him in Iraq and
flush it down the toilet to score some points against President
Bush and his Secretary of Defense.
people live in Ted
Kennedy's America, and they're so hungry for power it
seems there is no angle they are unwilling to exploit, including
telling the world that the U.S. military is now running
torture chambers in Iraq.
Rall's America doesn't frighten me. The people who live
there will always be on the pathetic fringe and they marginalize
themselves every day with their words and deeds.
Kennedy's America is a different story. It's big and it's
full of people - like Kennedy himself - who already hold
positions of considerable power. Their influence on our
country will increase exponentially if John Kerry wins the
White House in November.
watching them politicize the issue of Abu Ghraib, trying
to climb back into power by exploiting the misdeeds of a
few soldiers at the expense of all who serve, it makes me
worry and wonder. Frankly,
Ted Kennedy's America scares me to death. -
T. Bevan 3:28 pm Link
to a Friend
EXECUTION OF NICK BERG: I just forced myself to watch
the video of Nick Berg's beheading, which you can find here.
Mort Kondracke's comments on FOX News last night are the
best summation I've heard:
at those monsters standing there five of them and they
cut the guy's head off, they sawed his head off, shouting
God is great. Now that is what we are dealing with, that
is the kind of people who will run the world if we do
not win this war on terrorism. And it is being fought
in Iraq and we have got to win and that is it. Full stop.
There is just no losing this thing or else the world will
be run by monsters."
certainly puts into context the issue of abuse of prisoners
and who the good guys and the bad guys are.
five men in this video who cruelly sawed off Nick Berg's
head while he was alive are exactly like the 19 who flew
those planes on 9/11. Kondrake is right, Iraq is now a central
battle in the War on Terror and we have no choice but to
win this war or the world will be tormented by these monsters.
TESTIMONY: I found Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba to be a
straightforward and impressive witness. One exchange was
In simple words -- your own soldier's language -- how
did this happen?
Failure in leadership, sir, from the brigade commander
on down. Lack of discipline, no training whatsoever and
no supervision. Supervisory omission was rampant. Those
are my comments.
in leadership, sir, from the brigade commander on
down." Unless Taguba is covering up or clueless,
it doesn't sound like the failure at Abu Ghraib was the
fault of Donald Rumsfeld.
Senator James Inhofe's comments seem to have exercised many
on the left. In their lead
editorial The New York Times is astounded that
Inhofe is "more outraged by the outrage."
Marshall opines that "I don't think I can remember
a more shameful spectacle in the United States Congress,
in my living memory."
guess Josh can't remember back to Monday,
when Senator Kennedy announced to the world that our troops
in Iraq had reopened Saddam's torture chambers under U.S.
what exactly did Inhofe say that so upset the left? Read
of all, I regret I wasn't here on Friday. I was unable
to be here but maybe it's better that I wasn't because
as I watch this outrage -- this outrage everyone seems
to have about the treatment of these prisoners -- I have
to say, and I'm probably not the only one up at this table
that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the
idea that these prisoners -- you know, they're not there
for traffic violations. If they're in cell block 1A or
1B, these prisoners -- they're murderers, they're terrorists,
they're insurgents. Many of them probably have American
blood on their hands. And here we're so concerned about
the treatment of those individuals.
I hasten to say, yes, there are seven bad guys and gals
that didn't do what they should have done. They were misguided.
I think maybe even perverted. And the things they did
have to be punished, and they're being punished. They're
being tried right now and that's all taking place.
I'm also outraged by the press and the politicians and
the political agendas that are being served by this, and
I say political agendas because that's actually what is
have to say when we talk about the treatment of these
prisoners that I would guess that these prisoners wake
up every morning thanking Allah that Saddam Hussein is
not in charge of these prisons
he was in charge, they would take electric drills and
drill holes through hands, they would cut their tongues
out, they would cut their ears off. We've seen accounts
of lowering their bodies into vats of acid. All of these
things were taking place.
was the type of treatment that they had -- and I would
want everyone to get this and read it. This is a documentary
of the Iraq special report. It talks about the unspeakable
acts of mass murder, unspeakable acts of torture, unspeakable
acts of mutilation, the murdering of kids -- lining up
312 little kids under 12 years old and executing them.
of course, what they do to Americans, too.....
just saw what they do with Americans. They sawed off Nick
Berg's head while chanting God is great. Just like they
slashed the throat of Danny Pearl, and burned and mutilated
the four in Fallujah, and flew those planes into the Pentagon
and Twin Towers on 9/11.
outraged that the Europeans and the left in this country
don't understand the consequences of this War. I'm outraged
that Teddy Kennedy compares our troops to Saddam Hussein.
I'm outraged that Senators Levin and Dayton use the depravity
of some bad apples to suggest "systemic" and "pervasive"
abuse in our military, tarring the over 300,000 young men
and women who have fought honorably for us in Iraq.
NY Times and the anti-American left may be outraged
at Senator Inhofe's comments, but I'd bet the bulk of America
agrees with Inhofe. - J. McIntyre 7:21 am | Link
to a Friend
May 11 2004
QUESTION OF HATE: Did Rush Limbaugh ever suggest that
someone take President Clinton on a fishing trip and blow
his brains out? I
didn't think so.
on her Air America radio show, Randi Rhodes said that's
exactly what should be done to President Bush. Rhodes
commented that Bush was like Fredo Corleone and that either
Poppy or Jeb should take W. out for a fishing trip and blow
imitating the sound of gun going off Rhodes said, "Works
for me." Nice.
to the clip for yourself over at Cynical
Nation. - T. Bevan 9:44 am | Link
to a Friend
KENNEDY, OXYGEN THIEF: Back in college, a good friend
of mine had a name for people who were interminably stupid,
annoying, arrogant, or otherwise insufferable. He called
them "oxygen thieves."
name always struck me as a wicked blend of humor and contempt,
carrying with it the harsh implication that a person's very
existence was not only wasting, but in fact robbing the
rest of us of a valuable (though infinitely abundant) resource.
to say, my friend didn't use the term often. It was always
reserved for the worst of the worst, the sort of habitual
offenders that made life unbearable.
moniker came rushing back to me last night after hearing
Edward M. Kennedy on the floor
of the United States Senate:
March 19, 2004, President Bush asked, 'Who would prefer
that Saddam's torture chambers still be open?
"Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers
reopened under new management: U.S. management."
sort of dysfunctional moral compass must one have to make
such a comparison?
one thing for someone like Michael Moore to utter garbage
like this at the film festival in Cannes. It's something
altogether different for one of the country's highest elected
officials to speak these words in the well of the United
a slew of emails yesterday from people ripping Joe
Lieberman's remarks (see below) and saying that he doesn't
have a "shred" of moral credibility left. Please,
spare the bandwith. Lieberman is a moral Goliath compared
the years, in addition to being a formidable legislative
force, Kennedy has always been one of the
worst purveyors of maleficent rhetoric.
Kennedy's remarks yesterday, however, were not only the
acme of rank partisanship but crossed a line that truly
disgraced the Senate as well as the Senator.
using the scandal at Abu Ghraib to work openly and actively
against U.S. policy and U.S. interests in Iraq. By
his own words, Kennedy is trying to "shame" America
before the world, and in doing so he is emboldening our
enemies and endangering our soldiers. There is just no other
way to explain what he did yesterday.
in the Senate have the votes, and they should use them to
rebuke Kennedy immediately.
as the nominee of the Democratic party and one of his closest
personal friends, John Kerry should distance himself from
Kennedy's remarks as well. He won't, but he should.
UPDATE: I didn't see it when I wrote it, but I do
now. A reader emails: "Well, he [Ted Kennedy] certainly
stole Mary Jo Kopechne's oxygen."
STRANGE RESULTS CONTINUE: The Gallup poll from yesterday
shows Bush experiencing a negative
6-point swing in his job approval numbers from the previous
week (46-51 vs 49-48).
how did this impact the horserace numbers? You guessed it:
Bush moved ahead of Kerry among likely voters by
1 point in the head-to-head race and by 2
points in the 3-way race. It's interesting to note that
the gain wasn't from Bush's support going up (it was absolutely
constant from the previous week) but from Kerry losing support
among likely voters.
Investor's Business Daily poll that came out last night
also shows Bush widening his lead over Kerry despite the
terrible news of Abu Ghraib. Again, the
poll points out the sharp contrast between the candidates'
support: Bush's is intense and rock solid, Kerry's is
much softer and wavers back and forth:
of support among Bush voters is much stronger than support
for Kerry, the poll continues to show. While 68% of Bush's
supporters say they support him strongly, only 38% of
Kerry's supporters say the same for him.
also lags Bush in tapping his party's constituencies.
Bush gets 90% of Republican votes while Kerry gets 77%
of Democrats. In fact, one in eight Democrats (12%) want
to vote for Bush..
poll has some good news for Kerry, however. Nearly three-fourths
(71%) say they made up their minds about whom they'll
vote for back in February or even earlier. One in five
(18%) say they decided in April and March. While Bush
dominates among the early deciders (58% to 37%), Kerry
is gaining among more recent deciders (70% to 24%).
last paragraph is key. If Kerry can stay within a couple
of points of Bush up until election day, history says he
should win the undecided vote - probably about 5-8% on election
day - by a margin of two to one, which would make this election
a virtual repeat of 2000.
- T. Bevan 9:44 am | Link
to a Friend
May 10 2004
WHAT JOE SHOWED: If
you watched the Abu Ghraib testimony in the Senate on Friday
I'm sure you were struck, as I was, by the comments
of Joe Lieberman:
Secretary, the behavior by Americans at the prison in
Iraq is, as we all acknowledge, immoral, intolerable and
un-American. It deserves the apology that you have given
today and that have been given by others in high positions
in our government and our military.
I cannot help but say, however, that those who were responsible
for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11th, 2001, never
apologized. Those who have killed hundreds of Americans
in uniform in Iraq working to liberate Iraq and protect
our security have never apologized.
those who murdered and burned and humiliated four Americans
in Fallujah a while ago never received an apology from
anybody. So it's part of -- wrongs occurred here, by the
people in those pictures and perhaps by people up the
chain of command.
Americans are different. That's why we're outraged by
this. That's why the apologies were due. And that's why
I hope as we go about this investigation, we do it in
a way that does not dishonor the hundreds of thousands
of Americans in uniform who are a lot more like Pat Tillman
and Americans that are not know, like Army National Guard
Sergeant Felix Del Greco of Simsbury, Connecticut, who
was killed in action a few weeks ago; that we not dishonor
their service or discredit the cause that brought us to
send them to Iraq, because it remains one that is just
got to get to the whole truth here, and nothing but the
truth. We can't be defensive. We've got to be aggressive
about it. And as Senator McCain said, we've got to do
it quickly so that we and you and most of all our soldiers
can get back to fighting and winning the war on terrorism
far as I'm concerned, we do have to know how this happened.
And we have to know it so we can stop it from happening
listening to Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd bloviate over the
abuses for maximum partisan effect, Lieberman's comments
added a perspective that was not only important, but sorely
lacking from the debate.
least that's how I felt, as well as a number of other people
I spoke with.
so those on the left. Liberal blogger Atrios immediately
attacked Lieberman's comments as "unbelievably
vile" and Josh Marshall derided them as "the
sort of subject-changing our parents try to wean us from
when we're in grade school."
such a visceral reaction? After all, nothing Lieberman said
was untrue. It's simply unconscionable to some on the left
that Lieberman would interrrupt the orgy of self-flagellation
ignited by the abuses at Abu Ghraib to inject a small dose
a blatantly partisan political perspective, Abu Ghraib is
a trifecta for the left. It represents an opportunity to
decry our military (which many on the left loathe), to discredit
our policy in Iraq (which most on the left disagree with),
and to indict George W. Bush personally (whom everyone on
the left abhors). Apparently, anything that might diminish
these opportunities is viewed as heresy.
shouldn't it be reasonable for Lieberman to condemn the
abuses at Abu Ghraib and to also point out that the process
we're currently engaged in (apologizing, investigating,
trying, convicting and punishing those responsible) is something
that we believe deeply in but our enemies do not?-
T. Bevan 12:44 pm | Link
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