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September 26, 2006


All we have to do is keep repeating. It's a mess. We'll study it and come up with real life intelligent solutions. No, we don't have all the answers right now. We need to do some very careful planning to deal with this mess.

When the right wants our plan we need to clearly say "We need access to intelligence information and we need time to study a careful plan." Careful thought vs impulsiveness and posturing. Dems always look shook up when someone asks for our plan. Say it calm, cool and directly. These are the polarities and people are ready for careful thought, no matter how the repubs tried to frame the idea. The kernal is already out there. We know that he went to war impulsively and did not plan well. Take it home. We will plan. We need time and we need all the information in order to be able to come up with an effective plan.

We need to quit looking scared to answer that question. We need info, we need time. We could add that we need some power in the house and senate, but that feels questionable to me. They rushed. We have plenty of time to plan because the terrorists are a long term problem and so a long term plan must be sought.

Say it loud, clear and direct and to do any thing less would put the us in peril.

Thanks for this articulation!

Laura Knoy interviewed EJ Dionne on her Exchange show on New Hampshire Public Radio this a.m. The Exchange broadcasts at 9-10 a.m. weekdays and this a.m.'s show with Dionne will rebroadcast tonight 8 p.m. (US east coast time) and made available at some point at this address:


Only caught a few minutes so can't comment on how interesting or informative the interview was.


more of this please. turn up the volume. everything the Bush administration does is illegal, and we need to hold them accountable.

illegal torture
illegal wiretaps
illegal suspension of habeus
illegal secret CIA prisons
illegal treasonous leaks to reporters
illegal fundraising
illegal establishment of religion
illegal bribes to lawmakers
illegal enron energy policy (forgot about that one, didn't you?)
illegal war.

that's a lot of law-breaking in five short years, and someone should spend a long time in jail for it.

There's a good piece at TAPPED about the dilemma at the heart of the NIE--Iraq will breed ji9hadists if we stay and it will breed jihadists if we leave. The Dems talk about the first and the GOP talks about the second. But the truth is BushCo has got us in a really bad situation, and can't be trusted to get us out. In fact, they are as likely (if not more so) to get us into ANOTHER war as get us out of this one.

That's why we need the Dems in Congress, to act as a check, to try to stop the march to another war (assuming they would) and above all to come up with ways to force Bush to get us out of this one. What a disaster he has been.

this new nie on the impact of the iraq invasion on islamic terrorism is important, but by itself it may not be stable - being amenable to electioneering word-trickery.

it will gain in power, i think, if it is combined with the historical fact that one of the major arguments against invading iraq was just this -- that an invasion would turn a stable, if corrupt and ruthless, state into a factory for angry islamic activists, aka, terrorists.

that this is exactly what has happened is evident, nie report or no.

i do hope that this issue will be presented by campaigning democrats and national democratic leaders (if there are any of the latter) as a premier example of:

- how the white house not only ignored but treated with contempt, sensible advice from diplomatic and security professionals


- how ignoring that advice has left not only the the u.s. but the entire community of developed nations - in the americas, europe, and asia - more vulnerable to the acted-out violent fantasies of angry muslim activists.

Just left an annoyingly long comment (plaintive and prescriptive) at your post below, Mimikatz, jumping off from your comment there, Katie Jensen. "Loud, clear and direct" -- yup, that's what we need.

Thanks for the Dionne link, DemFromCT; now let's see how much the Republicans can muddy the waters with whatever's in the NIE that Pat Roberts suddenly wants declassified. And let's see how well the Dems shoot them down this time; lord knows they've got plenty of dry powder left. (Sorry, cranky today -- looks like both legislative abominations against the very meaning of America will soon be the law of the land.)

There may be another, even more recent and bleak NIE on Iraq. Jane Harman wants this one released too. That primary challenge from Marcy Winograd certainly put some fire in Jane. She was scathing on Hardball yesterday. Glad to see the Dems fighting back. And on top of the question whether all doubts will be removed from this NIE, like the one on Iraq WMD put out before the 2002 elections.

Good news on Harman; wish I'd seen Hardball. I did see Stephen Colbert's "The Word" segment last night, which was brilliant, and devastating. (I think you can catch it on Comedy Central's website.) Fight, Dems, fight...

That Bush is dealing with this, and having to declassify tthe NIE to bolster his claim, gives you an idea how deeply this is biting.

Absolutely. And Condi's visit with the NYMurdoch -- er, NYPost -- to rebut Clinton's Fox performance is surely another indication. I'm so not a jock, but I gather that this is the point in a game/match/contest -- when you have your opponent pinned down -- at which you don't let him off the mat/out of the corner/run from the field (whatever), but keep on pummeling. I hope to see that now. (And maybe the fighting spark can even be transferred back to the court we've been losing on -- filibuster? please?)

Olbermann has referred to Orwell:
Power does not flow from the Revolution,
Revolution is created to gain Power

Republican power does not flow from the Iraq War
The Iraq war was created to gain Power

Is it 1984?

DemFromCT says: I gather that this is the point in a game/match/contest -- when you have your opponent pinned down -- at which you don't let him off the mat/out of the corner/run from the field (whatever), but keep on pummeling.

yes, time to twist the knife. Sure would be nice if we could have another widely-publicized small victory along the lines of the Taylor-Diggs decision. I think that the failure to confirm Bolton today is another symptom- there is so much in flux right now that they just don't have the resources to fight on another front.

I want to believe the tide is finally turning.

O/T but did anyone see the quote from the Tester/Burns debate that was posted at dkos? Tester said something about repealing the Patriot Act becuase it's un-american. But then later Tester also said: "With things like the Patriot Act,we'd damn well better keep our guns."

And this is a quote from the DEMOCRAT. And he's WINNING.

I guess, like rj, I'm a bit suspicious about how the NIE release will play out. Roberts is such a shill, there must be something in it that can be spun Bush-ward. Yes, the fact that Bush has to do anything is a sign the issue is troubling for him, but I worry they'll be able (with press help) to send it to blur-land.

On the other hand, rj is exactly right: Condi's visit to the "No hard questions for Republicans" NY Post indicates the "Clinton was deranged" spin was an utter floppola. The question is, how many news organizations will do the minimum research that shows she's lying through her teeth today.

Harman's sudden growing of teeth is a hell of an endorsement for Kos/Stoller's controversial view, that challenging wishy-washy Dems in primaries can have beneficial effects. Harman used to be second only to Lieberman in providing fall-back cover when bad news broke for Bush. Instead, she's leading the charge.

Smiley, I think the Patriot Act -- which the press proclaims suicidal to oppose -- has a real reservoir of unpopularity. It's a small thing, but I was reading a Patricia Cornwell book a while ago, and her main character/mouthpiece was railing against it -- news only because Cornwell is a fierce law-and-order advocate, who dedicated an earlier book to Orrin Hatch.

How about some clucking from the Dems about the fact that this report was issued in April (5 months ago) and George Bush is STILL saying we must "stay the course" in Iraq, knowing that with every day that goes by we're at even more risk?!.

To the 35% of you who seem perfectly willing to let George Bush assume unchecked, unconstitutional, and, some might say dictatorial, power all in the name of national security (in other words, keeping your sorry asses safe), isn't it finally obvious even to you that George Bush could care less about your safety or national security -- with him it's all about politics and it's all about his personal agenda and it's all about keeping the GOP in power no matter what the cost.

If you can finally agree that the war in Iraq has made us less safe, what will you say if your commander-in-chief trumps up a reason in the next 4 or 5 weeks to create a blockade around, or worse yet, launch an attack on, Iran?? That'll not only piss off another huge chunk of the Muslim population but it'll also send our gas prices through the roof. But, God help us, what if a desperate George Bush thinks that this would be just the thing to send all of you doubters scurrying back into your Bush fear-factor cocoons, coming out only long enough to go vote for every Republican on your ballot? Karl Rove is promising the right-wing blogosphere an "October Surprise". What an abomination it would be if the suprise is an attack on Iran. (What the hell -- Frank Rich of the NYT recently theorized that the attack on Iraq was timed to boost the 2002 midterms -- why should anyone be shocked by an attack on Iran just before the 2006 midterms?) The bigger abomination, of course, would be Americans being played for fools yet again and falling for it yet again.

demtom, see froomkin:

And an intelligence report indicates that Bush's signature response to terror since the attacks -- invading Iraq -- has actually backfired.

The result: A potential erosion of Bush's strongest political suit -- at the worst possible moment for a White House already fearful of losing Republican majorities in Congress in November.

The press smells blood.


Most of those leaks are from CIA for Plame.

The Iraq war on terror does'nt really matter anymore. The US military is refusing orders from the Pentagon(budget refusal). Terror in the US is the worry now.

Iran? We can't launch an attack. The Navy leaks the submarine deployments.

Again, I don't think it matters how the repugs frame the issue, we did a good thing by getting a start on the issue early and framing it early. I was in a custody battle once and the lawyer told me to work my butt off, go to any length to get my story to the guardian ad litem before my ex did. She said that the person who frames the story first usually wins the case. I don't know if this applies to politics but I think this is one thing Rove et al were really good at. This time we beat them to it. Now we just hammer it no matter what they have to say. It will stick. Why?? The truth sticks if it clear, direct and matches the evidence. There are so many issues that have stuck with the people despite what the mainstream media was reporting.


Katie Jensen-
I like your points. Someone once told me that people are most likely to believe the first thing they hear about a subject.
If your mom tells that milk is healthy for you it will take ten people with really good arguments to convince you other wise. Even when your original ideal was not based on information at all.

The second NIE is devastationg because it gives the Dems an essentially free pass to rail about Bush keeping the truth about Iraq from the American people. This deflects from their utter collapse on the terror issues, and keeps Bush on the defensive. While many people may be ok with not knowing what bad things are being done in their name, I think they do want a realistic appraisal of the situation in Iraq, and the fact that Buish is preventing that for partisan gain certainly doesn't help him and his shills.

"The question is, how many news organizations will do the minimum research that shows she's lying through her teeth today."

That must be why Condi has such a large gap between her two front teeth -- so bigger and more lies can make it through her teeth faster.

Mimikatz, I think that's exactly right. And in the process,for themedia people who think at the only thing that counts is who wins the 24 hour news cycle, Bush loses all week.

That's why I say that the dems need to hit the "information" button on why they don't have a plan. We need accurate information about what is going on in order to develope a careful plan.

We need information to have a plan. It highlights the GOP blunder without name calling. It is an absolute truth and serves to even example in principle the voting yes for the war, crap. It was all about information.

This needs to become a core part of the dem arguement and they each need to be echoing this point. Hard.

Mimikatz says "That primary challenge from Marcy Winograd certainly put some fire in Jane. She was scathing on Hardball yesterday."

Absolutely correct. Jane has made an about turn from giving the Repubs a pass on the warantless spying to now coming out strong and attacking the hiding of the Repub failure in Iraq. If primary challenges are what makes Dems gain spines we should have more of it.

Smiley says "O/T but did anyone see the quote from the Tester/Burns debate that was posted at dkos? Tester said something about repealing the Patriot Act becuase it's un-american. But then later Tester also said: "With things like the Patriot Act,we'd damn well better keep our guns."

And this is a quote from the DEMOCRAT. And he's WINNING."

Duh! Tester was the grassroots and netroots candidate who defeated the DC Dem establishment candidate in the primary. Standing up for principle and showing courage of conviction will be rewarded by the American people. Triangulation has proven to be a failure for the Dems. They need to get back to liberal American values and fight for it. The voters will respond and the Dem base will work their hearts out and turnout will not be a problem for the Dems.

That's why I applaud Jack Carter's OpEd taking an unambiguous stand against torture and indefinite detention without habeas corpus. Forget the weasel compromise of McCain/Warner. Supporting candidates like Carter and Tester who make no bones about standing up for American values is the best thing we can do in the next few weeks.

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