Friday, May 07, 2004

The problem at that point was one-dimensional

The Daily Show’s take on Bush’s “not the America I know” semi-apology non-apology, is that maybe we should have invaded Iraq with that America, because the America we did use is something of a prick. Bush said that Iraqis “must understand” that this doesn’t represent America; they have 48 hours to understand this, or we’ll light them up again like a Christmas tree. The US shouldn’t be judged on the actions of a...well, we shouldn’t be judged on actions. It’s our principles that matter, our inspiring abstract notions. Just because torturing prisoners is something we did, doesn’t mean it’s something we would do.

Which is all pretty much what I wrote Wednesday, but funny.

Watched some of Rumsfeld’s testimony. Goes much faster if you don’t watch the questions, although I gather I missed an especially egregious performance by Holy Joe Lieberman. The Rumster wasn’t all that forthcoming, despite having been “softened up” by being dragged around on a leash, naked, with a hood over his head, by a young woman, but of course that’s just a typical Thursday for Rummy (it’s the optimal way to watch “Friends”).

I think he was the first Bushie to apologize to the tortured detainees themselves. Their response: “We can’t hear you. There are hoods over our heads.”

He says he won’t resign as long as he can remain “effective,” which is a completely amoral standard for what constitutes a resigning offence, the same sort of standard, in fact, that led to the use of torture to extract information. He said, “I would not resign simply because people try to make a political issue out of it.” Don’t know if anyone asked him who he was accusing of this, but they should have. I’d appreciate if he didn’t ascribe his own pragmatic amorality to his opponents’ reactions to the torture that occurred under his watch.

Actually, at times he seemed much more miffed about the fact that the pictures were released and the (illegally) classified report leaked, than about their contents. And he didn’t bother informing Bush because “The problem at that point was one-dimensional. It wasn't three-dimensional. It wasn't photographs and video.” The images mattered; the reality by itself wasn’t even worth mentioning (or maybe Shrub just doesn’t pay attention unless there are pictures; we know he can’t read). Rummy has admitted in as many words that had there been no pictures, nothing would have happened. Although so far the only thing that has been changed is that they put signs up all over Abu Ghraib: no cameras.

Rummy also said worse pictures were to come, without making it clear that they would come over his dead body--the Pentagon intends to sit on the pictures, but with CDs floating around, figures it won’t work. But the policy is still to stonewall.

The FDA, overruling its advisory panels for political reasons, decides not to allow the morning-after pill to be sold over the counter, claiming that under-age girls couldn’t be trusted to follow the instructions. The media (at least the NYT) failed to do the obvious and tell us what those instructions are, so I just had Long’s print me out a copy. Take a pill. Take another pill 12 hours later. If you can’t be trusted to follow those instructions, good luck raising a baby.

Divorce is legalized in Chile (in 6 months, anyway).

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