Friday, February 09, 2007

We interrupt this interruption....

If you're watching CNN, you probably think the untimely death of Anna Nicole is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY....and why wouldn't we when we have such luminaries as Wolf (if I'm breathless, this must be important)Blitzer and LARRY(for the hourrr..) KING to tell us so.

Brother Attaturk has a few (ahem)"thoughts" on the matter here.

Among the most notable of his observations:

In fact, thanks to CNN, I know that being shocked and dismayed is akin to deep feelings of annoyance. Because during the non-stop coverage of the event I was pretty sure that I was incredibly annoyed throughout. But no, Wolf told me that I was shocked and dismayed. I await Chris Matthews breathless malaprops during the "modest" State Funeral.

But, being the contrarian that I am, I think THESE are important issues today:

Over at TPM, they find an Inspector General's report that shows the OSP (Office of Special Projects) which "stovepiped" raw (pronounced BOGUS) intelligence straight to Cheney and the White House in order to build a case for the war was "INAPPROPRIATE". Ya Think? duhhhhh.

Actually the report is much more critical than that and subsequent updates show Feith and a few others backpeddling as fast as they can (Feith ran the office and was branded by General Tommy Frank's as "the dumbest son-of -a-bitch I ever met". ) Here's a flavor of a few of the replies....You can read the actual findings here

Word from the Senate, where Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) has been presiding over a Armed Services Committee hearing on the Inspector General's report.Levin says that, dividing the work with the Senate intelligence committee, they will seriously pursue the issue and plan to interview members of the administration who received briefings from Doug Feith, including National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and former chief of staff to VP Cheney (and current criminal defendant) Scooter Libby.
One of the more interesting assertions in both
Douglas Feith's and Eric Edelman's reactions to the IG report on the Office of Special Plans is that the office's activity can't be inappropriate because it was authorized by Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, then the secretary and deputy secretary of defense. As Feith puts it:
It is bizarre for the Inspector General to disapprove of policy officials' doing work that they were directed to do by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Defense, given that those tasks were lawful and authorized and the Inspector General found nothing at all wrong with the Secretary and Deputy Secretary directing that the work be done.

So it was "inappropriate but not illegal". There are several interesting battles going on here. First, Feith and Edelman are saying that Wolfowitz and Rummy told them to do it so it can't be illegal, and it really wasn't intelligence gathering (which would have been illegal) it was actually "something else".

So that's brewing ...

And while that's going on, Secretary of Defense Gates releases his intel report on IRAN. This report was held up several times and was hyped as the "smoking gun" about Iran's involvement in Iraq. The Administration has backed off that claim and reaction to the report has been an overwhelming "yawn".

SEVILLE, Spain - Serial numbers and markings on explosives used in Iraq provide "pretty good" evidence that Iran is providing either weapons or technology for militants there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates asserted Friday.Offering some of the first public details of evidence the military has collected, Gates said, "I think there's some serial numbers, there may be some markings on some of the projectile fragments that we found," that point to Iran.

At the same time, however, he said he was somewhat surprised that recent raids by coalition and Iraqi forces in Iraq swept up some Iranians

Let's see here: The Shiia Militia are allies of Iran. We've effectively made Iraq a client-state of Iran. We support the Shiia-lead Government and we're "surprised" to find Iranians in Iraq?

Has the whole world gone mad?

Over at The Washington Post, a former "contract interrogator" by the name of Eric Fair gets a load off his chest. And I DO MEAN LOAD! Wow.

The lead interrogator at the DIF had given me specific instructions: I was to deprive the detainee of sleep during my 12-hour shift by opening his cell every hour, forcing him to stand in a corner and stripping him of his clothes. Three years later the tables have turned. It is rare that I sleep through the night without a visit from this man. His memory harasses me as I once harassed him.
Despite my best efforts, I cannot ignore the mistakes I made at the interrogation facility in Fallujah. I failed to disobey a meritless order, I failed to protect a prisoner in my custody, and I failed to uphold the standards of human decency. Instead, I intimidated, degraded and humiliated a man who could not defend himself. I compromised my values. I will never forgive myself.

I may be making a mistake here but I am assuming that the Washington Post has vetted this man and his story to determine it's accuracy. There was a time when you didn't have to worry about making such assumptions because the integrity of the press (the much-derided M-S-M (main stream media) ) was beyond reproach. Now even if the news supports your side of the political argument, you still have to still have to be careful. For the sake of Eric Fair, if that is his real name, I hope his past is sqeeky clean...his story corraborated by hundreds of others...that all the "i's" are dotted and all the "t's" are crossed...and I hope he's wearing clean underwear because he is about to be assaulted in a way that he could never imagine....We call it "Swiftboating" these days.

And now,

We return you to coverage of the life, death and wake of Anna Nicole Smith.....

No comments: