Friday, April 14, 2006

Energetic and steady leadership

A DEA agent who literally shot himself in the foot while demonstrating gun safety to children is suing the agency because the tape of the incident somehow leaked out into the public domain, causing him emotional distress, preventing him from doing undercover work, and also for some reason they won’t let him make those presentations anymore.

I was hoping for a transcript of Scalia’s comments at the U of Conn. Law School, but no such luck. I’d forgotten that all his appearances are subject to the rule of omertà. We do know that Fat Tony said that his refusal to recuse himself from the case involving Cheney’s secret energy task force was the “proudest thing” he has done whilst on the Supreme Court. Yes, for centuries to come, Scalia’s words of wisdom will resound throughout legal history: “quack quack.” He suggests that “if you can’t trust your Supreme Court justice more than that, get a life.” Coming from a man supposedly skilled in logical argumentation, the second half of that sentence doesn’t have much to do with the first half. You start off expecting him to put some sort of case for the integrity of the judiciary – rather an important cornerstone of the third branch of government, since there is no recourse against an unethical justice – and instead get a blank dismissal, indeed an insult directed against anyone who vests less than blind, unquestioning faith in the Infallible One.

Speaking of infallible, Bush has issued a statement of support for Rumsfeld, in which he repeatedly called him Don. Evidently, Don’s “energetic and steady leadership is exactly what is needed at this critical period,” adding “if you can’t trust your securrtery of dee-fense more than that, get a life.”

Rummy Don spoke energetically and steadily in an interview with Al-Arabiya yesterday (scheduled for C-SPAN today 6:45pm PST).

Asked how the situation in Iraq differed from a civil war, Rummy Don said that “If you go to civil wars historically and look at them in different countries around the globe, they have existed in time.” Um, right. They’ve also existed in height, width and depth. What’s your point? “I’m not going to get into the debate as to semantics as to what is or is not a civil war. ... I personally think of it as a situation where in 18 provinces of the country about 14 are at peace.”

Asked about Guantanamo, Rummy Don trashed the UN report because the UN team hadn’t been to Gitmo. The reporter pointed out that this was because they wouldn’t have been allowed to speak to any prisoners. He said this was because the Red Cross goes there and “To let any other group go down there, and then you have to open the floodgates and let everyone go down there.” Everyone? The United Nations is not “everyone.” The Red Cross, says Rummy Don, “do, in my view, a job that is representative for the world of what the actual situation is.” Except in as much as they’re not permitted to speak publicly about conditions there.

Rummy Don repeats his recently acquired mantra that it’s all Turkey’s fault. If it had allowed US troops to enter Iraq through Turkey, the Sunnis could have been crushed early on. Or greeted us as liberators. Or something.

And said that if secretaries of defense quit every time a bunch of retired generals criticized them, it would be like a merry-go-round. Whereas now, it’s like another ride.

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