can I have my America back now?

Watching the White House and the CIA slug it out these past two years, it has been tempting to lionize the CIA as I demonize the NeoCons, but y’know, I realized something today: it’s important to think of this fight as less St. George (not Chicken George) and the Dragon, and more of it as just two strangers mud wrestling- I don’t know any of these people personally, and I don’t have a dog in this fight. They’re all down in the sludge together, and I am just watching for the boobies.

The CIA still has the capacity to do evil. To whit:

The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.

The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.

Remember that plenty of times in the past fifty years, the CIA’s job has been to subvert democracy. Ask Chile. Ask Nicaragua. Hell, ask the people of Afghanistan who armed the Taliban. This has not changed.

This is not to say that the CIA should not exist, but that it’s important to remember that there’s ample history that those of us on the left should not forget. It’s mud wrestling, and the CIA put plenty of that mud there to start with.

Bill Frist: Very, Very, Very, Very Mad.

I hate to say it, but you never saw Congressional Dems getting their panties in a knot this badly when Senate Republicans pulled six times as much high-handed shit over the Clenis and the blowjob, etc, etc…

In the genteel club that is the United States Senate, Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) had a screaming temper tantrum yesterday.

Minutes after his Democratic counterpart, Harry Reid (Nev.), used a surprise parliamentary maneuver to throw the Senate into a rare closed session, Frist burst from the chamber and approached the cameras in the hallway.

Without counting to 10, as anger-management experts recommend when you are very, very mad, Frist exploded.

Anything that makes Bill Frist this mad can’t be a bad thing.

::Update:: TBogg puts it into its historical context:

How’s this, Senator Dr. Mr. Frist:
Suck on it, you inside-trading, cat-killing, homo-hating, would-blow-James Dobson-for-a-shot-at-the-presidency dumbass. If you hadn’t gone and campaigned against Tom Daschle, you wouldn’t be getting bitch-slapped like Jonah Goldberg in a leather bar. No offense to Daschle, but he never would have had the balls to pull this off.

You made your bed, now quit sniveling, you whiny-assed bitch, and go lie in it.

Ahem. What he said.

Oh, please let this be true

He was right about My Lai. He was right about Abu Ghraib. Now, I think that Seymour Hersh may know something we don’t about Scootergate:

Seymour Hersh, one of journalism’s crankier bulldogs, was in an upbeat mood. At least for him. A confidential, well-placed source had told him that U.S. special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s 22-month inquiry into the outing of former CIA agent Valerie Plame, wife of ex-diplomat Joseph Wilson IV, would go further than anyone had heretofore thought.

“He’s going to save America,” Hersh predicted, on the phone from his home in Washington, just days before Fitzgerald announced indictments against I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, on Friday.

This guy has sources that are everyone else’s sources’ sources. This is mostly because Hersh isn’t the hysterical type. Remember that the man who first reported the My Lai massacre wasn’t the “Pinko Liberal Media,” it was an outstanding and courageous soldier named Ron Ridenhour who tipped off Hersh. It cannot be overstated that the vast majority of men and women in the armed services find this kind of thing deplorable, and want to see the bad guys brought out and punished. They knew Seymour Hersh could be counted on to be thorough, fair and accurate in his portrayal of events, based on his coverage of My Lai, so someone tipped him about Abu Ghraib.

Someone is tipping him about the Fitzgerald investigation, too, I think, and for the same reasons:

“So sometimes I wonder,” says Hersh. In Toronto, he says, he will talk about responsibility and war crimes and “make the case that gets Bush in the middle of it. There is a case for the President’s direct participation. It’s not something that happened without his acquiescence. I’d like to think he knows what’s going on.”

In the meantime (Hersh is waiting to see if Fitzgerald drops more indictment bombs), “he’s the sleeper, a true unassailable. The White House calls him Eliot Ness [the Prohibition-era federal agent whose team of ‘Untouchables’ helped bring down mobster Al Capone], not with affection, so I’ve heard.”

Hersh predicts that “every day will get worse in Iraq. Another 30,000 Iraqis will die if we keep going. Fewer will die if we get out. There are only two options, as I see it: Pull out now or pull out tomorrow.”

If the White House calls Fitzgerald “Elliot Ness,” then who is Al Capone?


Like cool water for a fevered mind

I don’t know that there are any words that I could see in the news that would be balm to my soul more than these:

Rove remains a focus of the CIA leak probe. He has told friends it is possible he still will be indicted for providing false statements to the grand jury.

“Everyone thinks it is over for Karl and they are wrong,” a source close to Rove said. The strategist’s legal and political advisers “by no means think the part of the investigation concerning Karl is closed.”

Cooper’s attorney, Dick Sauber, said Fitzgerald certainly meant it when he told Luskin last week that Rove remains in legal jeopardy and under investigation.

Yeah, I wouldn’t go tacking that ‘Wizard of Oz’ poster back up in your office, Turdblossom. I don’t think this is over by a long shot.

I missed a golden opportunity to get some inside skinny on this investigation- the evening after the marathon on Sunday, I had supper with an FBI agent who also ran the marathon. This is an agent who has been key to the prosecution of many organized crime figures (foreign and domestic), bank robbers, drug smugglers and other antisocial types. I was just too tired to remember to ask about what the ground troops at the FBI think of what’s going on in the DOJ investigation of the White House.

I could have gotten some really golden stuff, I think. Duh. Hey, you run nearabout thirty miles and see if you can remember how to tie your shoes, much less how to finesse an opinion out of someone who is paid NOT to be finesse-able.