Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

June 14, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

REID AND THE BRASS, PART 2....Did Harry Reid call Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "incompetent" in a conference call with liberal bloggers on Tuesday? Oddly, Reid has declined to comment on this one way or the other even though the call was on the record. So what really happened?

Apparently there were seven bloggers on the call, and six of the seven say they don't remember hearing Reid say that. However, the seventh, Bob Geiger, provides this direct quote from the call:

REID: I guess the president, uh, he's gotten rid of Pace because he could not get him confirmed here in the Senate... Pace is also a yes-man for the president and I told him to his face, I laid it out to him last time he came to see me, I told him what an incompetent man I thought he was.

So what did Reid mean? Hard to say, precisely, but the Associated Press says that although Reid wouldn't confirm calling Pace incompetent, "he essentially said as much when he told reporters that Pace 'had not done a very good job in speaking out for some obvious things that weren't going right in Iraq.'"

OK then.

UPDATE: Greg Sargent has a more extended version of the quote here. The antecedents of "he" and "him" are not 100% clear, but the most obvious interpretation is that Reid does indeed think Pace is incompetent.

Kevin Drum 7:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (112)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Come on, Kevin. Get it right. Here's what Geiger said in his blog:

Rather, Reid was talking informally about George W. Bush's refusal to dump Alberto Gonzales and told us what he said to Pace in a private meeting before Bush tossed aside the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff like a rotting fish.

Here's exactly what Reid said:

"I guess the president, uh, he's gotten rid of Pace because he could not get him confirmed here in the Senate… Pace is also a yes-man for the president and I told him to his face, I laid it out to him last time he came to see me, I told him what an incompetent man I thought he was."

So, did Reid utter the word "incompetent" in the same sentence with General Pace's name on the conference call? Yes, he did.

But in the context in which it was said -- and based on Reid's tendency to speak like the straight-talking, former boxer that he is -- it all makes sense. And to those of us not looking for a Matt Drudge-worthy story, it hardly seemed remarkable.

Posted by: pol on June 14, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

This reminds me of December, 2004 when Reid blasted Clarence Thomas. Reid told NBC's "Meet the Press": "I think that [Thomas] has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court.

"I think that his opinions are poorly written. I just don't think that he's done a good job as a Supreme Court justice."

When asked to identify some of Thomas' supposed poorly written decisions, Reid was unable to identify a single one. I have seen no evidence that Reid has read any of Thomas's decisions. As far as I know, most serious Supreme Court observers have no problem with Thomas's writing, although they may disagree with his decisions.

There are some posters on this Board who think anyone who disagrees with their POV is stupid and incompetent. Reid seems to reason in the same way.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

So a person whose job is to approve applicants for a job based on qualifications mentions that he felt an applicant was not qualified for the job and we interrupt Paris talk for this?

Posted by: jg on June 14, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

So, my comment remains the same, what Senator Reid said is his business.

No one should rely upon approbation from the politicians of the moment to validate their career.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 14, 2007 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

'As far as I know, most serious Supreme Court observers '

Wow. I thought using 'serious' to describe a pundit was just a passing fad but you little wingnuts will allow yourselves to be knocked over by even the simplest of terms. 'Serious'? You people allow left wing arguments to be dismissed simply by having the guy saying them characterized as 'not serious'. So weak. Will you guys ever wake up and realize the right isn't even bothering to justify shit to you anymore? They don't have to, you'll believe it anyway.

Posted by: jg on June 14, 2007 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

There are some posters on this Board who think anyone who disagrees with their POV is stupid and incompetent. Reid seems to reason in the same way.
Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

There are some posters on this Board who think that every time someone (particularly one of their right-wing heroes) is criticized for being incompetent, that its always a political argument rather than a substantive one. ex-liberal seems to reason in the same way.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

what Senator Reid said is his business

You don't think that maybe what the head of the Senate says, when speaking on the record about other senior government officials, is OUR business too?

I'd be happy to see Reid claim ownership of the statement, or even to deny it, but wishy-washily ignoring it does not impress me.

Posted by: Shelby on June 14, 2007 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Bob Geiger says The Politico flunked journalism 100 but his post confirms the Politico story, at least the part about Gen. Pace. Reid did call him incompetent. The guy just got fired as head of the Joint Chiefs and the war he has been running is a disaster so it really shouldn't be a controversial thing to say. But he did say it. Interesting that the other 6 bloggers on that call say they don't remember this comment at all.

Posted by: bosco on June 14, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

jg: So a person whose job is to approve applicants for a job based on qualifications mentions that he felt an applicant was not qualified for the job

I would agree with this argument if Pace were up for confirmation. But, Pace is a lame duck, so Reid's comment is gratuituous.

Incidentally, the Politico article reports that Reid made similar disparaging remarks about Army Gen. David Petraeus, yet Reid recently voted to confirm Petraeus. I haven't checked, but I would bet that Reid voted for Pace's confirmation as well.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand Kevin's post. If what Bob Geiger said is true then he definitely did call Pace incompetent. And Reid could simply deny it if it isn't true.

I really don't understand Reid. He says the war is lost and the top General is incompetent. Then he gives Bush 100 billion to continue with the war. Talk about passive-aggressive.

Posted by: NYT on June 14, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

more from WaPo: Reid said he also was concerned about Petraeus, who told USA Today this week that there are "astonishing signs of normalcy" throughout the majority of Baghdad. Petraeus was quoted as saying, "I'm talking about professional soccer leagues with real grass field stadiums, several amusement parks, big ones, markets that are very vibrant."
&&&
Reid said the remark "gives you a feeling that he's not in touch with what is really going on in Iraq or just trying to make the president feel good."

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Shelby wrote:

"I'd be happy to see Reid claim ownership of the statement, or even to deny it, but wishy-washily ignoring it does not impress me."
______________________

It makes little difference, Shelby. Senator Reid is a politician, one whose popularity is none to high at the moment. Politicians trade in words, some of which hopefully make sense for the public good. Senator Reid, like all politicians, might say something he believes in to the faithful and still not wish the words to become public. That's simply the nature of things.

And if General Pace has been true to his oath, to his duty as he saw it, he probably hasn't lost any sleep over it, either.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 14, 2007 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

I really don't understand Reid. He says the war is lost and the top General is incompetent. Then he gives Bush 100 billion to continue with the war. Talk about passive-aggressive.
Posted by: NYT on June 14, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Truly.
Can't argue with that.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Then again; if you want passive-aggressive - how about saying you're against big government, and then expanding government faster and larger than any other time in US history, presumably in hopes of bankrupting it?

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

What Reid said was accurate, or at least a justified opinion. Did he violate some law? No. Should people in his position say such things at all? Absolutely. Why have Republicans not said similar things? Either personal cowardice, fear of attack from their right, shameful loyalty to party over country, fear of the White House, or some combination of the above.

The Republicans have lost all perspective, decency, and respect for principle. All they care about now is partisan tribalism. Attack, attack, attack: that's what they're reduced to.

Posted by: DNS on June 14, 2007 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. Should Reid own his statement? Yes -- defiantly. Does this make him look hypocritical and spineless because he voted to confirm Pace and/or Petraeus? Yes.

They say that good policy makes for good politics. So does having the courage of one's convictions, voting one's conscience, speaking plainly and truthfully about important issues and not constantly triangulating, spinning, hedging one's bets, pandering to the audience in front of you.

Is Reid right about Pace and the prosecution of the [civil] war in Iraq? Absolutely. Could he be more principled, more consistent, more forthright? Absolutely.

In other words, he's good in some ways, in some ways not so good. But overall he's someone I can support.

Now why can't Republicans approach this in the same spirit: acknowledge the overarching principles, acknowledge where there is common ground, and then clearly articulate why they take a different position. For example: "Reid is entitled to his opinion, and there is even some justification for his opinion, but we believe it shows poor judgment to express his views so strongly at this time and to this particular audience." Something like that.

But instead they attack him in absolutist, scorched-earth, below-the-belt language. That's why I long ago lost all respect for pro-Bush Republicans.

Posted by: DNS on June 14, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

DNS: Now why can't Republicans approach this in the same spirit: acknowledge the overarching principles, acknowledge where there is common ground, and then clearly articulate why they take a different position.

Fair question. IMHO the point is that there's a war going on, and Pace and Petraeus are on our team. Harry Reid should be encouraging our team. Name-calling against our top generals does just the reverse.

Also criticizing military people is particularly dubious, because these people have risked their lives for the good of the country. Even ineffective military people deserve our respect and gratitude.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

If your friend has been drinking, he's still your friend, still a decent person, still someone you hope you will retain as a friend. But if the task at hand is driving home so that you can both get up in the morning and continue your friendship with your bodies intact, will you or will you not hand your friend the keys? If yes, why? If not, why not? And if you don't hand your friend the keys, does that mean you no longer value your friendship?

In other words, you're confusing and conflating two completely different things: the fact that a person may deserve respect for past military service and his/her competence to continue serving in a particular position.

Posted by: DNS on June 14, 2007 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

The whole Reid story is the story of the left for the past four years. If Reid is convinced that he has to stop the war, why not vote to stop the war ? The Democrats are working to make even Carter look decisive. The whole scenario is being laid out in detail so people can choose. Surrender is one option and Reid is its spokesman. It would be funny if it was not so sad. The 1930s all over again.

Posted by: Mike K on June 14, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

...these people have risked their lives for the good of the country.

Unlike you or yours, cheerleader.

Even ineffective military people deserve our respect and gratitude.

Bullshit. That kind of faulty thinking is why Calley got off and is even somewhat lionized by your ilk, instill of busting rocks in his dotage, which by the way he should be.

But this is about what we expect from you. Tool.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on June 14, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

should have been instead. Obviously.

Posted by: Isle of Lucy on June 14, 2007 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: Also criticizing military people is particularly dubious, because these people have risked their lives for the good of the country. Even ineffective military people deserve our respect and gratitude.

Can anyone on this thread tell us whether ex-liberal had this atitude towards Kerry during the 2004 election?

Posted by: DNS on June 14, 2007 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

OK, all you liberal hot-shots: If Pace is SO incompetent, then how come Bush fired him? Huh?

Explain THAT one, if you can!

Posted by: Lionel Hutz, attorney-at-law on June 14, 2007 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't this just the height of what Josh Marshall (?) calls bitch-slap politics? Reid says what he said, Politico puts up the story and Dems scramble and cry "He didn't say it. Ok, he said it but it was in a different context. Stop picking on us! Waaaa"

Harry Reid ought to walk up to the nearest camera and microphone and say "Incompetent? Hell, yes I said he's incompetent. I think everybody from the Bush Administration involved in deciding to go into Iraq, and then proceeding to compound that monumental mistake with all the subsequent mistakes are incompetents. And George W Bush is the most incomptent of them all."

"Peter Pace got fired by George W Bush. You know how big a screw-up you gotta be to get fired by George W Bush? You gotta be a bigger screw-up that Alberto Gonzales! You gotta screw up on a 'Helluva job Brownie' level. Do I think Peter Pace is incompetent? Yes. And so does George W Bush."

Posted by: Robert Earle on June 14, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

If it walks like a duck....

When did it become a political liability to call a spade a spade?

Posted by: justmy2 on June 14, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Reid said...
There is a long list of people including Senators (Carl) Levin and (Jack) Reed and others who have talked about General Pace long before I did.

Heh. Ratting out your buds to save your own ass. Oldest and lowest trick in the book.

I give him points for saying it to Pace's face.

Posted by: Voices in my head on June 14, 2007 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK
OK, all you liberal hot-shots: If Pace is SO incompetent, then how come Bush fired him? Huh?

Explain THAT one, if you can!


Heh, too good not to repeat! Reid should accept ownership of the statement and stand by it! I have long posited that Pace has been incompetent, but I see nothing positive in leadership on the horizon! Posted by: fred on June 14, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

"When asked to identify some of Thomas' supposed poorly written decisions, Reid was unable to identify a single one. "

Isn't the knock on Thomas that he's famous for silent concurrences, usually with Scalia? So how many decisions has he written?

Posted by: ArC on June 14, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Our entire command structure in the military is

so antiquated it's pathetic.

We can drop all the bombs we want, shoot brazilians (pun intended) of civilians and we STILL won't win.

We have to think long and hard about how our entire economy is parasited by the warmongers.

Got peace yet?

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on June 14, 2007 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

Harry Reid ought to walk up to the nearest camera and microphone and say . . .
Posted by: Robert Earle on June 14, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

At which point, the Fox News Channel microphone "accidentally" gets switched off. Or this clip gets edited out. Or they cut to Coulter, who calls him a fag.

I don't blame the Democrats for looking like jerks here, because the Corporate Newsmedia will twist and slant everything they say.

Fair question. IMHO the point is that there's a war going on, and Pace and Petraeus are on our team. Harry Reid should be encouraging our team. . .
Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Um, ex- this is not a fucking hockey game.

People are fucking dying because of this moron, Pace. Some times, you gotta put down the pom-poms, run out onto the field, and deck the quarterback before more people get hurt.

...Also criticizing military people is particularly dubious, because these people have risked their lives for the good of the country. Even ineffective military people deserve our respect and gratitude.

Who risked their lives?

Pace didn't.
Bush didn't.
Rush Limbaugh didn't.
Cheney didn't.
You didn't.

Don't fucking talk to us about who risked their lives.

Iraqi children risk their lives every day, just by having the misfortune of being born the wrong religion, in the wrong country, that got invaded by the wrong army, commanded by a general who is so incompetent, he can't protect you from sectarian violence even though he's got the largest and most expensive high-tech military in the history of human civilization, and he also had the convenience that comes with the political expediency when your CinC says things like "the gloves have to come off" or when your SoD says things like "make sure this happens!"

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

I have long posited that Pace has been incompetent...

Pace was Clark's deputy (or worked with him closely somehow...not sure the details) during the Kosovo campaign, and did well by him. I would be curious to hear Clark weigh in on the matter.

Yea, here's the resume of a loser incompetent man.

Posted by: Voices in my head on June 14, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

ArC: Isn't the knock on Thomas that he's famous for silent concurrences, usually with Scalia? So how many decisions has he written?

ArC: It is true that Thomas almost never speaks during the public oral argument. He says that he learns by listening.

We don't know what his contribution is to private discussions among the Justices. He has written his appropriate share of decisions. I've read some of them. As far as I can see, they're very well written. He and Scalia often agree, as do pairs of liberal Justices.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Osama been forgotten...
Who risked their lives?

Pace didn't.

He served in Vietnam

General Pace was assigned to the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam, serving first as a Rifle Platoon Leader and subsequently as Assistant Operations Officer...personal decorations include...Bronze Star Medal with Combat V;...Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V";...and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Posted by: Voices in my head on June 14, 2007 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, they make some very effective meds for those voices now, you know.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 14, 2007 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's military service was not without risk. He might have been sent to combat. He piloted dangeous jet fighter planes in training.

Training casualties don't get much publicity, but there are a lot of them. A surprising statistic I saw recently: The number of military training deaths during Clinton's Presidency is almost double the number of Americans who have died fighting in Iraq.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, they make some very effective meds for those voices now, you know.
Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.)

You're missing the point. The purpose of the meds is to induce them, not suppress them (says me with a jelly jar glass of box chardonnay in my hand.)

Posted by: Voices in my head on June 14, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

For the record - Pace's service in Vietnam is exactly why I find him so distasteful now - he is a party to replicating the perfidy that he surely detested when he was a junior officer and being lied to. Naively, I expected better from this crop of flag ranks. I expected them to remember how they felt about the lies and mendacity, and to not repeat it. Guess it was too much to ask. Glad to be done with it.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 14, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

"There are some posters on this Board who think anyone who disagrees with their POV is stupid and incompetent"

LOL... No, dear, we think you're stupid and incompetent because, well, you're stupid and incompetent. Sorry to be the one to have to break it to you....

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sipping bourbon myself, and trying to come up with something to write about...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 14, 2007 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the update and link, Kevin.

In that long paragraph the word "he" sometimes refers to Bush and sometimes to Pace. I think Reid said that he told Pace to his face that Pace was incompetent. But it's possible that Reid said he told Bush to his face that Pace was incompetent.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

So far, every one who has worked for this administration has proven incompetent, including Colin Powell.

Posted by: Bonnie on June 14, 2007 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Jeebus! The Gateway Pund-idiot trots that out all the time. All the natural causes and car accidents and what-have-you deaths during Clinton's administration are a higher total than the war dead - now add those numbers in to the war dead and you have an accurate picture, but that would be too close to realistic for the kool-aid swillers who read that joker - and by the way, the last time he trotted it out, he got his ass handed to him in the comments and turned them off.

I refer to that bit of spin as statistical gymnastics.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 14, 2007 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

If you read the transcript thoroughly, Reid was also taking about Gen. Pace within a context of a discussion about the general incompetence and duplicity in Alberto-led Department of Justice.

But the bottom line is this: Sen. Reid indeed said that Gen. Pace was "incompetent". Many of us have also offered pretty much the same sentiments about that sorry-assed and over-bemedaled excuse for a jarhead.

So. Fucking. What.

This wingnut-driven discussion is nothing more than the political equivalent of a dog chewing on a "hush-puppy". It's just yet another hapless serving of stale juvenile musings that passes for serious discussion nowadays amongst the Beltway-based punditariat and those mindless adherents who hang onto their every word.

The Politico's sole purpose in posting this nonsense was to distract public attention from more serious issues of far greater importance and substance. Voila! The tactic was apparently successful -- again.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 14, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bob Geiger is getting reaaly really good at his trade.

As you are too, Mr.Drum.

Posted by: jharp on June 14, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Petraeus was damned near a casualty of a training exercise (might have been during the Clinton administration) - got a hole blown in his torso at Fort Campbell. Bill Frist saved him, iirc.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 14, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Fair question. IMHO the point is that there's a war going on, and Pace and Petraeus are on our team. Harry Reid should be encouraging our team. Name-calling against our top generals does just the reverse."

Gee, someone should have told Abraham Lincoln that. Talk about a self-evidently stupid comment....

"Also criticizing military people is particularly dubious, because these people have risked their lives for the good of the country. Even ineffective military people deserve our respect and gratitude."

Gratitude, perhaps, but respect must be earned.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Speaking of incompetence."

Dear heart, just which party do you think is responsible for obstructing passage of legislation?

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of incompetence.

Speaking of obstructionist Republicans.

Fixed it for you.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on June 14, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

"But it's possible that Reid said he told Bush to his face that Pace was incompetent."

It's also possible that Reid told Bush to his face that Bush was incompetent.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

The war has been a disaster. It has been run by morons, idiots, fools and bone-heads. That is, it's a Repukeliscum war, a Repukeliscum disaster and the fault of the neo-incompetents and the Repukeliscum.

Every single person associated with the war has been , is and always will be considered incompetent.

Reid is just not willing to play those namby-pamby politically correct games that the Repukeliscum love to play. He calls an incompetent an incompetent.

I applaud him for his unwillingness to play the bullshit game.

Posted by: POed Lib on June 14, 2007 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "A surprising statistic I saw recently: The number of military training deaths during Clinton's Presidency is almost double the number of Americans who have died fighting in Iraq."

Sure. Right. There were over 7,000 servicemen and servicewomen accidentally killed in military training exercises during the period January 20, 1993 - January 20, 2001, when Bill Clinton happened to be president.

Next, I suppose you'll also tell us that it was Hillary and Vince Foster who first loosened all the lugnuts, and that's why she later had her lesbian lover Susan McDougal kill him.

C'mon, ex! This kind of nonsensical statistic is way over-the-top, even for you. Just on its face, it's so easily refutable that to even offer it up for discussion on this site is insulting to both Kevin, your host, and the rest of us, his guests.

Where do you read this bullshit -- at FreeRepublic.com? Or are you just hallucinating after injecting a speedball of oxycontin and adrenaline?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 14, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

It's a terrible habit, I know. But I cannot seem to construct a sentence with "Iraq" in it without having the word "incompetent" in there somewhere these days.
Kinda like typing the letter q without a reflexive u added I guess.

Posted by: jay boilswater on June 14, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Did you get your homework done?

Cheney, don't you need to go help your partner with the new baby... breast-feeding, changing diapers, or something?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on June 14, 2007 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'd be happy to see Reid claim ownership of the statement, or even to deny it, but wishy-washily ignoring it does not impress me.

I am not impressed by your ability to fact check. Reid did respond. Go Google.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on June 14, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

The larger context posted at TPM makes it sound to me like it was Gonzales that got called incompetent, not Pace, although admittedly it's a bit obscure:

REID: Look what this Justice Department has done. And now, with the Surgeon General, we have a man here who has written articles that I think are a little questionable as to in our modern society. He's a medical doctor. And don't worry, he's gonna be looked at very closely.

BLOGGER QUESTION: What's the next step on Gonzales?

REID: Well, I guess the President, he's gotten rid of Pace because he could not get confirmed here in the Senate. Pace is also a yes-man for the President. I told him to his face, I laid it out last time he came in to see me. I told him what an incompetent man I thought he was. But he got rid of his Joint Chiefs of Staff chair, but he still hangs on to this failed Attorney General.

Reid is complaining that the President fired Pace, but is keeping (the rather worse) Gonzales.

Posted by: rea on June 14, 2007 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

The Repukeliscum are gonna bear the blame for the disaster of this war. The blood is on the head of any moron who voted for these pieces of shit.

I hope that any one who voted for Bush in 2004 gets a serious case of hemeroids, and cannot sit down comfortably for the next 19 months.

Posted by: POed Lib on June 14, 2007 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

the sky is blue

the grass is green

shit stinks

the Pope is an ex Nazi

Pace is incompetent


Oh God, the inhumanity...

Posted by: eritt on June 14, 2007 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Think Progress tonight

Reid confirms Pace, Petraeus comments.

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed Thursday that he told liberal bloggers [this] week that he thinks outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace is ‘incompetent.’”

Reid said he told Pace face-to-face recently that he had performed poorly as an adviser on the conduct of the Iraq war.

“I believe that General Pace would not be if he had come forward to be reappointed the chairman of the Joints Chiefs. It wouldn’t have happened and I’m not going to get into what I said or didn’t say. There is a long list of people including Senators (Carl) Levin and (Jack) Reed and others who have talked about General Pace long before I did. I think we should just drop it. The fact is, he’s not going to be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, for which I’m happy,” Reid said. […]

Reid ripped Petraeus for an interview published in Thursday’s USA Today describing progress in Iraq. … “I was a little disappointed, to say the least, today reading USA Today newspaper, where he’s saying things are going fine, kids are playing soccer. The truth is, you look at another newspaper and look at a different page of USA Today, the bloodiest three months of the war has been since the surge took place,” Reid said.

Posted by: Neal on June 14, 2007 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

In an interview with USA Today yesterday, Gen. David Petraeus, top commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, claimed that he sees “astonishing signs of normalcy” in Baghdad:

“I’m talking about professional soccer leagues with real grass field stadiums, several amusement parks — big ones, markets that are very vibrant. … The Iraqi army has, in general, done quite well in the face of some really serious challenges.”

Posted by: Neal on June 14, 2007 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK
.....ex-lax at 7:35 PM
Some Clarence Thomas decisions. Among the ugliest legal atrocities:

...Thomas has also invited the Court to overturn its decisions applying the Eighth Amendment's cruel and unusual punishments prohibition to conduct in prisons. In Hudson v. McMillian (1992), Thomas proclaimed in dissent that “The Eighth Amendment is not, and should not be turned into, a National Code of Prison Regulation” (p. 28). Thomas's narrow, originalist construction of the Eighth Amendment has been evident in death penalty cases. Most recently, he joined Justice Scalia's dissenting opinion in Atkins v. Virginia (2002), a case that exempted individuals with mild mental retardation from the death penalty. Scalia, Thomas, and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist voiced concern that symptoms of mental retardation could be easily feigned....

He held that prison guards had no constitutional restrictions on the treatment of prisoners. Thomas is a pig.
It's obvious that no Democrat has any right to criticize anyone any Republican decides to defend unless and until Republicans turn against that person. Even then, Democrats only have the right to stfu.

....if General Pace has been true to his oath...Trashhauler 8:00 PM

Pace makes bigoted comments and won't apologize. Is that in his 'oath'?
The Democrats are working to make even Carter look decisive....Mike K at 8:43 PM

Bush has made Carter look like a great president
Yea, here's the resume of a loser incompetent man.
Voices in my head at 9:24 PM

The Peter Principle: " employees within an organization will advance to their highest level of competence and then be promoted to and remain at a level at which they are incompetent."

Posted by: Mike on June 14, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

I love the smell of BS in the morning...

Where, in Baghdad Iraq, in summer heats of 120 degrees, in a place where there is little excess water, where oh where are the grassy soccer fields?

Posted by: Neal on June 14, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Reid is an ineffective leader. Pace is an ineffective leader. Bush is an ineffective leader.

Same. Same. Same.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 14, 2007 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand Kevin's post. If what Bob Geiger said is true then he definitely did call Pace incompetent. And Reid could simply deny it if it isn't true.

I really don't understand Reid. He says the war is lost and the top General is incompetent. Then he gives Bush 100 billion to continue with the war. Talk about passive-aggressive.

Posted by: NYT on June 14, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Blindly ignoring the facts and subtelties. Passive aggressive?

Him or you?

Posted by: notthere on June 14, 2007 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

I think Thomas's opinions are, for the most part, poorly written.

Do I have to find a decision to point at? No, not really, almost any will do. Give me any three in sequence, that he wrote the opinions (concenting or dissenting) for... I'm sure one is rather dumb.

Why should I have to remember your dumb statements? You've made so many.

Posted by: Crissa on June 14, 2007 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Notthere
If you oppose the war then oppose the war.
Reid says the war is lost (which I think is true).

Then he gives 100 billion to Bush to continue the war.
And he follows that up by saying Pace is incompetent, as if someone another General could solve the problems in Iraq.
Now where is the logic in that?

Last month the Democrats had pretty much nothing to do with Bush's war. Now they have own the 100 billion they sent to Bush and they own a new Chairman of the JCs.
Slowly but surely Reid is buying them a share of one of the great foreign policy catastrophes of all time long after even he could see it was a disaster.

That is why I say he is passive-aggressive.

Posted by: NYT on June 14, 2007 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know how reliable this source is, but according to this source Reid admits he said it:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,282632,00.html

About Pace and Petraeus both.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Here is another atrocious opinion by Thomas
... The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today that an Ohio prisoner’s challenge of his murder conviction must be thrown out because he missed a filing deadline by a few days — not through his or his lawyer’s fault, but because a federal judge made a mistake.
...Majority decision by, of course, Thomas.
Joining Justice Thomas were Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Samuel A. Alito Jr.
The majority held that a federal appeals court was correct in deciding that it could not hear an appeal of the prisoner, Keith Bowles, even though a federal judge had “inexplicably” made an error that derailed his case. ...

When the logic and the law are insane, it doesn't matter how it's written.

Here is Pace attacking Murtha
...Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked at a Pentagon news conference to comment on remarks by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a Marine Corps veteran who has become a leading voice in Congress advocating an early withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq (as he did during the Somalia Conflict). Murtha told ABC News this week that if he were eligible to join the military he would not, nor would he expect others to join.
"That's damaging to recruiting," Pace said. "It's damaging to morale of the troops who are deployed and it's damaging to the morale of their families who believe in what they are doing to serve this country."...

According to Pace, total submission to a Republican administration's demands is the only possible course any Democrat can take.

Posted by: Mike on June 14, 2007 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, actually Pace has apologized.

Mike, your examples of Thomas rulings you disapprove of may arguably be ugly policy atrocities, but they are legally well-reasoned. Thomas believes that the Constitution does not provide a remedy for all ills. He believes that under the Constitution his role is purely legal interpretation, not policy-making

Crissa, can you cite even one decision or dissent written of Thomas and explain why it's poorly written? I bet you can't do it.

Neal wrote: Reid ripped Petraeus for an interview published in Thursday’s USA Today describing progress in Iraq. … “I was a little disappointed, to say the least, today reading USA Today newspaper, where he’s saying things are going fine, kids are playing soccer. The truth is, you look at another newspaper...

Reid is ripping Petraeus for not agreeing with newspapers. Since Petraeus is in Iraq, he knows more than those newspapers. Also, Petaeus' Ph.D. in international affairs from Princeton University suggests that he's wiser than most reporters.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Not There - I am struggling with a post about the situation in Palestine right now. Hopefully I will have it ready to post in an hour or so. Feel free to email me your perspective. I could really use the help, frankly.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 14, 2007 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Neal: Where, in Baghdad Iraq, in summer heats of 120 degrees, in a place where there is little excess water, where oh where are the grassy soccer fields?

good question. It's possible that the water comes from the rivers that flow through Baghdad, but where the grassy soccer fields are, that I don't know. How up to date is GoogleEarth?

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

"Reid is ripping Petraeus for not agreeing with newspapers."

No, dear, he's ripping Petraeus for not agreeing with the latest comprehensive military reports as reported in those newspapers. Do try to keep up, won't you, dear? Petraeus' remarks were directly contradicted by reality.

"Since Petraeus is in Iraq, he knows more than those newspapers."

Dear heart, those newspaper reporters, as well as those experts who compiled those military reports, are in Iraq, as well. And, unlike Petraeus, they don't have to toe the party line to keep their jobs. Again, do try to keep up.

"Also, Petaeus' Ph.D. in international affairs from Princeton University suggests that he's wiser than most reporters."

ROFL... Actually, it doesn't suggest anything of the kind, unless you're a mindless partisan drone, incapable of independent thought. Oh ... Oh, dear, I'm so sorry.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Neal, besides the rivers, there are lots of canals and lakes, swimming pools, trees and greenswards. I only found one obvious soccer field, and it was green. But the picture was from February, so it might be brown by now.

There are lots of dry open spaces.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

If General Pace were incompetent, the President never would have appointed him as chairman JCOS. Now he is simply being rewarded with a well-deserved rest.

Posted by: Al on June 15, 2007 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

Al: "If General Pace were incompetent, the President never would have appointed him as chairman JCOS. Now he is simply being rewarded with a well-deserved rest."

Whenever you comment, Al, it's quite obvious that nobody plays "The Ignorant Doofus" quite like you. Thanks for the break in levity.

And if you were indeed serious, well, then, never mind -- you moron.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 15, 2007 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

Also, Petaeus' Ph.D. in international affairs from Princeton University suggests that he's wiser than most reporters.

Huh. By that standard, my two honors degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School suggest that I'm wiser than ex-liberal.

Posted by: Stefan on June 15, 2007 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

Congratulations Stefan. I am impressed.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 15, 2007 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

Does Reid walk around with one foot in his mouth? WTH is wrong with the man? Hey, Senator, get a clue-don't say anything on a conference call that you don't want broadcast on Drudge.

Who leaked the information? That's what I want to know. And why didn't Reid's office handle this problem sooner? This is a mess any way you look at it.

It is all boiling down to this for me: Reid does not seem to be a very effective majority leader.

Posted by: Susan on June 15, 2007 at 7:41 AM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii wrote: C'mon, ex! This kind of nonsensical statistic is way over-the-top, even for you. Just on its face, it's so easily refutable that to even offer it up for discussion on this site is insulting to both Kevin, your host, and the rest of us, his guests.

Well, duh -- that's the point. "ex-liberal" doesn't comment here in good faith; insulting Kevin and the rest of us is the entire point.

Posted by: Gregory on June 15, 2007 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

"Huh. By that standard, my two honors degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School suggest that I'm wiser than ex-liberal."
____________________

And yet, most of your posts consist of insults. Your professors must be so proud.

Posted by: trashhauler on June 15, 2007 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Mike, at 11:00 PM, mentioned the The Peter Principle - I believe that it has been revised to The Peter Pace Principle.

Matters not what pro forma medals are on his chest. Even a bemedaled hero of trying to cover up My Lai, one fellow named Powell, rose to the incompetency of sitting at the UN and spewing swill. BGRS has stated often with knowledge, that most upper increases in Grade in the military are politically inspired. One learns to play the political game in order to advance - That is why so many in the upper grades are toadies and yes men. Unfortunately, there is more to playing the game than just trying to be the best "dirty boot" officer.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 15, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Trashhauler: And yet, most of your posts consist of insults. Your professors must be so proud.

No, they don't. Most of Stefan's posts consist of highly informed, citation-rich, factual arguments that, incidentally, blow your purposely vague and constantly shifting whines out of the water. What's bothering you is that when Stefan does engage in outright insults--which he does with wit and economy of phrase--so many of them are rightfully directed at you.

Posted by: shortstop on June 15, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: Would that mean then that GWB's MBA from Yale makes him smarter than Stefan? Yes it would.

Bush's MBA is from Harvard, not Yale; it didn't receive anything resembling honors; and his professors remember this legacy admission as one of the dumbest students they ever encountered.

Really looking forward to the day we get rid of affirmative action admissions for Bush and his ilk.

Posted by: shortstop on June 15, 2007 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

[comment by previously banned troll has been deleted]

Posted by: Harry Reid on June 15, 2007 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

If Pace was competent, then he would continue on as Joint Chiefs Chairman. He is not being remoninated so ergo he is not competent. So what's wrong with Harry Reid calling a spade a spade?

Posted by: Sean Scallon on June 15, 2007 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Sean,

Pace was not renominated because Reid and the other Dems made clear they would turn his renomination hearings into another Bush-sucks circus. The withdrawal of his nomination has nothing to do with the administration buying into Reid's "assessment" of the man.

As I said yesterday, I think it is now incumbent upon Reid to back up his rhetoric. Otherwise, he will be rightly criticized for extending his political/policy fight with the president to the military without reasonable grounds for doing so.

He needs to explain why exactly Pace is incompetent and a "yes man" (probably the worse of the two accusations). And Reid needs to explain why he thinks he has more insight into what's going on in Baghdad than Petraeus. And why he voted to confirm this man who he now claims to view as not competent either. Moreover, he needs to explain why Petraeus is wrong about his observations regarding signs of normalcy in 2/3rds of Baghdad. Does Reid know this is wrong? Prove it. For what it's worth, citing violence in Diyala doesn't disprove the point Petraeus was making that caused Reid such issues in the first place. In short, it's time for Reid to come up with something other than vapid insults for these military leaders.

Posted by: Hacksaw on June 15, 2007 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK
Also, Petaeus' Ph.D. in international affairs from Princeton University suggests that he's wiser than most reporters.

It might be evidence (though not dispositive) that he at one point had a better grasp of international affairs than most reporters, but any adult who thinks that a Ph.D., or any other academic degree, indicates much of anything about being "wise" is sadly deluded.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 15, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Bush's MBA is from Harvard, not Yale; it didn't receive anything resembling honors; and his professors remember this legacy admission as one of the dumbest students they ever encountered.

Not to mention that an MBA is not exactly the most, ah, academically rigorous graduate degree. Unlike law school, people go to B-School for the connections, not the education.

Posted by: Stefan on June 15, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

On the other hand, only a law school graduate would have the nerve to sue his dry cleaner for $54 million over a pair of pants!!!

On a serious note, connections certainly are a major consideration in law school as well, at least as a discriminator among the better schools. Though I think you are rights about law school being more of an academic endeavor.

Posted by: Hacksaw on June 15, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Not to mention that many older execs buy their way into, not only the MBA program, but the School of Government, see O'Arrogantone, as well.

But, back to perusing that famous photo of Grant surrendering to Lee. How could it have been otherwise? Why, Lee graduated 2nd in his class at the Point, and later was a Professor there. Poor Grant was only 21st out of 39 in his, and failed, later as a businessman. And how could a poor boy from Illinois possibly defeat a Virginia patrician?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 15, 2007 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

It was just a chickenshit thing to say that he was incompetent, just the standard ad hominem. If you look at Pace's bio, it is one high-powered job after another starting with a combat command in Vietnam, always upward, always done with competence. I'm good friends with someone who worked for him back during Kosovo, and he had nothing but great things to say about him, an opinion he doesn't have for many of his senior officers.

I'd appreciate a little more deference given to his service and his record rather than lumping him in with the trash collector who leaves broken glass on the curb, a casual "you're incompetent" dismissal with a wave of the hand. The guy is already on his way out the door, Reid's comment was just unnecessary, gratuitous, tactless BS. Saying it to his face? Fine, mano-a-mano, as it should be. Bragging about it to bloggers? That sucks. The only reason I can see a need for him to say it is for his own political gain.

Posted by: Voices in my head on June 15, 2007 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

It sounded to me like Reid was talking about the President being incompetent. If you go to TPM and get the full quote...

Reid...Well, I guess the President, he's gotten rid of Pace because he could not get confirmed here in the Senate. Pace is also a yes-man for the President. I told him to his face, I laid it out last time he came in to see me. I told him what an incompetent man I thought he was. But he got rid of his Joint Chiefs of Staff chair, but he still hangs on to this failed Attorney General. And I guess he's gonna [inaudible]. We're gonna keep focusing on it. Every day that goes by, it seems he keeps giving. Now we've learned that the immigration judges are all graduates of Regent University I guess.

but the most obvious interpretation is that Reid does indeed think Pace is incompetent.

I don't agree. Of course, it would help if Reid didn't speak in fragments and incomplete thoughts.

Posted by: ckelly on June 15, 2007 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

"Pace is also a yes-man for the President. I told him to his face, I laid it out last time he came in to see me. I told him what an incompetent man I thought he was. But he got rid of his Joint Chiefs of Staff chair, but he still hangs on to this failed Attorney General."

Actually, reading this it's far more likely that Reid is calling Bush incompetent, not Pace. The use of "he" in the third and fourth sentences is clearly referring to Bush, which implies strongly that the "he" in the preceding sentence refers to Bush as well, so it's actually "I told him [Pace] what an incompetent man I thought he [Bush] was. But he [Bush] got rid of his...."

Posted by: Stefan on June 15, 2007 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

It sure looks obvious to me that Reid called Pace incompetent. I can't believe anyone is seriously arguing otherwise.

What I wonder is who handed that tidbit over to Politico. It allowed Politico to give ammo to the right against Reid ("Can you believe he insulted our military!"). And it allowed Politico to get in a double-edged dig against liberal bloggers - I think what Politico hopes readers will infer from that story is that you can't trust liberal bloggers to report accurately, and it's also hoping that Democratic politicians will think they can't trust liberal bloggers not to leak things that will make them look bad to the likes of Politico.

I have to hand it to Politico. Nice work, assholes. And nice work by whoever leaked that piece of info to them.

Posted by: kc on June 15, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Resumes of the past mean zilch as to the competency, or lack thereof, of running Bush's War. The incompetency has become a matter of "res ipsa loquitor". The war has become the large bag of grain falling from the warehouse onto the American and Iraqi people. Bush, the neocons and the upper levels of the military own the warehouse.

Have Cardozo explain it to you, Hacksaw.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 15, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Well you could just as easily read it this way:

"Well, I guess the President, he's gotten rid of Pace because he could not get confirmed here in the Senate. Pace is also a yes-man for the President. I told [Bush] to his face, I laid it out last time [Bush] came in to see me. I told [Bush] what an incompetent man I thought [Pace] as. But [Bush] got rid of his Joint Chiefs of Staff chair, but he still hangs on to this failed Attorney General."

Makes even more sense given the context of the quote regarded what Bush was going to do with his various incompetent underlings (in the view of Reid and the bloggers).

Posted by: Hacksaw on June 15, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK
they are legally well-reasoned. Thomas believes that the Constitution does not provide a remedy for all ills....ex-lax at 11:35 PM
Pace apologized but refused to retract and he did not apologize to Martha.

Thomas, like the other so called originalists, only believes his role is interpretation when it suits his political agenda. Thomas is the most activitist judge on the bench

Thomas' 'reasoning' skills are minimal. His agenda is to enhance the power of oppressive governments. One could also say that Yoo presented 'well-reasoned' arguments for a unitary executive, but that, like Thomas' opinions are basically crap. Begin with a false premises, reason from that, and the opinion is still crap.

Pace was not renominated because Reid and the other Dems made clear they would turn his renomination hearings into another Bush-sucks circus....Hacksaw at 10:35 AM
You're saying that Bush and Pace are afraid to face the American people and answer for their policies. He was shitcanned because his boss is a coward.
I'd appreciate a little more deference.... Voices in my head at 11:06 AM
The sad cry of the truly incompetent. When do Republicans give any deference to any American's record unless they hew the party line? Like all schoolyard bullies, you kick people around and when it comes back to bite you in the butt, it's all whining, crying, blubbering and sniveling. Posted by: Mike on June 15, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Mike,

Hardly. The administration wanted to have the focus of the nomination be on what needs to be done in the coming years. The Dems made clear they would prefer to make political gains by dredging up the well-covered past. Pace wasn't fired and it's not like withdrawing his nomination will make discussion about Iraq go away. Your just pissed because the president took away a chance for the Dems to pile onto Pace. I'm sure you'll find other ways to vent your frustrations.

Posted by: Hacksaw on June 15, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

General Pace should be held accountable for any war crimes perpetrated by US forces during his command. I doubt he could withstand a Nuremburg-like investigation of them or a similar punishment that his German predecessors suffered.

Posted by: Brojo on June 15, 2007 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

This from the LA Times makes it pretty clear that Reid was calling Pace incompetent.

"When asked if he thought Petraeus was competent, Reid replied: 'Not as far as I am concerned.' Reid also said Thursday that he was "happy" that Marine Gen. Peter Pace was forced to step down as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last week. 'I talked to him in my conference room, just him and I, and I told him how I felt, that he had not done a very good job in speaking out for some obvious things that weren't going right in Iraq,' said Reid, who was asked about Pace after reports on the Politico website that Reid had disparaged the generals during a conversation Tuesday with liberal bloggers."

I don't think Reid would have missed to opportunity to say that he told Pace the Bush was incompetent.

Posted by: Hacksaw on June 15, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK
....consist of insults trashhauler at 9:19 AM
Speaking of insults, why don't you go haul the Bush regime trash to War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague? Take Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rove, and the AEI scum with you.
Hardly. .... Hacksaw at 12:04 PM
Nonsense. The Bush Administration has never annunciated either an exit or winning strategy for Iraq. They have never even said they plan to leave. They have never spoken clearly of what the goal is and how it can be or not be attained.

There were some discussion during the Patreus' hearings and, as usual, that proved to be empty talk. The Bush policy is nothing more than to kick the can down the road and leave the mess to the next administration, like their fiscal policy, like their domestic policy.

The polls show that it's the country who is frustrated with the continuing incompetence and lying from Bush and his minions, either military or others.

Posted by: Mike on June 15, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, I would be happy to debate Thomas's legal reasoning (or even Yoo's), but cannot do so in a vaccum. If you provide some cases where you think Thomas was wrong and explain why you disagree with his arguments, which of his premises were faulty, etc., then we can have a debate.

(Howver, I will be posting only a bit more today, then will be away for the weekend.)

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 15, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Where're you off to, "ex-lib"? Insurance convention?

Posted by: shortstop on June 15, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK
General Pace should be held accountable for any war crimes perpetrated by US forces during his command.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is not in the chain of command for combatant forces of the US military. Chain of command for such forces runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense to the commanders of the various combatant commands (e.g., CENTCOM) and on down. The Joint Chiefs are a planning and advisory group.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 15, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK
Hack at 12:04 PM
[repeated from another thread]

Implicit in Gates' rationale for removing Pace, is the fact that the Bush administration is afraid to answer to the American people, or rather their elected representatives, questions about their war. Your elected government, placed into power by the people, will not explain to the citizenry what went wrong in Iraq, what went right in Iraq, what their plan is for Iraq, and how they intend to meet their goals in Iraq, what the exit strategy is in Iraq, what is the purpose of war, or what is the expectation of the post war. This is really quite shameful.

In a democracy and in the Constitution, power rests with the people, but this government is afraid of the people.

Here's a list of their reasons they offered before hand for the war. Which is the real reason, General Pace? A few months ago, Kenneth Pollack, who was gung ho for the war, offered this take on the failure: A Retrospective Analysis of the Reconstruction. Why do you think it went wrong, General Pace, and what can be done to fix it?

The Bush administration fears to go before congress and explain themselves. Rather than do so, they will break the tradition of two terms for the chairman of the joint chiefs. Rather than do so, they will hide behind silly claims using their friends in the media to whine about how difficult it is to answer critics and how unfair it is to ask them to justify themselves.

The Bush administration is a government of moral and political cowardice.

ex-lax at 12:37 PM
Examples and evidence of Thomas' activism were provided up thread, in case you didn't notice, however I have to go to the hospital and will be absent for a while.

Ciao, all.

Posted by: Mike on June 15, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

shortshop, I'll be camping near Lake Rucker in Tahoe National Forest.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 15, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw: Pace wasn't fired...

Pace disagrees with you.

Posted by: shortstop on June 15, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw: Pace wasn't fired...

Pace disagrees with you.

ooooh, rejected! What flavor was it, Hacksaw?

Posted by: tRex on June 15, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

What is he explanation for 6 or the 7 bloggers not confirming or disputing what Reid actually said? Is it just incompetence on their part (no pun intended) or is it an intentional effort to protect Reid?

Posted by: brian on June 15, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

"What is he explanation for 6 or the 7 bloggers not confirming or disputing what Reid actually said? Is it just incompetence on their part (no pun intended) or is it an intentional effort to protect Reid?"

How about neither, idiot? The comment was a throwaway comment in a section that was focused on Gonzalez and Bush, not on Pace. Hence, they were focused on the actual message, not on the side comments. This isn't exactly rocket science.

Posted by: PaulB on June 15, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

Oh give me a break Hacksaw. Harry Reid doesn't have to do a damn thing you say. He is a senior member of Congress and is entitled to his opinions right or wrong and you can choose not to like them if you wish. But Reid wouldn't be the first politician to criticize the brass nor will be the last. Read your history, especially during the War Bewteen the States, and you will find all sort of colorful damning words from Senators towards generals on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

What does it say when the Bush II Administration is so afraid of a little confirmation hearing that they're willing to dump Peter Pace over the side? It doesn't say much for their courage. If Pace was the second coming of Robert E. Lee they would have kept him on. It's that simple. Do you not remember than when many politicians and journalists wanted Abrham Lincoln to cashire Ulysses S. Grant beacuse of his drinking Lincoln refused to bow to their pressure? And why? Because as Lincoln said, "I can't spare this man. He fights." Well if Bush II and Gates thought that well of Pace, he still would be JCOS Chairman.

Wasn't some neocon who said "War is too important to be left to the generals." Don't come around here bitching about Reid or the Dems criticizng the brass when many prominent neocons have done the same thing, especially to those who opposed this stupid war in Iraq in the first place.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on June 16, 2007 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK


ex-lib: This reminds me of December, 2004 when Reid blasted Clarence Thomas. Reid told NBC's "Meet the Press": "I think that [Thomas] has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court.

Justice Clarence Thomas sat through 68-hours of oral arguments in the Supreme Court’s current term without uttering a word.

The last time Justice Clarence Thomas asked a question in court “was Feb. 22, 2006, in a death penalty case out of South Carolina.”

- McClatchy Newspapers 5/19/07

Posted by: mr. irony on June 16, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: Bush's MBA is from Harvard, not Yale; it didn't receive anything resembling honors; and his professors remember this legacy admission as one of the dumbest students they ever encountered.

Bush..."showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago."

- Yoshi Tsurumi, one of President Bush's professors at Harvard Business School 9/16/2004

Posted by: mr. irony on June 16, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly