the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

June 22, 2005

Another Messenger Shot


The right-wing smear job (aided by the expected Democratic spinelessness) has had its predictable effect:

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) yesterday offered a tearful apology on the Senate floor for comparing the alleged abuse of prisoners by American troops to techniques used by the Nazis, the Soviets and the Khmer Rouge, as he sought to quell a frenzy of Republican-led criticism. […]

McCain said the lesson is “Watch your words.”

At least the Post’s description of Durbin’s speech bears some resemblance to reality, unlike the blatant lying in the Washington Times. The speech was actually very good, and it’s sad to see someone reduced to groveling for giving it. Now that we’ve made sure no one’s going to talk about that pesky torture problem, we can go back to pretending it doesn’t exist.

Durbin is just the latest in a line of critics — the Red Cross, Newsweek, Amnesty International — neutralized when the Republicans latch on to something they can characterize as a mistake in the criticism, which they can then use to dismiss any discussion of prisoner mistreatment. Expect to see the pattern repeated, and it happens on other issues as well (remember CBS News and the Texas Air National Guard story).


The Pentagon announced that a Halliburton subsidiary was awarded the contract to build a state-of-the-art $30 million prison for 220 terrorism suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

June 20, 2005

Bolton Has Made America Less Safe (Also, Free Film)


Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings (who’s always worth reading) draws attention to an article in today’s Post about John Bolton, Bush’s nominee for UN ambassador, and how much better efforts to control nuclear materials are going since he’s left the State Department. If you’re worried about terrorists getting a nuclear weapon, you should be thankful that he’s been moved out but worried about having him anywhere near any negotations or policy creation in the future.

A group called the Nuclear Threat Initiative (whose members and supporters include Ted Turner, Sam Nunn, Richard Lugar, and Warren Buffett) has produced a docudrama, Last Best Chance, starring Fred Thompson as a US president dealing with terrorists and nukes. As the film’s site says,

This film is based on facts. Some events depicted may have already happened. Some may be happening now. All may happen in the near future if we don’t act now to prevent them.

The Washington Science Policy Alliance is sponsoring a free screening of Last Best Chance in DC on Thursday, June 30. See their site for details.

For the latest word on the Bolton nomination, Steve Clemons at the Washington Note is the go-to guy.

June 17, 2005

Tortured Logic


Today the House passed Henry Hyde’s bill withholding half of US dues payments to the United Nations unless the UN shapes up. Fortunately, the bill is not likely to get anywhere in the Senate and is opposed by the White House (perhaps Rumsfeld has been talking to Bush about his lack of diplomatic skill).

The bill includes this text (in §201):

(b) Human Rights Reforms at the United Nations — The President shall direct the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations to ensure that the following human rights reforms have been adopted by the United Nations:

(1) A Member State that fails to uphold the values embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights shall be ineligible for membership on any United Nations human rights body.


June 16, 2005

Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood


Donald Rumsfeld gave an interview to the BBC recently that’s made a few headlines, but (what a surprise!) not in the US media. In it he said, “I think the US is notably unskillful in our communications and our public diplomacy.” Now that won’t be news to anyone who’s been paying attention during the last four years, but it is unusual to hear a member of the Bush administration admitting a flaw.

The problem, of course, is that the flaw being admitted isn’t a failure of planning or policy, only a failure of communication. If only the administration were better at getting across what it was trying to do, Rumsfeld is saying, then surely people would understand and support it. So if anyone opposes what Bush is doing, it must be because they’re misunderstanding it.


June 11, 2005

Check out Rep. Sensenbrenner’s Meltdown


Watch Rep. Sensenbrenner’s (R-WI) tantrum during hearings about renewal of the PATRIOT Act:

This morning Rep. Sensenbrenner, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee was leading a committee hearing looking into the renewal of Patriot Act.

Mr. Sensenbrenner decided that he didn’t like the tone of the meeting and simply got up and left but not before he criticized the witnesses who came and gave their testimony to the committee.

After he left the microphones were switched on and off while the Democratic members of the committee continued to discuss the renewal of the Patriot Act.


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

Upcoming Events

See information on the revived DC chapter (2012).

DCDL Member Blogs

DCDL Speaker Links

DC Links

Liberal (Mostly) Blogs

Liberal Groups

Internal Links



Drinking Liberally

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


Search Blog



later entries • 

44 queries. 0.400 seconds