September 4, 2008

Biden says a President Obama might pursue criminal charges against George Bush.

Now, this is loose talk from Biden, saying the one thing which, if I believed it, would force me to vote for McCain.

Please follow up with Obama himself, because I'd really like to know. Oh, and when you're asking Obama this question, please needle him with the Eagleton scenario, because that's the way they talk about McCain and Palin, and I like to see good turnabout.

ADDED: The linked article quotes what Obama said on the subject a while back:
"[I]n April, [Obama] vow[ed] that if elected, he would ask his attorney general to initiate a prompt review of Bush-era actions to distinguish between possible "genuine crimes" and "really bad policies".

"[I]f crimes have been committed, they should be investigated," Obama told the Philadelphia Daily News. "You're also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we've got too many problems we've got to solve."
That's different from pursuing Bush specifically. I can't believe Obama would want his administration consumed with the past and all about Bush. I know I don't want that. But then, I voted for Gerald Ford, long ago. (And I was the kind of person who voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980... and Mondale and Dukakis and Bill Clinton, twice, and Al Gore.)

ADDED: And McGovern.

AND: Please understand that my opinion here is not just about the advisability of pursuing criminal charges against a former President. This goes to the more general question of judgment. I will not trust the presidency in the hands of a person who thinks this way.

IN THE COMMENTS: Of Biden's idea, Joe says:
This is banana republic material.
Palladian quips:
Let's hope Biden and Obama slip on the rhetorical peel and go down in a hilarious pratfall before they're elected.
AND: Here's the video:




I love the first part where he inanely lectures us about the word "estoppel." I guess the Obama campaign has decided to go with the law professor vibe. But Senator Biden, I am a law professor. I work with law professors. Law professors are friends of mine. Senator, you're no law professor.

131 comments:

vbspurs said...

Ahh, sweet smell of desperation.

Go for the only trump card they hold, after just getting beaten to a foetal position by some little lady.

Simon said...

Is there any particular reason you wouldn't believe it?

Simon said...

I mean, this isn't the first time. I can't remember specifically, but IIRC when you were on the radio last, you talked about this and I found a couple of quotes from Obama that seemed to indicate that this was indeed on his mind. Sure, he's pandering to his base, who desperately want to see witch hunts, show trials and spandau ballet, but what would make you think that he wouldn't do it if he gets into office to continue the pandering?

Sloanasaurus said...

This statement from Biden is the biggest gaffe of the election so far.

Nothing could be more partisan or vitriol. It's one thing for people to shout "get Bush" in jest, but to announce that you are going to put the last administration in jail the day you are elected is outrageous. This is the kind of stuff that you get in banana republics and Saddam Hussein's Iraq. If Obama came into office and started prosecuting Bush and his administration (which would be for obvious political reasons), our country would never be the same again.

Biden and Obama need to read some Thucydidies. Prosecuting the prior leader has been tried many times before in history and it always ends badly. We have a 200+ year old tradition of transferring power peacefully. Biden's idea would put that in jeopardy.

mcg said...

Andrew Sullivan will be happy.

But really, I only said that so I could link to an article that suggests if (God forbid) Sullivan develops AIDS, he can blame the Roman Empire.

Peter V. Bella said...

Biden is pandering to the real left in the party; legislative collegues and voters who want to see Bush indicted. They cannot understand why Reid/Pelosi refuse to go after the president. He is sounding out what some have said in the past and affirming it.

Biden and Obama are US Senators. If they were serious he could have authored and/or sponsored a bill with great media fanfare andtried to push it through. All they did was talk; talk is cheap.

SteveR said...

That's a mature strategy.

garage mahal said...

So why don't you don't tell us what they should do then?

"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden said

You're a constitutional law professor, what the hell should they do, and why?

former law student said...

Prosecuting the prior leader has been tried many times before in history and it always ends badly.

But picking Cheney as a running mate made W. virtually impeachment-proof. Could we have had a double-impeachment? Or start with Cheney, then go after W.?

Bob said...

It's all part and parcel of the deception that Obama and Biden have to practice in order to get elected. If they came right out and said We're going to try and throw Bush and Cheney in jail, institute draconian new gun control laws, raise taxes on petroleum by 200% and nominate Earl Warren-like judges to the Supreme Court, they'd never get elected.

Roger J. said...

Garage: read thucydides for your answer

Simon said...

Garage, I think that the problem - the thing that frightens normal people - is the assumption underlying your comment: that something must be done to punish the Bush administration after they leave office, and the only things left to decide are what and how.

Meade said...

"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued... [N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution, out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."

What's wrong with that?

jdeeripper said...

Like I said when Obama first picked this White daddy/Cheney to help him out. Forget about the foot, before it's over most of Biden's leg will down his own throat.

Simon said...

Ann added:
"I can't believe Obama would want his administration consumed with the past and all about Bush. I know I don't want that."

The Democrats seized control of Congress for the first time in a decade in January 2007, and they've spent the entire time since consumed with investigating and going after the administration. Is there a particular reason to think that Obama's administration would be any different?

Simon said...

It's become clear, hasn't it, that if Obama wins, Bush is going to have to issue a blanket pardon, covering anything done for any reason, at any time, by any person who worked in his administration.

AprilApple said...

from the corner:

While Sarah Palin was making her big stage debut yesterday, Joe Biden was reminding us that an Obama-Biden ticket means "four more years" of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

rcocean said...

"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden said during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to ABC.

"[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution," he added, "out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."

Wow, I don't think any POTUS candidate has threatened to prosecute the former POTUS or AG before. What's the charge "Crimes against Humanity" or ... ?

garage mahal said...

Simon
What I meant was, if there is an obvious crime committed that is found by an incoming Attorney General, what IS the protocol!? Ignore it? Why? And why on earth would you not vote for someone that took that job seriously? The Attorney General isn't the personal lawyer for the President, and what you're then saying is they shouldn't pursue a crime committed in their own administration. Craziness.

AprilApple said...

They feel they need to secure the KOS vote?

Joe said...

This is banana republic material.

mcg said...

GM: it's one thing to have an obvious crime fall in your lap. It's another to launch a time consuming and expensive investigation into alleged crimes that might exist, though more likely just exist in the minds of your most bush-wacked supporters.

MadisonMan said...

Well, let's assume that -- for example -- the criminal investigation into former AG Gonzales' treatment of eyes-only papers hasn't concluded by inauguration (and that GWB hasn't pardoned him). I would expect the next administration -- whichever it is -- to continue the line of inquiry through to prosecution, if warranted.

My inclination is that this is an oversimplification on Biden's part about what Obama would do. Thank you, Ann, for adding the past quote that suggests the same thing. Certainly Obama should be asked to clarify Biden's comment, however. Maybe Biden should be as well.

Palladian said...

"This is banana republic material."

Let's hope Biden and Obama slip on the rhetorical peel and go down in a hilarious pratfall before they're elected.

former law student said...

the only things left to decide are what and how.

The choice has always been between war crimes and treason.

But Bush can take a leaf from both the Clinton and Ford notebooks: In the car driving over to the Inauguration, Bush can issue pardons to his administration. That would get people like Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo off the hook.

Then Bush could resign, allowing the newly absolved Cheney to pardon Bush.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So why don't you don't tell us what they should do then?

They should be looking forward and not backwards. Uniting the country instead of dividing. Doing productive things and paying attention to the economy, security, immigration instead of spending years on wasteful vendettas that will do nothing in the end.

The should not be pandering to the far left howling moonbats of their party and instead try to bring the greater middle of the country into their own fold.

Of course they won't do any of these things. They just can't help themselves.

Edmund said...

Biden and Obama need to read some Thucydidies. Prosecuting the prior leader has been tried many times before in history and it always ends badly.

For even more examples, read the history of the end of the Roman Republic. Criminalizing political differences is why Sulla, Caesar, and others instigated civil wars. It will result in leaders that are ruthless in eliminating their opposition by any means necessary.

This is the line that some want us to cross. Think Nixon's dirty tricks office was awful? Think that Carville's politics of personal destruction was bad? This slippery slope leads to framing opponents to send them to jail, physical threats, and ultimately the assassin as a political tool.

goesh said...

"Ahh, sweet smell of desperation" - vbspurs
amen to that

garage mahal said...

MCG
Biden never said they would appoint a Bush-whacked supporter. C'mon man.

So if Obama is elected what you're saying is he can do damn whatever he pleases, break and laws he wants, violate the Constitution at will, knowing the next administration will do absolutely nothing about it.

former law student said...

raise taxes on petroleum by 200%

Convening in a city where an Interstate highway bridge collapsed, perhaps the Republicans should explain how they intend to pay for highway infrastructure improvements.

and nominate Earl Warren-like judges to the Supreme Court

More danger of that from McCain actually -- Earl Warren was a tough-on-crime conservative Republican when Republican General Eisenhower nominated him as Chief Justice.

Roger J. said...

Edmund: you assume that our current crop of politicos are gounded in the classics--Alas, not so. As you rightly suggest, the best reference at this point would be the period between the republic and the empire--the major difference thank gaia is that the legions (our american military) is not involved.

Simon said...

One reason to think that they will do it: Obama isn't going to end the war in Iraq, so he will need to throw something to the base to distract them from his failure to end the war. What better way to distract than a massive investigation into Bush and promises of indictments?

garage mahal said...

The should not be pandering to the far left howling moonbats of their party and instead try to bring the greater middle of the country into their own fold.

I wasn't aware our Constitution and laws were written by far left howling moonbats.

Peter V. Bella said...

former law student said...
the only things left to decide are what and how.

The choice has always been between war crimes and treason.



Treason? You are kidding, right?

PatCA said...

Obama doesn't think much of his country so of course he would prosecute Bush! His Jimmy Carterist policies will fail quickly and he will need some bread and circuses to salve the egos of the masses.

goesh said...

bush tortured muslims, more interesting fare than having bridges fixed with tax dollars

vbspurs said...

I will not trust the presidency in the hands of a person who thinks this way.

Ann, OBAMA HAS SAID SO publicly that he would.

Here is his 4-point strategy for going after US "war criminals".

Please note that this was a .PDF from his own website that went down the memory hole, but Charles, I and others kept it for posterity.

If for nothing else, because war criminals can imply Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld but also common everyday soldiers, this is a reason not to vote for Obama.

I sense this is not a bluff either.

Cheers,
Victoria

SteveR said...

OK so the path forward is clarified as just making sure anything illegal is uncovered by investigation, making sure we learn from our mistakes and wrongdoers punished. Well that's a bunch of crap.

Nothing will be resolved for years, if ever, and in the meantime what? Did learn anything 10 years ago or are we just intent on revenge? Well maybe we are just stupid, that's a legitimate reason to go this way.

bearbee said...

Wow, I don't think any POTUS candidate has threatened to prosecute the former POTUS or AG before. What's the charge "Crimes against Humanity" or ... ?

This is dangerous rhetoric. Their only objective is to reinvigorate their base by smearing Bush and casting doubt about McCain.

If there is criminal conduct then it should be pursued, but to announce such a thing during a campaign is reckless.

If, once in office, they do investigate they then will be constantly looking over their shoulders whenever they make a decision in fear of a suceeding administration vowing to do the
same.

And to Peter V. Bella's point, if there is criminal conduct why haven't Reid/Pelosi gone after the president?

P. Rich said...

What DBQ said.

Impressive, this Obama/Biden ticket. Sterling representatives of a degenerate Democratic Party which could only summon the choice between a coattail Clinton and a junior product of the Chicago political machine with delusions of grandeur as their best and brightest choices for President of this great nation.

Our country needs two (or more) strong and constructive political parties to provide viable choices. The Dems are far down a road in the wrong direction, and when they lose this election, the situation will only grow worse. It's inevitable, I suppose, because great leaders cannot arise and prosper in the Democratic Party as presently constituted.

Sloanasaurus said...

This shows terrible judgment. Obviously Biden has no understanding of history. He apaprently sees the Presidency as a way to get even with his political enemies rather than make life better for all Americans. How disgusting.

Biden has poor judgment. Biden opposed all of Reagan's policies to use to fight the USSR. He oppose our aid to El Salvador and the Contras. He opposed modernizing our military. He opposed SDI. Biden has been wrong on all the issues related to foreign policy except one - taking down Saddam Hussein (he later voted to surrender though).

It's not surprising that he would continue making poor judgment. What a moron.

rcocean said...

If the POTUS or AG commits "High crimes and Misdemeanors" - Congress is supposed to impeach them. You don't start the prosecution AFTER they left office. That does country no good.

But the partisan in me actually likes this. Obama will drive his Administration into the ground and elect a Republican Senate in 2010 if he put Cheney or Gonzales in a show trial. It'll make Olbermann and the Moonbats happy though.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

This is great news. I hope Joe winds up on all the networks. Are the lefties dumb, tone deaf, or both? This is like watching a slow motion car crash.

Richard said...

I was the kind of person who voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980... and Mondale and Dukakis and Bill Clinton, twice, and Al Gore. ADDED: And McGovern.

What a string of ungodly losers. Blonde is as blonde does.

former law student said...

Treason? You are kidding, right?

Tying up our combat military in Iraq has given aid and comfort to our enemy Russia, which can attack Georgia with impunity knowing our resources are stretched to the limit.

Using false evidence to induce the United States to go to war against Iraq essentially levies war against the United States -- the result is the same. The harm is the death and maiming of our combat troops, further weakening our combat military, as well as the trillion dollar expense, robbing resources from our military and from the rebuilding of our domestic infrastructure.

Any investigation would also look at who benefited financially from the war in Iraq -- Halliburton and Blackwater are just a start.

The Drill SGT said...

mcg said...
GM: it's one thing to have an obvious crime fall in your lap


The only crimes that the ex-President should be vulnerable for after leaving office are personal ones, not policy crimes.

Find out that the President had his mistress killed to silence her? Took a bribe? Lock him up.

As for politcal payback, Greek and Roman style? Read VDH, "A War like No Other"

http://www.amazon.com/War-Like-Other-Athenians-Peloponnesian/dp/1400060958

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

FLS--and precisely what should our military have done to intervene in Georgia? You cannot move heavy divisions into a god forsaken country in less than six months; moreover you are dealing with a country that has nukes--we going to start a nuclear war over georgia? You grasp of military fundamentals is quite frankly terrible

former law student said...

if there is criminal conduct why haven't Reid/Pelosi gone after the president?

Removing the President does no good as long as Cheney would take his place.

I agree that no action against members of the W. administration can take place after Inauguration Day 2009.

John Lynch said...

The cringe factor--stressing out every time your candidate opens his mouth--has definitely switched sides when it comes to VPs.

bearbee said...

'Prosecution of George W Bush for Murder!' Vincent Bugliosi

So was the Justice Dept asked to investigate?

Here is C-Span in 4 parts for those having the stamina Executive Power and the Bush Administration

Simon said...

Ann, I hope you're reading what Garage and FormerLawStudent are saying, because I guarantee you that they aren't the only people who think this way. This is how the people who swirl around Obama -- from whom he has drawn most of his support and to whom he is going to be indebted to should he win -- think.

rcocean said...

"Tying up our combat military in Iraq has given aid and comfort to our enemy Russia, which can attack Georgia with impunity knowing our resources are stretched to the limit."

When did Russia become our "Enemy"? When did Georgia become important to the well-being and safety of the USA?
I must have missed this.

Simon said...

FLS, Garage - promise me that you'll keep talking about this for the next two months? As loudly and as often as possible, please.

former law student said...

You cannot move heavy divisions into a god forsaken country in less than six months;

How long did it take Russia? Did the free world really sit on its hands for six months?

moreover you are dealing with a country that has nukes--we going to start a nuclear war over georgia?

Russia has never used nuclear weapons in any of its wars over the past six decades -- a little thing called mutual assured destruction has prevented it.

former law student said...

Oh, I dunno -- maybe around the same time Iraq become important to the well-being and safety of the USA?

Ann Althouse said...

"Blonde is as blonde does."

Racist. Sexist.

paul a'barge said...

I will not trust the presidency in the hands of a person who thinks this way

I guess you'll be voting for McCain then.

Because I can guarantee you that Obama will be all over that vindictive, "let's prosecute GWB" thing like fleas on a dog.

Dogwood said...

Tying up our combat military in Iraq has given aid and comfort to our enemy Russia, which can attack Georgia with impunity knowing our resources are stretched to the limit.

You people are so deranged.

We have eleven aircraft carriers that have the military capacity to bomb the Russian troops back into Russia if we wanted to.

We don't want to, not right now.

Simon said...

rcocean said...
"When did Russia become our 'Enemy'?"

That's what I've been trying to figure out for weeks, but alas, McCain disagrees with me on this point. Since when is Russia our enemy, and if it wasn't, why would we do something to make it so?

It's important to note that our enemy in the cold war wasn't Russia. Our enemy was communism. Yes, for the duration of that conflict, the enemy held Russia, but that didn't make Russia our enemy any more than the Philippines were our enemy in the Pacific War just because Japan happened to hold them.

Sloanasaurus said...

Using false evidence to induce the United States to go to war against Iraq essentially levies war against the United States -- the result is the same. The harm is the death and maiming of our combat troops, further weakening our combat military, as well as the trillion dollar expense, robbing resources from our military and from the rebuilding of our domestic infrastructure.

This is a call for civil war. These leftists don't get it. They are truly traitors.

SteveR said...

Oh, I dunno Well that's what I thought.

Simon said...

former law student said...
"You cannot move heavy divisions into a god forsaken country in less than six months[?] How long did it take Russia?"

That's an incredibly weak argument. Russia has a contiguous land border with Georgia - indeed, Georgia borders the Moscow military district, IIRC, which contains the bulk of Russia's best-trained and best-equipped forces. The "you" in Sarge's comment was pretty obviously "the United States" in context.

former law student said...

This is how the people who swirl around Obama -- from whom he has drawn most of his support and to whom he is going to be indebted to should he win -- think.

Ah it's just hard to believe that those who lied to get us into a war that has cost 4,000 lives, twice as many seriously wounded, and a trillion dollars of our tax dollars, can just walk away with impunity.

Zeb Quinn said...

Just when you think the looney left couldn't be any loonier, there they go and totally redeem themselves.

former law student said...

That's an incredibly weak argument.

It was a question, which you deleted. How long did it take Russia to invade Georgia?

former law student said...

These leftists don't get it. They are truly traitors.

Even after the Cold War wind down of forces and bases, Bill Clinton left our military in much better shape than W. is leaving it.

Simon said...

former law student said...
"It was a question, which you deleted. How long did it take Russia to invade Georgia?"

It's a question that begs a false comparison, for the reasons stated above. The idea that we could move forces into Georgia as fast as Russia could is specious unless or until we build ourselves one of these.

ricpic said...

I...voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980...and Mondale and Dukakis and Bill Clinton, twice, and Al Gore.

Althouse always votes wrong!

Save America!!

Whichever way Althouse tells us she'll be voting...vote the other way!!!

Peter V. Bella said...

former law student said...
Treason? You are kidding, right?

Tying up our combat military in Iraq has given aid and comfort to our enemy Russia, which can attack Georgia with impunity knowing our resources are stretched to the limit.


The Russian argument is laughable. Russia has not been our enemy for years, except in ideologial terms. As to Georgia, there was no way Bush or any other president would have sent troops there.

garage mahal said...

But Senator Biden, I am a law professor. I work with law professors. Law professors are friends of mine. Senator, you're no law professor.

Haha. Then tell us why someone in charge of upholding the law shouldn't pursue a crime.

Answer: if it's a Republican being charged.

garage mahal said...

Simon
Maybe you can answer my questions?

Why have laws if they aren't enforced or prosecuted if broken?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ah it's just hard to believe that those who lied to get us into a war that has cost 4,000 lives, twice as many seriously wounded, and a trillion dollars of our tax dollars, can just walk away with impunity

Do dah do dah.

Do you all have a handbook of talking points that you are required to memorize without actually thinking about what you are saying?

former law student said...

It's a question that begs a false comparison

If you can't answer the question, there is no need to respond.

I'm left thinking that Georgia's terrain is too rough for the US Army, but it's the Bonneville Salt Flats as far as the Russians are concerned.

rcocean said...

It's important to note that our enemy in the cold war wasn't Russia. Our enemy was communism. Yes, for the duration of that conflict, the enemy held Russia, but that didn't make Russia our enemy any more than the Philippines were our enemy in the Pacific War just because Japan happened to hold them.

I agree completely. This hatred and desire to "fight" Russia puzzles me. I think some just want to go abroad & search for monsters to destroy. Even if they have to make up the "monsters".

MadisonMan said...

If the POTUS or AG commits "High crimes and Misdemeanors" - Congress is supposed to impeach them. You don't start the prosecution AFTER they left office. That does country no good.

What do you suggest happen to the AG who commits crimes and then resigns? Should the Dept. of Justice just look the other way because the AG is out of office?

Peter V. Bella said...

former law student said...
Ah it's just hard to believe that those who lied to get us into a war

That has yet to be proven. it will take historians, investigators, and conspiracy theorists years to come to a conclusion on that.

Lying is not illegal; ask the Supreme Court. It is only illegal to lie to the FBI/Justice Department during the course of a legitimate investigation or to the legislature under oath. It is wrong and possibly immoral.

We did not prosecute FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, or Clinton for all the lies they told.

former law student said...

Do you all have a handbook of talking points that you are required to memorize without actually thinking about what you are saying?

Sad that any American would reduce the unnecessary deaths of 4000 of our brothers and sisters to mere "talking points."

1. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with al-Qaeda.

2. Saddam Hussein had no WMDs

3. When finding Osama bin Laden -- head of al-Qaeda as you may recall -- proved too difficult for the W. administration, we invaded Iraq, on the basis that (1) and (2) were false.

Zeb Quinn said...

if there is an obvious crime committed that is found by an incoming Attorney General, what IS the protocol!? Ignore it? Why? And why on earth would you not vote for someone that took that job seriously?

That's so much a given, so much a assumption precedent for ANY administration, so much something which doesn't need to be explictly stated that when it IS explicitly stated it comes full circle to qualify as a straw argument. Be honest here. What Biden is talking about --what you and the BSD looney left in general are all talking about-- is prosecuting Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al for the war in Iraq, for waterboarding at Gitmo, for warrantless intercepts of terrorists' overseas phone calls, and anything else they can think of. There are specific things they want to look at.

former law student said...

As to Georgia, there was no way Bush or any other president would have sent troops there.

Why not? Don't we stand for freedom all over the world? We sent troops to Kuwait when Iraq invaded it, correct? We helped protect Kosovars from the Serbs. We've always been a force for good in the world.

Simon said...

garage mahal said...
"Simon Maybe you can answer my questions? Why have laws if they aren't enforced or prosecuted if broken?"

The question assumes that laws have been broken, or at very least, that the anger of the left over Bush's decision not to agree with them on policy questions justifies a witchhunt to find something, anything, that can be used to get back at them for it.

bearbee said...

rcocean said...
"When did Russia become our 'Enemy'?"
When did Russia become our "Enemy"? When did Georgia become important to the well-being and safety of the USA?
I must have missed this.


Russia is an emerging autocratic power pursuing its own interests in conflict with the US along with its need to regain recognition as a world power. Georgia's interest is its oil and gas resources that feeds democratic European countries. Possible leverage against US allies. Russia does not want NATO on its border.

See Robert Kagan's book The Return of History and the End of Dreams

Also Robert Kagan - The Return of China & Russia's Great Power Hour 13 min video

Also see Bloggingheads with Francis Fukuyama and Rober Kagan.

The Drill SGT said...
The only crimes that the ex-President should be vulnerable for after leaving office are personal ones, not policy crimes.

If after leaving office it is found that a president deliberately created false or misleading information in pursuit of specific policy, that president is immuned from prosecution?

Roger J. said...

God FLS you are a doofus--Russia has a LAND BORDER with Georgia--Our divisions are in Germany and the states--To transit from Germany you have to hope that neighboring states will let us do that and that requires some degree of negotiations. (look at a map to confirm this). As for stateside divisions--you have to mobilize them for combat, you have to assemble shipping, you have to put them on ships, and you have to transit the dardanelles that limit warships. You cannot transit CVBGs into the black sea with violating treaty obligations

Have you no concept of what it takes to move large forces over long distances? Do you even know what a heavy division is and what its supply tail is?

as to nukes: you going to trust the russians under putin not to use them? are we going to risk Chicago for Georgia?

Are you really this uninformed as to yammer about opposing a russian invasion of Georgia with US forces?

Methadras said...

This is why the left of the DP is absolutely stuck on stupid. They don't know the law, they've failed in their feeble attempts to try and prosecute Bush and his 'cohorts' because there really is nothing their to prosecute. In essence they don't like the outcomes of the last 8 years because they've generally been on the losing side of the issues. But how hard is that to surmise when you have people like Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, et al with the usual suspects in tow who have been about as incompetent on every issue that has come before them. Have any of you noticed that for a while the most dangerous place on earh was between a camera and Chuck Schumer? Well, he's either working behind the camera now or he's basically written this one off to let his other cadre members take the sword. The man has evaporated on the national stage, just like the DNC and the DP will if McCain/Palin can keep the momentum going into the voting booth.

P.S. Biden looking like a douche-bag is nothing new. The other shoe fell.

Roger J. said...

FLS--since you mentioned Kuwait--do you know how long it took to assemble that force to counterattack?

rcocean said...

The Left asserts:

1) Bush has committed "crimes"

2) However, Pelosi and Reid have refused to do their constitutional duty and start impeachment proceedings.

3) Therefore, after Bush has left office, the congress should stop working on the country's problems, and start a show trial to convict private citizen Bush for his "crimes".

What a great idea. Political opponents prosecuting their rivals after they leave office. I can't wait for the Republicans to go after Obama after HE leaves office. In fact, why doesn't Bush Administration go after Bill Clinton, I've heard he's committed quite a few "crimes".

Roger J. said...

FLS: Pardon me: I used the term CVBG--thats a carrier battle group anchored by a carrier with supporting warships and usually a marine expeditionary force.

Simon said...

rcocean said...
"Pelosi and Reid have refused to do their constitutional duty and start impeachment proceedings."

That's a far-left talking point that I'm surprised to see from you. Reid has no power, let alone duty, to initiate impeachment proceedings -- and it's not clear to me where Pelosi's "duty" to do so comes from. Impeachment is a discretionary tool available to Congress.

Simon said...

bearbee said...
"Russia is an emerging autocratic power pursuing its own interests in conflict with the US along with its need to regain recognition as a world power."

Explain to me precisely what Russia has done, or may do, that is in conflict with our interests? How is it against our interest to have Russia regain its position as a world power unless they are adverse to us?

Joe said...

One important point; al Qaeda is only a part the overall war against terrorism and state sponsorship of it. Defeating al Qaeda completely, were that even possible, will not end this struggle.

Regardless of whether the overall war in Iraq was ill conceived and reconstruction poorly executed, we now have an opportunity to remove one state sponsor of terrorism from the world stage and to influence the region with some modicum of democracy and capitalism. Perhaps, just perhaps, this will give citizens of neighboring countries the courage to push their ideals and make the middle east a less dangerous place. Perfect? No. Probably not even democratic, but any liberalization in the classical sense would offer hope and help to the citizens of those countries and more peace for us all.

mjsharon said...

Garage, et al:

Maybe this will help. The process of seeking out lawbreakers in the Bush administration would not be the simple fact-gathering excercise that Professor Biden (disingenuously I think) describes. The whole exercise would be fraught with political judgments. The Clinton impeachment business is not a bad example. There's would be en element of "If you look hard enough for it, you will find it" about the whole business. Also, once the exercised is embarked upon, it would take on a life of it's own. Would be hard for Leahy, Waxman, Conyers, et al to say "Nope, nothing here". Scalps would have to be gotten. A bad, bad, and scary idea.

Michael_H said...

Biden sounds like a moose heading for a skinnin'.

rcocean said...

Simon,

Sorry if I was unclear. I put that under the "left asserts".

The constitution already provides for the correct action to take if a POTUS commits a "High Crime" - impeach him.

The fact that the Dems in Congress have refused to do so simply confirms there are no "crimes" to prosecute.

P. Rich said...

"the anger of the left..." is over losing two elections to Bush. All that followed for eight years is childish petulance. Wait 'til they lose this one. What a spectacle that's going to be.

Joe said...

How is it against our interest to have Russia regain its position as a world power unless they are adverse to us?

Their intentions, though I think it's more against the interest of Europe. I do think that the problem isn't Russia per se, but the strong man Putin, who is quite nationalistic. I think the Georgia conflict was a combination of that nationalism, the desire of Putin to more fully control the flow of oil and natural gas to Europe AND as an implicit threat to Ukraine, which is of far more concern to Russia than Georgia.

Is Russia our enemy? I'd say no, but I don't think they were ever our friend either.

The Drill SGT said...

FLS,

Roger and I are both former Armor Officers (tanks are our business)

There is an old saying that you typify here:

"Amteurs talk of tactics, professionals speak of logistics"

Fighting the Russians on their turf means bringing tanks, lots of tanks. They can rail theirs, we would have to fly ours in (impossible) or have full air superiority over ports and ship them in over 2 months. since the Russians siezed the ports on day 2, a two month lag isn't feasible.

what sort of tonnage? The Russians invaded with one Mech Division, but had 3 others in the area. So we would need something like 1 heavy division amounting to 20,000 men and around 100,000 tons of equipment.

not something you can FEDEX over night.

and it all has to get there at the same time, else you get gobbled uop piece by piece

100,000 tons the in a matter of a couple of days

not a trivial event to plan for,

Crimso said...

"A bad, bad, and scary idea."

Indeed. And if Biden were half as intelligent as he thinks he is, he would think this through and begin to get at least a whiff of the unintended consequences. And if he did (and he were at least half as smart as he thinks he is) he would agree with your assessment.

former law student said...

Thanks, Drill Sgt.

I appreciate your thoughtful answer.

Simon said...

Joe said...
"Their intentions, though I think it's more against the interest of Europe."

Bingo. It's at least arguably against the interests of Europe. And it is far from clear to me why at this point in time, the interests of Europe = the interests of the United States. As Bob Kagan once understood - before he forgot it again in his rush to hyperventilate over Russia's invasion of Georgia -
it is long past "time to stop pretending that Europeans and Americans share a common view of the world, or even that they occupy the same world."

Simon said...

Sarge - General Somervell could have done it. ;)

Meade said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Blonde is as blonde does."

Racist. Sexist.


Hairetic.

The Drill SGT said...

General Somervell.

Yes, he was great, but he had time to practice. You ought to read about how screwed up the first landings were. Guadalcanal, where the Marines were abandoned on the beach by the navy. The had to win eating Japanese rice. Or the screwed up North Africa and Sicily landings where we shot down our own paratroops by the plane load.

The D-Day invasion landings had a fleet 10 times larger than todays total Navy. They landed 10 divisions the first day. Today we have 10 divisions in the total army.

we are not as good as our fathers in some things. forced landings on hostile shores is one of those things that requires practice, lots of it.

MadisonMan said...

Meade @12:10: Excellent.

The fact that the Dems in Congress have refused to do so simply confirms there are no "crimes" to prosecute.

Or that they've learned from the sorry mistakes of the Republicans in the 90s. (1990s, not 1890s). Congress doesn't have to impeach.

Hoosier Daddy said...

FLS said Tying up our combat military in Iraq has given aid and comfort to our enemy Russia, which can attack Georgia with impunity knowing our resources are stretched to the limit.

FLS is a perfect example of why whatshername SC Miss Teen USA said that US Americans need more maps.

knox said...

One time last year my father-in-law, a democrat, expressed dismay that there was such a thing as 9/11 Truthers. He pretty much always thought Bush was stupid, but was incredulous that anyone could believe that Bush actually plotted 9/11.

Anyway, I have a feeling he--and a lot of democrats like him--would really balk at Biden or Obama threatening prosecution of Bush. It sounds unhinged. It is unhinged. He just wants to hang on to his Social Security and vaguely likes the idea of government programs. He's not a leftist. He will not identify with this kind of thing, and it will drive voters like him away.

bearbee said...

In past months it has cut off natural gas supplies to the Ukraine potentially threatening European stability. Its invasion of Georgia seems an effort at reclaiming its sphere of influence and controlling the flow of natural resouces giving it leverage.

US has accused Russia of using its oil and gas as tools of intimidation.

With the US backing democratic movements in several of the former Soviet satellites it fears US encroachment on its sovereignty ala Iraq. US backing for NATO extending to Poland and other Baltic states makes it nervous. Recently Germany supported Georgia integration into NATO,

Russia along with China seem pretty consistant in vetoing US backed security council resolutions

Hoosier Daddy said...

The had to win eating Japanese rice. Or the screwed up North Africa and Sicily landings where we shot down our own paratroops by the plane load.

Don't forget Anzio. There was one for the textbooks.

When you look at the monumental FUBARs that we suffered back then, today's media and Joe Bidens would be screaming for FDR to be prosecuted.

The D-Day invasion landings had a fleet 10 times larger than todays total Navy.

Staggering when you think that by the end of the war, Canada had the 3rd largest navy in the world.

That reminds me of that scene in the longest day when the German beach commander is screaming that the Allies must have 5000 ships out there and the general on the other line says its preposterous since the Allies don't have that many ships. Then all hell breaks loose. I still get a chuckle from that after seeing it countless times.

Pogo said...

Bien and Obama may not be insane, but what they are proposing is something actually evil, and would cause our nation serious and maybe irreparable harm.

Was this the gravitas Biden was meant to lend to the ticket? It's as if they read The Art of War, the one by Sun Tzu's dim-bulb brother Fuq Tzu.

How can people hear this and still vote for them? I wouldn't trust either of these guys to order pizza now.

Michael said...

former law student said...
"It was a question, which you deleted. How long did it take Russia to invade Georgia?"

About a month. That was how long it took for Russia to assemble all the pieces it needed to conduct the 'war games' in North Ossetia which just happened to occur before the South Ossetians ratcheted up the provo against Georgia, and thus the invasion.

But don't let ugly little facts disrupt your narrative. Have at it.

Peter V. Bella said...

I love all these Democratic Party Hypocrites. They keep talking about how they are friends of Israel, yet, they have continually sided with the Palestinian terrorists for thirty years. They embraced Arafat and all who have come after; you know, the groups who want Israel destroyed.

They are for appeasement and forcing Israel to negotiate terms against its own security. If they were really for Israel, they would shout loud; do what you have to do to survive.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Pogo saidIt's as if they read The Art of War, the one by Sun Tzu's dim-bulb brother Fuq Tzu.

Oh well done Pogo. You win the Kewpie Doll Quote of the Thread.

Peter V. Bella said...

P. Rich said...
"the anger of the left..." is over losing two elections to Bush. All that followed for eight years is childish petulance. Wait 'til they lose this one. What a spectacle that's going to be.


Here ya go.

Trooper York said...

America has no permanent allies’ only permanent interests. We should play the Great Game the way that perfidious Albion did when they invented it.

We need to divvy up the globe with the Russians and the Chinese like the Gambinos and the Genovese’s did after they whacked Albert Anastasia in the barber shop

We are all capitalists now. Everybody wants the same thing, drugs, sex and rock and roll. In fact it can work to our advantage. We can turn the Russkies and the Chinamen loose on the Muslims when they step out of line. We can keep our hands clean. I am sure that they will abide by the Geneva Convention. Then we can deal with them on the cost of oil as we drill in areas under our control to increase the supply and manipulate the prices.

Who gives a shit about these Euroweenies? You can bet your bottom dollar that Germany wouldn’t have let us roll the tanks out to defend Georgia or the Ukraine or anyplace else just like our “allies” the Turks screwed us when was time to rock and roll in Iraq. Just like those filthy frogs wouldn’t let us fly over when we had to say hello to Libya. Hey now Khadafy is our buddy. Selling us oil. Imagine that.

America has no permanent allies’ only permanent interests. Wake up and smell the espresso. We only want to go to the mattresses when our vital interests are at stake. Let the rest of the world rot. Those Russkies will deal.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sad that any American would reduce the unnecessary deaths of 4000 of our brothers and sisters to mere "talking points."

Yes it is. So why do you keep doing it?

Revenant said...

"Senator Obama, if elected will you pursue criminal charges against George Bush?"

That would be a great question for the Presidential debates. It won't get asked, of course, since the moderators are all left-wingers this time around, but it would still be a great question. There are a whole lot of people -- left, right, center, lunatic fringe, you name it -- who would like to know that.

Revenant said...

Tying up our combat military in Iraq has given aid and comfort to our enemy Russia, which can attack Georgia with impunity knowing our resources are stretched to the limit.

We wouldn't have sent troops to defend Georgia even if the entire United States military had been parked in Europe with nothing better to do than play poker.

The United States has no interests in Georgia -- and ABSOLUTELY no interest in waging war with the world's second-largest nuclear power. I would hope that nobody with a brain wants to see US and Russian troops shooting at one another.

rcocean said...

Althouse,

You may be a law professor, but Joe had lectured Bork, Thomas, and Roberts on Constitutional law.

former law student said...

About a month. That was how long it took for Russia to assemble all the pieces it needed to conduct the 'war games' in North Ossetia which just happened to occur before the South Ossetians ratcheted up the provo against Georgia, and thus the invasion.

After Saddam invaded Kuwait, it took about a month to put 200,000 US personnel in Saudi Arabia, which successfully prevented an Iraqi invasion. The Third Armored Division arrived within the next six weeks, making a total of 140,000 additional troops.

blake said...

FLS,

I imagine if the Turks thought Russia was going to invade after taking Georgia, we could get troops there pretty fast.

My understanding is that we actually have more ships in the Black Sea now than Russia does.

I don't see how Iraq enters into it all.

Zeb Quinn said...

You may be a law professor, but Joe had lectured Bork, Thomas, and Roberts on Constitutional law.

And he was toward the bottom of his class at Syracuse too. See how easy this con law thingy is? Duck soup.

former law student said...

So why do you keep doing it?

Because I read the Bible. Refer to 2 Samuel 11:15-25

15In the letter he wrote, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him,(A) that he may be struck down, and die." 16And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died.

Now, David sent Uriah into battle to serve his personal ends. He had impregnated Uriah's wife, and wanted to get Uriah out of the way. After Uriah was killed in the battle, David married Bathsheba. But the Lord was displeased that David had put Uriah in danger of death so that he could marry his wife, so the Lord punished David by killing his son.

Here, sending American soldiers into battle served W.'s personal ends because the Iraq invasion took the minds of the American people off his failure to track down our enemy, Osama bin Laden. The reasons W. gave for our invasion -- the ones that persuaded Congress to agree -- were later shown to be false, suggesting that W. either knew they were false or recklessly did not care if they were true or false. And if this can be proved to be true; if W. indeed put our troops in danger of death to serve his personal ends, he also should be punished.

former law student said...

I don't see how Iraq enters into it all.

We no longer have 340,000 fresh troops to send into action. We don't even have a Third Armored Division any more.

Revenant said...

Here, sending American soldiers into battle served W.'s personal ends because the Iraq invasion took the minds of the American people off his failure to track down our enemy, Osama bin Laden.

Huh. I can honestly say that's one paranoid conspiracy theory about the Iraq war that I hadn't heard yet.

The amusing thing is that we're constantly told that the Bush administration started pushing for war with Iraq immediately after 9/11, if not before. So this latest paranoid conspiracy theory requires not only that Bush be willing to send American soldiers to die in order to cover up his own failure -- but that he know, years in advance, that he was *going* to fail.

Fascinating.

Crimso said...

Perhaps these people with such a hard-on for prosecuting Bush et al. should stop and ponder why Jefferson Davis was never prosecuted. And I volunteer to personally host a battlefield crawl for the first one who tries to make the pathetically ridiculous case that Bush has done more damage than Davis (and I'm a native Southron).

"US has accused Russia of using its oil and gas as tools of intimidation."

In fairness to Russia, though, some of our most beloved Presidents (well, at least one)have done precisely that.

Hoosier Daddy said...

After Saddam invaded Kuwait, it took about a month to put 200,000 US personnel in Saudi Arabia, which successfully prevented an Iraqi invasion. The Third Armored Division arrived within the next six weeks, making a total of 140,000 additional troops.

I assume that last sentence is a typo unless you're implying that the 3rd Armored had a negative effect on the initial 200,000 man deployment.

blake said...

We no longer have 340,000 fresh troops to send into action.

The troops are now seasoned, yes. That's generally considered a good thing.

We don't even have a Third Armored Division any more.

Because...? Are you suggesting the Iraqis destroyed it? Was it just phased out? Re-organized?

And, seriously, are you suggesting that we should have thrown down in Georgia, and would have if not for Iraq, and that the President would have had broad support for such a move?

Look, I'm pro-Georgia. I think we ought to rebuke the Russians for the invasion. I can even make an argument for a full-on assault.

But they seem to have stopped, casualties were minor, Georgia gets rebuilding money, and meanwhile other former USSR satellites get way interested in NATO and missle-shields.... So, I'm perfectly willing to concede that my idea of a gung-ho retaliation might be less than optimal.

At no point, however, do I see the logic in anti-Iraq war people clamoring to go to war other places and saying, "Yes! This is a war we WANT to fight!" Nor can I conceive of it as an honest sentiment.

blake said...

In other words, I think this is more posturing of the order of "BUSH BROKE THE MILITARY!"

Even as the military is, what, three provinces away from total victory in Iraq.

F15C said...

FLS, you don't have a clue what you are talking about. Bill Clinton made regime change in Iraq national policy long before Bush came along, and in December of 1998 Nancy Pelosi said: "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."

If you'd get your head out of your ass you might consider the simple fact that *no one* other than Saddam and his closest staff knew for certain whether he had WMD or not. He manipulated the intelligence to serve his ends.

Saddam was bluffing about WMD and assumed the risk of being called on it. After GWI, he desperately needed to reestablish his position of strength in the region. The intelligence at the time began to indicate that he restarted his WMD program (this was before Bush became president) and that he was "making a mockery of the weapons inspection process".

Saddam successfully managed to convince his neighbors and most everyone else that he probably had or was close to having WMD. But when his actions inevitably led to US response (the UN was worse than ineffectual) he was screwed. It was a brass-balls gambit, and he came this close to getting away with it.

bearbee said...

And it is far from clear to me why at this point in time, the interests of Europe = the interests of the United States.

The EU is in top 3 of US trading partners.

Hoosier Daddy said...

We don't even have a Third Armored Division any more.

It was retired in 1992. It was also retired in 1945 only to be reactivated again in 1947. Something to do with this Cold War thing. You may have read about it.

Stephen said...

Oh man, when are these guys gonna learn? What a weak approach, what's next, he's gonna start bring the military officals on charges? That's the type of message we need; that our country is corrupt and our officials are criminals. What a joke.
I've got a buddy, a criminal defense lawyer in San Diego CA, he says he'll represent bush for free.