Friday, May 15, 2009

Somebody Explain Cavuto to Me

Neil Cavuto on Fox News tonight admonished Nancy Pelosi to heed the example of former boxing champ Joe Frazier regarding the fleeting of glory (video is here because Fox is too lame to make it embeddable), apparently because her career is over.  R-i-i-i-ght. This is just one more example of the right wing projecting those feelings which they doubtless have about themselves onto the current power structure, and while such instances are myriad and this is not necessarily the best example of projection, it does illustrate the point.

Cavuto tells us that Pelosi is about get a knockout punch over her allegations that the CIA misled her over the occurrences of torture of US prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.  CIA director Leon Panetta has come out to defend the agency and Republican leaders are guffawing in fake reproach that a Speaker of the House would be so bold and careless as to accuse the CIA of lying.  Obama, for his part, has been silent on Pelosi's bombshell.

But is it a bombshell?  The CIA has always been in the business of misleading the public, the elected officials, our enemies, our allies... heck they probably go about misleading each other in the CIA breakroom just for giggles.  Nobody really knows what the CIA briefed the Congress about, and nobody could certainly know their intent, but the possibility that they would mislead the Speaker about torture is not too far a reach, especially when we consider that Iraq had no yellow cake, no aluminum tubes, no mobile biological weapons labs, no "stockpiles" of chemical weapons, and no association with al Qaeda.  Somebody was misled in 2002... Mr. Cavuto, who exactly is being misled now?

In 2002, Rep. Nancy Pelosi was not the Speaker of the House; she was the minority ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee at the time of the alleged briefings of interrogation techniques.  The Republicans were in control of both houses of Congress and the White House at the time, so when the GOP calls for the account of "who knew what and when did they know it", their comrades will be front and center on the dais.

The irony here is that the left has been calling for investigations and truth commissions for years in order to look into the 100 detainee deaths in US custody, the accusations of waterboarding and other organized torture techniques used on-- not only nationless enemy combatants-- but also captive Iraq nationals and sovereign Iraqi government officials, which is a clear violation of international war crimes treaties to which the US is legal signatory.  

So now with Dick Cheney blabbity blabbing about how proud he is of the US torture regime and his brothers in Congress and Fox News calling Nancy Pelosi out on her supposed knowledge of the crimes, this is a locomotive heading out of control.  The President has tried to sweep this under the carpet to save the nation from the heartache and embarassment of allegations of wrongdoing and the subsequent recrimination, but Cavuto and the Republicans seem to be begging for a fight.

This will not end well for the already staggering GOP.  Any truth commission would put, not Pelosi, but House Intelligence Chairman at the time Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), GOP Senate leaders at the time, former Secy of Defense Rumsfeld, NSA Condi Rice, VP Cheney and, of course, George W. Bush on the record as well.  Just telling Nancy Pelosi that you are committing crimes does not absolve you of any wrongdoing.

I find it odd that while the Republican party is flailing about trying to decide who would make a better spokesmodel, Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber or Rush Limbaugh, the only thing the leadership can come up with is to pick a fight over torture:  is it right? (no), is it legal? (no), is it useful? (no), did the Democrats do it? (no!)  Did the Republicans order it?  HEY! wait a minute! You tricked us!... but we told Nancy Pelosi we were doing it!!  

If that were a valid defense, Blago would surely have used it by now.

Here's the deal: torture is a crime and is not okay and now the can of whoopass has been opened... inexplicably by the criminals themselves.  Who ever would have thought that!?  Whether it's arrogance or ignorance, the demise of the GOP is taking on a truly heavyweight tone... and we appear to be nearing the final round.   

Look out, Neil, last November was the standing-8, the knockout punch is coming your way.

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