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November 27, 2006



This is my favorite part: "The peerless Glenn Greenwald".

I think I even agree with it.


Explains Greenwald (nut graf, and I do mean nut):
[The] institutionalized Beltway personalities fear a repudiation of the rotten system on which they depend and of which they are such integral parts

And they do so by opposing those ethical giants Jack Murtha and Alcee Hastings.

Oh boy.



Somewhere in there Greenwald claims that Hoyer and Harman are insignificant in the vast sweep of the universe. He makes that claim in the middle of thousands of words of outrage over a few days of bad press for Nancy Pelosi.

What a douche.


Voting for the AUMF is one thing - half the Democratic caucus voted for it - even if we were misled by the administration.

Warrantless wiretapping is another matter. The "program" is a significant (and likely unconstitutional) assertion of executive power at the expense of the legislature - and Harman's support of it without legislative oversight seems to be a disqualification for the chair of the committee responsible for any such oversight.

Other than that - its Polosi's choice - not mine.


Other than that - its Polosi's choice - not mine.

Way to duck the topic at hand, Toast.



Glenn is just afraid to admit how deeply we rabid neocons have penetrated--that's why he omits the NYT and LAT.


Glenn is just afraid to admit how deeply we rabid neocons have

The Bush cult of authority has no limits.

Although I don't remember seeing Pinch at the meetings.




even if we were misled by the administration

Administrations, Texas, administrations. The reason they didn't do due dilligence is because they had been spoon fed the same intelligence from the prior administration...for 8 years. Their own words in the late 90s is proof enough they thought Saddam had WMDs or they were covering for a wag the dog president and got caught in their own little game. Either way, they own their words.


Um...am I the only noticing Greenwald's hysterics on this issue are a little authoritarian cult-like line-toeing? I mean - sheesh - he's freaking out that people are "questioning" Pelosi's ah-thora-tie, defending her every stupid move...pot kettle? Mirror? He's a NEO-NUT!

Tom Maguire

Warrantless wiretapping is another matter. The "program" is a significant (and likely unconstitutional) assertion of executive power at the expense of the legislature - and Harman's support of it without legislative oversight seems to be a disqualification for the chair of the committee responsible for any such oversight.

Other than that - its Polosi's choice - not mine.

I agree, yet disagree.

Since my official editorial position on the warrantless eavesdropping was that Congress ought to bestir itself, I can't say Harman has covered herself with glory and deserves the Chairpersonship (nor have I said that, vociferously or otherwise).

However - the WaPo first reported that she was on the way out in Sept 2005, *before* the Times broke the big story. So, although it may be a reasonable objection noew, it *probably* was not a factor in Sept 2005.

Why only "probably"? Well, both Harman and Pelosi had been briefed on the program, so maybe they differed on approach before the story broke. *Maybe*.


Perhaps he left out the references to the NYTimes and LATimes at Dick Cheney's "Behest". Worked for Joe Wilson.


NeoNut or NeoRoot?


Lay off Greenwald, its hard for him to put a complete argument together when Andrew Sullivan constantly has his dick up Greenwald's ass; and vice versa. Now I know where the term 'sock-puppet' came from.

Jim Rockford

Intelligence Chair Alcee Hastings!!

Come on, the only question is what kind of auction Hastings will hold for selling off America's secrets.

I'm starting to believe in the mind-control rays of Karl Rove.


I guess it's time for Greenwald to throw John Kerry and Rockefeller under the bus too, since they were cheerleading the Iraq intelligence. You know, just like pretty much everyone else at the time.

It's funny that he would go after Harman, when it was her staffer that leaked the classified NIE on terrorism to the New York Times. She also floated, to the enjoyment of the liberal blogosphere, claims that the White House was sitting on another NIE on Iraq.

I guess my question is, why is Greenwald so obsessed with getting Alcee Hastings in the chair? He just looks like a complete moron in trying to take down Harman as a neocon stooge.

Hell, Harman even has a slot over at TPMCafe! I guess we'll let Josh Marshall and Greenwald duke it out over who's the neocon stooge.


Seixon, my man! That's Maroon, not moron!


Please remember that Glenn Greenwald writes from no particular ideological viewpoint.

I'm sure what finally threw him over the edge to make it look as if he hates Bush is that Bush just wasn't bipartisan afterall.
So Harman and Lieberman must go.


How long until we hear how great Glenny has made himself in just nine months? Of course - that idea was floated at least 12 months ago first - so now we are at 21 months - has he done anything remarkable in the last 12 months? Other than write drivel that is - and run back and forth between Rio and NY? And become famous for sock-puppeting? Didn't think so....



I vote for NEO-NUTS. Its ironic and naughty all at the same time.


So Pelosi was AGAINST Hastings before she was FOR Hastings.

That political party may move like a weather vane, but remember, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


If supporters for Glenn Greenwald's positions didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent them.



I don't believe Harman will get the chairmanship for the simple petty reason that Pelosi wants to be the only woman in the spotlight and that Harman might steal some of her thunder. Reyes is the smart choice but then when were the dems ever smart?


I thought Hoyer and his CIA constituents were the conspiracy, but, I guess the vote didn't happen..............

Patrick R. Sullivan

'It is their agenda whom she promotes...'

English a second language for this guy?


When SF Nan said she was going to change the culture of corruption, apparently she meant she'd bring it out of the shadows into the light by appointing Murtha and Hastings. None of that wussy behind-the-scenes stuff for her!


Pardon me.......Endorsing Murtha; appointing Hastings.

Appalled Moderate

Seixon and some others:

If you read Greenwald's post, his invective is directed at those who would attack Nancy Pelosi for her emnity for Jane Harman. He's not praising Alcee Hastings. He, in fact, says this:

There is no seniority on the Intelligence Committee, so Harman is not being "demoted" by being "denied" this seat. Hastings is not the "alternative," since Pelosi can choose anyone she wants and, as far as I know, has never said that the "alternative" to Harman is Hastings. The media has just invented this dichotomy in order to foster the drama of the Serious/Substantive v. Frivolous/Bitchy choice they have decreed is what Pelosi must navigate.

Frankly, I don't know why a Democrat would listen to a Republican about who should head an intelligence committee, when botched/mythical intelligence is why we are in the mess we are in. I would say that the majority of Democrats would not support someone who supported the president's use of intelligence, and, therefore, Pelosi's dislike of Harman makes sense on policy grounds.

The point of TM's postings, as well as the proper focus of any criticism, is that Hastings is a godawful idea for the intelligence committee. Pelosi, at this point, probably knows that, and likely has (i) another job for Hastings that is prestigious not egregious and (ii) has another person in mind for the intel committee.


Of course there is seniority on the intel committee. Harman was lured into running for Congress again after she'd lost her bid for the governorship by a promise that she'd not lose her seniority on the committee if she were elected to Congress again..and when that happened she outranked Hastings. I think there is an understanding that seniority will not be the sole factor for chairmanship of this committee--the idea being that this is so key a committee assignment more than seniority alone should weigh in the mix. Certainly that does not weigh in Pelosi's favor , however, for Harman is probably the smartest Dem in Congress.


Considering the fact that many if not most Americans would be on their knees begging for mercy if (when?) terrorism on any serious level comes to our shores, the fact that Democrats are still whining about "misuse" of intelligence and a "mess" in Iraq that they did the most to create, not to mention considering somebody like Alcee Hastings for anything of importance, gives off the odor of Rome burning and a bunch of unserious racists fanning the flames. I find that appalling myself.

Appalled Moderate


The Democrats created the mess in Iraq? Say what!!?

The Republicans forfeited their right to be taken seriously on national defense when they refused to even try to commit the resources necessary to conduce their extremely serious and important wars. They SPOKE of serious effort and PLANNED for a few weeks in and then out again. I don't think they knowingly lied about the intelligence, but they surely lied about their total commitment to the effort.

Hence. Our current mess.

Back to the topic, I have no doubt Jane Harman is an intelligent, articulate member of the Democratic caucus. And she helped the President get us in deeper and deeper.

Why should she continue to serve? Why does that make any sense? If the mandate of the election was meaningful oversight of the Iraq war, why would you have a chairman who was a participant in all of the errors?

Now that would be unserious.


"The Republicans forfeited their right to be taken seriously on national defense when they refused to even try to commit the resources necessary to conduce their extremely serious and important wars"

And the Dems set in motion events that left hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and millions of Cambodians dead so they've also forfeited their right to be taken seriously. So it's the Greens and Libertarians, belly to belly, for the right to determine foreign policy as they are the only unsullied (pun intended) parties left.
And that's quite a dichotomy - do we love foreigners to the point of geniflection or do we rape their natural resources under the cover of capitalism? Decisions, decisions.


Dennis Kucinich to the rescue!

Appalled Moderate

Contractor: Yeah. The electrical system I built did burn half your house down.

Fahaqie: Glad to hear you admit that. My attorney will be...

Contractor: I didn't say I erred in any way. I just can't argue that it did not burn your house down, because the experts said it did.

Fahaqie: OK

Contractor: And this is why you should have me rebuild the electrical system, because I have studied the expert's report carefully.

Fahaqie: But you didn't make any mistakes.

Contractor: Well, some mistake happened somewhere, because the facts on the ground...

Fahaqie: Half my house on the ground...

Contractor: It was obviously a flawed system, and it is good you are probably rid of it. I now enough that I'll do it differently this time.

Fahaqie: Hm. Well, somebody will undoubtedly hire you sometime. And, everyone makes mistakes, and often they never acknowlege them, except in a mysterious, abstract way. Well, that's good enough for me! You're hired! Guess I'll tell the lawyer to stop the lawsuit...


Ajami does know what he's talking about and he has something useful to add to this debate:

It was not naive idealism, it should be recalled, that gave birth to Bush's diplomacy of freedom. That diplomacy issued out of a reading of the Arab-Muslim political condition and of America's vulnerability to the disorder of Arab politics. The ruling regimes in the region had displaced their troubles onto America; their stability had come at America's expense, as the scapegoating and the anti-Americanism had poisoned Arab political life. Iraq and the struggle for a decent polity in it had been America's way of trying to extirpate these Arab troubles. The American project in Iraq has been unimaginably difficult, its heartbreak a grim daily affair. But the impulse that gave rise to the war was shrewd and justified.

Nowadays, more and more people despair of the Iraq venture. And voices could be heard counseling that the matter of Iraq is, for all practical purposes, sealed and that failure is around the corner. Now and then, the memory of the Vietnam War is summoned. America had lost the battle for Vietnam but had won the war for East Asia. That American defeat had brought ruin to Vietnam and Cambodia, but the systems of political and economic freedom in Asia had held, and the region had cushioned the American defeat, and left a huge protective role for American power. Fair enough: There was Japan in East Asia, providing political anchorage and an example of economic success. There is no Japan in that arc of trouble in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia and Egypt are poor pillars, themselves prey to forces of radicalism--the first weak in the scales of military power, the second a brittle, crowded land with immense troubles of its own. That overall strategic landscape, too, should be considered as we debate and anguish over Iraq.


hit and run

Something just occured to me......

From Byron York's piece on NRO:

Conyers played a key role — perhaps the key role — in the House impeachment. Because Hastings was black, and because Conyers, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, had a great interest in issues of race and justice — at one point in the committee hearing, Conyers explained that he joined the Judiciary Committee “because of my concern for the impact of racism on the judicial system” — many lawmakers looked to Conyers’s opinion as the final word on whether the charges against Hastings were valid. “Conyers was the decider,” says Terence Anderson, the University of Miami law professor who has defended Hastings for decades. “If Conyers had said no, I think the House would not have proceeded.”

But Conyers said yes. And as chairman of the investigating subcommittee, he had the authority to conduct a long and detailed inquiry into the case — an inquiry that Hastings tried to stop back in the 80s and is still trying to discredit today.

Hastings is a pawn. Harman is a puppet. The goal here is to get everyone all exercised at the prospect of a Hastings chairmanship.

And then, in comes Conyers with the, "I'm fair and non-partisan when it comes to investigations. Look, I was willing and able to lead the efforts to impeach a democrat and fellow CBC member. He should not chair the intelligence committee."

And from there comes the "...and as someone dedicated to honest, truthful and non-partisan investigations, it is high time to investigate this administration for blah, blah, blah....Iraq blah, blah, blah....treason blah, blah, blah....hanging from a tree blah, blah, blah."


Geez AM,

Are you really trying to get us to buy the concept that the Iraq problem was not growing for the past 20 years? That the dems had nothing to do with it? Give me a break.

The fact is that the problems there did not spring up overnight when Bush took office. I suspect they really started to become critical when Ambassador Maddy Albright gave the go-ahead for Hussein to invade Kuwait. Given the fact that we did not finish the job then, or during Clinton's years, gave the Iraqis and the Al-Quaeda conglomerate time to build and prepare. We missed quite a few opportunities over the years and that is everybody's fault.

So get off your high horse and come back to earth and reality.


Just as clarification of my own stated opinion, I note that from the very start of the Iraq campaign -- which was voted for by many of our favorite tough-talking Dems in Congress, who'd been consistently making belligerent statements about Iraq since long before Bush -- they sought to sabatoge our efforts. Their friends in the media were (hopefully?) predicting disaster, quagmire in the sandstorms, tens of thousands of dead, etc., but our military amazed everyone with the most spectacular success probably in history. Considering the mood of the country in those days, the Democrats soon began to worry that a unified United States would redound to Bush's benefit, and so began to try to find ways to weasel out of their former words with notions of "Bush Lied" bs rather than close ranks foreign-policy wise and take their chances with their domestic policy differences. After that disgraceful strategy was decided on, any success in Iraq, no matter how significant to us or the purple-fingered people there, became a downer for the Democrats, who hoped and still hope for our defeat, regardless of what that means for us or our new friends, the aforementioned people of Iraq. Personally, when I see Americans hoping for the defeat of America, in effect allying themselves with and giving hope, aid and comfort to enemies many of those same Americans voted to confront, I consider that they've greatly contributed to whatever "mess" we have there. And this I think describes the present-day Democrats to a tee.


It's not Iraq, but it is illustrative of your point, Extraneous--shameless pimping for the enemy for personal advantage.

And this without a mention of Joe Kennedy's munificent renumeration from this non-profit.


"I suspect they really started to become critical when Ambassador Maddy Albright gave the go-ahead for Hussein to invade Kuwait."

That's an urban myth generated by taking a statement Albright made out of context. I forget the details but she said something like, referring to the oil deposit that straddles Iraq and Kuwait, that is a problem for the parties to resolve i.e. US doesn't care how it's resolved, implying a green light for an invasion. But in her broader statement she was clear about the US seeking a peaceful resolution. I think Tariq Aziz, Iraq's Foreign Minister under Saddam, even confirmed after we invaded that Saddam knew there was no 'approval' from the US for an invasion of Kuwait.

Further, consider the US actions just prior to the invasion. Since the taking of the US embassy in Iran US policy was to always have a battle group in the Gulf. Carrier groups releaved each other in the vacinity of the Hormuz Straits. That changed in 1991 as 'hand offs' were changed to the Malaccan Straits - saving the Navy lots of money. The FIRST Malaccan Straits hand off coincided with the invasion. In other words, for the first time in 11 years there was no US carrier group in the Gulf and Saddam chose to invade at that time.

Of course this could be a conspiracy - removal of the carrier group was a predetermined 'green light' to Saddam. However, it should be noted that when Saddam invaded the carrier in the Eastern end of the Indian Ocean went 'full speed' to the Gulf. I suppose that could be for show, but it's telling that Iraqi officials have dropped the 'green light' theory when it would have been politically beneficial for Saddam to cite this many times since.


It was Ambassador Gillespie, Wilson's boss, in any event, not Albright.

"I suspect they really started to become critical when Ambassador Maddy Albright gave the go-ahead for Hussein to invade Kuwait."
By the way, that was Ambassador April Gillaspie. (Who was out of the country when Saddam invaded, leaving her 2nd-in-command Joe Wilson in charge. See? It's always about Joe Wilson! ;-)

Thanks, Clarice, for the correction. I really should google before posting as my memory isn't what.......what was I saying?


Oops! As usual, Clarice was ahead of me...


Fahagle, it took me some time myself to recall her name. Nothing gets downloaded it just gets misplaced in my aging brain.


Warrantless wiretapping is another matter. The "program" is a significant (and likely unconstitutional) assertion of executive power at the expense of the legislature - and Harman's support of it without legislative oversight seems to be a disqualification for the chair of the committee responsible for any such oversight.

Other than that - its Polosi's choice - not mine.

Posted by: TexasToast | November 27, 2006 at 07:04 PM
Actually prominent Democrats disagree with you


The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board received a long-awaited briefing on the secret program last week by senior members of the National Security Agency.

Two of the five board members told The Associated Press on Monday they were impressed by the safeguards the government has built into the NSA's monitoring of phone calls and computer transmissions and wished the administration could tell the public more about them to ease distrust.

``If the American public, especially civil libertarians like myself, could be more informed about how careful the government is to protect our privacy while still protecting us from attacks, we'd be more reassured,'' said Lanny Davis, a former Clinton White House lawyer.
Everyone knows what a Republican hack Davis is (snicker)

hit and run

Oops! As usual, Clarice was ahead of me...

Hah! I know the feeling. On election night, I quit posting updates saying, "just reported on Fox....." and instead just went with, "as clarice just posted on JOM....."


"See it's always about Joe Wilson" How true.
At this point if you voted for the Iraq war you should be trying to find solutions for it. Even Obama {who did not vote for it because he wasn't in Congress at the time} has come out to say he would like to draw down the troops in 4-6 months. Every senator and congressman should have to state their approach or solution to this war question. Isn't that what we pay them for and elect them to do?

Tom Maguire

Conyers was the decider

Until Bush supplanted him.

From a bitterly partisan perspective it would be a laugh riot if Hastings gets the chairmanship. We can point out that, since he changed his mind on impeaching Hastings a mere seventeen years later, we would like to know how long it will take for Conyers to change his mind about impeaching Bush.


Well, ya'll can all stop worrying - CQ says Hastings is "out" - but I doubt that means that Harman is "in" - no matter how "smart" she may be.


Unfortunately, their "careful" wiretapping is not what is authorized by existing law - no matter what Davis says.


Are you seriously trying to suggest that Democrats' "hoping for our defeat" are the cause of our Iraqi FUBAR?


Well...I am corrected in my naming of Albright. But the point still remains that the Iraq problems have been with us for 20 some years - and have been growing. It is not something that just popped out of thin air when Bush took office, right TT?

And Iran - that goes back just as far - to Carter at least - and probably back as far as the Shah. All of this must be looked at as a continuum rather than a snap-shot in time. And since the water is already under the bridge, what's to be done? The "New Direction" will save us all....LOL


It's Glaspie.


J2 yes it is. Thanks


Hey, J2, I even googled it. I put in "gillaspie" and I was so sure about the 'a' that I rejected google's suggestion of "gillespie." And there were lots of "april gillespie" and "april gillaspie" hits so Clarice and I aren't the only ones seeing it "as if for the first time."

(And hey, I was right about the 'a'!)


Hastings out-Pelosi blinks:
"Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, impeached as a federal judge in 1989 on corruption charges, dropped his bid under pressure on Tuesday to chair a congressional panel designed to help protect America's security, a party aide said"
http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=politicsNews&storyid=2006-11-28T204055Z_01_N28275992_RTRUKOC_0_US-SECURITY-USA-CONGRESS.xml&src=rss&rpc=22> Pelosi 2 for 2



Unfortunately, their "careful" wiretapping is not what is authorized by existing law - no matter what Davis says.


I've always found it interesting that when the Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence committees were first briefed on this, the Democrats controlled the Senate. They could have held oversight hearings about it and declined to do so.


I ony corect speling mistaks if they add sylables.


So true about the dems. Evidently before the elections dems thought their opposition was a winning stategy. Now they are afraid to look like the doofuses they are so they send out Lanny Davis to signal the all clear.


Who needs SCOTUS when we've got texastoast to determine what the Constitution says?

I'd really like to see his cites to con law supporting his assertions. Anybody know when he'll be putting them up?



Frankly, I don't know why a Democrat would listen to a Republican about who should head an intelligence committee, when botched/mythical intelligence is why we are in the mess we are in.

Irrelevant. Botched intelligence is a concern of BOTH parties.

Unless, of course, you believe that botched intelligence is only a concern of Democrats when a Republican is president.


Are you seriously trying to suggest that Democrats' "hoping for our defeat" are the cause of our Iraqi FUBAR?

Define FUBAR. Today I heard -- and have no particular reason to disbelieve considering the various tainted sources of information on the subject -- that the murder rate in Baghdad is lower than that in Washington, D.C. True or not, for some strange reason we're constantly treated to every detail of any violence that happens in Iraq, significant or not. Why is that? If Iraqis had a real "civil war," and one side just kicked the other's ass once and for all, how exactly would that worsen the security interests of the US? Would the end result be worse than leaving Saddam in power to bribe John Kerry's diplomatic partners in Europe and elsewhere while circumventing UN sanctions, having already kicked out ol' Hans & Co.? Not according to the statements of some of our most patriotic Democrat weasels prior to the invasion, that's for sure.

Anyway, I continue to maintain that Democrats actually do hope for our defeat -- preferring to consider Bush a bigger enemy than the millions of crazed Muslims who'd love to incinerate their kids in their school buses -- and have hoped for that at least from the time of the carrier landing. There's no way the insurgency would have a prayer without the left on their side, since there's no way they could win militarily in any case, and they know this very well.

richard mcenroe

Nowif we can just figure out how to get the Congressional Black Caucus out of Nancy's waiting room....I think one of them was reading a copy of "Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers."



The insurgency couldn't care less about our internal politics - they are fighting a true existential battle to survive as a people. We can just leave - they simply cannot. They will accept any ally. Thus, civil war, chaos, mayhem, FUBAR.

Robin Roberts

TexasToast, the insurgency is fighting to "survive"? That's the most distorted view of reality and the most brazen example of repeating enemy propaganda that I've seen in some time. The insurgency is fighting to suppress the will of the majority of the Iraqi people, not to "survive". There is no existential threat to them.


I actually have the Video footage of late night CNN of April Gillespie telling the silver haired Iraqi defence minister to "Go ahead and do what you need to do I don't think anyone is going to care" Basically she told Iraq to go ahead and Invade Kuait that we are aware of the problems They are having with Kuait drilling sideways into their country and blocking access to their ports to sell oil. Perot tried to use this very footage but it disapeared! Mine may too before I get it on utube. at this point I can't find it, but I watched it twice four years ago and I assure you, "it happened". meanwhile, Osama is in Afganistan Laughing! ??? Please shoot the SOB!!!as for Iraq? We did exacally what Dick Chan said would happen. Hey who made us the world police? especially when the rest of the world complains, 5crew them! Lets turn inward for 3 years and see what they think then? and Go hydrogen leave foreign oil.

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