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August 13, 2007

Comments

It's going to be a real pain for you guys a month from today, when absolutely nothing has changed. I suppose you'll rationalize it as Rove having gone under deep cover, rather than finally realizing that he hasn't been pulling all the strings.

He will go the way of Perle and accomplices. Out of the spotlight but not out of the loop.
There will indeed not be much change. Cheney is still around, even if Rove is completely gone.

Brett: I suppose you'll rationalize it as Rove having gone under deep cover, rather than finally realizing that he hasn't been pulling all the strings.

Of course not. Cheney has been pulling the strings that Rove wasn't pulling. Nothing will change because Bush/Cheney remain fundamentally evil and greedy bastards. But I'll be interested to see if Cheney's instructed Rove to retire permanently, or if Rove has simply moved on to the next US President.

Alan Rickman dating other pseudonymous blogger, ditto ...

It's going to be a real pain for you guys a month from today, when absolutely nothing has changed.

It's been over six years, and nothing has changed except to get worse. I, personally, have no expectations at all about great improvements, let alone unrealistic ones.

Rove is, if I may be allowed a brief use of colorful language, a prick. He corrupts everything he comes near. It's good to see him gone, whether a thousand flowers bloom as a result, or not.

That's about all there is to it.

Thanks -

Do you guys have Bat Phones in your houses? Getting the news and busting out a post on it before 6:30 in the morning is, well...maybe it's just me and I sleep later than most people. But (seemingly) good news, none the less.

I figured they must be on some sort of lefty blogger phone tree.

Um, no. That morning has the headline:

Rove begins prison term.

Um, no. That morning has the headline:

Bush begins prison term.

Rove's just a little sh*t who needs flushing.

hairshirthedonist: I can't speak for publius, but in my case, being halfway on Pakistani time helps a lot. I was up at 4.

Lily Allen reportedly dating local pseudonymous blogger, citing Obsidian Wings as major artistic inspiration.

Sun is in the sky, o why, o why would I want to be anywhere else ... :)

LDN, yo. Y'all betta recognize.

hairshirthedonist: I can't speak for publius, but in my case, being halfway on Pakistani time helps a lot. I was up at 4.

OT: Speaking of Pakistan, how was the food? I love Indian and Middle Eastern, so I would guess Pakistani food would be...what's the word? Yummy.

They re-animated John Bonham? KICKASS!

Once they finish exhuming and resurrecting Keith Moon no hotel room (or wet bar) will be safe!

i like the bat phones thing, but my excuse is that i was actually in the hospital waiting for Baby Publius #2. And he's here.

So between new baby and Rove gone, it is indeed best morning ever. virtual cigars all around

Woah! Congrats, publius. I would indulge in a non-virtual cigar, were I not sick with some so-far undiagnosed throat ailment.

Pink or blue?

Oh, wait - I see you already assigned a gender-specific pronoun. ;)

this one's blue -- already have a pink who will of course terrorize the blue :)

Ha! How old is #1?

A dear friend of mine recently popped out her daughter - about 12 hours after her son's 2nd birthday party ended.

Talk about timing.

Publius,
Thank you for turning Texas just a pinch bluer. =, Seriously: congrats.

Excellent news, publius -- on the little Publitonian, not just on Rove resigning.

congrats publius

I hate Rove as much as anyone, but it's hard for me to see how this changes anything substantive. My best guess is Rove is just concentrating his efforts on the 2008 campaign, where his slimy tactics are actually likely to show some return*, instead of trying to govern, where he like his boss is in way over his head.

I'd love to believe this is him trying to stay one step ahead of the posse, but no need to get one's hopes up.


*if not enough to elect Republicans.

Congrats to Mrs. Publius, Big Sis Publius and Baby Publius, as well as you, esteemed publius!

Congratulations, Publius. You and Lily must be very proud. I have a blue and a pink, but the blue came first for me. The scale will soon tilt. Baby HSH #3 is due in a few weeks, gender TBD. (I guess the scale could stay balanced if we had a hermaphrodite, but I'm not betting on it.)

Publius, congrats!

hilzoy wrote: "Alan Rickman dating other pseudonymous blogger, ditto ..."

No one ever understands my Alan Rickman crush. Thanks!

LP,

"hilzoy wrote: "Alan Rickman dating other pseudonymous blogger, ditto ..."

No one ever understands my Alan Rickman crush. Thanks!"

Is it because you have a secret desire to be humiliated by an overbearing teacher in your potions class? Inquiring minds want to know.

Oh, come now, surely it's because she wants to have a dead lover hanging around the place watching TV with his ghost friends.

Yay! Mazel Tov to you and Mrs. publius!

Congratulations, pub.

Yay publius! Yay to all the publii!

About Alan Rickman: Snape is not his best. Try Rasputin, Sense and Sensibility, or, what the heck, Die Hard.

hilzoy--
and Galaxy Quest?

Congrats publius! Hope mom and publius junior are doing well.

Congratulations on Publius Minor!

MiniPublius! *Awwwww*

(Publibaby?)

Congratulations.

Thanks all -- my internets access has been limited, but I appreciate everything.

Rickman is fantastic in Die Hard -- and that's 100% earnest. I love that guy too

Dantheman, KCinDC, hilzoy, and all other Rickman-ites:

Snape is disturbingly sexy, even in the books, and is certainly the source of my AR fixation, but my very favorite is probably Dark Harbor. (The only AR film I can't stand: Closet Land, which continues to give me nightmares.)

When AR appeared in Sense and Sensibility, we all figured him for The Villian, since he plays that part so well. It was quite refreshing to see him emerge as [spoiler] The Hero [/spoiler].

When a novel's been published for 196 years, Jeff, I think it's beyond spoilers.

A belated congratulations, publius. You've got another adventure ahead of you.

Speaking of having kids, and I'm only putting this here because of the dearth of open threads of late, anyone hear of the 40-year-old (recent) mom who set a new American Record in swimming? Not a Masters Record, mind you: the real deal.

Cute kid, too. Best of luck in qualifying for Olymics #5, Ms. Torres.

Slart: see this thread?

I see it, but I don't quite get it.

I don't have much time for chatty threads, these days.

OT, but looking at the NWS wind speed probabilities for Tropical Storm Dean, there is currently a 27% chance of it hitting Guantanamo Bay with 34+ mph winds in the next 5 days, and 4% chance of hurricane speed winds. I have little doubt that in the pre-9/11 past there were plans to evacuate the naval base or to bring the personnel into buildings designed to withstand such winds. Under a competent government, the plans would have been reworked once it was turned into a detention center to do the same for the additional personnel and detainees. Has anyone any idea if the plans have been under the government we are stuck with for the next 16 months and 5 days?

Dantheman, I'd imagine Halliburton has plans to get another no-bid contract for rebuilding. Isn't that enough?

If the storm is named Dean, any problems can be blamed on wild-eyed far-left Democrats anyway.

KC/DC,

"If the storm is named Dean, any problems can be blamed on wild-eyed far-left Democrats anyway."

Cute, but Atrios beat you to it by a whole day.

Oh, prisons are usually quite storm proof (all that concrete). The problem is the water because few inmates have gills or sufficient experience in free diving.
Cynic's comment: If all detainees drown, it would remove a lot of legal problems. The need for evacuation could also open the opportunity to shoot some "trying to escape".
[/snark]

Under a competent government, the plans would have been reworked once it was turned into a detention center to do the same for the additional personnel and detainees. Has anyone any idea if the plans have been under the government we are stuck with for the next 16 months and 5 days?

I have no idea what this means. That the base commander is completely incapable of modifying existing procedure of his own volition? That somehow, teh Bush suckdom manages to permeate down the chain of command to the level of captain? That perhaps last year's Hurricane Dennis wasn't any sort of test of evac procedures?

I just can't tell. But somehow, I suspect that just possibly they've got it handled.

"I have no idea what this means."

I believe it's clearer if you reword slightly to "Has anyone any idea [what] the plans have been under the government we are stuck with for the next 16 months and 5 days?"

"But somehow, I suspect that just possibly they've got it handled."

Perhaps so; nothing wrong with asking, though.

"Perhaps so; nothing wrong with asking, though."

Or with looking, for that matter, depending on what it is you're looking for.

And then there's actually asking the base command structure, if one really wants to know. I'm guessing the base command, rather than the Bush administration, is responsible for this sort of thing, so they're probably your go-to guys for base operations questions.

"And then there's actually asking the base command structure, if one really wants to know."

Somehow I doubt they would answer questions of a private citizen as to, for example, under what circumstances they would evacuate detainees.

"I'm guessing the base command, rather than the Bush administration, is responsible for this sort of thing, so they're probably your go-to guys for base operations questions."

Likely not for matters involving detainees.

Really? Who do you think runs detainee operations?

"Who do you think runs detainee operations?"

On decisions as to evacuation? A far higher pay-grade than the base commander.

I doubt that, but it's a war of opinion. More relevantly: who's responsible for the evacuation plan?

Maybe this guy, who I admit outranks a mere captain.

"More relevantly: who's responsible for the evacuation plan?"

I don't know, which may be why I asked the question initially.

"Maybe this guy, who I admit outranks a mere captain."

Which guy? Only two proper names are mentioned in the article, the press officer and the base commander (and who is a captain, mere or not).

Oh, pasted wrong link. This guy. Not sure if he's still commander, but he probably had something to do with the evacuation plan.

He is listed as former Detainment Camp Commander, and presently Director of Operations for the Southern Command. I would agree that his current position is likely the level who would make any such plan.

And yes, I'm perfectly aware that a Navy captain is not a low rank.

And, also, yes, I'm certainly aware that the political nature of the Gitmo detainment camp might constitute a pull toward micromanagement.

And, finally, yes, it's fair to ask. I just don't know that it's fair to assume that incompetence flows all the way downhill.

And that's all I'm going to be able to say for a while.

Navy captain equals full colonel in army, if I am not mistaken.

Yep, Captain is O6, and so is Colonel.

Slarti,

I am going to bookmark this discussion, so that the next time you complain that someone is assuming what your viewpoint is when you have not explicitly stated it, you can see how the other side of the coin feels. And that is all I am able to say in a way which would not be a posting violation.

I assumed your viewpoint? Ok, then. But I'm wondering which part of

Under a competent government, the plans would have been reworked once it was turned into a detention center to do the same for the additional personnel and detainees. Has anyone any idea if the plans have been under the government we are stuck with for the next 16 months and 5 days?

I've somehow misinterpreted. Note, too, that I have (perhaps too subtly) invited you to kind of fill in the parts that pull what-did-he-mean-by-that together. If you don't feel like doing that, that's certainly your right, but leaving it wide open does kind of invite questions.

If you've somehow interpreted all of this as some kind of personal attack on you, that wasn't my intention. Where I was coming from is this, more or less: I've been around quite a few military officers at the O-6 level, and they tend to have a plan for pretty much everything. I doubt that who's sitting in the Oval Office has much to do with the quality of plans at this level, generally speaking.

I have a pretty direct interest in Hurricane Dean, I have to say.

I'm not sure who would be responsible for evacuation plans. Maybe JTF -- last time I was down, one prison I was in was run by the Navy, the other the Army, and darn if the rules and procedures weren't a little different going in. The main prison buildings (Camps V and VI) look pretty storm worthy to me, and they're well above sea level, so I wouldn't expect flooding. Camp Echo isn't as sturdy looking, and I haven't been inside Camp IV, and so can't say. Iguana is vacant right now, I think.

There's a very large number of temporary dwellings of various kinds for servicemen and women, some of the flimsier kinds. I don't know what the unoccupied capacity of the "urban" part of the base is -- quite low, I think given the number of guys sharing temporary trailers -- and so if they wanted to evacuate people from the more rural part of the base (which depends, I guess, on whether you're worried about getting pounded by the ocean, or water levels in the Bay rising) this could be a pretty difficult challenge.

Hey, this is a handy little http://www.zone-interdite.net/P/zone_756.html>map.

"Ok, then. But I'm wondering which part of

Under a competent government, the plans would have been reworked once it was turned into a detention center to do the same for the additional personnel and detainees. Has anyone any idea if the plans have been under the government we are stuck with for the next 16 months and 5 days?

I've somehow misinterpreted."

The part where you assumed without asking that what I was saying was "That somehow, teh Bush suckdom manages to permeate down the chain of command to the level of captain?" and "I just don't know that it's fair to assume that incompetence flows all the way downhill."

"Note, too, that I have (perhaps too subtly) invited you to kind of fill in the parts that pull what-did-he-mean-by-that together."

Really? Where and how? It must be far too subtle for me to see it, even upon massive numbers of re-readings of your prior posts.

"If you don't feel like doing that, that's certainly your right, but leaving it wide open does kind of invite questions."

Which questions were not asked. Again, the failure to ask and assume instead seems to drive you up walls when the shoe is on the other foot.

"If you've somehow interpreted all of this as some kind of personal attack on you, that wasn't my intention."

I am happy to hear that, for it was far from clear.

"Where I was coming from is this, more or less: I've been around quite a few military officers at the O-6 level, and they tend to have a plan for pretty much everything. I doubt that who's sitting in the Oval Office has much to do with the quality of plans at this level, generally speaking."

I will disagree on this. We have seen numerous examples in Iraq (and, to a lesser extent, Katrina) where persons who begin contingency planning for a worst-case scenario are ordered not to, as it would contradict dogmatically-held positions of the Executive Branch. A plan for evacuating detainees at Guantanamo strikes me as a very likely place for this to occur. And even if detainees were to die in a storm, a significant part of the Republican base will excuse it, saying they are all terrorists anyway, so who cares if they die?

Really? Where and how? It must be far too subtle for me to see it, even upon massive numbers of re-readings of your prior posts.

The part where I said I have no idea what this means. If needed, I'll re-pose this as a question: what is this supposed to mean?

The part where you assumed without asking that what I was saying was "That somehow, teh Bush suckdom manages to permeate down the chain of command to the level of captain?" and "I just don't know that it's fair to assume that incompetence flows all the way downhill."

Sorry, I took this to be a statement to the effect that evacuation/battening-down-the-hatches plan was somehow qualitatively linked to who's in the Oval Office. But I wasn't sure; hence the wonderig-what-you-meant-by-that comment.

And as that pretty much covers the balance of your objections, back to you. Or not. Not to belabor the point, but I notice you still haven't answered the perhaps-too-subtle prompting for clarification, so: less subtly, what did you mean by that?

I will disagree on this. We have seen numerous examples in Iraq (and, to a lesser extent, Katrina) where persons who begin contingency planning for a worst-case scenario are ordered not to

Cite? Ordered to by...whom? Anyone in the Pentagon chain of command? Was Ray Nagin ordered not to execute an evacuation plan? How did Mississippi and Alabama somehow escape the order not to execute according to plan?

Probably I'm once again reading something into your comments that you have not said, but your comments seem to point in a particular direction, and I have little choice but to follow.

So, in case I've once again misread: what did you mean by that?

Slarti,

"Not to belabor the point, but I notice you still haven't answered the perhaps-too-subtle prompting for clarification, so: less subtly, what did you mean by that?"

No, I have answered it -- it's the paragraph you cite part of in your next post.

On Iraq, the most prominent example is how the State Department planners for post-war Iraq were ordered to stop work on their plans in favor of the Pentagon's planners who expected the US to be welcomed with flowers. On Katrina, the examples I am thinking of deal with pre-disaster planning, not the evacuation plans.

I have company this weekend, so I cannot do too much research. Let me know if you want more specifics than this.

Dan, we're not talking about the State Department. We're not talking about state/local governments, either.

WRT Katrina, pre-disaster planning that was flubbed WAS the evacuation plan. Among others, to be sure, but that was by far the biggest screwup. Without that one screwup, none of what followed would have mattered, much.

Slarti,

"Dan, we're not talking about the State Department. We're not talking about state/local governments, either."

You may not be, but that is not everyone involved in this conversation.

Putting my point differently, I view this Administration as regularly preventing lower-level authorities in all departments from planning for the worst when it goes against their pre-conceived notions. Therefore, where a competent Administration would encourage the base commander to draw up evacuation plans, this one may say that any circumstance where "the worst of the worst" would ever leave Guantanamo is unthinkable and squash any attmept to draw up such plans.

You may not be, but that is not everyone involved in this conversation.

Again, what are you talking about?

Therefore, where a competent Administration would encourage the base commander to draw up evacuation plans, this one may say that any circumstance where "the worst of the worst" would ever leave Guantanamo is unthinkable and squash any attmept to draw up such plans.

I think your view of how individual base commanders are each micromanaged by the Chief Executive is...well, novel, to be polite. It's one thing for the Prez to make, well, Executive decisions regarding an invasion, but another thing entirely for him to actively prevent planning that's going to happen with or without his request.

If you don't understand how that works, that might explain quite a lot about this conversation. Someone is responsible for the detainees. Someone will be held responsible if, for instance (and I suspect that you think that we'd like them to die, so I'm throwing that possibility to one side for the time being), they take advantage of the hurricane and the rest of the base being evacuated to escape into the welcoming arms of Cuba. Which, to put it mildly, would be a wee bit of an embarrassment to folks who maintain that it's important to keep these very dangerous people under lock and key.

"You may not be, but that is not everyone involved in this conversation.
Again, what are you talking about?"

That while it's awfully "nice" of you to declare of your own accord what both of us are talking about, I am not willing to declare discussions about the State Department, or about FEMA, as off limits in this conversation. The shutting down of the State Department's post-Iraq War planning exercises certainly is a prime example of what I am talking about.

"I think your view of how individual base commanders are each micromanaged by the Chief Executive is...well, novel, to be polite. It's one thing for the Prez to make, well, Executive decisions regarding an invasion, but another thing entirely for him to actively prevent planning that's going to happen with or without his request."

And no shortage of things done by this Administration include both micromanagement and novel exercises of power. And certainly this Executive has ordered persons not to perform planning functions which would normally be part of typical duties of underlings.

"(and I suspect that you think that we'd like them to die, so I'm throwing that possibility to one side for the time being)"

I suspect your bias is showing in this line. What do you mean "we'd"? Do you typically refer to yourself and the Administration in first person plural?

"Someone is responsible for the detainees. Someone will be held responsible if, for instance (and I suspect that you think that we'd like them to die, so I'm throwing that possibility to one side for the time being), they take advantage of the hurricane and the rest of the base being evacuated to escape into the welcoming arms of Cuba."

And yet, if they are ordered not to work on such plans, I find it unlikely that the failure to plan would be held against them. What actions do you think were taken to hold the State Department personnel who were ordered off post-Iraq War planning responsible for the current situation in Iraq?

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