Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

We are Democrats. They are enablers.

koolaid [Pelosi's statement.]

Well, I guess now I know why impeachment was "off the table." Anybody for Barney Frank as the new speaker? Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen in WaPo:

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique[ly illegal and unconstitutional?] CIA program designed to wring [torture] vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the Bipartisan group, which included future-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites [gulags] and the harsh techniques [torture] interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill [not to mention the US military**]. But on that day, no objections were raised.

With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods [torture] during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).

Yeah, the Village is a big sack of pus just waiting to be lanced. Unfortunately, some of that pus is blue.

Nice going, there, Leader Nance.

Oddly, or not, administration officials with integrity [one thinks of some JAGs, or Bruce Fein/Jack Goldmsith types] led the fight, and Congress, and the Democrats, followed:

Information about the use of waterboarding nonetheless began to seep out after a furious internal debate among military lawyers and policymakers over its legality and morality. Once it became public, other members of Congress -- beyond the four that interacted regularly with the CIA on its most sensitive activities -- insisted on being briefed on it, and the circle of those in the know widened.

Meanwhile, Leader Nance has no comment, and that cunt Jane Harman wrote a CYA Sternly Worded Letter for the secret files:

Pelosi declined to comment directly on her reaction to the classified briefings. But a congressional source familiar with Pelosi's position on the matter said the California lawmaker did recall discussions about enhanced interrogation [torture]. The source said Pelosi recalls that techniques described by the CIA were still in the planning stage -- they had been designed and cleared with agency lawyers but not yet put in practice -- and acknowledged that Pelosi did not raise objections at the time.

Harman, who replaced Pelosi as the committee's top Democrat in January 2oo3, disclosed Friday that she filed a classified letter to the CIA in February of that year as an official protest about the interrogation program. Harman said she had been prevented from publicly discussing the letter or the CIA's program because of strict rules of secrecy.

And I suppose if we lived under a legitimate government, with the rule of law, and a Constitution, and all that stuff, those "strict rules of secrecy" might mean something.

When Carter Ford slapped economist Herb Stein Alfred E. Kahn around for using the word "recession," Stein said he'd use the word "banana" instead. "When I say banana, think 'recession'. I think we must be wary of the risks of a banana."

So there you are. If Harman or Pelosi or any of them had wanted to blow the whistle, they could have figured out a way; don't say "torture"; say "banana"! They had a platform, and they had the power--the power the voters gave them in 2006.

Let's ask the Apollo 13 question: "What do we got on the spacecraft that's good?"

Since the voters put them back in power, the Democrats have taken impeachment off the table, punted on the war, never figured out a way to hold Republicans accountable for filibusters and obstructionism, so legislation is in the toilet, and never managed to use oversight power to do anything more than chip away around the edges of the Bush regime--though they have written a great number of Sternly Worded Letters.

And now, top Democrats turn out to be enablers of war crimes by our lawless executive. What a surprise. Harry, Nancy, nice work.

What do we got on the spacecraft that's good?

Please, can we give Leader Nance the heave-ho? She's a fuckup, and an enabler. Everything Barney Frank isn't. Barney Frank for Speaker!

NOTE ** Of course waterboarding was torture. Always has been, until the Village realized they'd been implicated in it, and started obfuscating. WaPo again:

Waterboarding as an interrogation technique has its roots in some of history's worst totalitarian nations, from Nazi Germany and the Spanish Inquisition to North Korea and Iraq. In the United States, the technique was first used five decades ago as a training tool to give U.S. troops a realistic sense of what they could expect if captured by the Soviet Union or the armies of Southeast Asia. The U.S. military has officially regarded the tactic as torture since the Spanish-American War.

NOTE Glenn, of course, called this back in August, after the FISA capitulation:

With each new Democratic enabling event — from the recission of habeas corpus to the approval of “enhanced interrogation techniques” to the FISA capitulation and the complete silence (at best) over the administration’s increasing belligerence towards Iran — it becomes more and more difficult to know whether the Democratic leadership is affirmatively supportive of this agenda or simply afraid to oppose it due to the political risks. Either way, on the most egregious abuses of this administration, there is little to no effective opposition, and increasingly, there is much affirmative bipartisan support for those abuses.

And the headline is a riff on Pelosi's famous statement: "They are advocates. We are leaders."

UPDATE What Glenn said:

Whether it's the war in Iraq or illegal surveillance or the abolition of habeas corpus and now the systematic use of torture, it's the Bush administration that conceived of the policies, implemented them and presided over their corrupt application. But it's Congressional Democrats at the leadership level who were the key allies and enablers, never getting their hands dirty with implementation -- and thus feigning theatrical, impotent outrage once each abuse was publicly exposed -- but nonetheless working feverishly the entire time to enable all of it every step of the way.

Fuck you, Nancy. And fuck you, Harry. Indeed, this debacle is yet another reason to Say Fuck proudly. I like to reward good behavior. But bad behavior needs to be punished. It's the only thing that will get their attention.

Senator Clinton? Senator Obama? What's your stand on all this? Are you with Bush, Pelosi, and Reid, or against them?

UPDATE Welcome, Eschatonians! Welcome Attaturk readers. Welcome, Glenn Greenwald readers. Welcome, Jules Crittenden readers. Welcome, Sadly No readers. Welcome First Draft readers.

UPDATE Looks like Arthur Silber called his shot on this one. Everytime I read Silber I want to go hang myself, so I don't read him often, but....

UPDATE Michael Froomkin on the forgotten speech and debate clause.

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Comments

Submitted by waldo (not verified) on

...ready to lead and, most importantly, to impeach the criminals.
America has always been regarded as wilful and selfish but most people were prepared to forgive this childishness.
Now that has changed; the inherent criminality of unbridled capitalism has promoted perverted violence and corrupted the democratic fabric of the world. America will not be forgiven if justice does not prevail.

I agree that it's time to clean house on both sides of the aisle. (I just discovered your post via Memeorandum after posting my own).

My sole point of disagreement is I'm not convinced Harman did anything wrong. She objected within the channels she was sworn to adhere to. That may not be sufficient in the purest sense but it certainly sets her apart from the other three, or from Pelosi and Reid. Or from all the Republicans equally complicit.

I also reject the article's claim that one year post-9/11 these decisions were driven by emotionalism. Should fear dominate decisionmaking a whole year later? This would be just two months before a majority of Democrats (if you group he House and Senate together) rejected the authorization to let Bush use the military against Iraq. If the majority of elected Dems weren't being driven by fear, that's a pretty weak argument.

Submitted by lambert on

Kevin writes of Harman:

She objected within the channels she was sworn to adhere to.

Yes, but the channels themselves and the system to which she swore the oath was broken. No doubt there were plenty of honest Prussian bureaucrats who upheld the law and their personal honor after the Enabling Act.

Typically, the ostrich is not emblematic of integrity.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Edwards seems to get it

See this concise, little ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvTp0PYVLZA

I think the two key phrases of this election are, or should be...

1. Darcy Burner's "More and better Democrats"

2. moveon.org's underused "Bush's Third Term"

We may literally not be able to afford another term of Bush (in the guise of Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee, etc.).

Yet there is little we've seen in the past year that says "more Democrats" without "better Democrats" is the cure for what ails us.

Given what the Repubs have done with absolute power these past two terms, I'll be damned if I'll do anything but vote (D) next November. But in the meantime, I'll work hard to see that the best possible names are on the other side of that (D).

The broken system of justice certainly must be restored. And while I share substantial doubts about Harman's integrity - and a number of other Dems not cited in the article, I'd like to see the evidence of what each was presented with before making a certain judgment.

Isn't that necessary if real justice is to be restored and dispensed?

(Not trying to be ornery; it's just that the WaPo article was scant on the detail).

Submitted by low-tech cyclist (not verified) on

Why a third party? Because, dammit, we need a political voice of our own.

Why focused on Congressional safe seats? Because that's where we can run candidates without electing more Republicans by doing so.

If a Congressional seat is safely Dem (goes >65% Dem in national elections) and the incumbent isn't a true-blue Fighting Dem, then we should run a third-party candidate against him/her in the general election. And we should also run candidates in safely Republican (GOP Pres. candidates get >60%, say) districts, too, to build up the brand.

Because, right now, the Dems' brand is that of capitulation.

We need to build up a new party, with a new brand, that can consistently speak for the people of this country.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Sorry, but like Howard the Duck, we're trapped in a world we never made.

The GOP base is unshakable. Until this shark is penned up, I'm not voting for any vanity candidates.

Long-term investments in election reform and other approaches to improving third-party viability are urgently needed, but we're in a city on the edge of forever, and the GOP needs to be stopped NOW.

IMHO, the best bang for your buck is to support Open Left candidates to replace turncoat Dems in the primary, and actively support the best Dem presidential candidate we can muster. A certain Mr. Gore could sure help, but for want of that, I'm hauling in with John Edwards.

Submitted by anonymous coward (not verified) on

Would that be the same Mr. Gore who sat on his hands while Bush and his thugs stole the presidency? Yeah, there's a real leader for ya.

Submitted by xan (not verified) on

Back to the original topic, I've been trying to work out what to think about all this. Party name of "blerb" over at Atrios' has very kindly expressed just what is holding me back from grabbing the pitchfork and torch:

I will say only one thing about this. We have no idea what the ulterior motives of the unnamed "officials" who made these statements are. For all we know, they are Dick Cheney and Condi Rice. Please just ponder that for a second. "You were complicit in our crimes" is a classic defense for those who are in trouble over institutionalized reprehensible conduct. The whole thing also just smells like a Rove-style hit piece designed to provoke exactly the feelings that it obviously has here. I probably won't convince anybody here not to buy it, but maybe you could at least try to view it with just a little skepticism.
blerb

Doesn't this have a very Rovian stench about it? Unnamed "sources," damning claims, with the goal of establishing as fact in everybody's mind--starting with the original participants, or perhaps victims of this entrapment--that "now you're in this with us, everyone will blame you more for not stopping us than blame us for doing the thing you didn't stop. Now keep your mouth shut, bitch, because if you open it to denounce us you denounce yourself, and if to defend yourself you defend us right along with."

Like blerb said, no way to prove this, but after wading through as many piles of dogshit as we have over the last few years you get to recognize the smell pretty quickly.

Submitted by lambert on

And Nicole sounds the same cautionary note.

I think they're going nuts in the Village, and that's very interesting (it's just like the mortgage meltdown, especially since nobody really knows how bad it is). I'm thinking that way because a story like this is really only useful in potentia as blackmail; it's not nearly so useful once exposed, even in "I'll take you down with me" mode.

"Sun slated to appear in East" on damaging Democrats; everything is, so it follows this story is. That said, that doesn't make the story untrue; Democrats are at least referred to*; and Walter Pincus (see note page 3) contributed, which gives the story a lot of credence to me. Note also the Reyes/Rodigeuz imbroglio--what's up with that??--and of course the context for it all, the FISA abomination in August. And then we have no comment from Pelosi and still nothing. So.

Throughout, and as usual, the Democratic leadership is in "Bringing a Hello Kitty pencil case to a gunfight" mode, here; if indeed they want to fight at all.

* Granted, not quoted by name, no doubt because they're from her own delegation; in fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's where the animus is coming from.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by IntelVet (not verified) on

No one is perfect.

But, I am rather disappointed with Pelosi.

Impeachment is still on the table. There is nothing there that diminishes the horror the US perpetrated on the world.

If Pelosi is allowing herself to be blackmailed over this than she should take that down elevator also.

Submitted by Keith Ok (not verified) on

Correction needed immediately prior to banana/recession comment:

"When I say 'Ford', think 'Carter', and when I say 'Herb Stein' think 'Alfred E. Kahn'."

Then the story will be correct.

Herb Stein's most famous quote was "Any process that cannot go on forever must necessarily come to an end." [Or something like that. Every time I see this quote, it's a little different.] He was arguing agains the notion that "this can't go on forever" was a rational justification for taking action to stop someithing.

Submitted by lambert on

In fact, I rememebered it being Kahn, couldn't find it, distrusted my memory, found Stein, went with it. Corrected.

The Stein quote does seem to have application to our current plight. Several of them, in fact.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

There is no valid reason why the real Democrats in the House (assuming a slim majority of them actually support the Constitution and the rule of law) cannot oust Pelosi, Rockefeller, Reyes and the other enablers in the "leadership". There are any number of reps in the House who would make better leaders in Pelosi. If they want to prove they aren't anti-woman, then go with Lynn Woolsey for Christ's sake!

There can only be one reason why they don't do this: they actually agree with Pelosi that they should sit back and let this administration trash the Constitution and setup a police state. If they don't agree, then get rid of her. If they believe in the Constitution, repeal the Military Commissions Act and impeach Cheney and Bush. As a wise man once said, "by their fruits shall you know them".

Submitted by E x c a l i b u r (not verified) on

I think this informatmion may have already been used as blackmail and very effectively if you're suspicious or incredulous of Dems ineffectiveness in Congress since 2006. Now it may be more effective as a public disclosure - notice the timing relative poll positions of most Republican nominees. Every week another Repbulican scandal or embarassement comes out. - this evens the playing field a little.

In either case it can still be a distortion of what really happened. For certain it is a distraction from the greater evil.

Every Republican I know (among my firends, negighbors and family members) now talks about how bad the 'politicians are' (as opposed to how immoral or liberal the Democrats are) - this is their way of saving face without admitting that they were wrong - and consequently without having to change in any way.

With so many Republicans 'retiring' there is now room for new and improved Republicans. And it sure will be easeier to get those elected if the main meme is that 'all established politicians are bad'

The tactics Republicans will use now will be to use spoiler 'Democratic' candidates - as they are doing in 5th district in OH, run as Democrats and vote as Republicans (Joe Lieberman), bring in relatively unknown candidates whose resumes can be spun to present them as different (and who will vote Republican once in office), run religious candidates in places where they can count on that kind of vote and run more 'specialized' candidates who use one or two issues to energize a particular segment of the voting block in a district where such polarizations are already in place.

In all of these approaches, weakened Democrats (who are already established and would normally have an easier time of winning elections) and compromised voting process will continue to help them.

The 'share the blame' tactic has already been used in the last couple of weeks by Cheney and Rove - if they are using it then its the official strategy of the Republican Party. Anything that falls into the category should be treated with caution and awareness of context.

It sure was fun using the High Moral Ground for so long, but I have to notice how little that did to stop the outragous stealing of this country. I for one do not want to be distracted from the mechanics of the voting process until it's too late to do anything about it. Then another four years pass and again everything is forgotten until they steal another election. (Note how long it took for all the cheating in Ohio to be documented enough to get even a few convictions, despite how blatant the cheating was.)

I can discern a differnce between someone who steals or lies sometimes and someone who steals or lies pretty much all the time . For me a realistic allocation of time and energy would be something like this; 10% - working to elect Democrats that can win; 50% - working to elect Progressives (Democrats, Greens or Independents) where there is little to loose - where the Republicans are very strong and where there is no strong Democrat to win; 35% - working to assure a fair voting process, 5% - running for a public office myself..

If anything this is a good opportunity to prepare for shocking information about my favorite candidates (Edwards and Kucinich) coming up in the next few months.

E x c a l i b u r

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

A critical reading of this hit piece discloses that the entire assertion of Pelosi’s culpability rests on one anonymous claim regarding the September 2002 meeting:

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised.

"Two officials" who were present. Who might they be?

Attendance at this briefing, like almost all of them on the subject, was highly restricted:

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody.

In this case, most briefings about detainee programs were limited to the "Gang of Four," the top Republican and Democrat on the two committees.

Which committees, and who were the “top” members in September of 2002? For the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Democrat Bob Graham was Chairman and Republican Richard Shelby was Vice-Chairman; for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Republican Porter Goss was Chairman and Pelosi was the Ranking Democrat; just those four were present, plus a lone CIA briefer. There were no notes made and no recordings, so only the recollections of those five individuals exist to document what was said – and what was not said.

Who, then, among those five are the “officials” referred to in this article? Pelosi herself? Not likely. Graham? Again unlikely, and we’ll come back to what he had to say in a moment. The CIA briefer? After five years, the briefer would risk a career to slam Pelosi? For what purpose, to what end? If there’s any truth to the claims, and thus some perceived leverage against criminal charges, why divulge it? Blackmail only works if the secret is kept, so this is something being trotted out because someone thinks that publicity is valuable, not secrecy. That leaves Goss and Shelby; how would they profit from spreading innuendo that tarnishes Pelosi and the Democrats? Does that even need to be asked?

So there you have it. All the references to “official” or “officials” who know what happened in that meeting are to either Goss or Shelby or both, it couldn’t possibly be anyone else. As you re-read the article with this in mind, the intent becomes clear – this is a smear, a hit piece trumped up by the usual suspects, Republican Plutocrat insiders trying to push the “No Difference” meme and hoping that the MSM along with others will seize on the Big Lie and repeat it.

How was this trap constructed? With half-truths and innuendo, surrounded by enough irrelevant truths to suggest legitimacy and just the one outright lie hidden in plain sight. First, plant a seed to sway the reader’s perceptions; a headline with the Big Lie itself and a part-truth subhead for implied confirmation:

Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Goss/Shelby Say

“Meetings” you say? How many “Gang of Four” briefings on interrogation methods were there with Pelosi and Graham in attendance? We know from this article of the one, in September of 2002; the next one mentioned in the article occurred in January 2003 under the new 108th Congress, and by then Pelosi and Graham had left the Intelligence Committees. If there was another meeting with Pelosi and Graham present wouldn’t the authors of this article, through their unnamed “officials”, have known and documented it? Surely they would have if they could, it would make their claims all the more damning, but they did not – the truth is there was only the one meeting and then the 107th Congress recessed on November 22.

But the article suggests something very different, that somehow Pelosi had much broader exposure:

Yet long before "waterboarding" entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.

But Pelosi was only in one of those briefings, not 30, so there’s another half-truth – or more accurately, a 1/30th truth. And what exactly was presented in that one briefing? Here’s what Graham has to say:

Graham said he has no memory of ever being told about waterboarding or other harsh tactics. Graham left the Senate intelligence committee in January 2003, and was replaced by Rockefeller. "Personally, I was unaware of it, so I couldn't object," Graham said in an interview.

And Pelosi’s recollection:

Pelosi declined to comment directly on her reaction to the classified briefings. But a congressional source familiar with Pelosi's position on the matter said the California lawmaker did recall discussions about enhanced interrogation. The source said Pelosi recalls that techniques described by the CIA were still in the planning stage -- they had been designed and cleared with agency lawyers but not yet put in practice -- and acknowledged that Pelosi did not raise objections at the time.

So Graham doesn’t recall anything untoward and Pelosi remembers “enhanced interrogation” whatever that may mean and no, I don’t want to hear about what it might mean, it’s a euphemism that means whatever anyone wants it to; let’s look to the article for clues:

And while various officials have described the briefings as detailed and graphic, it is unclear precisely what members were told about waterboarding and how it is conducted.

Now there’s some weasel-word butt-covering; scream a headline and a lede that accuses Pelosi of being complicit in approving water boarding and then way down deep in the article allow as how reality is that “it is unclear precisely what members were told”. Despicable.

And in an attributed quote:

"Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing," said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. "And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement."

And anonymously:

But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials Goss and Shelby said.
"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official Goss or Shelby who witnessed the exchange.

Well. What could that all mean? Does “…at least two” mean more than two? Sorta kinda sounds like it, suggesting that maybe one of the Democrats wanted harsher methods but it really is another half-lie, it actually just means “two” and all reputation and evidence suggests that those two would have been Goss and Shelby, not Pelosi and Graham.

So we’re to believe that waterboarding was presented with a full and frank disclosure of the technique and how it works, and the response from Goss and Shelby was to ask if “tougher methods” could be used, could the CIA “push harder”? What exactly is tougher and harder than simulated drowning, a repeated smothering in water to the point that the subject believes that they are about to drown? Actual, real drowning? Because dead men are more likely to tell the truth? How absolutely ludicrous.

The only rational conclusion is that the CIA briefer couched his presentation, kept it vague enough so he could claim to have presented truthfully but leaving out the details, details that would have made it clear that there really is no “tougher” “harder” step past near-drowning. Such a scenario is consistent with Graham’s recollection that waterboarding or other forms of torture weren’t discussed, consistent with Pelosi’s recollection of some euphemistic “enhanced interrogation” and with the suggestion by Goss and Shelby that the CIA should get “tougher” and use methods that are “harder”.

And then the Big Lie:

Among the techniques described, said two officials present Goss and Shelby, was waterboarding….

There’s the nut of the article, that one anonymous statement. But why be anonymous? If waterboarding was really presented at the September 2002 briefing, why not just say so on the record? It isn’t a big secret anymore that the CIA, at Bush’s direction, has used waterboarding. The only reason is to maintain deniability, and the only reason to need deniability is because it’s a lie.

And there’s the whole construct of this shallow, deceitful article; one Big Lie, a pile of innuendo, a scattering of half truths and some irrelevancies. Who gains by such tactics? Republicans running for office, and Republicans running from prosecution, that’s who. And who do we know that lives by the Big Lie, by obfuscation and misdirection and deceit? Those are the hallmarks of Republican officials, of this Administration and their enablers. This is a Republican black-op, Goss and Shelby vouching for each other while casting false aspersions on Pelosi to distract focus from their own criminality, an attack artful enough to entrap the careless reader and those predisposed to blame Democrats for the sins of Republicans but not clever enough to withstand critical examination.

As to Pincus’ name in the credits; if he were in the byline I’d be giving this piece some chance of credibility, but he isn’t. There’s nothing about this piece that suggests he had any part of writing it; when Pincus goes after someone he’s straight ahead, he has his facts in order, and he makes clear sense. This is such a shlocky mishmash of inaccuracy and clumsy innuendo that it couldn’t possibly be Pincus. No, he turned up some piece of information and then walked away; the contributory attribution was some editor’s decision, a way to try and lend some credibility to the work of hacks.

There will be a lot more of these deceits spread around as the noose tightens around Republican necks and their election prospects further dim. Take a moment, read carefully and ask who benefits. Nancy Pelosi has her faults but she’s not an advocate for torture, and it is ridiculous to suggest that she might be.

Submitted by Lish (not verified) on

Lambert says: "Please, can we give Leader Nance the heave-ho? She’s a fuckup, and an enabler. Everything Barney Frank isn’t. Barney Frank for Speaker!"

Tell me this is some kind of sick joke, Lambert. Frank and Pelosi are on the same team of Congressional Democrat sell-outs, as evidenced by their recent back-room collusion on ENDA. Here's a direct quote from one of Frank's self-aggrandizing monologues to his esteemed Members of Congress:

"And let me talk about this ideological faction that we [Democrats] have...

But here are some of the characteristics: first of all, they tend to talk excessively to each other. One of the things when you are in this body is you talk to people all over the country. You talk to Members of Congress from every State. And I have this with people who can't understand why I am not introducing legislation to impeach the President and the Vice President, and I find that this is a characteristic that these are people who do not know what the majority thinks, who do not understand the depths of disagreement with their positions on some issues. And that doesn't mean a majority that says George Bush is wonderful. That isn't there anymore, but a majority who would be skeptical of impeachment.

But let me get back to this. There are people who talk excessively to each other. They don't know people of other views..."

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

You're right about that bringiton, but I'm also unimpressed with Frank's leadership and must agree with Lish.

In fact, we know people of other views quite well. And unlike our leaders, we often discuss (define? refine? sling mud at and hose down?) our views at great length.

Our leaders might listen a bit more to their advocates and less to the promises of advocates for the security-industrial state.

It's a damned better idea than making seekrit deals with the likes o' Porter Goss that blow up in their face.

No Hell below us
Above us, only sky

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

KB: "You’re right about that bringiton,"
Be still my trembling heart. :-)

Frank's point, underneath the wandering syntax, is that we've got a big enough job to do bringing the Plutocrats and TheoThugs to heel without chewing up each other at the same time. Compared to the Zero Percent agreement I have with every Republican at this point, I am delighted to be in the company of people with whom I can agree 80% of the time.

If Barney Frank, on the strength of his life and record, isn't pure enough, well, I just don't know; who would be?

My electoral priorities: First the alligators, then the swamp.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

when you are up to your yes in Alligators, it is very difficult to remember that your objective was to drain the swamp.


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

Submitted by lambert on

As my father used to say:

I don't know whether to puke or go blind.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

to add further details and illuminate the post on Pelosi as you will, when you have time.
Thanks
We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

Submitted by lambert on

Like an illuminated manuscript?

I'm seeing something like an Invertebrate, rampant, on a field of cash...

Honestly, it's not that Pelosi is evil; it's just that she doesn't seem to have sufficient scale to deal with the problems. And as was predictable and predicted, a strategy of "legislating" was going to be a loser. And now it's a year later.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

"achievements" if you would, as your note of her "statement" on torture does so well.

I'm thinking that invertebrate should be, actually, a pithed frog (in the old science-experiment sense. In biology class, you "pith" a frog in order to observe its heart and lungs at work. The procedure involves introducing a large needle through the base of the brain and down the spinal column.) You might find something suitable here:
http://educatus.com/main/samples/viewAll...

but at the moment I'm sufficiently appalled by Pelosi as she stands (??). Besides, the procedure might involve leakage of toxic substances.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0


We can admit that we’re killers … but we’re not going to kill today. That’s all it takes! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

1 John 4:18

Submitted by lambert on

[rimshot. laughter]

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

it’s just that she doesn’t seem to have sufficient scale to deal with the problems

I think as part of any investigation, we need to find out what Cheneyburton is holding on whom, and why.

Remember the anthrax was a strain developed by the CIA.

Remember Cheney threatened Wellstone.

The blackmail may not be pictures from a hotel room. It may not be a letter implicating knowledge or lack thereof. There may be serious threats to people.

We live in a security industrial state now, and protection rackets work precisely in this way.

No Hell below us
Above us, only sky