David Rivkin and Lee Casey are an op-ed-writing team of former GOP legal officials who defend practically every terrorism-related policy pushed by the Bush administration. Here they are saying that warrantless surveillance “has always been on firm legal ground.” Here they are saying that the Justice Department and CIA torture memos somehow prove “the actual techniques used… did not cause severe pain or degradation.” Here they are saying that Congress can do practically nothing to stop a war aside from ceasing to appropriate money for it. Clearly they know something about implausible spin. And even they think the Cheneyites crossed a line by calling Justice Department lawyers who defended Guantanamo detainees the “al-Qaeda Seven.“
Ben Smith has a letter signed by a coalition of Republican legal mainstays, including Rivkin and Casey, denouncing Keep America Safe’s most recent ad, terming it “a shameful series of attacks” on people who upheld the “American tradition of zealous representation of unpopular clients [which] is at least as old as John Adams’s representation of the British soldiers charged in the Boston massacre.” Other signatories include, of all people, Cully Stimson, the Pentagon official in charge of detainee policy who resigned for exactly the same offense that the Cheneyites committed and the letter condemns. Yes, they’ve lost that guy.
And they know it. Smith cites Bill Kristol, a board member of Keep America Safe, implausibly spinning the ad as an attempt to merely raise questions about disclosure — which itself suggests that the Justice Department lawyers did something untoward, something a Founding Father disputes — and not impugning the loyalty of the people the ad called the “al-Qaeda Seven.” That sounds like an attempt at a face-saving retreat, with Kristol’s attacks on the critics of the ads acting as little more than suppressing fire. The question now becomes whether Keep America Safe’s toxic reputation remains with it the next time it attempts to attack the patriotism of the Obama administration.
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
$100 Million to Aid Pakistani Displaced Persons
More on U.S. efforts to aid Pakistanis displaced by the current military efforts against the Taliban. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced this
$1 Trillion for Fannie and Freddie?
That is the worst-case scenario, according to Egan-Jones Ratings Co., quoted in a Bloomberg article making the rounds. The agency says that if home prices
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.