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Nobody Knows Nothing

Tuesday, Mar. 06, 2007 10:28 AM

A past entry once asked the question of the Bush Administration, "Is there anyone who does know?" � inspired by a string of, 'I don't think anyone knew �' answers from various officials.

Well, they still don't know.

Internal Justice Department documents have shown that the eight recently-dismissed federal attorneys were not, as the Department of Justice asserted, released for 'performance issues.'

But the actual reason seems to be a mystery.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says, "We could have rolled out the decisions more smoothly," but adds a carefully-phrased denial.

"To think we made these changes to retaliate or because they didn't carry out certain prosecutions? That did not occur here. I stand by the decision to make the changes."

There are two failures here. One is the legislators who allowed the clause permitting the dismissals into the USA PATRIOT Act. The only reason given was that the Bush Administration needed the flexibility. Let's face it, President Bush has been given so much flexibility, he should be a pretzel, not be choking on one.

The second is the Justice Department's inability to offer cause. If you're replacing a capable attorney who has received a favorable performance review, there's got to be a reason.

And in case you missed it, Gonzales' denial, above, does not cover making the changes to replace objective prosecutors with sycophants and suck-ups beholden to the Bush Administration.

In regards to Iraq and the Democrats, they clearly haven't learned from their past mistakes. They're still playing the same iffy-maybe-waffly-weasly game that let the Republicans stomp all over them on national security issues for the past six years.

Yes, they tell us, the war in Iraq is wrong. We need to bring the troops home.

But we, um, well, we don't want to be perceived as not supporting the troops, so we won't cut off the funding.

Sound familiar? It's the same sad routine of conceding a Republican talking point before you've even gotten in the ring ��as when Bush's illegal (yes, Virginia, warrantless wiretaps are still illegal) wiretap program was revealed. The White House successfully made the issue about the millions of terrorists calling Osama from the United States, instead of the flagrant violation of the law by President Bush.

And here we go again. Non-binding resolutions. Rolling over on the funding (said point specifically brought up by the White House).

If it's wrong, step up to the plate and say so. Stop backing away from the line.

If the war is wrong, cutting off the funding is not refusing to support the troops in harm's way. It is the responsible, necessary thing to do. It is the Bush Administration who must then choose whether they will support the troops by taking them out of the war zone, or persist in this damaging 'stay the course' (surge or not, this is still where we are in terms of strategy) delusion.

After all, if your teenage son was taking his allowance money and buying crack cocaine, would you increase his allowance? Would you be standing there saying, "I know he's buying crack cocaine, but I don't want to be seen as not supporting him."? No, you'd be turning off the money spigot, and maybe hustling junior into a treatment facility.

The excuse parade over conditions at Walter Reed Hospital continues. The best one I've heard so far is that Building 18 was slated to be closed, so there was no reason to fix it.

Um, how would you like it if you went to a restaurant and were served on dirty dishes? "They're only going to get dirty again, so why wash them?"

While Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is busy firing this person and that person, the question remains why these issues went ignored for so long. There are now indications that this half-assed health care for our injured soldiers is the standard, not the exception.

And remember, the man in the Oval Office dismissed concerns over multiple tours of duty with a smirk and a comment that, hey, these guys volunteered. This is a different kind of war.

If you want to look for the source of the problem, look no further than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Mr. Bush is all smiles and gosh-darn aw-shucks charm when he's telling soldiers they're fighting the good fight, but apparently can't be bothered when they're injured and living in squalid conditions.

Scooter Libby is guilty. Specifically, of obstructing an FBI investigation, perjury, and lying to the FBI in the course of an investigation.

So now what?

Unanswered are the questions about the source of Libby's information, widely believed to be Vice President DIck Cheney.

Blowing a hole in the intelligence apparatus covering the Middle East, and potentially an Iran with nuclear ambitions, is not a small issue.

Sentencing is set for June 5. Libby's attorneys have filed a routine request for a retrial.

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