I think I’m going to initiate a new regular feature at The Washington Note called “Over the Line.” This will just be stuff that goes a notch or ten too far. Some funny. Some tragic.
I have three items today.
First, big Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton donor Norman Hsu didn’t show up for his bail hearing today — repeating his no show performance 15 years ago.
Second, I just received this note from a friend in the Senate. Joe Lieberman has decided to share with his Senate colleagues an opportunity to meet one of the Bush administration’s must ideologically predictable advocates in favor of the Iraq War, the surge, and expansion of that war to include Iran.
Lieberman Chief of Staff Clarine Nardi Riddle writes:
Invitation for your boss from Senator Lieberman
Senator Lieberman will be hosting a briefing for Senators with military historian Fred Kagan, who recently returned from extensive travel in Iraq, to discuss new developments in the situation there and the way ahead.
Having taught for ten years as an associate professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Fred Kagan is currently a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author of a forthcoming report, examining several prospective plans for the drawdown of U.S. forces and the transition of their mission in Iraq. Fred holds a Ph.D. in history from Yale University and has written numerous articles on defense and foreign policy issues for Foreign Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Policy Review, Commentary, Parameters, and other periodicals.
The briefing with Fred Kagan will be held on September 7, at 1:00 pm. Location TBD.
Please let the Senator’s scheduler, Rayanne Bostick, or me know if your boss plans to attend. Thank you.
I can just imagine the beginning of Kagan’s talk: “I have to admit surprise at agreeing with the recent assessment by Ken Pollack and Michael O’Hanlon that. . .”
If Lieberman would listen, I’d really like to suggest to the Senator a roster of people who also publish in the leading journals of opinion in this country who might provide a view of Iraq that at minimum would provide balance to Fred Kagan and very possibly get to a more real truth about the mess there.
And then third, finally, the other day several commentators, including James Fallows and myself, expressed shock that Bush seemed to be so unaware of the details surrounding the disbandonment of the Iraqi military.
The next day, L. Paul Bremer shot back at Bush and released to the New York Times documents showing that Bremer had had an exchange of letters — so to speak — with Bush about the subject of disbanding the military.
What is bizarre is how air-headish Bush’s letters were, leading me to believe he never paid much attention to Bremer’s note.
This seems to validate that Bush was not in the driver seat on the war and not involved in crucial decisions but that as Lawrence Wilkerson has said, a Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal had usurped power and decision-making while the President and his National Security Advisor just acquiesced.
But what is also strange is that given the devastating consequences of disbanding the military that Bremer says he would have done it again. Huh? Is infallibility all these people care about?
Let’s send Bremer to some funerals so that he can repeat those words to the families of American men and women killed by insurgents fighting American occupation when they might otherwise have been members of Iraq’s military fighting to preserve and defend a new Iraq with us on the sidelines.
— Steve Clemons