Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Trouble with the Times

I had a peek of the headlines of the cover of "All the News that's fit to print" and I was already annoyed. PressThink is right that the media has its own GroupThink ala "1984."

Why the hell are we concerned with reporters being deposed in the Plame scandal? The issue isn't their beloved freedom of press, and it might be about the abusive use unnamed sources (see Miller, Judith), but what it really is about is that some one in the White House purposely leaked the name of an undercover intelligence agent in order to chill dissent about the Administration's line on Iraq.

Below the fold is a small blurb about in that intelligence assessment that Bush got in January 2003 not only told him that the intelligence was questionable, it also warned him about the problems we currently now face: a growing insurgency, safe haven for terrorists, greater insecurity, etc. Why isn't this big news? This is another point where Bush either lied to us, or genuinely believed that all these experts were wrong. And thus a handful of hard right wing hawks must be right, in which case he is not only delusional, but an incompetent leader. You could blame bad intelligence, but when the commander in chief tells them to find what he is looking for and ignores all else which goes against what he believes, then Bush doesn't deserve to sit in the big chair.

I do like the article pointing out that if you want to see Bush, not only do you have to pledge to vote for him (and have voted for him in 2000) you have to pledge to phonebank, door knock etc. He is so pro-Business that even his campaign has become a company that engages in bait and switch tactics.

FBI translation backlog
article buries a key point, that they fired a translator who retranslated pre-9/11 stuff which gave some major foreshadowing to what ultimately happened, and then told the world about it. Basically, the FBI needs to go; they have repeatedly shown (like Bush) that they are incapable of waging the war on terror, they can't adapt to the times. They were great at catching people before computers, they are still good at stopping the Mafia, kidnappers, bank robbers, serial killers and the like, but not at gathering and interpreting intelligence. They should be demoted to the national police/detective force they are, and not promoted to "domestic CIA."

But the biggest laugher of all is Al Gore giving John Kerry advice on how to debate George W. Bush. This from a man that inflated expectations, came off as arrogant, signed, then sedated, and blew his September lead. Well I guess Kerry can learn from Gore's mistakes. However, I have to give it big Al for showing his funny side, like Bob Dole, after he lost. Here's the great closer that made me laugh:

"Comparing these grandiose promises [Bush made in 2000 debates] to his failed record, it's enough to make anyone want to, well, sigh."

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