Monday, May 22, 2006


A symphony of swine: the neocons play Brookings

You can't make these people up. Nancy Pelosi has asked Jane Harman to step down as ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee because Lady Deathstar has been so tight with the GOP that's she's drawn a real Democrat, Marcy Winograd, to challenge her. So, where is Jane Harman spending her Monday? At the Brookings Institute, on a panel of people like: * George Terwilliger (Federalist, Tyco lawyer, GOP Florida Class of 2000 * Former Acting Director of the CIA John McLaughlin (not the loud ex-Jesuit TV guy), and * ::sigh:: John Podesta, and * Neocon Richard Falkenrath, in which they tell us: * The reason that people oppose NSA's mass surveillance of Americans is because they don't understand who the terrorists are. * 9/11 happened because we gutted the intelligence budgets (and please don't bother us with the facts). * Rooting through the phone records of every American is legal * The reason they have to do it this way is because they can't wait for the end of the month when the phone companies issue their bills. * Hayden is a wonderful guy, who understands that Fourth Amendment sets the legal threshhold for wiretapping as reasonable doubt. Here's the classical Falkenrath argument: Suppose a telephone associated with Mohammed Atta had called a domestic telephone number A. And then suppose that A had called domestic telephone number B. And then suppose that B had called C. And then supposed that domestic telephone number C had called a telephone number associated with Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the Pakistan-based architect of the 9/11 attacks. Right. And suppose that the CIA had told the FBI that two known terrorists had entered the country or that the FBI informant with whom they were living had told his paymasters. Or that the Washington FBI hadn't squelched Coleen Rowley. Or that the airline industry hadn't squelched the Gore Commission report. Or that the Washington FBI hadn't told the Phoenix branch to shut up about the guys learning to fly. Or that the American intelligence community had picked up the phone when everyone from the Israelis and French to the Russians and even the Taliban was warning them of an imminent strike. Or that George Bush had read the &^%$$ August 6th PDB. We're supposed to abandon our civil liberties because idiots armed with computers would be so much better at fighting terrorism than idiots armed with just the brains God gave them. Memo to Falkenrath and the rest of the neo-nuts: Don't bill me for a Mercedes if you haven't got your skateboard license yet. Memo to Harman: If your voters haven't turned against you yet, tell them to watch C-Span, especially the part when the panel tells them that only ignorant people would quibble over civil liberties. And Brookings... cripes. If this is what the Institute is becoming, then the end is in sight for what used to be one of America's finest think tanks.
I'm taking credit for calling it the "Brookings Prostitution" but considering what they are I can't be too sure about the priority.

How do you know when a "liberal" organization is a bunch of insider shills?
The number of times they appear on Morning Edition or All Things Considered is a good indication. Brookings is one of the few "liberal" outfits that ever gets on air.
More generally, it's almost impossible to find a well known DC organization that isn't a bunch of establishment hacks.

If the Democrats do take the house back I expect Nancy Pelosi will surprise a lot of people. For the better.
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