June 16, 2006

"It has been a tough 10 days for those who see current events through the prisms of Vietnam and Watergate."

So writes Michael Barone in the Wall Street Journal. The piece is mostly about the strange obsession with seeing Karl Rove indicted:
Vietnam and Watergate were arguably triumphs for honest reporting. But they were also defeats for America--and for millions of freedom-loving people in the world. They ushered in an era when the political opposition and much of the press have sought not just to defeat administrations but to delegitimize them. The pursuit of Karl Rove by the left and the press has been just the latest episode in the attempted criminalization of political differences. Is there any hope that it might turn out to be the last?

62 comments:

MadisonMan said...

The one thing missing from your quoted paragraph, at least as far as Watergate is concerned, is a reminder of the seemingly criminal activity that was flourishing in the Executive Branch. Is the author suggesting the world and America would have been better off had the reporters not pursued the story? I don't blame the press for the way history has played out, post-Watergate -- it's just another consequence of the deeds of the President back then.

Mr. Barone is a write at a Newsweekly. In the future if a juicy faux scandal runs his way, can I expect he will run away from it?

Jacques Cuze said...

The pursuit of Karl Rove by the left and the press has been just the latest episode in the attempted criminalization of political differences.

Oh, it's completely true. The Whitehouse had great news this week, one of their senior advisors was NOT indicted. Woohoo!

You have pretty low expectations of our President's behavior (mirrored perhaps in your own behavior these days) if you ask me, but if this is the gruel at which you wish to dine, all the more power to you. It's a thin gruel, how does it actually taste to you?

In the meantime I will note that while Rove is innocent until proven guilty, he admitted to the FBI that he was Cooper and Novak's source in the outing of Valerie Plame an undercover agent working to discover Iran's WMD capabilities and working in the general area of WMD proliferation (AQ Khan supposedly.) Rove wasn't cleared of wrong doing by any means by any official statement from the prosecutor who in fact has made no public statements about this. He just wasn't indicted. In the meantime Plame was still outed by Rove, and since then our situation with Iran has become much more dangerous.

Bush did get a big bump from this. After a week of "good news", Apparently a bump of 1% from 36% to 37% in the WSJ's own poll meaning that more than 60% of America still understand the American disaster known as GWB.

The guy is a disaster for America and apparently only the last throes of the deadenders still cannot understand that.

Jeff said...

"he admitted to the FBI that he was Cooper and Novak's source in the outing of Valerie Plame an undercover agent working to discover Iran's WMD capabilities and working in the general area of WMD proliferation (AQ Khan supposedly.)"

Well, then you should get in touch with the special procecutor then since you know more about it that he does. Apparently he didnt believe that she was in fact a undercover agent and had not been one for a number of years. Your entire post pretty much sums up the point she was making. Your personal hatred and disagreement of policy does not a criminal make.

knoxgirl said...

It is hard in retrospect to understand why the left put so much psychic energy into the notion that Mr. Rove would be indicted. He certainly was an important target.

It wasn't long ago all the psychic energy was being poured into reviving the "Bush Lied" theme. Then Bush gave a couple of "Get a Grip" speeches and it fizzled out. It'll be something else in the next couple weeks.

Goesh said...

Our Karl slips out of the noose, zaqawri bites the dust, an Iraqi government is formed and there are massive raids and arrests and more slain terrorists, the DOW bumps up +198, the Senate 93-6 says NO to pulling troops out of Iraq early, SCOTUS gives a nod and wink to our hard-charging cops, the Democrats vote the crook Jefferson off the Ways & Means Committee, Bush swoops in unannounced to Iraq and wows Iraqis and our boys over there, who all fell just short of calling him King George the Conqueror, though there was some behind-the-scenes prostration by some Iraqi leaders.....yes, recent times have been bad for the Left and I think a couple of stiff belts of top-shelf bourbon are in order here.

Pogo said...

Michael Barone is right. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin.

But I'm sure they'll feel better after a few good car bombings in Baghdad. Not that they're for defeat or anything.

Jacques Cuze said...

he admitted to the FBI that he was Cooper and Novak's source in the outing of Valerie Plame ...

Well, then you should get in touch with the special procecutor then since you know more about it that he does.

No, Jeff, you should check what you think you know about this. I got this information from court filings and discussions in the press.

Analysis: Telling FBI the Truth Saved Rove
By PETE YOST , 06.13.2006, 02:07 PM




The decision not to charge Karl Rove shows there often are no consequences for misleading the public.

In 2003, while Rove allowed the White House to tell the news media that he had no role in leaking Valerie Plame's CIA identity, the presidential aide was secretly telling the FBI the truth.

It's now known that Rove had discussed Plame's CIA employment with conservative columnist Robert Novak, who exposed her identity less than a week later, citing two unidentified senior administration officials.

Rove's truth-telling to the FBI saved him from indictment.


You're allowed your own opinion Jeff but you are not allowed your own facts.

David said...

The reportings of Watergate and the Viet Nam war were not paragons of honest reporting. What they lacked was as appreciation of the far-reaching effects of that reporting.

Watergate was used as an excuse to abandon our allies in South Viet Nam. It directly contributed to the downfall of an ally and the deaths of millions in that region.

Very rarely does reporting progress beyond the story du jour. Reporting fails to make the leap into the long-term effects of the implications of the story reported.

The true scandal is the failure of most reporters to study history and know when their reporting plays into the hands of the excellent psy-ops of our enemies.

The TET offensive was a failure and the NVA ceased to be an effective military fighting force after that. The press handed General Giap the victory the military denied him.

The story of the 5th column MSM in the U.S. in particular, and the West in general, will go down in history with the death of millions on their typewriters/keyboards.

John said...

I think a key paragraph from the column includes this:
"Journalists in the 1940s, '50s and early '60s tended to believe they had a duty to buttress Americans' faith in their leaders and their government. Journalists since Vietnam and Watergate have tended to believe that they have a duty to undermine such faith, especially when the wrong party is in office."

We have enough "fact" finders on both sides of the aisle. Where are the truly impartial journalists willing to play their critical role in society to find the real facts and dismiss the false? I realize I am naive - this never existed - but it was more civilised in the past.

Mack said...

Do you know Rove's history? He has a long and well-documented history of doing extremely unethical things to win elections. Starting with when he was 19 and stole an opponents stationary and sent out flyers for a made-up party with alcohol and strippers.

This is the most ridiculous idea, that Democrats target Rove for some "purpose." I recently read similar analysis saying Democrats attack Scalia for the same reason. No! Democrats attack these people because they're terrible terrible people. If you need a "purpose" to attack Karl Rove, you may be a lot of things, but you're clearly not a Democrat.

Do you guys really dispute that this has been a politicized White House? Do you really not think Rove has anything to do with that? Can you really not see why this angers Democrats?

ignacio said...

Barone's point extends further, in that however much it was a triumph for Michael Isikoff and the Washington Post to expose Monica Lewinsky, pursuing the ramifications of this to the point of attempted impeachment of Bill Clinton was neither good for those Republicans who fell in with the "Clinton-haters" nor good for the country as a whole (insofar as the president was virtually paralyzed during his last two years in office).

pr9000 (paul) said...

I can see it's politicized, mackan. Everyone can.

I think what bothers many of us in the "middle," though, is that every White House is politicized ... you can't tell me Sid Blumenthal and Lanny Davis were any worse than Karl Rove on that count.

When I hear arguments like yours ... I instantly dismiss it, because you're mad your side isn't in power, not that the whole system is overly political.

Both sides say "Oh, we're paragons of honestly and open politics! The other guy is evil and deserves to be punished?" But in reality, it's sour grapes.

Internet Ronin said...

Oh, I don't know, Mackan. If someone edited your comment by inserting Carville and Clinton in the appropriate places, I think we'd have the typical partisan GOP view during the Clinton Administration. In fact, some are still so bitter about it that they are holding on to that feeling 6 long years after it ended, as we can see here on just about any given day.

It seems to me that one side's genius is almost always the other side's evil monster. But then, I'm not a true believer in either side.

Pogo said...

The role of the White house in the Plame story was and is an insignificant kerfuffle. Joe Wilson and his evasions and half-truths, dedicated as they were to discredit Bush, were rightly discredited themselves.

The left wants to make this into an important story of Corruption in High Places. What it exposed was the left's desperate at-all-costs attempts to unseat Bush. And to see it fizzsle out this way is simply intolerable, as one can see by the thrashing about here.

SteveR said...

Please clear this up for me. Was Valerie Plame "outed"? Meaning her status as an undercover CIA agent revealed? I think that would be a crime and I don't remember there being any such charges in this case.

Did Rove have converstaions with Cooper, Novak, etc, where her name came up and her connection to the Wilson/Niger trip discussed? Seems like everyone knows that.

Jacques Cuze said...

Joe Wilson and his evasions and half-truths,

Please enumerate.

MadisonMan said...

As I understand the Republican Party talking point, Valerie Plame's status was no longer classified because VP Cheney declassified it. He had the power to do so because of a classified Presidential Order from President Bush allowing Cheney to declassify anything he saw fit. Or something like that.

The reports I've seen have noted that Plame's neighbors did not know her true job, which to me means she was undercover -- that's what it would mean in my neighborhood, at least :) More recent reports say she was working on Iran and Nuclear secrets, but I don't recall reading about that before the latest push to link Iran and nuclear ambitions, so I'm not sure what to make of it.

For someone just trying to live a life, keeping track of this whole kerfuffle can be exhausting.

Jacques Cuze said...

The CIA Leak: Plame Was Still Covert Feb. 13, 2006 issue - Newly released court papers could put holes in the defense of Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, in the Valerie Plame leak case. Lawyers for Libby, and White House allies, have repeatedly questioned whether Plame, the wife of White House critic Joe Wilson, really had covert status when she was outed to the media in July 2003. But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done "covert work overseas" on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA "was making specific efforts to conceal" her identity, according to newly released portions of a judge's opinion. (A CIA spokesman at the time is quoted as saying Plame was "unlikely" to take further trips overseas, though.) Fitzgerald concluded he could not charge Libby for violating a 1982 law banning the outing of a covert CIA agent; apparently he lacked proof Libby was aware of her covert status when he talked about her three times with New York Times reporter Judith Miller. Fitzgerald did consider charging Libby with violating the so-called Espionage Act, which prohibits the disclosure of "national defense information," the papers show; he ended up indicting Libby for lying about when and from whom he learned about Plame.

MadisonMan said...

Watergate was used as an excuse to abandon our allies in South Viet Nam. It directly contributed to the downfall of an ally and the deaths of millions in that region.

So is the press responsible, or is Nixon?

You can argue that the Press might have asked itself to foresee what would happen if Nixon were toppled as he was -- that those "against" Nixon who were also against involvement in Viet Nam might gain an advantage in Congress by having Nixon and his supporters -- many of whom were war supporters -- cut off at the knees, and vote to cut off money to South Vietnam. Why can't you make the same request of Nixon? Shouldn't he, or his advisors, considered the same thing, namely what would happen globally if the truth came out? As it almost always does.

If you're going to take the Press to task for the ramifications of things that happen when the press reports, I think you have to portion part of the blame also to those causing the stuff the press is reporting on. Barone seems to blame the press (an interesting viewpoint, given his job). I think he overstates things.

Jacques Cuze said...

As if to confirm Newsweek's analysis, Cheney came out the next week to claim he had the power to declassify anything he wishes to.

So at the least what we appear to have is: Plame was covert. Outing her did damage to the country because of her work on Iran and nuclear proliferation. Outing her may not have been a crime since the Vice President determined that her covert status was no longer classified.

That's the Republican theory.

Now as a citizen, or as an intelligence agent, how should you feel about a Vice President that makes it legal to declassify such information?

Ann?

Jacques Cuze said...

Madisonman is right about the time this takes to debunk the right wing distortions.

I need to get to work.

Enjoy your day keeping America safe for distortions.

Sloanasaurus said...

Yes. We should prosecute anyone for leaking Plames name if she was indeed covert. At the same time, lets also prosecute reporters at the NY Times for leaking stories they and we know were covert.

Btw, Andrea Mitchell commented that it was widely known that Plame worked for the CIA. Libby's lawyer says he has witnesses who are will to testify to the same thing. Mitchel later backtracked on her story when she found out it hurt the left.

Further, we should put Wilson under oath again and let him state whether the op ed he wrote in the NY Times claiming that Saddam's attempt to purchase Uranium from Niger not true. After all, when Wilson was under oath during the Senate Intel Committee hearings he reported a different story than his op ed piece (why is that?)

The Plame story is another great example of the Left believing that committing fraud or lying is okay as long as the goal is the greater good (the greater good as defined by the left). To the left, the truth is relative - therefore there is no such thing as truth. Didn't George Orwell discuss this strange behavior?

Memogate is another great example, only that time the Left got caught red handed and the spin "Just because the memos are fake, does not mean they are not real," wasn't able to convince the average 2nd grader.

Simon said...

IR:
"In fact, some are still so bitter about [the Clinton administration] that they are holding on to that feeling 6 long years after it ended."

Funny, it seems to me that those who are bitterest about the end of the Clinton administration -- which, I suspect, will ironically enough be recorded in history as "old liberalism"'s last gasp -- aren't Republicans, but our friends like Quxxo, whose routine knashing of teeth seems predicated on the extreme frustration that a majority of Americans are so dumb that we don't agree with him. I guess now he knows how Republicans felt during the Carter administration: "let's just keep our heads down and hope America survives this idiot." Of course, the difference was that the GOP recognized that it had to change and had the man waiting in the wings to do it, while I have serious doubts that the Democrats have the capacity for change, let alone the perspicacity to recognize its necessity, and still less that they have their own Ronald Reagan on standby.

Mack said...

Jefe,

>When I hear arguments like yours ... I instantly dismiss it, because you're mad your side isn't in power, not that the whole system is overly political.<

That's a view, though, that says that the ethics in its entirety is nothing more than partisanship. I'm sure that's true to an extent, and often, and with many, but it's not /always./ Sometimes, one guy really is worse than another. Isn't he?

In any case, I'm not in any way confused why conservatives would have hated Carville during the Clinton administration. I'd be confused if they didn't.

But I also think Rove and Bush have taken partisanship to a new level. For all his controversy, Clinton wasn't all that partisan. I don't think he saw himself as a warrior in the battle between liberals and conservatives. Not in the way that Bush does. And I don't think Clinton would have made his head political attack dog his head policy guy.

Really though, my point was simply this: It shouldn't be confusing why liberals don't like Karl Rove. As to the basis, you're probably right that it's a combination of hating his politics as well as his ethics, but I guess I'm not sure what's wrong or irrational about that.

Jacques Cuze said...

that a majority of Americans are so dumb that we don't agree with him.

Simon, don't be simple. The WSJ's own polls and other recent polls show the overwhelming majority of Americans do agree with me: Bush is the worst president ever, Republicans are not to be trusted in financial or security matters, and the war in Iraq was a mistake.

Henry said...

Okay then.

If we can get beyond the pursuit of Karl Rove for a minute, I don't think Barone makes much of a case against an oppositional press. The idea that the press a has a duty to buttress Americans' faith in their leaders and their government has an Animal Farm stench to it. Why exactly, would a dutiful press be of any benefit to the public? Barone's promotion of a conformist slice of history doesn't really answer the question.

Nevertheless, the press does seem to behave (as an institution) in appalling fashion. The problem in my mind is not its oppositional mindset, but its herd mentality. The big story of the day gets all the attention, whether its a baby in a well or a terrorist plot; lacking facts, reporters in the swarm happily conjecture an angle that might get their byline some attention. Lacking imagination, every angle is the same.

John said...

Mackan: "Democrats attack these people because they're terrible terrible people. If you need a "purpose" to attack Karl Rove, you may be a lot of things, but you're clearly not a Democrat."

Jaques Cuze (from another thread): "Please be direct and to the point and try to avoid innuendo in place of an actual argument (a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.)"

Hmmm.

SteveR said...

Well I'm glad to know that the final word on Plame's covert status came from Isikoff in Feb 2006.

Fake but accurate

Not indicted but guilty

I detect a pattern

Internet Ronin said...

While most of Barone's article strikes me as fair comment, and factual, I believe that these two statements are neither:

Journalists in the 1940s, '50s and early '60s tended to believe they had a duty to buttress Americans' faith in their leaders and their government. Journalists since Vietnam and Watergate have tended to believe that they have a duty to undermine such faith, especially when the wrong party is in office.

I doubt Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Joseph McCarthy, Richard Nixon, the Warren Court, and any number of other government leaders during those times thought the press was buttressing anyone's faith in their leadership. In fact, most of them are on record as lamenting unfair press coverage.

I don't think most journalists think they have a "duty" to do anything but advance their own careers. Post-Watergate, many do seem to believe that finding fault and creating the aura of scandal are the dual paths to fame and riches. That has probably always been true. It is just more obvious at the moment because our access to information independent of journalist-interpreters is easier, making the current heavily-titled partisanship of the traditional content providers more apparent.

Simon said...

"Simon, don't be simple."

Are you in grade school?


"The WSJ's own polls and other recent polls show the overwhelming majority of Americans do agree with me: Bush is the worst president ever, Republicans are not to be trusted in financial or security matters, and the war in Iraq was a mistake."

What people tell a ballot box, vs. what they are willing to admit (or claim) to an opinion pollster, are sometimes two very different things. Democrats were making these same claims about Bush before the 2002 and 2004 elections, and while Bush's opinion poll numbers were already plenty beneath 50% before the '04 election, the fact remains that every time they have been asked to decide in a meaningful context, the electorate has handed the Democrats their asses. There are two conclusions available: either the people hate Bush but hate the Democrats more, or opinion polls are unreliable. Neither possibility helps you much here.

Bruce Hayden said...

There were a couple of different statutes potentially involved with Plame, et al. First, there was a very narrow statute for outing a covert agent. The problems there were that intent was problematic, as was whether Ms. Plame fell within the statute, given that she had been back in the states for quite awhile raising twins.

The second potential statute violated would have been disclosure of classified information. But, as noted above, the VP has delegated authority from the President to declassify anything he wants to.

Which is why the special prosecutor determined quite awhile ago that no primary crime had most likely been committed. Since then, he spent his time on crimes potentially committed during his investigation, and hence the Libby indictment.

I am not sure where you draw the line here. Regardless of all the hype, there is almost no indication that anyone in the Administration committed any "crimes" in "outing" Plame. Maybe in the "coverup". But where does political hard ball turn into unethical? Not sure.

michael a litscher said...

MadisonMan: As I understand the Republican Party talking point, Valerie Plame's status was no longer classified because VP Cheney declassified it. He had the power to do so because of a classified Presidential Order from President Bush allowing Cheney to declassify anything he saw fit. Or something like that.

No. Cheney declassified portions of the prewar intelligence assessment to rebut the lies Wilson was feeding reporters at the Washington Post, as well as the lies Wilson told in an op-ed to the New York Times.

Ann even had a thread about this, wondering how many people would be fooled (the articles on the 'declassification' were almost purposefully vague) into believing that Cheney's declassification of said documents outed Plame.

MadisonMan: The reports I've seen have noted that Plame's neighbors did not know her true job, which to me means she was undercover -- that's what it would mean in my neighborhood, at least :)

If that's your standard, then I suspect that a whole bunch of your neighbors qualify as undercover, as I doubt that you know what every one of them does for a living.

For someone just trying to live a life, keeping track of this whole kerfuffle can be exhausting.

Well, some of that is on purpose, hoping you'll mistake one tree for another in a forest of trees, as I pointed out above.

The Drill SGT said...

Here's a fantasy that only would happen in fiction, in this case one of Clancy's later novels.

American news networks asked to assist in a bit of misinformation about the whereabouts of a US aircraft carrier. They kick and scream in private, but agree. Doing some on camera work that makes it appear the carrier is still in port. When the truth comes out, the reporter stands in front of what is clearly an empty pier and says something like:

"... well ultimately after all, we are an AMERICAN News Network"

It worked that way through WWI and I think through Korea, but not ever again, I'm afraid.

Moanique said...

Let's add this up:

1. Democrats didn't win in a heavily Republican Congressional district.

2. A terrorist was killed (1).

3. No one at the top of the administration was indicted.

Barone thinks this makes a good week for Republicans. If he says so, it must be true for him. My expectations are a little higher.

Best to all

Moanique said...

Referring to the quote:

No, it won't be the last. The atmosphere is poisoned to the point that the whole city of D.C. needs to be evacuated and then fumigated. Politicians of all stripes, media, lobbyists and everyone else you can think of in that fetid place have the interests of the country (as opposed to the interests of their clients or themselves) well down the list of priorities. It's a giant game now of 'gotcha' and I have no clue if the reward for winning is worth it any longer.

Sloanasaurus said...

Drill Sgt, It could work that way again. I have a suspicion that the Vietnam generation (who now runs the American mainstream media) is unqiue in their extreme leftism. Thus, I have confidence that in the future, the news outlets will be filled by people who became adults during a more conservative era.

And just wait... after Iraq emerges as a prosperous and free country, the left will be clamering to say they supported it (they just disapproved of the means)..

You will hear these arguments in a few years:

1) Bush's ass was saved by the bravery and competence of the Iraqi people, implying that they would have accomplished freedom without the war.

2) Bush's goal was never to free the Iraqi people, he only went in because of the WMD.

They are, of course, completely false. But the Left has never shied away from making up facts.

Simon said...

"The atmosphere is poisoned to the point that the whole city of D.C. needs to be evacuated and then fumigated."

Not to sound horribly macabre and pessimistic, but if terrorists levelled downtown Washington, I'd almost be inclined to make arrangements to move the national capital to Nebraska. The location of the capital was chosen when America was a small nation clinging to the Atlantic coast; Washington is cited roughly in the geographic center of the old states, and it stands to some level of reason that had America already attained its continental proportions when revolution broke out, they would have still chosen the geographic center, viz., Nebraska.

In the normal course of events, I wouldn't propose moving it, but in the case that something extraordinary happened that meant we would start again, I would consider this possibility.

Sloanasaurus said...

"...A terrorist was killed (1)...."

Oh please Monique. How ridiculous. Maybe yo should say, today a single Microsoft employee, Bill Gates, announced his retirement. No big deal.

Or maybe some previous headlines from Monique:

"Michael Jorden, one of 300 active NBA players today annouced his retirement. The other 299, however, are still playing - no big deal."

Or

"Today Crick Watson and Wilson submitted a paper on DNA. This is one of thousands of sientific papers submitted this year - Hmm not a big deal.."

The Drill SGT said...

Sloan,

The problem is that the journalism establishment, like the education establishment self selects, screens and indoctrinates through J school, and Ed school, then hires.

It's a pretty closed loop cycle today.

Too many J schools and Ed schools have as mission statements:

Progressive education and social justice.

Sloanasaurus said...

Drill, your probably right. I am just trying to be hopeful.

michael a litscher said...

Actually sloan, a "freedom fighter" was killed.

Because, you know, you just can't have some of that old-fashioned kite-flying freedom without chopping off a few hundred heads and blowing up tens of thousands of innocent women and children while they do their shopping.

Internet Ronin said...

I'm not so sure, Michael. Rumor has it that the modern definition of "terrorist" is " a person who frightens, intimidates, makes uncomfortable or otherwise takes aim, figuratively or literally, at a professional journalist."

michael a litscher said...

Here is the previous Althouse thread where details of the declassification of portions of the NIE was reported vaguely enough that people easilly jumped to the incorrect conlusion that the act of declassifying portions of the NIE outed Plame, which it didn't.

michael a litscher said...

Ronin, NOTED! I stand corrected.

LOL!

MadisonMan said...

If that's your standard, then I suspect that a whole bunch of your neighbors qualify as undercover, as I doubt that you know what every one of them does for a living.

I don't know what all of my neighbors do, true. But I'll wager that there is no one in the neighborhood whose job is unknown by someone else in the neighborhood. That was my meaning. Apologies for the lack of clarity.

MadisonMan said...

P.S. Thanks for the link to the old commentary. I didn't see my name in it, so even back then I was suffering from fatigue in trying to keep things straight!

michael a litscher said...

MadisonMan: P.S. Thanks for the link to the old commentary. I didn't see my name in it, so even back then I was suffering from fatigue in trying to keep things straight!

Hell, we all had to read it twice, some thrice, to get it straight. I think it was reported as it was for the purpose of giving that false impression, so don't blame yourself.

Moanique said...
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Moanique said...
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Moanique said...

OK Sloan, fair enough (despite your sniping and what in civil discourse would be considered an absurdly rude tone):

Given that the terrorist in question is who he is, we should expect to see changes in the situation there on the order of changes to the biological sciences when Watson and Crick published their papers on DNA.

My perception (and that of the President incidentally) is that despite how important this guy was, things aren't going to change a whole lot.

That seems absurd on the surface. Either he's that important or he isn't.

Time will tell and I'm fair enough to not jump to any conclusions.

As to your other "quotes" from me, I never said them and you're dishonest in implying that I did.

John said...

Moan: "As to your other "quotes" from me, I never said them and you're dishonest in implying that I did."

Why is it that some - in another direction than right or center - don't understand sarcasm and wit? Lighten up. I'm sure Sloan worked hard to hold back completely ripping your self-denial, rationalization that nothing can be positive as long as he's in the White House!

michael a litscher said...

Moanique: My perception (and that of the President incidentally) is that despite how important this guy was, things aren't going to change a whole lot.

From Al Qaeda in Iraq Died For Our Sins:

Al Qaeda in Iraq has been virtually wiped out by the loss of an address book. The death of al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi was not as important as the capture of his address book and other planning documents in the wake of the June 7th bombing.

Nearly a thousand terrorist suspects have been killed or captured. The amount of information captured has overwhelmed intelligence organizations in Iraq, and more translators and analysts are assisting, via satellite link, from the United States and other locations.

Perhaps the most valuable finds have been al Qaeda planning documents confirming what has been suspected of terrorist strategy. Also valuable have been the al Qaeda assessment of their situation in Iraq. The terrorist strategy is one of desperation.

Other documents stressed the need to manipulate Moslem and Western media. This was to be done by starting rumors of American atrocities, and feeding the media plausible supporting material. Al Qaeda's attitude was that if they could not win in reality, they could at least win imaginary battles via the media.

[T]here are far fewer foreign Arabs in Iraq fighting for al Qaeda. The terrorist organization has basically been taken over anti-government Sunni Arabs. That made the capture of Zarqawi even more valuable, as his address book contained a who's who of the anti-government Sunni Arab forces. This group has been hurt badly by last week's raids.

michael a litscher said...

Here's more, from Post-al-Zarqawi raids kill 104 insurgents

American and Iraqi forces have carried out 452 raids since the June 7 airstrike on al-Zarqawi, and 104 insurgents were killed in those actions, said U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell.

The nationwide raids led to the discovery of 28 significant arms caches, Caldwell said.

He said 255 of the raids were joint operations, while 143 were carried out by Iraqi forces alone. The raids also resulted in the captures of 759 "anti-Iraqi elements."

...

National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie called it "the beginning of the end of al-Qaida in Iraq."

"Now we have the upper hand," he said at a news conference in Baghdad. "We feel that we know their locations, the names of their leaders, their whereabouts, their movements, through the documents we found during the last few days."

Baghdad was in the second day of a huge security crackdown involving 75,000 Iraqi army and police forces backed by U.S. forces. It includes a curfew extended by 4 1/2 hours — from 8:30 p.m. until dawn — a weapons ban, and the frisking of motorists at checkpoints around the capital. The government did not say how long the crackdown would last.

Moanique said...

Thank you Michael.

I do hope that administration remarks from earlier this week cautioning that this will help but not end the war or the violence are true. Only time will tell.

Moanique said...

John said,

Why is it that some - in another direction than right or center - don't understand sarcasm and wit?

You know nothing of my politics which tend to be more libertarian than anything else. In keeping with the general tendency for some to label any disagreement at all with the current administration as "liberal", I suppose I can understand your mistake.

Sarcasm is all well and good but my understanding of wit is that there's supposed to be some identifiable humor involved. So, I'll amend my remarks to acknowledge the sarcasm while not ignoring the fact that the examples presented as quotes were witless.

Oddly enough, it's just this sort of attitude which was the main point of the original post (to struggle back on topic).

Political disagreement of all sorts has now devolved to either trying to find ways to criminalize political differences or, if that doesn't work, call anyone who disagrees stupid and liberal as if that explains everything.

As an attitude, it's destructive and solves nothing, either here or in D.C.

So, best wishes for a future in which the government plays a smaller, less intrusive part in all of our lives. If that makes me a liberal, I can live with that.

Moan

Sloanasaurus said...

".....So, best wishes for a future in which the government plays a smaller, less intrusive part in all of our lives. If that makes me a liberal, I can live with that.
...."

Here! Here!

The liberals could even get my vote if they were for smaller government....

However, that would ertainly be a bizarro world. Leftism is completely impotent without the power of government.

M. Simon said...

Mackan said...

Do you guys really dispute that this has been a politicized White House? Do you really not think Rove has anything to do with that? Can you really not see why this angers Democrats?

The White House politcized? No!!!!!! Say it isn't so.

M. Simon said...

Congressman Jack "in cold blood" Murtha may be in trouble in his own district.

My prediction? In the coming elections Bush will retain the Presidentcy and the Dems will lose seats.

Jacques Cuze said...

My prediction? In the coming elections Bush will retain the Presidentcy and the Dems will lose seats.

My prediction? In 06, Bush will retain the presidency. In 08, he will lose the presidency.

Moanique said...

Jacques,

That's pretty safe unless he tries to cancel the 2008 elections for some national emergency...heh.

[That's a joke...sort of.]

Kirk Parker said...

Mackan,

"That's a view, though, that says that the ethics in its entirety is nothing more than partisanship."

Not at all. What's wrong with your point of view (either side-splittingly laughable, or quite dangerous, depending on how much headway one thinks you may make with it) isn't that you think there's something wrong with Rove's ethics, it's that you appear to think Sydney Blumenthal doesn't have ethics that are just as bad.

As far as your highly offensive comments about Scalia, all I can say is: everything you say against him also impugns about 50% of your fellow citizens, so what do you want? Another ##$@#*@&& civil war? For myself, I'd prefer if you'd just turn down the partisanship a notch or two.

Bill Woods said...

Jacques Cuze said...

My prediction? In 06, Bush will retain the presidency. In 08, he will lose the presidency.

I predict Bush will retain the presidency until '09.