Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Before you go to sleep, take a leak

Remember in my earlier post when I said something like, "Oh if Bush were to delay elections, he'll lose all political momentum?" Well it seems as though, if the press does its job (yes that is a momentous, awe-inspiring "if"), Bush may well find his political capital depreciating almost as quickly as the dollar, regardless of Iraqi elections. Two recently leaked reports, one from the CIA (not surprsingly, since they're like a sieve), and one from the Pentagon are both very critical of the Bush administration and offer bleak prognoses for the future.

The leaked CIA report is an assesment of Iraq. Apparently, nothing's really going as planned. No surprises here. Notable in the Times article, though, is this little quote:

It was not clear how the White House was responding to the station chief's cable. In recent months, some Republicans, including Senator John McCain of Arizona, have accused the agency of seeking to undermine President Bush by disclosing intelligence reports whose conclusions contradict the administration or its policies.


It strikes me as interesting that McCain is characterized as criticizing the CIA for disclosing negative reports. Whether or not he has been criticizing their disclosure or their existence is an issue I am not nearly well enough informed to speak to, but if it is as the article says, then there's something wrong. Why critize an organization for disclosing the truth? If we can't trust our elected officials to tell us the truth (you know, the ones who are supposedly "accountable"), then I'd hope that someone is. It's really the height of patriotism. McCain should be all about the patriotism and the flag waving and fun things like truth. After all, I don't hear him complaining about people leaking damaging Grand Jury testimony that tarnishes Barry Bonds' image. Or maybe his bonds with Bush are closer than his with Barry. Or something.

But the really interesting stuff is in the Pentagon report. It's a meta-criticism of the entire philosophy of Bush's war on terror. Funny how close the report sounds to what the president of Pakistan said in an interview with the BBC. Since I don't know how much longer the link to the coverage will be workable, I won't put it here, but Musharraf argues that American policies have left the world less safe. And the Pentagon report doesn't come out and say it, but noting that we've convinced nearly every Muslim in the world that we can't be trusted is not far away.

Alright, so if the press does its job, then President Bush should have a lot of tough questions to answer. Can we please stop talking about the bogus "values" question long enough to discuss something substantive? Can the press now please stop feeling completely beholden to the administration? He's a lame duck! Or he will be quite shortly, even shorter if we all start asking the tough questions we deserve answers to.

*****
I wanted this blog to be very, very deep. That takes far too much energy from day to day. Especially when I have to think deeply about everything else. But occasionally, expect this puddle to turn into a, um, deeper puddle.





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