Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« Sen. Durbin, Call Your Office! | Main | Must Read On Torture »

June 24, 2005

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b2aa69e200d834243ae253ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Defending Karl Rove:

» Dems Say Rove Should Apologize or Resign from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
White House adviser Karl Rove should either apologize or resign for saying liberals responded to the [Read More]

» Karl Must Go! from QandO
Democrats are taking exception to a speech given by presidential advisor Karl Rove last night. [Read More]

» The MinuteMan Uncovers Another Fool... from Decision '08
The University of Texas is a fine institution, and the home of a truly impressive faculty, including one frequent visitor who seldom agrees with me, but is always interesting. Alas, like all institutions, it has its morons, as well. The MinuteMan (wh... [Read More]

» SOS from Cold Fury
And speaking of Saint Bill of Clinton, the Fount of All Hope and Truth and quite possibly the Greatest President in American History, I see via Tom Maguire that he's finally gotten at least one thing right: Former President Bill Clinton has become the... [Read More]

» Rove Redux from UNCoRRELATED
Its been interesting to read some of the commentary on Karl Rove's commentary, but even though I've already said my piece, it occured to me on reflection that Karl Rove didn't really need to say what we all already know,... [Read More]

» Defending Rove is Retarded from The nTrain
Tom Maguire defends Rove, which is fine . . . I guess. The problem, however, is that his arguments ring true of someone who learns how to make them from a cheat sheet they found lying in a gutter. Let’s start with John Cole, the Contrary Conser... [Read More]

» Does Karl Rove read Brian Leiter? from blogs for industry
Much gnashing of teeth over this statement: Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attack... [Read More]

» Saturday morning roundup from ConservativeOutpost
From around the sphere this morning: Government health plans will no longer cover viagra...(why did they to start with?) VP Cheney says the Prisoners at Gitmo are well fed and cared for, (considering they ARE terrorists!)...(h/t Polipundit)...and Malki... [Read More]

Comments

Jor

I would say there are 3 assessments of if we are winning the war on terror
(1) Capture OBL
(2) Prevent Further Attacks on America
(3) Solve ME Israel/Palestine Problem

(1) Hasn't happened. We did get rid of the Taliban, but Afghanistan is #1 in Heroin, yet again (2) Has, and should be commended, but given how many times the alert system was raised for "political reaosns" -- well, its not all good. (3) is asking for a miracle,b ut it doesnt seem like anything constructive has been one forward.

Doing something, doesn't mean doing anything. It means doing the right hting -- which Bush has not done.


TM, If you ask someone in the army what they think about "stop-gap" orders, and their second trip to hell because somone forgot to plan at all -- I don't think this is an argument you would want to have. Yes congress and the senate got rolled over by the WH, all the way to hell, but in no small aprt, thanks to the loud, rarely-thinkiing, right wing echo chamber.

Jor

Rove can say this, because he is God. It's not gonna matter at all. If anything, this could be interpreted as a "look at me, I can do whatever I want, so don't you idjit repubs in the senate think about gettin outa line, cause my echo chamber will put you back in your place."

BumperStickerist

Technically, Rove is the Holy Spirit.

creepy dude

You're so busy parsing you miss the entire point TM.

This is a speech intended to demonize and divide. No problem. That's how political campaigns are run. But the President put Rove in the White House, and there is no more campaign. So now we have an Administration attacking certain Americans, i.e. "liberals".

Last I checked even the MoveOn folks were still Americans, though I admit we can't be certain how long they will continue to be granted that status.

And we expect the Shia and Sunnis to kiss and make up for 500 years of conflict within the next six months when Bush and Rove can't even reconcile with the MoveOn crowd?

Whatever happened to leading by example, and in this case, an example of magnanimity of spirit and ignoring petty disputes for national unity in times of war?

Actually, forget it. If Bush and Rove were capable of that, we wouldn't be where we are today.

David

I'm afraid I can't give much weight to Jor's "3 assessments of if we are winning the war on terror".

Preventing further attacks, of course, should be right up there, but "Capture OBL"? (were we not winning WW2 as long as we hadn't captured Hitler or Tojo?).
And "Solve ME Israel/Palestine Problem"?!
Remember, this is to determine if we are winning -- not if we have made the lion lie down with the lamb.

Joan of Argghh!

Whatever happened to leading by example, and in this case, an example of magnanimity of spirit and ignoring petty disputes for national unity in times of war?

Puhleeze. Where to start? How about by having the Clintons to the White House and elegantly honoring them with new portraits; or having WJC join his dad in helping tsunami victims? Or not prosecuting WJC's exiting White House staffers for vandalism? How about leaving many Democrats from the previous administration in their positions, only to be back-stabbed by each? (It does make me question his sanity in his quest to reach out to Dems.) By speaking to the Black democratic caucus, by appointing minorities to executive positions, by appointing opposition members to important tasks?

Clue bat. Buy one.

Karl Rove is in trouble for stating verifiable facts about liberals in leadership. If ever a shoe fit, this one does, and tightly. That could be classified as torture under "liberal" guidelines. Heh.

SaveFarris

Creepy,

While I agree that the speech was designed to "demonize", how exactly would you classify Durbin's speech? Merely informative?

SteveMG

TM:
Rove's too smart of a guy to do something this dumb; although I do ask for unanimous consent to revise and, well, re-revise my comments if I change my mind.

(1) If he had used the phrase "leftists" or "many liberals" or some such qualifier, he'd be on more solid ground. If, as you indicate, he prefaced his "liberals" reference to the loons at MoveOn et al., then he again finds himself on higher ground.

But even if he had done the latter, the boneheaded and ideologically-driven elements in the press would have missed that subtlety.

(2) He must have known, as we see today in the Post (page A1 story?), that liberals can get away with slandering the right with relative impunity while the right is held to a higher different standard by the _leading_ news organizations. Not all reporters, not all the press; but the NY Times et al.

Durbin's slime go largely unreported for several days. Rove's (possible) slime goes on the front page two days later. This will be THE major story for several days (unless another young woman goes missing for 24 hours; then all bets are off).

(3) As I've stated ad nauseam, most liberals (and nearly all leftists - does Hitchens still count as one of this species? I'm not sure whether he still carries a picture of Trotsky in his wallet) would rather defeat Bush, the neocons, the Christers, anyone to the right of Gustavo Gutierrez more than they want to defeat the terrorists. That's because they view the threat of the evil Republicans (Dean's characterization) as greater than the threat from OBL, Zawhari et al. Goofy yes. But that's their worldview.

(4) Politically, one of Rove's goals should be to force the Democrats to face or confront their liberal/leftist extremists. With his comments, all he does is drive those disparate groups together; he unifies a largely inchoate movement. Instead of helping them coalesce, he should be pointing out the divisions.

That you (we?) have to spend time defending his comments illustrates how short-sighted the speech was. When you're on the defensive politically - and the W.H. has been for over a month - it's not a good sign.

SMG

Creech

Why do representatives of the two major political parties have to heap vitriol on each other? I dunno.
But the 200+ history of the U.S. says they always have.
Hoover was demonized, FDR was demonized. The Birchers demonized Eisenhower. Move On has read the Birchers playbook. Spin wasn't invented yesterday - read the spin put on Lincoln's actions during the Civil War.
So stop being "shocked...shocked" at what's going on unless you are a partisan of one side or another. It's part of the game. Ask the folks you work with (I did):
most of them don't know who Rove or Durbin are, and if they do, they have no idea what's being said by them.
Thank goodness average Americans tune out this crap.

ed

Hmmmm.

How can these idiots in the MSM get direct quotes wrong?

Lurking Observer

ed:

How did they get direct quotes wrong?

It was just a matter of them being "fake but accurate."

That is the bar these days, after all.

bmcburney

Didn't Maya Angeluo comment that instead of attacking Afganistan in response to 9/11 we should have reminded Osama of all the good things he has done in his life? That may not have been a specific call to respond to 9/11 with therapy but it is close enough in my book.

And, of course, Patty Murray said we should respond by building day care centers in Kabul.

Dwight in IL

Politically, one of Rove's goals should be to force the Democrats to face or confront their liberal/leftist extremists.

Actually, unless Rove is an altruist, this is precisely wrong. It's not Rove's job to reform the Democratic party. And he's not in the cabinet, or chief of staff, or some other position where service to the country would require looking out for the opposition party's good. Karl Rove is a partisan. He wants Republicans to win and Democrats to lose.

And the best way to do that is to keep the Democrats from ever confronting their ideological nutcases and, in fact, to drive them together. If he divides them, he might get short-term advantages, but long-term the Democrats have some hope of becoming a national party again. But as long as the Dems keep pandering to the moonbat wing, they'll never regain power.

So that's my read: Rove is brilliantly forcing the Democrats to come out and defend the wacko positions of MoveOn.org, DailyKos, DU, etc. Well, they could have chosen the smart path and said, "Well, we take exception with Mr. Rove because while there were leftist wackos who said these things, most Democrats, as loyal Americans, stood solidly behind the President, as Mr. Rove well knows."

But, of course, they didn't...

Jor

(4) Politically, one of Rove's goals should be to force the Democrats to face or confront their liberal/leftist extremists. With his comments, all he does is drive those disparate groups together; he unifies a largely inchoate movement. Instead of helping them coalesce, he should be pointing out the divisions.

Steve, are you living in the same country? What crazy thing have the dems got through the senate or congress? I could have sworn the republicans steam rolled Schiavo through, listening soley to their wing-nut base. That was brilliant. If anyone is listening to the crazies, its clearly the republican (c.f Schiavo, Absitence Education, Stem Cells, Iraq).

Jor

..., but "Capture OBL"? ...
Is this the majority opinion on the right now?

Jor

Creech -- Lincoln didn't say everyone who disagreed with him was "working with the enemy". Which is what rove is saying.

Geek, Esq.

Just wait till the Abu Ghraib torture videos come out.

It'll be Americans on video committing acts that are extremely worthy of comparisons to Saddam, Pol Pot, etc.

And all of this faux outrage claiming that criticizing human rights abuses committed by US troops is treason? Completely discredited in the public eye.

POUNCER

"Groups linked with the Democratic Party" would include "Not In Our Name" or NION.

NION, by the way, knows how to do an apology right. Their California operation slimed a liberal feminist woman of color in _HUSTLER_ magazine. NION was wrong, they admitted it, and they apologized here:

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=8012

It's interesting to compare how one left-leaning anti-war activist apologizes to another with how such a person apologizes to a military members or right-leaning individual.


TexasToast

“And a bit of free advice - the Dems leapt immediately to the defense of their own honor, but let Durbin's criticism of our troops hang out their for a week. Different priorities might work better another time.”

Thanks for the advice, except ...

Durbin didn’t criticize “our troops” – except in right-wing spinland. He criticized documented torture practices by saying that one might expect to find such things in a NAZI facility – and not in an American one. He did not say “the troops” were “NAZIs”.

His “priority” was the defense of American values – not the defense of anyone’s “honor”.

The criticized practices, IMHO, are not the fault of the troops, but are the predictable result of the leadership’s cavalier attitude toward same as demonstrated by:
a) The Woo torture memos as requested by the AG;
b) Cheney’s “Club Med at Gitmo” comments;
c) 108 people dead in US custody;
d) dragooning British taxi drivers;
e) intentional placement of the main detention facility outside of the jurisdiction of regular courts;
f) the tortured application of the laws of war;
g) the justifications for torture because “they” are worse.

For starters.

Those of us who oppose such are in favor of “therapy”? We want “them” to win?

Wrong.

We want us to win – but we want the victory to come form the application of our values and not from the adoption of other, less savory, value systems.

Lurking Observer

Gotta love Geek's wild-eyed assertions.

So, the videos will show

Americans on video committing acts that are extremely worthy of comparisons to Saddam, Pol Pot, etc.

So, we can expect to see people being dropped into shredders? Having acid dripped on them from overhead with no escape? Piles of skulls? Perhaps a few gas chambers looking like showers? Shipments of Zyklon-B? Will we see depopulation on a mass scale, like the Khmer Rouge performed? Is Fallujah to be emptied out as part of "Year Zero"?

Now, watch Geek's response:

"Oh, so if we're not as bad as Pol Pot, then everything's alright? Mighty low bar."

So, if we have a few individuals behaving abominably, then either they're just like Pol Pot or we're lowering the bar?

The creation of the false dichotomy is fascinating. Make an assertion, and if called out, claim that your opponent is suggesting that any level of torture short of what you yourself have asserted is the case is acceptable.

Sorry, Geek, tired of playin' that silly game.

Geek, Esq.

LO is demonstrating the precise kind of idiocy that Greg D at Belgravia was denouncing:

"Was the treatment of the detainee Dick Durbin recounted "humane"? Was the sexual degradation involved in the menstrual high jinx in Gitmo "humane"? Is the death of some 108 detainees in U.S. custody "humane"? Well, not from where I'm sitting friends. And at least a quarter of these deaths may have been homicides (I suspect the proportion is actually higher). But, hey, who gives a shit? We didn't put them through some Saddamite-shredder, or pour nitric acid on them, or rape their daughters in front of them for kicks, or hack an arm or tongue off--it's torture lite, the cool, American, Gitmo-way. 'Cept 108 people are dead. A footnote, you might say. Get on board you sap; there's a war on!"

And, LO, do you know what's going to be on those videos and pictures? Do you seriously have any idea of the kind of bestial, savage conduct that was going on at Abu Ghraib?

Let me put it this way: people who can cavalierly dismiss rape and torture have anti-American values, and belong on Saddam's side of the fence opposite people like Greg Djerijian.

Syl

TT

Playing pop music is torture? The Democrats blow everything totally out of proportion then condescendingly assert they stand on firm moral ground.

What maroons.

Lurking Observer

Geek:

Sigh.

I'm disappointed. I wrote out your lines for you so you could "move on" and actually field a new set of TPs.

Instead, you regurgitate them almost word-for-word.

Well, "friend," here's the deal: It's not humane, but it's not wrong either. I'm referring to the idea of, say, 23-hour solitary confinement---which is practiced in US penitentaries.

And 108 deaths? That's actually fewer than the Army report I recall seeing (I thought it was about 129). Yes, that's the United States Army investigating the deaths. Just like what Pol Pot did, right? And the Nazis, who can forget the court-martial of Jurgen Stroop for his conduct?

But how many dead is 108 (or 27, your own lower end estimate being a quarter of those deaths)? Out of a population of ~68,000, is this really Pol Pot level? Auschwitz level? Shoot, is this even comparable to the number of prisoners who die in Dick Durbin's own state penitentiary system?

So, to recapitulate:

The US has captured some 70,000 illegal combatants. Of which 110 or so have died in our hands. For which we mount investigations. And in cases of wrongful death (let's double the estimate, to fit Geek's fantasy of American einsatzgruppen, and call it 55 murders/homicides/wrongful deaths), there are extensive investigations which lead to courts-martial. And punishment.

And to Geek, this is reminiscent of Pol Pot, Himmler, Yezhov. State-run killing machines.

Okay, Geek. Sure thing.

BumperStickerist

I guess the point is that we'll treat them humanely once we know as much as we can from them.

That would rather be the point of treating them inhumanely in the first place.

And, 'inhumanely' is a fairly subjective term. The tactics described by the FBI agent do not in any way rise to the level of 'inhumanity' when the subject is a terrorist, suspected or otherwise.

The acts described are, however, 'inhumane' if the subject is a child or pregnant woman. I trust the US government and its military enough to know the difference.

Get a grip, Geek.

SaveFarris

But ... But .... But .... there's video!!!!!

Yeah Geek, and Michael Moore's footage sure swung the election, didn't it?

Geek, Esq.

Just let me get this straight: you don't think that pictures of rape and torture are going to discredit the "its humane if done to suspected terrorists" and "just fraternity pranks" crowd?

From a MSNBC transcript:

"RUMSFELD: There are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence towards prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel, and inhuman.

MIKLASZEWSKI: U.S. military officials tell NBC News, the unreleased images, show American soldiers severely beating one Iraqi prisoner to near death; apparently, raping an Iraqi female prisoner; acting inappropriately with a dead body; and Iraqi guards apparently videotaped by U.S. soldiers raping young boys.

SEN. LINDSAY GRAHAM ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: We`re talking about rape and murder here, we`re not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience, we`re talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges.

MIKLASZEWSKI: Senator Carl Levin raised questions about one photo which appeared to show the abuse of prisoners may not be random, but part of routine operations.

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: That the conduct we were witnessing and watching was not aberrant conduct of a few individuals, but part of an organized and conscious process to extract information. "
***************************************

According to the "screw human rights crowd" here, avoiding such behavior is an "impossibly high standard."

Dwilkers

Its brilliant.

For the last 2 days all over the net Pubs are quoting every stupid thing said by a Dem regarding national security during the last 5 years. This morning its the lead story on the Today Show and that lead has Pubs doing the same thing, quoting Dems to back up Rove. Combined with Turban Durbin we now have 2 solid weeks with every news cycle making the Dems look like national security monkeys, and when the Pubs weren't saying anything the Dems are reinforcing it with their own statements.

I mean, its freakin brilliant. Could he have really planned this or is he just lucky?

BumperStickerist

I think the "screw human rights crowd", of which, apparently I'm a member, manages to draw a distinction similar to that between 'murder' and 'manslaughter'.

The distinction is lost on the dead guy, but the effect is the same.

It may be that US soldiers raped and murdered (some) detainees. But Levin's point isn't that such acts occured, but rather that it was part of a systematic attempt to extract information. That, I doubt.

As to the Sullivan Trickle-Down Theory of Torture ... we'll see. Sullivan's been all over the map, so I'm sure that what ever the outcome of any investigation Sullivan will have posted that he was right.

Creech

Jor: No, Lincoln, our consensus "greatest president," had them thrown in jail, habeus corpus notwithstanding. The Supreme Court slapped his (dead) wrist after the war. I'm sure there are wing-nuts out there who would urge Rove to do the same (just as moon-bats would) but I'm certain even average Americans would be outraged.

Geek, Esq.

BS (unfortunate initials):

I trust Greg Djerijian's take on the subject a lot more than Andrew Sullivan, whose writings are about as consistent as a very literate monkey pounding away at a keyboard.

BurbankErnie

Anyone else notice that Geek and his ilk just CANNOT WAIT for the new Abu Ghraib Video and Pics to come out?

They are as excited as if it were a Michael Moore-on film.
Disgusting when you root for something to hurt American interests, but such is the life of a Liberal.

SaveFarris

Geek, keep the hits coming! Assume these videos do hit the air:

Everyone who's not a member of the "reality-based community" will see guards who went massively out of line, are currently being investigated and, hopefully, getting the book thrown at them.

Meanwhile, Libs such as yourself and Levin will be using the photos and videos to attempt to smear everyone who's ever won a uniform, saying these actions are the status quo and an "organized and concious process".

You do realize if ya'll go down this track that noone who has ever worn a uniform, their family, and friends will EVER vote Democratic for the rest of their lives.

It's your call.

SaveFarris

Geek, keep the hits coming! Assume these videos do hit the air:

Everyone who's not a member of the "reality-based community" will see guards who went massively out of line, are currently being investigated and, hopefully, getting the book thrown at them.

Meanwhile, Libs such as yourself and Levin will be using the photos and videos to attempt to smear everyone who's ever won a uniform, saying these actions are the status quo and an "organized and concious process".

You do realize if ya'll go down this track that noone who has ever worn a uniform, their family, and friends will EVER vote Democratic for the rest of their lives.

It's your call.

Warmongering Lunatic

Karl Rove was speaking to the New York Conservative Party. New York has both Conservative and Liberal parties.

So, did Karl Rove say conservatives "prepared for war" and liberals "wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers"? Or did he say Conservatives "prepared for war" and Liberals "wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers"?

And even if you think the former, how exactly do you intend to prove it?

Section9

Here's the key to understanding what the Rovester and Bush are up to.

They understand that the Democratic Party's base is dominated by people who are virulently anti-military, anti-war (not just Iraq War, but anti-WOT), and chiefly, anti-Bush. They know that driving the base's emotions is a deep and abiding hatred of George Bush. It is not in the political interest of Democrats or their handmaidens in the Press to help our cause in Mesopotamia, so they do their damndest to turn the jihadi into ten foot tall giant killers, when they manifestly are not. A successful campaign means a successful George Bush. We just can't have that.

They want Bush to fail, and fail miserably. That much is clear to me. And so, I suspect that the Democrats have prepared a Full Vietnam Syndrome offensive for the summer, the effect on what goes over Al Jazeera notwithstanding. The last thing Joe Biden really wants is for Bush to "succeed" at anything. He wants a discredited and weakened Administration to run against in 2008, the international consequences be damned. So do the rest of the Donks. What Bush and Rove have done is to engage in a spoiling offensive. I strongly suspect that this was Bush more than Rove. Liberals think that Bush is some idiot puppet. He's not. He calls most of the shots and Rove finds a way to execute.

Good on ya, Georgie. Kick their butts!

Geek, Esq.

You know, the old blood libel of accusing liberals of hating troops is so pathetic. . .

I know several people in the services. I have a cousin who just returned from Iraq. They are admirable and noble people.

However, any organization will suffer if its leadership lacks moral clarity and judgment.

You see, one can criticize the civilian leadership of the Pentagon without criticizing the troops. I know its hard to grasp this concept for people who equate criticism of the state (when the Republicans are in charge). But at least give it a try.

TM

And even if you think the former, how exactly do you intend to prove it?

I wouldn't expect to *prove* anything. But I laughed out loud this morning when the news radio station summarized this story as, roughly, "Democrats outraged that Karl Rove said liberals are soft on terror".

That's a winner.

TexasToast

news radio station summarized this story as, roughly, "Democrats outraged that Karl Rove said liberals are soft on terror".

Oh, that liberal media.

Lurking Observer

Geek:

If a soldier is issued an illegal order, including by the President or his deputies (e.g., the civilian leadership at the Pentagon), then he is by law (under the UCMJ) obligated to disobey that order.

Yet, we find no members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff resigning.

We find no chiefs of CENTCOM resigning.

We find no divisional or brigade commanders resigning.

By your lights, these people are in violation of the UCMJ. They are party to acts that are illegal. More to the point, they are knowingly acting in violation of the Laws of Land Warfare and the UCMJ.

Which means they can be tried for war crimes, since these activities are occurring, with their knowledge, under their command.

You append the "ESQ" after your name, implying that you are a lawyer.

Please clarify: Are you now, in your capacity as a lawyer, charging the US military with complicity in the perpetrating of war crimes?

Jor

TM, another successful effort by the right-wing noise machine. Hurray!

Creech, its probably been a while since you read up on the civil war or lincoln, but maybe you should again. A civil war is not exactly the same as the War on Terror. Lincoln, realized it was a bad idea to suppress free speech, and wound up mitigating the effects of over-zealous govenors. HE even released some treasonous politicians (who were cooperating w/the South) and who wound up getting assylum in the South. Do you really think someone from MoveOn is going to go to Saudi Arabia for assylum? Lincoln, stopped the govenor of illinois from out-right executing indians, back when they had ZERO political capital. You really ought to at least get some perspective on the situation, before you make broad, poorly supported historical analogies.

I gaurantee you, History will not be nearly as kind to Bush as it was to lincoln. Lincoln actually looked at facts, and got involved. He actually went on a scouting mission himself, during the civil war. As an American, I find it incredibly offensive to even mention the two in the same sentence.

jcrue

in regard to, "Let's start with John Cole, the Contrary Conservative, who is outraged. Mr. Cole reminds us that on Sept. 14, 2001, Congress passed the Use of Force resolution by votes of 420-1 and 98-0, with no mention of the word 'therapy'."

i didn't see that Rove mentioned anyone in Congress, just Liberals in general...the fact that (D) congressional members are getting their underwear in a wad just shows their true colors.

at least when someone like Rove insults other Americans it can be proven with a simple Google search, they are not fighting and dying for those of us sitting comfy at home, and finally, it won't end up as anti-American propaganda on Al-Jazeera.

that's what i see as the basic difference between the two poltical sides today.

Warmongering Lunatic

I wouldn't expect to *prove* anything.

Well, yes. But my point is that it was a beautiful bit of politics, with that plausible deniability built in. Even if there's enough blowback that Karl Rove has to do some backtracking, he can say that he was talking about the members of the Conservative and Liberal parties in his remarks to the Conservative Party. Given that context, it's plausible enough, and puills the rug out from under most of the complainers.

Warmongering Lunatic

I wouldn't expect to *prove* anything.

Well, yes. But my point is that it was a beautiful bit of politics, with that plausible deniability built in. Even if there's enough blowback that Karl Rove has to do some backtracking, he can say that he was talking about the members of the Conservative and Liberal parties of New York in his remarks to the Conservative Party of New York. Given that context, it's plausible enough, and pulls the rug out from under most of the complainers.

Jor

Actually -- Bush can be best described as the ANTI-Lincoln. Lincoln was born poor, Bush was born rich. Lincoln had minimal formal education, Bush had a ton. Lincoln was smart, Bush was an idiot. Lincoln was self-made, Bush was born with a silver spoon. Lincoln was indecisive -- Bush believes God speaks to him directly. Lincoln fought in a war (minimal action) and went on to criticize that war -- Bush escaped war, and then won re-election by libelling a war vetran who did the same. Lincoln was a details person, well, I think you know about Bush there. I could keep going, but I'll stop for now.

Jor

One more thing, since you got me riled up. Bush was an alcoholic and drug user. Lincoln abstained from alcohol. Lincoln believed in reconstructing the south with "Grace and Compassion for All", Bush believes bombing and kill 100K people in Iraq, that had nothing to do with 9/11 is grace and compassion. I can keep going if you want.

Jor

That should be charity and compassion for all.

Forbes

TM: (Sit down while you read this.)

In the true spirit of partisanship, I have to agree with the Geek's comments in his 11:05 posting, above.

Now continue with your regular programming.
;-)

Patrick R. Sullivan

Pretty obviously Rove was referring to the 'Why do they hate us?' crowd. Which included, Patty Murray:

"We've got to ask, why is this man (Osama bin Laden) so popular around the world? Why are people so supportive of him in many countries ... that are riddled with poverty? He's been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. We haven't done that. How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?"

Bill Clinton:

"Indeed, in the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound…. I can tell you that that story is still being told to today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it."

Jimmy Carter:

"I think it will take years before we can repair the damage done by that [Axis of Evil] statement."

And that's just the elected officials. How about:

"But what would happen to [Osama's] cool armor if he could be reminded of all the good, nonviolent things he has done? Further, what would happen to him if he could be brought to understand the preciousness of the lives he has destroyed? I firmly believe the only punishment that works is love." -- Alice Walker

Geek, Esq.

Of course this was a calculated comment from Rove, btw.

The reason is pretty obvious: his administration is deeply unpopular, and most Americans think he is mishandling the war in Iraq.

The question is whether Rove was too clever by half. Instead of compounding the Durbin and Dean situations, it more than likely just reduces the whole thing in the public mind to "Nobody in Washington can get anything done--they just call each other names."

Fine with me. The worse the public views Washington, the better for my side in 2006.

And, I think it's time to break out a representative conservative commentary on 911:

"What we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact, God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve. . . . The ACLU has got to take a lot of blame for this. And I know I'll hear from them for this, but throwing God...successfully with the help of the federal court system...throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad...I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen."

Geek, Esq.

Btw, this poll ought to concern Bush fans out there:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/Provoking%20War.htm

Ruh roh, Shaggy.

Lurking Observer

Nice dodge, there, Geek.

I notice you not only haven't answered the question, but managed to find a quote (Jerry Falwell, right?) that was condemned by one and all, on both sides of the fence.

Congratulations, you sleuth, you!

But nary a word on whether you believe that the US military is guilty of war crimes, as per your variance and sundry earlier claims.

C'mon, Geek? What does that lawyerly, well-trained mind of yours say?

Forbes

Simplistic, I know, but I'll repeat here exactly what I said about Durbin by merely substituting Rove's name in its place. I think it just as valid in this instance.

Rove, or anybody else, have a perfect right to say incredible things. Having said that, such remarks are likewise open to criticism and debate--but demanding an apology is neither. If such critique causes the speaker to reconsider their remarks, and therefore chooses to amend them, so be it.

Most of the time, foolish or wrongheaded remarks reveal the speaker as such. Calling for an apology does not in and of itself prove the foolish or wrongheaded case. Apology, as an appropriate response to such critique should be triggered by the reasoning therein contained--not the by the volume of the criticism.

In this instance, if Rove is not embarrassed by his remarks, so be it. A man should be allowed to speak his mind, and thereby set the record straight as to where he stands. Sometimes the most powerful agrument is made by saying nothing, in response to such statements.

Expectations of civility and propriety are fine and necessary, but thin-skinned sensitivity is child-like.

Geek, Esq.

LO:

1. If folks on the right want to use Michael Moore, we get to cite Jerry Falwell.

2. The civilian leadership certainly bears some responsibility for the misconduct in question. To what degree these were the results of a failure of leadership, and to what extent they were foreseen, will be unknown until an independent investigation occurs. The civilian leadership certainly demonstrated an eagerness to legitimize cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners.

TexasToast

This thread is rather interesting – particularly the points about Rove’s motives. I’ll agree with the folks who contend it was a typical Rovian stunt, because it is consistent with Rove’s strategy in 2000. One only needs 50.0000000000000001 percent and he creates loyalty in the true believers through their reaction to the outrage of those he attacks. The Swift Boat Vets are the perfect example. Calling them “liars” is manipulated so that anyone who did so called everyone in uniform a liar. Pointing out that “torture is un-American” is twisted to a statement that “everyone in uniform approves of torture”. Calling liberals “traitors”, however, results in blog posts galore that commend Rove for “telling the truth”. The people he angers wouldn’t vote for Bush anyway, but the heat gets marginal folks who normally wouldn’t give a darn to get up off the sofa and “defend our honor”. “Liberals”, like arabs, aren’t on the side of the target audience; however, the target audience clearly identifies with "our soldiers in uniform".

Rove creates a conflict of values – loyalty vs. truth – and goes one better because loyalty is more clearly binary - us vs. them. Truth, however, is annoyingly gray and any political strategist worth his salt can throw up enough BS to unclarify any issue. Who ya gonna believe – the talking head who says clearly that “we are the good guys” or the talking head that hems and haws by saying “things are more complicated than that”? Patrick Sullivan’s examples are a' propros. Who cares that things really are more complicated than that?

The white hat with the hidden stiletto takes the applause and leaves the room before people see the body on the floor and realize they have been had. The mark of Zorro.

Damn.


Geek, Esq.

TT:

He can cry wolf only so long. When more Americans view George W. Bush, instead of Saddam, as the person who provoked the Iraq war, the talk radio rhetoric begins to falter.

Lurking Observer

Geek:

Cite Jerry as much as you want. It's not like your side was holding back or anything before.

Try googling "Pat Robertson," too. Another idiotarian. You won't find too many here trying to defend him.

But you continue to dodge the main issue, Mr. Lawyer.

So, for the third time, in simplest terms:

If the "torture" that occurred at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib was a matter of policy, then not only are England and Granier guilty, but their superiors, through Meyers, who transmitted the orders and authorized the actions, are also guilty. By failing to act, by not resigning, they would be potentially liable to prosecution for war crimes.

Yes, the civilian leadership would potentially be responsible for a torture policy, if there were one in place. Any failings of the civilian leadership would be limited to said leadership, however, unless the military was complicit in issuing orders that they knew were illegal.

Unless, of course, that leadership was somehow bypassing the military chain of command. Is that what you're saying, Geek? That Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney called the guards at Abu Ghraib? I don't think that's what you're claiming at all.

So, the only way that those guards could have been executing a policy of torture (rather than acting abominably, but on their own), is that the US military has been complicit in the transmission and execution of unlawful orders.

Is that what you believe? Is that what you are claiming.

It really is a simple question.

Geek, Esq.

At a minimum, there was a failure of leadership and a permissive attitude towards the abuse of prisoners.

To what extent the abuses that occurred down the chain of command were a result of a lack of leadership, the result of a nudge nudge wink wink informal policy of abuse, or the result of formal policy has yet to be determined.

It's certainly not just "a few bad apples."

SaveFarris

Geek, did you see Jerry Falwell sitting with Bush I in the Presidential Box at the Convention?

I sure didn't.

Forbes

Geek: In the prosecutions held to date regarding abuses at abu Ghraib, how many defendants claimed they were following orders?

Pound the table all you want, but lacking such claims (much less corroborated testimony of such) from defendants, all you've got are a few bad apples. (And there's no motivation to sit in an Army brig for years, a not roll over on higher authority.)

DelphiGuy

Actually, I believe Falwell took back his statements a few days after making them (that quote has been used a lot the past day or so).

This administration has a good record of baiting the enemy until they walk into their own doom.

Just out of curiosity, when do the pics / video come out?

TJ Jackson

Mr. Cole manages to spin Rove's comments. What does the Democrats response in 9-11 have to do with the remarks Rove made about the "Liberals" who bombarded us with their let's not be hasty song and dance. From Susan Sntag to MoveOn from Al Sharpton to Michael Moore we were told the US was only reaping what it had sown. This is patriotism or deserves to be considered as "going to war against those who carried out 9-11?

Sad to say one can rely on Mr. Cole and other libertarians to follow this meme. Just as they did with the "Living Constitution." I'll bet in light of yesterdays decision from the five who musst be obeyed reducing private property to an abstract concept that we'll be hearing a slightly different tune.

The Left's outrage is the same as the Politboror response to being labelled an "evil empire." Once the truth is out all the outrage and bluster won't change it.

Mike on Hilton Head Island

Roger Hedgecock was subbing for Rush Limbaugh today and played a GREAT audio clip of George Pataki responding to Hillary Clinton's call that Pataki repudiate Rove.

I pieced together bits of his comment here:

http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/#111966483302258493

If anyone knows where to find the audio clip, please drop me a note at Mike's America.

Cecil Turner

"Geek: In the prosecutions held to date regarding abuses at abu Ghraib, how many defendants claimed they were following orders?"

Sgt Graner tried that defense at his court martial, but it didn't work out so well:

The jury took less than five hours to reach the verdict [. . .] The jury of four Army officers and six senior enlisted men rejected the defense argument that Graner and other guards were merely following orders from intelligence agents at Abu Ghraib when they roughed up the detainees.
As one observer noted:
"If they were ordered by someone to do it in a clear way, the criminal culpability would go to the person giving the order, but that seems not to be the case," said South Texas College of Law Professor Robert F. Holland, a former military judge.
VADM Church addressed the concern directly:
We found no link between approved interrogation techniques and detainee abuse. Of the 70 cases of closed, substantiated abuse, only 20 of these cases, or less than one-third, could be considered “interrogation-related;” the remaining 50 were unassociated with any kind of questioning, interrogation, or the presence of MI personnel. In determining whether a case was interrogation-related, we took an expansive approach: for example, if a soldier slapped a detainee for refusing to answer a question at the point of capture, we categorized that misconduct as interrogation-related abuse - even though it did not occur at a detention facility, the soldier was not an MI interrogator, and there was no indication the soldier was (or should have been) aware of interrogation policy approved for use by MI interrogators.

jdm

TJ, I am libertarian-ish and John Cole is a not a libertarian; he likes to think of himself as a Goldwater Conservative. There are overlaps and I don't know if he's a True(tm) or Approved(tm) Conservative, but I know he's not a libertarian.

After the Schiavo kerfuffle, I do know that he's is very annoyed and easily roused to anger by the religious right wing of the conservative party. Mostly because of very personal attacks he received, and well, invoked.

He doesn't much care for the present administration and can be easily distracted and fooled by political manuevering. Rove's brilliant, precise, but ultimately cynical ploy completely escaped him.

CalDevil

Geek is acting like a 3 year old. In the face of abundant empirical evidence to the contrary, he wants to insist that liberals didn't act the way Rove has painted them. But Geek wants to keep painting everyone who disagrees with him as Falwell sycophants, and refuses to acknowledge that most everyone on the Republican spectrum (conservatives, social liberals, neo-cons, libertarians) condemned those remarks when they were made and they were dismissed and forgotten.

They were forgotten for a reason: Conservatives and Republicans took the exact opposite position as Falwell. As is well documented, the conservative reaction was to blame the terrorists and the states that support them for the attacks.

Indeed, Falwell's remarks were much more in line with the thinking of the hundreds of thousands of liberals who signed the Moveon adopted "peace" petition: What did we do to make them hate us? Both Falwell and the liberals (albeit from different social perspectives) both concluded that it was our "evil" that caused it.

Conservatives rejected that postion and moved on to prosecute the war.

Democrats, twice frustrated by American voters since the attacks, increasingly play to their "Falwell" wing on defense and national security issues, further alienating more Americans who might otherwise be inclined to support them.

You see, playing to your Falwell wing to oppose abortion or gay marriage (even though I might vehemently disagree with such positions) is tolerable for a large part of the electorate in the current climate (especially on an issue like gay marriage that the Dems cowardly ran away from every chance they could - "I'm against gay marriage, but Bush shouldn't try to stop it and he's still evil" seemed to be their most coherant position).

However, playing to your Falwell, or MoveOn or Soros/Moore wing to blame America first and to promise a more "sensitive" war on terror, is just not a winning electoral strategy.

The thinking for many voters in the middle goes, "Well, I strongly disagree with Bush on abortion and gay marriage, but I know that realistically he can't do much about either anyway and I do know that I want his national security and defense team in place."

When it comes down to choosing sides (and that's what voters do), most have come down on the side they think has the better philosophy in the fight against terror. All other issues have become secondary. That doesn't mean that it'll always be this way, but that's the hand that's been dealt for the past 2 cycles.

It also doesn't mean that it will still play out this way in 06 and 08 as Americans grow weary of the prosecution of this war (remember that we now have been in this war longer than we were in WWII - granted, this war has not been as all-consuming to American society as that one, but still significant nonetheless).

But what liberals and the MSM have done in the past several weeks is to keep the terror issue front and center. Look at the public's repudiation of the Durbin position (forget his hateful remarks) on treatment of terrorist prisoners. This is not a good issue for the Dems. Rove knew that. And that's why he knew he could create this storm of controversy in which everyone would be reminded of the positions and extreme statements of MoveOn, Moore, Dean and all the new powers behind the DNC.

sf

Kudos to Lurking Obs for demolishing Geek's outrageous charge with a couple of polite questions. IIRC, early in the thread Geek charged that the U.S. had a *policy* of torturing captured terrorists--which policy led to the abuses at Abu Ghraib and *charges of same* (which have since seemingly been discredited) at Gitmo.

LO observed that if torture were U.S. policy (i.e. ordered by higher-ups), everyone in the military chain of command would have been equally guilty, because the UCMJ requires members of the Armed Forces to refuse illegal orders. LO then asked Geek a simple question: Are you claiming there is/was a formal policy ordering or suggesting torture?

Immediately Geek pulled back to "Well, at a minimum there's been a failure of leadership." Nice maneuver.

As a former officer, I think the fact that the Army was already actively investigating the allegations of prisoner abuse before the press got hold of the story shows that the military leadership--far from failing its duties--was doing things exactly right.

It's not possible to *prevent* soldiers from breaking the rules, any more than cops prevent criminals from committing crimes. The question is what happens afterward. And all the evidence points to the fact that the U.S. military was (and is) actively prosecuting the bad apples.

But it's hard to grab a headline with that, so...

gk

I can't believe democrats are so foolish as to take the Rovebait, but well, there you are. Mewling for an apology is so unattractive and weak and a democratic party of past generations would never fall for such a speech. Interesting that democrats run away from the label "liberal" at a full gallop during election time but now find themselves rhetorically defending Soros,Moore, Moveon etc. Stupid, stupid, stupid on so many levels.

TJ Jackson

JDM:
I am not sure of what Mr. Cole is nor do I care for political labels. I do know his positions are not what I would consider to be conservative. He displays an amazing intolerance that caused me to stop reading his blog. I do not consider myself to be religious but I know enough to realize that the universe didn't occur in a giant crap game nor am I willing to thrash another's beliefs unless they endanger my family's well being.

Further the way I believe most people saw the Schiavo case was a judicial system run amok and government making life and death decisions without regard to its citizenry. I will not debate the merits of the case but the key issue here was money. Cole makes the ludricious charge there was no money. Obviously this is the root motivation of the beloved spouse. His subsequent actions only demonstrated what a louse he is.

Finally, Cole makes on a know it all attitude He recently attacked the miliatry for not providing adequate materials and equipment. I have news for Der Feldmarschall, the US military has never, ever been adequately equipped or prepared for war. In Vietnam we supplement our rations with freeze dried commerical meals to lighten our loads rather than use K rations and C rations which were bulky and heavy. We used commercial water filtration systems rather than the idione tablets. Boots and trousers were procured locally because they were better suited to the climate than the leather we were issued with and the non breathing fabric mix which never seemed to dry properly.

My dad told me similar stories about his days as a tanker in WWII. My grandfather told me they were issued with British made rifles because there weren't enough American made Springfields available.


In short Mr. Cole's blog is about his ego. There is better information available and better analysis so why waste time. But citing Cole is a kiss of death for me. Its like citing Sullivan or Willis. You know you are no longer dealing in the rational.

TJ Jackson

JDM:
I am not sure of what Mr. Cole is nor do I care for political labels. I do know his positions are not what I would consider to be conservative. He displays an amazing intolerance that caused me to stop reading his blog. I do not consider myself to be religious but I know enough to realize that the universe didn't occur in a giant crap game nor am I willing to thrash another's beliefs unless they endanger my family's well being.

Further the way I believe most people saw the Schiavo case was a judicial system run amok and government making life and death decisions without regard to its citizenry. I will not debate the merits of the case but the key issue here was money. Cole makes the ludricious charge there was no money. Obviously this is the root motivation of the beloved spouse. His subsequent actions only demonstrated what a louse he is.

Finally, Cole makes on a know it all attitude He recently attacked the miliatry for not providing adequate materials and equipment. I have news for Der Feldmarschall, the US military has never, ever been adequately equipped or prepared for war. In Vietnam we supplement our rations with freeze dried commerical meals to lighten our loads rather than use K rations and C rations which were bulky and heavy. We used commercial water filtration systems rather than the idione tablets. Boots and trousers were procured locally because they were better suited to the climate than the leather we were issued with and the non breathing fabric mix which never seemed to dry properly.

My dad told me similar stories about his days as a tanker in WWII. My grandfather told me they were issued with British made rifles because there weren't enough American made Springfields available.


In short Mr. Cole's blog is about his ego. There is better information available and better analysis so why waste time. But citing Cole is a kiss of death for me. Its like citing Sullivan or Willis. You know you are no longer dealing in the rational.

Mike on Hilton Head Island

Democrats leapt on Rove's remarks in a fit of moral equivalance: "see, Republicans are just as bad."

But what really happend is that Rove drew a laser-clear comparison between an accurate description of liberal approaches to terror and Durtbag Durbin's throwing gasoline on the flames of anti-American hatred.

Coincidence? I think NOT!

Mae

Specifically, which liberal said they wanted "to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." I don't recall anyone saying anything like this. Moderation does not mean "therapy and understanding."

Kristen Breitweiser says it better than I ever could, so here is a quote from her post on a different blog. A link is given below to her entire post. Read it and educate yourselves (although I doubt you will).

"For the record Karl, does Iraq have any connection to the 9/11 attacks? Because, you and your friends with your collective “understanding of 9/11” seem to be contradicting yourselves about the Iraq-9/11 connection, too. First, we were told that we went to war with Iraq because it was linked to the 9/11 attacks. Then, your rationale was changed to "Iraq has WMD". Then you told us that we needed to invade Iraq because Saddam was a "bad man". And now it turns out that we are in Iraq to bring them "democracy."


"Karl, when you say, “Conservatives saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and prepared for war,” what exactly did you do to prepare for your war? Did your preparations include: sound intelligence to warrant your actions; a reasonable entry and exit strategy coupled with a coherent plan to carry out that strategy; the proper training and equipment for the troops you were sending in to fight your war? Did you follow the advice of experts such as General Shinseki who correctly advised you about the troop levels needed to actually succeed in Iraq?....It has always been America's policy that you only place soldiers' lives in harm's way when it is absolutely necessary and the absolute last resort. When you send troops into combat you support those troops by providing them with proper equipment and training. Why didn't you do that with the troops that you sent into Iraq? Why weren't their vehicles armored? Why didn't they have protective vests? Why weren't they properly trained about the rules of interrogation?

"Director of the CIA, Porter Goss, has mentioned that he knows exactly where Bin Laden is located but that he cannot capture him for fear of offending sovereign nations. Which frankly, I find ironic because of Iraq--and let's just leave it at that. But, when you say that “moderation and restraint” don't work in fighting terrorists, maybe you should share those comments with Mr. Goss because he doesn't seem to be on the same page as you...."

Is bin Laden still important? I thought we wanted him dead or alive? Isn't he the one who planned the 9/11 attacks?


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/archive/kristen-breitweiser/karl-roves-understandin_3103.html

The comments to this entry are closed.

Amazon

  • Lee Child, Kindle short story
  • Lee Child
  • Gary Taubes

Traffic

Wilson/Plame