I mnade it back from Boston in one piece, and should resume posting tomorrow.
The Dems were getting to me, so I stopped reading/watching news. I will be back when I get back into town on Sunday.
Chris Dodd’s stature just edged up a notch in my eyes (like he cares):
“Words can sting and hurt,” Dodd told The Associated Press Wednesday. “If in any way, in my referencing the Civil War, I offended anyone, I apologize.”
He said he was trying to make the point that Byrd would have been a good senator at any point, and “I was not thinking of the KKK or his vote against the Civil Rights Act.”
It took him a while, and it is still sort of wormy (“if… I offended anyone” as opposed to just admitting they were offensive remarks), but this is a straight-forward, head-on, candid apology, and not like the Clintonian nonsense we got from Lott for weeks.
Sen. Dodd- I accept, and the issue is over as far as I am concerned.
(via Ricky West)
The Political Animal is upset because he is finally starting to catch a whiff of politics in the whole 9/11 Commission. Better late than never, I say, but what is Kevin so upset about:
You can just feel the cleverness oozing from Ashcroft’s pores as he felt “compelled” to mention that Gorelick was the author of the memo, can’t you? It’s like watching a high school student council meeting.
But there’s a serious question here. The fact that Ashcroft was so pleased with himself makes it obvious that he declassified this memo for the sole purpose of embarrassing Gorelick, an action that continues a Bush administration pattern of casually declassifying anything that helps their political cause but refusing to declassify anything that might hurt them.
You mean it is sorta like certain Democrats on the 9/11 Commission demanding that an August 6th PDB that they had read be declassified so people like you could wildly exxagerate (like in this post you wrote two hours ago)the ‘information’ contained within the document and use it as a bludgeon to beat the President with as an election year stunt?
Is it something like that? I am shocked!
The offer still stands- one free months of blogads to those who sign up to advertise now.
Turns out it is a hoax. Here is the real image:
Click here for the full image.
Joanne Jacobs writes in the comments:
Somebody thought a U.S. soldier would pose with a kid holding a sign accusing the soldier of being a killer?
Unfortunately, yes. From the CAIR website:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for a Pentagon investigation of a photograph circulating on the Internet that apparently shows an American soldier mocking an Iraqi child.
The photo sent to CAIR seems to be of an American soldier standing next to two Iraqi children who are giving the thumbs-up sign. One child holds a hand-lettered sign in English that reads: “Lcpl Boudreaux killed my Dad, th(en) he knocked up my sister!” (“Knocked up” is American slang for making someone pregnant out of wedlock.)
“If the United States Army is seeking to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, this is the wrong way to accomplish that goal,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Defense Department officials must take action to let military personnel know that such offensive behavior harms America’s image and will not be tolerated.”
Awad said CAIR has also received an anonymous letter from a soldier who recently returned from Iraq that claims a commanding officer engaged in inappropriate conduct with prepubescent Iraqi girls. The letter states that the officer, who was named by the writer, referred to the girls as “pre-rag heads” and coerced local Iraqi leaders to provide them in exchange for protection by American soldiers. (The officer’s military unit was also named in the letter.)
The letter-writer indicated revulsion at the officer’s alleged actions. He or she wrote: “The thought of all this makes me sick to my stomach. I am afraid to bring this to anyone in the Army, because I am doubtful that they would believe a soldier over the Battalion Commander.”
“These reports point to a disturbing pattern of behavior that needs to be addressed by our military,” said Awad.
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has consistently condemned all terrorist acts, whether carried out by individuals, groups or states.
Islam Online also picked up the story and ran with it, including numerous other chartges (click the link to read them all- I am not wasting my bandwidth with their bile):
U.S. Muslims called for a Pentagon probe of a photograph circulating on the Internet that showing an American soldier apparently mocking an Iraqi child.
In the photo, an American soldier is standing next to two Iraqi children who are giving the thumbs-up sign.
One child holds a hand-lettered sign in English that reads: “Lcpl Boudreaux killed my Dad, th(en) he knocked up my sister!”. (“Knocked up” is American slang for making someone pregnant out of wedlock).
“If the United States Army is seeking to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, this is the wrong way to accomplish that goal,” Muslim Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad said Friday, April 2.
“Defense Department officials must take action to let military personnel know that such offensive behavior harms America’s image and will not be tolerated,” Awad said.
(Thanks to Henry Hanks for IM’ing me the link to the photo)
*** Update ***
Apparently Drudge has this too.
*** Update #2 ***
As it turns out, it is unfair to call the picture real, it is premature and unfair to call it a hoax, and in private correspondence, Mark Kleiman noted:
The Marine Corps Times story suggests that the Marine isn’t denying responsibility for the picture, and that the investigation is centering on whether the text in the picture reflects actual crimes. No doubt it doesn’t; it’s just a dumb bit of Leatherneck bragadoccio. But it seems likely that he actually posed the kid with the sign (or posed him with something innocuous and then Photoshopped the sign into existence) and that the photo with “saved” was a later bit of CYA.
Frankly- I don’t know what to believe. I want to believe this is a hoax- but if it is not, I can not think of another more disgusting and anti-productive thing for a member of the Armed Services to do.
I apologize if I misled anyone.
This from James Sensenbrenner:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.) released the following statement:
“Yesterday, a 1995 memo written by 9/11 Commission Member Jamie Gorelick, in her former role as the second in command at the Justice Department, revealed her actions in establishing the heightened ‘wall’ prohibiting the sharing of intelligence information and criminal information. Scrutiny of this policy lies at the heart of the Commission’s work. Ms. Gorelick has an inherent conflict of interest as the author of this memo and as a government official at the center of the events in questions. Thus, I believe the Commission’s work and independence will be fatally damaged by the continued participation of Ms. Gorelick as a Commissioner. Reluctantly, I have come to the conclusion that Ms. Gorelick should resign from this Commission.
“The Commission’s Guidelines on Recusals state, ‘Commissioners and staff will recuse themselves from investigating work they performed in prior government service.’ Commissioner Gorelick’s memo directing a policy that ‘go[es] beyond what is legally required’ indicates that her judgment and actions as the Deputy Attorney General in the Reno Justice Department are very much in question before the Commission. Indeed Attorney General Ashcroft called this DOJ policy, ‘the single greatest structural cause for September 11 … [and] embraced flawed legal reasoning.’ Commissioner Gorelick is in the unfair position of trying to address the key issue before the Commission when her own actions are central to the events at issue. The public cannot help but ask legitimate questions about her motives.
In a related vein, the usual suspects (check the comments- the meme will spread and I will find it later when it catches on) are already spinning the Gorelick memo as ‘nothing more than codifying already existing policy.’
Fine- I am glad the Democrats are now on record admitting that their first response after the WTC bombings in 1993 was to work to codify a policy that makes pre-emption of terrorist attacks more difficult. I am glad they have decided to go on record with that gem.
How are the usual suspects going to tell me this is bad news:
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in February as a combination of the weak U.S. dollar and stronger economic growth propelled both exports and imports to record levels, a government report showed on Wednesday.
The February trade gap totaled $42.1 billion, down more than 3 percent from January and slightly below analysts’ pre-report expectations of $42.5 billion.
U.S. exports leapt four percent — the highest monthly increase since October 1996 — to a record $92.4 billion, while imports rose 1.6 percent to a record $134.5 billion.
The politically sensitive trade gap with China fell nearly 28 percent in February as imports from that country slipped to $11.3 billion, the lowest level in nearly a year, and exports to China rose 17 percent to $3.0 billion.
The lower dollar appeared to help all categories of exports, as shipments of industrial supplies and materials and autos and auto parts both set records. Exports of consumer goods were only slightly below the record set in November and exports of capital goods, such as aircraft and industrial machines, were the highest since May 2001.
Exports of services, which include travel, also set a record.
Meanwhile, the surging U.S. economy sucked in record agricultural and industrial imports, while auto and auto parts imports had their second best showing.
Hey Big Spender:
Returning to the host city of the Democratic convention with his party’s nomination under his belt, Senator John F. Kerry last night presided over the largest political fund-raiser in Massachusetts history and offered some red meat from his trail speech for a hometown audience.
“We’re not just here tonight to raise money,” Kerry told a crowd of 3,300 gathered in a ballroom at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, a group that collectively raised $4 million for Kerry’s campaign and $1 million for the Democratic National Committee. “We’re here to mark the beginning of the end of the Bush administration.”
Go now and give to Bush/Cheney 2004.
Today’s Award for injecting Bill Clinton into an argument for no reason whatsoever goes to Matt Yglesias, who willfully and intentionally conflates the numerous Gorelick conflict of interest stories with right wing angst about Bill Clinton. Sayeth the Prospect’s newest protege:
I’m given to understand from several testy rightwing bloggers concerned that liberals have paid insufficient attention to the incident that John Ashcroft gave Democratic 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick the what-for yesterday over her involvement while at the DOJ in erecting the “wall” that made it hard for the FBI to share information properly with other agencies. If so, good for him.
One of the difficulties I think a lot of people on the right have in grasping what’s going on at the 9/11 Commission is that Bill Clinton isn’t running for president. I have no interest — not even a partisan interest — in denying that Clinton and his appointees messed up in a variety of ways. Not even a partisan interest, let me say again, because Bill Clinton isn’t running for president. My interest as a patriotic American is purely in bringing the facts to light so we can make changes for the better. My partisan interest is, especially, in bringing to light facts that reflect poorly on George W. Bush and his appointees — the various ways in which they disimproved on the inadequate Clinton-era set-up.
So, again, Bill Clinton not running for president.
We agree with one premise- Bill Clinton is not running for President. Which leads me to wonder why Matt would inject him into a conversation about national security policies- other than a blatantly transparent attempt to shift all legitimate criticisms of Gorelick’s role in creating the security mess into a pile of hubris masquerading as relentless right-wing hatred of Clinton- which, I must note, is exactly like the “Anyone But Bush” animus currently held by the Democrats.
At any rate, and Matt knows this, but George Bush IS running for President. Matt and the other Democrats have had a field day in the last few months trying pin responsibility of 9/11 on Bush’s incompetence. When it comes to light that one of the most partisan members of the Commission that the Democrats are using as a baton to beat Bush over the head is a principle actor in creating the mess that helped to hinder Bush and our intelligence agencies from stopping 9/11, it is a very legitimate avenue of inquiry and outrage.
See Matt- it isn’t about Clinton at all- and you know it. An artful dodge on your part, worthy of a Blumenthal or Begala, but one that has not gone unnoticed.
Burnplant joins Jadegold as banned. The stink was getting to me, but the kicker was when I accused him of knowing nothing, and he proceeded to state (in an idiotic defense of Gore vidal, of all people):
Unlike you, Gore Vidal was a soldier in our American Army.
It is then clear how little he knows about anything- to include this site. Heya Burnplant- see that Milblogs icon? Think deep for a second.
Look Folks- If all you are going to do is come here, insult me and other people, while having no idea who you are even talking to, what you are talking about, and taking not one minute to even investigate the opinions and ideas of other people, well, don’t let the door hit you in the ass.
Mike Hendrix is trying to help you save some time with this shorter 9/11 Commission.
I didn’t see the press conference, but I read some blogger write-ups. It has inspired me to write this short quiz.
Q: Who should apologize for 9/11?
If your answer is anything other than “Osama and the people who slammed the planes into the building,” you are an idiot.
*** Update ***
As Jeff Jarvis (and Hanks inthe comments here note:
Just amazing that the reporters keep harping on wanting Bush to say that he made a “mistake” or “failed” or should “apologize.”
Jeesh, do they think this is Oprah and they’re all Dr. Phil?
Is Democrats updating their Anyuone But Bush talking points, because on Hardball a moment ago, two 9/11 commission members, Ben Veniste and Thompson, both agreed that it was nonsense for Democrats to try to hang 9/11 on Bush, particularly in light of the much bally-hooed August 6th PDB.
Ben Veniste called Condi Rice “prescient,” both agreed that the memo was “junk,” the shoddy circumstances under which it was created was “frightening,” and that the only NEW information in the memo turned out to be wrong.
Meaning, for all you slow-witted readers outthere, that the document was, as repeatedly stated by the President and Rice, historical.