Flimsy Sanity: Edwards vs Suskind

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Edwards vs Suskind

The Edwards sexploits overshadowed the Suskind news that the administration had forged the letter that tied up a few loose ends regarding Hussein's evil and why war was necessary. Massive media attention could possibly have shamed the Democrats into "putting impeachment on the table". I believe that there is some level of outrage that would make America rebel.
According to an article in Politico Suskind's book The Way of the World is to be published Tuesday.

According to Suskind, the administration had been in contact with the director of the Iraqi intelligence service in the last years of Hussein’s regime, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti.

“The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001,” Suskind writes. “It said that 9/11 ringleader Mohammad Atta had actually trained for his mission in Iraq – thus showing, finally, that there was an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, something the Vice President’s Office had been pressing CIA to prove since 9/11 as a justification to invade Iraq. ”
Suskind contends Cheney established “deniability” for Bush as part of the vice president’s “complex strategies, developed over decades, for how to protect a president.”

“After the searing experience of being in the Nixon White House, Cheney developed a view that the failure of Watergate was not the break-in, or even the cover-up, but the way the president had, in essence, been over-briefed. There were certain things a president shouldn’t know – things that could be illegal, disruptive to key foreign relationships, or humiliating to the executive.

“They key was a signaling system, where the president made his wishes broadly known to a sufficiently powerful deputy who could take it from there. If an investigation ensued, or a foreign leader cried foul, the president could shrug. This was never something he'd authorized. The whole point of Cheney’s model is to make a president less accountable for his action. Cheney’s view is that accountability – a bedrock feature of representative democracy – is not, in every case, a virtue.”

I first heard Suskind on this segment of NPR. In the interview he says he has tapes of the CIA agents who told him about the request for the forged letter that came to the CIA on administration stationery. Now these agents are saying they never said it. Unfortunately when it comes to lying, we are more enthralled with infidelity and denial (stop the presses) than high crimes.

Regarding Edwards, if you check the timelines, Slate has been talking about this affair for a long time so it is curious why main stream media exposed it now.
I'll admit I am a bit curious about the Edwards thing (heh, heh) too. I want to know why a 44 year old "party girl" gets pregnant (or why anybody that old decides to start childbearing and raising a teenager in their 60's) unless it means lifelong payments. The Huffington Post dissects the whole timeline pretty well. I of course feel sympathy for the wives - Edwards and the aide's who "fell on the sword". I favored Edwards for the Democratic candidate because of his worker stances, but my loyalty faltered with the haircut business and disappeared when my cousin told me he invested in hedge funds so he was not a working man's savior. Expect plenty of moral outrage and probably some reward for the neo-con's out of this. This short part of a lecture by Thomas Frank describes how the backlash works.


  • At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It also knocked the anthrax business out of the spotlight. When it comes to the war on terror, I don't think there is anything that ISN'T a lie.

  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger Greener Than Thou said…

    As I read this, it seems that at 8am you posted that you believed that the Democrats could be shamed into finally supporting impeachment, and at noon you posted a blogger pointing out that the hallmark of our advanced Big Brother government is that they cannot be shamed into better behavior.
    Early morning optimism turning into clear-eyed realism in the mid-day light?
    Did you notice that Mussharef took the threat of impeachment seriously? And that Russian officials answer Western criticism? While we in the US are subjected to such strict control of the media that our Dear Leaders don't have to bother.


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