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July 31, 2005

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You are not surprised because it fits a well-established pattern.

Ah, hilzoy, such understatement.

In the preface to Molly Ivins' and Lou DuBose's most recent book, Bushwhacked, they wrote:

Our biggest problem with the Bush administration is that for us it's déjà vu all over again. We spent six years watching the man as governor of Texas, the basis for our 1999 book, Shrub. We were tempted to begin this book by observing, "If y'all had've read the first book, we wouldn't've had to write this one." Cooler heads prevailed.

How many examples do we need? Extraordinary rendition, the (lack of) response to abuses, Valerie Plame, Terri Schiavo, and now the military commissions. Can anyone pretend to be surprised any longer? Perhaps CharleyCarp or one of our other lawyer friends can tell us whether this constitutes a "pattern and practice"?

The Courts tell Bush and friends to follow the law, so they respond by rigging the system. This is one aspect of a widespread pattern to simply refuse to provide any process even if the courts order it. Why not since in their world, the President can have detainees tortured if he feels like it.

Freedom is on the March. We are spreading democracy.

Vomitous hypocrisy.

I suppose that if experience is any guide, we can expect a smear campaign against these two officers.

Thomas More once advised Thomas Cranmer, "You must ever tell the King what he can do, only what he should do." Meaning, don't remind the King that his power is absolute.

Cranmer didn't follow More's advice. What was he thinking? Maybe he enjoyed setting loose the whirlwind to see what would happen. Maybe he thought he could be the bow to Henry's arrow, using all that power for himself. Maybe he just got vicarious satisfaction from seeing absolute power exercised - on other people, always on other people, never thinking it would ever be directed against him.

He was wrong about that, too.

What I fear is that we can't unknow what we know. The genie is out of the bottle: a President and his Administration and his Party can violate every norm of American values and law; and they can not only get away with it, but be rewarded - with re-election, with fawning worship, with rock-star screams of adulation.

This is something we may always have suspected, but hoped never to see realized. We thought our institutions, our carefully-wrought system of checks and balances, would prevent it. We never expected to see the system dismantled so effortlessly, and have our noses rubbed into our failure to preserve it.

Bush's falling approval numbers don't comfort me at all. I have no idea what his Administration will come up with next. I honestly don't know whether, having attained as absolute and unfettered a regime as they've built, they'll be willing to let go of it. Why would they? What's in it for them?

Because that seems to be the bottom line for those people: what's in it for them?

I don't know how we get out of this.

This story is now up on the front page of the on-line NYT.

It's also now in the Times as one can see here, or if one prefers, for some strange reason, on their front page.

they hate us for our freedoms, freedoms that include a right to fair trial.

they hate us for our freedoms

Of course, we didn't realise that when Bush used that line he was talking about himself and his administration in the third person.

can we impeach them yet?

"can we impeach them yet?"

Barney Frank says wait til we start withdrawing from Iraq. As troops are in transit home, much harder for Commander Codpiece to kill a few thousand as a political diversion.

On the other hand, with these people, I have always felt safer at home with so many well-trained torturers and door-busters safely overseas.

We "can" impeach them. We certainly have the grounds to. No just impeachment, but conviction and removal from office.

But we won't. Not with the GOP in charge of House and Senate.

And even if the Dems take one or both chambers in '06, the MSM will say that impeachment is too destabilizing, musn't a have a Constitutional Crisis while we're at war, etc. etc. etc.

I have a brilliant idea: let's switch to a parliamentary form of government! [/Arroyo voice]
We're such a banana republic now anyway ...

Just when you think they can't appear more evil, they do. It's the Law of Asymptotic Evil.

Capt. Awesome, Thoreau:

ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.

Now be nice, or I'll turn you into a couple of Star Fetuses.

Oh, dear -- ignore that, it was me. I had two tabs open next to each other, and pasted it in the wrong one. It was meant for here. Although out of context, it's much, much funnier.

From the NYT article:

In his message, Colonel Borch said he had great respect and admiration for Captain Carr and Major Preston. But their accusations, he said, were "monstrous lies."
Does being a Bush supporter mean constantly having to keep your doublethink in practice? If you want to have any credibility, don't say that your critics are respectable, admirable, monstrous liars.

"If you want to have any credibility, don't say that your critics are respectable, admirable, monstrous liars."

Well, I'm not so sure.

I agree with you that being a Bush supporter now does require utter intellectual prostitution. Like that hilarious paean to genius of the Great Leader that Powerline produced the other day--you only see things like that from the lackeys of dictators, and that's pretty much what the people still touting the Bush line amount to. They have sold their intellectual independence for a mess of pottage--they now must only think and say what Message Central allows them to think and say, even when they have to change on a day-by-day basis.

But Borch's comments, all by themselves, don't strike me as a flat destroyer of credibility. I mean, I could well imagine myself saying about some people I have known for a while, that I have a general, default regard for them, but that some particular statements they made were lies. I have always had great admiration and respect for Fred or Susie or whomever, but when I hear them say xyz, it strikes me as a monstrous lie. I admire this or that other thing about them, but with respect to statement xyz, etc.

Dunno--it just doesn't seem so bad to me, or like a stance that is necessarily inconsistent. Also keep in mind that it may have just been a stock phrase like "with all due respect", and we know how much that one's worth.

The fact is, there are plenty of other good reasons to doubt Borch's credibility, e.g. the fact that his subordinates, who are members of the prosecution and have absolutely no reason to misrepresent things, quote him as follows: "You have repeatedly said to the office that the military panel will be handpicked and will not acquit these detainees..."

That, all by itself, is stunning enough.

Well, "with all due respect" has that word "due" as an out, but I see your point.

Slightly off-topic pictures. They'll make good book-ends in future history texts though.

http://radicalruss.net/photos/displayimage.php?album=137&pos=1>Is this all we get?

http://img90.exs.cx/img90/4578/nixon.jpg>Of course it is.

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