Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 22, 2010

POWELL ISN'T BUYING GOP SPIN, EITHER.... To the extent that Colin Powell is considered a credible figure on national security and foreign policy -- and for most Americans, he is, notwithstanding his tragic associations with selling the war in Iraq -- I suspect the Obama administration is pleased to have his support.

Yesterday, on CBS's "Face the Nation," host Bob Schieffer noted that Dick Cheney has invested heavily in trying to convince Americans that President Obama "is putting the nation's security at risk." Schieffer asked Powell if there's any truth to the attack on the administration.

Powell recited a series of security measures the Bush administration had put in place, and which Obama left intact. He added that President Obama has increased the effort against the Taliban and has been even more aggressive in targeting al Qaeda. "So," Powell said, "I don't know where the claim comes that we are less safe."

With respect to torture, Powell reminded the audience that even the Bush administration, towards the end of its second term, had "done away" with nearly all of the "extreme interrogation techniques" endorsed by Cheney.

With respect to military commissions, Powell added, "In eight years the military commissions have put three people on trial. Two of them served relatively short sentences and are free. One guy is in jail. Meanwhile, the federal courts -- our Article III, regular legal court system -- has put dozens of terrorists in jail and they're fully capable of doing it. So the suggestion that somehow a military commission is the way to go isn't borne out by the history of the military commissions. I think a lot of people think 'just give them to the military and the military will hammer them.' Well, guess what, officers in the military are obliged to follow the Constitution."

As for a "bottom-line answer," Powell added, "The nation is still at risk. Terrorists are out there. They're trying to get through. But to suggest that somehow we have become much less safer because of the actions of the administration, I don't think are borne out by the facts."

The remarks were a further reminder of the isolated nature of the Cheney wing -- the dominant wing -- of the Republican Party. The Obama administration's positions are enjoying the support of Powell, Gen. Petraeus, Adm. Mullen, the Pentagon, and national security experts from across the spectrum.

On the other hand we have the Cheneys and congressional Republicans, whose record on these issues is littered with painful failures, and whose credibility should be considered laughable among anyone who takes reality seriously.

Steve Benen 9:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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, notwithstanding his tragic associations with selling the war in Iraq...

What's a little illegal preemptive war justified by the biggest pack of lies ever uttered in the history of the United Nations, causing untold hundreds of thousands of lives...among friends, eh?

Posted by: neill on February 22, 2010 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, too bad the suits like Gregory, Blitzer,Cooper,Brown, Wallace and the rest of the entire FOX Noise propaganda machine don't know it. Oops. They do. They just are never called out on it by anyone other than Olberman and Maddow and Huffington. Too bad Keith isn't invited onto these mindnumbing sunday newsey programs. When Rachel is in attendance she really calls these dolts out on their hypocracy. Nauseating...

Posted by: stevio on February 22, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney ain't facing the nation. He is facing the polyps in his large intestine.

Posted by: lou on February 22, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Cue Limbaugh saying that Powell just supports Obama because... you know.

Posted by: SP on February 22, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

. . .his [Powell's] tragic associations with selling the war in Iraq. . . . /i>

You mean his standing on a UN podium and lying his ass off in order to bamboozle the world in general and the US public in particular into an unprovoked invasion of a foreign country? An unprovoked invasion that by the most conservative credible estimates killed 100,000 people?

He's a mass killer and a lying bastard. The mainstream media treats him as if he were an honorable man. There's no need for that here.

Posted by: Colin Laney on February 22, 2010 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm sure we'd be better off if that "mass killer" was supporting Cheney on national TV! That would be just the thing! More support for torture! Yay! /sarcasm

All I'll say is that hearing a detailed report on radio news of his blasting Cheney was so far superior to the usual drivel offered on a Sunday recap that I was ecstatic.

Call me easily pleased, but I was.

Posted by: David in NY on February 22, 2010 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

David in NY wrote: Well, I'm sure we'd be better off if that "mass killer" was supporting Cheney on national TV! That would be just the thing! More support for torture! Yay! /sarcasm

We would be better off if the mass media had some sense of shame about presenting lying bastards and mass killers as if they were honorable men.

Why the quotes around mass killer? It seems to me that if you kill a mass of people, it's pretty much open and shut that you're a mass killer.

Posted by: Colin Laney on February 22, 2010 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Powell has no more moral authority than Dick Cheney. He sold what he knew to be lies to the UN, and he stood by silent while his boss committed war crimes. He is a poltroon and a coward. Worse than Cheney, he was at on time a man of honor and courage, who sullied ththe uniform he once wore. Like Dick Cheney, he should shut up and crawl in a hole somewhere.

Posted by: Bill H on February 22, 2010 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

...the remarks were a further reminder of the isolated nature of the Cheney wing."


Would that that were true, Steve.

If by "isolation" you mean continual spotlights on lofty, publicly visible perches from which to spout uncontested lies, then yeah, they're isolated.

Posted by: terraformer on February 22, 2010 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

We should support Powell for one reason, divisiveness amongst republicans. Let the infighting continue with this and now the stimulus report below. Now all we need is a few republicans to condemn health insurance rate increases and we'll have the trifecta. Maybe Thursday is a good time to bet on a trifecta at the local race track, and not a NASCAR racetrack.

Posted by: Dave on February 22, 2010 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Lest we forget, Powell was involved in the attempted cover up of the My Lai massacre in 1968. A good soldier, just following orders then, and, later, at the U.N.

That said, at least he served in Vietnam- as opposed to Dick (armchair warrior) Cheney. . .

Posted by: DAY on February 22, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, indeed, fast tracked to become a bootlicker at both the Americal Division and the UN.

Posted by: berttheclock on February 22, 2010 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK
The Obama administration's positions are enjoying the support of Powell, Gen. Petraeus, Adm. Mullen, the Pentagon, and national security experts from across the spectrum.

Which, you know, is exactly how we know those positions are BAD. Unless you're in favor of insanity such as having troops in Afghanistan pretty much forever.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 22, 2010 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

The Obama administration's positions are enjoying the support of Powell, Gen. Petraeus, Adm. Mullen, the Pentagon, and national security experts from across the spectrum.

On the other hand we have the Cheneys and congressional Republicans, whose record on these issues is littered with painful failures, and the neo-con press.

There I fixed it for you. I bet Schieffer was shocked by Powell's answer.

The fact is that without their fellow travellers in the "working press" Cheney would be hiding in Argentina and the rest of the neo-con cabel would be totally discredited.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 22, 2010 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney and congressional Republicans and other right wing nutters have what passes for main stream media, CBC/ABC/NBC/CNN/MSNBC (except for RM, KO, ES)and of course Cluster Fox, shilling for them every day and giving then unlimited air time on the public air waves.

Unlimited air time on the public air waves to spout nonsense like "we did not have a terr'ist attack on this country during the Bussh administration".

Posted by: Sammy on February 23, 2010 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

nsightful thoughts here. Are you certain this is the best way to look at it though? My experience is that we should pretty much live and let live because what one person thinks just -- another person simply doesn't. People are going to do what they want to do. In the end, they always do. The most we can yearn for is to highlight a few things here and there that hopefully, allows them to make just a little better informed decision. Otherwise, great post. You're definitely making me think! --Barry

Posted by: sex filmleri on November 24, 2010 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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