Rabbit Hole to HellKarl Rove pulled our tail last Wednesday with a bold attack defining Liberals as unpatriotic. He used the imagery of 9/11 to illustrate his point. He made his statements in MANHATTAN. For the Rip Van Winkles of the world, this is the sound-bite that bunched the undies: "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Rove said Wednesday night. "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."
Two key points: 1) Rove prides himself on his ability to control outcomes, and 2) Rove has not failed in a very long time.
So looking past the outrage, and there's plenty of rage, in and out of the blogosphere, the big question is why? Why waltz into an 80% Democratic stronghold, seat of the greatest act of terrorism on American soil, source of the greatest example of human fortitude in our country's history, and denounce their patriotism?
Because there is an outcome that needs to be controlled, and because he believes he can.
The story that broke only because of the will of the people, is the Downing Street Memo. The memo was cheerfully, carefully, deliberately ignored by the American mainstream media when the story broke in the London Times.
After reporting these secret memos, which revealed the dubious manoeuvrings of government, I expected the US press to react. Surely there would be a storm of anger over the way in which the American public had been deceived into going to war? But still there was no interest. Then slowly something astonishing happened. People power took over.Mr. Rove now had a problem. The media was, (albeit reluctantly and with weird angles such as focusing on why the story was breaking late opposed to what the story actually was), covering the Downing Street Memo. The volume of inquiry on the internet regarding the memo was skyrocketing. The networks for information dissemination were reaching more people. John Conyers held a Democratic hearing. John Kerry raised questions from the floor. Letters were being written to editors, representatives and the Whitehouse. And those wimpy Brits weren't helping.
The Sunday Times website was inundated with ordinary US citizens wanting to read the minutes of the July meeting. Bloggers set to work passing the word. Six ordinary, patriotic citizens with no political axe to grind were so outraged to discover the truth about the path to war that they set up their own website, naming it after the minutes, which had become known as the Downing Street memo.
Another website called AfterDowningStreet followed. People got together to lobby their local newspapers and radio and television stations to demand to know why they weren’t being told about the memo. There were even T-shirts made with the slogan: “Have you read the memo?” With anger over the war growing, Washington politicians finally acted. More than 120 congressmen wrote to Bush, demanding to know whether the memo was true. They held their own hearings to try to draw attention to it. The issue was forced into the mainstream media. -- Michael Smith, The Sunday Times - Britain
One huge fly in the ointment for the administration was British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s early decision that it would be a fool’s errand to challenge the authenticity of the papers. Why? Because there is still a relatively free Fourth Estate in the U.K. together with patriotic whistleblowers willing to risk jail for exposing the government dishonesty. -- Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst (27-years) and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Rove attempted multi-prong damage control, using Scott McClellan to dismiss the issue, using the Durbin Nazi quote as a distraction and attempting to redefine the meaning of the word fixed.
“There are a number of people asking about ‘fixed’ and its meaning. This is a real joke. I do not know anyone in the UK who took it to mean anything other than fixed, as in fixed a race, fixed an election, fixed the intelligence. If you fix something, you make it the way you want it. The intelligence was fixed...the head of MI-6 has just been to Washington. He has just talked with George Tenet. He said the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. That translates in clearer terms as the intelligence was being cooked to match what the administration wanted it to say to justify invading Iraq.” -- Ray McGovernThe distractions sheared off some of the heat, but Rove understood that his rabbit hole went straight to Hell. There is a point when events take on a life of their own, where enough of the regular people's opinions are engaged that damage control is much more difficult. Rove had to act. I do not think Rove feels cornered. I think he feels exhilarated. This is his kind of game. He believes he can control the flow of information by manipulating half the populace to denigrate the other half. Remember, his goal is to control the outcome.
He finds this entertaining.
His speech in Manhattan Wednesday was a very shrewd move. If the Dems don't protest, we're wimps. If we do, we aren't pursuing the DSM rabbit hole. On a personal level, Rove must really enjoy this. We must seem like malleable little children to him; easily bent to his whim. Don't like the imagery? Good. We need everybody on the same page.
Thank God for the Brits, who are considerably less impressed with the chain of events leading up to this (il)legal war.
Former British cabinet minister Clare Short is demanding a parliamentary investigation into Attorney General Peter Goldsmith's advice on war with Iraq.
...Short said in February, 2005 that Lord Goldsmith breached the ministerial code by submitting a summary of his advice to senior ministers....
"It says in the ministerial code that if any advice from the law officers is summarised when it comes to Cabinet the full advice should be attached," she told BBC Radio.
"My view is we need the House of Lords to set up a special committee,
summon the attorney, get all the papers out, look at exactly what happened," Short said....
The attorney general has hit back at critics of his Iraq war legal advice, saying it is "fantasy" to suggest the (U.S.) government leant on him to justify the invasion.
In an interview with the Telegraph, the government's senior legal adviser said: "My conclusion was that it [Iraq war] was lawful.
"I stand by my conclusion that military action was lawful. That was a
judgment I had to reach. I reached it and I stand by it."
"And I want to reject the suggestions that I was leant on, or that this somehow was not my genuine opinion. These suggestions that this was not genuinely my view - these are fantasies and they need to be seen as such." -- Daily Kos
Had to reach? Lawyers like Goldsmith live and die by the power and massageable context of words. His statement gives him some butt coverage if, er, when this keg blows. As for the "leant on" quote:
On 11 February, Goldsmith met Taft, a former US ambassador to Nato who was then chief legal adviser to the Secretary of State, Colin Powell. After a gruelling 90-minute meeting in Taft's conference room 6419, Goldsmith then met the US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, followed by a formidable triumvirate including Judge Al Gonzales, Bush's chief lawyer at the White House.Taft, Ashcroft, Gonzales, Haynes and Bellinger leaned. There is no doubt in my mind. They are precisely why Goldsmith used the phrase "had to reach". His premise for his sin is now part of the public record. The big, bad Americans made him do it.
Goldsmith also met William 'Jim' Haynes, who is Defence Secretary's Donald Rumsfeld's chief legal adviser, and John Bellinger, legal adviser to Condoleezza Rice, then the National Security Adviser. This group of lawyers is as renowned for fearsome intellect as it is for hard-line conservative politics. Bellinger is alleged to have said: 'We had trouble with your Attorney; we got there eventually.' From copies of Goldsmith's legal advice to the Prime Minister published last week, it is clear that these meetings had a pivotal role in shaping Goldsmith's view that there was a 'reasonable case' for war. -- Daily Kos
This is why Rove attacked us. The Downing Street Memo is a real threat to him and the administration he built. Frankly, I'm delighted. Dems finally have a concrete issue we can pursue. I really don't care what Rove blathers about from here on out. It's sole purpose is to pull us off the truth, stop us from exposing the rabbit hole, prevent us from shining the light into the nest of lies, entangled like vipers around the throat of liberty. The amount of subterfuge involved in Bush getting his war in Iraq grows and grows. America may no longer have much of a mainstream fourth estate, but bloggers continue to find their feet as pundits and citizen reporters. Questions, on the legality of behavior and whether or not we were engaged in a covert war, keep cropping up.
I agree with Ray McGovern. I'd like to see the public questioning of the former intelligence chief, or even the scribe for the minutes on July 23, 2003. I'd really like to see testimony from George Tenet or any other US officials upon whose views Blair relied upon. More than either of those, I'd like to see truth orientated bloggers continue to stay the course on the Downing Street Memo. Rove's words cannot hurt us if we refuse to be swayed. He is only trying to control the situation. The more we expose, the dirtier he will play. He has not lost in a very long time. Oh, well. You gotta love those laws of averages.
The focus turned to what may ultimately be the most important part of the memo: the point where Hoon said that the US had already begun “spikes of activity to put pressure on the regime”.
Ministry of Defence figures for the number of bombs dropped on southern Iraq in 2002 show that virtually none were used in March and April; but between May and August an average of 10 tons were dropped each month, with the RAF taking just as big a role in the “spikes of activity” as their US colleagues. Then in September the figure shot up again, with allied aircraft dropping 54.6 tons.
If this was a covert air war, both Bush and Blair may face searching questions. In America only Congress can declare war, and it did not give the US president permission to take military action against Iraq until October 11, 2002. Blair’s legal justification is said to come from UN Resolution 1441, which was not passed until November 8, 2002.
Last week one US blogger, Larisa Alexandrovna of RawStory.com, unearthed more unsettling evidence. It was an overlooked interview with Lieutenant-General T Michael Moseley, the allied air commander in Iraq, in which he appears to admit that the “spikes of activity” were part of a covert air war.
From June 2002 until March 20, when the ground war began, the allies flew 21,736 sorties over southern Iraq, attacking 349 carefully selected targets. The attacks, Moseley said, “laid the foundations” for the invasion, allowing allied commanders to begin the ground war. -- Michael Smith, The Sunday Times - Britain
Bring the truth out. Bring It On. Our words can, and must, be the beacons of truth, accountability and justice.
Time to snare a few rabbits.
Cross-posted at Bring It On!