Most of us have figured out by now that correlations can be made between bad news for the Bush Administration and the droppng of the "terror" card to remove that news from the headlines. Keith Olbermann documented at least thirteen such instances since 2001.
So what do we make of the President's announcement yesterday that in October 2K1 a plot was thwarted to hijack a commercial jet and fly it into "Liberty" (sic)- formerly "library"- now US BANK- Tower using shoe bombs? Was it timed to take the focus off the reports of Scooter Libby's Grand Jury testimony implicating Vice President Cheney and "other senior Administration" officials in the Valerie Plame leak?
Fortunately some in the White House Press corp are rediscovering their testicles (without the help of a call from Jeff Gannon, no less):
Q: Scott, I wanted to just ask a follow-up about the LA plot. Is there something missing from this story, a practical application, a few facts? Because if you want to commandeer a plane and fly it into a tower, if you used shoe bombs, wouldn't you blow off the cockpit? Or is there something missing from this story?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know what you're referring to about missing. I mean, I think we provided you a detailed briefing earlier today about the plot. And Fran Townsend, our Homeland Security Advisor, talked about it. So I'm not sure what you're suggesting it.
Q Think about it, if you're wearing shoe bombs, you either blow off your feet or you blow off the front of the airplane.
MR. McCLELLAN: There was a briefing for you earlier today. I think that's one way to look at it. There are a lot of ways to look at it, and she explained it earlier today, Alexis, so I would refer you very much back to what she said, what she said earlier today.
Glen Greenwald on Crooks and Liars puts it into perspective as well. He also gives us this defining goal of terrorism directly from the Department of Defense:
"the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological."
Expanding on that definition then, can't a reasonable argument not be made that these announcements are intended to "coerce or to intimidate (American) society in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological?"
If you think about it a little bit, the seemingly reactionary comparisons between Republicans and the Nazis don't seem so far-fetched now, do they? We're fed these images and reports all the time and the most people can work themselves into a lather wondering why Ozzie Guillen won't break his vacation go to the White House. Why should he? The President didn't cut his vacation short when New Orleans was drowning- although he rushed back up to DC to protect a brain-dead white girl in Florida.
Been awhile since I chimed in on politics around these parts. But I was surprised by this report that Scooter Libby was authorized to leak the identity of Valerie Plame by his Vice President Dick Cheney. I thought it would have taken him much longer to squeal.
Meanwhile the GOP talking points memo now seem to include feigning outrage at the criticisms levied at the Bush administration during Coretta Scott King's funeral. Mary Matalin called civil rights leaders "racists." Bill O'Reilly, while finishing an interview with Al Sharpton on his screamfest, treid to "joke" that he would write it into his will that Sharpton be "placed in chains for 24 hours" so that Sharpton could not speak at the funeral, which Sharpton picked up on immediately, effectively neutering O'Reilly until the commrecial break. Kate O'Beirne called the speeches by Jimmy Carter and James Lowery "inappropriate" for how "typical Southerners."
That one really got me. After all, wasn't it the South that led an unlawful seccessionist movement, establish Jim Crow, and founded the Ku Klux Klan? I guess it's okay to be an uncaring racist scumbag so long as your manners are impeccable.
So it's been another busy week but a lazy Sunday is upon us. Well, it's upon you, not me. I'm making a scallop ceviche for a Super Bowl potluck.
I wanted to post about the State of the Union address the other night. I had actually put together a drinking game for it that fellow Chicagoist-o Matt Wood conceived for Bush's impromptu press conferences.
Reading it I'm glad I wasn't home Tuesday night or else Emmy and I would have had to expand the morning walk damn near to 47th street in order to work off the excess weight.
But my main issue with the SOTU wasn't with the President's speech- Lord knows by know that most of us know that when George W. Bush says something really means the opposite- but with the quick editing that made the address seem as though it were an awards show with Dubya rattling off a litany of bad jokes written by Bruce Vilanch.
Also of note, Cindy Sheahan being escorted from the congressional chambers for trying to unfurl a banner critical of the Bush Administration. Nice to know that Samuel Alito wasn't even hours into his tenure on the Supreme Court and already our civil liberties were being assaulted.