Friday, June 24, 2005

Distort, Deny & Lie: another Republican side-show

The King of denial, Ken Mehlman, has the vapors
"It's outrageous that the same Democrats who stood by Dick Durbin's libeling of our military are now expressing faux outrage over Karl Rove's statement of historical fact. George Soros, Michael Moore, MoveOn and the hard left were wrong after 9/11, just as it was wrong for Democrat leaders to stand by and remain silent after Dick Durbin made his deplorable comments."
I (not-so) respectfully disagree with Mehlman's statement, but then, what else is new? First off, Durbin (like most of the Democratic leaders) rolled over and apologized. Secondly, the fact that Durbin's comment on June 14 did not, as Bill Frist alludes, slander our military or ground troops in general of being war criminals a la Jane Fonda. What Durbin actually said was [emphasis added]:
"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime, Pol Pot or others, that had no concern for human beings"
NOT, as Republican leadership would have you believe:
"If I read this to you and did not tell you thatit was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime, Pol Pot or others, that had no concern for human beings"
Durbin's statement was made after reading from an FBI agent's observations of activities at Gitmo and how [some] prisoners were treated. Upon review of FBI emails documented treatment of prisoners and statements by FBI agents, Army Col. Patrick Lang, who was head of human intelligence gathering at the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, voiced his shame at the actions (that he considers torture), shall he now be accused of slander for accusing the US of breaking the law and committing crimes or carted away for treason for undermining the war and our troops?
"I think that a lot of this behavior which has been allowed is so far outside the pale, that I think that it would have to be considered to be something not allowed in international law or U.S. military law


If we do things like this, if we beat people and we neglect them and we try to use their religion against them, however stupidly, I mean, in fact, we're debasing ourselves to the point in fact in which we're losing something, that we should be trying to protect in this war,


As a professional soldier, and someone who dedicated his life to the service of the United States, in fact, to think that United States would stoop to such tactics as this, I find to be a disgraceful thing."
While Durbin may have overstated the severity of torture (I can't seem to find the FBI statement from which he read) by likening what the FBI agent described to more heinous examples, he did not libel our miltary (let alone do so en masse). Those who partake in acts of torture, even ones that don't permanently maim or kill someone, show no concern for human beings and this was a hallmark of the Nazi/Stalin/Pol Pot regimes (because they disregard that their victims not only are human beings, but that they just may be human beings who are not be guilty of what they've been accused of; according to Sgt Erik Saar, about "a few dozen" out of 600 detainees at Gitmo were real terrorists).

Republican leadership, whose expertise in the "do as I say, not as I do" is rivalled by none, have not only made their own egregious errors in speech but actually have the brass neuticals (the fundies are holding the real testes in the palms of their hand so they can give a good squeeze any time any anti-theocracy action is taken) to claim that if/when Dem leadership find their nuts to protest Rep statements/actions it's just partisan politics but that they, the good moral Republican party, only criticize outrageous acts and slanderous statements that endanger US citizens and the country itself (it just so happens their criticism appears partisan, it is not - they are, of course, above partisanship).

For the White House (via Scott McClellan) to accuse Democrats of partisanship in complaint about Karl Rove's allegation that liberals just wanted to play nice with terrorists while conservatives were actually willing to do something about terrorism is the pinnacle of partishanship. But then, if you really read Rove's initial statement, he actually admitted that the conservatives just prepared to go to war indiscriminately, and followed up on HardBall by reminding us the administration still has its head in the sand (as it did when it "planned" this war) issuing what Shake's points out was clearly an attempt at a late production of a prequel [emphasis added]:
GREGORY: As you well know, critics of this war have seized on what’s being called now the Downing Street Memo, based on meetings that Britain’s Chief of Intelligence had with American officials about the war. One issue that comes up in that memo and subsequent memos is British concerns about the fact that the White House in their view wasn’t adequately thinking about what happens after the regime falls.

ROVE: I'm glad you brought that up because I want to put that in context. First of all that is the British — a Brit making a comment about what he perceived to be U.S. policy. But remember the time frame, it is months and months and months before the balloon goes up in Iraq. And in those intervening months there was plenty of time planning for post-war efforts, vast amounts of planning. You never know exactly how a war is going to plan out. Napoleon once said, 'vast numbers of refugees enormous problems with food aid'- did not happen. Vast uprising- didn't happen. That we would see a vast uprising by hundreds of thousands of Iraqis- didn’t happen. War is ugly, but a lot went very well with this effort and in part it was because the United States government and our coalition partners used the months to plan for any eventuality.

GREGORY: But if you're talking about the number of troops necessary, the level of American casualties, the force and intensity of the insurgency…did the president mislead the American people about the cost of the war or was he just simply surprised by what happened?

ROVE: I would go back to the president’s statements over the last several years and I would defy you to find one speech which he talked about Iraq where he doesn’t say there would be difficult times ahead, that we had a long road to hope that a great deal of sacrifice was going to be called for by both the American people and by the Iraqis to achieve this goal. Look, we do not underestimate the ferocity and the anger and the viciousness of the people that we face. We are in a war. Some people may treat it as a law enforcement matter and be worried about indictments from the U.S. attorney from the southern district of New York. But we recognize this administration and the American people we are in a war and the only way you have a successful outcome in the war is to aim for a complete and total victory, which is exactly what we’re doing.
As an American citizen, I am tired of the lies, distortions and outrageous deflection. Politics as usual does not work when the world is being flooded with some pretty damning and substantiated evidence against our leadership and my outrage, Mr. Mehlman, is very real.

Our supposedly free media should be reporting on the issues and focusing on the real story (the war effort; how/when/why we invaded Iraq, & whether any US and/or international laws were broken; impeachable offenses; etc.) not hissy fits. It's supposed to be news and journalism, not infotainment. Leave the cat fights to E! so the "journalists" can report on government, world events and items that shouldn't be boiled down to idiocy for the sake of ratings.

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