September 7, 2006, Mid-terms pageantry/9-11 pre-game show
Bruce the Veep has sent us a number of items of late that are of extreme relevance, and seem unrelated... but as you know, having come here to "connect the dots" central... that's only what Karl wants you to think. He doesn't mind that we'll be connecting the dots for you, btw. Karl is not ashamed of his handiwork, except when he wants to deny it.
Anyway, we'll start with the most interesting: this from Asia Times discussing the deal made by the Pakistani central government with the regional Pashtun tribal factions in the North Waziristan region, home to, among others, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and Ayman Al-Zawahiri... anyway, the deal is that furriners (in Pakistan, those three, being from Saudi/Yemen, Afghanistan and Egypt respectively are furriners) are welcome to stay in Pakistan, free from fear of arrest or pursuit, as long as they behave themselves. This is all just peachy keen; the President and the White House, for their part, say "Pakistan doesn't really mean it." In practical terms, of course, bin Laden and his entourage have been under the hospitality of the tribal areas which are widely believed not to be exactly under Pakistani central government control, for nearly five years. It would appear that all the Pakistani government is doing is acknowledging reality, and going back to its pre-9-11 ante, of supporting the Taliban (who, btw, have vowed "on to Kabul".) [Fortunately for Karl's overall strategy, this deal isn't that widely reported here, so the President can rely on the fact that Amurkins really don't care what swarthy people do amongst themselves; if Amurkins actually did care, they would realize that this meant, for all practical purposes... "The war on terror is over; we lost." To paraphrase Republican sentiments towards the majority of Americans who voted for Al Gore only to have George W. Bush thrust upon them anyway... "get over it."]
Which moves us along to Bruce the Veep's forwarding of this WaPo piece on Bush's prisoner abuse shell-game, to wit, rushing a bill into Congress to (1) ratify his already-found-unlawful-military-tribunals, and (2) retroactively immunize himself and his cronies from the war crimes he and they committed by wilfully violating the Geneva Conventions, which, like deliberate violations of FISA, are felonies under U.S. law. And don't miss Maha's fabulously comprehensive take on the subject. Of course, this includes the brilliant maneuver of the transfer to Gitmo of
Ron Jeremy Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a total of 14 of the truly "worst of the worst" who've been off at CIA sponsored super-secret-black-hole-torture-prisons, and hence, beyond prosecution under existing law (which won't, of course, admit evidence obtained by torture...) unless those pussy Democrats get outta the way and let the real men do their jobs... i.e., trying them bad guys under rules the Prezident says he needs in order to win convictions without any irritating due process of law or anything like that. Frankly, this one, coupled with the happy continuation of OBL's being out there (and hence a useful propaganda tool) in perpetuity as discussed in the first paragraph, smacks of Karl's "win-win" kind of thinking: the President can carry on the charade that the real "worst of the worst" terrorists (not like those other useless 4 or 5 hundred innocent sheep herders and taxi drivers we've been holding at Gitmo until now) have "just" been captured and are now about to be tried, making it appear that we are making current progress in the war on terror even at the very moment that we have lost it! And he gets a great wedge issue to boot... all consistent with the timing laid out in his playbook for the mid-terms! (As Hannibal from the "A-Team" would say, "I love it when a plan comes together.")
The last item comes from our friend Joe Gandelman's The Moderate Voice, and concerns Joe Lieberman's secret receipt of Karl Rove's money for his senate campaign. This one is, of course, infuriating on so many levels, but mostly because it confirms my fears from the get-go that Karl is trying to sucker progressives into taking eyes off the prize (voting out actual Republicans). You readers who are interested and financially able to might want to consider giving to the senatorial campaign of James Webb in Virginia, or any of the three Connecticut Democrats running for the House (Diane Farrell, Joe Courtney or Chris Murphy) that Karl (and Joe) don't want to see win... instead of Ned Lamont, to whom Karl (though not Joe) wants to see you send your money.
What do all these things have in common? They are all part of the mid-terms pageant, and the American people by and large don't really care about any of them, other than the back-story, to wit, Democrats are weak on terror... the facts be damned!! And, to boot, they keep all of us off balance, just by the sheer cognitive dissonance of it all.
Well... just 61 days to go!
Update: Bruce also sends this Grey Lady piece noting that Republican military vets McCain, Graham and Warner may have a problem with Bush's new bill superceding their own (for which the mililtary's JAG corps and Harry Reid have promised their support, against the President's). Curiouser and curiouser... again, like immigration, Karl could just be setting us up to show how tough minded and independent Congressional Republicans are... Karl is far smarter than his feckless Master who would cringe at the thought of not being perennially thought of as omnipotent in the interest of ensuring that Master doesn't face a House and/or Senate that might subpoena him... or worse... reverse his tax cuts for the super-rich. In short, fasten your seatbelts... this may be a bumpy ride!
Common Article Three is too vague for the administration to follow? Sad. As a layperson, I think I could probably explain it to them... Heck, you're a lawyer, right? Why don't you give them a call and straighten the whole thing out for them so they're not so confused?
Posted by Mixter at September 8, 2006 8:31 AM