Bush administration admits denies making mistake!
December 6, 2005 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Bush administration admits denies making mistake! Starts off new relationship with conservative German chancellor by personally insulting her. "We are not quite sure what was in her head." - a senior Bush administration official, referring to Merkel. This after Condoleeza Rice gave Merkel private assurances and made a public statement in which she said "when and if mistakes are made, we work very hard and as quickly as possible to rectify them. Any policy will sometimes have mistakes . . . we will do everything that we can to rectify those mistakes." Obviously, Condi was mistaken. The Bush administration does not make mistakes.
posted by insomnia_lj (54 comments total)

 
trust me
posted by Substrata at 3:02 PM on December 6, 2005


I'm sure this thread will be a model of enlightened debate.

I'm starting to think that the Republicans know they've screwed the pooch very, very badly and will not maintain control of the government for much longer so they're engaging in a scorched earth policy with regards to our allies, friends and neighbors.

That way, when the Democrats can't pick up all the pieces they'll be able to say how ineffective the Dems are. The current administration has done nothing to convince me that they care at all about America and Americans who aren't on their speed dial.

Cynical? Yep.
posted by fenriq at 3:04 PM on December 6, 2005


Thank you for posting this Reuters link. It gives me the chance to publicly giggle at the slap in the face Romania just delivered to France.
posted by loquax at 3:06 PM on December 6, 2005


Bush administration does something. MetaFilter post at 11.
posted by kjh at 3:09 PM on December 6, 2005


Here are the details on the mistaken purposeful kidnapping, abuse, and detention for five months of the innocent German in question, who taken away without notice from his wife and children.

He was dropped off in Albania over five months later, apparently to hide US involvement in the matter.

"When I returned I had long hair and beard, and had lost 40 pounds. My wife and children had left our house in Ulm, believing I had left them and was not coming back."

"I was warned at one point that as a condition of my release, I was never to mention what had happened to me, because the Americans were determined to keep the affair a secret. . .
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:12 PM on December 6, 2005


Bush administration fucks something up. Metafilter post at 11.
posted by UseyurBrain at 3:13 PM on December 6, 2005


It's been patently obvious since March 2001 that the Bush administration couldn't give a rat's ass for international treaties. (More examples ad nauseam).
This trend was, in point of fact, obvious even earlier to anyone who paid any attention to the news (that is, the real news, not the domestic puppet show).

"Use 'em then burn 'em" seems to be the hallmark of Bush II's attitude to it's allies, even when they've stood by the administration.

Some of us foreigners — and former allies — won't be forgetting this festival of misrule in a hurry. But I suspect Bush's successor will be cut some slack at first (and the harder they whack on their predecessor, the more slack they'll get).
posted by cstross at 3:19 PM on December 6, 2005


Making friends is hard.
posted by my sock puppet account at 3:20 PM on December 6, 2005


Whoops, my second example treaty blowout URL should link to examples.
posted by cstross at 3:21 PM on December 6, 2005


"If yer not with us, yer 'agin us."
posted by scheptech at 3:23 PM on December 6, 2005


Shagin us?
posted by oxala at 3:28 PM on December 6, 2005



I don’t want to play the devils advocate here or excuse the Bush administration or try explain this away as an aberration or anything...so I won’t.
*Steve Forbes stare*

More of that reality control from Bushco. It happened. No it didn’t. Whether it did or not doesn’t matter.

I would place continued good relations with Germany as a rather high priority. But I’m just some dude with coffee and a keyboard. Hell, I’m still wearing boots. I’ve never even seen thousand dollar shoes, so what do I know.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:34 PM on December 6, 2005


So html doesn't work in the page titles. Interesting.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:35 PM on December 6, 2005


Autopsy reports reveal homicides of detainees in U.S. custody
posted by Substrata at 3:37 PM on December 6, 2005


We Never Make Mistakes.
posted by orthogonality at 3:44 PM on December 6, 2005


Good ol' predictable loquax: It gives me the chance to publicly giggle at the slap in the face Romania just delivered to France.

Er, where? I can't find a slap in the face anywhere in the article. Anyway, if I was in the Romanian government, I'd be very, very careful about aggravating a country that can veto Romania's accesion to the EU...Especially as about nobody believes the Romanians' denials of CIA black sites in their territory (and will continue not to believe them as long as those denials are not backed by Rice herself...)
posted by Skeptic at 3:45 PM on December 6, 2005


Skeptic, how about looking anywhere else at today's news. Here... from CNN...
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Romanian counterpart have signed a historic pact establishing the first American military bases in a former Warsaw Pact country.

Romania, here is your reward for hosting secret torture prisons for our country within your borders.
posted by VulcanMike at 4:24 PM on December 6, 2005


Here's the link. And apologizes for the wording of that comment -- wasn't intending to sound like an ass. So from here, does EU membership not matter to Romania, since they have the support of the US? Anyone? loq?
posted by VulcanMike at 4:26 PM on December 6, 2005


*Steve Forbes stare*

Mommy, Smedleyman scares me.
posted by NewBornHippy at 4:43 PM on December 6, 2005


Psst!

There are US forces based in France, too.
posted by darkstar at 4:53 PM on December 6, 2005


This Condi quote is interesting: But she defended U.S. methods in the struggle against militants. "If you don't get to them before they commit their crimes, they will commit mass murder."

Isn't there some sort of Constitutional problem here... you know, that whole presumption of innocence thing?
posted by cedar at 4:54 PM on December 6, 2005


It occurs to me to wonder if Merkel was deliberately putting Rice on the spot...
posted by uosuaq at 4:55 PM on December 6, 2005


"It occurs to me to wonder if Merkel was deliberately putting Rice on the spot..."

...or perhaps trying not to look like a sock puppet.
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:04 PM on December 6, 2005


*Steve Forbes stare at NewBornHippy*
*10.3 minutes pass - 1 blink*
What? Why?
*Steve Forbes stare*

---
So, we imprison unjustly the UNEMPLOYED father of two kids, yeah, uh....who's the station chief over there?
*picks up phone*
---
He was dropped off then picked up by the Albanians? Didn't we have a big war with them or something? A war hero was trapped behind the lines? Good thing we won that one or El-Masri wouldn't have made it home.
And we'll win this one too. We always win.
*Steve Forbes stare*
posted by Smedleyman at 5:09 PM on December 6, 2005


"If you don't get to them before they commit their crimes, they will commit mass murder."

This is exactly the turning point, the same thinking that leads to pre-emptive war.
posted by scheptech at 5:16 PM on December 6, 2005


So from here, does EU membership not matter to Romania, since they have the support of the US? Anyone? loq?

Skeptic, my comment did indeed refer to the basing of American troops in Romania, quite contrary to what France wants to see happen. If one thinks that the French are arrogant in general, you wouldn't believe how they act towards Eastern Europe, and Romania in particular (perhaps because of the (somewhat) common latin ancestry). Frankly, I don't care what Romania (or Poland, or Bulgaria...) do as long as it irritates the French, mostly in terms of their loss of control and importance within the EU as it expands outwards, and the tight federalism that France desires evaporates in minor shows of sovereignty. Especially when France does not hesitate herself in deviating from EU rules and regulations whenever she sees fit.

EU membership still matters quite a bit, and it should be a foregone conclusion regardless of this issue, although helping your own cause by having alternate trading and strategic partners never hurt anyone. Frankly, however, the EU needs Romania (and the rest of Eastern Europe) far more than they need it. Don't forget, Romania isn't one of those tiny European nations, it's a naturally rich country of 30 million people in an extremely strategic geopolitical position. The prospect of EU membership is useful in so far as it has provided structure and guidance for societies and economies in great upheaval following the Soviet period. Otherwise, there are relatively few tangible benefits for Romania to join the EU at this point in time. A loose economic union, sure, free trade, fine. But why bother being a second-class citizen within a union that at best is interested in exploiting your cheap labour, buying your land and dominating your commercial sector while your people can't travel freely, work freely, or otherwise enjoy the benefits that union theoretically provides? Of course, things will change, and eventually the second class citizens will be fully accepted, but until then, why not maintain alliances with the US, Russia, and anyone else? And if it pisses off the French and the bureaucrats in Brussels, all the better!
posted by loquax at 5:19 PM on December 6, 2005


naturally rich country of 30 million people

Sorry--I know people who have been there on business in the last few years. The word "decrepit" was used more than once.

And isn't Merkel supposed to be a Christian Democrat? What's up with that? Would Reagan have treated Helmut Kohl this way?
posted by gimonca at 5:30 PM on December 6, 2005


United States Eats Puppies: Do you know where your children are?
posted by Captaintripps at 5:49 PM on December 6, 2005


Sorry--I know people who have been there on business in the last few years. The word "decrepit" was used more than once.

Funny, the exact same word I'd use to describe Buffalo, New York.
posted by loquax at 6:20 PM on December 6, 2005


Loquax seems more sane than usual and seems to get the Absurdity of it all, Or he is just stunned into oblivion from his hero failing.
posted by Elim at 6:36 PM on December 6, 2005


I for one agree with his assessment of Buffulo NY...
posted by Elim at 6:37 PM on December 6, 2005


Denial of mistakes, 2005:

"We Do Not Torture"

Denial of mistakes, 2010:

"I Never Voted for Bush"
posted by deanc at 6:41 PM on December 6, 2005


"I Never Voted for Bush"

You're damn right. I never voted for him.
posted by loquax at 6:53 PM on December 6, 2005


I did.
posted by shoos at 7:25 PM on December 6, 2005


Anybody feel safer, yet?
posted by signal at 7:29 PM on December 6, 2005


I toyed with voting for Bush last year. Just to be able to say that I did. It was California, so it didn't matter anyway. But in the end I decided to buy into the propaganda of all the brave soldiers who have fought & died for my right to vote, and not dishonor them by fucking around with it...
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:13 PM on December 6, 2005


Joke was on you, wasn't it Heywood?
Joke is on fucking all of us.
posted by Talanvor at 10:15 PM on December 6, 2005


I never voted for him.

clearly. the John Birch Society has never endorsed him. too left-wing, or something.
posted by matteo at 2:04 AM on December 7, 2005


If one thinks that the French are arrogant in general...

...then one is a bigot.
posted by bifter at 2:34 AM on December 7, 2005


clearly. the John Birch Society has never endorsed him. too left-wing, or something.

Clearly. I need reptilian endorsement. I'll just vote Harper next election.

...then one is a bigot.


No YOU'RE the bigot for thinking that anyone who thinks the French are arrogant is a bigot! So there.

And if we've gotten to the point where declaring that it's bigoted to critique the actions of governments (as was quite obvious in my comment), then I think just about everyone on Metafilter is bigoted against someone (and a particular nation in general)
posted by loquax at 6:32 AM on December 7, 2005


Is it really that unreasonable to interpret "French in general" in your original post as... er... the French in general? Not to mention your use of the plural rather than the singular, which would seem to make more sense if you were talking about the government. Seems a fair conclusion to me.
posted by bifter at 6:45 AM on December 7, 2005


I was speaking of the general arrogance of the French government, contrasted with their specific arrogance with respect to Eastern Europe. My comment would make no sense if it referred to the French people as I was speaking exclusively about inter-governmental affairs and EU expansion.

I assure you that I am completely enamored of the French people in general in a positively bigoted sense.
posted by loquax at 7:05 AM on December 7, 2005


with Diebold in charge of the votes, your votes might have been recorded for Bush anyway--we'll never know.

I wonder if Condi got to do any shopping this time? She needs a present for her husband George.
posted by amberglow at 7:28 AM on December 7, 2005


The French fucked up Buffalo?
posted by Haruspex at 7:32 AM on December 7, 2005


The French fucked up Buffalo?

No, the Americans did. Oh pardon me, the Governments of the United States of America, the State of New York, Erie County and the City of Buffalo did.

And I didn't mean to pick on Buffalo. Cleveland is also a disaster! I'd rather live in Brasov or Timisoara anyday.
posted by loquax at 7:44 AM on December 7, 2005


Neither Paris nor Paramus is a disaster. Yet...
posted by ParisParamus at 7:55 AM on December 7, 2005


...together it is a bloviating horror without respite?
posted by Haruspex at 8:06 AM on December 7, 2005


NYT editorial today--It was a sad enough measure of how badly the Bush administration has damaged its moral standing that the secretary of state had to deny that the president condones torture before she could visit some of the most reliable American allies in Europe. It was even worse that she had a hard time sounding credible when she did it. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:12 AM on December 7, 2005


"...together it is a bloviating horror without respite?"

Describing Howard Dean, are ya?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:59 AM on December 7, 2005


He was dropped off then picked up by the Albanians? Didn't we have a big war with them or something? A war hero was trapped behind the lines?

Awesome, working that reference in there, Smedleyman.
posted by alumshubby at 9:58 AM on December 7, 2005


loquax: Skeptic, my comment did indeed refer to the basing of American troops in Romania, quite contrary to what France wants to see happen.

I find you make quite a few baseless assumptions, starting with that one. I've googled the French press, and even among the snarkiest op-ed pieces I can't see France/the French government/French opinion makers/the French public/whatever getting particularly bothered about that. In fact, I don't see why they should give a damn about it, other than (among the couple of actual anti-Americans) to be glad to see the backs of those troops, currently based in neighbouring Germany. (Frankly, the only people with some reason to be annoyed are those poor sods to be redeployed. If I was told to relocate from West Germany to Romania, I'd be mightily pissed off. Still, it beats Iraq, I guess).

I was speaking of the general arrogance of the French government, contrasted with their specific arrogance with respect to Eastern Europe.

Care to show some examples of that "specific" arrogance? Because the usual Exhibit A for that charge is Chirac's "they lost a good opportunity to shut up", which, considering the cause of his outburst and subsequent events, is looking awfully accurate...Especially considering that it appears that those weren't their own words anyway, but that they were merely parroting the line fed to them by Washington (via a gun salesman), in best Warsaw Pact fashion.

"Earlier today, the United States presented compelling evidence to the United Nations Security Council detailing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, its active efforts to deceive UN inspectors, and its links to international terrorism."

A great opportunity to shut up, indeed...

You should be grateful that your government at the time was a bit more skeptical about those claims. Mine, unfortunately, wasn't...

Frankly, however, the EU needs Romania (and the rest of Eastern Europe) far more than they need it.

Oh, fer Chrissakes, that's so outrageous that it hardly merits comment. Do I need to cite population figures (EU: 456 million, Romania: 22 million, not 30)? GDP figures (Romania: 182 billion USD, Portugal -one of those "tiny European countries", I presume- 205). Frankly, Romania isn't exactly a powerhouse right now, and is still some way from becoming one. (BTW, I find it ironic that the only reason why Romania is considered for accession for 2007 is that the French, of all people, once lobbied strenuously for its accession to be linked with that of rather healthier Bulgaria, just because of that Latin connection).

You also seem to have a rather strange concept of the EU (completely obviating the considerable transfer of funds from rich to poor members, for instance), but I can assure you that:

a) the idea of European integration is vastly more popular and robust throughout the Continent (and not only among "Brussels bureaucrats") than you can guess from the English-speaking media (heavily biased by the strong "Euroscepticism" in Britain),
b) the Eastern European members have a lot more freedom to travel and work than you appear to believe,
c) hopes that the Eastern Europeans would plunge for the British "EU light" model seem about to be confounded, since they are starting to understand that it is just a cover for "we keep our money for us".
posted by Skeptic at 11:32 AM on December 7, 2005


...Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she can give no guarantee that terrorism detainees won't be abused again despite what she called the United States' clear rules against torture. ... Rice did not mention U.S. employees in similar statements Wednesday and earlier. Including them now may be a reference to a loophole identified by human rights organizations that could allow the CIA to contract out mistreatment. ...
posted by amberglow at 6:25 AM on December 8, 2005


fafblog interviews Condi: ... RICE: I'd also like to point out that whenever we send a prisoner to a country that routinely tortures prisoners, that country promises us NOT to torture them.
FB: And then they get tortured anyway!
RICE: Yes, they do! It's very strange.
FB: Over and over again, every time! That's gotta be so frustrating.
RICE: Oh it is, it is. ...

posted by amberglow at 7:08 AM on December 8, 2005


Parsing Condi on torture--Bonus weasel: The anti-torture treaty also says that countries are only responsible for the actions that occur in “any territory under its jurisdiction.” Those secret CIA prisons? They aren’t in “territory under U.S. jurisdiction,” so, in the administration’s opinion, the U.S. isn’t responsible. QED!
posted by amberglow at 9:45 PM on December 8, 2005


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