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May 27, 2007


"Useful tools". Yes, the repub committee members are indeed that. Would that Rockefeller could stand up to them.


You are so correct about Rockefeller. As long as Rockefeller continues to chair that Committee then the Committee is virtually worthless in terms of oversight. I've yet to see such an ineffectual Senator and Committee Chair as Rockefeller has turned out to be. The Republicans couldn't have picked a better choice themselves.

Why didn't Democracts replace him? If they can't even stand up to each other's incompetence and ineffectiveness then it's no wonder they don't stand up to the President or the Vice-President or to Condi and her traveling circus of incompetence, half-truths, untruths and excuses.

It's a sad state of affairs in the Senate. So many men and women of diminishing expectations and outsized egos who love to praise their ineffectualness and ineptitude as if they were greatness itself personified in living color.

I have been mystified about Rockefeller for a long time. I wonder if he is too genteel to dig his heels in and stand up for himself and his party?

The operating premise is that what is happening in Iraq is not what Bush wanted to happen. Using this premise, it makes no sense that heads didn't roll, and Bush didn't get all upset at some point, at someone. Has anyone ever read a report that Bush cared about the situation? No. Has he ever publicly acted in any way which would bring an end to anything? For instance, if we actually caught OBL, how would that help Bush? At the very least, more bad stuff going on, more outrage, diminishes the focus on any one thing. Solving problems means that you have to choose new problems to solve, ones which you might not want to solve.

No, Bush isn't trying to solve any problems. I think the key to Comey's testimony is his description of Bush as engaged and on top of the situation. He snuck it in, almost like a compliment, but somehow I think he was pointing out that Bush isn't as clueless as we wish to believe, he is culpable.


has never had to deal with reality. He has taken care to surround himself with yes men and women.
A part of my job is to identify bosses/managers of projects spiraling out of control, down and down, unable to realize the problem, and thus unable to take corrective action. I studied the history of these types. Take the demise of DEC, of KMART, and though it has come back the demise of IBM. Good men it seemed, who had made it up through the ranks, finally attained the highest pinnacle of power. Then these men who were always yes men that strove to satisfy their bosses had the final say, but they had installed like minded yes men (to a fault) around them. The problem was that their situations were different from those of the past, and they were unable to adapt or even see it.

They couldn't adapt. They died. They took their companies down with them. These companies are still scrambling to get back up.

Bush is like this. He has buried himself in the pseudo faith of those who said what he wanted to hear. Those same men punished the doubters, the dissenters. Army, CIA, whoever. The services were shown, the agencies were shown what it was to incur the displeasure of the supreme commander, the decider!

Bush isn't dumb. He is just so neurotic that he has attempted to "psychotically" live in this castle he has built in the air.

My brother dances along the parapets of that castle. Fighting the good fight, striving to keep the invaders out. Other brothers, sons, fathers, husbands do the same. They too in a way are yes men, striving to be the soldiers of America. It has always been a proud thing in the past. The problem is that they are dancing in the air, and are sure to fall. (I meant "fall" not fail. They won't fail in doing their job, but they will fall to the ground again and again as the graveyards fill because of this psychotic President.)

This Memorial day how many will have died since that first 100 or so that died winning the battle against Iraq? 3,500? 3,600? I used to know the exact number each day. I don't try to keep up with it now.

Why was this released Friday before a holiday weekend?

"While the Intelligence Community's assessments on post-war Iraq likely served as useful tools for policy makers and military planners, it was only one of several useful tools available to it. Other tools included outside academics and experts, media reports, and policy makers' and military experts' own education and experience."

Now there is some Grade A hogwash for you. Media reports = CIA intel. Hell ist even better if Cheney happened to leak it to the paper himself. Perhaps just before an appearance on Meet the Press, where he can then quote the 'intel' from a 'highly placed goverment source' to support his positon.

But that would never happen, would it?

I've read about half of it on line, and I have yet to see an estimate in the analysis that applies to Jordan or Saudi Arabia -- I assume those are the big squares blanked out. If you are looking at the region, that is lots of miles of Iraqi border that are left unaccounted for. Iran, Turkey and Syria are clearly estimated -- but what happened to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait? They are also "region."

Right now I am in the midst of a new biography of Gertrude Bell, "Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert and Shaper of Nations" by Georgina Howell, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007. I don't know which I prefer -- Janet Wallach's early 90's bio or this one -- just the same one factoid of interest -- after the US Army arrived in Iraq, they had to send back to London in 2003 for Gertrude's mapping of Iraq's Tribes, and her analysis of their interests, to be sent out by fax. This was a bit she carried with her as a published paper to the Versailles Conference in 1919. Not all that much had really changed over the years. My guess is that the CIA people had read all this stuff over the years -- but that no one in the Bush Circle even knew who Gertrude Bell happened to be, even though Churchill depended on her for everything as Colonial Secretary way back when. The SSCI is actually less informative in my mind than the bios of Bell when it comes to understanding Iraq. The Bullet points in the SSCI sometimes conform to, but are profoundly less informative than the prose of Gertrude's letters and diaries and the summary work the Historian has created around them.


I've long believed that if the Neocons had just read A Peace to End All Peace faithfully, we would not be in Iraq right now.

But then, they all claim to be fans of Thucydides, but seem to have taken that as a primer for how to allow demagoguery to lead a country into a futile expedition in a land far away. So perhaps the problem lies in their reading skills.


Thanks for the great comment! I said I wasn't going to order any more books this week from Amazon but you've made me do it. I couldn't resist after your interesting comment.

I'm curious if you have read or would recommend any other books that would help to understand the current business and political underpinnings in the Middle East. For example, the UAE is rapidly becoming a mecca of international business in the M.E. Thanks!

The report in pdf form is unsearchable; Ockham mayby could suggest some refiltration util to disinfect the skew out of the document. What an innocuous forecast: that oil would peak to $40./bbl; it's now over $60. and climbing, though news this morning from the central coast of Africa imputes that newly instilled settlement will bring the petrol price down; 30% increase in profit for the top oilco in 1Q07 year-over-year. I was looking for the economist intelligence report footnote for the $40. estimate. The report's language looks like it took four years after its initial composition to conform it with subsequent events which took place after 2003, more like the classic comic book version of what the group of eight must have viewed back 4-5 years ago. I think the Democrat leaders are being tentative, waiting for the 2008 elections before renovating congress more.

Jodi at 1:23, is that really you? Are you arguing that Bush and his buddies are merely neurotic/psychotic (DSM-IV would disagree with you that neurotic = psychotic, but, oh well) and not criminal?

When does a president negating the Constitution become criminal?

So Jodi has finally revealed her job--WH Personnel Director!

Michael Scheuer, whatever his other faults, was dead on in "Imperial Hubris" about BushCo's (and the whole intel community's) disdain for information in the public domain. The idea was, if it isn't secret it can't be important. This led them to ignore scholarly and older works, in favor of their own very spotty pre-war intel. In Iraq same as in Afghanistan. They did not, in his phrase, "check the checkables". Gertrude Bell is one obvious source.


I never said neurotic was psychotic. I was arguing that Bush's neurosis on this war had developed/slid into full blown pyschosis. A split with reality.

And unfortunately in this case anyway, psychosis isn't necessarily criminal, as long as he acts within his purview.

As for "negating the Constitution," the books, the journals, the briefs, indeed the coffee houses, the woods, the streets, the graveyards are full of people that are arguing or have argued which way the Constitution should be interpreted.

Byrd and Rockefeller are my senators. I first met Jay about 1968 when I was still in Junior High School. He was running for Governor. I think it's just his style to be quieter and operate behind closed doors as old money usually does. He's got the patrician style of Lloyd Bentsen or James Baker and that off-putting to many people. It certainly isn't the very aggressive, in-your-face style of Chuck Schumer. I suppose you could say he hasn't been very effective, but don't count him ignorant or uninterested. It's just a stylistic problem. If the issue is right he'd be right there fighting it tooth-and-nail. He's shown that in the health care reform area.

He just doesn't feel as Democratic as you or I do. Having a bazillion dollars might do that to a person.

Incidentally, I sold him a wastepaper basket to make money for a school project and he didn't have any money in his pockets to pay for it. The Rich they are different.

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