Tuesday, October 23


This has been a very big story in Dallas, and now that a mistrial has been declared in the Holy Land "terrorism financing" case, the wingnuts are going crazy. Not because the government failed to prove its case, but because of the "implications" that our judicial system and law enforcement regulations need to be changed "in this post-9/11 world" in order to accommodate secret evidence and secret witnesses. What's next, secret prisoners and defendants? Ooops, I forgot, we already have them.

Man, it's scary out there. And Arianna's right -- it's Midnight in America.

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Richard Cohen has a great post today in which he scolds Mayor Rudy for rhetoric calling for war with Iran.

Giuliani ought to recognize that he is no longer the big-mouthed mayor of New York but a serious contender for the White House. All that his talk can accomplish is to make Iranian moderates rally around Ahmadinejad.
The next president is going to have to use his noodle. Iran may be trying to go nuclear, but Pakistan already is -- and it's so unstable the present government may not last long. The United States cannot make war all over the globe, leading the West in a resumption of the crusades against the Islamic East. War should be the last resort, spoken of with the respect it deserves and in terms that acknowledge the dizzying chaos, widespread terrorism and grievances that would haunt us long into the future. War with Iran will not turn out to be the applause line it is in the campaign. That, Mr. Giuliani, is not a threat. It is a promise.

It seems the Republicans have learned nothing from seven years of a cowboy-wannabe running the government. Can they really believe that replacing him with a big-city motor-mouth bully will be an improvement? One is almost forced to believe that the 28-percenters are still so enamored of W that they're opting for the man most likely to repeat his mistakes.

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Sunday, October 21


Frank Rich riffs on the widespread corruption endemic to Bush's adventure in Iraq, and concludes that the death of Col. Ted Westhusing wrote coda to the problem.

The cost cannot be measured only in lost opportunities, lives and money. There will be a long hangover of shame. Its essence was summed up by Col. Ted Westhusing, an Army scholar of military ethics who was an innocent witness to corruption, not a participant, when he died at age 44 of a gunshot wound to the head while working for Gen. David Petraeus training Iraqi security forces in Baghdad in 2005. He was at the time the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq.

Colonel Westhusing’s death was ruled a suicide, though some believe he was murdered by contractors fearing a whistle-blower, according to T. Christian Miller, the Los Angeles Times reporter who documents the case in his book “Blood Money.” Either way, the angry four-page letter the officer left behind for General Petraeus and his other commander, Gen. Joseph Fil, is as much an epitaph for America’s engagement in Iraq as a suicide note.

“I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars,” Colonel Westhusing wrote, abbreviating the word mission. “I am sullied.”

I've written about Col. Westhusing's death before. It's a tragic irony that two years later, his warning has not resulted in any change.

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