Blinking In The Sunlight

The aftermath of Obama’s release of the torture memo continues to activate profound anxieties only tangentially related to the actual crimes committed. Most interesting to us is how it shines a light on those in the Democratic party who acquiesced to the Warlord’s extra-legal ideology. Daschle, Pelosi, Rockefeller, Harman, etc. are likely it seems to the Stiftung complicit either overtly or by omission.

Oh say can you see

All the more reason to be thankful that the American people according to recent polls continue to have personal and institutional faith in the Obama presidency. It helps that there is trust somewhere. Congress is not likely to distinguish itself handling the torture inquiry as a matter of day-to-day political acumen. That’s a lead pipe cinch where Republicans are concerned. Still, congressional leaders’ moral contamination will be only the proverbial icing on the cake.


  1. Comment says

    Pelosi is somewhat blessed in that the media narrative of her as a liberal means that she is regarded – prima facie – as soft and therefore anti toture – Just as Condi being a nice black conservative moderate (no Clarence) must somehow be a good cop.

    Facts may say otherwise re Pelosi – In which case her narrative ID may shift to Pelosi the ethnic pol from Baltimore ol days gets tough and shed the SF wine and cheese liberalism but got in over her head with Cheney evil.

  2. DrLeoStrauss says

    (@) Aldershot How Pelosi navigates inquiries about congressional approval of the torture routines will be fascinating for sure. Seemingly all bets are off where this goes from here so everyone will be surprised together in real time.

    The mini series we all chatted about last year may have been ‘The Company’ with Michael Keaton as a romanticized Angleton. Well done TV IMO but not terribly accurate. So the two entertainments are at opposite polar nodes in many ways.

  3. Aldershot says

    re Good Shepherd, Doc, what was that CIA(?) mini-series that was available online that you talked about last year?

  4. Aldershot says

    Doc, re blood in the water, how likely is it that one of the benefits of releasing the memos was to bring Pelosi to heel?

  5. Comment says

    Pelosi is often unimpressive on TV interviews – she has few rhetorical phrases to draw on and often sort of babbles a vague liberal cant.

    But people speak well of her behind closed doors .
    So she has to close that gap.

  6. Comment says

    re Tenet and Condi – Leo, have you come to grips with the two main defenses of Tenet and Condi

    1) Tenet worked in his dad’s Diner – a Greek diner – conveying ethniki-authenticity and old school New Yorkery.

    2) In addition to being black and from Birmingham – Condi plays the piano and speaks a complicated forein language.

  7. Comment says

    MY is using Goss’s late flatulence as a pretext here –

    But Bybee is a good example of the cost of secrecy – His memos – mystically powerful in a La Noonan sense – like the Bourbons – were totally dependent on secrecy to maintain image of competence.

    Lots of problems the Agency had was having too many things secret and the presumption of sec clearance and the resulting arrogance/over estimation that sometimes created.

    Secret law (ie OLC memos) is very different, imo, than secret ops – But there is a link – imo – between that boneheaded op in Italy (something Scheur fails to grok on his balance sheet) and a general mediocrity the became elevated due to the various secret elements in the US and Italy that saw them at odds with so many other areas of their own countries.

    That’s sort of a jumble – But the fact that sismi or whatever is on board does not mean Italy or Italians – broadly speaking – are on board. So you have all these cross currents clashing with loathed neocons setting policy and that policy being carried out by some who loath them but loath others more. Then others that loath them even more than they loath themselves side with imams they loath in competeing loath-osity.

  8. Comment says

    LOL – we are reminded of reading of the concerns at Hyde Park Chicago when they worried unleashing a chain reaction might not stop – The whole world might end – The Tenet-Condi implosion theory is a bit of a reversal of that scenario = But taking it seriously, it seems there was a result of clashing vacuity more than (0 x 0 = 0). In fact – a negation occured – there was probably a net loss of life on earth (deaths v. births/lives saved) that could be directly attributed to the clashing vacuities multiplied by the raw negation of the OVP dark star sucking up energy and emiting dark matter bending light toward the Ferragamo/birth pang Horizon.
    But the true power of that fact that this babble anon just uttered makes more sense than it should.

  9. Dr Leo Strauss says

    You could be right. Good Shepherd the only genre movie we recall seeing in ages. Oh wait. Caught Casino Royale on cable. Missed all the Damon and other stuff.

    It is a marvel of physics that the space time continuum did not implode whenever Tenet sat down with Cher Condi. Two collapsing stars of vacuity ordinarily would bend space and time around them with the Event Horizon being a Ferragamo shoe store. Now that would be a genre movie possibly worth seeing, especially in IMAX.

  10. Anon says

    Btw – torture debate had fringe benefits for Obama – scuttling MSM over reconciliation faux-controversy.

    Obama is still underrated – IMO – In the sense that the polls (same as Bush for his 100 days) do not convey the depth of change he is embedding (facts on the ground) and the deep loyalty he is establishing with much of middle America,

    • Dr Leo Strauss says

      Re Ronin, agree the car chases demonstrated creativity and flair. We’re partial to Jean Reno and Natascha McElhone in any event and De Niro was adequate. Ronin at least was honest in its failings being emblematic of the rut the spy genre reached in the 1990s, Davos-ism, sock puppet dot coms, etc.

  11. Anon says

    Scarborough’s attraction/repulsion to Hollyweird and the Upper West Side – a mere quirk

  12. Anon says

    Gasparino et al were all hired because they conveyed a ‘tude of non elitist elitism – Good ‘ol Charlie – cigars and scotch and steaks and Hank Greenberg – who cares about pay checks and stock prices?

  13. Anon says

    It was funny that Tucker screamed that Stewart attacked conservatives – Scarborough too – But Tweety and Cramer are supposedly Dems.

    Have you ever seen “Ronin?”

    We’re watching it bits — we saw it when it came out – overall a so so movie with a weak plot, but awesome chase scenes.

  14. Dr Leo Strauss says

    King, like McCain, is erratic in the best of times. He certainly did not distinguish himself as Chair of the HLS Committee, but then it was an impossible task as every other Committee chairperson was out to gut it for jurisdictional reasons. (Jurisdiction is only slightly less important than fundraising in the ladder of congressional priorities). Never did warm to him or his staff. We haven’t looked at the actual numbers recently, but he must be one of the handful of Republicans alive in the Northeast.

    It’s funny how all of them – Charlie G., Tweety, Tucker – trounced by Stewart have the same overall psychological profile, insecurities and flash points. Scarborough also has that instinctive bent. Truly sad to see Mika descend to mere Den Mother from Hell. A true Truth and Reconciliation Commission appropriately would devote most of its efforts codifying for posterity the media’s culpability in enabling the Warlord’s reign.

  15. Anon says

    Gasparino always compensates by yelling about people who have already been discredited or convicted.

    Hey – did you know The Beltway Boys seems to be cancelled? What are we gonna do without Kondracke
    speaking truth to power and offering
    contrarian insights?

  16. Anon says

    Some aspects of Iran-Contra still stay with us – Just as a better lawyer than Bybee could have drafted memos that could be law review worthy – the Iran-Contra scheme could have worked with some better thinking. They got too cute and too complicated. There is no reason, it seems from this distance, they could not have used the Saudis and as seperate conduits to the contras and the Israelis as conduits to the Iranians.
    A good computer game maybe could be re-doing past scandals – program all the relevant info – and see if you can get it right.
    Maybe we’re just being simplistic – the human factor always rules – For example – why is Irish Republican Army apologist Peter King a torture advocate? Many torture scandals emerged from British efforts against IRA bombers – Ultimately, it didn’t really change the equation – Does King really believe torture will prevent another 9-11? We doubt it – there was plenty of intelligence available obtained torture free to prevent 9-11, but things fell apart for many other reasons.
    For King – torture is more likely a cultural trope he can mouth off about with Tweety and pretend to be a tough guy.

  17. Anon says

    re Iran Contra – didn’t Congress stumble on purpose because they did not want the facts to lead to Reagan’s impeachment?

  18. Anon says

    Or maybe this works better – I’d rather take a yoga class from the Hunchback of Notre Dame than listen to Bybee defend torture.

    • Dr Leo Strauss says

      Bybee’s clumsy, hamfishted intellect is a blessing. Certainly, his crudities reflect not only his prowess but also are a fitting match for his clients’ macht politik amorality.

      How more damaging and fearsome if OLC were staffed with supple, sophisticated intellects capable of dressing the regime’s expediency with erudition, sophisticated analysis and compelling prose. Bybee et al. are are easier to take down and their positions discredited as Dredd Scott/Korematsu legal outlier blunders.

      We are convinced that Congress in its Duma decay will inevitably botch an inquiry both substantively and politically. When it was a far more formidable institution Congress stumbled badly on Iran Contra. Similarly, an independent Truth Commission or what not will serve as a vital stalking horse for the Movement. One shudders to think what miscues will give us the new Ollie North.

      Can DoJ be trusted to conduct a purely fact based inquiry? We don’t know what has happened to the Office of Professional Responsibility and other organs under the old regime and since January 2009. We do think that a DoJ fact inquiry has the best chance to work absent the kleig lights.

      We side with Gates: the memos’ release was an inevitability. Granting indemnification to those officers/contractors who acted in reliance on the OLC memos was the right thing to do for government. President Obama wisely limited indemnification to those within the four corners of the memos – an interesting distinction given timelines now being fleshed out.

      There’s no statute of limitations on war crimes. Get the facts in the least politicized environment possible. Deciding questions of prosecution and blame now is premature. Above all, the key issue is to deny the Movement an opportunity to snatch victory from jaws of defeat. The Movement needs this issue now, today, to rescue itself. We prefer to see the Movement gnaw on its innards via tea parties and the like on the path to further marginalization.

      It will be interesting to see if the Democrats and the Left understand the long term strategic dynamics — an essential for governance — or want just the immediate visceral thrills of another Special Comment.

  19. Anon says

    Being judged by Judge Bybee is like taking a Pilates class from the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

    That’s our newer adaption.

  20. Anon says

    Goss must see legal trouble ahead – Whenever a politician begins a column, as Goss does in WaPo, by stating he is reluctantly speaking for patriotic reasons, is really
    only worried about his compromised position.

    We predict he will regret this column – His use of the subjunctive was too un-subtle too obvious and it seems to vindicate Pelosi in a technical sense when he says she shoulda woulda yada yada.

    Also the timelines indicate it was an after the fact briefing —

  21. Anon says

    On another c-span channel Ann Marie Cox is doing a panel with Obama and McCain e-compaign planners/
    McCain’s former staffer should be embrassed to show up – His internet campaign was awful – lots of blast faxes and email forwards of innuendo – Very little organization.
    Mr. Palmer – McCain’s guy looks like someone who was just finishing up a class in finance when he was tapped to compete with all the googlemavens Obama hired.

  22. Anon says

    Some unintentional humor on c-span today – We see an AEI conference about religion – the camera spans the room – half-empty and sorta bored (compared to a kaganfest).

    John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge of the Economist are announcing “God is Back.” But for this audience it’s really like “Joe” “The” “Plumber” a al “God” “Is” “Back” – It’s all very distant and socio-political with
    looks of concern mixing with looks of hope from the highly secular and semi bored audience.

    Both Economist journalists talk lots about modern mgt. techniques and modernity – But both men look like spoofs of Brits on the Daily Show.

    Michael Barone – a morose unreligious man – gets up to speak and pose a question ..

  23. Anon says

    re Harmon – an interesting wrinkle in that story that we did not notice – Harmon did not just defend Bush while under surveillance – But she worked behind the scenes
    to stop the NY Times from publishing the Fisa story right before the election.
    It looked like Harmon was secretly helping suppres as story that would help her own political party because Bush was in a weakened state.

  24. Anon says

    To borrow a quote from the sometimes-funny George Galloway – Being judged by Bybee is like being told to sit up straight by the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

  25. Anon says

    We do think impeachment should be invesitigated re Bybee – Bybee – the bug man – is sort of ogre and probably not as well liked by the swells as the more clubable Yoo or Condi or whatever.

    There must be some way to adapt Tallyrand to Bybee – In that he didn’t just sanction crime, but did not do it with style – His poorly written memos – complete with a portentous tone – really make him a problematic judge –

    Secrecy hides incompetence – La Noonan wants mystery. Yeah.

    The idea of Bybee sitting in judgement is laughable – a third rate yes man – a thug enabler, without flair.

  26. Anon says

    We generally approve of the way Obama is handling this – We saw Dan Balz on Wash W. Review wigging out about the “left” forcing his hand etc etc.

    We don’t think Balz really believes this – the main torture debate, such as it exists, is on the right – Between people like Dr Burton Lee of Bush 41 and many conservative thinking nationals sec. types versus the
    laptop bombadiers of the wsj and sundry chickenhawks and radio sadists.

    The second debate – as you noted , is not about the morality of torture (many actual right wingers would never hurt a fly but are posing), but about the see-no evil Pelosis and the oozy dem-lib establishment, plus the Serious Ignatius types.

    Obama has to respect this power – and work around it – The way to do that is the way he doing it – namely, leave the “lawyers” to twist in the wind waiting and waiting and waiting, whilst extending rhetorical protection to the people the DC elite does not really care about – those who followed orders.

    Greenwald and others differ – aclu etc – But they would never gain power or hold it –
    It is annoying that the press has allowed the falsehood to persist that Obama is a prosecutor.

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