Sunday, August 30, 2009

Walk Softly and Carry a Big Cheney, John McCain is No Ted Kennedy

Micah Zenko
Loch Johnson
Sharon Begley

"If diplomacy fails, the world should be prepared for an Israeli attack on Iran's suspected nuclear weapons facilities." - Micah Zenko

"We knew Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy was a friend of ours. John McCain is no Ted Kennedy." - Steve Benen

"High-profile investigations will not transform human nature, turning intelligence officials -- or the presidents and White House aides who direct them -- into angels." - Loch Johnson

al Qaeda sneaks into Gaza strip...
I like to find small news items that often take days to migrate to the larger papers an
d websites. Yesterday I wrote about al Qaeda training camps on the Arabian Peninsula getting ready to send people into the Gaza strip.early this morning two bombs went off in Gaza and a third was found and dismantled. From al Jazeera: "Earlier on Sunday, Hamas said that unidentified Palestinians had set off explosive devices at two of its security compounds in Gaza City... Hamas security sources said that they had defused a third bomb near what is known as the department for security and protection... No one claimed responsibility for the attacks, while Israeli military sources denied involvement."

Also reported was a tit for tat misslie strikes between Hamas and Israel. Someone from Gaza sent a missile into Israel again, exploding in an open field. Israel sent a jet and fired a missile at a house that Israeli intelligence said covered a smuggler's tunnel built by groups that were not Hamas...

Dick Cheney Day...
It's Sunday, and I'm patiently waiting for football season to begin. Haven't decided which team to root for because the Denver Broncos are such drama queens. So, I think today will be Dick Cheney Day. Here's a man flailing impotently trying his best to remain relevant. If a rant echoes through the forest, will anyone hear? What bothers me most is that Cheney used the information gained under torture to shape his worldview of al Qaeda and Islamic terroris
m. He didn't trust most other sources of information, which explains why his vision is skewed and he made bad choices that cost us billions of dollars and a lot of innocent lives. And he can't accept that he was wrong, or that people have been criticizing his decisions, which naturally happens once you are out of office... From the Washington Post: "Former Vice President Dick Cheney reiterated his claim today that enhanced interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects in U.S. custody in the years after September 11, 2001, worked in revealing terror plots despite contrary sentiment from a CIA investigator who probed detainee interrogations.

Cheney's statements come six days after the release of a 2004 CIA Inspector General report (pdf) that documents a litany of interrogation tactics used on detainees, including waterboarding, "walling," face-slapping and at least one mock execution. Cheney's views, though, contradict those of former CIA inspector general John Helgerson, who wrote in the report that there is no proof that such techniques were responsible for reliable information that helped in foiling terror plans."

While he was on the subject of defending the amateur psychologists that designed the torture program, he also had nothing good to say about the new justice dept. From the Daily Beast: "Hey, Dick Cheney probably knows a thing or two about politicizing investigations: “It’s clearly a political move,” the former vice president told Fox News Sunday when he
was asked about the Obama administration’s investigation of CIA interrogations. “[It] offends the hell out of me. … I just think it's an outrageous political act that will do great damage, long term, to our capacity to be able to have people take on difficult jobs, make difficult decisions, without having to worry about what the next administration is going to say..."

Cranking it up a notch, he also took a shot at Obama, from the Politico: "Former Vice President Dick Cheney delivered another harsh rebuke of the Obama administration, calling the Justice Department’s new investigation into whether CIA interrogators broke the law "an outrageous political act” and questioning Barack Obama’s ability to lead the country.

“I wasn’t a fan of his when he got elected, and my views haven’t changed any,” Cheney said in an interview that aired on Fox News Sunday. “I have serious doubts about his policies, serious doubts especially about the extent to which he understands and is prepared to do what needs to be done to defend the nation.”

He said the investigation is “an outrageous precedent to set” and will have consequences for the country’s national security. “It’s clearly a political move,” Cheney said. “There’s no other rationale for why they’re doing this.” Is this a blatant political move to get back at the Republicans, or is it an investigation into what is moral under international law during times of undeclared war? One one hand, its good to see someone supporting the CIA, while on the other hand, the damned CIA has followed the Peter Principle by getting rid of the smart people and rewarding the incompetents, especially when headed by giant suck-ups like George Tenet and spineless amoebas like Porter Goss. The CIA has been out of favor in the public eye since 1975, and since 2000 hasn't been capable of producing a credible long range analysis that could help policy makers. Dick Cheney only added to the confusion, lack of morale, and history o
f bad analysis. I was hoping that Leon Panetta would be able to reverse this trend, but it seems he, too, is captive by a bunch of whining little boys...

Speaking of old hacks...
Steve Benen of Political Animal has a lot to say about John McCain. It seems people like Wolf Blitzer made a speech on CNN about McCain becoming the next Ted Kennedy of the Senate. Why we allow this crap, I don't know: "On CNN yesterday afternoon, reflecting on Ted Kennedy's legacy as one of the giants of the U.S. Senate, Wolf Blitzer pondered who might someday emerge as a legislative leader with Kennedy's stature and success.

"A lot of people think it might be someone else who sought the presidency, lost and dec
ided, 'You know what, my life's work will now be a senator' and that is Senator McCain, who has been a very good friend to Senator Kennedy..."

What's more, as Faiz Shakir noted, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Cynthia Tucker also argued yesterday, "John McCain could be the Senate's new Ted Kennedy." Tucker said McCain, since last year's election, "has bowed to the harsh nihilism that seems to be all that Republicans represent these days," but said "McCain's reputation for a principled bipartisanship was intact" last year.

I guess I was watching a different presidential campaign last year. As I recall, McCain spent the year lying, flip-flopping, running cheap and ugly ads, and choosing a crazy person as his
running mate.

As for the comparison itself, Kennedy was among the most accomplished lawmakers in the history of the United States Senate. McCain has an impressive personal background, but very few accomplishments to his name. Kennedy was principled, brilliant, and knowledgeable. McCain is inconsistent, easily confused, and has no patience for details. Kennedy was widely admired and respected by those who worked with him. McCain is known for screaming at his colleagues, even Republicans, who dare to disagree with him.

We knew Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy was a friend of ours. John McCain is no Ted Kennedy." :-) ;-) :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I always try to respond...