Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Oh right. Like YOU haven't wanted to bomb a network.

The hits just keep coming for the Bush Administration.

The Daily Mirror of London is reporting that British government documents indicate that, in April 2004, President Bush spoke of bombing the headquarters of Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

Hey with a minute! I thought he didn't watch the news!

Schmidt Sandwich for Bush

Can you imagine what life must have been like for Ohio rep Jean Schmidt over the last couple of days? On Friday (Nov 18) the first term Congresswoman attacks Iraq war critic John Murtha, a 30-year member of the House who also happens to be a 37 year member of the Marine Corps, by calling him a coward. That gets her hooted off the floor of the Congress.

The reception she got from her colleagues in the House, though, was three cheers in comparison to the call she must have received from the White House after her little stunt. The Administration counter-offensive against critics of the war in Iraq was just beginning to pick up steam when Schmidt's foot landed in her mouth, forcing the President and his staff to greatly tone down their rhetoric. How happy do you think Bush was to have to say this of one the most credible critics of Administration policy in Iraq:

"(Murtha) is a fine man, a good man, who served our country with honor and distinction as a Marine in Vietnam and as a United States congressman. He is a strong supporter of the United States military. And I know the decision to call for an immediate withdrawal of our troops by Congressman Murtha was done in a careful and thoughtful way."

That's a lot of humble pie for a man raised on Texas bull. Only way to cleanse his palette of the taste of Schmidt sandwich, I suppose.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


On Friday night (Nov 18, 2005) Congresswoman Jean Schmidt attacked Congressman John Murtha on the floor of the House of Representatives, implying that he was a "coward." Murtha, a 37-year member of the U.S. Marine Corps and a combat veteran, had called on the White House to establish a time frame for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Since the tragedy of September 2001, the Administration and their allies in Congress have sought to smear anyone who questioned their motives for the use of our nation’s unparalleled destructive power. In the lead up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, they accused of cowardice anyone who urged that lives be placed at risk only if our goals and plan to win the peace were clear. They do so again to critics who now call for an exit strategy. But just as slander could not take the place of intelligence before the war, nor for a plan to avert a public health disaster, establish security and win the peace in its aftermath, it cannot now take the place of a time frame for troop withdrawal.

The Bush Administration and their supporters have always been able to dismiss those in the peace movement as cowards. They have often tried to similarly smear their critics in Congress. But those who have never heard or seen a shot fired in anger, much less been in the path of hostile fire, cannot accuse decorated combat veterans of cowardice without drawing attention to their own faintheartedness. Slander cannot disguise the reality that all their arguments for war - weapons of mass destruction, terrorist connections, democracy and stability in the Middle East – have been discredited. But, it seems, slander is all they have left.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Lies, lies, lies, YEAH!

Big scoop for Dana Milbank and the Post today. Apparently, neither the White House nor the oil industry was being straight with us about those secret energy task force meetings at the beginning of Bush's first term. (There's a shock, huh?) The oil execs categorically denied meeting with Task Force officials in testimony to Congress last week. Hey? Isn't that a criminal offense? Well it WOULD be, if committee chair Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), a buddy of big oil and proponent of drilling in ANWAR, hadn't declined to swear the execs in. Funny how that worked out, eh?

Oh, and this is particularly delicious in the wake of Jeff Jacoby's passionate defense of his heroes in the oil industry in last Sunday's Globe. If you've got money and power and you're right wing, chances are Jeff's got your picture up on his fridge.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

War Games

More blatherings from the White House and Democrats about the mess in Mesopotamia and the lead up to war. Bush comes out swinging on Vet's Day and today with the wierdest defense of a decision to go to war I think I've ever heard: "They (the Democrats) did it too."

Rather than acknowledge the mess in Iraq and the blunders that got us there, Bush (no doubt counseled by Rove) has decided to simply tar the opposition with the same brush that's been painting his entire administration black for the last year. "The Democrats voted for the war too, so they can't criticize it." In essence "They screwed up just as bad as we did." That's the defense.
It's the tantrum defense. I suppose the White House thinks it will get points for "staying the course," but basically they hope that if they point their fingers, holler and stamp up and down long enough, people will blame the Democrats instead (or at least as much as the administration). But it's hard to spread the blame for a war gone bad when you've so ruthlessly failed to share the credit on national security issues. Like Colin Powell said, they broke it. Now they own it.

Sadly, the one piece of truth in Bush's rantings is that the Democrats DID vote for it. No one buys this garbage from the Democrats that they were "Shocked, shocked I tell you to discover that the President was actually planning to invade Iraq!" after they voted to give him the atuhority to use force. It's why we aren't talking about President Kerry now. It's hard to attack an administration you supported. I mean, they can't just come out and say "Yeah, actually, we knew the intelligence was a bunch of garbage and that the White House was dead set on war. But, hey, Saddam was a jerk and we didn't want to look like pussies on national security after 9-11."

Anyway, David Corn has a useful rebuttal to the White House at the Nation's site. Chock full of good info for those of us with short-term memories for the facts (and I include myself in that bunch). Nice op-ed in the Globe today by Thomas Oliphant too.