Sunday, February 12, 2006

What I Did on this Cold, Overcast Sunday in Virginia...

…was watch entirely too many political talk shows. Here's what I saw.

Meet the Press

Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) consistently refuses to explain why 72 hours isn't enough time to process retroactive warrants for spying on Americans, even after Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-California) points out that the warrants only take a day to prepare.

Roberts slips in several remarks about the President's constitutional powers, implying that he doesn’t need the AUMF, or FISA, or anything else passed by Congress to do whatever he needs to do to protect America. As usual, there's no mention of what the Constitution says about a President's special wartime powers, which is nothing.

Congressman Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan) insists government whistleblowers don't need to go to the press because grievance procedures are in place within federal agencies. But he doesn't go through the litany of whistleblowers who have been crushed for standing up to the Bush administration.

Face the Nation

Condi Rice: it's okay for Russia to talk to Hamas because Russian doesn't consider Hamas a terrorist organization. So Hamas is only a terrorist organization if we talk to them?

Rice also says certain Islamic countries are using the controversial Danish cartoons as an excuse to encourage anti-American sentiment. Good girl, Condi. Blame America's unpopularity with the rest of the world on the Danes. Who wears the collar next week? Lapland?

Host Bob Schieffer makes the truest statement we're likely to hear in the mainstream media all year: "The Department of Homeland Security is a monumental flop."

Late Edition

Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska). "Intelligence is always imperfect." Our intelligence is the perfect scapegoat. It's darn good enough to let us take measures we couldn't otherwise justify, and if things go wrong, it’s the fault of intelligence.

Give Hagel his due; he's stood by his principles concerning the Iraq War. Wolf quotes National Review referring to him as "Senator George Hagel, (R-France)." Hagel should consider that a badge of courage. National Review

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut): the cartoon crisis proves that our war on terror is a "world war." Ever since the BRAC negotiations, where Lieberman lost his sub base in Groton then got it back, he's been one of the administration's most vocal pro-war echo chamberlains. Wolf shows a clip of Lieberman "We undermine our president's credibility at our country's peril.

Lieberman states that we have to stay in Iraq to finish the mission, but like the Bushmen, he offers no clue as to what finishing the mission might consist of.


Wolf interviews Paul Pillar, the retired CIA analyst who has come out to reaffirm that Cheney and the rest of the neo-cabal cherry picked the intelligence on Iraq. He says it was pretty clear to anyone working in the intelligence community that the administration was determined to invade Iraq as part of its pre-determined policy.

Pillar says he's coming out now because he's retired. Not a day goes by that I don't thank my Maker that I retired from the military before all the Bushcapades went down.

Pillars revelations are nothing new, of course. We've heard all this from senior insiders before. That Pillar's statements haven't sparked marches on Washington is a sign of our national form of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The reality of what our leaders have done to America and the rest of the world is too horrible to confront. Our entire population goes about its daily business with a thousand yard stare.


  1. Jeff:

    I watched Meet the Press as well, and what I think you're leaving out is that both Daschle and Harmon said the NSA wiretapping program should continue, and furthermore at least Harmon indicated that in order to get whistleblower protection, a person has to go through proper channels and that anyone on that panel would be cleared to receive classified information from a whistleblower (i.e. that the NSA leaker may very well not be protected by whistleblower statutes). Do either of those thing concern you?

  2. I think the program should continue also, but I don't want Bush tapping AMCITS without getting warrants, even if they're 72 hrs. retro.

    I thought the same thing you did regarding the whistleblower claims. I'm not entirely clear about NSA folks being covered by the whistleblower protections. That was my impression when the Tice story came back up a month or so ago. I did some research yesterday that indicates that might not be true.

    I'm still trying to get to the bottom of that.

  3. Jeff:

    Please post what you find on the whistleblower statutes. That's an area of law I'm not very familiar with.