Two Editorials

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Bush Administration, Iraq War, U.S. Attorneys

From an editorial in today’s New York Times:

We have long suspected that there is no one in charge of the Iraq war. How else can you explain four years of multifront failures, including President Bush’s most recent plan to order even more American troops to risk their lives there without demanding any political sacrifice or even compromise from Iraq’s leaders? So we were not surprised to hear that White House officials are looking for someone to oversee both Iraq and the faltering Afghanistan war— and not surprised that they were having a tough time filling the job.

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley told The Times he’d decided that “what we need is someone with a lot of stature within the government who can make things happen.” He said that top official would have the authority to “call any cabinet secretary and get problems resolved, fast.”

As Keith Olbermann observed last week –that sounds like the Commander-in-Chief’s job.

Peter Baker and Thomas Ricks wrote in the Washington Post last week that at least three retired generals have turned down the job.

“The very fundamental issue is, they don’t know where the hell they’re going,” said retired Marine Gen. John J. “Jack” Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job. Sheehan said he believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq. “So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, ‘No, thanks,’ ” he said.

There’s another good editorial in tomorrow’s New York Times:

The more we learn about the White House’s purge of United States attorneys, the more a single thread runs through it: the Bush administration’s campaign to transform the minor problem of voter fraud into a supposed national scourge. …

..,Last week, we learned that the administration edited a government-ordered report on voter fraud to support its fantasy. The original version concluded that among experts “there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud.” But the publicly released version said, “There is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.” It’s hard to see that as anything but a deliberate effort to mislead the public….

…charges of voter fraud are a key component of the Republican electoral strategy. If the public believes there are rampant efforts to vote fraudulently, or to register voters improperly, it increases support for measures like special voter ID’s, which work against the poor, the elderly, minorities and other disenfranchised groups that tend to support Democrats. Claims of rampant voter fraud also give the administration an excuse to cut back prosecutions of the real problem: officials who block voters’ access to the polls.

There is one big catch, as Eric Lipton and Ian Urbina reported in The Times last week. After a five-year crackdown, the Justice Department has not turned up any evidence that voter fraud actually is a problem. Only 86 people were convicted of voter fraud crimes as of last year — most of them Democrats and many on trivial, trumped-up charges.

The Bush administration was so determined to pursue this phantom scourge that it deported a legal Florida resident back to his native Pakistan for mistakenly filling out a voter registration card when he renewed his driver’s license. And it may well have decided to fire most of the eight federal prosecutors because they would not play along.

Worse than Nixon, I tell you.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Frank Wilhoit  •  Apr 14, 2007 @11:00 pm

    The Iraq adventure is only a “failure” if one assumes that its goals had anything to do with Iraq. In fact its sole purpose was to intensify the domestic factional conflict in the U.S. From that angle it has been a spectacular success.

  2. emaldinak  •  Apr 15, 2007 @1:52 am

    Worse? Nixon was a piker compared to this group. Bushits et al are simply the most destructive force ever against this country. They are ripping us apart, destroying the very ideas of liberty. Nixon was a joke compared to this group. KKKarl Rove is simply the worst american ever.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 15, 2007 @7:24 am

    Maha,
    Nixon was the ‘canary in the coal-mine.’ His administration proved to be the first Fascist/Theocratic exercise in “Limbo,” ‘How low can we go?’
    Reagan and Bush I extended the lines drawn by Nixon. They did it with a smile on their face and American platitudes on their lips. And the American people bought the scam; hook, line and STINKER’S!
    That’s how W. started off, trying to extend the lines even further. At some point, Cheney, and the rest of the lunatic’s decided, “Oh, what the Hell! In for a penny, in for a pound…” And, with the backing of the Republican Congress, decided that there were no more rules.
    This country was built on rules. They broke them! Now, it’s time to break them. IMPEACH!!!
    And the next canary we see carrying their canard, needs to be identified as such, fast! And we need to act even faster!!!

  4. marijam  •  Apr 15, 2007 @7:41 am

    Trouble is, the Democrats are not doing enough, fast enough, to clean this stuff up. I want Bush and Cheney impeached, I want them all out of there. I want my country back.

  5. joanr16  •  Apr 15, 2007 @10:07 am

    …charges of voter fraud are a key component of the Republican electoral strategy.

    See, this is where I think the Repug “strategery” will come back and bite them in the ass. The most egregious examples of electoral fraud of the last eight years were perpetrated against voters, by Republicans. Kathryn Harris’s trumped-up “felons list” and voter challenges at polling stations are just a couple of examples. The administration can waste all the tax dollars it wants, trying to prove that Dems are– what? failing to steal elections?– but they should understand that if any fraud is uncovered, it’ll be theirs.

  6. joanr16  •  Apr 15, 2007 @10:09 am

    (Sorry, Sunday-morning pronoun impairment. “Theirs” meaning the administration’s.)

  7. EdS  •  Apr 15, 2007 @11:16 am

    In spite of the constant assault on the constitution by the current administration I hear little outrage among the majority of people I know. Despite the fact that living in Boston, and not to mention that working in film and television, I am mainly surrounded by people who dislike Bush. It seems the pathetic racist ramblings of an old shock jock are much easier for most people to connect with.

    What has to happen to wake up the plebiscite? We seem to be turning a blind eye to corruption and a deaf ear to torture. Of course I am part of the problem since I do not know what to do. There is ample evidence but many people seem so invested in not believing it, or are utterly ambivalent that each expose and documentary either falls on deaf ears or becomes preaching to the choir.

    Are we waiting for a leader? Are we giving up on “We the people…?

  8. QrazyQat  •  Apr 15, 2007 @2:31 pm

    Looking for someone else to cast the blame on (which is what this “war czar” business is) is a Bush administration speciality. It’s like when Condoleezza Rice suggested that what the USA needed was someone whose job it was to coordinate intel and present it to the president, at the time she held the job whose short but official job description was exactly that. And it tunrs out the Bush administration already set up a special war coordinator in 2003. The person’s name is Condoleezza Rice.



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