Today’s opining on the public discourse.
Another day, another reason I’m utterly disgusted with the Cons:
The New York Times reported last night that the CIA, following direct orders from Dick Cheney, “withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years.” CIA Director Leon Panetta has scrapped the program, but the decision to hide it from Congress has obviously raised a lot of concerns among lawmakers.
Well, among some lawmakers. Matt Corley noted this afternoon that a variety of leading Republican senators were asked about the revelations on this morning’s talk shows, and none seemed especially troubled by the story.
Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), the #2 Republican in the chamber, for example, was asked whether Cheney should have ordered the CIA to keep the program secret from Congress. He asked, rhetorically, “What if it’s a top secret program? Of course he and the president would both be responsible for that.”
Actually, in the world where grown-ups live, Congress has oversight authority over the CIA, and the agency is legally required to notify lawmakers — at a minimum, the so-called “Gang of Eight” — about intelligence activities. No administration, even those run by Jon Kyl’s buddies, are supposed to run counterterrorism programs without checks and balances.
Kyl’s nonchalance was rather common this morning.
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said that while he agrees that “the CIA should brief the Congress,” any mention of Cheney is just the Obama administration trying to “blame the Bush-Cheney administration” for everything. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he doesn’t “know whether it was appropriate,” but dismissed the concern by saying, “the CIA is in the secrecy business.”
Also on CNN, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) said that it “is wrong if somebody told the CIA not to inform the appropriate members of Congress,” but tried to cast the debate as an “attempt” by Democrats “to basically undermine the capacity to protect and develop intelligence.”
On NBC’s Meet The Press, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he doesn’t “know what the details of this are” and that Cheney “should obviously be heard from if the accusations are leveled in his direction.” “If I know Washington, this is the beginning of a pretty involved and detailed story,” said McCain, adding that he doesn’t know if there should be “a, quote, investigation.”
On Face The Nation today, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) defended Cheney, saying that “some of the Intelligence Committee people are pushing back on those stories. “I don’t know what the facts are. But I believe that Vice President Cheney served his country with as much fidelity as he could possibly give to it. And he tried to serve us in an effective way. And I hope that nothing like this would impact on his outstanding record,” said Sessions.
Shorter Cons: what the CIA did was totally illegal, but since a Republican administration told them to break the law, we’re fine with that. The rule of law’s for pussies and Democrats.
Do I even need to tell you how disgusting this is? These are the same people who have fainting fits every time Obama shakes hands with a dictator. The same people who moan and wail about how afraid they are Obama will impose totalitarian rule on the United States. The same people who insist a sitting President’s blow job is an impeachable offense. They blather on and on about the dignity of the office. And then they proceed to shit all over it.
We’re talking worldviews so twisted it would take funhouse mirrors to straighten them out, and moral compasses that must have come out of a Cracker Jack box.
I’m sorry, that last bit was wrong. At least Cracker Jack actually gives you stuff that sometimes works.
Hilzoy, talking about the rumors that Eric Holder may possibly try his hand at some investigations, adds:
This is not a matter of focussing on the past at the expense of the future. We will not have the future we want if government officials can break the law with impunity, safe in the knowledge that no future administration will be willing to take the political heat and investigate them.
Since anyone who is reading this probably knows what I think about these questions, I’d like to focus instead on this:
“Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said on “Meet the Press” on NBC that despite his dismay at the Central Intelligence Agency’s past interrogation methods, including waterboarding, he opposed a criminal inquiry into torture, which he said would “harm our image throughout the world.””
I think that is exactly wrong. People around the world are not under any illusions about whether or not we tortured people. They know that we did, and that fact has already, and rightly, done enormous damage to our image.
What they don’t know is whether we are prepared to do anything about it. Do we just lecture other people about their shortcomings, or are we ready to face up to our own?
One thing’s obvious: the Cons certainly aren’t. They’re all about the preaching what they don’t practice.
And here’s the scariest thought: if the majority of Americans hadn’t been too smart for Con antics, this is what we might’ve ended up with:
In a recent article for Vanity Fair, Todd Purdum reported that some of John McCain’s closest advisers “believed for certain [Sarah Palin] was nowhere near ready for the job, and might never be.” This morning, McCain bucked those criticisms of Palin, and instead offered a vigorous (and sometimes nauseating) defense of his selection of her as his running mate.
Asked by host David Gregory what he thought of Palin quitting her job as Governor of Alaska, McCain said, “I don’t think she quit,” adding “I don’t know there was a quote, promise” that she made to the voters of Alaska. Gregory pressed:
GREGORY: Senator McCain, you have faced personal torture, personal attacks, political attacks, investigations. You have never resigned from anything.
Is it consistent with your qualities of leadership to resign an elected post like this?
GREGORY: It is consistent?
McCain said, “I know she’s qualified. … No doubt about it.” He added, “I’m confident she would make a fine president.”
Notice something here. I don’t think McCain believes his own bullshit. He’s just digging in his heels because he’d rather disagree with every word Gregory says rather than admit Palin is the biggest fucking loser in an enormous field of losers. And that kind of knee-jerk contrarian hothead with his clueless quitter of a sidekick might have ended up in the White House.
If that doesn’t give you nightmares, you’re probably one of the few Cons hopelessly clinging to a failed ideology.
But there’s hope on the horizon for the rest of us:
From her own PAC:
Palin Hints At Independent Conservative Movement
Excerpts from TammyBruce.com
Enter now Sarah Palin with very encouraging comments that lead one to believe that she is indeed planning to do what she must: build an independent conservative movement and take this nation back from the liberals which now control both parties.Thanks liberals, for provoking Sarah into the national scene while vetting that family at the same time.
One thing I will say, the Washington Times with their headline for this exclusive interview reveal an anti-Palin stance. She is, don’t doubt, a threat to every existing political status quo.
Oh holy FSM, there is so much funny to be had with this perfect example of Republican syllogism, I don’t know where to begin.
I know what I’m beginning with: the fact that if Palin can peel off the losers, freaks and fucktards, the relatively saner Cons may have a chance to regain control of the Republican party. America’s conservatives may have an actual choice: vote for the batshit fucking insane whackos, or those who are just a little odd. We could end up with actual Republicans in office, not the parade of assclowns we’ve been deluged with. And while I personally would prefer that no one but Democrats and left-leaning Independents cross the Capitol’s threshhold, I do think a reasonably sane opposition party is the next-best thing. Granted, that would make Happy Hour harder to write, but I can sacrifice convenience for country.
So, I never thought I’d say this, but… Sarah Palin, I wish you total success.