"Part of the answer lies in decisions made early in the Bush Administration, before [italics mine] the events of September 11, 2001. In interviews with present and former intelligence officials, I was told that some senior Administration people, soon after coming to power, had bypassed the government's customary procedures for vetting intelligence.
"...In theory, no request for action should be taken directly higher authorities -- a process known as 'stovepiping' -- without the information on which it is based having been subjected to rigorous scrutiny."
So writes Sy Hersh in the October 27 issue of The New Yorker. A fascinating piece. Essentially, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and Condi Rice decided that the CIA simply was not aggressive enough in pursuing the "truth" about Iraqi arms, so they demanded to see the raw, unvetted intelligence the CIA had. With that kind of information at your fingerprints, you could probably make a case that the Pope is hoarding nerve agents in the Vatican basement.
"'They always had information to back up their public claims, but it was often very bad information,'" Hersh quotes Kenneth Pollace, a former National Security Council expert on Iraq and a supporter of removing Hussein from power by force. Essentially, Bush's people dismantled a fifty-year system of making sure that policy makers did not see bad information.
Hersh quotes a former CIA official who said that the Administration eventually got its way. "'The analysts at the CIA were beaten down defending their assessments. And they blame George Tenet' -- the CIA director -- 'for not protecting them. I've never seen a government like this.'"
The article is a must-read and one of the more terrifying indictments of the administration. Since Bush only trusts his own advisors for the"truth," it means that he continues to get only varnished information that pushes Cheney's agenda. It also makes it easier to understand Bush's Panglossian view of how the war is going right now, as in, every time they kill another US soldier, it just shows how desperate the evil-doers are.
I haven't written much about Limbaugh's affection for oxy-contin, except maybe to point out that his statement saying he was addicted to "prescription pain killers" was a big, fat lie since there was no way a doctor prescribed the amounts he's accused of gobbling.
But reading Henrik Hertzberg's "Talk of the Town" piece in the same issue of the New Yorker (sorry, no link that I've found), made my blood boil. It was a reminder of Limbaugh's hypocrisy regarding drug laws. But it was also a testament to the incredible hypocrisy of the rest of the right wing bloviators. From Gingrich attacking Clinton while dating his own young staffer, to Bennett sitting on his lofty moral perch, only to find out he was really sitting in a casino, the right wingnuts have no shame.
From Coulter: "Rush's behavior was not all that dissolute." And, "If this is what he's like on painkillers, imagine when he's off them! Who! Set him loose once he's gone through detox."
And G. Gordon Liddy: "I would distinguish Rush's situation from someone who was a recreational drug user who was caught playing with fire and got addicted -- moving up from marijuana to cocaine or something of that sort."
And Sean Hannity: "...difference between somebody who, as part of a medical treatment, had these things prescribed and it got out of hand over time, and somebody who is using drugs recreationally."
And Neal Boortz, whom Hertzberg describes as an "Atlanta-based radio shouter:" "The addiction happened while he was under a legal regimen of these drugs. That is not at all the way people get addicted to heroine."
Oxy-contin is an opiate. It is a Schedule II drug, just like cocaine and methadone. It is illegal to take them "recreationally" "to get high." Which is what the fat liar was doing.
I'm not saying lock him up. I think the drug laws need to change. But let's can the nonsense from his "colleagues."
It is interesting to note how the wingnuts rally around their wounded comrade, while on the left, we can't wait to eat our own.
Wow. This is big news. Will Mr. Steinbrenner take the bait? Rob Nyer says no. I think he won't either. The boss is insane, but unlike the 80s when he jumped at every free agent with attitude, he's got better people around who he seems to trust. A little. And they're telling George right now that the last thing the Yankees need right now is a slugger with a chip on his shoulder who used to be the 2nd best player in the American League and is paid that way. Now he's just paid that way.
But there's no question Theo Epstein is gambling that the Yankees will jump at this. The timing is perfect: fresh off a frustrating world serious in which the sluggers couldn't slug, George could overrule his people and demand another bat.
But if the Yankees don't bite, well, then Theo's got a problem. Now he still has $100 million and five years worth of sullenness, made worse now that Manny know the Red Sox don't want him around.
King Kaufman has the results of his Jeanie Zelasko cliches through history contest.