Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Defending the peace, protecting the peace and extending the peace

Headline of the week: “Daschle Denies Hugging Moore.” [Michael, not Demi or Roger]

The Justice Dept releases a report detailing some of the successes it attributes to the use of the Patriot Act. Many of these cases had nothing to do with terrorism, the purported justification for the Act, like the rescue of a kidnapped 88-year old woman. The report misses the point: those of us who object to the police state Ashcroft is constructing do not criticize it on the grounds of its not being an efficient enough police state. No one ever said that letting law enforcement violate people’s rights wouldn’t enable them to solve some crimes they could not solve otherwise. Imagine what the FBI could do with Abu Ghraib techniques. Not really the point. Vlad the Impaler’s Wallachia had a really low crime rate, from what I’ve heard.

In Britain, the Butler Report on Iraqi intelligence claims came out today. More later, when the British papers come out, but it seems to admit to many many flaws in intel while finding no one in particular at fault. The thing about “group-think” as a criticism is that it’s also a way to avoid blame.

Jon Stewart asked at what point “intelligence” becomes its own oxymoron.

Speaking of words that sound funny when spoken by GeeDubya, more from the Oak Ridge speech: “We are defending the peace by taking the fight to the enemy. We have followed this strategy--defending the peace, protecting the peace and extending the peace--for nearly three years.” Someone get that boy a dictionary.

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