Powered by TypePad

« In Which I Vigorously Dispute Brad DeLong (But Share His Conclusion) | Main | Barack v. McCain »

February 06, 2008

Comments

TexasToast

If other democrats are like me, they could easily support either of our frontrunners with little hesitation. Its like two good choices, and all the noise is to differentiate two very similar candidates. I don't see much problem for either in uniting the party.

On the Republican side, this doesn't appear to be the case. When a leader of the evangelicals says he won't support McCain no way no how ....... , ya got to wonder.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Dennis Miller is going to have Ann Coulter on in his second hour today (8:00 AM Pacific Time). You can listen online.

Miller is now voting for McCain, since Rudy dropped out, so it might be interesting.

Porchlight

I'm generally a fan of Victor Davis Hanson, but I was glad to see his comments on McCain refuted by McCarthy. I had the same reaction when VDH referred to his inbox full of screeds from the anti-McCain fringe. I'm sure the all the Corner contributors get dozens of such messages a day, but that doesn't mean that there aren't sensible grounds on which to criticize McCain.

Also VDH mentioned that he was suprised at the "level of vituperation" from the anti-McCain forces. No one who has been paying attention ought to be surprised by this.


Other Tom

"If other democrats are like me..."

I'm sure they are, TToast, and that's why, remarkable as it may seem under all the circumstances, McCain actually has a chance to win in November.

There is a good possibility that the method of ultimately breaking the Dem. deadlock will be seen as so entirely corrupt that a substantial body of losers will sit out the general election. And we talk about a corrupt method, which candidate are we talking about?

anduril

Yeah, I know I said it was pointless to continue this discussion, and it probably is, but Giraldi has a fairly sensible artice today in which he makes several points that I made previously:

Sibel Edmonds must be heard

I'll paste in a few of his comments. Please note: I will not respond to comments that address issues that I've already spoke to (such as the Libby trial, the timing of her revelations, and her role as a translator). Anyone who wants to see what I said about those matters can go look them up. I'm putting it on this thread because it mentions McCain and can be said to relate to objections to a McCain presidency. As I've stated in the past, my quoting of this material doesn't signify total agreement with it.

Sibel obtained her information while translating Turkish language telephone intercepts directed against several Turkish lobbying groups who had contact with senior officials in the Bush Administration, both at the Pentagon and in the State Department. Many of the officials involved are apparently the same neoconservatives who cooked the books to enable the rush to war against Iraq and who are continuing to urge more wars in the Middle East, most notably against Iran and Syria. Several of them are close allies of leading Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

To stop Sibel from telling her story, then Attorney General John Ashcroft subjected her to a state secrets privilege gag order after her appearance on CBS's 60 Minutes in October 2002 that not only forbade her providing details of her employment with FBI but also made the ban retroactive so that anything relating to her case would be considered a state secret. Edmonds had been discouraged by her experience with CBS as her most important points wound up on the cutting room floor. Then came the gag order, which she has observed while working assiduously to get bits and pieces of her story out in various ways. In October 2007 she decided to tell all without regard for the consequences, stating that she would provide details of her allegations to any American media outlet that would let her collaborate in the final edit so that her message would not be lost. There were no takers. Last month, The Sunday Times of London decided to pick up her story and has now produced a long feature article called "For Sale: the West's Deadliest Nuclear Secrets" plus two follow-ups. The story was picked up and replayed all over the world, but not by the mainstream media in the United States.

Why should Sibel be heard? Mostly because her story, if true, involves corruption at the highest levels of government coupled with the sale of secrets vital to the security of the United States. One of her claims is that a senior State Department officer who has been identified as Marc Grossman, recorded by the FBI while arranging to pick up bribes from a Turkish organization, also revealed the identity of the CIA cover company Brewster Jennings to a Turkish contact in late 2001. The Turk then passed on the information to a Pakistani intelligence officer who presumably warned the AQ Khan nuclear proliferation network that the CIA was apparently pursuing. Some might call that treason and it should be noted that it occurred two years before Robert Novak's notorious exposure of Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings which led to the conviction of Scooter Libby.

Edmonds should also be listened to because she clearly had access to the documents that she describes and because she has proven that she is a credible witness. Two US Senators and the 9/11 Commission found her testimony and recollection of facts to be reliable, as did an FBI Inspector General's office internal investigation. [Comment: this last statement is incorrect--OIG is a part of FoJ] More to the point, if Edmonds is telling the truth there are documents in FBI files that would confirm her account. What she is claiming, if it is all true, is fact-based, not speculative.

...

To be sure, some in the media and Congress are undoubtedly nervous because the Edmond's story involves Israel and corrupt officials both in Washington and Tel Aviv. Many of the American former and current officials involved are considered to be particularly close to the Israeli government and to the Israeli lobby AIPAC. Others fear that FBI investigative reports or wiretaps revealing illegal contributions or bribery of congressmen could open up a can of worms that many would prefer to keep closed.

Sibel's critics state that she was only a translator and clearly did not know the "big picture," which might have included a sting operation directed against the nuclear proliferators. That might be true, but if it is, it is up to the government to state flatly that such was the case. Based on my own experience, I cannot believe that senior state department or pentagon officials would have been used in any such operation both because their parent organizations would never have permitted it and because the CIA would have never sought it in the first place. The dismissal of Edmonds' argument based on her only having been a translator is also weak in that field officers in the FBI and CIA work very closely with translators when trying to discover the meaning of transcriptions of phone calls made by suspects who are deliberately trying to obscure what they are saying or double-talking. Sibel would have had to know what the case being investigated was all about to be effective as a translator, and there is no reason why she would have been denied such information.

It is possible that Sibel Edmonds has made up or embellished a story for reasons that would have to be considered unknowable, though that is not likely based on the evidence currently available. It is also possible that she has made assumptions about what she saw that ultimately will not stand scrutiny. Even if that proves to be true, she still deserves her day in court.

anduril

Correction: OIG is part of FoJ DoJ.

anduril

'nuther correction: spoke spoken

Sue

Sheesh. Does he not understand how many people would have to be involved in this conspiracy of coverups? From both parties. And the MSM. I love a good conspiracy theory, but when it is outside the realm of possibility, I let it go. Otherwise, you risk becoming just another Willie Nelson.

clarice

Read more Giraldi. He's as loony as Edmonds.

Sue

Clarice,

He is as loony as any lefty I've ever come across. He has dreams, ya' know. Scary dreams. And he shares them.

clarice

Any partner of Cannistraro is as lacking in credibility as he is. He made his mark in 2005 and hasn't gone up in credibility since then.

MayBee

Sibel could publish her story on Huffington Post, no?

anduril

TM's post links Andy's blog at The Corner. In that blog McCarthy addresses criticisms from Victor Davis Hanson, quite devestatingly IMO. Andy also links his article from yesterday, and that link is worth putting out front, because it's a fine article: McCain's Mirage.

One of McCarthy's most telling points in his fairly lengthy article has to do with McCain's ideas on intel reform. Andy summarizes McCain's position:

Sen. McCain’s initiatives on the international stage would be shored up by similarly dubious domestic policies. On the intelligence front, that means yet another new bureaucracy.

This is rich. Only four years ago, Sen. McCain insisted that the gross misfeasance of our $40 billion, 17-agency intelligence community could be cured by adopting the 9/11 Commission’s typical Washington fix: the addition of another agency, which, it risibly explained, would streamline inter-agency intelligence flow. Since then, the Office of the National Intelligence Director — dominated by career foreign-service bureaucrats rather than operational intelligence types — has predictably bloated into an empire that duplicates much of the CIA’s work (as well as its problems). The result has been what you’d expect: in nothing flat the directorate generated one estimate telling us that Iran was busy as a beaver building nukes, then another telling us that Iran hasn’t been in the nuke business for years.

Now McCain wants to build on this, er, success with a “modern-day OSS” (the original OSS having been the WWII-era Office of Strategic Services). Basically, this new agency would do what the CIA is supposed to do now, but doesn’t. McCain, of course, promises that it would be the first “small, nimble, can-do organization” in the history of governmental bureaucracies. He conveniently omits, however, that the original OSS ultimately became the enormous, sclerotic, no-can-do CIA … i.e., the very entity that purportedly makes McCain’s new OSS necessary. You’ll be shocked to learn the senator does not propose to eliminate the CIA. Yet again, the notion is that we will get better intelligence by continuing to add new agencies … even as Sen. McCain burnishes his image as the scourge of wasteful government spending.

McCarthy's criticisms are trenchant as they are, without going into the OSS's actual record, but even more so for anyone who has perused Time Weiner's Legacy of Ashes and has an inkling of what a "modern-day OSS" would really mean: an organization that would be even more maverick than the "sclerotic no-can-do" Agency we have now, an agency to suit the tastes of a maverick president.

Syl

Let's get real, huh?

during every election candidates lay out grand plans of what THEY'll do when they get the whitehouse.

then they move in, hit the bureacracy, hit the wall of Congress, and nothing gets done.

Why should McCain be any different?

My advice which nobody pays any attention to anyway is LIGHTEN UP.

anduril

Syl, you've convinced me not to vote.

Jane

Perhaps that was her point.

John Tiller

How long after McCain is elected will he declare the borders secure so he can proceed with his amnesty policy? One day, one week, or will he be cautious and wait a whole month? His bill written in the middle of the night supposed to bring illegals out of the shadows. Ironically, McCain’s side wouldn’t let anyone read the amendments so they kept ordinary law-abiding Americans totally in the dark about the rapists, drug smugglers, gang members, thieves and drunk drivers they offered a path to citizenship to. Facts speak louder than election posturing. McCain was a one-man lobby group for getting goodies and other benefits to illegal aliens. Why does McCain worry about Iraq’s border and leave us to the mercy of criminal cartels that would move anybody and anything into our cities and neighborhoods for the right price? What kind of student was this self-described proud maverick turned to a self-described proud and true conservative?

Patrick R. Sullivan

I was right about Ann Coulter's appearance on Dennis Miller being interesting. She even got Miller to admit that if she was right about McCain's policy on Gitmo, he'd likely jump ship to Romney.

As he put it, 'Are you trying to say that McCain wants to take these guys out of the military tribunals and put them into the same justice system that freed O.J.?'

anduril

'Are you trying to say that McCain wants to take these guys out of the military tribunals and put them into the same justice system that freed O.J.?'

Doesn't that say it all?

Well, not all--there's a lot more that could be said. Powerline had a stab at it yesterday:

More in anger than in sorrow -- What a McCain presidency might look like

OK, a new take on an old riff, but it does bear repeating.

The only half sensible argument I've ever heard for a McCain presidency is the Supreme argument, but with (as McCarthy points out) Warren Rudman, the man who gave us Souter, as part of McCains close advisers, how much water does that argument hold?

SunnyDay

Just saw the new Soros-funded 527 info - Fund for America - thanks Senator McCain.

centralcal

Nothing feels right about this Primary season. I just do not believe that John McCain is going to be, or will ever be, President.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame