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Sex, bribes and videotape
September 22, 2009 2:01 PM   Subscribe

FBI whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, has gone on record with her allegations of government corruption and treason. (previously)
posted by ryoshu (98 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Noting the publication, and the fact that the bulk of her allegations are against Republicans and members of a Republican administration.

My head is spinning, a bit. I would have expected to read something like this in Mother Jones.
posted by Danf at 2:25 PM on September 22, 2009


Short version: It's even worse than was speculated.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:28 PM on September 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


The context of this article (American Conservative) shows there is integrity within the conservative movement.

It's a shame that such a datapoint is worthy of note.
posted by el io at 2:29 PM on September 22, 2009 [12 favorites]


This post should have come pre-equipped with a tinfoilhat tag.

Edmonds' story sounds strange, kooky even.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:29 PM on September 22, 2009


But it was the Obama piece that revealed [The American Conservative’s] political divisions to be unworkable. The weekend after Kara and Scott dismissed my objections to Sailer’s essay, I read Dreams From My Father. I realized that, in addition to the racist associations he employs, Sailer frequently quotes Obama out of context and makes assertions about Obama’s racial identity that the book flatly contradicts. - Alexander Konetzki

But who could have expected that from a magazine co-founded by Pat "Hitler Was Misunderstood" Buchanan?

I'm not saying that Edmonds' story is false. I'm just saying that I wouldn't take The American Conservative's word for it if they reported that the sun was rising in the east.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:32 PM on September 22, 2009


If correct, among other things she re-confirms that the neocon Bush administration was dead-set on going to war with Iraq long before the "new Pearl Harbor" of 9/11:

The monitoring of the Turks picked up contacts with Feith, Wolfowitz, and Perle in the summer of 2001, four months before 9/11. They were discussing with the Turkish ambassador in Washington an arrangement whereby the U.S. would invade Iraq and divide the country. The UK would take the south, the rest would go to the U.S. They were negotiating what Turkey required in exchange for allowing an attack from Turkish soil.

This certainly jibes with Richard Clarke's recollections as well:

Clarke recounts how on Jan. 24, 2001, he recommended that the new president's national-security advisor, Condoleezza Rice, convene the president's top advisers to discuss the Qaeda threat. One week later, Bush did. But according to Clarke, the meeting had nothing to do with bin Laden. The topic was how to get rid of Saddam Hussein. "What does that tell you?" Clarke remarked to Newsweek. "They thought there was something more urgent. It was Iraq. They came in there with their agenda, and [al Qaeda] was not on it."

And lest we forget, Bush was beating the war and fear-of-terror drums even before he was "elected" the first time:

Armitage and the others worked on a speech that Bush gave at The Citadel...on September 23, 1999: "I will defend the American people against missles and terror," Bush said, "And I will begin creating the military of the next century...Homeland defense has become an urgent duty." He cited the potential "threat of biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism...Every group or nation must know, if they sponsor such attacks, our response will be devastating."
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 2:38 PM on September 22, 2009 [8 favorites]


I love how it wraps up with a gratuitous swipe at the Obama administration (for stuff they haven't done yet), and the mention of Chicago corruption and Mayor Daley. Meanwhile, George Whatshisname from Crawford, TX, the dude who ruled over all of this malfeasance and treason, isn't mentioned once.
posted by turducken at 2:39 PM on September 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


The context of this article (American Conservative) shows there is integrity within the conservative movement..

Don't be too quick, there. The final question and answer suggest that the Obama administration will do nothing to investigate these crimes because Obama loves the state secrets privilege and he and members of his administration are possibly in on it.

That all may be true (I certainly won't dispute the administration's love of the state secrets privilege), but I suspect a big part of the reason that The American Conservative printed the interview is that it suggests that corrupt Chicago and Illinois politicians are at the heart of these crimes. Regardless, I hope somebody in Congress or the executive branch has the decency and patriotism to chase down these allegations, regardless of where they lead.
posted by jedicus at 2:39 PM on September 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


MeTa
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:44 PM on September 22, 2009


KokoRyu - added the tag just for you.
posted by ryoshu at 2:44 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah. Metafilter. Don't ever change.

That was a statement. Not a request.
posted by tkchrist at 2:48 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


[let's try again, shall we?]
posted by jessamyn at 2:48 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


turducken: "I love how it wraps up with a gratuitous swipe at the Obama administration (for stuff they haven't done yet), and the mention of Chicago corruption and Mayor Daley. Meanwhile, George Whatshisname from Crawford, TX, the dude who ruled over all of this malfeasance and treason, isn't mentioned once."

Actually, they did leave in the phrase "the previous terrible administration" - by way of (rightly) slamming Obama for his expansion of Bush's claims for the State Secrets privilege.

But that's a fig leaf. Any article that ends with Dan Brown shit like "It was no coincidence that the Turkish criminal entity’s operation centered on Chicago" is not primarily concerned with exposing Bush-era corruption.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:51 PM on September 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't take The American Conservative's word for it if they reported that the sun was rising in the east.

Well, that's convenient, because it actually rises in the west.

Not-hemispherist.
posted by rodgerd at 2:58 PM on September 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


Edmonds' story sounds strange, kooky even.

You see, that's the problem with branding any question about any aspect of 9/11 as tinfoilery. It conveniently marginalizes Ms. Edmonds along with anyone else past, present or future who might actually have a basis for knowing what they are talking about. By ridiculing the most extreme examples, you poison the well for anyone else who might come along who dares question the party line, no matter how qualified or experienced.

There's no way in hell the official spin is the complete story. Everything else that bunch of Bush era thieves did was so steeped in lies and corruption that I can't fathom how their experience of or reaction to 9/11 could possibly pure or honest. What, it's the one thing they didn't cheat and cover up?

No, I have no idea what (lowercase) really happened, either. It just bugs me that we don't investigate their asses for real, and that the idea of nastiness within our own government gets canned in the same bin as mind control from space aliens.

I wish Edmonds well, and I'm somewhat sickly surprised she hasn't been 'suicided' yet.
posted by rokusan at 2:59 PM on September 22, 2009 [25 favorites]


not primarily concerned with exposing Bush-era corruption

Perhaps, but the best thing that could happen to this country is if certain influential members of the conservative think-tank complex dropped their ideological/partisan blinders momentarily, and began to suspect that what the Bush administration was up to during its eight year reign was in fact possibly treasonous. Stranger things have happened than the possibility of key GOP members wanting to finally investigate Bush. It's a good thing it's not just Mother Jones interviewing Edmonds or whomever.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 3:02 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


The context of this article (American Conservative) shows there is integrity within the conservative movement.

American Conservative is isn't really part of the "conservative movement" They opposed the Iraq war, IIRC. They're like Nader voters in 2000.
posted by delmoi at 3:19 PM on September 22, 2009


> They're like Nader voters in 2000.

Actually, likening the TAC/antiwar.com crowd to the Naderites is a pretty good comparison.
posted by darth_tedious at 3:29 PM on September 22, 2009


They're like Nader voters in 2000.

despicable?
posted by found missing at 3:30 PM on September 22, 2009


found missing: "despicable?"

Green Party Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader did not work for the Florida Secretary of State, the Palm Beach County Election Commission, the Al Gore campaign committee, or the United States Supreme Court. Yet, he has become a scapegoat among many Democrats for Al Gore’s loss of the 2000 election, and, beyond the election, the person to blame for the resulting policies of George Bush. These diehard Democrats are averse to looking at the failings of their candidate, and they are not blaming voters for failing to vote at all. Instead, they are upset that Ralph Nader did not acquiesce to dropping out of the race as many urged him to do. As a side note, if Al Gore had won his home state of Tennessee, he would have had the necessary Electoral College votes to have won the election and the Florida results would have been irrelevant.

posted by Joe Beese at 3:37 PM on September 22, 2009 [21 favorites]


> despicable?

Okay, maybe not that good a comparison.
posted by darth_tedious at 3:38 PM on September 22, 2009


The American Conservative is a paleocon magazine. It shouldn't be surprising that they are covering a story that implicates a lot of the big players in the neocon movement.
posted by ryoshu at 3:45 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


despicable?

So's your mother. I voted for Nader in 2000 (in a state that went overwhelmingly to Gore, by the way), and I resent the continuing lazy, contemptuous, anti-democratic sentiment that makes me responsible for George Bush stealing the election rather than the blatant political maneuvering of five members of SCOTUS or the inherent flaw in a winner-takes-all, two-party electoral college system.
posted by scody at 3:46 PM on September 22, 2009 [32 favorites]


My mother voted for Bush. She didn't believe Nader's claim that there was no difference between Gore and Bush.
posted by found missing at 3:48 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


found missing: "My mother voted for Bush. She didn't believe Nader's claim that there was no difference between Gore and Bush."

What he actually said - and I heard it from the man's own mouth addressing a rally in Washington Square Park as I was heading somewhere - was that there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between them.

We can be fair and call it a nickel's worth. That's about how much difference I see between Obama's policies and the likely policies of McCain.

But this all an unfortunate derail to a worthy FPP.

posted by Joe Beese at 3:56 PM on September 22, 2009


some of her on video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-dNjrVhc2U

here she is so you can be charmed by her looks and, if interested, see what she says about
the drug connections
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQkx1246_d8&feature=related
and of course at margin more of her.
posted by Postroad at 3:59 PM on September 22, 2009


Al Gore ran a lousy campaign.

Also, Nader voters in swing states were contemptible.

As it happens, there was a difference between Bush and Gore. Whoopsie! Who could've known?

As for TAC, I'm pretty sure Buchanan isn't affiliated with them anymore. They're a frequent outlet for Daniel Larison and Andrew Bacevich, two of the most perceptive, fearless and non-partisan conservatives left in the country.

I'm not so sure about the claims in this article. It definitely fits with the rest of the Bush administration-- if you were "in," you could just do whatever the hell you wanted, and Feith was in. But as much as I always hated Burton and Livingston, I really don't want to believe the GOP in Congress was always this bad too.

Happily, it doesn't quite all add up to me-- "Then the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupted, and everything was placed on the back burner." Why? What has that got to do with an investigation? And why would we have been supporting al Qaeda-sympathetic groups in Turkey in 2001? We loved Turkey's government, and they hated Islamists. And Emanuel's relationship with Haestert made her upset?!? There might be something to some of this, but it doesn't all add up.

As an aside, but it drives me up the wall to see Lantos described as "the most outspoken supporter of Israel in Congress." You can support Israel without advocating a blank check to their most right-wing policies, just as you can the US.
posted by ibmcginty at 4:00 PM on September 22, 2009


When I see little things like this, which fly under the radar, I have a sense of despair because I don't think they'll go anywhere. If they do get noticed, nobody important ends up in the slammer. Every loss makes the neocon side stronger because, hey, it obviously wasn't that big of a deal. In contrast, the Dems seem like pitiful whiners who cannot find anything "real" to focus on and are just nitpicking. (I don't believe this, but a series of losses or not particular big wins sure makes it look that way to some folks)

I wish some kind of fund could be established where we could drop in five bucks, or a hundred, or whatever. Then, after a certain amount is collected, a vote is taken for the Three Cases Most Likely to End with Top-Level Bush Administration in Jail, and the monies collected be used to fund an ad campaign, pick the right lawyers, pay private investigators, whatever it takes.

I want someone important in jail over this, disgraced. Not these insignificant lizards' tails that the Republicans keep shedding whenever they're caught.
posted by adipocere at 4:05 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nader was Ross Perot for democrats. He illustrated once again how our winner-take-all system makes it completely counterproductive to vote for anyone but the lesser of two evils.

There's also some word that he actually wanted Bush to win:
Later I was introduced to Nader's closest adviser, his handsome, piercingly intelligent 30-year-old nephew, Tarek Milleron. Although Milleron argued that environmentalists and other activists would find fundraising easier under Bush, he acknowledged that a Bush presidency would be worse for poor and working-class people, for blacks, for most Americans. As Moore had, he claimed that Nader's campaign would encourage Web-based vote-swapping between progressives in safe and contested states. But when I suggested that Nader could gain substantial influence in a Democratic administration by focusing his campaign on the 40 safe states and encouraging his supporters elsewhere to vote Gore, Milleron leaned coolly toward me with extra steel in his voice and body. He did not disagree. He simply said, "We're not going to do that."

"Why not?" I said.

With just a flicker of smile, he answered, "Because we want to punish the Democrats, we want to hurt them, wound them."

There was a long silence and the conversation was over.
Instant runoff, anyone?
posted by mullingitover at 4:06 PM on September 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


American Conservative is isn't really part of the "conservative movement"

AmCon is a real puzzle to me. It's written by a bunch of smart, informed guys I can find agreement with fairly often, and a solidly lunatic Pat Buchanan. My only explanation is he pays them a buttload of cash to let him be associated with them.
posted by scalefree at 4:17 PM on September 22, 2009


Sex and espionage certainly go together - that's an old tradition." - Markus Wolf.

But because I'm twelve I fixated on the term: “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.”
(also, she looks like Sue Dibny)

"There were bin Ladens, with the help of Pakistanis or Saudis, under our management. Marc Grossman was leading it, 100 percent, bringing people from East Turkestan into Kyrgyzstan, from Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan, from Azerbaijan some of them were being channeled to Chechnya, some of them were being channeled to Bosnia."

Yeah, that's true.
Generally speaking whistleblowers have been treated in the U.S. the way Basil Fawlty treats Manuel.
But it's kinda funny how it's being repackaged and aimed at Obama tho.
Far as I know Abdullah Catli died in '96. Member of the Gray Wolves started by the CIA's Gladio program.
And by no means to say the guy isn't crooked, but to insinuate that an Irish Catholic like Richie Daly is going to buddy up to a guy who was part of the program to shoot Pope John Paul II? Yeah, count me as a bit skeptical.
On the other hand Edmonds is recounting surveillance info, so it could have been through a double blind (Joe the Contractor is actually working for Mehmet the Turkish spook)
Otherwise, yes, Chicago is an international city.

Schakowsky, I don't know. She's very liberal so she'd be an obvious target for mudslinging from the right, and maybe she's bi or not, but uh...y'know, the whole being Jewish thing (and being hawkish on Israel) I don't think lends much sympathy to the Islamic Turks (like Mehmet Celebi who is a Clinton contributor, but made a movie called "Valley of the Wolves" showing a sadistic Jewish doctor removing organs from prisoners and selling them to wealthy transplant victims).

On the other hand her husband (Creamer...whatta jag off) is pretty bent so - yeah, who knows.
Absent any evidence though, and given she says she doesn't know if Schakowsky did anything illegal - so why name her? - I'm going to have to say that bit sounds like bullshit.

I mean, Turkey is a strategic ally, especially with what's going on in Iraq and with Iran (yeah, no one has to like it, but it's the turd on the floor) why the hell would anyone need to be bribed or blackmailed to play CYA over the genocide vote when it's so straight uppolitical?
Could have been her husband.
But the 9th district is pretty liberal and you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a LGBT group out there so being bisexual would only enhance her rep.
Just seems useless like a useless add on. "Yeah, I beat the hell out of this whole biker gang. And oh, yeah, also, they had Uzis."

Maybe the Turkish spooks set up a honeypot, but c'mon her husband is much more vulnerable. I mean, yeah, we could bribe this guy who's proven completely bribeable and/or blackmail him, but no, let's go after his wife with this elaborate lesbian thing at her mom's funeral.
Wha?
On the other hand the MİT co-operates with American intelligence agencies...maybe it was a partisan op? Dunno. Pure speculation on my part. Just pulling stuff out of my ass. Could be too Grey aliens from area 51 running their apocalyptic plan to circumcise all gentile males and use the severed foreskins to create a giant homunculus to dominate the Earth. Although I don't know if that actually happened at all.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:17 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


> Happily, it doesn't quite all add up to me-- "Then the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupted, and everything was placed on the back burner." Why? What has that got to do with an investigation?

Actually, "And Then Came Monica" is a phrase you'll find in many memoirs and accounts from the period, both as explanation and excuse, for why X happened and, more often, why Y did not happen.

One gets the impression that the morale and momentum of an administration, high or low, great or little, ripples out and tends to affect all its doings. That certainly seemed the case with W's-- when he was riding high, everything seemed to be going-- or spinning-- his team's way; when his administration nosedived, suddenly fronts of resistance were everywhere.

> And why would we have been supporting al Qaeda-sympathetic groups in Turkey in 2001?

I think the point is that there wasn't a very good reason, besides the small and venal and vital factor of money (and to some extent, the connections between the Turkish government and the Israeli right and its security apparatus).

> And Emanuel's relationship with Haestert made her upset?!?

What's interesting is the trivial sums of money involved; it bears witness to the strangeness of the US campaign funding structure, and how it makes politicians, as a class, captive to anyone with a checkbook.
posted by darth_tedious at 4:24 PM on September 22, 2009


As for TAC, I'm pretty sure Buchanan isn't affiliated with them anymore.

Sadly he still is. He has a column in this month's issue & he frequently posts to their blog. He's such a jarring note, it's kind of embarrassing.
posted by scalefree at 4:34 PM on September 22, 2009


"sadistic Jewish doctor removing organs from prisoners and selling them to wealthy transplant victims"

Are you sure that wasn't a Brooklyn rabbi who was selling the organs of poor Israelis, Indians and Eastern Europeans to wealthy customers?

(Flag away if I've offended, but that's what that sentence immediately brought to my mind.)
posted by bashos_frog at 4:45 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is there a Greasemonkey script to wipe all traces of Buchanan from the American Conservative site? I like to read the internet while I'm eating
posted by jtron at 4:51 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is there a Greasemonkey script to wipe all traces of Buchanan from the American Conservative site?

This would be even more helpful for me, and would definitely tempt me to learn what this "greasemonkey" is that all you kids keep talking about while you're on my lawn
posted by scody at 5:00 PM on September 22, 2009


From Sibel Edmonds website:

"...we fear that the designation of information as classified in some cases [brought forth by Sibel Edmonds] serves to protect the executive branch against embarrassing revelations and full accountability... Releasing declassified versions of these reports, or at least portions or summaries, would serve the public’s interest, increase transparency, promote effectiveness and efficiency at the FBI, and facilitate Congressional oversight." U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) in a Letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft
posted by netbros at 5:00 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yay my senator!!
posted by jessamyn at 5:07 PM on September 22, 2009


ibmcginty: "As it happens, there was a difference between Bush and Gore. Whoopsie! Who could've known?"

You want me to say that Gore wouldn't have been as bad as Bush. Fine. Gore wouldn't have been as bad as Bush.

But he still wouldn't have been good enough.

The Vice President's staff... knew that the Temple event was a fundraiser. In March 1996, Deputy Chief of Staff David Strauss had helped arrange a meeting in the White House with the founder of the temple, Hsing Yun – a meeting which Strauss believed would 'lead to a lot of $.' The White House staff repeatedly referred to the event as a 'fundraiser' in internal correspondence, and assigned to it a 'ticket price' of '1000–5000 [dollars per] head'. ... FBI agents were also denied the opportunity to ask President Clinton and Vice President Gore questions during Justice Department interviews in 1997 and 1998 and were only allowed to take notes. During the interviews, neither Clinton nor Gore were asked any questions about fund-raisers John Huang, James Riady, nor the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple fund-raising event led by Maria Hsia and attended by John Huang and Ted Sioeng - Wikipedia

Make Gore into a dashboard saint if it gets you through the night... but this is one piece of reality I'm able to face. He's as bought-and-paid-for as all the rest. And if you believe he wouldn't have sold out the progressives as coolly as Obama has, I think you a fool.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:24 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Are you sure that wasn't a Brooklyn rabbi..."
Well, yeah, that actually happened. But one Jew does not the Protocols of the Elders of Zion make.

"You see, that's the problem with branding any question about any aspect of 9/11 as tinfoilery"

True. Too much "it was missiles" b.s. I agree there should have been, and still should be WAY more investigation into just what the hell happened.

And there are folks other than (the good lookin') Edmonds bringing up a lot of other points (flaws, errors, lapses, political chicanery, etc.) John Cole (who has a very nice speaking voice), John Vincent (who is well groomed), Robert Wright (who is from Chicago, but has a terrific ass), Behrooz Sarshar (who is very tall and majestic), Mike German (just look at his eyes!), Coleen Rowley (she's not my time, but she has great fashion sense), Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer (who really knows how to accessorize), Bogdan Dzakovic (exotic seeming) - these men and women are (in addition to being absolutely just gorgeous, gorgeous people) skilled professionals who have echoed Edmonds' on national security flaws and a lot of the stuff concerning 9/11.

...it gets pretty Byzantine tho, and it's tough to know what the direction is.
This particular piece is just the American Conservative's spin on Edmond's stuff.
The problem is we don't have the policy level view. There might be, in certain cases (as I alluded to above) perfectly reasonable explanations for certain national security matters.

Should the CIA run drugs, etc.(albeit outside the U.S.) when it's more or less one of the big units of currency in the criminal and terrorist underworld? They can't exactly cut someone a check when they're undercover or in NOC. So...
Some of this stuff is very shadowy and many folks in certain facets of the intelligence community don't do nuance very well. Especially a language specialist, like talking to an engineer, very literal and straightforward.
Not that this is a bad thing. You want what was said and what happened, there you go.
But y'know, why mention someone like Schakowsky? Well, because it's what you heard. And you're perhaps telling the truth.
On the other hand - you're talking to a politically oriented media outfit, so perhaps the focus isn't going to align with the malfeasance model in your head.

Look at Wilson and Plame - doesn't look like they thought telling the truth would result in a funky politically motivated situation.
I'm not saying it's at all alright.
But, ok, was Grossman a CIA asset? They wouldn't tell the FBI would they. Not back then certainly. Probably still not now. And maybe he was playing games. Or maybe it was corruption.
Lot's of shadow boxing going on.

Ah, I don't want playing Devil's Advocate in the details to get in the way of what's otherwise pretty straightforward in terms of whistleblowing.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:25 PM on September 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


He's as bought-and-paid-for as all the rest. And if you believe he wouldn't have sold out the progressives as coolly as Obama has, I think you a fool.

The only part of this that is demonstrably true is the last clause.
posted by DU at 5:27 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I came here for the sexism derail but stayed for the Nader fight derail.
posted by tkchrist at 5:40 PM on September 22, 2009 [16 favorites]


That's about how much difference I see between Obama's policies and the likely policies of McCain.

it's the deltas that matter. Until something egregiously boneheaded comes out, I'm withholding judgment of this admin until, hopefully, 2017, where we can see where we have arrived.

Presidentin' this wonderful country full of shitty people is hard.
posted by Palamedes at 5:51 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


But he still wouldn't have been good enough.

Would Gore have bankrupted the country with an illegal war and corrupt banking system? Implemented a system of torture camps and eliminated civil rights? Sat on his ass while New Orleans drowns?

Maybe, it's hard to say. But Bush was busy and did damage to the United States and world in ways that it would be hard to replicate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:54 PM on September 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


apocalyptic plan to circumcise all gentile males and use the severed foreskins to create a giant homunculus to dominate the Earth

I remember seeing a documentary about that on The History Channel.

Also, Metafilter: [etc.]
posted by ryanrs at 5:55 PM on September 22, 2009


He's as bought-and-paid-for as all the rest. And if you believe he wouldn't have sold out the progressives as coolly as Obama has, I think you a fool.

Yeah he might've, especially with lukewarm Holy Joe in the copilot's seat; except on his passion global warming. But what he wouldn't have done is sell out the entire country the way Bush did, time & time again.
posted by scalefree at 6:15 PM on September 22, 2009


Fascinating. This is like something out of Lem's "Memoirs Found in a Bathtub," except in real time.
posted by sneebler at 6:17 PM on September 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


All this Nader talk is really tiresome, but I just can't help myself..
No Nader no Bush, you say? Well.. No Bush no black President. So, no Nader, no Barack Obama.

Thanks Ralph!
Now, can we please stop bringing up retarded Nader scapegoating, please?
posted by Chuckles at 6:38 PM on September 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


But he still wouldn't have been good enough.

What's that saying, the really awful is the enemy of the not good enough?
posted by fatbird at 7:54 PM on September 22, 2009


Presidentin' this wonderful country full of shitty people is hard.

Give Kissinger a call. I'm sure he's got some sort of handy depopulation tool in his magic murder bag.
posted by rokusan at 8:13 PM on September 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer (who really knows how to accessorize)...

Smedleyman, you should consider a joint military/intelligence/fashion venture with the impeccable Princess Sparkle Pony.
posted by rokusan at 8:16 PM on September 22, 2009


Now, can we please stop bringing up retarded Nader scapegoating, please?

I'm tired of the retarded Nader. I want the other one.
posted by rokusan at 8:33 PM on September 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


fatbird: "What's that saying, the really awful is the enemy of the not good enough?"

As someone asked on another blog: What's the moral difference between Republicans sacrificing American lives to protect the profits of defense contractors and the Democrats sacrificing American lives to protect the profits of health insurers?

The enemy - if that's the question - is the corporations' stranglehold on the legislature. For fuck's sake, the Baucus bill was literally written by an insurance company vice-president. Short of walking the poor on leashes, I don't know how much more nakedly plutocratic it can get.

And they would like nothing more that you continue to delude yourself that it makes a difference which of the two wings of their single-party system you consider "the lesser evil".
posted by Joe Beese at 8:58 PM on September 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


With just a flicker of smile, he answered, "Because we want to punish the Democrats, we want to hurt them, wound them."

Wow.

If that's true then I'm chagrined that I cast my vote for him even in Utah, and doubly so that I urged other people to vote for him.
posted by weston at 9:07 PM on September 22, 2009


You want me to say that Gore wouldn't have been as bad as Bush. Fine. Gore wouldn't have been as bad as Bush.

But he still wouldn't have been good enough
.

Gore wouldn't have invaded Iraq. When they write the history of the fall of America, Bush's decision to invade Iraq's going to have a big chapter right in the middle.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:14 PM on September 22, 2009


The enemy - if that's the question - is the corporations' stranglehold on the legislature.

IMO Pogo said it best.. Obama pushes for the public option, and what how does the return sound in the media spin cycle . . . "death panels" . . . "return of (nazi) socialism" . . . "don't tread on me!". The pinheaded opposition fielded 70,000 or so nutjobs to DC last weekend, where is the counter-counter-protest?

If this country wasn't 30-40% right-wing nutjobs I wouldn't be cutting the Dems or The One any slack. We are what we are, and it is what is. The choice isn't between [insert favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor here] and spumone, the choice is between spumone and the total bullshit as experienced of the previous administration. I'm not a big fan of spumone, but what the fuck can I do?

It's a crock, but the eight years of 1993-2001 was a pretty damn good trajectory compared to 1981-1993, or 2001-2009.
posted by Palamedes at 9:48 PM on September 22, 2009


^ intended link
posted by Palamedes at 9:51 PM on September 22, 2009


Pat Buchanan gets his hair set on fire.
Once upon a time there was a stand down at the CIA,because a Senator from Idaho was investigating. So the old boys contracted privately with the Saudis for their day to day intelligence needs ( this is how the nations threat assessment software was infiltrated)
this arrangement was called the safari club and or le circ
posted by hortense at 10:32 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


As someone asked on another blog: What's the moral difference between Republicans sacrificing American lives to protect the profits of defense contractors and the Democrats sacrificing American lives to protect the profits of health insurers?

That's not the question, it's an absurd oversimplification that's an excuse for martyring your vote rather than actually making a difficult decision about how to cast it. I can respect a Nader voter who says "he best represents what I want." I can't respect one who uses this cheap cop-out for moral wankery.
posted by fatbird at 10:46 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Stranger than fiction.
This thread.
The interview is pretty, uh, complicated as well. There is something fishy about it but I can't say what - too many details pointing in too many directions: makes me think she was set out there as a big bolus of information in case anyone wanted to start slinging mud and change the shape of the discourse about national security.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:04 AM on September 23, 2009


Oh, and Nader is/was a tool. Much the same way as Perot.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:06 AM on September 23, 2009


So much of this gets sidetracked into a discussion about Nader. He may be good or not good but the charges made here about the elected govt and its officals?
posted by Postroad at 1:58 AM on September 23, 2009


How can we verify that Edmonds is telling the truth?
posted by krilli at 3:21 AM on September 23, 2009


"Should the CIA run drugs, etc.(albeit outside the U.S.) when it's more or less one of the big units of currency in the criminal and terrorist underworld? They can't exactly cut someone a check when they're undercover or in NOC."
Edmonds addressed this in a 2004 letter to the 9/11 commission after they failed to include her testimony:
“If Counterintelligence receives information that contains money laundering, illegal arms sale, and illegal drug activities, directly linked to terrorist activities; and if that information involves certain nations, certain semi-legit organizations, and ties to certain lucrative or political relations in this country, then, that information is not shared with Counterterrorism, regardless of the possible severe consequences. In certain cases, frustrated FBI agents cited ‘direct pressure by the State Department,’ and in other cases ‘sensitive diplomatic relations’ is cited.… Your hearings did not include questions regarding these unspoken and unwritten policies and practices. Despite your full awareness and understanding of certain criminal conduct that connects to certain terrorist related activities, committed by certain US officials and high-level government employees, you have not proposed criminal investigations into this conduct, although under the laws of this country you are required to do so. How can budget increases address and resolve these problems, when some of them are caused by unspoken practices and unwritten policies?”
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 3:27 AM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


How can we verify that Edmonds is telling the truth?

Go read the History Commons complete 9/11 timeline. There is plenty of corroborating evidence from a mix of good sources. Especially the al Qaeda in the Balkans timeline, and the Sibel Edmonds timeline itself.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 3:31 AM on September 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


The Obama administration will announce a new policy Wednesday making it much more difficult for the government to claim that it is protecting state secrets when it hides details of sensitive national security strategies such as rendition and warrantless eavesdropping, according to two senior Justice Department officials.
posted by EarBucket at 6:48 AM on September 23, 2009


That's about how much difference I see between Obama's policies and the likely policies of McCain.
posted by Joe Beese


If you really don't see policy differences in Obama v. McCain than your "things I don't agree with" meter has completely busted. They fundamentally disagree in both policy matters and strategy. Do you honestly think that a McCain/Palin agenda would have included health care, climate change, withdrawal from Iraq, financial re-regulation, investigation of the CIA, net neutrality, etc, etc, etc. I get that he's not turned out to be the ultimate progressive wet dream, but seeing a "nickel's worth" of difference between his and McCain's policies is woefully and demonstrably false.
posted by haveanicesummer at 6:53 AM on September 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have no reason to doubt her story. However, I would guess that there is much more to it that she does not know, that the public does not know, and that is why it has yet to be taken seriously by the Feds, even with a new Democratic administration. For instance they may be protecting some hard to replace intelligence assets who would be exposed if the full story came out. That doesn't make covering up or looking the other way in the face of corruption any more palatable though.
posted by caddis at 7:33 AM on September 23, 2009


And they would like nothing more that you continue to delude yourself that it makes a difference which of the two wings of their single-party system you consider "the lesser evil".
posted by Joe Beese


You fail to understand that "they" are not a monolithic entity with one thought process that drives them. Would it be better with more than two feasible parties? Probably. Would that solve all of these problems? Definitely not. You do yourself and others no service by viewing our political spectrum in black and white instead of the lengthy greyscale it obviously is.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:09 AM on September 23, 2009


offtopic: If you don't like Al Gore or George Bush, but you do like Nader, why wouldn't you vote for him? If that breaks your whole fucking democracy then maybe your system of government has even more issues than you think.
posted by chunking express at 8:48 AM on September 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


fatbird: " it's an absurd oversimplification that's an excuse for martyring your vote rather than actually making a difficult decision about how to cast it."

I can understand how it would be difficult for you to choose between the double-decker or triple-decker shit sandwich. But deciding "I won't eat shit" is actually quite easy. You might want to try it some time.

Oh, I forgot... you don't want to "martyr" your vote. [Unlike mine... tied to the stake with eyes cast longingly towards heaven as the cruel flames ravage its innocent flesh.] But see, that's where I think the third-party haters expose their dishonesty.

I never hear you types rail against the tens of millions of eligible non-voters who could have swept Gore into office with a mandate that would have made Obama's look puny by comparison. But surely the None Of The Above-rs were even more guilty of copping out of the "difficult decision"?

No, it's only we few, deludedly idealistic third-party voters that get the snarl-and-spit displays we've seen in this thread. But why is that? If our votes are as wasted and insignificant as you claim, why give us a second thought?

I think that the reason you hate us so much is because our actions compel you to consider the upsetting possibility that maybe you're eating shit for nothing.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:23 AM on September 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


offtopic: if you don't like Al Gore or George Bush, but you do like yourself, why wouldn't you write your own name in if you're over 35 and a natural-born citizen?

Same answer.

posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:23 AM on September 23, 2009


Same answer.

Because your system is fucked? And people will bitch about your choices years later.

posted by chunking express at 9:29 AM on September 23, 2009


I think that the reason you hate us so much is because our actions compel you to consider the upsetting possibility that maybe you're eating shit for nothing.

This is at least consistent with thinking that there's not a nickel's worth of difference between Obama and McCain.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:31 AM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think that the reason you hate us so much is because our actions compel you to consider the upsetting possibility that maybe you're eating shit for nothing.

Actually, I'm not eating shit at all. I'm Canadian, so when I vote NDP, Green, Communist, or Natural Law, my vote actually has an effect beyond going into a miniscule pile on the side. Moreso if we manage to enact preferential voting.

As I said, I have no problem with someone who votes third party for positive reasons; likewise, I don't blame Nader for costing Gore the 2000 election because you're right that any of a million other things (like taking his home state; like burning the butterfly ballot) could also have been different.

But this "it's all a shit sandwich" reasoning is stupid beyond belief and a denial of the reality of American electoral politics. The U.S. wouldn't be in Iraq today if Gore had won--the lives of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, along with hundreds of billions of dollars, wouldn't be lost. The U.S. wouldn't have tried to institutionalize torture and the 'enemy combatant' category. To equate that with health insurance executives continuing to wallow at the trough is to equate theft with murder and gangrape, and as insulting as it is stupid to the victims of the latter.
posted by fatbird at 10:11 AM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


fatbird: "stupid beyond belief... denial of the reality... insulting"

And despicable, apparently.

Duly noted.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:24 AM on September 23, 2009


I see your taste for martyrdom extends to not arguing the point. Duly noted.
posted by fatbird at 10:47 AM on September 23, 2009


That's about how much difference I see between Obama's policies and the likely policies of McCain.

Under a McCain Palin presidency, my partner and I would likely either be put into ovens or be emigrating to Canada or Europe. Obama is no saint, definitely, and I went into the voting booth with eyes open, but his views and actions have been infinitely preferable to the likely policies of a Christian fundamentalist megalomaniac like Sarah Palin.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:35 AM on September 23, 2009


Rep. Jan Schakowsky responds to Edmonds claims

Sorry, did I interrupt something?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:48 PM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sure that the American and Iraqi dead appreciate Joe's ideological purity.

Joe's actually giving a perfect example of how on a fundamental level the Naderites are identical to the Neocons; ideology trumps reality, and any amount of damage to the nation or world is justified in the pursuit of that ideology. A war is good, eight years of inaction on the environment is good, because the Democrats were punished for not having the right amount of ideological purity.
posted by happyroach at 1:06 PM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are you shitting me? Gore lost because a shit load of people stayed at home rather than vote for him. He also didn't his own fucking state. There are all sorts of reasons he lost. I think "people voting for Nadar" ranks pretty low on the list. However, it does seem to come up a lot by people bitter about his losing.

Also, American's need to stop viewing their politics as a battle between good and evil. Who is talking about ideological purity? If the democrats aren't promising to do things you want them to do, why the fuck would you vote for them? Would you have been happier had Joe and whomever else voted for Nadar simply didn't vote?

My god this is the mother of all derails.
posted by chunking express at 1:10 PM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sure that the American and Iraqi dead appreciate Joe's ideological purity.

Also, Joe didn't send anyone off to War. And Nadar most definitely didn't. What the fuck?
posted by chunking express at 1:12 PM on September 23, 2009


"How can budget increases address and resolve these problems, when some of them are caused by unspoken practices and unwritten policies?”

Yeah, it's a pisser. The big gorilla is oversight. I mean, ok, some Saudi tough guy is looking to counter godless secularism and fund his terrorist cell on a level higher than liquor store robberies in Samsun and he's made contact with some Georgian mob guys to run heroin and your guy who's NOC is a semi-legit machinist with a false arms-dealing business on the side and you cut some deals and get some of Lex Luthor's... er, I mean, Semion Mogilevich's people to vouch for him and now your guy is in the loop for the drugs funding the terrorist outfit and he's feeding information to the company but the FBI investigating it from the other end is looking at the heroin smuggling when it comes to the U.S. because the CIA station chief in Ankara is giving the drug smuggling a pass in order to milk more info from the Saudi cell.

I mean sure, it's a wildly implausible scenario* what with the UFOs and such, but it's quite a pickle. You can't have people playing God. Or Kurtz, out there with no oversight. On the other hand, if something leaks, that's a really big problem as well. And it's not like the political folks are tight lipped (there Dick Cheney with Val Plame).

*except for Mogilevich being Lex Luthor. That's pretty much spot on.

Not that something shouldn't be squared away so there's some chain of public accountability.

"Edmonds has responded with specific points in her own rebuttal to the Schakowsky response, and has included a number of direct questions for the Congresswoman in return. She also states that she is "willing to take [a] public polygraph ... on these points if she accepts doing the same."

So now we know it's complete bullshit.
I just don't get why. Ego maybe. "Yes, I honestly heard that there may have been a honeypot op, that could have been in the works by maybe Turkish intelligence, to blackmail Schakowsky who I have no evidence of committing any wrong doing in response."

What's Schakowski supposed to say to that under a - public- lie detector (which we know isn't conclusive)
Yeah. Old tactic. Make the Dean admit he doesn't stick mice up his ass and fellate goats in public. Not that Edmonds is behind that.

I recently read Ralph Nader purposely wanted to hurt the Democrats. I demand we talk polygraphs. Also I have a verbatim communication that I've intercepted, recorded, filed, and shared that Luke Skywalker blew up something called the Death Star a long time ago in a galaxy far away.
So y'know, a lot of people know it and it's already happened.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:30 PM on September 23, 2009


Meh, I voted for Nader in 2000 and tough you-know-what. I'm not going to vote strategically for a candidate I don't like and be held hostage in that way. Echoing people upthread, the people responsible for Bush winning are the people who voted for Bush and the tons of people who didn't even bother. The people who are responsible for taking us to Iraq are the Republicans, the Bush admin, and the spineless Democrats like H. Clinton who voted to give Bush the power to take us to war. If we have to go through a damn nightmare like the 8 Bush years for people to wake up and change things, so be it. All these "Nader is a spoiler" people remind me of my dad telling me to be more moderate and just happily consume away while not seriously questioning anything.

I'd also like to think that the Nader voters in 2000 indirectly helped Obama win in 2008. And even if I am disappointed in some of Obama's actions, he is sure a better President than Gore would have been, and appears to be more straightforward in speech and action than the disappointing Bill Clinton was.
posted by freecellwizard at 2:04 PM on September 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


How did Nader voters in 2000 indirectly help Obama win in 2008 given your argument that Nader voters aren't responsible for Bush getting elected?
posted by found missing at 3:32 PM on September 23, 2009


What's Schakowski supposed to say to that under a - public- lie detector (which we know isn't conclusive)

She could call for perjury charges against Edmonds or file a civil suit for defamation/libel. Edmonds testified under penalty of perjury, let her suffer the penalty. Admittedly it may be difficult to handle classified material in a civil suit but not in a criminal one.
posted by scalefree at 3:49 PM on September 23, 2009


She could call for perjury charges against Edmonds or file a civil suit for defamation/libel. Edmonds testified under penalty of perjury, let her suffer the penalty. Admittedly it may be difficult to handle classified material in a civil suit but not in a criminal one.

A lawsuit would also be more likely to bring more media attention to the story.
posted by ryoshu at 4:00 PM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


And too Edmonds does a disservice to domestic espionage integrity.
I mean what's the insinuation here? - She cedes that she has no evidence Schakowski did anything wrong. Ok. So what's there to deny?

Well - firstly her sexuality, secondly that she had an affair, thirdly - what, people are vulnerable after their loved ones die?
Let's take the third bit last - if she did get run, wouldn't foreign nationals fucking with someone after they bury someone they love be a mighty sympathetic point?
So, any point to that detail?

Secondly - she had an affair and was at risk for blackmail. Well - to whom? Her husband? Her kids? Maybe they're swingers. Far as I'm concerned the only person in the world I give a crap is interested in where I insert my penis is my wife. She's the only one I'm answerable to.
For the most part, many people feel the same way.
So the only blackmail angle there is in terms of reelection. That is, the revelation is either political (we'll tell everyone) or personal (we'll tell your husband). If it's the latter than you just completely attacked this woman and caused a potential problem in her marriage for no reason at all.

If it's the former than why not handle it through the community and keep it private and give Schakowski the same protections any other citizen has in any other sort of blackmail case - not because she's a public official or gee swell person but so blackmail isn't profitable and there isn't so much fear of it and that fear isn't perpetuated?
Unless of course you just want to smear her.

Firstly - again - fear of revelation augments the efficacy of blackmail. And even more dangerous, reinforcing fear of exposure by strengthening the shame factor in sexual stereotypes doubles that.
Why not just run around screaming "OH NO! WERE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!" after a terrorist attack. Print it in large bold headlines. Have newscasters demanding we panic and have politicians throw up their hands weeping about their impotence and the inability of the police and military to protect anyone anywhere?
Oh, right, because that's exactly what the terrorists want. Because that atmosphere is more likely to be conducive to them achieving their goals.

If anyone ever accuses me publicly of being homosexual I wouldn't deny it. I'm not gay, but hey, what's wrong with liking a mustache? Yeah, blah blah blah. Ok, yeah. Then I'm gay. So?
WTF does that mean to this job training bill? Yeah, go tell my wife I'm having sex with men in hotels. She knows more about where and what I spend than I do, so good luck with that.

If we didn't give a crap about this kind of nonsense then our public officials would be bulletproof when it comes to blackmail.
Now I think folks like Larry Craig are sanctimonious pricks who only harm themselves - but it's not the foot tapping blow jobbing self-hating that's the big problem - the big problem is the culture of corruption that fuels both the behavior, the sense of privilege, and the shame.
The plo chops are just a symptom of the perpetuation of the culture of corruption.

If Schakowski was being blackmailed, that'd make her a victim. (No foul on her husband. Guy's a dick).

And if Edmonds had brain one in her head (yeah, yeah, GW university. BFD. I did well on my SATs too) she'd know that she's actually aiding in perpetuating the culture of corruption by supporting the social tools blackmailers use to cultivate victims.

Time used to be being gay, bi, having a fetish, whatever, even if everyone and his brother recognized you were the right person for the job, was a career killer in certain fields (in the intelligence community, in the military, anything dealing with sensitive info) because you could be blackmailed.
Not so much anymore. That is a *good* thing. It's not ideal - but stuff like gay marriage is at least being talked about.

Plenty Edmonds might have to say that is true and necessary but charging through without regard to the potential damage following your method and process can cause is needlessly reckless.
Being right isn't a license to rain shit on anyone you feel like.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:19 PM on September 23, 2009


Plenty Edmonds might have to say that is true and necessary but charging through without regard to the potential damage following your method and process can cause is needlessly reckless.

Keep in mind, she's been talking about this for years now & only recently came forward with the less savory & significant details, as a last-ditch effort to get movement on validating her claims. This is not her first move, it's one of the last ones available to her, done only because none of the earlier ones got the job done.
posted by scalefree at 9:24 PM on September 23, 2009


Should the CIA run drugs, etc.(albeit outside the U.S.) when it's more or less one of the big units of currency in the criminal and terrorist underworld? They can't exactly cut someone a check when they're undercover or in NOC.

It's a difficult equation. Guy I know was hunting bin Laden, then his primary source got busted for drug running & he couldn't get him off. Now that trail's gone cold but someone else has probably taken over his growers, processors & supply lines. But on the other hand you can't turn a blind eye as some CIA contractor decides to turn the rendition flights into his personal, updated Air America. And that's before you add in complicating factors like compartmentalization that make figuring out where the truth lies just about impossible.
posted by scalefree at 9:42 PM on September 23, 2009


I don't "blame Nader" or his voters for anything entirely. But what do you think of him running again in 2004? and in 2008? This whole "he got us Obama" thing doesn't jive much with the fact that he ran against him. I also think he's done potentially irreparable harm to the third-party movement (which I am overall very supportive of). He could have tended his legacy and the third party movement by admitting there's a large difference between Republicans and Democrats in this country, but whether he believes it or not, he claims there isn't. On the issues I may be as left-leaning as him, but I'm not willing to hand the country to the neocons in perpetuity just in hopes it convinces the progressives to vote for a third party next time. If you truly want a third party to have any hope, stop voting for them and instead start lobbying for runoff elections. It'll be infinitely more effective.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:45 AM on September 24, 2009


Why the hell shouldn't run again and again? The democrats aren't particularly left wing for a lot of voters. He fills a niche some voters respond to. And for a shit load of issues, the democrats and the republicans do in fact behave the same way. It's a bit disingenuous to ignore this. You aren't handing anything to anyone by voting for the candidate you like. Voting for the person you dislike the least is fucking stupid, and is probably the reason voter turnout is so low in the US (and much of the Western world).
posted by chunking express at 8:56 AM on September 24, 2009


Why the hell shouldn't run again and again? The democrats aren't particularly left wing for a lot of voters. He fills a niche some voters respond to.

Because this thought process is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the American political system. Acting like we live in a parliamentary democracy when we do not is foolish.

In a proportional parliamentary democracy it makes sense to vote for whichever party or candidate is closest to your viewpoint because you generally only need something like 5% of the vote to get seats in the parliament. Systems vary, of course, but the that's pretty typical. So you get your niche reps in there and a ruling coalition is formed after the election and concessions have to be made to the small parties to maintain the coalition. This tends to lead to multiple viable parties, large and small.

That is most emphatically NOT how things work in a first past the post democracy like the United States. Having two strong parties is an emergent property of the system. Getting 5 or 10% of the vote here means nothing. To misquote Glengarry Glen Ross, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is you're fired. So the coalitions that in a parliamentary democracy are put together after the election are, here, put together before the election. There are coalitions either way: The most left or right parties in a proportional democracy don't necessarily have more power than here, they just have more visible power. Which might be a good thing as it turns out since people like to see the effect of their votes. But that doesn't excuse willful ignorance about the electoral process.

Of course the Democratic party is to the right of a bunch of its members. If it wasn't, it wouldn't win elections. How can you get 50.1% of the vote by most closely representing the leftmost 10 or 20%? Obviously you can't. The way it works is that one party tries to be leftish but as close to the center as possible without losing too many of the leftist votes while the other party tries to be rightish but as close to the center as possible without losing too many of the rightist votes. Sometimes the equillibrium gets disturbed, as with the current Republican party getting shifted WAY rightwards.

So you want the Democratic party to be shifted way leftwards? Well, perhaps you should look at what happened to the Republicans electorally when they moved right. They became a minority party. Which is exactly what would happen to the Democrats if they aligned too closely with Naderites.

Perhaps you can't stomach that. It's possible that the leftmost couple percent can't live with the compromises made to be part of the Democratic coalition, just as the rightmost couple percent can't live with the compromises made to be part of the Republican coalition. Okay. But don't pretend that voting for Nader is a viable political strategy in terms of influencing policy and what not, nor that there isn't any difference between Republicans and Democrats. The differences are real and significant.

For one thing, several hundred thousand people who are currently dead would almost certainly be alive if Gore had defeated Bush. Those lives matter. They are real. Does that make Nader voters directly responsible for those deaths? No: Bush, the American military, supporters of the Iraq war, and various Iraqi and Iranian factions are responsible for them. But indirectly there is absolutely some moral culpability for the foreseeable results of one's actions. An easily forseeable result of Bush getting elected was a more aggressive military posture. Nader voters made the informed choice that risking such military adventurism was a price worth paying. They have to decide if they made the correct moral calculation just the same as Bush voters do. But to pretend that they can completely wash their hands of making such a calculation is to plead abject ignorance of how the American system works.
posted by Justinian at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


For one thing, several hundred thousand people who are currently dead would almost certainly be alive if Gore had defeated Bush.

Baseless assertions. For all you know, Gore might have nuked the entire middle east after 9/11. Or he may have had a massage, ordered anchovy pizza, invaded Iceland, whittled a wooden polar bear from a sequoia with only his teeth. Or he could have simply busied himself warming the globes of some smoking hot whistle-blowing babe.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 9:38 AM on September 25, 2009


Baseless assertions. For all you know, Gore might have nuked the entire middle east after 9/11.
posted by Hovercraft Eel


Weak even for you.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:49 AM on September 25, 2009


Baseless, Optimus. For all you know, Hovercraft Eel might have been capable of posting a thoughtful, detailed explanation of how Al Gore might have decided to nuke the entire Middle East after 9/11.
posted by ibmcginty at 12:26 PM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


One of the documents relating to the case was marked 203A-WF-210023. Last week, however, the FBI responded to a freedom of information request for a file of exactly the same number by claiming that it did not exist. But The Sunday Times has obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file.
posted by mecran01 at 7:47 PM on September 25, 2009


How can we verify that Edmonds is telling the truth?

Some sort of investigation, maybe? Just a crazy idea.
posted by rokusan at 1:32 PM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


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