The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Writing the NIE after the war plans

"Technically" True Lies Watch

Here's one good for a laugh. George Bush, deservedly getting a lot of heat for the "Mission Accomplished" banner this spring, a couple of days ago in a (increasingly rare) press conference said that "The "Mission Accomplished" sign, of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it was attributed somehow to some ingenious advance man from staff..." Turns out, this is technically true. The sign WAS "put up" by members of the crew. However, it turns out that the sign was designed, manufactured, and brought on board by Bush's advance men. What a dope. See Media Whores Online this morning for more details, and a litany of Media Hos denouncing "pathological liar" Al Gore for comparison.

Lying Sanctimonious Druggie Watch

Who else could we be talking about? Here is a great article by the libertarians, who have argued that the war on drugs is a stupid waste of time and money, and an evil policy to boot, pointing out that if Rush Limbaugh is not thrown into the clink post haste, that the enormous hypocrisy thus exposed by the nation's "drug warriors" renders them forever irrelevant to the drug debate . I couldn't agree more. I love it when someone really skewers hypocrisy. The libertarians:

"One thing we don't hear from American politicians very often is silence," said Joe Seehusen, Libertarian Party executive director. "By refusing to criticize Rush Limbaugh, every drug warrior has just been exposed as a shameless, despicable hypocrite.

"And that's good news, because the next time they do speak up, there'll be no reason for anyone to listen."

"Intelligence" Watch

Here is an amusing entry at Talking Points Memo. In it, Josh Marshall describes how George Tenet at the CIA is being "blamed" for giving the White House bad intelligence on Iraq. But as Marshall points out, the only blame the CIA has is letting the Bushies justify bad policy with bad intelligence, and not making sure the good intelligence was used to form policy.

The White House was already so set on war, that they failed to order something called a National Intelligence Estimate, which is pretty standard procedure before something as big as the Iraq war. An NIE was finally ordered, at the request of congressional Democrats, and since then Condi Rice has made claims that directly contradict the NIE, as if she'd never read it. (For all we know, she hasn't). Here's Marshall:

"The NIE was done after the White House was already on the record with a policy. So the White Houses views on what it wanted the NIE to say were, shall we say, rather clear. And this whole project came after 18 months in which the administration was mau-mauing the CIA to come up with more alarmist reports about Iraq.

George Tenet deserves censure for allowing himself to become complicit in the politicization and manipulation of intelligence on an almost unprecedented scale. Other top officials at the Agency do as well. (And there are certainly many other issues on which the Agency itself deserves to be taken to task.)

But this fish is rotting from the head down. And the heads not George Tenet. Its a many-headed monster. And theyre all at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the OSD.

Pumpkin Watch

Here is a great 'Halloween at the White House' cartoon.

Plame Watch

Finally, here is some levity from the Onion that cuts so close to reality that there is no line which divides the satire in this piece. Enjoy "CIA-Leak Scapegoat Still at Large". An excerpt:

We are doing everything in our power to see that the scapegoat is found and held accountable," President Bush said. "We will not stop until heor sheis located. Believe me, nobody wants to see the blame placed squarely on the shoulders of a single person, and photos of that individual in every newspaper in the country, more than I do.

Watch Watch

After tomorrow the Watch will be on an extended hiatus, probably for about 6 months, as I prepare to teach a graduate class in the spring. Science will be my avocation as well as my vocation during this time, so I will have to hope that politics will continue to roll merrily along without me. Thank you for allowing me to vent a bit, I hope you have enjoyed it. Please consider posting interesting articles to this mailing list if you find them, and adding names to the list - it would be fun to create a big, progressive mailing ring for articles, etc. Hopefully I'll be able to get going again in May. By then the Democrats will have chosen a nominee (hopefully someone will have sewn the nomination up cleanly, without having it go to the floor of the convention) and the real campaign against the forces of incompetence will have begun.

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