Mourning In America

A New York Democrat on politics, journalism, and the Mets

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Friday, October 29, 2004
 
Chuckle of the Day From a New Republic piece on recriminations among Democrats if Kerry loses:
It won't be easy being John Kerry's ego if the election doesn't go his way.

Somehow, it will recover.





Thursday, October 28, 2004
 
Whoa, Nellie It appears the White House will have to step back from its contention that the high explosives that went missing from Iraq's al Qaaqaa ammo dump might have been removed before the war. A local TV crew from Minneapolis that was embedded with some of the first American troops to reach the site, on April 9, 2003, has released reels of footage showing explosives on the site, although the tapes are still being analyzed for signs that the boxes contained the powerful explosives that had been under watch by the International Atomic Energy Agency prior to the war. There is widespread speculation that the explosives -- 400 tons! -- were taken by looters, and may now be key ingredients in the "improvised explosive devices" that continue to kill Americans across Iraq.

If those are the same explosives that have now been reported missing, it is yet more evidence that the U.S. used insufficient troops in the invasion, and failed to adequately prepare the troops who were there with the intelligence they needed to assess the facilities they were occupying. And the early evidence is not promising. These are the words of the journalists who were on site [emphasis added]:

Once the doors to the bunkers were opened, they weren't secured. They were left open when the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew and the military went back to their base.

"We weren't quite sure what were looking at, but we saw so much of it and it didn't appear that this was being secured in any way," said photojournalist Joe Caffrey. "It was several miles away from where military people were staying in their tents".

Officers with the 101st Airborne told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the bunkers were within the U.S. military perimeter and protected. But Caffrey and former 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Reporter Dean Staley, who spent three months together in Iraq, said Iraqis were coming and going freely.

"At one point there was a group of Iraqis driving around in a pick-up truck,"Staley said. "Three or four guys we kept an eye on, worried they might come near us."


This has been a story with particular resonance even for my staunch Republican friends. To rehabilitate a discredited cliche, it is "slam-dunk" evidence of administration incompetence.

 
Whatever It Takes That's the name of the Bush campaign's final ad -- a one-minute excerpt from his RNC speech. Unfortunately, it also is an apt slogan for the liberties the campaign is willing to take with the truth. A writer to the Daily Kos pointed out that the campaign digitally altered a picture of a small group of troops to make it look like a legion.

If only the administration's efforts to deceive the American people into thinking that a small force was larger than it was were limited to campaign ads. The failure to assemble an adequate force to occupy Iraq has far greater consequences.


 
Whatever It Takes That's the name of the Bush campaign's final ad -- a one-minute excerpt from his RNC speech. Unfortunately, it also is an apt slogan for the liberties the campaign is willing to take with the truth. A writer to the Daily Kos pointed out that the campaign digitally altered a picture of a small group of troops to make it look like a legion.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004
 
Scheduling? Am I the only one who thinks it was a mistake to go forward with the potential clinching game in the World Series on the night of a lunar eclipse? The Sox winning is enough of a disruption in the natural order of things for one night...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
 
What's at Stake I'm always moved when words are delivered "in the moment," but prove to have lasting resonance across the decades. These words, first spoken more than 20 year ago, pass that test:
"Today our great Democratic Party, which has saved this Nation from depression, from fascism, from racism, from corruption, is called upon to do it again -- this time to save the Nation from confusion and division, from the threat of eventual fiscal disaster and, most of all, from the fear of a nuclear holocaust."