Monday, October 31, 2005

Hunter on Kos responds to "anti-Italian"

Sunday, October 30, 2005

"Dollar Auction in Iraq"

Via Mark Kleiman: the dollar auction in Iraq. Must-read.

War on the CIA

Redstate.org is getting worse and worse. Examine the current front-paged article.

This blows my mind on so many different levels. First, the continuing snark against Valerie Plame--calling her "undercover brother" in a deriding, mocking tone. What ever happened to the constant refrain of respect for our men and women in uniform? The people serving our country? The ones risking their lives? All that just goes out the window all of a sudden? But I've addressed this before. I don't need to do it again. There's more.

What really gets to me is this assumption on the part of Red-Staters that the CIA "provided flawed intelligence" and "went to war against the Bush administration." What utter malarkey. The CIA provided all sorts of intelligence of varying reliabilities, with the proper caveats attached, and as the Downing Street Memo clearly indicates, the Bush administration hand-selected and cherry-picked whatever intelligence it felt best made the case for the policy it had already decided on. And when the CIA did a double-verification of something it had already told the administration was a lying forgery, it's all of a sudden declared by these Republicans that the CIA is "declaring war on the administration."

No, the CIA is not "declaring war on the administration." The administration declared war on the truth. The CIA's job is to work to best ascertain the truth, not to come up with whatever best supports the decision that the administration has already made.

But in this, just like in so many other political arenas of the day, we see the difference between a faith-based policy and a reality-based policy. In a reality-based policy, the CIA analyzes data and presents it to the administration for the administration to be able to make a well-informed policy decision. In a faith-based policy, the president "goes with his gut" and the administration spin doctors and strategists destroy anyone who dares to take a stand for the objective truth--namely, in this case, that a drunk named "curveball" provided most of the intelligence hyped by the administration, that Ahmed Chalabi provided the rest while on the payroll of Iran, and the declaration that Saddam tried to buy yellowcake from Niger was a forgery--and irrelevant in any case, because the international intelligence community knew that Iraq had yellowcake to begin with and they were completely unconcerned by it because of the difficulty of turning yellowcake into enriched uranium.

The CIA didn't act at cross-purposes with the administration, as this comment suggests. It just dared to stand up for the truth--what we all know to be the truth. But apparently, it's still "evil" and "a war against the administration" to point out what even the RedStaters would have to admit is true.

This is just sickening.

Photo: Clark with the Bloggers


Click for full size (photo credit: Jackie Wollner)
Here's a picture of the bloggers, myself included. with General Clark.

One of the things about the conversation with Clark that made me happy is that he didn't feed us any pablum about how important the blogosphere was or try to pander to us in any way. He wanted us to know about what was on his mind so we could report it, and then we let him know what was on ours. It wasn't catering--it was a give and take. I respect that.