Archive for June, 2008

Drum on the FISA “Compromise”

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Apologies, again, for being AWOL lately, and thanks to ymatt for taking up some of the slack. My latest obsession (working on an entry for this contest with my daughter) should be over in a week or so, at least, since that’s the deadline for contest entries.

In the meantime, I’ve been interested in some of the bloggy meta-chatter surrounding the FISA “compromise” bill, and Obama’s support of it, and his explanation for why he’s done so, and the back and forth among supporters of Obama between those who support that decision and those who don’t. But the most interesting thing I’ve read about it lately is this piece from Kevin Drum: The FISA compromise.

In the end, everyone seems to have decided that bulk monitoring of electronic communications is OK, and that the new bill provides adequate oversight and minimization procedures. I’m not so sure myself, since I don’t trust procedures like this to stay robust. In any case, I’d say this is the core issue, not telecom immunity, and it deserves more attention. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going to get it.

Leveling Charges

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

ethan-p asked me to post the plain text (or pdf in this case) of Dennis Kucinich’s impeachment charges against George Bush. He adds, “he would have had me if he’d stopped after IV”, although I think I might be less generous.

The Other Insider Tell-all

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

I’m sure you’ve all heard plenty about our man Scottie’s book, so I won’t bother linking to, say, any excellent op-eds about the hindsight contained therein, both revealing of the administration and unintentionally condemning of the writer who enabled so much of what he now decries (cough).

But you might want to check out this op-ed on Lt. General Sanchez’s new book, which gives a similarly revealing look at the business end of the administration’s decision making: military strategy in Iraq. What I find interesting here is both the commanders-in-the-field eye view of the politically-driven decision making McClellan describes, but also how the “mission accomplished” event was a reality for those within the administration — they truly believed that the war was over and force could be drawn down early on, until reality quickly interfered. This to me is the most damning of explanations of how we ended up where we are in Iraq: the administration was too insular and self-deluded to realize that a brief war was not possible, and once that became clear their reaction was not to reevaluate their strategy, it was to solve the problem politically. The notion that “conditions on the ground” would drive decisions was just a convenient rhetorical trick to dismiss criticism.