Reports of Pentagon Official’s Bloodying Greatly Exaggerated

· Edgewise, Non-Commenting Officials Say the Darndest Things, Paleoblogs

I should hope it was an exaggeration! And I hope that “ate him for lunch” was also greatly exaggerated
Detainee Policy Sharply Divides Bush Officials
A central player in the fight over the directive is David S. Addington, who was the vice president’s counsel until he was named on Monday to succeed I. Lewis Libby Jr. as Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff. According to several officials, Mr. Addington verbally assailed a Pentagon aide who was called to brief him and Mr. Libby on the draft, objecting to its use of language drawn from Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
“He left bruised and bloody,” one Defense Department official said of the Pentagon aide, Matthew C. Waxman, Mr. Rumsfeld’s chief adviser on detainee issues. “He tried to champion Article 3, and Addington just ate him for lunch.”
A Defense Department spokesman, Bryan Whitman, also would not discuss Mr. Waxman’s role except to say it was “certainly an exaggeration” to characterize him as having been bloodied by Mr. Addington.

Yellowcake!: a journey back from ignorance

· Edgewise, Paleoblogs, Yellowcake!

Hey, the Democrats are finally getting mad about something! (Harry Reid shut down Senate business today saying, “… this administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions…”) I feel for them. I’m just working up a head of steam myself. Too late, unfortunately. We’ve already all been duped. Some of us (approximately 2025 and counting) are dead. A whole lot more Iraqis are dead. It was just last week, I think, that I noticed an old bumper sticker while driving to the Bowl (Berkeley Bowl – radical vegetables, brutal parking): “If you aren’t outraged you’re not paying attention.” I sneered to myself, “that’s so Berkeley,” facing off with a Lexus for the only remaining parking space. I bought my vegetables and drove smugly back home to Oakland.
And then I heard Patrick Fitzgerald on the radio, taking questions after announcing his indictment of the Vice President’s Chief of Staff (and Assistant to the President) I. Lewis Libby for lying to a grand jury: “You’re asking, do these charges vindicate a serious breach of the public trust? And Fitzgerald sounded like Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.
The more I listened, the more I realized how little I really knew about what the heck was going on:Judith MIller goes to jail for the great cause and then it’s not such a great cause; Valerie Plame or Flame or Wilson is or is not a CIA agent, soccer mom, wife; there were or were not Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq that Joseph Wilson, husband or not of Valerie Plame/Flame Wilson was railing about in a newspaper and got Dick Cheney mad at him and perpetrated (or didn’t) the “Plame (or Flame or Wilson) Leak” for which I. (Scooter, which is or is not his real or baby name) Lewis Libby was indicted. Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera (quoting from The King and I).
Two days later on Sunday, Halloween eve (which itself is the eve of All Soul’s Day, the one day of the year when the veil of illusion between the living and the dead is momentarily lifted and ghosts and spirits are free to roam) I embarked on an obsessive Google-hunt to educate myself as to the origins of the Plame Leak Affair and everything and everyone associated with it. I mean everything I could dig up. It was my own personal search for truth in the muck of Washington war politics. I call this journey Yellowcake! because that is my new word for every lie that ever came out of a Washington official’s mouth in the service of a secret agenda. Yellowcake! It’s a lie.
Next: All Lies Lead to (or at least pass through) Rome

How the War Has to Compete with the War-Profiteers

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

Especially when it’s only mere Iraqis who die.
From the NYT
Lack of Armor Proves Deadly for Iraqi Army
“The Iraqis put quite a few more people in their trucks, and those trucks aren’t armored,” Major Warren said. “No armor plus more people in the truck equals a substantially higher casualty rate.”
The Army unit in charge of equipping and training the Iraqis, the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, said it was trying to replace much of the Iraqi fleet with new armored trucks.
But it has largely restricted its shopping to American companies that are still swamped by orders for American troops. The unit’s biggest initiative, to give the Iraqis 1,500 armored Humvees, will not begin until December, and most will not be built until next summer, military and company officials said.
The Pentagon still has only one contractor in Ohio armoring the Humvees, and a backlog of orders for American troops that dates to the early months of the war has forced the Iraqi troops to the end of the line.

These US soldiers in Iraq present such an excruciating paradox.

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

These US soldiers in Iraq present such an excruciating paradox.
On the one hand, we have seen how, with the right (i..e., wrong) people and setting, the slippery slope of prisoner abuse plummets deep into the abyss.
But then there is the astonishing generosity, altruism, self-sacrifice that can show up, something that they almost take for granted. They are young, really just older children to me now, but they have spouses and children, which sadly is the accepted, routine, cover for every kind of craven selfishness.
When I see something like this, it moves me:
“Gutierrez said he was scared the first time he went back out looking for bombs after his Humvee was hit. But when the Buffalo patrol found three IEDs, two of them were detonated without injuries.
“‘Now I’m not scared,’ Gutierrez said. ‘I”m angry. If I’m not going to do this, who is?'”
It is straight out of Rabbi Hillel’s famous dictum:
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
If not now, when?

I don’t think I have ever seen this kind of decency, moral responsibility, anywhere in the business world, nor in academia–though I have seen it in The Movement, notably from the imprisoned draft resisters (who have yet to receive our proper acknowledgment, respect, and gratitude).
And here it is in people who are making war.

A Sweet Old Baseball Rivalry

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

The Chicago White Sox’ unexpected sweep of the Boston Red Sox in this year’s World Series calls to mind the mostly forgotten early years of the game, when Baseball franchises were owned mainly by the major cookie companies, and the classic rivalry was between the Baltimore Oreos and the Chicago Hydrox.