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'Conscience of a Conservative' vs. the Lunatic Ravings of Cheney's Top Aide

All conservative legal minds in the White House aren't necessarily given to voicing the unconscionable, though one such is, Dick Cheney's Dick Cheney, David Addington.

Glenn Greenwald, ex-constitutional law and civil rights litigator, previews the release of a new book, "The Terror Presidency," by Jack Goldsmith, who after deducting some minor expenses, is donating the advance and any profits to charity. Can you imagine Bush or Cheney doing anything like that? Needless to say such a book from someone charitable who headed the Office of Legal Counsel, the division of the Justice Department that advises the president on the limits of executive power excoriates the 'Bushies and the Cheneys'. Here is Greenwald beginning:

In October of 2003, Jack Goldsmith -- a right-wing lawyer with radical views of executive power and long-time friend of John Yoo -- was named by the Bush administration to head the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel, one of the most influential legal positions in the executive branch. During his tenure, he discovered numerous legal positions which the administration had adopted (many created by Yoo) that he found baseless and even unconscionable -- from torture to detention powers to illegal surveillance -- and he repudiated many of them, thereby repeatedly infuriating the most powerful White House officials, led by Cheney top aide David Addington. As a result, his tenure was extremely brief, and he was gone a mere 9 months after he began.

There are many illuminating details, as contained in the book and pre-launch interviews given by Goldsmith to Jeffrey Rosen in a 'New York Times Magazine' piece, 'Conscience of a Conservative'. The most dramatic revelations are in Goldsmith's intense duel with the zealot Addington who was then Cheney's legal counsel:

When Goldsmith presented his analysis of the Geneva Conventions at the White House, Addington, according to Goldsmith, became livid. "The president has already decided that terrorists do not receive Geneva Convention protections," Addington replied angrily, according to Goldsmith. "You cannot question his decision."

Goldsmith puts the bulk of the responsibility for the excesses of the Office of Legal Counsel on the White House. "I probably had a hundred meetings with Gonzales, and there was only one time I was talking about a national-security issue when Addington wasn't there," Goldsmith told me. "My conflicts were all with Addington, who was a proxy for the vice president. They were very, very stressful."

In his book, Goldsmith claims that Addington and other top officials treated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act the same way they handled other laws they objected to: "They blew through them in secret based on flimsy legal opinions that they guarded closely so no one could question the legal basis for the operations," he writes "We're one bomb away from getting rid of that obnoxious [FISA] court," Goldsmith recalls Addington telling him in February. 2004.

Who is Addington? From Wikipedia ... "he was appointed to replace Lewis "Scooter" Libby as Cheney's chief of staff upon Libby's resignation on October 28, 2005. He was described by U.S. News and World Report as "the most powerful man you've never heard of" (until Goldsmith's book).

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (22)


No, VP Cheney would never donate any money--he is too tight fisted with it:

"It appears that the VP is a major beneficiary of the Hurricane Katrina tax relief act. In particular, he claimed $6.8 million of charitable deductions, which is 77% of his AGI -- well in excess of the 50% limitation that would have applied absent the Katrina legislation. The press release indicates that the charitable contribution reflects the amount of net proceeds from an independent administrator's exercise of the VP's Halliburton options -- apparently, the VP had agreed back in 2001 that he would donate the net proceeds from the options to charities once they were exercised."... (link in name)


And Bush lies to the IRS when he donates $60-$80,000 per tax year...

"President and Mrs. Bush contributed $82,700 to churches and charitable organizations, including Tarrytown United Methodist Church, Evergreen Chapel (Camp David Church), Southern Methodist University, September 11th-related funds, and a variety of other charities." (link in name)


I know--it is a dirty conspiracy--even Cheney's wife is a money grubbing pos...

"Mrs. Cheney donates all of the profits from her books to charity.

""I'm writing books for children and I'm writing about American patriotism, and it just seemed like a good thing to do," she said. "Many of the charities I donate to have some connection to history. Mount Vernon, for example, is one of the charities or the D-Day Museum in New Orleans, or Frederick Douglass' house here in the Washington area.

"I've also given donations to various causes that commemorate American fighting men and women, the D-Day Museum being one of them," she added, "and the Pentagon Memorial Fund that will put a monument outside the Pentagon to remember the day that the Pentagon was attacked and the day that our men and women fought back. Also, to a fund that helps families of Marines. So, that's been an important interest for me, too."" (link in name)

Karl Rove traveled back in time and got the IRS, blogs, and newspapers and inserted this Repubic propaganda so as to make Glenn "I am a sock puppet" Greenwald look bad.

You know--if you guys just cooled it with the Bush Derangement Syndrome, then I might actually try and read the body of the post instead of fencing with you.

Instead, I am LMAO wondering how much "profit" there will be in Greenwald's book vs the massive donations by the Bush and his brain...


Cute--erased my three posts that listed the millions donated by VP Cheney over the last 6 years, and $60-$80,000 by Bush, and also listed VP Cheney's wife donating all of her book profits from an article in 2005.

Deleting comments that don't fit BSD filters?

Steve Crickmore:

Sorry BfC..My apology, Our filter overnight must had inadvertedly suspended all four of your comments.. pending approval. I see nothing wrong with them, in fact these are the sort of comments we should be encouraging, since you took our criticism seriously and made some good points.

With regards to your critique, I was really making swipe at Bush's comment to replenish the "ole family coffers" on the weekend, (once out of office). "My Dad Bush 41 and Clinton get 50 to 75 thousand.""..etc etc for speeches..Clinton, Tony Blair, non conservatives certainly play hardball through their agents, getting the maximum amount of money for writing about their dedicated public service, so it was nice that Goldsmith, 'an old fashioned conservative' made a point that in his 6 figure fee for his book he was only going to take money to cover certain minimal expenses...A point well taken about the profits on Cheney's deferred options to Haliburton going to charity....But how much money do they personally, really need, I think Cheney is worth even more than Bush? And the larger question is the oil tax write off costs, depletion allowances, record profits for oil companies and war resource companies, no bid contracts with poor accounting...the war in Iraq has been good business for their crony friends, as Bush says my 'home constituency'.

The big question 'The Terror Presidency' raises is how much did and do Bush and Cheney feel this is a genuine threat, and how much is it a politically expedient opportunity, that permits them to have more power and more abuse of power? It is not as if the US has never been at war before.

I think we now have the terror threat, in check, and did the day after 9/11. No one in America is going to allow people to drive around 'the states' with a poster of Osama bin Laden displayed, taking flying lessons without being concerned about landing, as Mohammed Atta did in Florida. Before 9/11 was a under reacion; after 9/11 has been an over reaction, since 2002, which has led to Iraq and to many of the unitary executive claims made by Addington and Cheney.

Steve Crickmore:

Kevin Drum has an interesting thread on Bush today, in this vein. Forget neocons and theocons. It's the money-cons who really run Bush's Republican Party.


Fair enough--Thank you for the kind reply about the filters marking as potential spam.

While I have a difficult time with somebody saying "But how much money do they personally, really need, I think Cheney is worth even more than Bush?"...

I personally do not think the government should be into redistribution of income. I remember the days of 95% Federal income tax rate (cut back by ~1/2 by JFK--originally put in place to fund WWII).

And I can go down the list of (then current) government officials given a ton of advance money or very high royalties for a book deal (both parties by the way). Government Officials and their wives making huge returns in onetime futures transactions, etc.

Since Bush has no (apparent) plans for future government service or as a lobbyist--there is little that any book deal can influence him with (it is always possible that this was pay-back--but that could be said for both the Clintons, Bushes, and Reagan, and I am sure other presidents that got lots of money and "speaking fees" just after leaving office; or Mrs. Clinton who did run for the senate during her husband's presidency, and has been, for a long time, a front runner for eventual presidential candidate).

Of course, there is always the issue when a president heavily pollutes their own good-will with funding from "difficult" persons that seem to be buying a former president to push positions that may not be in the best interest of the US (former Pres. Carter pushing Arab/Islamic positions with his foundations, f. Pres. Clinton pushing for the Dubai Ports deal while paid to lobby by UAE--and even I have mixed feelings about the deal; especially after it was revealed that they would work with US Intelligence Agencies to monitor port activities world wide).

If you believe, as Sen. Clinton does (when she says the government will need to take from us for the common good)--fair enough, there are many people who believe that hard Socialism/Communism is still the way to go--and we can discuss that.

If, however, you believe that people should be free (within an agreed legal framework) to make as much money has they can and to do with it as they please, then this post is not really very interesting.

But, if you believe that Pres. Bush is profiting from selling (or pre-selling) government influence--I am perfectly willing to discuss that with some evidence.

I really appreciate when somebody really speaks their mind--When Bush says he wants to give speeches for "easy money"--go for it... To me, it really highlights the issues with the paying party--whom also has their own self interests at heart. And, when a Former Government Official gives these speeches, I believe it is very fair to attempt to tar and feather them with the issues of the paying organization (whether it was Reagan stepping out of the White House and into a Japanese payout--IIRC, or Pres. Clinton getting huge payout just for "phoning it in".

But, in the end, there is still a 40% Federal income tax, and in California, an 11% income tax. Add those together with sales taxes, property taxes, etc.... We can discuss what the tax rates should be (although, I would really like the Heinz/Kerry Federal tax rate of 12%--link in name).

We can also discuss how Senator Ted Kennedy keeps his trust money in off-shore accounts, how the "real rich" put their monies in tax exempt foundations and employ their children in those foundations--with huge pay checks from tax exempt funds, how fmr. Senator Edwards used a charity to fund his "pre-campaigning" travels, etc.

In the end, both (all parties) are getting rich on "small" government paychecks through conflict of interest deals that would throw all of us "little people" in jail. We can discuss real reform and real teeth to the laws (no lobbyist spouses, kids--or you can't vote on the bill/sit on the committee; and one I recently just heard--illegal campaign contributions to one party would have to be coughed up and paid to the other party--I.e., Hsu's monies paid to the Democrats would have to be given to the Republican, Green, Peace & Freedom, etc. based on the last vote percentages--or something like that, bet that would increase vetting by 100%).

Mr. Chrickmore, I really appreciate your willingness to to discuss and get past my sarcastic initial posts (which were aimed squarely at the initial post's "fluff"). It is really a breath of fresh air on almost any blog/board.



Well, I doubt that it is Republican Money-Cons that are running this country all by their lonesome... A great top-ten hit from 2003 (link in name):

Senate millionaires
John Kerry, D-Massachusetts: $163,626,399
Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin: $111,015,016
John Rockefeller, D -West Virginia: $81,648,018
Jon Corzine, D-New Jersey: $71,035,025
Dianne Feinstein, D-California: $26,377,109
Peter Fitzgerald, R-Illinois: $26,132,013
Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey $17,789,018
Bill Frist, R-Tennessee: $15,108,042
John Edwards, D-North Carolina: $12,844,029
Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts: $9,905,009

The money is corrupting EVERYONE in the system. Senator Dianne Feinstein had to leave her senate committee "...for years she has been on the committee overseeing hundreds of millions of contracts that have gone to her husbands companies. Many were no bid. In late 2005, her husband is caught with this conflict of interest and sells his positions in these firms. Now, that he no longer needs her help, she resigns as Chair of the Committee, noting the possibility of a conflict of interest. This, as if she never knew before."

As long as the effort is made to point the finger "one way"... The officials in office will continue to skim cash from our government.

This is why I believe that government needs to be as small as possible--simply leaves less money for this "fine citizens" to steal and give to their friends. A huge government is a target for every con-man or woman out there.

Plus, once the government pays for everything--it gives them tremendous control over all of our lives... Just look at what Sen. Edwards proposed--mandatory health care and mandatory checkups. Will you go to jail because you did not have a doctor's checkup last year?

Or, like the NHS in Britain--They will refuse to work on you if you are fat or smoke? Or take away your unborn child based on what a pediatrician says, whom you never met, because of some issues you had as a child (in UK, woman was rapped at 17 and was depressed--now at 22 they want to take away her child when it is born--probably because the local government needs to increase is successful adoption rates--that are set by another government agency.


Steve Crickmore:

Bill, We've moved away from the main point of the thread, the White House infatuation with arbitrary rule, but you raise some interesting points ..8 of 10 of the richest senators are Democrats, so perhaps we shouldn't single out the Republicans for having an exclusive class-interest in maintaining the status quo...As Gore Vidal says "There is only one party in the US, the property party"..It wasn't until 1939 ,that the US passed the 24th amendment doing away with the poll tax, the post civil war successor to the property qualification for voting..But it is the American dream and no one wants taxes that act as heavy disincentives.

I remember living in the UK when they had a 90% upper bracket tax, a large percentage of the rich people voted with their feet by leaving..but I don't recall the NHS being so punitive as you say, since alot of their patients must be heavy smokers and drinkers (if you can recall British pubs)

I live in Brazil now, and they have a two tier system: 60% of the people manage (when the doctors are not strike) with the free state health scheme ward clinics and public hospitals, and 40% with private doctors, private clinics, private hospitals for those who can afford private health insurance or those who work for the state or large compainies..and for the third world, it works well enough, at least in the city I live in, Goiania.... later- Steve

Lee Ward:

Bill moved it away from the thread with his first three comments focusing on what was a remark in passing about charity giving.


I think the point of my replies was that the post did not even address the content of the block quotes.

My suggestion was to drop the off thread nature of the post and directly discuss what was in the block quotes...

First paragraphs supplied by Mr. Crickmore:

"All conservative legal minds in the White House aren't necessarily given to voicing the unconscionable, though one such is, Dick Cheney's Dick Cheney, David Addington.

Glenn Greenwald, ex-constitutional law and civil rights litigator, previews the release of a new book, "The Terror Presidency," by Jack Goldsmith, who after deducting some minor expenses, is donating the advance and any profits to charity. Can you imagine Bush or Cheney doing anything like that? Needless to say such a book from someone charitable who headed the Office of Legal Counsel, the division of the Justice Department that advises the president on the limits of executive power excoriates the 'Bushies and the Cheneys'. Here is Greenwald beginning: "

Dick Cheney being "unconscionable"... Check first reply about Mr. Cheney donating 77% of is net income per a decision made years earlier...

Argument by Authority--Mr. Greenwald, second paragraph, first sentence... Middle of my third post pointing out that Mr. Greenwald has made a habit of sock puppeting in support of his own opinions and lying about it--not the sign of a very confident authority whose word I would take as an ex-constitutional law and civil rights litigator.

First, second, and third of my posts address my facts about (Bush, Cheney, & Cheney's spouse's) charity against the argument of imagination vs the authority of a person whom will donate, sometime in the future, lying when it did not even matter...

Then we get into the block quote which is remarkably fact free--a bunch of statments of opinion--but not one fact to actually question or discuss (other than me going "no he didn't, and somebody else going "yes he did"...).

So, now we go to another article where some facts are discussed... First fact:

"The president has already decided that terrorists do not receive Geneva Convention protections,"...

Flash, the Geneva Convention only covers Uniformed Combatants and unarmed/non-combatants. Nowhere does it cover people fighting without a uniform or under a non-military structure. (link in name).

In fact, a military combatant cannot be questioned, or charged with any crimes (other than war crimes) in either a military or civilian court. Only terrorist may be charged with crimes directly arrising from their conduct on the field of battle... And may be summarily shot as spies if captured by any military.

Again, the rest of the block quote has almost no verifiable facts--but just opinions ("flimsy legal opinions"). I have seen many flimsy legal opinions--including those from the Supreme Court over the years/decades/centuries.

We have gone some 200 years without the FISA court (created in 1978)--so there is obviously nothing in the constitution that requires FISA--this was an attempt at oversight by congress... and whether it is is legal regarding war-time combatants is probably just another "flimsy legal option" away... And there are many that believe the FISA court is adding in the stomping of our rights...

In the end, there are checks and balances between all three branches regarding domestic actions... However, the Presidential powers are virtually unchecked regarding any foreign activities. (I am not the first person to make that observation by any means).

As per my suggestion in my third post--just get to the meat of your arguments... Most of what I could factually discuss was "off topic" or not even discussed by the original poster. And the one "fact" is hardly a fact at all.

Lee Ward:

Thanks for clearing that up, Bill.

Steve Crickmore:

Bill..At the very least, you compel one to look at the Geneva conventions more closely...I don't have much time but the Administration legal rationalization that Goldsmith questioned pretty specious (as the Supreme Court has ruled ) that Bush, Cheney, Addington decided that being neither fish nor fowl 'an unlawful combatant' would not be accorded either 3rd or 4th or any Geneva Convention rights.(Didn't they look at intent of the framers of the Geneva convention).The world had been dealing with terrorists, the IRA, the ETA, the PLA etc for many years..I don't recall Spain, Israell or the UK..saying they wouldn't be protected. as either a civiiian or combatant..I'll just quote Wikipedia,on the the Geneva Conventions since I must pick up my daughter from school now..

Human Rights Watch have pointed out that in a judgement, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia interpreted the International Committee of the Red Cross, Commentary: IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva: 1958) to mean that:

there is no gap between the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions. If an individual is not entitled to the protection of the Third Convention as a prisoner of war ... he or she necessarily falls within the ambit of [the Fourth Convention], provided that its article 4 requirements [defining a protected person] are satisfied.[12]
The implication is that the status of unlawful combatant does not exist, as a person is either a combatant, or a civilian. If found to be civilian, then they may have committed some criminal acts, for which they can be punished under criminal law, that if committed by a combatant would not be illegal under the laws of war.

Many governments and human rights organizations worry that the introduction of the unlawful combatant status sets a dangerous precedent for other regimes to follow. When the government of Liberia detained American activist Hassan Bility in 2002, Liberian authorities dismissed the complaints[70] of the United States, responding that he had been detained as an unlawful combatant.

Lee Ward:

Yoo's gross departure from sanity is predicated on the definition that 9/11 was an act of war - not a criminal act.

That's why boy-George declared this a "war on Terror". "See, it's a war! I said so!

From there, Mr. Yoo decided that these enemy combatants did not belong to a member nation state of the Geneva convention, therefore the geneva rights didn't apply.

It's perilous house of cards where they started at the desired conclusion - no rights of these enemy combatants, and worked there way back through the illogical spider web of bullshit they concocted to try to fool the SCOTUS.

The War Crime Trials will bring the whole mess to light. Something to look forward to...


Hassan Bility--did a quick read-up on him... That was the government (if you can call it one) by Charles Taylor--your run of the mill thug (as I recall).

Most likely, what was done to Mr. Bility was a travesty of justice--but he was a citizen of the country and the dictator in charge of Liberia wanted to have his way with Mr. Bility.

Such are the problems in much of the world...

And I am not a big fan of the international courts... There is no international law--there are treaties, of which the US has signed, and others which is has not. Obviously, Mr. Taylor did not worry much about international law either--just his ability to pocket international aid into his own pocket (another pet peeve of mine).

I guess, from what little I have read, it is possible that international treaties can trump US Constitutional Law--just by the signature of a president (and, has been argued, without congressional approval).

I do not like that or personally agree that our constitution can be changed without a constitutional convention...

But, I am getting out of my depth here--I do not know anything in depth about this subject.

However, we cannot argue both ways that the non-uniformed combatants can not be held until the end of the war, cannot be tried for crimes, but must be released without trial, or by civilian courts with zero relevance about actions taken in a foreign country.


It was an act of war by Bin Laden... He said so multiple times. Iran has been at war with the US for the last 30 years--we just did not respond in kind.

The problem is that Islam is not a religion with fixed leaders and structure... Virtually anyone can claim to be a religious leader in Islam, and if one has followers--is a defacto leader in Islam.

Also, Islam is both a religion and a form of government. There is no separation between church or state, and no head of the religion (like the Pope in Rome).

How do you fight it? I don't know--but burying one's head in the sand is not going to resolve the issue.

Perhaps, we should review the last war we had with Islam (the Barbary Coast Pirates and Jefferson--IIRC). We had a nice little war with them--IIRC my history correctly.

So, we are left with having war with Bin Laden, or attacking the states in which he resided (or both). And, as I have posted elsewhere, we already were (and continued to be) at war under a congressional declaration of war, signed by both the president and the vice president, with Iraq back in 1998 under Pres. Clinton.

Steve Crickmore:

Bill..Excuse the block quotes..I don't have time to write a shorter comment..

"President Clinton announced a new policy toward Iraq of "regime change." On October 31, 1998 the president signed into law H.R. 4655, the "Iraq Liberation Act." [1] [2] The new Act appropriated funds to Iraqi opposition groups in the hope of removing Saddam Hussein from power and replacing his regime with a democracy.

The Act also said that "Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize or otherwise speak to the use of United States Armed Forces (except as provided in section 4(a)(2)) in carrying out this Act." Section 4(a)(2) states "The President is authorized to direct the drawdown of defense articles from the stocks of the Department of Defense, defense services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training for [Iraqi democratic opposition] organizations."

Doesn't quite sound like a declaration of war to me...

From the same Wikipedia article

"The December 1998 bombing of Iraq (code-named Operation Desert Fox) was a major four-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets from December 16-December 19, 1998 by the United States and United Kingdom. These strikes were undertaken in response to Iraq's continued failure to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as their interference with United Nations Special Commission inspectors.

It was a major flare-up in the Iraq disarmament crisis. The stated goal of the cruise missile and bombing attacks was to disrupt Saddam's ability to maintain his grip of power.

In 2002, Scott Ritter, 7 years a weapons inspector with UNSCOM, who seems to have been about the most sensible, perispacious and knowledgeable American about Iraq for almost a decade.. And for for that reason, few people, including even the Clintonites, would or wanted to listen to him.

In 1998, the Republican-controlled Congress passed the Iraqi Liberation Act. The weight of public American law now demanded the removal of Saddam Hussein. The American government went on to use data gathered by UNSCOM, narrowly meant to pinpoint possible areas of investigation, to choose bombing targets in an operation called Desert Fox. Confrontation, rather than resolution, continued to be the rule. By 1999, however, Hussein was still in power.

"An open letter was written to Bill Clinton in the fall of 1999," said Ritter, "condemning him for failing to fully implement the Iraqi Liberation Act. It demanded that he use the American military to facilitate the Iraqi opposition's operations inside Iraq, to put troops on the ground and move on up to Baghdad to get rid of Saddam. Who signed this letter? Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, Robert Zoellick, Richard Perle, and on and on and on."


Well, anytime somebody commits $97,000,000 to the overthrow of a country's leader by another country--that is pretty much a declaration of war--From the text of the debate (sorry, I don't read "House" but it appears that either Mr. Gilman (NY) or Mr. Hamilton (Indiana) or Mr. Paul (Texas) said:

"I see this piece of legislation as essentially being a declaration of virtual war. It is giving the President tremendous powers to pursue war efforts against a sovereign Nation. It should not be done casually. I think it is another example of a flawed foreign policy that we have followed for a good many decades."...

And I agree--it is a mealy mouthed declaration of war against Saddam. It gave Pres. Clinton enough coverage approve two strikes and pull back at least one of those attacks which was about to start).

But, absent declarations of war and UN approvals have never stopped a president from bombing foreign countries... Reagan did in Libya, and Clinton did this with the 1995 NATO bombing in Bosnia and Herzegovina (no declarations of war that I could ever find). No attacks against any NATO countries requiring defense that I was aware of...

Scott Ritter is a "complex" person with multiple views and entanglements over the years. One could pick from any of his numerous quotes over the years (and personal relationships) and prove just about anything. (not sure what "perispacious" means... "around" and "spacious" or "vast in scope"?)

In the end, any president has a vast amount of power and resources at their beck and call for use in the foreign arena--I hope that the election will result in a wise and thoughtful president and careful in the projection of power.

In the end, any diplomatic solutions (Executive), laws (legislature), or decisions (judgments), requires enforcement. Enforcement inside a country, is typically civilian law enforcement. Out side a countries borders--that is military enforcement.

Our government's power derive from the rights of the govern--in the US, we are citizens, not subjects. International "laws" and courts have no such foundation. Also, no ability to enforce either--except with the acquiescence of the various governments who choose to follow such treaties and organizations. And, relatively rarely, with military projection by those same countries.

To say that 9-11-2001 was not an act of war--then begs the question of what was it. Virtually everyone (those in the US and subject to US laws on 9/11 or before) who took part in the attack, died in the attack (at least from what we have been told).

So, here we are with ~3,000 dead and the perp's dead too. NYPD can't arrest anyone. The FBI can't arrest anyone in the US (and can only arrest those outside the US with the consent of the local government officials--Afghanistan was not likely to give up anyone).

And we cannot task our military to do anything in the US (generally illegal) or outside of the US (US military actions would be an act of war in any foreign country).

And trying diplomacy (as we have seen time after time) is pretty useless without a "big stick" backing it up.

So, here we are with 9/11 defined as a "criminal" act and we convict one or two people left alive that were not quick enough to skip the US.

I guess we will be subject to more "criminal attacks" (in country, and overseas) every 18 months or so over the next 8 years. Or, we use military attacks to disable the "criminal organizations" wherever they may be found--and we have zero attacks over the last 7 or so years...

I guess I made my choice (are there other issues, costs and blow-back--you bet--that is why you hope the president and others make the correct decisions who's eventual outcomes may not be clear for years or decades too come).


PS: Steve, I very much appreciate your feedback and efforts to find original sources. I may not always agree with them, but I sure enjoy learning about these alternative views and information that I was not aware of before.

I never claim to have all the answers, or that there are always correct answers to any situation. Bush, as a war-time president, IMHO, has been pretty good. For domestic policy, he has not always been somebody that I have agreed with (pretty "liberal" for my tastes, prescription drug plan, very little spending restraint).

Pres. Clinton, has been pretty good on some domestic policy (welfare reform and such), but, again IMHO, not great for other points (only budget reductions were from drastic cuts in our standing military and poor foreign policy--undeclared wars, world police, high taxes).

And Mr. Ward, I have thoughtfully (usually) replied to your points while you have taken the usual off thread potshots. Want to respond in kind?

Lee Ward:

No thanks, BfC, you lost me when you ran off at the mouth on the charity aspect. I didn't even bother to read your drivel after that. What an amazing display of brain diarrhea. The spam filter got it right the first time.

I do understand that many Republicans are absolutely traumatized by the current state of their party and its chances in 2008, but chin up. In a decade or so you guys might have shot at retaking the White House.

Feel free to respond to my comment about Yoo - if you can stand to get on topic for once. It isn't off-topic as you suggest - but that just proves that you put your motor mouth in gear without comprehending the post you were commenting on.

n October of 2003, Jack Goldsmith -- a right-wing lawyer with radical views of executive power and long-time friend of John Yoo -- was named by the Bush administration to head the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel, one of the most influential legal positions in the executive branch. During his tenure, he discovered numerous legal positions which the administration had adopted (many created by Yoo) that he found baseless and even unconscionable -- from torture to detention powers to illegal surveillance -- and he repudiated many of them, thereby repeatedly infuriating the most powerful White House officials, led by Cheney top aide David Addington. As a result, his tenure was extremely brief, and he was gone a mere 9 months after he began.

My comment supports Goldsmith's contention that Yoo was way off base. Feel free to support Yoo's arguments i fyou wish - no wait a minute, you already confessed somewhere up in your drivel-fest that you hadn't clue on the subject.



Ohhhh! a "pffff!" from Mr. Ward.

Again quoting a fact less quote. What is there to discuss.

"...discovered numerous legal positions which the administration had adopted (many created by Yoo) that he found baseless and even unconscionable -- from torture to detention powers to illegal surveillance -- and he repudiated many of them, thereby repeatedly infuriating the most powerful White House officials,"...

To quote Mr. Ward, "pffff!"

Steve Crickmore:

Scott Ritter...July 2002 (8 months before the Iraqi invasion) According to Scott Ritter,

who spent seven years in Iraq with the UNSCOM weapons inspection teams performing acidly detailed investigations into Iraq's weapons program, no such capability exists. Iraq simply does not have weapons of mass destruction, and does not have threatening ties to international terrorism. Therefore, no premise for a war in Iraq exists. Considering the American military lives and the Iraqi civilian lives that will be spent in such an endeavor, not to mention the deadly regional destabilization that will ensue, such a baseless war must be avoided at all costs. This is not about the security of the United States," said this card-carrying Republican while pounding the lectern.

"This is about domestic American politics. The national security of the United States of America has been hijacked by a handful of neo-conservatives who are using their position of authority to pursue their own ideologically-driven political ambitions. The day we go to war for that reason is the day we have failed collectively as a nation."

perspicacity \pur-spuh-KAS-uh-tee\, noun:
Clearness of understanding or insight; penetration, discernment.


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