14 November 2005

The tale of a boy that would be king.....

Let's Try Baloney... By Eleanor Clift

The White House is way off track. Only something radical can rally Bush's presidency.

Things aren't getting better in Bush land. They had a horrific week with the election results. Virginia, a Red State, elected a new governor, Tim Kaine, a Democrat to the left of current Gov. Mark Warner, who's now a hot presidential prospect as a Democrat who can bridge the divide between Red and Blue America.

Events were no better elsewhere. Bombings of hotels in Amman, Jordan, begged the question: Why can't we capture Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born insurgent leader in Iraq suspected of carrying out the attacks-or Osama bin Laden for that matter? Al-Zarqawi moves beyond the borders of Iraq to become a regional threat while Vice President Dick Cheney, a veteran of multiple draft deferments, battles Sen. John McCain, a former POW, for pushing an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that puts the U.S. government on record opposing torture.

Something is deeply askew in the White House when the priorities are so off kilter. Unless events conspire to save President George W. Bush (ie: Iraq turns around, the economy improves for average workers (not just oil execs), and the price of energy comes down) he is heading for a full meltdown, a scary prospect when you realize he's president for three more years. What's needed now is the political imagination to change direction, the way President Bill Clinton did after Republicans took control of both the House and Senate in 1994.

Bush went on the offensive Friday, saying in a Veteran's Day speech that critics of his Iraq policies are undercutting American soldiers on the front lines. He also attacked Democrats who claim that pre-war intelligence was manipulated by the White House. But evidence to the contrary will make this a hard sell. It was the first time an American President used Veteran's day as a forum for a stump speech.

The people who most want Bush to succeed are the alumni of his father's administration, and they are in despair over the state of the White House. One former diplomat after three glasses of wine at an embassy dinner confessed that he has a recurring image of the White House as a crab with seven atrophied legs and one over-developed leg, which would be Karl Rove, pulling everything along. "If he goes, there's nothing left." Exhausted and demoralized Bush aides are turning on each other and leaking stories to the press, a breakdown in discipline that is new to the Bush operation. Friends of the senior Bush are blaming Cheney for usurping too much power, but that's why they wanted him there, as a minder for the man-child who should never have been made president.

This is a battle between the Bushes of Kennebunkport and the Bushes of Crawford, and who prevails will determine which direction Bush 43 goes for the rest of his term. The Connecticut crowd is headed by Bush 41 with Brent Scowcroft, the former national security adviser, speaking for the father, James Baker the consigliore, and chief-of-staff Andy Card their mole. Scowcroft has terminally offended the White House with his anti-Iraq war views. "He might as well be dead," says the former diplomat. "If you say anything publicly, you're frozen out. You have to show comity toward them, or they won't listen to you."

Suiting up on the Crawford side is Rove, and of course Bush 43, who reinforce each other. If Bush sticks with Rove and goes to the right, there's a ceiling on his popularity at best of 45 percent. If he moves to the center, like the Bush 41 crowd would like, the base collapses and he doesn't necessarily pick up votes in the center. The administration is too far gone, the problems intractable.

Whenever Clinton got into trouble, he reached outside his White House, cleaned house, and developed the strategy of "triangulation" which positioned Clinton between the Democrats and the Republican Congress, and revived his presidency. The elder Bush's allies are pushing to bring in two or three new people who can talk to Bush and help fashion fresh approaches to the nation's problems in the State of the Union address early next year. Who might those people be? After a long silence, the diplomat suggested Jim Baker, who has come to the rescue before, but who is better suited to working behind the scenes. The Right distrusts him and would rebel if they saw Baker's fingerprints.

The other name offered was Condoleeza Rice, who Bush calls "mother hen." She spends time with him-biking, pumping iron and taking walks-or at least she did when she was national security adviser and didn't travel so much. "He likes people who affirm him and make him feel good about himself," said the diplomat, recalling Harriet Miers's note to then Gov. Bush that he was "deserving of the greatest respect." In this diplomat's assessment, having known the Bush family well, respect is the key word. Bush for years was the lost and hapless son of a respected, duty-bound father, and he's still playing catch-up in the family Oedipal drama.

Talking to Bush requires what those around him call the "baloney sandwich approach." It works like this: Your spouse has run up the credit cards. Confronting her will provoke a fight. So you flatter her, tell her what a great wife and mother she is; then present this teeny little problem the two of you can work together to solve because you love her so much. Bush's world has collapsed in on him. It's time to try something new, even if it's baloney.

07 November 2005

Cincinnati Endorsements for November 8, please vote.

Cincinnati Mayor:
Pepper (a difficult choice, both candidates are very strong)

Cincinnati City Council:

Cincinnati Board of Education:

District Judges:
Grant (district 2)
Berry (district 2)
Rucker (district 3)
Good (district 4)
Metz (district 4)
Dameron (district 7)

YES on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8.
No on 9.

03 November 2005

Bush, fire Rove!

Is Rove a Security Risk? By Jonathan Alter, Newsweek

Because he disclosed Plame's CIA identity to reporters, the Bush aide could (and should) lose his clearance. Under Executive Order 12958, signed by President Clinton in 1995, such a disclosure is grounds for, at a minimum, losing access to classified information.

Section 5.1 of Clinton's executive order prohibits "any knowing, willful or negligent action that could reasonably be expected to result in an unauthorized disclosure of classified information." While the law against revealing the identity of a CIA operative requires that the perpetrator intentionally disclosed such classified information (a high standard, which may be the reason Fitzgerald did not indict on those grounds), the executive order covers "negligence," or unintentional disclosure.

That means the only proper answer to a reporter's questions about Joseph Wilson's wife would have been something along the lines of, "You know I cannot discuss who may or may not be in the CIA." The indictment makes clear that this was not the answer Official A (Rove) provided when the subject was discussed with reporters Bob Novak and Matt Cooper.

The sanctions for such disclosure are contained in Section 5.7 of the executive order. That section says that "the agency head, senior agency official or other supervisory official shall, at a minimum, promptly remove the classification authority of any individual who demonstrates reckless disregard or a pattern of error in applying the classification standards of this order." Any reasonable reading of the events covered in the indictment would consider Rove's behavior "reckless." The fact that he discussed Plame's identity with reporters more than once constitutes a pattern.

In the past, other officials have lost their security clearances for much less - even without a pattern. Former CIA director John Deutch and former national-security adviser Sandy Berger (who got in trouble after leaving office) both lost their clearances when they took classified information home without proper authorization. More recently, officials of the Coast Guard were sanctioned when they warned relatives of a possible terrorist threat against the New York City subways before public disclosure of the threat.

Because Rove's apparent violation is covered by executive order, not legislated law, the issue of his security clearance is unlikely to wind up in criminal court. But he may face a civil suit from the Wilsons, who could seek damages because of the damage done to Plame's CIA career by the leak.

Having his security clearance yanked would not require Rove to resign as deputy chief of staff to President Bush. But it would prevent him from taking part in policymaking that relates to national-security issues, which would mean a much-reduced role in the Bush White House. Some Democrats have asked the president to apologize for the Plame leak case - an unlikely event. But asking him to enforce executive orders could be a more legitimate line of inquiry.

Harry Reid's finest hour....

It's Still There... By William Rivers Pitt

Harry Reid's so-called "stunt" on the Senate floor this past Tuesday - invoking Rule 21 to create a closed session, during which he demanded an investigation into how we were dragged to war in Iraq - brought the issue of the never-found weapons of mass destruction back into the daylight. It's about damned time. This ball of thorns is three years old now, and we have come nowhere near addressing its roots.

Recall, if you will, George W. Bush's State of the Union address from January of 2003. In that speech, he told us that Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent (500 tons equaling one million pounds, by the way), 30,000 munitions to deliver the stuff, mobile biological weapons labs, and uranium from Niger for use in Iraq's advanced nuclear weapons program.

The page on the White House web site detailing the existence of all this stuff is still there, by the way. None of the weapons they described in such dire tones actually exist, but that page is still sitting there in all its glory.

As of Wednesday morning, 2,032 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq. 95 died in the month of September alone. More than 15,000 American soldiers have been wounded, many of these suffering permanently debilitating injuries, lost limbs and brain damage. There is no adequate accounting of the number of Iraqi civilians killed and wounded since the invasion and occupation began, but the toll easily reaches into the tens of thousands. Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent. The occupation, which was supposed to result in a rain of flowers from a grateful Iraqi populace, has lasted 959 days, with no end in sight.

There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There were no al Qaeda terrorists there. Hussein did not support Osama bin Laden; indeed, bin Laden has wanted Hussein dead for years, because Hussein made it his business to slaughter every Wahabbist he could get his hands on. Now, the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq are roadside bombs that kill American troops by twos and threes. Now, Iraq is a magnificent training ground for terrorists of every stripe. Now, our so-called mission of democracy appears ready to birth a Shia-dominated theocracy with robust ties to the hard-liners in Iran, with a constitution not worth the paper it is printed on serving only to highlight the depth of this debacle.

How did we get here? The answer to this comes in three parts. Of course, we got here because the Bush administration lied with its bare face hanging out about the threat posed by Iraq. Recall, if you will, these gems:

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." - Dick Cheney, Speech to VFW National Convention, 8/26/2002

"Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons - the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have." - George W. Bush, Radio Address, 10/5/2002

"We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas." - George W. Bush, Cincinnati, Ohio Speech, 10/7/2002

"We know for a fact that there are weapons there." - Ari Fleischer, Press Briefing, 1/9/2003

"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more." - Colin Powell, Remarks to UN Security Council, 2/5/2003

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." - George W. Bush, Address to the Nation, 3/17/2003

"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." - Donald Rumsfeld, ABC Interview, 3/30/2003

"But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." - George W. Bush, Interview with TVP Poland, 5/30/2003

There are, literally, dozens more comments and declarations exactly like this. The best one, after that magically deranged comment from Bush claiming we actually found the stuff, came from Ari Fleischer on July 9, 2003, as he attempted to fend off questions about why no WMD had been located. "I think the burden," said Fleischer while channeling Orwell, "is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."

Here's the funny part: Senator Kit Bond, Republican of Missouri, apparently spent a portion of YESTERDAY assuring people that the weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq, and that we would find them. Yes, this was Tuesday. Not last year or two years ago. Tuesday. Methinks someone missed a memo somewhere.

Right. So that's the easy part. They lied, repeatedly and with deliberate intent. They used the fears created by September 11 against the American people to get the war they wanted, to get the payday they wanted for their friends, to make sure they had a dead-bang winner of an issue to run on in the 2002 midterms. This administration has admitted no fault, made no steps to rectify the mess they have created, and appears willing to slog on indefinitely. This is, in the end, not at all surprising. Getting them to admit fault is almost certainly impossible.

There are others in this, however, who must also admit fault and come completely clean. Bush and his folks were not alone in this.

I wrote a book in August of 2002, two full months before the Iraq War Resolution vote and seven months before the invasion, called "War on Iraq." The book stated unequivocally that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, no ties to Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda or 9/11, and thus no reason to go to war there. This book was subsequently translated into twelve languages and read all over the world. A copy was delivered to each and every member of the Senate.

If I knew this - me, wee little me - then how is it possible that all these Senators allowed themselves to be "tricked?" The answer to this is difficult. Did these Senators fall victim to a Pollyanna belief that Bush wouldn't deceive the country? Or were their actions motivated by political ugliness of the purest ray serene: the midterms were around the corner, a Presidential election was coming, a bunch of these Senators wanted to run for that office, and voting to approve the war was the most politically expedient option at the time.

Were they duped, or did they vote to protect their jobs and their positions and their aspirations? At least one Senator - Barbara Boxer - voted no because she read the National Intelligence Estimate, heard the dissenting opinions from the State Department, and decided the information coming from the White House did not jibe with the facts. If she got it right, how did the others fail so badly to do so?

The third player in this tragedy is the mainstream news media, led by the "august" New York Times. On Wednesday, the Times editors coughed up a moralistic scolding of the Bush administration regarding the WMD issue titled "Remember that Mushroom Cloud?" In it, the editors wrote, "Americans are long overdue for an answer to why they were told there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

Indeed, Americans are long overdue for an answer to this. To find one, however, the Times editors and the rest of the mainstream news media need to take a long, hard look in the mirror. It was the Times editors who allowed Judy Miller to run wild with scandal-riddled and corrupt bagman Ahmad Chalabi on the front page of the paper and claim that Iraq was practically swimming in weapons of mass destruction.

Once the Times said it, the rest of the news media felt more than comfortable repeating it, augmenting it, making it axiomatic, and in the process provided excellent cover for the Bush administration to push its invasion agenda. It had a good beat, and they danced to it with all their might, with visions of high ratings and advertising revenues dancing in their heads. Their failures are manifest today, and there must be a reckoning within newsrooms all across the country. Much of this is probably due to the mainstream media being bought up over the last decade by mega-corporations, most of which are deeply aligned with the GOP and big contributors to the party (ie: GE, Disney, Newcorp, Gannett, etc).

It has taken almost a thousand days for the wall of lies and disinformation surrounding this invasion to begin to crumble. A lot of people have been killed and maimed in the process. Others have had their livelihoods and reputations crushed for daring to speak truth to power. That wall was built by a threesome - the White House, the Senate who should have and could have known better, and a debased news media. Today, they all have blood on their hands.

It will not be enough for George W. Bush and this administration to admit fault, and never mind the fact that such a moment will almost certainly never come (this president has never taken responsibility for anything in his life). Those in the Senate who supported this invasion for whatever reasons, and those members of the news media who provided cover for the invasion by repeating the lies because it was easier than actually acting like journalists, owe a debt of sorrow and remorse to us all.

If the Senate and the media expect Bush to accept responsibility and admit fault, they must first do so themselves. The stain of their actions is still there, still with us. They must find the courage, today, to admit they were wrong. Reid's stand on Tuesday was an excellent beginning, but only a beginning. Unless this beginning is followed by action, the horrors created will remain with us, still there, going nowhere but deeper into darkness.

His administration has become its own republic of fear, and Bush is a prisoner to the right.

One year after his re-election President Bush governs from a bunker. "We go forward with complete confidence," he proclaimed in his second inaugural address. He urged "our youngest citizens" to see the future "in the determined faces of our soldiers", to choose between "evil" and "courage". But as he listened that day, Vice-President Dick Cheney knew the election had been secured by a cover-up.

"I would have wished nothing better," declared Patrick Fitzgerald announcing the indictment of "Scooter" Libby, the vice-president's chief of staff, "that, when the subpoenas were issued in August 2004, witnesses testified then, and we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005." Perilously before the last election.

On September 30 2003 President Bush emphatically stated that he wanted anyone in his administration with information about the Plame leak to "come forward". On June 10 2004 he pledged that anyone on his staff who leaked Plame's name would be fired.

However, when the Libby indictment was announced, Bush and Cheney praised him as a fine public servant. Still under investigation, Rove remains in the West Wing. But Cheney knew during the presidential campaign that he had discussed with Libby how to deal with Plame. Now Bush knows that Rove had enabled Robert Novak to publish her identity. Yet, the President still refuses to take responsibility and live by his words to clean house.

Libby's alleged cover-up was undertaken in the spirit of neoconservative Leninism. Any tactic is rationalised by the vanguard, which sets all policy and uses the party as its instrument. If he had testified truthfully in October 2004 the result would have consumed the final days of the campaign. His Leninist logic permitted him to protect the Republican cause, but he has tainted Bush's victory in history.

Bush took his 2004 win as a resounding mandate for a rightwing agenda. With each far-right turn, however, his popularity declined. Iraq acted as an accelerator of his fall. His nomination of Harriet Miers for the supreme court was an acknowledgement of his sharply narrowed political space. While the Republican masses supported him, the Leninist right staged a revolt. In Bush's cronyism and opportunism they saw his deviation. With the prosecutor's indictment imminent, Bush withdrew Miers. Broadly unpopular, he could not suffer a split in the party. His new nominee, federal judge Samuel Alito, a reliable sectarian, is a tribute to his bunker strategy.

Hostage to his failed fortune, Bush is a prisoner of the right. His administration has become its own republic of fear. Libby's trial will reveal the administration's political methods. Cheney, along with a host of others, will be called to testify. "Disunity, dissolution and vacillation" are hallmarks of "the path of conciliation", as Lenin wrote in What is to be Done. The vanguard on "the path of struggle" criticised for being "an exclusive group," must oppose any retreat proposed by the "opportunist rearguard". "We are surrounded on all sides by enemies, and we have to advance almost constantly under their fire."

01 November 2005

2000: a sad number

As we climbed past 2000 dead Americans in Iraq alone, the military announced the deaths of seven more American soldiers and marines near Baghdad on Monday, making October the fourth deadliest month for troops here since the war began.

In February and March of last year, the American military counted fewer than 200 attacks a week on average. In the first week of this month, there were 723 attacks.

During this entire time our leaders, most notably Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld having constantly bombarded us with propaganda that makes the war looks rosier than is reality. Cheney just a few months ago said: "the insugency is in it's last throes." Or Mr. Bush in a press conference announcing that the training of Iraqi troops was going so well and they had "35 battle read battalions" whereas in reality Pentagon testimony before Congress the very next day was that "only ONE Iraqi battalion is capable of operating independent of coalition support."

Lies and liars. Such is the Bush White House.

Can we win back our country?

Senator Harry Reid's Statement

Tuesday 01 November 2005

Sen. Reid just took the senate into closed session to discuss the body's failure to pursue 'phase two' of the senate intel investigation into the Iraq WMD intel failure.

Below are his remarks, as prepared for delivery, before taking the senate into closed session.

"This past weekend, we witnessed the indictment of I. Lewis Libby, the Vice President's Chief of Staff and a senior Advisor to President Bush. Libby is the first sitting White House staffer to be indicted in 135 years.

"This indictment raises very serious charges. It asserts this Administration engaged in actions that both harmed our national security and are morally repugnant.

"The decision to place U.S. soldiers in harm's way is the most significant responsibility the Constitution invests in the Congress.

"The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really about: how the Administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions.

"As a result of its improper conduct, a cloud now hangs over this Administration. This cloud is further darkened by the Administration's mistakes in prisoner abuse scandal, Hurricane Katrina, and the cronyism and corruption in numerous agencies.

"And, unfortunately, it must be said that a cloud also hangs over this Republican-controlled Congress for its unwillingness to hold this Republican Administration accountable for its misdeeds on all of these issues.

"Let's take a look back at how we got here with respect to Iraq Mr. President. The record will show that within hours of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, senior officials in this Administration recognized these attacks could be used as a pretext to invade Iraq.

"The record will also show that in the months and years after 9/11, the Administration engaged in a pattern of manipulation of the facts and retribution against anyone who got in its way as it made the case for attacking Iraq.

"There are numerous examples of how the Administration misstated and manipulated the facts as it made the case for war. Administration statements on Saddam's alleged nuclear weapons capabilities and ties with Al Qaeda represent the best examples of how it consistently and repeatedly manipulated the facts.

"The American people were warned time and again by the President, the Vice President, and the current Secretary of State about Saddam's nuclear weapons capabilities. The Vice President said Iraq "has reconstituted its nuclear weapons." Playing upon the fears of Americans after September 11, these officials and others raised the specter that, left unchecked, Saddam could soon attack America with nuclear weapons.

"Obviously we know now their nuclear claims were wholly inaccurate. But more troubling is the fact that a lot of intelligence experts were telling the Administration then that its claims about Saddam's nuclear capabilities were false.

"The situation was very similar with respect to Saddam's links to Al Qaeda. The Vice President told the American people, "We know he's out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know he has a longstanding relationship with various terrorist groups including the Al Qaeda organization."

"The Administration's assertions on this score have been totally discredited. But again, the Administration went ahead with these assertions in spite of the fact that the government's top experts did not agree with these claims.

"What has been the response of this Republican-controlled Congress to the Administration's manipulation of intelligence that led to this protracted war in Iraq? Basically nothing. Did the Republican-controlled Congress carry out its constitutional obligations to conduct oversight? No. Did it support our troops and their families by providing them the answers to many important questions? No. Did it even attempt to force this Administration to answer the most basic questions about its behavior? No.

"Unfortunately the unwillingness of the Republican-controlled Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities is not limited to just Iraq. We see it with respect to the prisoner abuse scandal. We see it with respect to Katrina. And we see it with respect to the cronyism and corruption that permeates this Administration.

"Time and time again, this Republican-controlled Congress has consistently chosen to put its political interests ahead of our national security. They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican Administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why.

"There is also another disturbing pattern here, namely about how the Administration responded to those who challenged its assertions. Time and again this Administration has actively sought to attack and undercut those who dared to raise questions about its preferred course.

"For example, when General Shinseki indicated several hundred thousand troops would be needed in Iraq, his military career came to an end. When then OMB Director Larry Lindsay suggested the cost of this war would approach $200 billion, his career in the Administration came to an end. When U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix challenged conclusions about Saddam's WMD capabilities, the Administration pulled out his inspectors. When Nobel Prize winner and IAEA head Mohammed el-Baridei raised questions about the Administration's claims of Saddam's nuclear capabilities, the Administration attempted to remove him from his post. When Joe Wilson stated that there was no attempt by Saddam to acquire uranium from Niger, the Administration launched a vicious and coordinated campaign to demean and discredit him, going so far as to expose the fact that his wife worked as a CIA agent.

"Given this Administration's pattern of squashing those who challenge its misstatements, what has been the response of this Republican-controlled Congress? Again, absolutely nothing. And with their inactions, they provide political cover for this Administration at the same time they keep the truth from our troops who continue to make large sacrifices in Iraq.

"This behavior is unacceptable. The toll in Iraq is as staggering as it is solemn. More than 2,000 Americans have lost their lives. Over 90 Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice this month alone - the fourth deadliest month since the war began. More than 15,000 have been wounded. More than 150,000 remain in harm's way. Enormous sacrifices have been and continue to be made.

"The troops and the American people have a right to expect answers and accountability worthy of that sacrifice. For example, 40 Senate Democrats wrote a substantive and detailed letter to the President asking four basic questions about the Administration's Iraq policy and received a four sentence answer in response. These Senators and the American people deserve better.

"They also deserve a searching and comprehensive investigation about how the Bush Administration brought this country to war. Key questions that need to be answered include:

How did the Bush Administration assemble its case for war against Iraq?

Who did Bush Administration officials listen to and who did they ignore?

How did senior Administration officials manipulate or manufacture intelligence presented to the Congress and the American people?

What was the role of the White House Iraq Group or WHIG, a group of senior White House officials tasked with marketing the war and taking down its critics?

How did the Administration coordinate its efforts to attack individuals who dared to challenge the Administration's assertions?

Why has the Administration failed to provide Congress with the documents that will shed light on their misconduct and misstatements?

"Unfortunately the Senate committee that should be taking the lead in providing these answers is not. Despite the fact that the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee publicly committed to examine many of these questions more than one and a half years ago, he has chosen not to keep this commitment. Despite the fact that he restated that commitment earlier this year on national television, he has still done nothing.

"At this point, we can only conclude he will continue to put politics ahead of our national security. If he does anything at this point, I suspect he will play political games by producing an analysis that fails to answer any of these important questions. Instead, if history is any guide, this analysis will attempt to disperse and deflect blame away from the Administration.

"We demand that the Intelligence Committee and other committees in this body with jurisdiction over these matters carry out a full and complete investigation immediately as called for by Democrats in the committee's annual intelligence authorization report. Our troops and the American people have sacrificed too much. It is time this Republican-controlled Congress put the interests of the American people ahead of their own political interests."

Fall to pieces....

There's a theory going around Washington about why this year has gone so haywire for Bush, one that goes to Rove's essential strength. "These guys are very good at campaigning," says an outside adviser to the White House, "and not at all good at governing." As long as there is an election on the horizon, they function like a humming machine and their coalition stays in line. But in an environment where that isn't one, they fall apart.