Topic: Couldn't be so...
Sunday - and the new issue of the weekly online magazine Just Above Sunset has been posted. That hit the wire late this morning, and your editor spent the rest of the day plowing through the Sunday paper, cleaning up the place, attending to Harriet-the-Cat and the balcony full of thirsty plants and such.
But things just keep happening.
Switching between the restored version of Frank Capra's 1937 "Lost Horizon" (all two and a half hours of it) on the classic movie channel and the news I see the Washington Post has just posted the memo they reported on a few days ago. This one is the one from Alberto Gonzales, the lawyer who advises Bush - the White House Counsel - to the CIA. It is the White House saying to the CIA - "Torture folks? No problem. Go for it!"
Say, do you remember when the New York Times printed the Pentagon Papers - all that internal policy stuff we weren't supposed to ever see about the Vietnam War? The New York Times used its newspaper to provide the full transcripts of those Pentagon Papers. The Post is using the web. Whatever.
Here we go again. We can read what we are really not supposed to read. The free press doing its job? Treason? Depends on your political leanings.
Well, the memo is not from Bush himself, only his lawyer, his legal spokesman, his Justice Department, so Bush himself can claim he, himself, would never advise such a thing. He can claim Alberto was acting on his own initiative and really should have discussed the memo with him before Al sent it over to the CIA. Bush would have known this would be trouble. Bush could say that.
Delegation has its risks. Sometimes your subordinates do things that just aren't good.
We shall see how this plays out. In one of my previous careers I was a boss - a Senior Systems Manager, no less. One, of necessity, delegates. You trust your guys. And when things go in the weeds, as they sometimes do when you delegate, well, you suck it up, repair the damage, and go on.
How will Bush handle this? I have no idea. Should be interesting.
Here's the item:
Justice Dept. Memo Says Torture 'May Be Justified'
Dana Priest, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, June 13, 2004; 6:30 PM
Well, the cat is out of the bag.
This on the heels of US News and World Report, in their June 21 issue revealing that our top officer in Iraq, General Richard Sanchez was directly involved in hiding prisoners from the Red Cross.
Well, that explains why John Abizaid, the CENTCOM commander, is planning to appoint a four star general to head up the Army's investigation of this mess, as the New York Times reports.
Fay has to go. He only has two stars. Sanchez has three. A two star cannot investigate a three star.
A few bad apples indeed.
And there are lots of indications that four confidential Red Cross documents implicating senior Pentagon civilians in the Abu Ghraib scandal have been passed to an American television network, which is preparing to make them public shortly. First notice here.
And add this - another "Oops, sorry." The New York Times tells us here that at the start of the Iraq war we "launched many more failed airstrikes on a far broader array of senior Iraqi leaders during the early days of the war last year than has previously been acknowledged, and some caused significant civilian casualties, according to senior military and intelligence officials."
Now they tell is.
It just keeps getting better all the time.
And the Los Angeles Times is reporting that a group of twenty-six former senior diplomats and military officials, a number of them appointed to key positions by Republican Reagan and Bush's father, plans to issue a joint statement on Wednesday arguing that this President Bush has damaged America's national security and should be defeated in November. This would be twenty former ambassadors - appointed by presidents of both parties - to places like Israel, the former Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia. And some retired State Department guys. The organizer is retired Marine general Joseph Hoar, and he was the commander of US forces in the Middle East under Bush's daddy.