Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 27, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

TERRORISM UPDATE....This year's report on global terrorism will show a 25% increase in terror attacks between 2005 and 2006, "almost all of it due to incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan" according to McClatchy. Then there's this:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her top aides had considered postponing or downplaying the release of this year's edition, due to the extreme political sensitivities, several officials said. But ultimately, they decided to issue the report on or about the congressionally mandated deadline of Tuesday, the officials said.

Say what? They considered postponing a congressionally mandated report because it might be inconvenient for the president's war policy? Is there some kind of "political sensitivities" exemption in the law?

Kevin Drum 5:24 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (35)

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Come on, Kevin, give credit where it is due.

They decided in this one instance to follow the law. They should be praised, not condemned, for this rare act of good behavior. I suggest giving them lollypops.

Posted by: Disputo on April 27, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK
Say what? They considered postponing a congressionally mandated report because it might be inconvenient for the president's war policy? Is there some kind of "political sensitivities" exemption in the law?

The concept of "law" in this maladministration begins and ends with Quod Bush vult, lex fit.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 27, 2007 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

I think they realized that it isn't going to be any better for them if they sit on the report for another few weeks. Now is as good (or bad) a time as any.

Plus, with a Dem congress poking about with subpoenas, this is just one more cat stranded up a tree. If they try to cover it up it'll look even worse when it does come out.

Posted by: jimBOB on April 27, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Why be surprised Condi even contemplated holding back the report before someone pointed out she couldn't?

She's already claimed (yesterday, in Europe, to mass disinterest from the US media) that executive privilege would allow her to refuse to answer Congress' subpoena.

Regards, Cernig

Posted by: Cernig on April 27, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

If you liberals weren't all bigoted, you wouldn't pick on Condi, but would show her the same respect you show Rumsfeld, or Cheney.

No, wait a minute...

generic troll

Posted by: thersites on April 27, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

They figured this was as good a Friday evening as any, what with us announcing today how we caught Al Qaeda's #3 guy for about the millionth time some time last year.

Posted by: idlemind on April 27, 2007 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

These evil fuckers flee from the truth like a vampire before a crucifix and garlic.

Posted by: angryspittle on April 27, 2007 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum >"...Is there some kind of "political sensitivities" exemption in the law?"

Well, she is a Bush Republican so maybe a "kings x" rule applies in this case.

(Man am I tired of these frat rats in power...)

"The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time" - William Shakespeare

Posted by: daCascadian on April 27, 2007 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well that certainly fits in with their neurotic, fiercely partisan dishonest traits.

Posted by: consider wisely always on April 27, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon, be grateful that

(1) They're actually planning to follow this law, probably just for the novelty of it.


(2) Someone leaked this to the press. I can't see any upside for the administration in revealing that they considered breaking the law for political reasons (with the slight upside that it might signal to their base that their instincts are intact), so to me it appears there was infighting on the question and someone (the winner? the loser?) went and talked about it to the press

Posted by: Warren Terra on April 27, 2007 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

So the report is saying that if we weren't in Iraq there wouldn't have been an increase in terrorism? Somebody tell Bush, ok?

Posted by: tomeck on April 27, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Condi is the worst secretary of state since John Foster Dulles - to whom a lot of the problems we are forced to cope with in the Middle East can be traced.

A GAO report was released yesterday that basically leaves one shaking the head and muttering it sure would be nice to have a functioning State Department right now.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 27, 2007 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

I also believe that Condi and her group are evil. They would not hesitate to take whatever actions are necessary to place them in the best possible light. This is a form of evil, and it has taken over the Executive Branch. I'm serious -- pure evil. You can see it in the face of Cheney. You know you can.

Posted by: Ben on April 27, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

i wonder why they didn't resort to the more practical choice of cooking the books?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on April 27, 2007 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

This is a funny juxtaposition with the earlier post on M.I.T.'s Marilee Jones and her lacking "credentials."
Doctor Rice, she of grand piano playing, ice skating, skiing and Soviet studies--see how well our educational system functions? She called the Russians Soviets by mistake the other day. Oops. That sure helps our diplomacy in a sensitive part of the world. She is either a living and breathing example of academic fraud or Stanford is Regents University-West.

And she decided not to honor the Congressional subpeona. Too busy to be bothered. I blame her arrogance, sycophant-laden mannerisms, and ideological blindness for 9-11 and many other disasters of the past 6+ years. She certainly didn't ameliorate any problems, while causing many others.

Dr. Rice wasn't a good hire. Still, I don't see anyone firing her. She can sneer at the unentitled and go about her own intellectual mendacity. There's another book in her, I know it!

Posted by: Sparko on April 27, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Sparko >"...There's another book in her, I know it!"

Something along the lines of "Important Fashion Behaviors of the Secretary of State During Periods of War Both Declared and Undeclared" I suspect.

Maybe she can get her old seat back on the Board of Directors of Chevron.

"I'm not a person who thinks the world would be entirely different if it was run by women. If you think that, you've forgotten what high school was like." - Madeleine Albright

Posted by: daCascadian on April 27, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

So some unnamed officials say that a government report might be filed late. And Kevin feels compelled to comment on it.

Slow news day Kevin?

Posted by: Al on April 27, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Every time I hear Republicans say what a great presidential candidate this silly cunt would be, I laugh so hard a little pee comes out.

Posted by: Pat on April 27, 2007 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Careful everyone...

A few more spiteful comments like the above and Condi will claim executive privilege, stick her tongue out, and withhold the info.

Worse: There is nothing you can do about it.

They are going to break any law they feel like.

With less than two years to go they can stonewall both courts and Congress and run out the clock.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 27, 2007 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, so that's why they released the news of the Al-Qaeda operative capture today

Posted by: Carol on April 27, 2007 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

You can insult the woman without using the term cunt. dickhead

Posted by: Carol on April 27, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

There's nothing new here at all. Face it. This administration is antithetical to open and honest government. Although I will say that there have always been problems such as not listing allied state sponsored terrorism...and our own of course. Better to go with anNGO than get informtion from these creeps.

2003 report, powell backpedalling

2004 report, Rice does not release State Dept. figures.

2005 report, see last 2 paragraphs.

Posted by: notthere on April 27, 2007 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

Carol >"You can insult...dickhead"

Hmmm, pot meet kettle.

"If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave." - Bishop Fulton John Sheen

Posted by: daCascadian on April 27, 2007 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

"i wonder why they didn't resort to the more practical choice of cooking the books?"

Methinks the numbers they published were AFTER cooking the books.

Posted by: Buford on April 27, 2007 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Sparko, I'll be the first MIT person to say that one of the grand lessons I picked up from studying at the school is that intelligence and academic achievement are in no way indicative of moral probity (at least, one should pick up on that realization while there or at any other top school. I'm not sure how many people figure that out).

Posted by: Constantine on April 27, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Even if Rice is entitled to claim executive privildge, which I think is arguable in it's own right, how can she refuse to appear? The subpoena is a writ over the person. She can show up and refuse to testify or otherwise produce evidence, but I don't understand the petulent assertion that she just won't show.

Posted by: bmaz on April 27, 2007 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you Kevin, that needed to be said. God, why do I feel like a minor character in 1983?

Posted by: anonymous on April 27, 2007 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Slow news day Kevin?"

Is that his nickname? Hate to break it to you, Al (see how neatly that was punctuated?), but this isn't a news site. It's a b-l-o-g. Ask mom about it.

As to political sensitivities, that's the only kind these people have. Bush will go down convinced that the White House is wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP.

Posted by: Kenji on April 27, 2007 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, I don't get it. If Condi refuses a subpoena, don't the state troopers get to show up at her office with handcuffs?

Thank god for all these law and order types on the right.

Posted by: smoof on April 28, 2007 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Is there some kind of "political sensitivities" exemption in the law?

No, but from what I hear, Bush has claimed the Droit de Seigneur (droit de cuissage -- jus primae noctis) with respect to his maiden Secretary of State.

Posted by: Ba'al on April 28, 2007 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "Is there some kind of 'political sensitivities' exemption in the law?"

Mon dieu! Vous paysan dégoûtant! Vous êtes très jejune!

Let me put it in terms that even you can understand. If you're a member of the right fraternity and sorority, then the world is your oyster. You can be on vacation during seminal events like pointed warnings about terrorist activity and weather reports of approaching monster hurricanes, because after all, you have certain standards to maintain.

Why, just two weeks ago, Muffie Goodling at the Department of Justice felt that she had to uphold those standards and ignore a congressional subpoena, because the mere sight of all that trashy Democrat riff-raff they allowed into the Capitol building after last November 7 just upsets her so.

Posted by: Brian "Biff" Studley, Esq., President - Delta Chi Epsilon on April 28, 2007 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, so the stats show an increase in terrorism? Bet I know how they'll fix that.

Stop keeping stats.

Posted by: fontor on April 28, 2007 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

dacasdian, it was obviously a joke. But Carol is right: Pat, misogynist epithets are unnecessary when there are so many words to describe the waste of carbon and oxygen the good doctor

Posted by: bb on April 28, 2007 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Four months ago Condi would have just sat on the report. Or had it doctored. Now with every single rotten timber and shim of the Badministration falling apart at the same time, like the one hoss shay, she can't be sure that suddenly ubiquitous high squeaking sound is just rats leaving the disintegrating ship to mind their own business (and quietly collect their wingnut welfare.) No, it might just be the sound of whistles blowing.

Under such freaky circumstances, I can see where it would be easy to descend so far into panic that you actually start telling the truth.

Posted by: nicteis on April 28, 2007 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

kd: Is there some kind of "political sensitivities" exemption in the law?

the bush admin: 10-lbs. of crap in a 5-lb. bag

Posted by: mr. irony on April 29, 2007 at 5:33 AM | PERMALINK



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