Noun, verb…

by matttbastard

Looks like the McCain campaign has finally stumbled upon someone in the national news media who is willing to show due deference to the GOP’s not-ready-for-prime-time VP candidate:

Republican vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin is offering her first televised interview to ABC News in the coming week in Alaska.


A McCain-Palin adviser says an interview was offered to ABC’s Charlie Gibson several days ago and that they expect it to happen in the latter part of the week in Alaska.

$10 bucks sez the Gibson interview takes place on September 11th, complete with all the hagiographic fixins.

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David Gergen Hears The McCain Campaign Dog Whistle Loud and Clear

by matttbastard

Via TPM:

Liss has more instructions for Jake Tapper on “how dog whistles work” (hope you’re taking notes, Taps).

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ABC News: Obama ‘Bout Ta Pop a Cap in Jeff Zeleny’s Azz!

by matttbastard

Last night on Political Radar, Sunlen Miller of ABC  News breathlessly recounted a “testy” exchange between Barack Obama and NY Times reporter Jeff Zeleny re: Bill Clinton’s recent attempts at race baiting aggressive campaigning on behalf of Senator Clinton:

“I am trying to make sure that his statements by [President Clinton] are answered. Don’t you think that’s important?” Obama shot back, while walking away.

When Zeleny yelled a follow up question suggesting the Illinois senator had not answered the question, Obama fired back angrily, “Don’t try cheap stunts like that.”

Obama then walked away and shook hands with the mass of voters that surrounded him.

A few minutes later, Obama came back and confronted Zeleny again.

“I will answer your question though off the record, would you like to talk off the record?” Obama asked. Zeleny refused to go off the record and then motioned toward the gaggle of TV cameras gathered around him.

“Shot back.”

“Fired back angrily.”

“Confronted Zeleny.”

Shit, Poindexter was damn lucky BHO didn’t go all OJ on his Wonderbread behind!

Er, not so much:

Ok, to recap the Official Beltway Narrative: poor Jeff Zeleny bravely faced the wrath of The Angry Black Man, (leather) gloves off stylez, bwoi! 

Billary betta pray Baby Bam ain’t strapped in S.C this Saturday.


Sweet Jesus, I hate teh MSM.

 (Wow, I’ve been channelling Melissa McEwan quite a bit lately. Hope she don’t get all litigious on my angry negro booty.)

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The Learning Gap (Or, A Demanding Vocation)

by matttbastard


A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary.

In the first public comment by any CIA officer involved in handling high-value al Qaeda targets, John Kiriakou, now retired, said the technique broke Zubaydah in less than 35 seconds.


“The next day, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate,” said Kiriakou in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News’ “World News With Charles Gibson” and “Nightline.”

“From that day on, he answered every question,” Kiriakou said. “The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks.”

The Washington Post, from a review of Ron Suskind’s now-more-than-ever indispensable book, The One Percent Doctrine (h/t Kevin Drum):

Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be….Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda’s go-to guy for minor logistics.


Which brings us back to the unbalanced Abu Zubaydah. “I said he was important,” Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. “You’re not going to let me lose face on this, are you?” “No sir, Mr. President,” Tenet replied. Bush “was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth,” Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, “Do some of these harsh methods really work?”

Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety — against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, “thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each…target.” And so, Suskind writes, “the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.”

Drum bridges the gap:

So here’s what the tapes would have shown: not just that we had brutally tortured an al-Qaeda operative, but that we had brutally tortured an al-Qaeda operative who was (a) unimportant and low-ranking, (b) mentally unstable, (c) had no useful information, and (d) eventually spewed out an endless series of worthless, fantastical “confessions” under duress. This was all prompted by the president of the United States, implemented by the director of the CIA, and the end result was thousands of wasted man hours by intelligence and and law enforcement personnel.


A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary.

I believe this is an example of what Pascal (and, later, Chomsky) referred to as “the utility of interpretations.”

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