Belaboring the Obvious

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Gumps of August....

Remember back to those thrilling days of yesteryear... as in the first of this past August.

Dems caved to the Bushies on the Protect America Act in a bait-and-switch that was transparent, on the lame basis that, based on what they were told by DNI Michael McConnell, they didn't want to be held responsible if the country were attacked by terrorists during their month-long August recess.

Well, it's now apparent that they got punked. The key to understanding this is McConnell's recent verbal-only modification of his statements to Holy Joe Lieberman about the need for the PAA:

MCCONNELL: [The new FISA law] was passed, as you well know, and we’re very pleased with that. And we’re better prepared now to continue our mission; specifically Germany, significant contributions. It allowed us to see and understand all the connections with –

LIEBERMAN: The newly adopted law facilitated that during August?

MCCONNELL: Yes, sir, it did.

(h/t emptywheel @ The Next Hurrah)

Now, then. McConnell has called Lieberman and said, in effect, "oops."

From this, it's more than a little obvious that the investigation in Germany--aided by the U.S.--not only preceded the change in FISA law, but, as well, that the bad guys had been identified well before August, and that this German investigation was the hook used by the Bushies to threaten Dems into passing the administration's preferred version of the PAA, telling Dem leaders in Congress about the threat, in very general terms, but, carefully avoiding any information which might lead Dems in Congress to conclude that the German investigation was at an advanced stage (in fact, arrests were made the first week of September, by an intelligence service which usually makes sure that every umlaut is in place before acting) and that U.S. intelligence was already assisting and was being kept up-to-date by German intelligence.

So, the Bushies went, "boogah, boogah!," yet again, and the Dems fell for it.

Sure, some of this relates to the inevitable ability of an administration in a national security state to selectively present the compartmented information it has to obtain its ends. But, it also points to the Dems' apparent inability to think skeptically about anything the Bushies do, especially when the subtexts are terrorism and the Bushies' attempts--often successful--to seize yet more power for the Executive.


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