September 27, 2006

NYT thinks Bush's release of NIE report was politically motivated.

The NYT, under fire for publishing leaked classified information, has this editorial about Bush's release of more of the document that was partially leaked and inaccurately characterized:
It’s hard to think of a president and an administration more devoted to secrecy than President Bush and his team. Except, that is, when it suits Mr. Bush politically to give the public a glimpse of the secrets. And so, yesterday, he ordered the declassification of a fraction of a report by United States intelligence agencies on the global terrorist threat.
Unless you acknowledge the suspicion that you chose to publish a distorted snippet of what was in this report because you wanted to help the Democrats in the fall election, I've got to laugh. And of course, I expect a torrent of comments asking me why I'm still reading the New York Times.

145 comments:

noah said...

Yep, I am wondering, Ann. I used to get their online stuff. But I cancelled months ago when they published only part of a soldier's laptop letter to his family on why he did not regret dying in Iraq.

I knew then that they will never play it straight.

Simon said...

I don't think you should stop reading the NYT if you enjoy it, I would merely argue that if you do read it, you should read it with the same scepticism and presumption of pervading bias -- infecting choice of stories, choice of emphasis, choice of how to cover -- that one approaches Fox News with. I see no difference between the NYT and Fox, other than which direction their bias cuts in.

Gerry said...

Morbid curiousity?

Barley said...

The whole situation stinks. Both the Bush administration and the New York Times clearly had their own political agendas. It is interesting to think that 16 different agencies came to the same conclusion...that the war in Iraq has not made us safer. I'm not quite sure what to believe. I do know, however that this it the last thing the president wants us to hear and of course he will say the exact opposite.

Henry said...

New York Times to the White House: "Hey! Get off our turf!"

Dave said...

"I would merely argue that if you do read it, you should read it with the same scepticism and presumption of pervading bias -- infecting choice of stories, choice of emphasis, choice of how to cover -- that one approaches Fox News with."

I think this is an especially interesting statement. Personally, I read the New York Times because I am a native Manhattaniite, still live in Manhattan, and enjoy, passionately, tilting at windmills. Being a non-liberal in Moscow on the Hudson is an invigorating experience, made more so by reading daily the atrocious prose that passes for "news" in the Times, and then, at parties, skewering the Kael-style* group-think so prevalent among New York's chattering classes.

*A reference to the perhaps-apocryphal story of film critic Pauline Kael not understanding how Nixon was elected because no one she knew voted for him. For all its cosmopolitanism and urbanity, New York City is incredibly provincial and myopic in its understanding of the rest of America.

Al Maviva said...

Kettle calling Pot, come in Pot. Kettle 6 Actual sends that you look black from here, has questions about your timing too, over...

And Barley, nice reductionist logic. It's never good to accuse somebody else of selective quoting when you need to do it yourself to make your point...

MadisonMan said...

I guess more information is better than less. It's too bad we didn't have more information before stepping into this quagmire. I agree with barley -- neither side here is looking particularly noteworthy.

Pogo said...

Stated otherwise, when the NY Times releases classified information that's been leaked by unidentified individuals in the CIA/NSA/State Departemt, it's not politically motivated.

Yup. That'll sell.

As for "...that the war in Iraq has not made us safer
Garbage. So far, the NIE report looks like typical bureaucrat piffle. No insights. No ideas. Just drifting nonsense without a rudder, or even oars. It's hand-waving performance art by unelected techocrats who cannot for the life of them figure out what to do.

And P.S. Many thanks for reading their stuff so others are spared.

Brent said...

What the ...?

Thank you Barley, for the BEST illustration of Ann's point! (Prizes awarded - read everyday's NYT to find yours!) You said . . .

it is interesting to think that 16 different agencies came to the same conclusion...that the war in Iraq has not made us safer.

I'm sorry, Barley old pal, but that's NOT what the released parts of the Document say. That's the VIEW of the New York Times on what it says. You need to , oh . . . ahhhhhhhrrrrrgggg!

You Times liberals are hopeless. Which of course is okay as long as you aren't allowed to vote with your limited knowledge and incorrect facts and . . .

Wait a minute. Consistently misinformed and closed-minded people like you CAN vote.

And you wonder why you're always complaining that the country's screwed up . . .

Bruce Hayden said...

I am a little baffled here. The NYT somewhat inaccurately leaks classified information for obvious political gain. So, the Administration declassifies what the NYT had already leaked, and releases the more complete and accurate version, and the NYT screams politics.

Now that is brazen.

One problem though with their logic is their assumption that skillfully (by them) and politically excerpted portions of the report are more important to the public's right to know than the original in context - because, of course, their avowed justification for disclosing the classified information in the first place was just that, the public's right to know.

David said...

Barley; Don't blame the war on terror in Iraq for our safety. Blame the Islamofascists who have been attacking us for the last three decades.

While you are at it, consider the NYT and leftwing democrats who have been systematically obstructionist in the prosecution of this war. The unconscionable fact remains that they giddily sacrifice our collective safety for no other reason than to get back in power.

Know your enemy whether it be the Islamic fascists or the leakers of classified information from disaffected CIA bureaucrats.

Sloanasaurus said...

It's strange that the NY Times calls this administration the most secret. There have been more government secrets leaked and known to the public in the last few years than recent memory.

I just hope the prosecute the leakers. The administration needs to set up a sting operation.

George said...

Prof.--

For goodness sakes, read The Wall Street Journal.

Great reporting, thrilling editorials, splendid features.

In fact, I'll bet that most people buy the WSJ for its editorials and movie, book, fashion, personal investing stories, not the articles about the US heavy industry, about which there are precious few, unfortunately.

Bruce Hayden said...

FYI, I posted this yesterday on another of Ann's threads, but here is a link to the unclassified portion of the NIE. You should see for yourself whether the NYT was accurate or not and how selective it was when it leaked portions of it.

quietnorth said...

"Unless you acknowledge the suspicion that you chose to publish a distorted snippet of what was in this report because you wanted to help the Democrats in the fall election, I've got to laugh."

Both things may be true: The administration squelched the report at first, and the New York Times didn't cover all of the part of the report they had. But overall, what part is the "snippet" here? That the Iraq war is breeding terrorists, or that the report says losing might breed more terrorists?

Its not that I think the Times is beyond criticism here, its just that by focusing on the Times, we get the focus off the story. Who is muddying the main thrust of this report? The Times or the administration's minions?

MadisonMan said...

My in-laws get both WSJs (that would be the Wall St Journal and the Wisconsin State Journal). I'm always struck by the odd dimensions of the Wall St Journal. It's too wide. Maybe I'd get used to it if I read it frequently.

Fenrisulven said...

I think its interesting how quickly the Left has fallen back on the "both sides do it" fallacy. You can lead a horse to water...

Henry said...

The Times' does mention, halfway through today's story, that nothing in the assessment is particularly novel (does anyone expect insight from our intelligence apparatchiks)? All that matters is that the leak and the release give the New York Times a hook on which to hang its same old story.

And what would that be? David Sanger jumps through the looking glass in his final paragraph and so encapsulates liberal wishful thinking as to make me laugh:

But that argument [that terrorism preceded Iraq] steps around the implicit question raised by the intelligence finding: whether postponing the confrontation with Saddam Hussein and focusing instead on securing Afghanistan, or dealing with issues like Iran’s nascent nuclear capability or the Middle East peace process, might have created a different playing field, one in which jihadists were deprived of daily images of carnage in Iraq to rally their sympathizers.

If only we had established Middle East peace and disarmed Iran -- that would have done the trick.

Anonymous said...

The only inaccurate characterizations I've seen have been at this site and some GOP operations like Redstate, where, as usual, the game plan is distract from the major story with minor details. Maybe partisanship really does rewire the brain so as to preclude independent thinking. Or it's such a useful strategy that it can be used over and over and over....

And yes, I've read it. Some of it is ambiguous in the way of any committee document, but no honest reader can come away from it with the notion that the Administration has handled itself well.

No need to attack me here, as I shan't be back as I explain elsewhere. C'mon over to my place and attack me there.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that the NYT also misses the point that the declassification of the NIE summary was only political if you define anything that the Administration does to further its War on Terror to be poitical.

Part of being able to wage this war is keeping the American people behind it as much as possible. And when an opponent of the war misleadingly releases classified information in order to harm this, then the Administration can realistically be expected to look at the classified information selectively and/or inaccurately leaked, and decide whether it would be in their interest to declassify the information to set the record straight.

Yes, maybe that might get one more Republican reelected this fall. But even that can be viewed in terms of prosecuting the WoT.

So, yes, maybe it was political, in that sense, to declassify the document. But then, selectively and misleadingly releasing only part of it was thus even more politically oriented on their part, using the same logic.

Doyle said...

"The NYT, under fire for publishing leaked classified information..."

You wish.

Also, where was the mischaracterization in their original report? Surely you can't just be basing it on the presence of non-damning conclusions in the newly released 4 pages.

You have to admit what's funny is that the leak is supposed to be this terrible thing, but the remedy is to leak just enough to dilute, but not disprove, the most important conclusion:

The Iraq War has increased the threat of terrorism.

Today's NYT editorial was excellent.

noah said...

As a new book "Moral Minds" makes clear there is a human moral code that takes some doing to overcome. One of the obvious things that has been much commented upon for decades is the creation of "the Other" which allows the unleashing of all sorts of horror as part of a "just war".

The NYT (or Pinch Sulzberger) long ago concluded that George Bush is the "other" so naturally they feel completely justified in trying to convince us by any means necessary. Humans do not ordinarily believe the end justifies any means but when dealing with the "other" they clearly do. Otherwise you would not have so many loonies on the Left talking about killing George Bush.

Doyle said...

noah, thanks for answering the question: What if Levinas was a wingnut?

Fenrisulven said...

but no honest reader can come away from it with the notion that the Administration has handled itself well.

And no honest pundit would need to prop up his position with an Appeal to Conformity.

noah said...

Doyle...don't have a clue.

I suggest the next time you are at a major bookstore that you spend about 45 minutes skimming through the book which is very compelling especially when they talk about surveys of adults from different cultures that pose an array of moral dilemmas and found astonishing uniformity around the world. What is most interesting to me is that most human beings do not understand their own responses (ie cannot give a coherent explanation of their moral choices)!

And it has nothing to do with wingnuttery...the author of the book is clearly of the "liberal" persuasion since he was unable to resist a certain amount of Bush bashing.

Bruce Hayden said...

Doyle

I find your logic interesting, that declassification of the NIE summary was a leak. Most of us use that term to identify the illegal release of classified information, not the legal release of formerly classified information.

Dave said...

Bruce: many administrations and/or other government agencies have "leaked" declassified information to reporters in an attempt to control the press or spin a story. It doesn't seem to me that "leak" is reserved for releasing classified information.

Doyle said...

I'm much less concerned with how this information became/becomes public than what our own intelligence community has to say about the effect of the Iraq War on the terrorist threat.

Tar and feather the leakers if you want.

altoids1306 said...

I read the NYT to stay in touch with the liberal orthodoxy. It's actually quite convinient - I know that every liberal I get into a political discussion with will simply parrot the NYT, so I'm never caught off-guard. On the other hand, liberals are so well-shielded from inconvinient truths that they are literally stunned to hear that the first nation to occupy the Gaza strip was Egypt, or that MLK was a Republican who deplored moral relativism.

(Anyways.)

This whole NYT leak-affair is laughable, and they know it. They can either go Clinton and draw everyone's attention by defending themselves in some ludicrious fashion, or let it slide. True to their liberal form, they've decided to shoot themselves.

And so what if Iraq makes us less safe (assume that it's even true). The act of removing a beehive from your house might make you "less safe" than just leaving it alone, but what are you going to do? Tell the kids not to play outside? Avoid gardening that side of the house? Avoid provoking them by not wearing bright colors or flower-scented perfumes? Appease them with bowls of sugar-water?

If you measure safety as "chances of being stung", there are many ways to be "safe", but really, if the beehive is still there, how safe are you? Isn't true safety the eradication of the threat?

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bruce Hayden said...

Doyle, I think you and the NYT mischaracterize what the NIE said. First, it said:

"Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq “jihad;” (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims —all of which jihadists exploit."

In other words, only one of four factors is our presence in Iraq. Two are long standing problems with most Islamic countries themselves, and the third is a long standing negative view of the U.S.

The other thing is that you and the NYT ignore that the NIE spends much more time justifying our invasion of Iraq than making that above point on the basis of changing the dynamics or creating a paradigm shift.

In other words, in keeping with my analogy yesterday, what the NIE is really saying is that in order to solve the Jihadist problem, you have to drain the swamp. Unfortunately, there may be a couple more alligators enter it while you do, but if you don't drain it, you will spend the rest of your life fighting the alligators who are already there or are being hatched in that swamp.

Brent said...

Doyle,

You said:
The Iraq War has increased the threat of terrorism.

Do you start everything in life with the conclusion that you want and then say that, because you see ambiguous (or "non-damning") evidence, that your conclusion is justified as accurate? You really don't need any evidence do you to support what you want to believe?

When engaging liberals on their blogs, it is almost always - there are some thoughtful exceptions - easy to find their argument fall completely away from the facts that THEY themselves begin with as support for their arguments. This proves the - and I really mean this - saddest point of all:

Most anti-Bush liberals could literally care less about the facts supporting or disproving their arguments. Which means they are only trying to fool others that don't already agree with them. The idea is to "dump" as much stuff as possible out there and hope some of it sticks, and they frankly don't care
which "facts" they are. It means thay are intellectually dishonest, but, more importantly, deceptive. Which now means that they should not be trusted with ANYTHING of value (school boards, local government) over peoples lives.

I'm afraid Doyle, 'ol pal, that you are in the "I sees what I wants to see" column. Also known as the Dan Rather syndrome: the evidence was fake but it still exposed "the Truth"

Gahrie said...

I'm much less concerned with how this information became/becomes public

Well of course since 99%+ of the leaks coming from the State Dept. and CIA for the past six years have been damaging to the administration.

What you moonbats keep forgetting/don't care about is that they are also damaging to the country.

By the way, I bet you are super-dooper concerned about how the identity of Wilson's wife was leaked aren't you?

Bruce Hayden said...

Dave

I was faulting Doyle on what I saw was the misuse of the word "leak". I don't consider the public release of an unclassified document to be a "leak", whereas I do consider the release of classified information by a newspaper to be such.

Sure, an administration may leak unclassified information, but even that is tenuous, since if it is unclassified, it can most likely be obtained through the FOIA.

Zach said...

Regardless of intent on both sides, I wonder how you get from that summary to the NYT's claim that it says the Iraq war has increased the threat. Were they referring to some part of the NIE which remains classified?

It seems to me that if you make a claim that a document says one thing, then (a portion of) the actual document says something else entirely, you owe your readers an accounting of the disparity. Did a source burn them by reading a nonrepresentative paragraph over the phone? Did they obtain a copy of a different part of the document, which actually does say that the Iraq war has made the US less safe?

Doyle said...

Well that leak, at a minimum, ruined the career of a CIA officer, and was an act of retribution.

This is just the official opinion of professional intelligence agencies as to how the War on Terror is going.

Just because information shows our emperor has no clothes, it doesn't make it treasonous.

Plus the language of the document is extremely broad. It's conclusions, not specifics.

The Drill SGT said...

again, the NYT's confuses causality with correlation.

Since 1993 terrorism has been on the rise

Since 2001 terrorism has been on the rise

Since 2003 when we invaded Iraq terrorism has been on the rise

Those 3 items are correlated, but there is not necessarily a causation between the invasion of Iraq and the fact that terrorism is on the rise.

Simon said...

Dave,
Are you familiar with this site:

http://urbanelephants.com/nyc/

?

Pogo said...

I propose that the NIE report is a perfectly hewn goverment document: it can be interpreted to satisfy whatever bias the reader brings to it.

And therefore it is meaningless. It's the Michael jackson of government reports: it's black and white at the same time.

Doyle said...

Zach -

That's the key. As far as I can tell there's no simple declarative statement in the public record.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is one in the remaining text, but it could have been the conclusion of the leaker.

There is definitely nothing to the opposite effect, however, which is what makes Ann's entrenchment so foolish.

noah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Doyle said...

It's the Michael jackson of government reports.

I bet you would be give it more authority if it had better news for the president.

Fenrisulven said...

By the way, I bet you are super-dooper concerned about how the identity of Wilson's wife was leaked aren't you?

They were when they thought it would result in Rove being frog-marched out of the WH. Now that it turns out to be Armitage, they've lost all interest. Their principles are as flexible as their interns.

BTW, why should the Left be trusted with national security when they leak & print classified information?

And shouldn't the CIA revisit its policy on background checks? Seems that some unstable types have slipped through the cracks.

Doyle said...

But during Clinton's years I don't recall otherwise sensible conservatives fantasizing about killing Bubba.

No but they impeached him. I'd settle for that.

He might be in trouble for war crimes, though. Stay tuned :)

Fenrisulven said...

Well that leak, at a minimum, ruined the career of a CIA officer, and was an act of retribution.

Thats not what the Special Prosecutor says. No retribution.

Did you guys really think that a partisan like Wilson could print lies in the NYTs without some reporter asking the administration: why on earth would you send Wilson to Iraq on your behalf?

And yes, that was another CIA-NYTs op that blew up in your face.

Fenrisulven said...

No but they impeached him. I'd settle for that. He might be in trouble for war crimes, though. Stay tuned :)

Heh. Thats a good bumper-sticker.

Vote Democrat
Impeach Bush

I like it so much, I think I'll have a few thousand printed up. I mean, if the terroists are going to use you, why can't I?

Doyle said...

Is there a word in Arabic for "impeach"?

And just because the terrorists hate him, it doesn't mean he's good!

This administration is unbelievably corrupt and incompetent. Thems the facts.

Tim said...

From National Review Online:

"A Berlin opera house has canceled a Mozart performance in response to threats of violence from Islamists who consider “Idomenio’ offensive to Muslims.

Ayyub Axel Koehler, the head of the Central Council of Muslims, one of Germany's largest Muslim groups, said on Tuesday: "While we are absolutely in agreement with the need for a free press, free opinion and free arts, we also think that there are certain limits to those freedoms. If there are issues that most deeply hurt the feelings of believers, then one should then be considerate, as it should be normal among civilized persons."


I blame Bush and the neocons' war in Iraq for Mozart's provocation of the Muslims. The sooner we lose in Iraq, the safer we'll all be, don't you know.

Fritz said...

Doyle,
As US forces moved closer to the Japanese mainland, Japanese hardened their battle against US. By your logic, as soon as the Kamikaze pilots rained down on our fleet, we should have ended operations and gone home.

NATO forces arrived in Afghanistan to relive US forces, the Taliban launched an offensive. Doyle's logic we should surrender.

The tactics used by these terrorists are aimed at the Doyles of the world.

Daniel DiRito said...

As we approach the midterm election, it is safe to conclude that little focus will be given to these realities and their eventual resolution...other than the GOP arguing that we cannot cut and run and the Democrats contending that the existing course of action is an unmitigated failure. I understand the partisan nature of politics but I can't help but look for reasonable alternatives that might succeed.

I contend that the Iraqi conflict, as well as the prevailing Middle East tensions, will be lessened in equal proportion to the success we achieve in providing for a Palestinian state. Given that the NIE assessment posits that, "If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives", then it would be reasonable to conclude that any progress with the Palestinian issue will greatly enhance the speculative potentiality of the NIE report. Absent the Palestinian effort, I'm of the opinion that the NIE timeframe is overly optimistic and dependent upon a relatively static progression without the prevalence of unforeseen events and escalations...which seems unlikely at best.

Frankly, I doubt that the existing Republican approach or the alternative of withdrawal supported by a number Democrats will serve to alleviate the existing conditions and bring relative stability to the troubled region. Neither approach has the wherewithal to alter the prevailing sentiment. Conversely, a voluntary effort that would demonstrate our ability to discern the profound importance of a successful Palestinian state would, in my opinion, yield exponential goodwill. Given the current conditions, such an effort has little risk.

Read more here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Doyle said...

Fenris,

The Armitage story isn't as exculpatory as you all seem to think.

Rove still talked to Cooper. Libby still lied to investigators. There wasn't enough evidence to meet the standard of a violation of the Identity Protection Act or whatever, but it was definitely a coordinated effort to drop a dime on his covert-status wife.

Even Byron York concedes this.

tcd said...

"And so what if Iraq makes us less safe (assume that it's even true). The act of removing a beehive from your house might make you "less safe" than just leaving it alone, but what are you going to do? Tell the kids not to play outside? Avoid gardening that side of the house? Avoid provoking them by not wearing bright colors or flower-scented perfumes? Appease them with bowls of sugar-water?

If you measure safety as "chances of being stung", there are many ways to be "safe", but really, if the beehive is still there, how safe are you? Isn't true safety the eradication of the threat?"

altoids,
That is an excellent analogy. Unfortunately, the liberal anti-war crowd does not think the Islamic terrorists are the bees in the beehive; they think it's George Bush.

MadisonMan said...

Doyle, the very last thing this country needs is an Impeach Bush push in the Congress. I'm all for throwing out the incumbents -- but that's because they can't govern! Look at the skyrocketing deficit, the exploding size of government, corruption, the inability to check the avarice of the Executive Branch...

I think it would be a dreadful mistake for Democrats to interpret a Senate or House power shift after November, if one happens, as a call for impeachment. However, I'm not going to be surprised if Democratic leadership makes yet another dreadful mistake.

knoxgirl said...

What kills me is the argument: "we should be focusing on Iran! The war in Iraq keeps us from doing that! Iran is the real danger!"

As if we should trust anyone on the left to really commit to such action. Heck, if Iran turns out not to be as far along in their weapons program as we thought, they'd just absolve themselves of all responsibility and restart the "Bush Lied!" chant all over again.

Really, what would stop Kerry, Rockefeller, and ALL the democrats who waxed on about how dangerous Saddam was, from doing the same thing about Iran when politically convenient?

Brent said...

Doyle,

But Armitage makes it all moot.

Even the New York Times concedes this.

Patrick Martin said...

Apparently, in NYTimesland, Bill Keller is the chief classifying officer of national security information, not the President. Only he is entitled to decide what secrets the public can and cannot know. If the President does it, he's only playing politics, while if Bill Keller does it, he's being a "responsible journalist" (which will quickly become an oxymoron if other reporters don't start reacting to his b.s. and defending their profession against his outrageous claims).

Doyle said...

"Isn't true safety the eradication of the threat?"

Here's the problem:

Killing terrorists is good.

But if you go about this in a clumsy way, say by invading a country with no ties to Al Qaeda, you will make more of them.

The more the United States is seen as an evil empire which hates Muslims, the more Muslims are going to be recruited to fight us.

We can't do anything about the empire part. I like that we're the richest and the strongest, but we can do something about the evil and Muslim-hating aspects.

As bad as 9/11 was, the solution is not to try to "eradicate" all the dark people who hate us. There are just too many of them, and the more we kill, the more they hate.

We can still invade countries when necessary and prudent, but clearly Iraq was neither.

Fenrisulven said...

Fritz: The tactics used by these terrorists are aimed at the Doyles of the world.

Exactly. Thats why 80-90% of the violence in Iraq is centered around Baghdad, where our "reporters" are holed up. Its a propaganda war targeted at America's weakest link.

dirty dingus said...

NYT editorial fisked my blog - thanks Ann for providing me with about 30 minutes of amusement

Fenrisulven said...

As bad as 9/11 was, the solution is not to try to "eradicate" all the dark people who hate us. There are just too many of them, and the more we kill, the more they hate. We can still invade countries when necessary and prudent, but clearly Iraq was neither

Doyle, thats the point - a democratic Iraq will co-opt the "dark people", as you call them. Did you not read the NIE?

"Progress toward pluralism and more responsive political systems in the Muslim world will eliminate many of the grievances jihadists exploit."

...and back to your "dark people" remark:

"There is some justice in one charge that is frequently leveled against the United States, and more generally against the West: Middle Easterners frequently complain that the West judges them by different and lower standards than it does Europeans and Americans, both in what is expected of them and what they may expect, in terms of their economic well-being and their political freedom. They assert that Western spokesmen repeatedly overlook or even defend actions and support rulers that they would not tolerate in their own countries.

...there is nevertheless a widespread [Western] perception that there are significant differences between the advanced Western world and the rest, notably the peoples of Islam, and that these latter are in some ways different, with the tacit assumption that they are inferior. The most flagrant violations of civil rights, political freedom, and even human decency are disregarded or glossed over, and crimes against humanity, which in a European or American country would evoke a storm of outrage, are seen as normal and even acceptable.

...The underlying assumption in all this is that these people are incapable of running a democratic society and have neither concern nor capacity for human decency."


The Crisis of Islam, Bernard Lewis, p104

Fritz said...

The anti-American left and the jihadists are allies. Both want to weaken worldwide US influence. Victory in Iraq would only make the US's influence stronger. The NIE warns of adaptation by leftist groups of terrorist tactics. There is no substitute for victory in Iraq.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Killing terrorists is good.

But if you go about this in a clumsy way, say by invading a country with no ties to Al Qaeda, you will make more of them.


Whereas if you invade a country which does have ties to al-Qaeda it will have no effect at all. The population from which al-Qaeda recruits terrorists simply can't stand al-Qaeda.

Fenrisulven said...

MadisonMan: Doyle, the very last thing this country needs is an Impeach Bush push in the Congress.

See, this is why I would buy drinks for MadisonMan if we ever bumped into each other at an airport bar. We'd have a pleasant discussion about politics, probably disagree about everything, and maybe learn something from the other.

Joan said...

Even Byron York concedes this.

Link?

Doyle said...

Bloggingheads.tv showdown between York and David Corn. It's the one prior to Ann's appearance.

Bruce Hayden said...

For anyone who wants to cut and paste from the NIE, I have converted it to HTML from the original .pdf format.

Fenrisulven said...

Can I place a side bet that Dolye is distorting what York said?

RogerA said...

Rather than argue about the motivations of who leaked what and for what purpose--the answer to which is obvious--perhaps the focus ought to be the "quality" of the NIE. Put yourself in the position of a decision maker. Read the caveated "key judgments," and ask yourself: (1) could I make use of these to formulate a foreign policy; (2) is this a document that states a specific position; (3) are the authors of the NIE more interested in covering their sorry kiesters or providing meaningful analysis; and finally, could anyone else with a ordinary baccalaureate education write this stuff(and in better prose style) based on a couple of google searches? This is bureaucratic vomitus written so as to ensure that no one will be held responsible for factual content.

This is what constitutes the best product of our intelligence appartus! Content: F; style D-

altoids1306 said...

Doyle: Killing terrorists is good.

But if you go about this in a clumsy way, say by invading a country with no ties to Al Qaeda, you will make more of them.

The more the United States is seen as an evil empire which hates Muslims, the more Muslims are going to be recruited to fight us.

We can't do anything about the empire part. I like that we're the richest and the strongest, but we can do something about the evil and Muslim-hating aspects.

As bad as 9/11 was, the solution is not to try to "eradicate" all the dark people who hate us. There are just too many of them, and the more we kill, the more they hate.

We can still invade countries when necessary and prudent, but clearly Iraq was neither.


Nicely written.

I'm a little too lazy to go back and read everything you've posted here, but if you wrote this because you actually believe this, rather than because it was the convinient, defensible position, we can talk.

The fact that you believe killing terrorists is good and that you like a rich, strong America makes you far, far more reasonable than most of the Democratic party.

You agree with the premise of the global war on terror - terrorism is a national security issue, not a law enforcement issue - but we disagree on tactics (war in Iraq, how it's fought, if it's necessary).

That's fine and good. Something would be terribly wrong with the US if everyone agreed on everything. The question is - what is your plan? It's not enough to say, "Iraq was a bad idea, abort!" This IS the situation today. What would you do, starting today? Pull-out of Iraq - then what? Didn't invade the right country? Then which country? And how should we do it?

We agree that doing nothing is bad. We can't just withdraw from Iraq and go back to doing nothing. You've got to have an alternative plan.

Glenn Howes said...

And of course, I expect a torrent of comments asking me why I'm still reading the New York Times.

Long time readers know why you continue to enable and stand up for the traitors at the Times. Your preference for crossword puzzles over the good of your country. Plus, they have been known to cut you a check for an op-ed.

Harsh? Yes. True? Apparently.

Bruce Hayden said...

Doyle,

As usual, you mischaractize the evidence based on your obvious political biases.

Fitzgerald most likely didn't indict anyone under the identity protection act because: 1) the "bad" actors, i.e. Cheney, Libby, and Rove, lacked the requisite intent; 2) in gross, it didn't harm the U.S.; and 3) Plame most likely didn't qualify as "covert" under the statute, having been stateside for most of the previous 5 or 6 years (her one jaunt overseas, to Jordan, was likely under a diplomatic passport, and even if not, that is unlikely to make her covert).

Fitz would have had a very hard time proving the requisite intent, as the statements by Libby and Rove could easily be seen as mere corroboration in view of Armitage's previous disclosure. In other words, Fitz would have to have sold the jury that what sounded like cooroboration and according to the facts was realistically so, wasn't, but was rather a plot to out Ms. Wilson.

Of course, again, we had a similar situation, where the NYT published misleading information (in the form of Wilson's editorial), and then the Administration was faulted for correcting the record.

altoids1306 said...

Oh, and we don't "try to 'eradicate' all the dark people who hate us". We kill those who try to kill us. A difficult distinction for some liberals to grasp, since not being well-liked is nearly as bad as being killed!

And for the record, I am a dark person.

Verification word: xagfux (new-age band/sex position?)

Doyle said...

What if we didn’t call it “law enforcement” and instead called it “counter-terrorism”?

I get the sense that the former is unpopular because it connotes waiting until an attack has happened, and then trying to apprehend and try those responsible.

But counter-terrorism could be defined as preventing terrorist attacks, by using intelligence and surveillance, and intervention (perhaps by airstrike or special forces). As I’ve said before, I think it would help immeasurably if we had more than a couple hundred FBI, NSA, and CIA agents who spoke Arabic. But I’m also in favor of using electronic surveillance to identify foreign agents, and to follow American citizens whom we have probable cause (warrants! It’s the law!) to believe are involved.

The worst model of all for counter-terrorism is the military one. Occupying territory in the Middle East does not actually “eradicate” very many terrorists. There are Al Qaeda in Iraq, but most of that massive, downplayed death toll is made up of Iraqis who died along Sunni-Shia lines.

It provides terrorists a target and a cause, without inflicting enough damage to offset it.

Doyle said...

the NYT published misleading information (in the form of Wilson's editorial)

So Iraq did try to purchase yellowcake uranium in Africa? I was still under the impression that that claim was as reliable as the aluminum tubes and "Curveball"'s mobile biological labs.

The administration obviously didn't correct the record as well as they could have.

Fritz said...

Bruce,
The criminalization of politics is their only tactic. Wilson is a fraud so they needed some investigation against Bush with a Machiavellian narrative.

George said...

Just think how many comments would be posted here if that NIE report was posed seductively in...

...a tight T-shirt that had....

...really sexy secret excerpts written on it......

Fritz said...

Doyle,
Explain the killing of UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello? He was against the US invasion of Iraq. All he was doing in Iraq, was to help the Iraqis to build a new free Iraq.

SteveR said...

This whole scenario (and comments) are deja vu all over again.

glen howes has it right BTW

Henry said...

We can still invade countries when necessary and prudent, but clearly Iraq was neither.

Doyle, why always the past tense?

Coupled with the implicit criticism of the Iraq invasion, the report also explicitely supports our continued military commitment to same.

What's your strategy? How does withdrawal look to you now?

Bruce Hayden said...

Doyle,

Ok, I guess you can split the hair between whether the Iraqis were investigating buying yellowcake from Niger or if they actually made an offer for it.

Of course, what was misleading about the Wilson article is that in it, he stated that there was no evidence that the Iraqis had PURCHASED yellowcake, which everyone knew. But his CIA debriefers took his trip as corroborating that the Iraqis were seeking to buy such. Of course, everyone knew that the Iraqis had not suceeded in purchasing yellowcake from Niger - and the SoTU message didn't talk about purchasing, but seeking to purchase.

And, from yesterday, you still haven't explained why Iraq had purchsed metal tubes of that quality for, if not for centrifuges for the production of nuclear weapons. Also, at the time that Dr. Rice made her statement, that use was the logical conclusion given the evidence available at that time.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Fen,

Nice Lewis quote. Isn't there a phrase for this:

"Condemning with soft expectations" or something along those lines

Tim said...

"But counter-terrorism could be defined as preventing terrorist attacks, by using intelligence and surveillance, and intervention (perhaps by airstrike or special forces). As I’ve said before, I think it would help immeasurably if we had more than a couple hundred FBI, NSA, and CIA agents who spoke Arabic. But I’m also in favor of using electronic surveillance to identify foreign agents, and to follow American citizens whom we have probable cause (warrants! It’s the law!) to believe are involved."

Facile and pathetic - because bin Laden did not declare war upon us, so we're not at war either. At best the Left wants to dial down the pressure on the militant Islamic fascists, surrender the initiative to the militant Islamic fascists, and respond to their terrorism defensively rather than by taking the fight to them.

This comports with the Left's need to define down and shift blame - just as criminals are victims of society, so too terrorists are victims of western capitalistic and religious imperialism. There is not one example of a nation in the history of the world that had superior military and economic power that won its wars fighting defensively rather than offensively.

The Left doesn't have the stomach or the will to overtly defend the nation with military power, and instead wants to downgrade the war into a hidden by the shadows, forgotten and unseen "counter-terrorism" effort, just like during the Clinton Administration - if only because they can feel better about themselves. This is grossly irresponsible and selfish.

And in the meantime threats will gather undeterred, our enemies will multiply unmolested, his confidence and courage will swell, moderate Muslims will see who the weaker horse is and rally to the ascendant militant Islamic fascists (if only for self-preservation) and the risks will grow unimpeded, just as Americans grow complacent listening to the Left's lullaby that militant Islamic fascism is just a scary dream foisted upon them by George Bush and the neocons.

This is the Lefts' roadmap to defeat and the second dark ages. So much for western civilization and the Enlightenment.

Anonymous said...

Gist of NYT Headline:

Call The Cops! George Bush Punched Us In The Hand With His Face.

There is little truth to the rumor that the slogan: "All the news that's fit to print" will be changed to "Say Anything" starting with tomorrow's edition.

Doyle said...

To whom are we taking the fight, at this point? We're in the middle of a civil war in Iraq. The terrorist threat exists in plenty of other countries, and we can't occupy all of them as a practical matter.

Irresponsible and selfish? How about staying just to look like a tough, resolute Leader? That's all the Chimp has left.

Brian O'Connell said...

"Condemning with soft expectations" or something along those lines

The "soft bigotry of low expectations", aka the racism of the left, aka multiculturalism.

Fenrisulven said...

/blogger eratic, this is my 8th attempt...

Molon_Labe_Lamp: Nice Lewis quote. Isn't there a phrase for this

The bigotry of low expectations.

Dolye: We're in the middle of a civil war in Iraq

No, we're not in the middle of a "civil war".

monkeyboy said...

Killing terrorists is good.

But if you go about this in a clumsy way, say by invading a country with no ties to Al Qaeda, you will make more of them.


paul made the point I was going to make. Why, if Iraq was a secular country, with Saddam keeping Jihadi passions in check with an iron fist, should the war cause more Jihadis?

Why would East Timor and Afghanistan (the only Whahabi government on the plant) get a pass and Iraq rile up the enemy?

Doyle said...
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Doyle said...

Sorry. I meant we're in the middle of a conflict where two populations in the same country are killing each other in droves.

I didn't get a leaked copy of the CIA's super secret definition. I was using the term loosely.

Fenrisulven said...

Why, if Iraq was a secular country, with Saddam keeping Jihadi passions in check with an iron fist, should the war cause more Jihadis?

Secularists cooperating with Funadamentalists is as likely as say... Ahmadinejad and Chavez sharing cigars in Havanna.

[Didn't England/France make the same mistake in WW2? They were clumsy with the Soviets because their state dept types just knew the Communists would never sign a pact with the Nazi.

altoids1306 said...

Alright Doyle, I'll bite.

Counter-terrorism, eh? Ok, I'll buy that. The Israelis use counter-terrorism to fight Palestinian suicide bombers, and they don't nation-build. So "counter-terrorism" might be a viable way to fight terrorism.

But counter-terrorism isn't just hiring people who know Arabic. Counter-terrorism is interrogation, infiltration, bugging offices and prison cells, black-suited men storming into houses and killing masterminds in front of their wives and children. Counter-terrorism is extraditing prisoners to Egypt and Pakistan, where torture means a lot more that being wet and cold. Would Democrats do this?

spree said...

-----PRESIDENT BUSH: Now, you know what's interesting about the NIE -- it was a intelligence report done last April. As I understand, the conclusions -- the evidence on the conclusions reached was stopped being gathered on February -- at the end of February. And here we are, coming down the stretch in an election campaign, and it's on the front page of your newspapers. Isn't that interesting? Somebody has taken it upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes.-------

This concerns me more than words can say, because it is true. 100% true. We have politicians that are in the end run to the November elections, and in this desperate attempt for political gain, they are willing to endanger American lives. Are they helping themselves with this desperation? The latest polls are showing the Republicans gaining. What seemed to be a slam dunk for the Democrats a month ago, is now starting to look like a horse race. I am continuously astounded at how often they shoot themselves in the foot and then wonder why they keep losing.

Maybe they need to take some lessons from the terrorists on how to "adapt". If the terrorists could vote, they would surely vote Democrat to insure a "win" for terrorism.

AJ Lynch said...

Doyle:

I give you this - you take a beating but are like the boxer that won't stay down on the mat.

And if this were really boxing, they'd probably have to give you a nickname similar to Chuck Wepner's. I suggest we rename you the Badger Bleeder.

Barley said...

Brent said...

"You Times liberals are hopeless. Which of course is okay as long as you aren't allowed to vote with your limited knowledge and incorrect facts and . . .

Wait a minute. Consistently misinformed and closed-minded people like you CAN vote.

And you wonder why you're always complaining that the country's screwed up ."

I love that Brent actually called "liberals" misinformed and closed-minded. I don't know why...it just seems a little funny. Especially since the party that he more than affiliates with is historically known and a party of inclusion...you know...they really pushed for the passage of civil rights and liberties legislation.

Another Old Navy Chief said...

Tim said, in response to Doyle:

"Facile and pathetic - because bin Laden did not declare war upon us, so we're not at war either."

But Tim, bin Laden DID declare war on us. In 1998 he issued a fatwah declaring jihad on the United States and exhorting Moslems to kill Americans everywhere they could...

Verification word: skifi - Wireless networking while skiing???

Harry Eagar said...

Way up top, Dave, who lives in Manhattan, sez:

'New York City is incredibly provincial and myopic in its understanding of the rest of America.'

Because the Times is, apparently. Yet I was in New York two weeks ago, and I bought the Times, the Post and the Daily News, and the DN and the Post follow a line that is as unlike the Times' as you could get.

In the part of New York I was visiting, Queens, it was pretty difficult to find a Times, but every bodega had the Post and News.

So are Post and News readers less myopic?

There are also the Journal and the Sun, although I never see the Sun in Queens.

Taken together, the newspaper audience in New York at predominantly unliberal (I don't want to say illiberal), at least as regards foreign policy preferences, despite their tendency to also vote Democratic.

Revenant said...

I shared the Times' "the release was politically motivated!" line with a couple of friends and we had a good laugh about it.

Who says the Times is over the hill? That's leftie performance art at its finest!

Fenrisulven said...

AJ Lynch: Doyle:I give you this - you take a beating but are like the boxer that won't stay down on the mat.

More like Wack-A-Mole. ;)

dave said...

Once again, Althouse proves it's the Most Stupid Place on the Internet™.

Fenrisulven said...

Especially since the party that he more than affiliates with is historically known and a party of inclusion...you know...they really pushed for the passage of civil rights and liberties legislation.

Thats funny too. One party freed the slaves, the other brought them back to the plantation as share-croppers.

buck turgidson said...

"Inaccurately characterized"?? The fumes in that stairwell must have been something... Comparing what I have seen from the "leaked" version with the released version, I see very little that can concievably be interpreted as "inaccurate". The released text is depressing. I suppose, one can read it and follow David Sanger's echo of Bush "that the only way to defeat the terrorists is to keep unrelenting military pressure on them." The problem is, resources. There is a reason why expansionist invasions have been failing in the past millenium after initial success. You don't have the sprawling empires like the Persians, Greeks, Romans and the Chaliphate.

But, more to the point, the question immediately becomes, how did those terrorists get there? And the answer is inescapable--Bush and Rumsfeld let them in. They invented the Iraqi jihad. And the incompetent stooges they sent to manage it made it worse.

It's moments like this that make one miss Nixon. Come to think of it, what happened to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein is kind of similar to what happened to the Republican Party after the fall of Nixon--the crooks, nuts and radicals took over to fill the power vacuum. Given that many came up under the paranoid regime of Nixonian sycophants, is it any wonder we now have what we have?

dave said...
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MadisonMan said...

Dave, if what you say is true, wouldn't the slogan have some kind of grammatical error, for verisimilitude? The Stoopidest Place maybe?

LoafingOaf said...

altoids1306 said...
I read the NYT to stay in touch with the liberal orthodoxy.

I just get the Sunday edition, and of that I only read Art & Leisure, Travel, Style, sometimes Week In Review, plus the magazine and book review. I throw the other sections in the trash and rely on the Economist and the Internet to stay up on things in the world.

And as we approach the last weeks before the elections, I won't be allowing any B.S. September/October surprises from the MSM to influence my votes.

And so what if Iraq makes us less safe (assume that it's even true).

Everyone can go back and forth about whether we're safer or not at this particular moment. It can't be proven either way. We're at war. Wars are hard and ugly, and enemies fight back.

I can understand why Islamic Fascists don't want the new government in Iraq to succeed. What I can't understand is why so much of the rest of the world doesn't want success there. I'll also never be persuaded that the genocidal, imperialistic, terrorist-supporting dictator of Iraq should've been left alone after 9/11. He should've been toppled long before 9/11.

Democrats in America and the rest of the free world should be doing more to help the new Iraqi government succeed, and their criticisms of Bush should be constructive and aimed at making success in Iraq easier. Failure in Iraq should not be an option.

Harkonnendog said...

Dave,

Thanks for reminding those of us who don't visit the far left blogoshpehre of how wacky and deranged y'all are.

People on the right are pointing at you and laughing right now. Honestly. As long as you define the left the left will lose. You empower Bush every time you spew your hate.

LoafingOaf said...
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Fritz said...

Loaf,
The Democrats are not liberal loving Americans, they are power hungry leftists that would create an Iranian type theocracy in Europe and the US to control the democracy if they could. Dave's attitude says it all, they think free people are stupid.

Fritz said...

Dave,
If LBJ had the situation in 1968 Vietnam that we have today in Iraq, he would have been re-elected. LBJ enjoyed support from the Republican Party, his distractors are the same leftists that are now todays leadership of the Democratic Party.

Palladian said...
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Abraham said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SteveR said...

My kids think our UPS driver is a hero, he's like Santa Claus. Dave must be a FedEx guy.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Doyle said...
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johnstodderinexile said...

I think the NY Times has become a conscious adherent to the "Daou's Triangle" theory, and the importance of sticking to The Narrative.

If they didn't write that editorial and allowed people to think their mis-read of this lame-ass report was in fact NOT a killer indictment of Bush's war policies, they would be attacked by bloggers over on the left for letting the conservatives take over the narrative through their version of Daou's Triangle.

This was the thoughtcrime the NY Times was routinely accused of during parts of the Clinton Administration. Their coverage of Whitewater leant crediblity to The Wrong Narrative, because right-wingers could point to the Times and say, "even the Times..."

They are not making that mistake anymore.

Don't you love post-deconstructionalims politics?

johnstodderinexile said...

Doyle,

I consider myself a moderate Democrat. I am very open to the argument that Bush and his administration have utterly screwed up the war in Iraq. And of course, I don't like where they come out on a whole raft of social issues.

But, I'm sorry, I think the sector of the left that thinks, as you said, "the preservation of our form of government is very much in question" are either being highly alarmist or, I hate to say it, disingenous.

You're confusing a temporary political situation of Republican dominance with something deeper and more lasting. The "unitary executive" is not any kind of constitutional change. It's just what tends to happen if the same party runs the two elected branches, and is succesful in appointing judges to the third. Besides, contrary to popular belief, the word "co-equal" to describe the three branches is nowhere in the Constitution. I am confident that whoever takes office in 2009 will find a presidency with its authority enhanced only very marginally.

Most of the supposed outrages against civil liberties of this administration are incredibly hypothetical, and mostly reflect changes in communications technology -- some of which makes it harder to track enemies, and some of which gives us unprecedented opportunities.

But what really irritates me is: if what Bush, the NSA, the Justice Dept., etc. are doing is so wrong, where are the counter-proposals from my party?? Your position can't be "repeal all of it," can it? You must also want to monitor terrorist activities, communications and money exchanges, right? Just in a different way. So why isn't there more energy being put into crafting a comprehensive program to offer as an alternative to the Patriot Act, etc.? Why is the only response to Bush Admin. efforts to protect us -- efforts that on the face of it seem to have been successful -- to invoke some kind of dark, looming dystopia of Christian theocracy and lost freedom? It's just not credible.

altoids1306 said...

It's frustrating because we feel that the course of the country is being decided by people with vastly different priorities than our own. It's...it's...almost like the US is a democracy, reflecting the wishes of a (slim) majority!

(Being snarky because I'm tired - Doyle, please read my second post on this thread for a more substantial reply.)

Old Dad said...

Doyle:

"The preservation of our form of government is very much in question."

Shrill? I suppose. Hysterical? Certainly.

Read some history, bub. There was, let me think, oh yeah, a revolution, and the Alien and Sedition Acts, and the Civil War, and the denial of habeus corpus, and Dred Scott, and ...

You think the Union is at risk because of Chimpy McHitlerburton who agrees with most Americans that Andrew Sullivan doesn't need to marry the boyfriend, and that waterboarding Osama is probably necessary because we just don't need more bodies falling from 80 stories into lower Manhattan.

It's hell on the tourist trade.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, you should note that the NYT linked to my blog post on the page that I linked to.

Doyle said...

You're confusing a temporary political situation of Republican dominance with something deeper and more lasting. The "unitary executive" is not any kind of constitutional change.

No, I'm not, and yes, it is.

The theory of executive power espoused by the Bush administration makes the partisan composition of the Congress irrelevant.

The John Yoo theory is that, in executing his Article II power, the president can violate statutory law in any area he deems vital to our national security interests.

He is incredibly up front about this theory, and it is truly radical. The American Bar Association is very concerned.

One need only look at the sheer volume of presidential signing statements to see this theory in action.

Most of the supposed outrages against civil liberties of this administration are incredibly hypothetical, and mostly reflect changes in communications technology...

Jose Padilla and Yaser Hamdi were two American citizens who were imprisoned without trial for years. When forced to try them or release them, the government had to released them because they had no case.

As for the "changes in communications technology", that dog don't hunt. The FISA law governs electronic surveillance, which is what the government is doing. Just because there are cell phones now, it doesn't mean the government no longer needs warrants to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens.

Gahrie said...

but the kind of outrage that Clinton showed on FNC is not the liability Ann thinks it is.

Oh but it is Doyle. It is no liability with the moonbats, Kossacks and Deaniacs you hang out with, sure.

But the point you lefties have been missing for is that you can't win with just the lunatic fringe. The rational left, mainstream moderates, and the right does see a display like that and get offended.

The rational left will hold it's nose and follow you, but that's still not enough to win.

But you guys will keep your boorish (at best) behavior up, piss off the moderates, and complain about stolen elections.

(Anyone want to start a pool on how soon Doyle's first stolen election post goes up this Nov.?)

The Drill SGT said...

johnstodderinexile said...
Doyle,

I consider myself a moderate Democrat. I am very open to the argument that Bush and his administration have utterly screwed up the war in Iraq. And of course, I don't like where they come out on a whole raft of social issues.


LOL,
johnstodderinexile,

I consider myself a moderate Republican. I am very open to the argument that Bush and his administration have utterly screwed up the war in Iraq. And of course, I don't like where they come out on a whole raft of social issues. but on the GWOT I am on the side of the good guys. That means aggressive use of technical means (our only real advantage) to track and listen in on terrorists talking to whomever, outside the US or if they call inside the US. As I read FISA, a tap is only illegal if we both know a US person is a target and collect the data inside the US.

I campaigned for McCarthy, voted for McGovern, Carter, and Clinton (once). I don't think the Democrats can win the White House without getting Ann's vote and mine and they won't get our votes until they have something beyond BDS and Bush Lied. They need to be able to answer the questions about what now that we're in Iraq, what can we do that won't be worse than trying to win.

Fenrisulven said...

But the point you lefties have been missing for is that you can't win with just the lunatic fringe. The rational left, mainstream moderates, and the right does see a display like that and get offended.

I would add that such hysterics immunize the Right from legitimate criticism. It marginalizes rational Dems like Johnstodder because we stop taking you seriously.

Doyle said...

I would add that such hysterics immunize the Right from legitimate criticism.

Oh, come now... Bubba calls a conservative hit job a conservative hit job, and it "immunizes the Right"?

If only it were that easy. There's a problem, though. People would also have to be totally convinced that Clinton was asleep at the wheel. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

Paco Wové said...

Anyone else noticing a certain, well, coarsening of the atmosphere around here?

johnstodderinexile said...

The theory of executive power espoused by the Bush administration makes the partisan composition of the Congress irrelevant.

The John Yoo theory is that, in executing his Article II power, the president can violate statutory law in any area he deems vital to our national security interests.


Not really. The theory -- and that's all it is -- is that in some areas, mainly the conduct of war policy, Congress cannot simply pass a statute that constrains powers the president is granted by the Constitution. I don't think it's only "brownshirts" who think the Congress seized too much power in the post-Vietnam period and that a correction was needed.

Even so, that's a far cry from saying our form of government is at risk. Even under that theory, Congress retains the massive power the Constitution envisioned for it. And the Supreme Court still does what it does, including, perhaps, deciding Bush is all wet about the unitary executive. If our form of government was so at risk, what was Bush doing negotiating about interrogation policy with mere Senators? Bush made it clear that, in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision, his administration lacked any authority to proceed with wartime interrogations unless Congress granted it to him. If Bush was ignoring our form of government, he'd have just said screw you to both the Court and the Senate on this topic.

Revenant said...

Let me give you a little insight into the mind of a shrill liberal:[...]

The preservation of our form of government is very much in question. I personally think if more Americans understood the "three branches" idea better, they would agree.

In short, you're shrill because you're completely out of touch with reality?

But our concerns are, somewhat paradoxically, called unpatriotic or even treasonous.

Not by anybody who matters.

JDM said...
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ajfox4 said...

Wow. Amazing that an EDITORIAL in the NYT set right-wing tongues a-wagging about the objectivity of news reporting in the Times. According to Random House:
ed‧i‧to‧ri‧al 
noun. 1. an article in a newspaper or other periodical presenting the opinion of the publisher, editor, or editors.

Aha. Just as I thought: the Editorial Page presents editors' opinions, not objective news reporting.

Granted, with all the editorializing that passes for news on Fox News Channel, et al., it's not surprising my colleagues across the isle are confusing an newspaper editorial with the actual reporting of news.

Revenant said...

Aha. Just as I thought: the Editorial Page presents editors' opinions, not objective news reporting.

Sure. But the editors are the ones who edit, rewrite, approve, reject, and otherwise filter that so-called "objective news reporting" before we're allowed to see it.

And that's why the editorial is so amusing -- because it reveals that the people responsible for determining what "objective news" weren't allowed to see are guilty of a shocking degree of partisan bias.

Did the original reporters raise the possibility that their source was politically motivated to undermine Bush, only to have that issue editted out of their article? Or were the reporters themselves too biased and/or incompetent to acknowledge that possibility? Either answer doesn't reflect well on the Times -- especially since it turned out that the original leaker had, indeed, misrepresented the document for whatever reason.

Palladian said...

January2009- So who writes these "editorials"? Well, the editors. And, though I hate people who cite the dictionary as a method of argument, here goes:

ed‧i‧tor |ˈeditər| noun. A person who is in charge of and determines the final content of a text, particularly a newspaper or magazine.

So it seems that the editors who write and approve the editorials are often the same people that determine the final content of a text, like say The New York Times. The editorial page represents the position of the newspaper. So why is it misguided to understand that the choice and content of news articles would not also reflect the position of the editors of the paper? We need to drop this quaint mid-20th century notion that news and reporters are neutral. All subjective experience is, by nature, not neutral. To claim that it is, or to force it to be so, is dishonest.

JDM:

"Palladian, if I was gay, and could get married, I'd ask you to marry me."

We can work on eliminating both of those hindrances to our nuptials, JDM. You'd be surprised. I await the engagement ring.

Old Dad said...

Jan...9:

There's nothing unusual about the editorial. Or even unseemly by the Times' recent standards.

It's just stupid and unfortunate.

Fenrisulven said...

Doyle said...
Fen: I would add that such hysterics immunize the Right from legitimate criticism.

Doyle: Oh, come now... Bubba calls a conservative hit job a conservative hit job, and it "immunizes the Right"?

I was referring to dave and you - your hysterics, not Clinton's.

ajfox4 said...

Editors have opinions, and they appropriately express them on the Editorial Page. This is not a revelation.

News, the simple reporting of events, is not and cannot be subjective. The government prepared a report. It said xy&z. That is objective.

The reporting of the existence and content of the NIE (that is, that the Iraq War is resulting in recruitment of more jihadists; jihadists are the biggest threat to the security of the nation) was not subjective. It's right there in the released portion of the NIE.

Rather, the timing of the leak of the NIE was calculated and political, on the part of the leaker.

Querying whether the NYT reporters then became a tool, or a worse a collaborator, in those political motivations, is a relevant question. But, when faced with either reporting or NOT reporting the conclusions of the NIE, for fear of appearing political? That is a judgement call.

Badger Down Under said...

The preservation of our form of government is very much in question

I find it impossible to take seriously anyone who actually believes this.

Johnny Nucleo said...

"Counter-terrorism is extraditing prisoners to Egypt and Pakistan, where torture means a lot more that being wet and cold. Would Democrats do this?"

Good point, Altoids.

The problem with the Left when it comes to this thing is that they do not accept the fact that this thing just plain sucks and there are no good choices, just choices that suck and choices that suck worse.

The only serious alternatives are coming from the paleo-right, not the Left.

Here's a serious alternative that I don't like that comes from the paleo-right: Fortress America.

This idea sucks, but it might work. Who knows? We get hit hard again it might start looking pretty good.

But what we get from the Left are laundry lists: more Arabic speakers, more surveillence, give Palestine a state and then they will be happy (Who out there believes this?) - feel-good, easy-sounding, five-point plans.

The reason we get laundry lists from the Left when it comes to this thing, as well as just about everything else, is that the Left has been conceptually bankrupt since the seventies. It simply cannot deal with Big Stuff anymore.

This thing, however we do it, will be hard and ugly. If you cannot accept this, you are a child.

Daryl Herbert said...

Jan09:

It's definitely okay for the editors to have opinions, and express them. And normally, having an opinion does not, by itself, reflect on the objectivity of the news section of the paper.

But when their opinions are about their own news reporting, and are so out of touch with reality, we can question the editors' judgment in terms of what constitutes reasonably objective news.

Daryl Herbert said...

But, when faced with either reporting or NOT reporting the conclusions of the NIE, for fear of appearing political? That is a judgement call.

But they didn't report "the conclusions of the NIE." They reported a few sentences from it, without the context of the full conclusions.

And they knew, when they chose to report it, that this was a potential problem. They went ahead anyway, because the sentences they were given appeared to go along with the message they wanted to send all along.

If a CIA official had leaked a few of the other sentences, such as the one about victory in Iraq defusing the global jihad somewhat, do you think the NYT would have bothered to run that at all?

Fenrisulven said...

Here's a serious alternative that I don't like that comes from the paleo-right: Fortress America. This idea sucks, but it might work. Who knows? We get hit hard again it might start looking pretty good.

Static defenses. They never stand. We could turn the US into a police state wrapped within a 60 foot wall and we would still get hit.

I agree that there are no good choices. I am worried that history will compare this period to the Phoney War of WW2. We're not going to get serious until after we lose a city.

Fenrisulven said...

But they didn't report "the conclusions of the NIE." They reported a few sentences from it, without the context of the full conclusions.

And you have to ask: when did the NYTs get the leak? The NIE was drafted in April. Did they get it in before September and sit on it until they thought it would affect the midterm elections?

Revenant said...

News, the simple reporting of events

Oh, please. From the NYT article:

"The strong words illustrated the extraordinary sensitivity in the debate over how to deal with the threat of terrorism and the stormy political blame game about who has done more, or should have done more, or would do more, to fight it."

... yeah, right, "a simple reporting of events" my ass. A "simple reporting of events" would have simply listed the quotes in question and noted that they purportedly came, via a member of the intelligence community, from the NIE. But that doesn't sell underwear ads and milk coupons, so they need to pad the article with lots of opinion and news analysis from five liberals, one RINO, and two conservatives -- you know, for "balance".

So let's have none of this bullshit about their "simple reporting of events".

is not and cannot be subjective.

You misspelled "objective". Perhaps the reporting of events *should* not be subjective, but so long as it is being reported by humans that's exactly what it will be. The notion that a bunch of Democratic reporters overseen by Democratic editors writing a paper consumed by an overwhelmingly Democratic city are going to come out with objective reporting would be naive if it *hadn't* already been demonstrated repeatedly that said objectivity was nonexistant. As it is now, believing that the NYT is even remotely objective is about as rational as believing the moon is made of green cheese.

Fenrisulven said...

Fen: I was referring to dave and you - your hysterics, not Clinton's.

Doyle, I want to apologize for comparing you to dave. I didn't mean it that way.

From my perspective, dave is way out in left field [even in the bleachers and everyone considers him a fool, and thats after accounting for his poor social skills.

Johnstodder is the lethal shortstop in the infield. He'll run a double-play on you if your logic gets sloppy.

You are somewhere in between. I was only trying to explain that from our perspective, exageration and hyperbole makes us wonder if you are more concerned with scoring political points than solving the problems we face.

RogerA said...

Probably too late in this thread, however Doyle--I will accept your concern about the president trying to change our system of government; could you please tell us all just how he can accomplish that? In all honesty I would be very interested in precisely how that could be accomplished.

Harkonnendog said...

"We see our government preparing to institutionalize torture."

This is not so. It isn't a matter of semantics. According to some, simply imprisoning a person is torture. So to pretend "torture is torture is torture" is no more than a way to avoid an argument.

Revenant said...

So to pretend "torture is torture is torture" is no more than a way to avoid an argument

Exactly. For example, almost two-thirds of Americans claim to be against torture, but similar percentages also think there's nothing wrong with hooding prisoners, refusing to let them sleep, and bombarding them with loud noise -- tactics that have been condemned as torture by human rights organizations. So whose opinion counts? Americans' or NGOs'?