Peter Pace’s Political Gaming on Libby and Gays Ends His Reign

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rumsfeldpace.jpg
Pete Pace is out, and it’s good for the country.
This is not quite on the same par as Truman firing MacArthur, but a civilian leader firing a general now and then can be healthy — particularly when that General — America’s top general — ventures into political matters that have absolutely nothing to do with his responsibilities as he did in writing a character commendation to the judge before Scooter Libby’s recent sentencing.
Some will argue that Pace was simply “not renewed” rather than being fired. Well, when Brent Scowcroft “was not renewed” as Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Scowcroft told a number of friends he had been “fired” by the younger President Bush. In this case, Pace was fired.
Pace had responsibilities to oversee the national security needs of an entire nation — for Democrats and Republicans — and in our tradition, the senior echelons of the U.S. military are supposed to be non-political while still in uniform. Pace went over a big red line in his letter of support in Libby’s case — and all of his enemies in and out of the uniformed services have pulled their knives out.
In a similar political spat, Pete Pace was brown-nosing the President (he thought) in his condemnation of homosexuals as immoral. Again, this is another political issue he should have remained out of — but given his responsibilities in managing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, there is reason why he might have commented to some degree.
But Pace’s comments weren’t structural — weren’t designed to affirm “don’t ask, don’t tell.” They were political and denigrated a group of Americans currently serving in the military with honor — at exactly the same time he has allowed the issuance of over 125,000 “moral waivers” in the case of other Americans entering the military with serious criminal violations on their record.
What really drove Pace’s comments is he thought they would put him in a better place with the White House and the President himself.
What the General just didn’t get is that despite the grand theater of social conservatism and near constant flirtation with James Dobson by the White House, the fact is neither the President nor the Vice President want to talk about or hear about the “gay issue.” Bush rejected former Senator Dan Coats as Secretary of Defense when he was the front-runner for the job because Coats wanted to reverse Don’t Ask, and Don’t Tell with “Ask, Investigate, and Prosecute” as well as to get women as far out of military roles as possible. Bush dropped Coats fast.
Another bizarre thing I learned about Peter Pace recently — both from an old girlfriend of his who lives in Chestertown, Maryland as well as former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson — is the guy manages the truth pretty flexibly.
When Wilkerson blasted the White House and the “Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal” with his famous speech of October 19, 2005, Rumsfeld was eventually asked what he thought of Wilkerson and his views. Rumsfeld decided to stick it to Col. Wilkerson by pretending he didn’t even know who the 16-year long close aide to Colin Powell was. But at one press conference, Rumsfeld turned to Peter Pace and asked if he knew Wilkerson — and Pace denied even knowing him.
What I know is that Wilkerson once reported to Pace — but it wasn’t expeditious at that moment for Pace to recall he was Wilkerson’s overseer when Wilkerson was succeeding a Director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College, Rick Donnelly, who died from an aggressive cancer while still on active duty.
The Donnelly situation was very emotional for those close to him. Then Commandant of the US Marine Corps, General Charles Krulak, orchestrated Rick Donnelly’s “death on active duty” after learning that the cancer he had was terminal — something “every Marine Lawrence Wilkerson knew” as well as Wilkerson himself “applauded with vigor.” Donnelly’s commitment to the Marines was heroic — and Pace would have remembered this situation well — and Wilkerson’s and Krulak’s roles. Krulaks’s management of this situation allowed Donnelly’s family to receive the benefits of a soldier who died on active duty as compared to a medical discharge. Donnelly continue to work with Wilkerson right until the point where he could no longer bear the pain and had to be committed to Bethesda.
Pete Pace had little to do with this orchestration of Donnelly’s passing — but knew of it and spoke at Donnelly’s funeral and had significant interaction with Wilkerson.
That’s something odd for General Pace to have forgotten, but when Lawrence Wilkerson was helping many of us to see inside the warped decision-making structure in the White House that Cheney and Rumsfeld had hijacked, Wilkerson was probably not on the “recent memory” lists of many who wanted to maintain their position with Rumsfeld.
It’s good to have Peter Pace out. The military is powerful enough in this country without inappropriate political posturing by its top commander in matters dealing with complex social issues like gay rights or weighing in on the degree of sentence deserved by a senior White House official convicted of a serious federal crime.
It’s time to move on to Admiral Mike Mullen — who is an outstanding leader, first rate. . .and someone I will write more about shortly.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

58 comments on “Peter Pace’s Political Gaming on Libby and Gays Ends His Reign

  1. NORMAN ABERNATHY says:

    I think General Peter Pace was an outstanding general and should have not been replaced by Admiral Mullen. What he said of gays were his feelings and as a carreer Marine like I was, there is no place in the military for Gays. Of course you civilians who probably never had a uniform on would not have a clue.
    What he said concerning Mr. Libby I do not know, but Mr. Libbey got screwed by the liberal media, He should have never gone to court.
    You need to get a life.
    N.M. ABERNATHY

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  2. Cpl. William Price says:

    I think that Gen. Pace, was and is a great leader and I think that it was one of the biggest mistakes ever taking him out of his position. This country is in for a great shock having a naval officer be the advisor to the president. The Marine Corps is the fighting unit of the United States and who better to advise the president then the people who actually do the fighting not someone who has never seen battle or even know what its like for that matter. i have personally met this Marine and I look up to him and am appauled of his relief. This was a great mistake in out leadership among many mistakes, I just hope this one doesn’t come back to bite it later severely.
    Cpl./USMC

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  3. MP says:

    To me, the explanation is simpler: Pace is associated with Rumsfeld and his failures. Gates wants to wipe the slate clean to the degree he can. Libby and gays were good excuses to do the deed. I still think it’s unlikely we will bomb Iran–and I certainly hope I don’t have to eat my words.

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  4. Sandy says:

    Still another reference to Steve’s recent column on Cheney. Lots of people taking notice! :
    http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/23528
    More Cheney War Lies Exposed – And This Time Pre-War
    Submitted by davidswanson on Mon, 2007-06-11 18:39. Evidence | Iran
    Cheney’s Iran-Arms-to-Taliban Gambit Rebuffed
    By Gareth Porter, IPS

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  5. Punchy says:

    Every time they make a substantial change to the heirarchy, they then claim that “we haven’t given (fill in name) a chance to fix Iraq”. IOW, this may be a ruse to “buy more time” in Iraq, especially if this position remains open come September. How dare Congress attempt to end the war without giving this new guy a chance! is what we’ll hear out of every Republican….

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  6. erichwwk says:

    Sooner or later, the fact that it is the occupation ITSELF that is driving the violence WILL have to be addressed. Our predicament is similar to that of any bully that sucker punches the weak. If submission is not achieved, and the oppressed fight back, one has a serious problem, called “blowback”. The basic principle of “magic” is not so much technical skill, but the ability to misdirect. THAT is what we are seeing playing out now, and why this particular conflagration is so serious. Not a very comforting predicament to have pinned someone, realize that one will have to let go someday, and that the “pinee” is one unhappy camper. But then this conflagration has already been going on for decades, has it not? So we could procrastinate “letting go” for considerably longer, providing politicians are willing to sacrifice more American bodies to hide their complicity to salvage their dream of world empire. It’s not like we EVER shed the concept of genocide, exploitation, and slavery. Is it really a coincidence that the GOP stronghold is in the south?
    But yes, there may well be a component where GWB realizes he is being “had” by Cheney, and that he is forced to choose between Cheney and Jesus Christ.
    Christ did understand what wins wars (“Love thy enemy, turn the other cheek, resist not evil”) and there may well be a component of GWB that DOES understand the truth of Christ and the consequences of continuing to follow the anti-christ. So I agree we should be willing to forgive GWB, should he really decide to return to Christ. More important than having a public hanging, IMHO.
    Carrol, just saw your link to Pat Lang at the CSM. Pat gets it pretty much right. My opinion is that the resources required to make a “missile shield” work would bankrupt our country. While “technically feasible” it is not “economically” feasible. So it is a no-win policy to pursue that. I expect most technocrats would agree privately, but like the “freedom to play” the financial support offers. And anyway, should it work, one merely shifts tactics, attacking weaknesses, not strengths. IMHO, missiles are so old fashioned as to be obsolete. All they can do is give the illusion of advantage, much as the six day war “victory” seemed to Israel. In the end, truth ALWAYS prevails. Should Bush prevail with radar in the Czech, and 10 missiles in Poland, we might as well accept that WW3 has begun, against Russia and China. Russian lost 100 for every American in WW2.
    It is not about to allow a former ally to turn on it again, especially now that its buffer zone is gone. Putin is not willing to accept the lack of transparency that the US populace does, nor would that be in OUR best interests. His “Gambala” gambit is the just right response.
    One last comment. I hope that the possibility that Steve “could” be set up as another Judith Miller is an unnecessary warning, and that thought has already crossed his mind.

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  7. Carroll says:

    But actually nothing changes.
    Iraq just went wrong, but with minor corrections all the little boys in DC can continue to “strutt their stuff” upon the world stage. These assholes have no way to justify their jobs except to think up ways to create problems so they can propose a solution to the problems they created.
    I defy anyone to show me where 90% of the threats to our “empire security” are anything but self manufactured pure crapola.
    Show Russia more respect
    Iran won’t be a threat to Europe for a long time, so there’s no need for antimissile defense on Russia’s doorstep.
    By Patrick Lang
    Page 1 of 2
    Alexandria, Va. – There is no Iranian missile or nuclear threat to Europe. There is no possibility of such a threat for a decade. The problems of missile development, nuclear warhead development, miniaturization of warheads, engineering those warheads to “fit” a given missile, testing, and industrialization of this whole process all ensure that any Iranian nuclear missile threat to Europe will be nothing more than material for plots for cheap novels for a long time.
    The CIA and other parts of the government have been trying to tell the world that. Why hasn’t the Bush administration been listening? President Putin knows there is no such threat. Russia lost the cold war but still possesses a vast army of scientists and engineers who have told him that.
    That being the case, the Russians asked themselves what the true purpose of the proposed antimissile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic might be. They have decided that the missile defenses are intended to consolidate American “control” of Eastern Europe and to demonstrate the supremacy of American power.
    Mr. Putin as much as said so recently. In a number of forums, he complained that although Russia understands that it is no longer a superpower, it is not willing to be reduced to a subordinate that must bow to whatever is dictated by Washington. He said that Russia accepts American primacy in the world, but that this primacy requires prudent restraint and caution. He said that we Americans are in danger of becoming “bad actors” in the same way that leaders in his country have been in the past. He made reference to the internal system of constitutional checks and balances in the United States. He said there must be some balancing force in the world, and that Russia would play that role.
    Such a statement should be taken seriously. Russia remains a formidable nuclear power, and now it is also a country swimming in oil money. The nation’s capacity for mischief in the world is growing, not diminishing.
    Poland and the Czech Republic were client states of the former USSR for many years. Now they are members of NATO, the alliance that the Russians believe threatened them for 50 years. Putin “grew up” as a KGB officer whose life was devoted to protecting the Soviet Union against that same NATO alliance. What are he and the Russian people to think of the placement on their doorstep of an antimissile-defense system against a threat from Iran that does not exist? ..
    continues at
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0611/p09s01-coop.html

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  8. Carroll says:

    http://tinyurl.com/2zutle
    Here is something else from Col Pat Lang, not on the command changes themselves, but something to consider in how the “changes” we see going on by Bush might signal the second phase of Iraq.
    I am a bit brain dead today but I trust you can fill in the blanks after reading Lang.
    Basically is it possible that the changes indicate
    we may back out somehow of the civil war in Iraq but continue that “generational” thingy of Mullens with our continued military base presence in Iraq. A neo-lite modification of empire and the terrier wur? Since we are now arming both the shittes and the sunnis we sit back and observe the slaughter and trust neither will come after us in the meanwhile or that the eventual winner won’t kick our butts out in the end?
    Personally I don’t see how this would work for the reduced troops left there, but then what do I know.

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  9. Carroll says:

    http://tinyurl.com/yvxs3j
    From NYT
    This is priceless..bad,bad bloggers!..how dare they let the net public know about all those poeple that wrote letters defending Libby. Much less publish them on line.
    The public is suppose to be concentrating on the MSM’s Paris jail saga, not the political elite goverment that is none of their business.

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  10. Carroll says:

    Posted by erichwwk at June 11, 2007 11:18 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    Yep.
    What I have been trying to figure out is if all the personnel changes actually reflect a turn around by Bush, perhaps under the influence of the Bush I old guard.
    Or..
    If The Bush adm is dumping those identified with the Iraq “failure” just so they can move on to Iran with a “clean new team” not associated with the Neocons who brought us Iraq.
    If we can go by the statements of the majority of the new appointments it would seem Bush is moving away from the neo’s…but…it’s possible we are just being set up again. Using new and “reasonable” appointees who at some “later point become convinced” that we must confront Iran.
    I don’t know, I guess we will wait and see. I think the same Cheney neo’s vrs realist that is going on in the WH is also going on in congress. Nothing is about the repubs or repub adm vrs the dems any more, it all boils down to the fanatics vrs the non-fanatics in both parties now.

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  11. erichwwk says:

    Carroll:
    Your views reflect mine. The real issue is the reluctance of the military establishment to support Cheney’s and the business communities view of hegemony. I have already posted why i believe Pace was fired. Mellon’s appointment was for the same reason, as you intuit. Walter Pincus has an article on the WaP on Powell’s plea to close the military prisons at Guantanamo. The fact that Robert Gates ALSO CONCURS with the closure, but the prison is still open, should speak volumes on WHO is really running DOD.
    I am amazed at the reluctance of the pundits to put Iraq in perspective, in terms of what is called the Grand Strategy, about which the real decision makers write with the same clarity that Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf. But then I suppose doing so would immediately dry up one’s access to insider information.

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  12. Carroll says:

    More tidying up?….
    June 11, 2007
    WP: Privatization roll-back at the CIA: ” … Acting under pressure from Congress, the CIA has decided to trim its contractor staffing by 10 percent. It is the agency’s first effort since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to curb what critics have decried as the growing privatization of U.S. intelligence work, a circumstance that has sharply boosted some personnel costs. Contractors currently make up about one-third of the CIA workforce, but CIA Director Michael V. Hayden has said that their work has not been efficiently managed. …” RJ Hillhouse has been breaking many stories at her blog about the privatization of intelligence, and recently calculated the intelligence budget based on some information on the percent of intelligence work done by contractors and the budget devoted to it. Update: More from Tim Shorrock.
    Posted by Laura at 09:25 AM

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  13. PoliticalCritic says:

    Peter Pace should’ve been fired immediately after his discriminatory remarks about gays. Better late than never I suppose.

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  14. loretta says:

    ….does anyone else find it peculiar and controversial that the last two “replacements” in high posts to run the GROUND WAR in Iraq are Naval Commanders? ….and aren’t there a bunch of new carriers in the Gulf?

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  15. loretta says:

    ….does anyone else find it peculiar and controversial that the last two “replacements” in high posts to run the GROUND WAR in Iraq are Naval Commanders? ….and aren’t there a bunch of new carriers in the Gulf?

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  16. Alphonse says:

    Emblematic of the worrying insiderness here is that its page renders fine in IE but not Firefox – “stature”, not standards, rules.
    “I’m all in favour of standards – there should be more of them” – anon (I think)
    (got me thinking of judicial standards and such, and for whom, and all that, that did)

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    However……..
    “CentCom Commander Fallon: Attack On Iran ‘Will Not Happen On My Watch’
    Earlier this year, the Bush administration deployed a second Navy group carrier into the Persian Gulf. Vice President Cheney referred to the move as an attempt to send a “strong signal” about the administration’s commitment to confronting Iran.
    In February, Newsweek reported that the Bush administration was planning to ratchet up the pressure even further by deploying a third carrier group into the Gulf. Hillary Mann, the administration’s former National Security Council director for Iran and Persian Gulf Affairs, warned that some Bush advisers secretly wanted an excuse to attack Iran. “They intend to be as provocative as possible and make the Iranians do something [America] would be forced to retaliate for,” she told Newsweek.
    IPS reported yesterday that the administration’s attempt to send the third carrier group was vetoed by the new head of the U.S. Central Command Admiral William Fallon:
    Admiral William Fallon, then President George W. Bush’s nominee to head the Central Command (CENTCOM), expressed strong opposition in February to an administration plan to increase the number of carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf from two to three and vowed privately there would be no war against Iran as long as he was chief of CENTCOM.
    Fallon’s resistance to the proposed deployment of a third aircraft carrier was followed by a shift in the Bush administration’s Iran policy in February and March away from increased military threats and toward diplomatic engagement with Iran. That shift, for which no credible explanation has been offered by administration officials, suggests that Fallon’s resistance to a crucial deployment was a major factor in the intra-administration struggle over policy toward Iran.
    One source said Fallon sent a memo that “insisted there was no military requirement for” for an additional carrier. Fallon private conveyed around the time of his confirmation hearing that an attack on Iran “will not happen on my watch.” IPS notes, “Fallon’s refusal to support a further naval buildup in the Gulf reflected his firm opposition to an attack on Iran and an apparent readiness to put his career on the line to prevent it.”
    While Fallon’s message may have affected the deployment of another Navy carrier, it didn’t stop Vice President Cheney from finding other ways to issue symbolic acts of provocation against Iran. Last week, Cheney stood aboard one of the two carriers currently in the Gulf and warned Iran that the U.S. was prepared to use its naval power to keep Tehran from disrupting off oil routes or “gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region.”

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  18. Carroll says:

    Hummm….now I am having second thoughts about Pace….and second thoughts about whether or not Bush is moving away from attacking Iran.
    I think … x_00 at June 10, 2007 01:12 PM..may be right. ..there is more to it.
    Has Bush ever cared before whether or not congress went along with any of his people? NO..
    Saw a statement Pace made that.. “Iran was not crossing the border furnishing training and weapons to Iraq”..that directly contridicted what the Bush adm said and what the neo’s are promoting.
    So could that be another reason for Pace’s departure? Seems like more of a reason than the Libby letter.
    The bit about Pace being replaced because his reconfirmation hearing would be “hard” might not be all there is to it. We know the dems don’t give a shit how long this war goes on as long as they get to end it only “after” they take the WH. Also we know the dems are in the neo’libs and AIPAC pocket…so following the bread crumbs..what is it really about? Was congress under the dem/neo’s going to made it hard for Pace becuase they wanted someone more attuned to attacking Iran? Greenwald over at Salon.com is raking Lieberman ‘s “attack Iran” and the jewish lobby and particulary the dem jewish congressmen Ackerman over the coals again today on their part in removing the clause to prevent Bush from hitting Iran without going to congress so something is afoot…
    Lieberman must have reason to think he has some political protection in his wild statements about Iran…when most of the country is totally opposed to an Iran attack.
    Also all the jewish neo’s are calling for Lieberman to replace Condi at state…so is something up?…will there be some more “changes”?
    The more I think about it the more I don’t think the Libby letter had much to do with it. I doubt seriously gays or religion had anthing to do with it either.
    Replacing Pace is someone’s stragety but whose is the quesiton.

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  19. Steve Clemons says:

    gordon — thanks for your note. I wrote the passage poorly as I was rushing to fix something about Rick Donnelly that seemed confusing before. Then I seem to have made it worse. I believe I have corrected it now. Donnelly was director of the Marine War College and was diagnosed with an aggressive, terminal cancer. He planned to take a medical discharge — and Krulak told him to stay put — and to work until the end, which he basically did. This was good for Donnelly’s family, extremely brave of Donnelly, and something all of the top brass around Krulak and the War College thought was admirable. Pace was involved and knew Wilkerson’s role. I certainly didn’t intend anything other than what I wrote now above.
    Sorry for the confusion.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  20. gordon says:

    What is this stuff about “orchestrating” the demise of Donnelly? What on earth are you talking about?

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  21. Propagandee says:

    Sandy:
    An administration official is said to have commented shortly after the fall of Baghdad:
    “Anyone can go to Baghdad; real men go to Tehran”,
    Don’t know whether that’s urban legend or not, but it sure fits the neocon profile.

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  22. Sandy says:

    As I posted elsewhere, Bush was in Prague at an international meeting last week — Joe Lieberman keynote speaker — where the main topic was bombing IRAN.
    At Salon.com today, Glenn Greenwald had this — among many other excellent things — to say:
    “The very idea of starting a new war with Iran is so obscenely irrational — to say nothing of its morality — that it is difficult to put into words….
    …Those who believe that the tragic damage wrought on our country by this presidency can be contained and then gradually reversed can have no higher priority than preventing the war for which Joe Lieberman, Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney and company are so plainly yearning.
    What that strain of warmonger has demonstrated conclusively over the last several years is that they recognize no limits in implementing their full agenda. War with Iran has long been an integral part of that agenda, and anyone who believes that they will view the ongoing crisis in Iraq — or anything else — as impediments to this next step simply does not understand just how extremist they are.
    The principal force driving American actions over the last six years is the willingness of this political faction to exploit the 9/11 attacks to any extent necessary, and to find any pretext necessary, in order to bring about their policies of Middle East militarism. They are nowhere near the end of that course, and a WAR WITH IRAN has long been the centerpiece. They may be discredited and weakened, but they are still the most powerful political faction in our country, the one most respected by the press, and the one in full control of the White House.”
    We need to WAKE UP!!!

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  23. x_00 says:

    There is much much more here.
    They are replacing both the Chairman and the Vice Chair at the same time. Highly unusual.
    General Cartwright (USMC) will be the new vice chair and is currently in charge of STRATCOM (the nukes).
    The reasons given by both Gates (tough confirmation hearings) and Steve (petty politics) do not pass the smell test.

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  24. rich says:

    Steve,
    While your take on the Mullen-Pace exchange re implications for war with Iran are reassuring, no one can afford to discount Sy Hersh’s reporting in the Joint Chiefs resistance to an attack on that country.
    Lo and behold! Who should be talking Iran this morning? None other than Joe Lieberman.
    From TPM and ThinkProgress:
    —This morning on CBS’s Face the Nation, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) strongly advocated preparing for a strike against Iran.
    “I think we have to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,” Lieberman said. Host Bob Schieffer followed-up: “Let’s just stop right there. Because I think you probably made some news here, Senator Lieberman. You’re saying that if the Iranians don’t let up, that the United States should take military action?” “I am,” Lieberman responded.
    Lieberman added that “if there’s any hope” of stopping Iran’s nuclear program, “we can’t just talk to them…. We’ve got to use our force and to me that would include taking military action.”—

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  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres the link. Please note, apparently Reid, Clinton, and Obama don’t think we should enforce our immigration laws, either.
    http://minutemanproject.com/mmp/?p=128

    Reply

  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, 54 Senators just voted AGAINST the “Coburn Amendment”, which was a bill demanding that we enforce our immigration laws. The bill was defeated. Steve’s shining star, Chuck Hagel, is one of the 54 senators that voted AGAINST the enforcement of the law.

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  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Off topic, but did anyone else catch Romney lying about the events leading up to our invasion of Iraq during the debates? The slimey son of a bitch completely rewrote history when he stated that Saddam would not let the IAEA inspectors in, and not one journalist or candidate took him to task for his deception. This is our new America, where these fuckers can stand on the national stage and lie with impunity, without fear of media exposure or accountability. Hurray, lets elect a fuckin’ liar to be President. Or hey, how about lets elect some piece of shit that lied to a few million New Yorkers about the air quality, endangering thier health and well being. Or gee, maybe we should vote for some asshole that thinks its ok to illegally fail to disclose his financial interest in the very company that manufactures and programs the machines that helped him win an election to the Senate. Or, yahoo, lets elect some broad that claims she was fooled by the transparently contrived intelligence about WMD’s, despite the fact that a few million American lay people saw through the deception. Or we can elect some posturing good ‘ol boy with an exagerated Tennessee twang, who rents pick-up trucks as political props between hollywood auditions. Or how about the drooling idiot that would have us believe we can throw our picnic blankets out in downtown Bagdad while daddy-knows-best jogs around taking in the sights?
    If you can’t decide, just vote for any one of them. After all, a vote for Israel is a vote for the USA.

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  28. P. Lumumba says:

    Steve,
    I think the word you want is “expedient” not “expeditious.”
    Peace,
    PL

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  29. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country.”
    I had no idea that Pace had said this. As “Propagandee’s” links are unoperative, I googled the comment, and discovered that Pace did in fact say it.
    Gads, these are some scary sonsabitches. It seems whenever a whole lotta of people die, it is usually some maniac that talks to God that is wielding the machete.

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  30. Propagandee says:

    Rumor has it that Gates and the Pentagon are being sued for libel by You Know Who, and wanted to limit their liability:
    ———
    Top US general says Rumsfeld is inspired by God
    Thu Oct 19, 2006
    Agence France Presse.
    The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.
    “He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country,” said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    [snip]
    http://rawstory.com/showarticle.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.yahoo.com%2Fs%2Fafp%2F20061019%2Fpl_afp%2Fusmilitarypolitics_06101919355

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  31. erict says:

    Does anyone think Pace, the ultimate suck up boot licker, would pen the Libby letter if not directed to do so by el PRESIDENTE CHENEY? Cheney has been in the weeds on everything, including mid level Justice firings. He would definitely be orchestrating Libby’s release and Pardon. Bush is major POed about how this will impact his legacy.
    Could it be that the Boy King has enough of Cheney’s act, and got rid of Pace because he was a Cheney toady?

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  32. bryanwilkins says:

    Whem Pace was first selected by Rumsfeld as Chmn JCS I was suspicious. Rumsfeld only surrounded himself with people he could bully and influence to do his bidding. The rest of of the officer command did not like Pace for his toady behavior, and Gates realized as soon as he took over DOD he had to get rid of him. Now it has happened…

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  33. David N says:

    Just an aside that I’ve wanted to post somewhere (MediaMatters?) for some time now, and not known where it would do any good.
    We can post, but that doesn’t mean anyone will read.
    Anyhoo, it’s this, about the whole, Brits were in Iranian/international waters when they were captured bit. What everyone left out is the little fact that the nations in that part of the world do not agree on who owns what part of the waters, and have no treaty to establish same.
    Put simply, the Iranians claim all of it. That’s right. According to official Iranian policy — dating back to the Shah — Iran claims the entire Gulf as Iranian territory, right up to the shoreline of Saudia Arabia, the Emirates, Kuwait, etc. And all the uninhabited — uninhabitable — islands out there.
    It was this little matter of the ownership of the channel through which the Tigris and Euphrates drain into the Gulf — the Shat’ al-‘Arab — that was the official complaint behind the 1980’s Iran-Iraq war.
    Look at the oil company maps. There are oil wells all over the place around the Gulf. Why aren’t there any in the Gulf itself? Who thinks there aren’t trillions of barrels there? Why isn’t anyone drilling? Because if anyone tried, someone would attack it as being within “soveriegn waters,” and there goes that investment. In which case, there’s enough oil in the region that that little disagreement can be left for another day.
    There are enough other disagreements, too.
    The point I’m not getting to, here, is that the Brits may well have been in international waters, according to Iraqi, British, American, and Kuwaiti charts. But according to Iranian charts, they were in Iranian territory.
    Which makes no difference whatsoever regarding the fate of the British sailors and marines. But it is nice to known these things before you go paddling about in someone’s pond.
    Things like, there are these two types of Muslims, Sunni and Shi’a, and they both live in Iraq, and there are all these tribes who don’t get along in places.
    Stuff like that. Stuff a commander who really does listen to his advisers, military or otherwise, when making life or death decisions would know.
    But nothing to worry about, of course, when God’s on your side.

    Reply

  34. mullah cimoc says:

    mullah cimoc say ameriki not safe now. traitor politicians still wanting for give land to aztec and maya destroy all whitie.
    in waziristan no father allow judge put daughter in jail. this not permitting. who tribe attacking this judge. him so afraid, must move to amerika country of lesbian and homosexual hate the woman if she natural and wanting the baby to keeping and not abortion kill.
    usa society so sick and the cruel.
    who control traitors politicians? Why him wanting give land for maya and aztec?
    Why usa man now so fminized like woman, liking the beautiful hair and the finger nail.
    why usa media now all woman reporter for war. displace man, make him fool.
    who do this to ameriki and to englander?
    google: mighty wurlitzer +cia

    Reply

  35. Karen SanFran says:

    Steve: I’m a little embarrassed to say that I don’t remember the details of how or why Nixon got in trouble through having entertained official suggestions of presidential pardons before they happened, but I remember hearing some pundit on NPR expand on it (that’s the embarrassing part: I heard it yesterday and can’t remember what was said), but isn’t their some connection between Pace’s impolitic letter to the judge and the dangers of official discussion of a pardon at an inappropriate time? Your post above, specifically
    “but the libby letter puts bush in an awkward place. bush might and probably is planning to pardon libby — but he can’t have the top general in the nation encouraging that. in a soft way, pace’s letter may have actually preempted for a time action by the president on a libby pardon.”
    reminds me vaguely of what the pundit said about nixon’s mistake. Can you expand on that? Thanks.

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  36. Thom says:

    He probably will, Erichwwk – and they’ll probably make perfect sense.

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  37. erichwwk says:

    Thanks Thom. Now I REALLY want to hear Steve say some positive things about Mullen that make sense!

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  38. Thom says:

    Well dang, it said I had an error and had to post again. Sorry about that.
    If you can delete one, please make it the first, as the second comment has the URL in a more accessible spot. thanks.

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  39. Thom says:

    Steve, I did a post about Mullen in April when he made what I thought were some really awful comments regarding the British sailors who were captured by Iranian forces. (I was completely wrong about how much news it would make.)
    Do you remember it? And what do you think? It seems to have blown over, but I think something like that coming out of anybody’s mouth, much less an admiral and soon the JC chairman, might be a sign of less than broad thinking and viewing. Especially my third point: that he seems to think that a firefight between the Brits, or us, seemingly, and the Iranians would be an okay thing.
    That is so messed up I can’t even think of what to say about it.
    http://littlethomsblog.blogspot.com/2007/04/us-admiral-brits-are-cowards.html

    Reply

  40. Thom says:

    Steve, I did ,a href= “http://littlethomsblog.blogspot.com/2007/04/us-admiral-brits-are-cowards.html”>a post about Mullen in April when he made what I thought were some really awful comments regarding the British sailors who were captured by Iranian forces. (I was completely wrong about how much news it would make.)
    Do you remember it? And what do you think? It seems to have blown over, but I think something like that coming out of anybody’s mouth, much less an admiral and soon the JC chairman, might be a sign of less than broad thinking and viewing. Especially my third point: that he seems to think that a firefight between the Brits, or us, seemingly, and the Iranians would be an okay thing.
    That is so messed up I can’t even think of what to say about it.

    Reply

  41. David N says:

    Pace vs. Mullens is too “inside baseball” for me. It’s replacing responsible discussion of issues with gossip. In other words it’s acting like the MSM, with its obsession with lies and sighs that gave us this idiot in the WH in the first place.
    Maybe, Steve, putting up posts like this gives you a rush, so you can act like Tim Russert and say, “Look who I talk to; I’m so important.” To me, this is disappointing; I thought you were about more than that.
    You simply can’t win parsing the “realist” vs. “idealist” inclinations of various new players in the power corridors. To me, anyone — anyone — who is willing to work for this criminal administration in any capacity is morally bankrupt. That includes senior military officers who should have resigned rather than carry out the orders to invade Iraq based on lies, without any Phase IV, and with orders and practices that violate the fundamental tenets of the Constitution.
    Aside from that, recent news simply tells us how clueless and stupid our president is — as if we needed more proof. Again he’s staking vital interests and relationships on the installation of a missle defense system that doesn’t exist to defend against a threat that doesn’t exist. At least this time, I’ve read a few items in the press that reflect that at last a few of them get it.
    Remember, please, those whose memories go back more than a week, that one big reason Bush was not interested in Dick Clarke’s warnings about al-Qa’ida and terrorism was that he had one and only one solution to America’s national security issues (just like he had one and only one solution to all our domestic problems: tax cuts and handouts for the rich). The only thing Bush wanted to hear about was his and Reagan’s fantasy, Space-based missle defenses, so he blithely ignored clear warnings, but so what?
    Even after being proven wrong so many times, that’s still his only idea. When will Congress get a clue and a spine and impeach first Gonzales, then Cheney, then Bush, and start to end our national nightmare? They will also have a say in who is appointed to fill in for them, and can mandate that it isn’t a Republican presidential candidate, but, hell, that would require imagination, too, as well as integrity, so forget it.
    Enough for now. Too much.

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    These people need our help…
    Blackwater Sues Families Of Slain Employees To Shut Them Up
    2007-06-08 15:03:55 (22 hours ago)
    The following article is by Daniel J. Callahn and Marc P. Miles, the lawyers representing the families of four American contractors who worked for Blackwater and were killed in Fallujah. After Blackwater refused to share information about why they were killed, the families were told they would have to sue Blackwater to find out. Now Blackwater is trying to sue them for $10 million to keep them quiet. This article was first posted on AlterNet.org’s website.
    The families of four American security contractors who were burned, beaten, dragged through the streets of Fallujah and their decapitated bodies hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River on March 31, 2004, are reaching out to the American public to help protect themselves against the very company their loved ones were serving when killed, Blackwater Security Consulting. After Blackwater lost a series of appeals all the away to the U.S. Supreme Court, Blackwater has now changed its tactics and is suing the dead men’s estates for $10 million to silence the families and keep them out of court.
    Following these gruesome deaths which were broadcast on worldwide television, the surviving family members looked to Blackwater for answers as to how and why their loved ones died. Blackwater not only refused to give the grieving families any information, but also callously stated that they would need to sue Blackwater to get it. Left with no alternative, in January 2005, the families filed suit against Blackwater, which is owned by the wealthy and politically-connected Erik Prince.
    Blackwater quickly adapted its battlefield tactics to the courtroom. It initially hired Fred F. Fielding, who is currently counsel to the President of the United States. It then hired Joseph E. Schmitz as its in-house counsel, who was formerly the Inspector General at the Pentagon. More recently, Blackwater employed Kenneth Starr, famed prosecutor in the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal, to oppose the families. To add additional muscle, Blackwater hired Cofer Black, who was the Director of the CIA Counter- Terrorist Center.
    continues at……
    http://freeinternetpress.com/story.php?sid=12153

    Reply

  43. Jeff says:

    Steve
    Are you actually attributing any causal role in Pace’s firing to his Libby letter, or not? And if so, is there any evidence, or is this just your best informed interpretation of what is happening? It’s easy to believe that Pace’s enemies capitalized on his poor judgment in writing a letter in support of Libby to the judge. But that’s different from saying they were successful in getting Pace fired. It would be awfully quick action if that were the explanation.
    Are you saying that Pace would not have been fired, at least not just now, if it weren’t for his Libby letter?

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  44. Mr.Murder says:

    We are promoting a new General to command of Iraq/Afghan ground forces. Seems a convenient way to advance on both fronts with Iran, no?
    If anything that ploy helps incentive the upcoming talks, but it also disguises the Bush funding and appropriations items, and makes the Czar able to blur the disctinction between two crucial theatres.
    Pace was seeing the wall writing and tried to make a hard sell to Bush’s weaknesses, the items he makes the political stands on. Gays and Cheney’s Chief of Staff, the two motivations of policy he pursues. Pace can’t help if the Boss is a bigot, but he can not justify the same approach to leadership in uniform.

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    It cracks me up that Pace is being singled out here for being “political”. What the hell is banning the soldiers from websites, if not “political”. What is a military policy of prosecuting active military personel that protest the war, if not political? What was Sanchez’s perjury before Congress about the Abu Ghraib scandal, if not political?
    Has anyone here watched the pentagon press briefings, that 95% of the time seem to buttress the bullshit seeping out of the White House?
    Jessica Lynch ring a bell? Tillman? Why aren’t the lying fuckers that directed and produced THOSE fictions being fired for thier “political activism”?
    And what of “embedding” media representatives? Non-political?
    Give me a break, the whole manner this debacle is being handled is “political”, from the Oval Office, to the depths of the Pentagon, to the poor grunt on the ground that gets “page cannot be found” when he attempts to sign onto “MySpace”.

    Reply

  46. Matthew says:

    We know exactly how long “The Long War” against Islamic terrorism will last: Until the Military-Industrial Complex can replace “terrorism” with “fear of China.” And the avalanche of military spending can go on and on….cynical? Notice how Colombian narco-traffickers and that “war” began after the Berlin Wall fell and ended when OBL filled the slot.

    Reply

  47. erichwwk says:

    While I respect Steve’s take – and it “could” well be the correct one – I also remain unconvinced.
    While the admin view of EFD’s was that they were definitely coming from Iran (despite other sources reporting that they were being manufactured in Iraq, at an AC of $20, with Photo’s more convincing than those offered by admin) Pace was the ONLY officer I am aware of that publicly said “not so fast”, the evidence is not clear. To me THAT is what pissed Gates off.
    The “gay” remark, while unfortunate and misguided was to me an indication of his forthrightness, and his “Libby” letter a last ditch attempt to retain his job. Hopefully, the inputs into the military leadership and national security are based on MUCH more meaningful criteria.
    IMHO, the absurdity of Bush’s “Missile Shield” proposal is a far better indication of the long run foreign policy as dictated by the REAL formulators of foreign policy – the business community – than what appears indicated by the personnel changes favoring diplomacy over brute force. As important as the Iraq/ME war is, let’s keep the “Grand Strategy” in perspective, and not lose sight of the much bigger picture. Administrations come and go, but the ultimate decision makers do not.
    I am not familiar with Admiral Mike Mullen. However, I am deeply troubled by the Dos quote attributed to Mullen:
    “The enemy now is basically evil and fundamentally hates everything we are — the democratic principles for which we stand … This war is going to go on for a long time. It’s a generational war.”
    THAT statement scares the HELL out of me, and there was a time when Steve led panel discussions where the absurdity of that position was discussed. I await hearing Steve discuss why he feels Mullens is first rate- the Adm’s online views “What I Believe” reinforce my fears that he buys into the losing national security policy that one is made safe by force, and not by moral superiority.
    “Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars.” –Five star General George Marshall

    Reply

  48. dan says:

    Whilst the rationales that SC has outlined are all make sense, there’s another component to this that should be explored.
    The confirmation process will operate in parallel to the almighty political spat over the progress of the surge that is going to erupt in September. Removing Pace and replacing with a fresh face strikes me as part of the ongoing “strategy of deferment” designed to keep the political forces calling for a drawdown/withdrawal of troops focussed on the next Friedman Unit, rather on the lack of success of the one that has just passed.

    Reply

  49. Carroll says:

    I tend to think Bush no longer wants be identified so closely with the neocons…
    But whatever the reason it’s good that Pace is gone.
    He can trot over to JINSA and play politics all he wants now. And good riddence.

    Reply

  50. Den Valdron says:

    Hmmmm. Pace is fired for some gossipy brown nosing? He showed too much loyalty to the Bush administration and its red meat crowd?
    Colour me skeptical.

    Reply

  51. karenk says:

    I remember seeing something on the History Channel about a woman who had served exceptionally as a WAC(WAV?)under Gen Eisenhower. According to her, Eisenhower called her into his office one day. He mentioned that it had come to his awareness that there were lesbians in the womens corps. Since he felt she was exceptional and trusted her he asked her to compile a list of the lesbian females under her command, so they could be discharged from the service. She told him she’d be glad to but she felt it only fair to inform him that her name would be at the top of the list. His response—“Never mind then.”
    Says it all-common sense rules!

    Reply

  52. susan says:

    I read Larry Johnson’s piece saying that Pace was out over the Libby letter, and I was skeptical. your analysis fills in some of the gaps, Steve.
    I guess that our doubts are not surprising given the total lack of accountability that we have seen with this regime. good thing to see the cracks in the facade.

    Reply

  53. selise says:

    steve –
    thanks so much for the insight on pace wrt to iran. i don’t expect any general to be anti-war… but didn’t i read (maybe from seymour hersh?) that the jcs had pushed back on the idea of having plans to use tac nukes against iran “on the table”?
    did that not happen? or was pace not part of it?

    Reply

  54. liz says:

    Hey Steve… thank you for a good shot of ” truthiness”. It’s the first shot on Pace. Americans do appreciate the truth and I was not so sure what to think about this. You make total sense here with the truth.*Duh*

    Reply

  55. Steve Clemons says:

    jonst — as in all things that seem to happen nowadays, there is a convergence of forces. of course, pace is out because of congressional resistance — but that enough does not explain what is happening. he is also out because of the disdain for him by other of the nation’s leading commanders. they see him as a “yes man” to bush, cheney, and previously — rumsfeld. he has diminished his value as a general ironically because he appears to be such a flack.
    but bush did not like the gay comment — which was just a strike against him; no reason yet to fire.
    but the libby letter puts bush in an awkward place. bush might and probably is planning to pardon libby — but he can’t have the top general in the nation encouraging that. in a soft way, pace’s letter may have actually preempted for a time action by the president on a libby pardon.
    as for the dailykos post, i read it — and couldn’t disagree more. pace is not a clear part of the push back in this war and mullen is a clear-headed strategist who won’t play the kind of political games that pace will. none of these generals are anti-war….otherwise, they’d resign.
    the question is whether they will manage the security portfolio realistically or not — and whether they believe in expanding the obligations they have to deal with….and mullen is a realist/pragmatist, unlike pace.
    best, steve clemons

    Reply

  56. selise says:

    thank rtb – i was going to ask about that…. doesn’t seem like bush or cheney would care about the libby letter. but iran? that i can see.

    Reply

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