Saturday, February 11, 2006

What Do These Four NYT Headlines Tell You?

Ex-FEMA Leader Faults Response by White House Ex-CIA Official Says Iraq Data Was Distorted Republican Speaks Up, Leading Others to Challenge Wiretaps Auditors Find Huge Fraud in FEMA Aid Actually, the real question is: What do the stories under the headlines NOT tell you? They do not show that the GOP is getting a backbone. First, it’s Saturday and getting people to buy a paper on Saturday calls for startling headlines. So forget what may appear to be a trend toward Republicans becoming responsible legislators. Second, it’s an election year and Republicans will say anything to get elected. Third, better read the articles because the headlines have nothing to do with the facts. The stories about FEMA are both so-whats. Michael Brown is having another temper tantrum and the fraud story is about Katrina victims allegedly perpetrating fraud not about the fraudulent FEMA agency or the fraudulent GOP. The ex-CIA official, Paul R. Pillar, who retired in October as national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, said "What is most remarkable about prewar U.S. intelligence on Iraq is not that it got things wrong and thereby misled policymakers; it is that it played so small a role in one of the most important U.S. policy decisions in decades." Although Pillar later says, "Intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions that had already been made,” his complaint is that in order for the US to get rid of Saddam who was a threat to the US, the US misused intelligence. He’s not saying that the Bush administration patently lied to start a war in the Middle East. Pillar added that some of the administration’s allies accused Mr. Pillar and others of “trying to sabotage the president's policies,” so analysts began to "sugarcoat" their conclusions. Sugarcoat? Jesus! Same old same old. Heather A. Wilson (R-NM), the Republican who is “speaking up” has been getting a lot of press lately for supposedly opposing the Prez and saying she has “serious concerns” about his order to wiretap American citizens. However, at a private retreat with White House Republicans in Cambridge, Md., when Ms. Wilson rose to ask a question of the Prez everyone expected a confrontation. But she merely thanked Mr. Bush and said that everyone wanted to catch terrorists. What a fraud. She’s just another GOP flunky wanting to get re-elected on November 7, 2006. The “others” who supposedly are challenging the wiretaps are Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chuck Hagel, (R-NE), Lindsey Graham, (R-SC) and Susan Collins (R-ME). How much are they challenging? Not so much. Hatch says that Gonzales and the GOP have “more than made a persuasive case. The real question is how do we do oversight?” Hagel says, “We want the president to succeed, but the fact is we are a coequal branch of government and we have serious oversight responsibilities." Graham says, "There's an abandonment of you-broke-the-law rhetoric by the Democrats and a more questioning attitude about what the law should be by the Republicans. And that merges for a very healthy debate." Susan Collins is the only Republican with balls. She said, "There is considerable concern about the administration's just citing the president's inherent authority or the authorization to go to war with Iraq as grounds for conducting this program. It's a stretch." Saturday headlines to the contrary, nothing but nothing has changed.

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