Thursday, October 02, 2008

Just so you do not forget

By Carol Gee

Tonight is the vice presidential Debate between Senator Joseph Biden (D-Delaware) and Governor Sarah Palin (R-Alaska.) Most of us think it could produce some headlines. We are all waiting to chalk up another Palin favorite moment.

Prior to the first debate between Senators McCain and Obama, Rand Beers at The Huffington Post said that it was a commander-in-chief test for them both. And most of the critics agree that, in some ways both passed the test. My own bias is that Obama passed with an "A" and McCain passed with a "D." Each of the candidates for vice president also has to pass the commander-in-chief test,# because that could conceivably be their role in the future. So think about what Beers said that still applies:
• Into this cauldron come two non-incumbent candidates, each of whom must pass the commander-in-chief test and demonstrate that he [or she]:
• Offers real change from the past eight years;
• Understands foreign policy beyond simplistic soundbites and tough talk, by providing serious solutions;
• Is ready to grapple with the complexities that link our security and our economy; and most importantly
• Has the temperament and judgment to lead.

If we are to believe Senator Obama, and I do, Senator McCain, and, by extension, Governor Palin represent more of the same out-of-control militarism and intelligence abuses as during the past eight years. Here are a few random news bits from my newsletter CQ Behind the Lines, just to remind:

"Senior White House officials played a central role in determining whether the CIA could use harsh interrogation techniques, The New York Times’ Mark Mazzetti learns from newly released documents."
Terror tech -- from CQ Behind the Lines (9/24/08). Each edition of this handy little newsletter reveals the latest developments in our surveillance state. Do you have any question whatsoever that it would not continue under McCain-Palin? To quote:

U.S. intel agencies are unable to share info about foreign cyber attacks against companies for fear of jeopardizing intelligence-gathering sources, The Washington Post has an official testifying last week. DHS researchers “have previewed new technology that they promise will help rout out terrorists and other dangerous people in public places by covertly bio-scanning subjects as they walk past sets of cameras,” Revolution Radio reacts — and see FOX News: “Homeland Security Detects Terrorist Threats by Reading Your Mind.” DHS has many other such projects, “the descriptions of which are so impenetrable, there must be some way to use them for actual protection. If only we could wear jargon like armor,” The Everett Washington Herald harrumphs.

From the vice president's office we give you, ladies and gentlemen -- Think also about this Bush administration left-over from After Downing Street: "A war criminal in academia."* To quote:

The Miller Center on Public Affairs at the University of Virginia has invited a war criminal to speak on October 27, 2008, on the topic of "War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism." Georgetown University employs the very same war criminal as a "Professor and Distinguished Practitioner in National Security Policy." Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government has made him a "Belfer Center Visiting Scholar." And to Stanford University he's a "Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Hoover Institution." The man's name is Douglas Feith.

. . . Feith's work after September 11, 2001, quickly became the manufa[c]ture of pseudo-evidence pretending to link al Qaeda to Iraq. Feith created, cherry picked, and distorted information, and pressured others to do the same, to help build a false case for an illegal war of aggression. And he didn't even do so from within an agency legally permitted to engage in so-called intelligence work. He did so from within the Pentagon where he set up a parallel intelligence operation with the role of producing what Cheney and Bush wanted but couldn't get from the other intelligence agencies. Feith's operation was called the Office of Special Plans.
Hat Tip Key: Regular contributors of links to leads are "betmo"* and Jon#.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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