Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sunday Drive By

It's not my goal to be an Arianna Huffington echo chamberlain, but she's sure got it right about Tim Russert. His interview with Condi Rice, sounds like it's been completely scripted to let Rice snap off her prepared talking points.

-- Whether the constitution passes in Iraq or not, the democratic process has been served.

-- Democracy is spreading throughout the Middle East.

-- 9/11... 9/11... 9/11...

-- She doesn't agree with the 80 plus percent of African Americans who don't think Mister Bush is serving them. Both she and her predecessor are African Americans. Did you know that?

-- She can't even say "no" to the movement to put her on the Republican ticket in '08. Ah, she finally did, after evading the question five or six times. I guess that was Tim's idea of "grilling" her.


Now he's got Senator Carl Levin on.

Tim asks how many Americans we will have in Iraq come the 2006 U.S. elections.

How in the hell is Levin supposed to know?

Tim says, "Give me a number."

Levin offers "a third" will be out.

Again, how does he know?


Interesting piece at Orcinus (hand salute Barndog) on the recent Oklahama bombing.
Much of the factual grounding for the hysteria about Islamist suicide bombers in Oklahoma is looking, well, questionable at best. It turns out that (the bomber) did not attend a local mosque, had never visited there, and he was not Muslim; it appears doubtful that he attempted to enter the stadium.


NYT's take on yesterday's vote in Iraq:
Millions of Iraqis streamed to the polls Saturday to vote on a new constitution, joined by what appeared to be strong turnouts of Sunni voters in some parts of the country.

But the Sunni turnout - high in some cities like Mosul, low in others like Ramadi - appeared to be insufficient to defeat the new charter, and Iraqi officials predicted that it would pass.


Back to Tim:

Talking to Louis Freeh.

Freeh asks why didn't Clinton fire him? I'm wondering why Freeh didn't resign. (Don't misread me, I was never a fan of Clinton or Freeh.)

WaPo's take on Freeh's new book:
During his tenure as director of the FBI, Louis Freeh presided over a series of blunders and failures that brought the bureau to a low point in its history. From the embarrassment of the Russian mole Robert Hanssen to the bungling of the Wen Ho Lee investigation to the wasting of hundreds of millions of dollars in a failed attempt to build a modern, computerized case management system, the bureau under Freeh's leadership stumbled from one blunder to the next, with little or no accountability. The nadir, as the nation knows too well, was reached in the astonishing string of failures that helped leave America vulnerable to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In the face of this record, Freeh has now published "My FBI," a book distinguished by its shameless buck-passing. Nothing, it seems, was ever Louis Freeh's fault.

Interesting timing, Freeh's book coming out now, as the Pat Fitzgerald grand jury investigation wraps up.


WaPo also gives us some more interesting info on lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his religious right cronies:
Abramoff quietly arranged for eLottery to pay conservative, anti-gambling activists to help in the firm's $2 million pro-gambling campaign, including Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, and the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition. Both kept in close contact with Abramoff about the arrangement, e-mails show. Abramoff also turned to prominent anti-tax conservative Grover Norquist, arranging to route some of eLottery's money for Reed through Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform.


FTN's Bob Schieffer agrees the Fitzgerald investigation is about a lot more than who outed Valerie Plame.

Welcome to the club, Bob.


  1. Anonymous2:27 PM

    Thanks for a quick, precise overview of some troubling stories. I think most of us who live on the Planet Earth and breathe oxygen through our noses agree that Rice is a typical member of Bu$hCo: clueless, implacable, and throughly resistant to logical exaqmination of the Mess O'Potamia.

    I am surprised however, that you didn't mention her rather amazing comment about how after 9/11 they had a choice at striking back at the perpetrators (the "proximate cause") or at striking out in a new, bold direction, attacking a nation that had nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attck on the WTC.


  2. Good point, Lurch. I've been hammering away at the whole "limited choices" justification for Iraq that I forget not everyone's gotten it yet.

    Send Condi back to Stanford, don't let her teach, that's my suggestion.

  3. Condi needs her own TV show. That should be just about her speed.

    "Extreme Makeover: The Condi Principle Edition! Which failed-upward-beyond-their-own-incompetence power-monger will we remake today?"

  4. A bright girl who fell in with the wrong crowd (Hoover group) at Stanford.

  5. Anonymous8:56 PM

    You know, I can't quite help thinking that a strong background in combatting a monolithic ideology like International Communism, led by the USSR, isn't necessarily the best training for shepherding the US through the rocks and shoals of the 21st century. It's my perception, and I admit I might have it wrong, that 4th generation warfare requires advice that is sonmewhat less doctrinaire.


  6. More Sun Tzu than Clausewitz, as one of my old War College Profs might say.