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outercordon.jpgJoe Lieberman’s bullheaded nincompoopery aside, there hasn’t been a lot to laugh at the last few days.  (H/T to Digby…hilarious.)

Juan Cole reports that rumors of military coup planning in Iraq are growing louder and more detailed.  With the latest NIE selectively declassified and released, it certainly seems that the public protestations of Bush support for the current government are cover for something — whether it is the president’s ass or al-Maliki’s is anyone’s guess. 

There is certainly something in the air, if Time has already begun the public kabuki speculation on the new Iraqi leadership lottery.  (via Laura Rozen)  Or is that simply the echo of backstage backstabbing from some of the usual suspects tied to the WH.  Oooops…well, let’s face it:  an independent group trying to topple an allied government with a WH okay is, well…it’s pretty much news.  Let’s see if this gets the same fairminded and evenhanded coverage that Speaker Pelosi’s Presidentially-approved trip to Syria got, shall we?

Then again, maybe it’s just the ordered absence of commentary from the communications office at NHTSA that has the Beltway press in a tizzy.  Talk about your overdeveloped sense of importance at an agency where transparency for public safety’s sake is the freaking point of their existence.  (Huge H/T to plainjane for the link.)

Perhaps it is simply the “rats from a sinking ship feeling” that one gets when two civil rights division heads at the DOJ quit their jobs within the same month.  As Paul Kiel points out, here’s an abbreviated high-level resignation tally for the Gonzales DOJ thus far, 2007:  former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, his chief of staff Michael Elston, White House liaison Monica Goodling, chief of staff Kyle Sampson, Acting Associate Attorney General William Mercer, and Bradley Schlozman.  But hey, morale is swell and everyone is just pleased as punch about the job Gonzales is doing, dontcha know.  *cough* 

I’m all a-tingle at this proclamation (h/t to twolf1 for the link):  George Bush has declared September 17 – 23, 2007 to be Constitution Week wherein he encourages “Federal, State, and local officials, as well as leaders of civic, social, and educational organizations, to conduct ceremonies and programs that celebrate our Constitution and reaffirm our rights and responsibilities as citizens of our great Nation.” 

Maybe Laura and Jenna can take some time away from the nuptial planning to write another children’s book entitled “Painful Incongruity, Or, Why Momma Needs More Migraine Medicine.”

Or perhaps they could just read this to W after one of his mountain biking jauntsTo wit:

…Except that real men don’t go to court. The Bush administration, easily the manliest in recent American history, believed only weaklings, traitors and other liberal Democrats could be so naive as to believe you deal with a captured terrorist by reading him his Miranda rights. That, they told us, was evidence of ”pre-9/11 thinking.” But everything changed, they said, on that day, and the old rules, which had stood the nation through revolution, Civil War, Great Depression and social upheaval, no longer applied.

So they threw Padilla into a Navy brig instead. He was charged with no crime and, according to his lawyers, was drugged and left chained in painful positions in a tiny cell under a light that never went out. No clock, no windows, no bedding, no mattress and, for the first two years, no lawyer.

When civil libertarians demanded to know how you could justify such treatment of a man who had never been charged with a crime, they were told President Bush did not have to bother with such niceties. By declaring Padilla an “enemy combatant,” Bush could imprison him indefinitely and never have to explain himself.

That bears repeating. The president arrogated unto himself a power ordinarily associated with tyrants, to impose indefinite detention on anyone he chose. And from the people there arose only the sound of crickets chirping in midnight woods….

But the irony is that this victory [in court] utterly destroys the government’s claim that we have to shred the Constitution in order to save it….

That’s only an excerpt, though. Read him the whole damn thing.  And, while you’re at it, read him this one, too — it’s what real men who have faced real combat learn:  that life is in the small things that seem an eternity away, and that it is the love that pulls you back, not the hate.  

Perhaps Sir Harry Paget Flashman can pull his head out of his biking short covered arse and realize that this isn’t just about salving his wounded widdle ego.   But then, what the hell do I know, I’m just a blogger.  (Huge thanks to Jay Rosen — wonderful piece.  Do read this link.)

(Photo of soldiers from HQ Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division forming an outer cordon during a search via Soldier’s Media Center.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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