Friday, June 17, 2005
Question of the Day: End of the Imperial Presidency Edition.
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Shakespeare's Sister).
discussed previously on this blog the importance of the LGBT community
having straight supporters, and of women being supported by men who are
feminists, too - neither of which is a denigration of gays or women;
it's a fact of social movements. When members of the majority pick up a
minority cause, it serves to give the cause legitimacy among other
members of the majority, and often ends up shaming them into
acceptance. Such social trends are of particular interest to me, and so
it was with interest I read the following
at PSoTD, which mirrors I thought I myself had just this morning:
Right about now, I suspect the folks at the White House are pretty nervous about the Downing Street Memo.
it's a culmination of things, partially. It's the Conyers' hearing.
It's the steady drumbeat of press coverage. It's the possibility
(probability?) of more documents being released in Britain.
you have to think that Rove, Bush, McClellan have a growing, gnawing
fear that somebody in Washington, somebody in Congress, somebody Republican, is going to say in public what the White House fears most in their game to run the clock out on DSM:
"There should be a Congressional Investigation into the Downing Street documents and the runup to the Iraq War."
Because once that happens, the political game clock will be turned off, and the national history clock will begin.
not a matter of when. It's a matter of who. What Republican in today's
Congress will be guaranteed a prominent spot in history? The Bush
Administration has to wonder.
So there's our question of
the day. Which Republican is going to give the movement in pursuit of a
formal inquiry its legitimacy ¦and shame all but the most shameless
members of the GOP into turning their back on King George, remembering,
finally, that they are not his subjects, but protectors of our state,
entrusted by a public who needs them to now be more loyal to America
than to its faltering president.
Who's it going to be?
thinking Chris Shays seems the likely candidate. Which is ironic,
considering Liebertwat - also from CT - is less likely to say it than
Running now, but definitely check out the NY Times' review of Larry
Diamond's Squandered Victory:The failures of the Bush administration to
prepare adequately for the postwar period in Iraq are by now well
known, underscored by the revelation this week...
[War and Piece]
Harry Shearer: Two Little Letters
the American reaction to the serially leaked Downing Street memos from
over here is something like having a conversation in London between an
American-based cellphone and an Australian-based one (which I did day
before yesterday). The delay can be confusing. Are American editors
really saying "we all knew that, it's the readers' fault if they
ignored it way back in 2002"? - Harry Shearer
Meanwhile, here in Britain, there's a great big elephant in the room.
Andrew Gilligan was a BBC reporter who ended up losing his job (and his
boss's job to boot) for ad-libbing on an early morning newscast two
years ago that Dr. David Kelly, soon to kill himself, had suggested
that the British government had "sexed up" the intelligence dossier
meant to convince Parliament to authorize the war. Here now is the
Sunday Times author of the Downing Street memo stories, explaining in a
Washington Post online chat the meaning of the word actually in the memo about what was happening with the intel:
Michael Smith: There are number of people asking about fixed and
its meaning. This is a real joke. I do not know anyone in the UK who
took it to mean anything other than fixed as in fixed a race, fixed an
election, fixed the intelligence. If you fix something, you make it the
way you want it. The intelligence was fixed and as for the reports that
said this was one British official. Pleeeaaassee! This was the head of
MI6. How much authority do you want the man to have? He has just been
to Washington, he has just talked to George Tenet. He said the
intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That
translates in clearer terms as the intelligence was being cooked to
match what the administration wanted it to say to justify invading
Iraq. Fixed means the same here as it does there.
The Murdoch press and its allies fulminated against Gilligan and the
Beeb successfully over the one-time ad-libbed choice, at 6:07 a.m., of
the words "sexed-up". Yet unknown to them at the time, the head of
Britain's equivalent of the CIA says, after a meeting with George Tenet
and Condi Rice, among others, that the intel is being "fixed". Has
anyone more Murdochian than Michael Smith stood up to apologize to
Gilligan and the Beeb (which, in the ensuing political frenzy, almost
had its basic public-service charter maimed)?
I asked a high BBC official that question night before last, and the
silence was longer than intercontinental cellphone delay. Then he
sighed, and said, "Not yet".
This may seem like a tempest in tea-land, but the Gilligan incident is
what set off the firestorm of anti-BBC rhetoric in the Murdoch press.
It continues to this day, in frequent Fox News references to the
"anti-American" BBC. Who knew so much could be divined from the
substitution of two letters? Or was it the addition of "up" that did
[The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]
Happy Fourth of July.
No, I'm not kidding. It came early this year. And in place of a flag I'd like to hang this essay on my door next month....
[Body and Soul]
SMALL GROUPS AND GLOBAL WARFARE.
The decline of the nation-state is seen in a graph of the ability of
small groups to replicate the state's most vital commodity -- large
scale violence. The Yale economist, Martin Shubik examines this in his
paper "Terrorism, Technology, and...
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7/1/2005; 6:37:34 AM.