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April 20, 2006

Gone Off the Tracks

Marcel sent me a link to Carl Bernstein's piece in Vanity Fair, "Senate Hearings on Bush, Now" and this part really stands out for me:

Because (former secretary of state Colin) Powell was regarded by some as the administration "good guy," who was prescient in his anxiety about Bush's determination to go to war in Iraq ("You break it, you own it"), he should not be handed a pass exempting him from tough questioning in a congressional investigation. Indeed, Powell is probably more capable than any other witness of providing both fact and context to the whole story of the road to war and the actions of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the others.

As much as I love Colin Powell (he was my only hope for the Bush administration), I agree. The man doesn't get a pass on this, especially now that he's retired.

Side note: Marcel and I were talking a few days ago about how all these retired generals are now coming forward and speaking out against secretary of state Donald Rumsfeld. Many people are wondering why they didn't speak out at the time that they had their misgivings, because then maybe we wouldn't be stuck in the quagmire (yes I said it!) that is the Iraq war. I'll admit that I was thinking that this was "too little too late" myself, but then Marcel pointed out that according to the code of military conduct, an officer at that level would be expressly prohibited from speaking out against their civilian bosses (as Rumsfeld is). I guess the officer could still chose to do so, but these men had decades of service under their belts and I really can't blame them for not wanting to throw their careers in the toilet based on a bad feeling about what might happen in the future.

So yes, Colin Powell needs to be made to answer for what he saw, and heard (as long as it's not classified, of course), and why he made the choices that he made. And maybe I'm still biased because of my affection for the man, but I suspect that Colin Powell won't have any problem defending his honor. I don't think the political "dodge and weave" is something he's capable of doing.

The irony of the Valerie Plame affair, like the Watergate break-in itself, is its relative insignificance in terms of the greater transgressions of a presidency that has gone off the tracks.

Quite the understatement there, Bernstein. But truer words were never spoken. It'll be a kick in the pants if the leaks are what finally bring Bush down, rather than his general record of bone-chilling incompetence.

We have never had a presidency in which the single unifying thread that flows through its major decision-making was incompetence stitched together with hubris and mendacity on a Nixonian scale.

True, dat.

There's also an interesting analysis of the Bush presidency in Rolling Stone, "The Worst President in History?" I'm thinking that's a rhetorical question.

Posted by Highwaygirl on April 20, 2006 01:41 PM to the category Political Rants
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