Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ammo, ammo, get your ammo....

The item meriting top attention: "An editorial scheduled to appear on Monday in Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times, calls for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld."

Do you know of anybody, anywhere, who predicted this earlier than I did?

Ah, but as Tuesday approaches, amid growing suspense, we have no idea what Rovean surprises they have in store. Oh, sure, there is the rank timing of Saddam’s trial sentence. Cute. But don’t expect it to end there. Talk up ahead of time an expectation that targeted communities of minorities will be disenfranchised because of some “regrettable error...” but never in gerrymandered districts, where it doesn’t matter. Always where it will matter most. Ditto the precincts where Diebold machines will (sure as sunrise) give “strange” but un-checkable results.

Make wagers in advance. And ask your friends... “is this the America you grew up in?”

I will repeat myself a lot, passing out ammo. (It’s up to you which bullet may prove effective.) Hence, some reminders to useful themes that will rock back some of your friends. For example, last time I said:

“...whose proteges fill this administration so perfectly that it is the statistical scandal awaiting some reporter's careful analysis. (Find one top security appointee who has not taken copious amounts of petro$ in consultancies etc.)”

But no, there is a worse scandal... (and I’ve mentioned it before)... the number of FBI agents etc who had been re assigned, before 9/11, away from duties protecting us, into tasks sifting through Executive Department filing cabinets looking for indictable offenses to charge against Clinton era officials. A search that came up with absolutely nothing, but lowered our guard at a critical time. Remember this when the subpoenas start flowing at Bush officials, and they whine about the “politics of blame and personal destruction.” We all suffered destruction, in part, because of their obsession with the “politics of blame.”

In any event, I have been begging for years for some prominent democrat to put forward the "pardon challenge." Daring Bush to publicly declare that he will issue no more pardons than his father and Clinton combined. Is that too harsh a thing to ask?

Of course he would refuse. But such a dare could be the most powerful metaphor possible, turning peoples' eyes to the inevitable and bruise his ability to issue an unlimited number of get out of jail free passes. (I'm looking ahead, something democrats really have to get back into the habit of doing.) It is not too early to raise the pardon issue! Indeed, it is the one that will keep W safe from becoming the uttermost “lame duck”. Hundreds, maybe thousands, are reliant on those pardons. They will stay loyal for that reason alone.

Along similar lines: I have long maintained that the Democrats ought to have put together a clear sales pitch, giving full credit to the masterful polemical innovation that helped Newt Gingrich defeat them in 1992 - his Contract With America.

Even if it drew a little mockery for “copy-cat” imitation... big deal! It would have still laid down a distinct and assertive agenda, setting a positive tone and creating a sense of dynamic contrast.

Out of all the suggested campaign issues you’ll find there, I think that one would have been powerful above all others. A plan to establish a new agency and office: the Inspector General of the United States... or IGUS. Independent of BOTH the executive and legislative branches, this uniformed organization could transform the Inspectors General in every US department from mere employees and servants of a cabinet secretary or appointed honcho, into fierce agents of accountability.

Perhaps inconvenient to future decent administrations (republican or democrat), but absolute hell on wheels to a gang of utter rascals.

Now a relevant story about how this administration treats the occasional IG who tries to do his job.

Tucked away in a huge military authorization bill is one of the twenty thousand hidden clauses that are used to bleed us white. In this case, one that gives Stuart Bowen his pink slip. Typical punishment for a good man doing his job.

More election-related stuff:

An interesting opinion piece commenting on the historical similarities between the legislation enabling the Nazi party's rise to dominance in German politics and the U.S. bill known as the 'Enabling Act', which would limit certain U.S. obligations to the Geneva Conventions.


Don Quijote said...

, calls for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld."

Who cares, he is not going anywhere ( to many embarrassing questions would have answered by his replacement when he was sent up to congress for confirmation).

If you want a real change of policy, impeach Shrub.

matthew jones said...

I am very curious about Stuart Bowen. If you look at his biography, it is clear that he has been on the inside with Bush since the mid 90's in Texas. He was a Deputy Assistant to the President (OK so there are a lot of DA’s… still a powerful position) before he went to Iraq.

It isn’t until he and Paul Bremer got into a turf battle in 2004 that things start to get hot for Bowen. Which came first - the turf battle or the fraud indictments? Bowen was reporting to Bremer. Is this a case of, “I don’t like my boss, so I’ll start spilling Bremer’s dirty laundry?” Or was Bowen motivated to do a good job as the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and this caused a falling out with Bremer? Which came first?

Here is a decent article on what Bowen has been up to and a bit about his past, but it doesn’t say much to his motivations…

Stefan Jones said...

Aw, jeeze, this getting too easy:

War simulation in 1999 pointed out Iraq invasion problems

'WASHINGTON (AP) -- A series of secret U.S. war games in 1999 showed that an invasion and post-war administration of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, nearly three times the number there now.

And even then, the games showed, the country still had a chance of dissolving into chaos.

In the simulation, called Desert Crossing, 70 military, diplomatic and intelligence participants concluded the high troop levels would be needed to keep order, seal borders and take care of other security needs.

The documents came to light Saturday through a Freedom of Information Act request by George Washington University's National Security Archive, an independent research institute and library.

"The conventional wisdom is the U.S. mistake in Iraq was not enough troops," said Thomas Blanton, the archive's director. "But the Desert Crossing war game in 1999 suggests we would have ended up with a failed state even with 400,000 troops on the ground."'

* * *

Oh . . . I get it. 1999. That was a Clinton era war game, yielding lessons only of use by an administration mired in old-fashioned reality-based thinking.

Hawker Hurricane said...

Quoting Stefan Jones:
"Oh . . . I get it. 1999. That was a Clinton era war game, yielding lessons only of use by an administration mired in old-fashioned reality-based thinking."

That is pretty close to the truth. Politically, they couldn't afford to send 400,000 troops to Iraq for the 2-5 years it would take to do the mission...
So, they decided that it wouldn't take that many troops or that long. The decision wasn't based on new facts or better stratergy, it was based on what was politically feasible.
"The Truimph of the Will" covers it as a concept.
And now the NeoCons who said it could be done that way are blaming BushCo for failing...

David Brin said...

Guys, it's Sunday. Do you know where your local Congressional or Aseembly candidate has an HQ?

I am not saying the world teeters on this, so don't mess up your plans. But if you can - and if the candidate has a chance - swing by for a $5 lawn sign.

Frankly, my ambitions have shifted. I'm more interested than ever in those State Assembly races. In my heavily gerried district, I usually vote libertarian for those. But this year could be very strange.

As a registered Republican, I want to see only one Republican thrive on Tuesday. Guv Ahnold. If we burn the rest of the GOP badly enough, perhaps the Phoenx that emerges will be a lot like him. Human, buff, reasonable, willing to make love to a Kennedy. And satiable/limited in both sanctimony and corruption.

Find wavering conservatives and offer to mow their lawns if they'll just sit this one out.

SpeakerToManagers said...

David says
A plan to establish a new agency and office: the Inspector General of the United States... or IGUS.

Would you settle for 10 million IG's? It looks like the potential of the web to get individuals involved in making the rascals account for themselves is becoming actual. Gannet is gearing up to use "crowdsourcing" to gather much of their news. Maybe it's time to ask some of those awkward questions in a larger venue?

David Brin said...

Yeah, well, that's my thing. Showed EXACTLY this happening in EARTH (1989)

I never said that IGUS would solve the problem. But IGUS would establish a culture in which whistleblowers had a place to go, any day, for automatic protection.

Ross said...

Look at the advertisement that was inserted while I was reading the Bown article:

(To prevent my being seen as a spammer, the above deliberately not entered in usable link form. But trust me, it's funny.)

Anonymous said...

See many man with heart of a brute,do you want to see monster noodles public?game

pedro velasquez said...

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is hiring officials from the former sportsbook Clinton administration to oversee the presidential transition effort, the New York Times reported Thursday.
On Wednesday, Obama named Joshua Gotbaum and Michael Warren, two former Clinton White House officials, to oversee the new administration's takeover of the Treasury Department.
Gotbaum worked for former President bet nfl Bill Clinton as assistant secretary of defense, assistant Treasury secretary, and controller of the Office of Management and Budget.
Warren was executive director of the National Economic Council during the Clinton administration.
The Obama transition team also named former Clinton administration officials Thomas Donilon and Wendy Sherman to head the transition for the State Department.

Vending Machines said...

Do you know where your local candidate of the Congress or Assembly has an HQ? I m not saying the world is teetering hub about it, so do not mess with your plans. But if you can - and if the candidate has a chance - would fall by a lawn sign, $ 5. Honestly, my ambitions have moved. I am more interested than ever in the races of the Assembly of the State. Gerried strong in my district, I usually vote for them libertarian. But this year could be very strange.