Bribes, bonuses and bills of attainder

My column at the New Mexico Independent this week concerns the AIG bonus scandal and the ensuing hypocrisy and unconstitutional legislation coming out of Congress. Already the comments decrying my “partisan ranting” have begun. So odd, because I don’t think I ranted in the least. Decide for yourself.

Comments 38

  1. Grue in the Attic wrote:

    Looks like Alpert wants to start a bit of banter.

    The crowd otherwise seems saner than your usual fare of “who let her back in the building?” that you had last time. Either you’re moving up into a better class of readers or the trolls are too lazy to bother continuing taunts they have realized aren’t going to get rid of you. :)

    Posted 24 Mar 2009 at 7:57 pm
  2. benito wrote:

    I made the comment about your “partisan ranting” and I think its pretty accurate. Its one thing to have fiscally conservative beliefs, its another to simply side with a political party on every issue even though that party has absolutely no track record of being fiscally conservative.

    Both parties are in the pocket of corporate interests and its pretty obvious. I take issue with people acting as if only one side is… especially when a person has a platform to inform the public.

    Your piece was not aimed at informing, it was aimed at sowing more division. If it was aimed at informing, you might have mentioned some context as to why AIG is even getting a bailout… but then you would have had to mention conservatives too.

    At least Arthur mentioned the culpability of both sides.

    Posted 24 Mar 2009 at 8:38 pm
  3. Victor Jimenez wrote:

    Your piece was not aimed at informing, it was aimed at sowing more division. If it was aimed at informing, you might have mentioned some context as to why AIG is even getting a bailout… but then you would have had to mention conservatives too.

    I’m sorry, did the author mention mention, other than Aragon, the word “Democrat”?

    Since when is mentioning the graft, bribes and corruption “sowing divisions?”

    I’ll tell you why AIG got a bailout, Dodd’s wife works for a company controlled by AIG!!!!!!

    We also know that Obama was bought and paid for by AIG to the tune of $100,000 to his campaign. (link provided)

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2009/03/64320451/1

    So yeah, AIG owns the Senate and the White House. To not point out this corruption and graft is to be a part of the solution.

    Look, I don’t care for Brigette’s jawboning over morality any more than anyone else, but she hit the nail on the head with her piece on just how “morally bankrupt” our nation has become, especially since January 21st, 2009, with respect to all these bail-outs.

    Posted 24 Mar 2009 at 9:50 pm
  4. Dan wrote:

    I’m sorry, did the author mention mention, other than Aragon, the word “Democrat”?

    I believe he was referring to the fact that of all the people mentioned in Brigette’s article, none were anything other than Democrats except for a bizarre mention of Ronald Reagan which seems to exist only to try to associate him with Adam Smith through proximity.

    A mention of the GOP-lead gutting of Glass-Steagall (lead by Phil Gramm) which allowed financial firms to increase their asset leverages from 12/1 to 32/1, or the SEC’s (while lead by GOP appointees) decision that credit default swaps did not need to be regulated would have been appropriate if she wanted to present both sides of the story. That’s not really her job though.

    Its worth noting in regards to the blaming of the CRA program that the vast majority – over 80% – of the subprime loans that were issued were not CRA loans. The vast majority were to allow middle- and even upper-class families to buy more house than they could otherwise afford, not to get poor people into homes as envisioned by the CRA.

    But we’re the United States, where we only have two real political parties and everything that’s bad is entirely the fault of the one we’re not part of. This is all Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Bill Clinton’s fault if you’re a Republican and all George Bush, Dick Cheney, Phil Gramm, etc’s fault if your a Democrat.

    I personally find it odd that she’s so concerned about her grandchildren’s inheritances because of the current deficit spending which is clearly aimed at spurring an economic recovery but wasn’t very concerned about the over $3 Trillion of deficit spending during the last eight years, nor the other $1.5 Trillion under Reagan and Bush Sr. I guess deficits are only bad when the other party is in charge. Or possibly if the GOP holds the executive then its congress’s fault. And if the GOP holds both the executive and the legislative… it’s Clinton’s fault, or something.

    Posted 25 Mar 2009 at 10:36 pm
  5. benito wrote:

    Yeah… what Dan said.

    Victor, you need only read her past columns in the New Mexico Independent and on this blog to figure out she’s coming from a partisan perspective… which included the one we’re discussing.

    If you want to read a great article about the AIG situation, Rolling Stone has a great one out by Matt Taibbi.

    Will make for boring reading for those whose world is solely made up of liberals and republicans… ehem, (caugh/bridgette). Makes for great reading to see how both parties were and are complicit in the financial rape of America.

    Posted 26 Mar 2009 at 2:12 am
  6. Victor Jimenez wrote:

    No one is denying the Republicans blame in this crisis.

    The fact is that the Democrats control the government and Bush isn’t President anymore.
    It doesn’t get us anywhere now to say that it is Bush’s fault. That doesn’t advance the ball down the field one bit.

    If there are problems now with our leadership, because the Democrats control the government then that would be the blame of the Democrats.

    Posted 26 Mar 2009 at 5:06 am
  7. Bowden Russell wrote:

    A mention of the GOP-lead gutting of Glass-Steagall (lead by Phil Gramm) which allowed financial firms to increase their asset leverages from 12/1 to 32/1, or the SEC’s (while lead by GOP appointees) decision that credit default swaps did not need to be regulated would have been appropriate if she wanted to present both sides of the story. That’s not really her job though.

    Dan, you never let me down good buddy.

    Tell me, which President enthusiastically signed Glass-Steagall?

    I mean if something good happened in the 1990s we heard his name over and over again. Like when the budget deficits disappeared, that wasn’t due to the Republicans controlling Congress, that was Bill Clinton’s doing!

    Sorry Dan, Clinton LOVED the Glass-Steagall act, signed it, and now he gets the blame.

    You can’t give him the credit for the 1990s and the (bogus) “good” economy and give him a pass for his mistakes.

    I do admire you’re ability to stay on talking points though.

    Posted 26 Mar 2009 at 6:03 am
  8. Dan wrote:

    Tell me, which President enthusiastically signed Glass-Steagall?

    Franklin Roosevelt signed the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933.

    Sorry Dan, Clinton LOVED the Glass-Steagall act, signed it, and now he gets the blame.

    If he loved Glass-Steagall so much why did he sign Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which effectively repealed it? As a historical note, Gramm-Leach-Bliley was already veto-proof by the time it reached the president’s desk, which doesn’t excuse Clinton for failing to oppose it.

    So, since you claim GLBA is (completely!) Clinton’s fault, and since GLBA is entirely deregulatory in nature, doesn’t that contradict your repeated claims that Clinton is/was a socialist? Oops.

    Isn’t it funny how when Republicans hold the executive the Dems in the legislature are at fault for everything bad that happens, but when Dems hold the executive they’re at fault for signing laws passed by the GOP in the legislative? What an odd set of circumstances. Its almost as if the GOP is always right and the Dems are always wrong! What a curious double-standard God created for his chosen country (Amuricuh!)

    There’s plenty of blame to spread around on both sides of the aisle for this mess. Only the blindly partisan believe it all lies at the feet of one party or another. What boggles my mind is that some supply-siders actually believe that the answer is to further scale back regulation (AIG’s regulatory agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, had exactly one insurance specialist on their entire staff, and they were regulating the the largest insurance company in the history of the planet) and let the market fix itself, something it has repeatedly proven incapable of doing.

    Posted 26 Mar 2009 at 2:45 pm
  9. benito wrote:

    Victor, the point is that its not about who’s in leadership now, although many of them are to blame also. The point is, if you’re going to actually diagnose a problem you need to look at how it happened first, to weigh whether the current approach is logical… or you can just partisanly scream at Pelosi and Obama… and then the cycle continues and we’re all f–ked.

    “It doesn’t get us anywhere now to say that it is Bush’s fault.” You’re mind is apparently programmed this way… I never said lets sit here and say its bush’s fault. I’m talking about “the system man”. Which means transcending this two-sided cell that your mind is stuck in.

    If you read the article I suggested, which Dan quotes about the lack of AIG “adult supervision” you’ll see that the finance industry has flooded both parties with billions in the last ten years… in order to repeal regulatory oversight and hence bet the farm, which in this case is our tax-dollars.

    The big money interests in this country depend on the type of partisan logic that you, Bridgette and the like use. They simply give 52% of their support to the Republicans and 48% to the Democrats and then laugh all the way to the bank.

    Those that idealize Ronald Reagan and view Clinton as a hero, or vice-versa, really wear their ignorance with a smile. They have no clue how the system works and are in bliss fighting with whoever their am radio mouthpiece says their enemy is.

    The difference between a progressive stance is that we’re able to see that big money controls both parties and don’t foolishly believe that within a corporately backed election system, that either party is capable of sticking to their campaign promises.

    Democrats are just as guilty of drinking Obama kool-aid as are “conservatives” who view Ronal Reagan as some bastion of conservative philosophy… they must have never heard of Iran Contra… collective alzheimers if you will.

    The funny thing about those who are demonized as “liberals” often criticize democrats… conservatives/republicans don’t do that. Arriana Huffington just wrote a piece that tears apart Geithner and Obama’s decision making. She’s coming from the interest of the average person, even though she is rich, how many conservatives can say they have that perspective?

    Posted 26 Mar 2009 at 5:06 pm
  10. Brigette Russell wrote:

    The difference between a progressive stance is that we’re able to see that big money controls both parties and don’t foolishly believe that within a corporately backed election system, that either party is capable of sticking to their campaign promises.

    Actually, a lot of Republicans — myself included — know this is true, too. The system is deeply, tragically flawed. And I don’t know how to change it. Campaign finance laws don’t work. There are always ways to get around them.

    Nevertheless, even though I acknowledge that both parties are neck-deep in devil’s bargains with moneyed special interests, I believe that many of the policies the Democrats advocate will do more harm than good, and that Republican principles — if not always Republican practice — will do less damage.

    To quote my favorite radio host, Dennis Prager, “There are two parties: the dangerous party, and the stupid party, and I belong to the stupid party.”

    Posted 26 Mar 2009 at 11:51 pm
  11. Bowden Russell wrote:

    Actually, Wallstreet is a bigger contributor to the Democratic Party than the Republicans.

    Just a little **fact** I thought I’d throw out for everyone to ponder.

    Posted 27 Mar 2009 at 1:36 am
  12. Dan wrote:

    Actually, Wallstreet is a bigger contributor to the Democratic Party than the Republicans.

    Its pretty unsurprising that workers on Wall Street (as an aside, I love how right wing polemics pretend that workers in an industry donating to candidates equals the industry itself donating to candidates) has noticed how the GOP has run the country’s economy into the ground, nor that they’ve noticed how completely unfit for federal office Republicans due to their adherence to the lobotomized version of Goldwater economic policy that the current GOP pretends is effective despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary.

    Posted 27 Mar 2009 at 4:45 am
  13. Bowden Russell wrote:

    Right Dan, thanks for correcting me. Glass-Seagall wasn’t the fault of Clinton for signing it.

    Gotcha. I owe you one pal.

    Posted 27 Mar 2009 at 6:04 am
  14. Bowden Russell wrote:

    has noticed how the GOP has run the country’s economy into the ground,
    1. Define “running into the ground.”

    2. When did it start.

    3. Would you consider the start of the recession to be the start?

    Posted 27 Mar 2009 at 6:05 am
  15. Dan wrote:

    Right Dan, thanks for correcting me. Glass-Seagall wasn’t the fault of Clinton for signing it.

    Clinton didn’t sign it. FDR did.

    Posted 27 Mar 2009 at 1:07 pm
  16. Dan wrote:

    To quote my favorite radio host, Dennis Prager, “There are two parties: the dangerous party, and the stupid party, and I belong to the stupid party.”

    Whereas Democrats would say that there’s the well-meaning but and stupid and ineffective party (Democrats) and the effective and actively evil party (Republicans).

    Posted 27 Mar 2009 at 3:29 pm
  17. Grue in the Attic wrote:

    Now I’m curious to see how you define “evil”.

    Posted 27 Mar 2009 at 5:43 pm
  18. Dan wrote:

    Now I’m curious to see how you define “evil”.

    Well, just for a few examples, actively suppressing scientific research just because it might conflict with your superstitions and inventing completely fraudulent reasons for invading foreign countries, for two.

    Who would Jesus invent fake evidence of non-existent weapons in order to justify invading? That’s going to be a hell of a long acronym on a lanyard.

    Posted 27 Mar 2009 at 7:25 pm
  19. benito wrote:

    “Republican principles — if not always Republican practice — will do less damage”… and who was the last Republican president or politician who actually practiced these mythological “Republican principles”. And if you say Reagan, let me remind you that he was the one who sold arms to our enemies, tripled the national debt and signed off on covert plans to suspend the U.S. constitution.

    And please don’t tell me about democratic philosophy being hypocritical, I’m well aware of it. The two parties are actually one “big money” party.

    “Actually, Wallstreet is a bigger contributor to the Democratic Party than the Republicans.

    Just a little **fact** I thought I’d throw out for everyone to ponder.”

    To the death for your team eh Bowden? Comical. When two people in a discussion know that both political parties they’re discussing are corrupt yet one ardently fights for one side in light of that knowledge its called cognitive dissonance. Look it up, read it, know it.

    Posted 27 Mar 2009 at 7:31 pm
  20. Brigette Russell wrote:

    Whereas Democrats would say that there’s the well-meaning but and stupid and ineffective party (Democrats) and the effective and actively evil party (Republicans).

    So, after reading my blog all this time, can you say that I am actively evil? That I willfully, purposefully desire policies to be enacted that I think will hurt the most people possible, and that I will sit and drink a champagne toast to their misery when our diabolical GOP misery-inducing policies bear fruit?

    Can you in good conscience say that, or do you feel compelled to admit that I want what’s best for this country too, and that I truly believe my principles rather than yours would, if enacted in a fair way, and if not undermined by corruption, would bring about a better America?

    Posted 28 Mar 2009 at 12:51 am
  21. Brigette Russell wrote:

    actively suppressing scientific research just because it might conflict with your superstitions

    It is not a superstition that an embryo will (if no one destroys it or no natural cause of death intervenes) grow into a fetus, and that fetus into a baby, and that baby into an adult. That is a fact.

    What if someone proposed harvesting convicted criminals or unwanted children for organs to donate to terminally ill people? Everyone would rightly condemn such barbarism.

    For you to deride opposition to harvesting embryonic human beings in the name of science as “superstition” is not only insulting, but stupid.

    I’ve taken a lot of insults from you on this blog, Dan, and even more of your incessant harassment of my husband, and never once have I made an ad hominem attack on you. Never. Not once. But this time, I am going to make an exception to my usual rule of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” and say that anyone who can’t see that a reasonable person could reasonably define an embryo as human is stupid.

    An embryo is human. That isn’t superstitition. That’s science. It’s not going to develop into a dog or a monkey or a parokeet. It’s going to develop into a human being, just like you and me. That isn’t a superstition. That’s a fact. That’s science.

    Posted 28 Mar 2009 at 1:03 am
  22. Bowden Russell wrote:

    Well, just for a few examples, actively suppressing scientific research just because it might conflict with your superstitions and inventing completely fraudulent reasons for invading foreign countries, for two.

    I’m sorry, this is laughable. How is not funding something “actively suppressing scientific research”? There were **NO** restrictions on the private research into embryonic stem-cell research.

    Another straw-man argument meant to detract and obfuscate the issue.

    And, Dan was right, the legislation BILL CLINTON signed in 1999 which partially led to this crisis was the repeal of the legislation FDR signed. Thanks for the correction Dan.

    Still, you lose points for the straw-man argument.

    Posted 28 Mar 2009 at 5:10 am
  23. Dan wrote:

    ’m sorry, this is laughable. How is not funding something “actively suppressing scientific research”? There were **NO** restrictions on the private research into embryonic stem-cell research.

    Actually, I wasn’t even referring to stem-cell research, though that was another idiotic superstition-based decision that negatively effected science which most likely resulted in delays in advancements that could have saved thousands of lives. I was referring to the Bush/Cheney administration’s suppression and selective editing of scientific reports produced by non-partisan government agencies, most famously the EPA and NASA’s reports on climate change.

    Still, you lose points for the straw-man argument.

    You might want to learn what a straw-man argument actually is. What words are you claiming I’m putting in your mouth?

    Posted 29 Mar 2009 at 2:25 pm
  24. Dan wrote:

    It is not a superstition that an embryo will (if no one destroys it or no natural cause of death intervenes) grow into a fetus, and that fetus into a baby, and that baby into an adult. That is a fact.

    True, but it is a myth that stem cell research is performed by taking viable embryos and destroying them.

    Posted 29 Mar 2009 at 3:02 pm
  25. Bowden Russell wrote:

    I was referring to the Bush/Cheney administration’s suppression and selective editing of scientific reports produced by non-partisan government agencies, most famously the EPA and NASA’s reports on climate change.

    You’re too funny Dan. NASA’s credibility as an “expert” on the global-warming scam went down the toilet when not once, but twice, it was found NASA inserted the wrong monthly data in two years running to “jimmy” the numbers to get more money for their failed administration.

    Again, you lose points for not being intellectually honest or up to speed.

    And Dan, leave the science to those who know it, okay?

    Posted 29 Mar 2009 at 9:55 pm
  26. Dan wrote:

    And Dan, leave the science to those who know it, okay?

    If only Republicans were capable of following this advice the world would be a much, much better place. Claiming that global warming denialists are the ones who “know the science” when in reality the vast majority of actual climate science is, to use our favorite phrase, laughable.

    I don’t know what conspiracy theory regarding NASA you’re referring to but the Bush administration made a common practice of editing government-produced scientific studies to reflect their political view of reality and there isn’t even any doubt about it. Quite typical of you to find one thing wrong with something (this conspiracy theory you have about NASA’s data) and pretend it invalidates everything that agency or person does and that it also invalidates all the other studies that show the same results.

    If you “knew the science” you wouldn’t be defending the Bush administration’s science-suppressing shennanigans. As we all know though, you don’t care about truth, you’re just a partisan shill.

    Posted 30 Mar 2009 at 1:25 am
  27. Bowden Russell wrote:

    I don’t know what conspiracy theory regarding NASA you’re referring to

    Of course you don’t. It was only all over the net last year and the year before when NASA, in its infinite wisdom, got caught fudging the data on temperatures.

    I guess you have some sort of “selective hearing”-if the news repudiates your “world view” you don’t pay any attention to it.

    If you’d like to catch up, I’ve provided some links for you, no charge for you buddy:

    http://www.businessandmedia.org/commentary/2007/20070822130511.aspx

    http://www.geotimes.org/aug07/article.html?id=WebExtra081607_2.html

    Hansen was and still is a first-class pimp. He’d fudge data to make the world fit his view.

    Too bad the facts blew up in his face.

    Posted 30 Mar 2009 at 4:48 am
  28. Dan wrote:

    Even presuming your NASA conspiracy theory is true, it does nothing to repudiate the hundreds of other scientific studies that reach the same conclusions.

    As far as I can tell you are tacitly approving of the Bush admin’s appointment of political hacks with no scientific training to censor the reports coming out of scientific agencies in order to prop up GOP’s version of reality. Is that the case?

    Posted 30 Mar 2009 at 2:59 pm
  29. Dan wrote:

    Also, I just read the Geotimes article and it doesn’t debunk global warming even a little bit. For someone who’s allegedly so good at math you don’t seem to understand statistics at all. 1934 having been probably slightly hotter than 1998 in now way disproves global warming and there’s no evidence presented (nor is there even an accusation) that the mistake was intentional either.

    The other article is an opinion piece written by Tim Ball and Tom Harris (Professional climate change “skeptics” who receive their funding from the oil industry and engage largely in lobbying) and contains a lot of their opinions but little in the way of facts.

    Posted 30 Mar 2009 at 3:15 pm
  30. Bowden Russell wrote:

    Also, I just read the Geotimes article and it doesn’t debunk global warming even a little bit. For someone who’s allegedly so good at math you don’t seem to understand statistics at all. 1934 having been probably slightly hotter than 1998 in now way disproves global warming and there’s no evidence presented (nor is there even an accusation) that the mistake was intentional either.

    Irrelevant. I never said the article disputed Global Warming. I didn’t, nor do I want, to engage in an argument over GW on a thread that has nothing to do with GW.

    I just wanted to point out, as the Geotimes article did, as many other articles do, that you can’t trust NASA-an organization you chose to quote- in any scientific debate. They cook the figures.

    You can understand this, yes? Brigette has asked me to keep on topic w/r/t the thread at hand. Yes?

    Now, do you dispute my contention that NASA lied about the data?

    Posted 31 Mar 2009 at 2:02 am
  31. Dan wrote:

    I just wanted to point out, as the Geotimes article did, as many other articles do, that you can’t trust NASA-an organization you chose to quote- in any scientific debate. They cook the figures.

    Your argument is that, because NASA had a very minor error in one of their dataset, and because that dataset was used twice before it was correct, their scientific studies need to be heavily edited by political appointees to change the conclusions of the study?

    You can understand this, yes? Brigette has asked me to keep on topic w/r/t the thread at hand. Yes?

    You haven’t been on topic since you went off on this tangent about a mistake NASA made (which didn’t change the conclusions of the study.) You never addressed the non-related meddling of the Bush administration in the study’s publishing nor did you address their similar meddling in the EPA study which had the same conclusions and didn’t contain the error.

    Now, do you dispute my contention that NASA lied about the data?

    Is it your contention that making a mistake and then correcting it equals lying? That’s a slippery slope to slide down, especially for you in particular. Should I call you a liar for saying that the Geotimes article points out that you can’t trust NASA? Because it certainly didn’t.

    How is it that you manage to look at blatant partisan political meddling in non-partisan scientific studies and come to the conclusion that the *scientists* are the ones who are biased and pushing an agenda?

    Here’s a question you didn’t answer yet:

    As far as I can tell you are tacitly approving of the Bush admin’s appointment of political hacks with no scientific training to censor the reports coming out of scientific agencies in order to prop up GOP’s version of reality. Is that the case?

    Posted 31 Mar 2009 at 2:42 pm
  32. Brigette Russell wrote:

    You can understand this, yes? Brigette has asked me to keep on topic w/r/t the thread at hand. Yes?

    I don’t mind discussion of topics other than the one in the post. What I mind is vicious, nasty personal attacks and insults. If you can keep it civil, feel free to discuss global warming.

    Posted 31 Mar 2009 at 3:23 pm
  33. Bowden Russell wrote:

    You haven’t been on topic since you went off on this tangent about a mistake NASA made (which didn’t change the conclusions of the study.)

    I’m sorry, you brought up NASA, I pointed out their “conspiracy” mistake-I take it you don’t think it is a conspiracy any more-and you wanted to change the subject to Global Warming.

    What is the point Dan? You believe in GW and I think it is a farcical joke.

    Posted 01 Apr 2009 at 5:37 am
  34. Dan wrote:

    What is the point Dan? You believe in GW and I think it is a farcical joke.

    The point, Bowden is that the Bush administration made a policy of censoring scientific reports to support its political goals, which I defined as evil.

    I also defined fabricating a reason to invade a foreign country resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths in that country and tens of thousands of dead and maimed in our armed forces as evil. Do you agree with that?

    Posted 01 Apr 2009 at 3:36 pm
  35. Brigette Russell wrote:

    I also defined fabricating a reason to invade a foreign country

    Sigh. Bigger sigh. A thousand sighs.

    What. Do. You. Leftists. Not. Understand. About. Intelligence. Reports?

    The intelligence reports all said Saddam had WMDs. Bush believed it, and so did Clinton, Kerry, and scads of other Democrats in Congress. The speeches are all there in the Congressional Record. US intelligence believed it. British intelligence believed it. Other foreign intelligence services believed it.

    IF there were no WMDs in the first place (and there may well have been at one time, and they were moved somewhere at some point) then all those very smart people were wrong, and the president you think is very dumb believed all those very smart people. He didn’t lie. He accepted intelligence reports. If there never were any WMDs, then he was MISTAKEN not LYING.

    God above, how is that too complicated for all you leftists to understand? Frankly, I think you do understand it (because I don’t think you’re as stupid as you claim to think Bush is) but that it suits your political purposes to go around chanting “Bush lied, people died” like some sort of schoolyard taunt.

    Idiots who don’t actually read the news for themselves but just listen to schoolyard sloganeering might buy that tawdry little propaganda campaign, but the rest of us don’t.

    Posted 02 Apr 2009 at 3:24 am
  36. Dan wrote:

    What.Do.You.Right.Wingers.Not.Understand.About.Cherry.Picked.Intelligence.That.Ignored.Contrary.Evidence?

    The Bush administration carefully compiled only the pro-WMD intelligence and ignored all the contrary evidence because their mind was already made up about invading Iraq. Every bit of “evidence” they used to convince “…Clinton, Kerry, and scads of other Democrats…” was sketchy at best and fraudulent at worst, and those concerns did not go un-communicated (though to be fair to Bush, it was apparently omitted from his briefings – by Cheney and his staff.)

    I’m sure you’ll also recall that one of the few government officials willing to try to bring the fraudulence of the intelligence to light – your fellow Santa Fe resident and former Ambassador Joe Wilson – was made a target for discrediting by the administration for the simple sin of telling the truth.

    The entire WMD charade was an invented reason for invading Iraq. If we were going to invade countries for developing WMD we would have to invade India, Pakistan, and, for that matter, Israel. It was nothing more than a PR smokescreen that successfully convinced congress and the majority of the the citizenry that Iraq posed a grave danger to the US and its allies. It was all a lie, and all it eventually cost us was $3 Trillion, the lives over four thousand and the maiming of another twenty thousand or so US military personnel, and the blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis on our hands. But at least we got… nothing out of it.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/09/AR2006020902418.html

    So here we are, slightly over seven years later, and right-wingers are still reflexively defending that illegal and immoral invasion and occupation which cost the US much, much more than all the spending that they’re currently so upset about.

    What a long, strange trip its been.

    PS: After all your hand-wringing about ad hominems lately you end your post by calling me and all the other people who were *correct* about the Iraqi war idiots. Bravo Brigette!

    Posted 02 Apr 2009 at 3:53 pm
  37. Brigette Russell wrote:

    The entire WMD charade was an invented reason for invading Iraq. If we were going to invade countries for developing WMD we would have to invade India, Pakistan, and, for that matter, Israel.

    You will probably be very surprised to hear that I was not thrilled when we invaded Iraq. My first thought was, “Oh, God, is he insane? Can we please just win the war in Afghanistan first? One war at a time!”

    I also thought the best reason to invade Iraq, if the Administration was really determined to do so, was Saddam’s defiant non-compliance with every UN attempt to verify whether he was complying with the demands the UN had already made. Frankly, he was making the UN and the US a laughingstock, and that was good enough reason to attack and oust him if Bush needed one. Nevertheless, while I could accept that rationale for attacking, I still thought it wasn’t the right move when we were already at war in Afghanistan.

    That said, I still maintain he did not lie just to start a destructive war he wanted to fight for his own reasons. The leftist spin on all this is too deep and too convoluted to address here, mainly because I’m sick and have a sick child, but spin it is.

    Posted 02 Apr 2009 at 4:01 pm
  38. Dan wrote:

    That said, I still maintain he did not lie just to start a destructive war he wanted to fight for his own reasons. The leftist spin on all this is too deep and too convoluted to address here, mainly because I’m sick and have a sick child, but spin it is.

    It really is strange to me that you think that anti-Iraq War sentiment is “leftist spin”, considering it was a war that was entirely justified by rightist (or more accurately, Neocon) spin, and that all that spin turned out to be either inaccurate, exaggerated, or outright fraudulent.

    Iraq was cooperating with the UN inspectors (admittedly, as a result of US and British threats) and those inspectors found *nothing*. We then invaded anyway, quite sure that the inspectors were incompetent and/or just covering for their buddy Saddam and/or irrational pacifists and/or cheese-eating surrender monkeys. So we conquered the country, and have now occupied it for over six years, and have found… nothing. You can spin it as much as you want to but the fact remains that the administration hawks cherry picked intelligence to support invasion regardless of its accuracy – which has approved to be approximately 0% – and ignored all conflicting intelligence.

    I hope you and the kid feel better.

    Posted 02 Apr 2009 at 8:58 pm

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