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February 22, 2007

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Jane

My theory is that until they reach their 40's every professional spends their time wondering what it is they don't know.

At some point year later, they realize they knew as much as anyone knows, but that time has past.

JM Hanes

Joseph:

I wouldn't say Tenet pressed the referral purely for revenge any more than I would accept the idea that the White House outed Plame for revenge, even if they had, in fact, outed her. The pot of gold at the end of the DC rainbow -- both bureacratic & political -- is power. The game is getting it, keeping it, or accessing it. At the same time, I wouldn't overestimate the sophistication of the players either.

Sara (SquigglerByron

Maryrose, unfortunately, we seem to be trying hard with political correctness to codify and make illegal, the use of emotional intelligence. There are so many subjects these days that we cannot talk about openly without choosing every word carefully so as not to sound racist, sexist, anti-semitic, or anti-Muslim, or, or, or, or...

Sometimes I think there are only three subjects we can still speak frankly about. Anything anti-Christian is apparently okay, calling our military losers and uneducated hicks is okay, and any joke about fat people is still considered kosher.

Sara (SquigglerByron

The pot of gold at the end of the DC rainbow -- both bureacratic & political -- is power. The game is getting it, keeping it, or accessing it.

Yes, yes, yes. And yet another reason Powell was out of his element. In the military, at least up to the General level, is based on merit and performance and not on power struggles.

pldew

Sara (Squiggler-Byron)

Did you just get married or something?

Are congratulations in order;) ?

maryrose

JMHANES:
You've hit the nail on the head.

Sara (Squiggler)

I have no idea how that Byron got there. Yikes!

Jane

Hey Sara,

What's with the Byron? It's an addition, no?

Jane

Hey Sara,

What's with the Byron? It's an addition, no?

JM Hanes

Sara:

"Nor do I think a man such as Powell understood the petty factions that were formed and disbanded constantly, especially when it involved other departments."

While I agree that there was no particular reason to think he'd be an adept on the diplomatic stage, I have the impression that Powell understood the infighting all too well. That's part of why he proved so loathe to leave Washington and hit the road. One of the earliest profiles I read about him included remarks from sources who claimed he moved to the top largely by knowing whose ass to kiss and when. I remember wondering about that -- and discounting it as sour grapes -- at the time.

JM Hanes

Or to put it another way. First, call the Woodward/Armitage tape to mind. Then picture Armitage & Powell shooting the breeze in Powell's office at State.

Joseph Somsel

Sara,

Don't forget a subcategory - the Amish are highly regarded as joke-butts.

To all - yep, they put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you or I. They are our intellectual peers or better.

That said, I'd apply Occam's Razor and think that people generally follow their professional reasoning and stategizing rather than stupid emotions. I'd still look at the actions of this class of people as driven by reasoned intent in their drive for power.

They ain't trailer trash or Anna Nicole Smith. (Of course, she died much richer than I'll ever be but then I wouldn't sleep with a 90 y/o.) If they were so emotional, they would have fallen off the rungs of power long before.

Yet, like Neitzche said, "Human, all too human."

Syl

Joseph

I'm a bit disappointed with the ease at which we assign childish motives to the actions of very sophisticated power players (like simple vengence or embarassment.)

You have a point, but you go too far in the opposite direction.

It's not that we're saying someone plots how to take revenge, it's that the smart and experienced ones recognize a good opportunity to do so when it falls in their lap.

And in D.C. opportunities fall like rain.

roanoke

Let's say this about Powell.

If he did anything "joint" the answer being yes than he was not naive to competing politics.

Politics is getting others to bend to your will-there is plenty of that to go around between the forces.


The crux of the problem with Powell?

He prioritized the wrong lesson learned from Vietnam-he learned the "quagmire" part-has that down pat to where he lost credibility shreiking that during the Kosovo bombings.

But- here is where history repeats itself the real larger lesson of Vietnam was the role of the press. They began to feel their oats and the synergistic effect that technology would have on their power at the advent of The Information Age-and in large part thanks to that Vietnam was the war that was "lost at home."


Powell? He knew this yet he participated fully in the undermining of a wartime President because his vanity was challenged-he was made to look bad at the UN.

Nevermind that it might have been the freelancing Wilson's and rogue elements of the CIA no his pride was wounded and the Administration had to pay.

The soldiers-be damned.

narciso

Agee was no innocent, he was turned by Simonov, at some point, possibly Mexico
City; the Mitrokhin files bear witness
to this. Now was a knowing KGB frontman
is unclear; but he was at the very least
a 'useful idiot'. one can distinguish him
from Marchetti, Snepp, Stockwell, McGee,
et al; in that they come to their deluded
conviction honestly. Agee's outing of Welch,
one of the CIA's leading Greek area experts,
(like Porter Goss, a classics major) served
the purposes of the DGI; in routing a major
counter insurgency expert in Latin America,
where he had spent the bulk of the time of
the 'colonels regime. Giotopolous, the Parisian born Greek Trotskiite emulated
the Tupac Amaru guerillas, that had arisen
in the latter days of Agee's posting in
Montevideo, from Raul Sendic's splinter
labor faction. Ironically, TA's following
all the Marighela rules, led to Bordaberry
lauching an auto-coup, much like Fujimori
did two decades later. Kingston station chief Robert Kinsman, was also attacked after his name was revealed by Agee's counterspy. Clair George,(then Beirut station chief) George Cave (Iranian
specialist, later involved in Iran contra)
Cannistraro,(which I've mentioned at length)
Gust Avrokotos all had their covers blown at that time; this is the background to the
IOIA

Alcibiades

I think there is plenty of bureaucratic infighting in the army as well.

And I don't think that Powell particularly exhibited loyalty while he served Bush. How is it that everyone knows how unhappy he was playing "loyal follower."

Sara (Squiggler)

One of the earliest profiles I read about him included remarks from sources who claimed he moved to the top largely by knowing whose ass to kiss and when. I remember wondering about that -- and discounting it as sour grapes -- at the time.

I wouldn't discount the story if we are talking about after he reached General level command and landed at the Pentagon. But, it isn't that easy to count on butt kissing as you rise through the ranks. Alittle butt kissing of one commander responsible for your fitness report might happen but then either you or they get transferred out and there is no guarantee the next guy is going to appreciate a butt kisser over a can do guy.

Syl

Jane

My theory is that until they reach their 40's every professional spends their time wondering what it is they don't know.

::insight flash::

I was exactly 40 years old when my (older) boss told me "I'm sending you off to Revlon to do blah blah and get that look off your face because every consultant I know is afraid he doesn't know enough."

180 degree shift in outlook for me.

Jane

The 40's were wonderful. And I figured that stuff out early enough to capitalize on it. I hope everyone does.

JM Hanes

Sara:

They weren't talking about his time in the field, they were talking about rising through the ranks at the Pentagon. He may be a perfectly good soldier, I'm just saying he's got infighting skills too.

SunnyDay

re motives - why did Deep Throat talk to Woodward? ;)

clarice

Woodward was given the okay to get background talks w/ all the key players to write his book on the decision to go to war. He asked Armitage and Armitage told him. But he never wrote it, so Armitage thru Duberstein offered an interview to Novak (w/ whom he's never before agreed to an interview) specifically to tell him about Plame and suggest it would be a good idea for a column.

SunnyDay

I meant the real Deep Throat - Watergate. His reason for telling Woodward was a very simple emotion.

Syl

I'm laughing and joking about stuff, but I'm seriously bummed that Libby could actually go to jail because of Wilson/Plame ego, politics and bureaucratic infighting not to mention BDS.

There is something seriously wrong here. Seriously wrong.

lurker

Syl, I hated when reading the following over at Riehl's World, especially if it is true:

Lieberman Would Support Republican For Prez

"If Lieberman were to caucus with the Republicans, they would still not take full control of the Senate, despite Vice President Dick Cheney's ability to break 50-50 ties. This is because of a little-known Senate organizing resolution, passed in January, which gives Democrats control of the Senate and committee chairmanships until the beginning of the 111th Congress."

If true, the Senate Democrats would not give up majority.

Would this anger more Americans when they find out that this is true.

Also, the Senate democrats are putting together a more than non-binding resolution:

There They Go, Again

While these officials said the precise wording of the measure remains unsettled, one draft would restrict American troops in Iraq to combating al-Qaida, training Iraqi army and police forces, maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity and otherwise proceeding with the withdrawal of combat forces.
Alcibiades

Yeah, I saw that, lurker, but I wonder how it works. Can't the constitutionality of that be challeneged. If they don't have the majority, they don't have it. How can the Senate Democrats change the law that way?

Also, what's up with Tim Johnson? Anyone know? I see he has been moved, but I wonder if there is a real chance he can return to the Senate and be functional.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,253141,00.html

lurker

Report countering the inpsector general's criticizm of Feith's office. Pretty well rips it to shreds. Really embarrasses the IG.

Syl

Lurker

one draft would restrict American troops in Iraq to combating al-Qaida, training Iraqi army and police forces, maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity and otherwise proceeding with the withdrawal of combat forces.

First, I don't think it's constitutional to micromanage a war. Bush could simply ignore it.

Second, how the hell are our troops supposed to know who is al qaeda and who is just a sympathetic insurgent? Sheeesh 'don't you dare shoot shia!'

But, Iran is also helping al qaeda. Go figure. (we can figure out why, Nancy won't be able to.)

Alcibiades

Second, how the hell are our troops supposed to know who is al qaeda and who is just a sympathetic insurgent? Sheeesh 'don't you dare shoot shia!'

Speaking of narrowing the Rules of Engagement to what would essentially make the war impossible to fight, when the troops all think the RoE are too narrow already.

The more they push for this stuff, the worse it is for them.

You notice no one is talking nightly about Iraq at the moment - that's because the improving news is not news to the media - it doesn't help their narrative of doom.

And speaking of media anti-war narrative; here's one take down of the BBC by a former insider.

Joseph Somsel

How is Libby paying for his defense? It must cost s fortune!

Does he have a defense fund? Are some rich guys chipping in? Is he independently wealthy on his own?

clarice

His defense reportedly is costing million of dollars. There is a defense fund.

clarice

***millionS***

arcanorum

"How is Libby paying for his defense? It must cost s fortune!

Does he have a defense fund? Are some rich guys chipping in? Is he independently wealthy on his own?"

Well I do believe he likely made a pile negotiating the Marc Rich pardon...

But yes, there is a Libby defense fund, and there are plenty of heavyweights that have donated.
http://www.scooterlibby.com/

clarice

He did NOT negotiate the Rich pardon. A Dem operative did. He had represented Rich years before and beat the govt counsels (Comey and Fitz) in that case.

clarice

Jack Quinn represented Mark Rich re his pardon.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0102/08/se.06.html

arcanorum

"He did NOT negotiate the Rich pardon. "

Yes, my mistake, Libby's work formed the foundation for the pardon application, but predated the pardon application by several years, which was itself conducted by atty Jack Quinn.

"It was all of their work. It was their legal analysis and their tax analysis that formed the foundation of the pardon. So ... it is incorrect to say that they were part of the pardon application. That was something that [Rich attorney] Jack Quinn did. But it was all of their work that persuaded the president that he ought to grant the pardon."
-Joe Lockhart
http://archives.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/02/18/clinton.fact.check/index.html

arcanorum

"He did NOT negotiate the Rich pardon. "

Yes, my mistake, Libby's work formed the foundation for the pardon application, but predated the pardon application by several years, which was itself conducted by atty Jack Quinn.

"It was all of their work. It was their legal analysis and their tax analysis that formed the foundation of the pardon. So ... it is incorrect to say that they were part of the pardon application. That was something that [Rich attorney] Jack Quinn did. But it was all of their work that persuaded the president that he ought to grant the pardon."
-Joe Lockhart
http://archives.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/02/18/clinton.fact.check/index.html

clarice

What persuaded Clinton to pardon Rich over all the objections of the DoJ and using an end run around the normal process was $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

arcanorum

are you sure it wasnt the personal appeal by rich's ex- denise rich
(.)(.)

clarice

Well, that, too
Jack Quinn was Vice President Gore's Chief of Staff and later Counsel to President Clinton.

topsecretk9

and Denise.

ed

Hmmm.

The moral of this story in one sentence:

If you're a newly elected Republican President then for God's sake fire every damn Democrat you can before the bastards stick a shiv in your kidneys!

YFS

--I'm a bit disappointed with the ease at which we assign childish motives to the actions of very sophisticated power players (like simple vengence or embarassment.)--

Don't give these dopes too much credit.They put their trousers, or if it was a particularly rough night, other's trousers, on one leg at a time just like the rest of us. Some are smart, some are morons, some are sophisticated some are as infantile as Baby Huey.

Hmm... Larry "Baby Huey" Johnson... I like it!

Cecil Turner

Report countering the inpsector general's criticizm of Feith's office. Pretty well rips it to shreds. Really embarrasses the IG.

No kidding, this thing is hilarious. Starts out:

    I. SUMMARY OF KEY ERRORS IN THE DRAFT REPORT (U)
  • (U) The title of the Draft Report is inaccurate. . . .

It goes downhill from there. Why is it I'm not expecting this report to make headlines at the WaPo?

Cecil Turner

And this is even funnier:

This poses a frightful dilemma for Dem Cong strategists. How to surrender without giving up? How to compel defeat without being seen to cause us to lose?

Little more than a month into what was supposed to be a swift campaign to sure victory, the Democratic Congress is bogged down.

JM Hanes

LOL! Thanks, Cecil, I (seriously) needed that! Lately this whole sorry Libby saga has just left me feeling immensely sad. I've only recently begun really noticing Jules Crittendon, although the name has been a familiar one. He's quite brilliant, isn't he?

ErnestAbe

If Toensing said it, then it must be true.

Therein you have evidence of a core problem with the American conservative movement. We have become too authoritarian, with a herd mentality. The Left has all the wrong values, but the do have a culture of questioning authority. I guess that's why they are always split in a million directions.

kate

The media won the election for the incompetent Dems. Notice how the media keeps pushing the Dems on Iraq. My sense is that the media, a bunch of aloof elitists, misread the election results and are leading the Democrats off the cliff.

The Dems would have done better to stay to their original plan, which was to work domestic issues and let Iraq play out.

But they didn't. I passed a corner anti-war demonstration a week ago. There were no signs of support from passer-bys or onlookers. I think the distress over Iraq would quickly change with some success on the ground.

JM Hanes

"If Toensing said it, then it must be true."

Since no one here actually said that, EarnestAbe, you've actually got no evidence of anything. As it happens, there are any number of reasons for asssuming that Toensing got this one right -- not the least of which is the fact that Judge Walton, who ordered the prosecution to produce the referral for his examination, asserts that even he, himself, does not know Plame's status.

Do you consider yourself too authoritarian, with a herd mentality? If not, perhaps the editorial "we" is not entirely appropriate. The crowd here is not easily herded, as our self-appointed Thread Herder can attest!

Syl

I think the distress over Iraq would quickly change with some success on the ground.

Iraq,the Model is hopeful. He says people are starting to move back to their homes in even previously very dangerous neighborhoods like Haifa street. Moving vans unloading furniture and all.

It seems kind of early to me, but I find it interesting that they believe it's really going to work.

I went over to FDL and read something about Lieberman. These idiots are so busy being snooty activists they haven't a clue what's going on. It's the cause, stupid, nothing more. It's all about them and their delight at being noticed and listened to. Has absolutely nothing to do with the real Iraq.

Syl

JMH

They hate Toensing because she burst their covert bubble.

They have to change their accusation to:

The Bush Administration stuck their tongue out at a noble whistleblower. :)

Cecil Turner

Therein you have evidence of a core problem with the American conservative movement.

Oh, please. As if there is any doubt which is the better source for explaining legal niceties of the IIPA: an attorney who helped author of the statute vs. someone who spent a couple years behind a desk at CIA. Especially when a plain reading of the statute supports the actual expert. "Culture of questioning authority"? Gimme a break: scary Larry does nothing but argue from authority . . . which only works because he censors critical comments. And ISTM lefties only "speak truth to power" when there happens to be a conservative in office.

And I hope you'll excuse me for expressing doubt concerning the conservative bona fides of newly arrived pseudonymous commenters who just happen to echo dubious lefty memes.

He's quite brilliant, isn't he?

I've not read that much by him. He's had some good stuff on security (including an outstanding faux SOTU), and that piece was superb parody. "Dem Cong" pretty much says it all.

boris

Dem Cong Dem Cong Dem Boneless Cong

Axey

Brian Ross, ABC News, is setting the stage for Fitzgerald to go after Cheney, if the jury returns a guilty verdict. I have a theory about that. If Fitzgerald was really going after Cheney, after the Libby trial, why would he tip his hand during rebuttal, stepping right up to the edge of a mistrial and causing the judge to issue an admonishment to the jury? I think he wanted to kick a little sand in Cheney's eyes and chose the rebuttal to do it.

clarice

Maybe Brian read on a newly created website something about an email from Cheney to a page in Louisiana. Please..

hit and run

Sara:
Scooter and Judge Larry

Byron York on the ANS hearing with Judge Larry as it relates to Libby case. If you watched any of the last 3 days, this will make you laugh.


Boy did it!

I missed this yesterday. Hooo boy. I tell you - that's why he gets paid the big bucks and I sit here in the bowels of the comments section of someone else's blog. That's good stuff.

SunnyDay
Of course, an extended Cheney probe may not garner much. "I don't know how much more there would be for Fitzgerald to do," Weisenberg told ABC News. Libby and Cheney were the only parties to the conversation, he noted, so further cooperation from Libby would be the only way to discern its true meaning.

First, Fitzgerald would need to win a guilty verdict for Libby and push for the harshest sentence possible, said Washington, D.C. lawyer Stanley Brand, who has built a practice around defending public officials. Then, he could grant Libby immunity from further prosecution and offer leniency in an effort to coax Libby to say more about the vice president's role, if any, in obstructing his leak investigation.

OK, I think that would be when we all make our signs and go stand on the steps of the courthouse. I will hire someone to take care of Mom while I'm out demonstrating.

I'm ready for bumperstickers now.

shaman ∞

clarice:

With all due respect,your theory is full of sh!t.
Remember,when Bush grants [F]ibby his pardon-THAT'S AN ADMISSION OF GUILT.
You,and your kind,are DUPES.

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Wilson/Plame