The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Digby - Children's Crusade

Children's Crusade

by digby


I suppose a lot of people have already written about this at length, but it's so stunning I have to highlight it here.

When it was revealed yesterday that the internet document dump to the "Army of Davids" contained plans for building nuclear weapons in arabic, I knew that the 101st Keyboarders and Pete Hoekstra and Rick Santorum had been agitating for it for some time. I also knew that Stephen Hayes had been saying that the "proof" of Saddam's huge cache of weapons and terrorist ties was in those documents and that the braindead intelligence agencies were either incapable or were liberal hippies and could therefore, not be trusted to do it right.

What I didn't know was that George W. Bush himself considered this a personal project and specifically ordered the program.

March, 2006

Pence framed his response as a question, quoting Abraham Lincoln: "One of your Republican predecessors said, 'Give the people the facts and the Republic will be saved.' There are 3,000 hours of Saddam tapes and millions of pages of other documents that we captured after the war. When will the American public get to see this information?"

Bush replied that he wanted the documents released. He turned to Hadley and asked for an update. Hadley explained that John Negroponte, Bush's Director of National Intelligence, "owns the documents" and that DNI lawyers were deciding how they might be handled.

Bush extended his arms in exasperation and worried aloud that people who see the documents in 10 years will wonder why they weren't released sooner. "If
I knew then what I know now," Bush said in the voice of a war skeptic, "I would have been more supportive of the war."

Bush told Hadley to expedite the release of the Iraq documents. "This stuff ought to be out. Put this stuff out." The president would reiterate this point before the meeting adjourned. And as the briefing ended, he approached Pence, poked a finger in the congressman's chest, and thanked him for raising the issue. When Pence began to restate his view that the documents should be released, Bush put his hand up, as if to say, "I hear you. It will be taken care of."

It was not the first time Bush has made clear his desire to see the Iraq documents released. On November 30, 2005, he gave a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy. Four members of Congress attended: Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee; Sen. John Warner, the Virginia Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee; Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona; and Pence. After his speech, Bush visited with the lawmakers for 10 minutes in a holding room to the side of the stage. Hoekstra asked Bush about the documents and the president said he was pressing to have them released.

Says Pence: "I left both meetings with the unambiguous impression that the president of the United States wants these documents to reach the American people."

Negroponte never got the message. Or he is choosing to ignore it. He has done nothing to expedite the exploitation of the documents. And he continues to block the growing congressional effort, led by Hoekstra, to have the documents released.


Negroponte caved, as we know, and the atomic secrets landed on the internet.

This isn't just another instance of "the buck stops here" accountability. This is an instance of direct, personal intervention by the president who countermanded the advice of his experts and ordered something to be done that resulted in nuclear secrets, written in arabic, landing on the internet.

He did this because he listened to the crew of childlike idiots, both in the congress and on the radio and internet, who comprise the heart of his political movement. It illustrates something I don't think I've ever fully understood before. Bush listens to the 101st keyboarders and believes their delusionary drivel. In essence, the nation is being led by Limbaugh, Powerline and Michele Malkin.

If that doesn't scare the hell out of you, I don't know what will.


Update:

Q Mr. President, thank you, sir. Are you going to order a leaks investigation into the disclosure of the NSA surveillance program? And why did you skip the basic safeguard of asking courts for permission for these intercepts?

THE PRESIDENT: Let me start with the first question. There is a process that goes on inside the Justice Department about leaks, and I presume that process is moving forward. My personal opinion is it was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important program in a time of war. The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy.

You've got to understand -- and I hope the American people understand -- there is still an enemy that would like to strike the United States of America, and they're very dangerous. And the discussion about how we try to find them will enable them to adjust. Now, I can understand you asking these questions and if I were you, I'd be asking me these questions, too. But it is a shameful act by somebody who has got secrets of the United States government and feels like they need to disclose them publicly.


It's almost unfathomable to me how anyone can suggest that this man should be allowed these extra-judicial powers in light of what he has done. When the FISA debate comes up again, I would hope that the congress will hang this 101st Keyboarder fuck-up around George W. Bush's neck.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2006_11_01_digbysblog_archive.html#116266095107128490

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