Thursday, June 26, 2003

Umm, where exactly is the inconsistency in left-wing attacks on the Administration? This article brings to light several things that keep pissing me off.

The crux of the matter is the Bush Administration's handling, or mishandling of intelligence. Saying that enough wasn't done before September 11th and too much was done in dealing with Iraq are in no way inconsistent arguments. No, we don't want Bush to be "just right", we want him to quit fucking up and making shitty decisions. The issue isn't just that the Administration took a "better safe than sorry" policy, it's that they sold the policy based on what right now appears to be half-truths, exagerrations, and outright lies. There wasn't a fudge factor in these calculations, what we have here is the appearance of a blatant manipulation of data. That stuff becomes kinda important when people's lives were at stake. Of course, the question is, where did the lies begin? Did the CIA make this shit up? Did the Defense Department make some "amendments" to the intelligence before Bush saw it? Did Bush see it and go "Well, yeah, here's what we have, but let's tell the American people this instead"?

As a quick side note, when I talk about Bush "making decisions", I'm using Bush as a figurehead for the real decision makers in this administration. I'm still convinced that he's more of a rubber stamp than anything.

I could be wrong, but I don't think the CIA could fuck things up this bad. The CIA has their hands in all sorts of shit, undoubtedly, and they're the best at what they do. The Administration started with the premise that we're going to attack Iraq, and worked backwards from there. How do I know this? I've brough it up before, and I'll keep bringing it up, because virtually no one else does: the Project for the New American Century. This group had their manifesto put together years ago, well before September 11th. Just take a look at their statement of principles. The date of the statement is June of 1997. The names of many of the signatories - Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz - look kinda familiar.

Mr. Hewitt asserts that collecting or presenting bad intelligence "in no way detracts from the correctness of the president's assessment of all the evidence of risk." YES IT DOES!! ! If a conclusion is based on false assumptions or data, then the conclusion is flawed. This is basic scientific reasoning. Yes, maybe the conclusion does have some validity. But when its foundations are shown to be shaky, and no other evidence is brought forward to prop it back up, then your conclusion is severely damaged. Also, why exactly in the fuck is the so-called president being given forged documents, if indeed he actually used that in his "decision making process"? Shouldn't this kind of stuff be double-checked? Look, I understand that uranium purchase documents aren't going to come with a fucking bibliography, but come on. A freshman high school history student knows that you need some sort of corroboration for shit like this.

Why is it that when "national security" is involved, we're just supposed to lay down and die? The implication is if we don't, we'll literally end up laying down and dying. Before and during the war, I go so sick of hearing shit like "Well, you don't get to see all of the intelligence reports that the president sees." Yeah, thanks asshole, I understand that. But just because the Child-in-Chief may be seeing some hard-core evidence of weapons or some other imminent threat doesn't mean that he actually is seeing said evidence. And whether he is or not doesn't undermine my rights to question what he's supposedly "seeing." All this hiding behind the banner of national security does nothing but make me think of Captain Picard saying "Ahhh, internal security... The age old cry of the oppressor."

While we're on it, do you remember that "dossier" that Tony Blair presented to his MPs as "evidence" of Iraq's threat capabilities that turned out to be mostly lifted from a 12 year-old PhD thesis? I'll bet that one actually did have a bibliography.

Finally, Mr. Hewitt says that when liberal journalists talk about attacks on the United States, they're thinking too simple-mindedly. He says they're considering attacks on America to only include tragedies that only occur on home soil like the Pentagon and World Trade Center, and not others like the Cole or overseas embassies. Maybe the liberal journalists are being too simple-minded. But you know what? Simple-minded is how all of this is sold to us. The implication is always that Saddam's weapons can reach the U.S., that the Saddam Fedayeen will be marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, if we don't act. It's sold this way because Americans don't really care if some sailors die, or if some diplomats get blown up, because for the most part, that doesn't impact the average citizen. But we don't want it in our backyard, because that will direcly impact us, so the government rhetoric is always "let us do what we want, or it will end up in your backyard." And you know what? The vast majority of Americans seem to have bought it.

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