Monday Humor: Harry Goes Tea Party, Gates Surges Self, Delay, & Other Stories of After the Crash

( Note:My computer and internet connection has been a bastard all weekend, and then it locked up badly on the first thing I wrote this am, and I can’t get @#$%^&*#$%^& effing iphoto to stop crashing everything else, and photobucket sucks, so you’re getting this instead.  Deal with it.  )

1. Reid breaks with Obama, comes out against Ground Zero mosque.…

“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said in a statement. “Sen. Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.”

Reid is the most senior Democrat to come out in opposition to the mosque.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, had questioned the wisdom of building the mosque, too.

We’re all glad that you candidates have so much time on your hands after solving the rest of the nation’s problems, that Sen Reid, via his trusty spokesperson, and Exxon via Shakespalin can get into a pissing match over New York real estate to help get re elected. I know for sure that every am every unemployed Nevadan gets up every am and thinks,  if only the zoning in Manhattan was different, I wouldn’t have lost my house to foreclosure and we’d get more tourists visiting again.  

2.  McChrystal to Teach at Yale in fall of 2010…

The course will be offered in fall 2010 by Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where McChrystal has been appointed a senior fellow.

teach what ?   A graduate course on leadership ?   You’d think that West Point would be interested. Oh, wait….  

3. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates  to Retire Sometime in 2011…

“I think that it would be a mistake to wait until January 2012,” he said. It might be hard to find a good person to take the job so late, with just one year to go in the president’s current term. And, he added, “This is not the kind of job you want to fill in the spring of an election year.”  

It isn’t ?…

Gates quickly intervened, taking both programs outside normal channels. He added $16 billion to build more MRAPs on a crash schedule. And he fired the Air Force’s chief of staff, Gen T. Michael Moseley, in part for negligence with the nuclear command, but mainly, according to knowledgeable officials, for his sluggishness on the drones.

So, near the end of 2007, Gates called on Gen. David Petraeus, then the U.S. commander in Iraq and the architect of the counterinsurgency strategy there, to chair that year’s Army promotion board, which would advance 40 colonels to the rank of brigadier general. More than a dozen of the Army’s promising colonels, at least one of whom had been passed over twice, got their stars. With this single stroke, the Army’s culture — the signals sent to the troops of what kind of soldiers get promoted and what kind don’t — changed dramatically.

Even before Obama’s term formally began, Gates launched a three-month review of every major line item in the half-trillion-dollar defense budget, drawing the entire building — the highest-level civilian analysts and military officers — into the process. By April 2009, his teams had compiled a list of 50 programs primed for change. Gates decided to kill, slash, or restructure 33 of them, including some of the services’ most cherished weapons systems.


All told, Congress approved 31 of Gates’s 33 cuts. The other two — the C-17 cargo plane and an alternative engine for the F-35 fighter — Gates has vowed to kill this year.

….  Even before Obama’s term began….  

The article almost doesn’t sound like a puff piece until the part where Gates started waxing eloquent about necon PNAC “military analyst”  Frederick Kagan and the American Enterprise Institute,  Frederick Kagan and his wife  Kimberly Kagan, who runs the “Institute for the Study of War,”   (more links here:…    )

are the two hired right wing think tank hacks the Pentagon trots out now and then to make up excuses to keep doing the same thing over and over.

Gates says we aren’t the Soviets in Afghanistan because we didn’t kill a million and displace 5 million more-  ignoring the fact that is what happened in Iraq under Bush, Cheney, L Paul Bremer, and his predecessor, Def. Sec. Rumsfeld.…

The humorous part comes from the fact that Gates is pushing for reforms in weapons contracting at the Pentagon in preparation for selling more armaments and weapons to “allies,”  and that he is “passionate, “revved up” and “stoked” about these military budget economies.   Time to deploy that Golden Parachute as a Military Weapons Procurement Consultant Dude !


4. Petraeus back to selling the war again.  You may have been fortunate enough to miss Gen. Petraeus’ weekend cable charm offensive.  

USA Today:  Petraeus: “We’re trying to keep Afghanistan from becoming terrorist sanctuary (again).…

At least he didn’t pretend to know where bin Laden was.

When I did a search of the phrase “Petraeus sells war” I came up with examples of this going on for years.  Hello, veal pen and MSM, aren’t you wondering how much longer you can pretend to ignore everything about Bush cutting taxes and doubling the military spending having any domestic impact ?

The Christian Science Monitor reminds us that the Afghan NATO casualty tally is now 2,002, with 1,227 Americans, 331 British, 151 Canadians, and 45 French military personnel killed in nearly nine years of war.

Afghanistan is holding elections on September 18th.  2000+ candidates are running for 240 Afghan house seats.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, aka the “mayor of Kabul,” has set a December deadline for private security firms working in the country.   There are about 26,000 security contractors working for the US Govt. in Afghanistan.…

Bob Herbert of the NY Times just said that the military brass was “blowing smoke” on the pullout/ drawdown dates.…

Having taken over command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after the ouster of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Mr. Petraeus is now saying he did not take that job in order to preside over a “graceful exit.” His goal now appears to be to rally public opinion against the very orders that President Obama insisted, as he told Joe Biden, could not be countermanded.

Who’s in charge here?  

The truth is that we have no idea how the president really feels about the deadline he imposed for beginning a troop withdrawal. It always seemed peculiar to telegraph the start of a troop pullout while fighting (in this case, escalating) a war. And Mr. Obama has always been careful to ratchet up the ambiguity quotient by saying the start of any withdrawal would depend on conditions on the ground.

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that conditions on the ground right now are awful, so it looks as though we’re going to be there for a long, long while.

This is a terrible thing to contemplate because in addition to the human toll (nearly half of all the American troop deaths in Afghanistan have occurred since Mr. Obama took office), the war is a giant roadblock in the way of efforts to deal effectively with deteriorating economic and social conditions here in the United States

there’s somebody in charge ?!

I’ll be damned.  I had no idea.  

5.  Texas BugMan Boogies – Holder’s Dept. of Justice turns ex Speaker of the House Tom Delay (R ) Loose from threat of Indictment, so another Abramoff beneficiary skates.…     (Delay’s wife Christine, along with Julie Doolittle, ex Congressman’s John Doolittle’s spouse, worked for convicted lobbyist felon Jack Abramoff via shell “non profits” set up with the congressmens’ former aides,  to fund the Delay and Doolittle spouses with lobbyist client money.  history background links…   WAPO 6/6/06…   CA 04 Mud Potion Number 5    ARC (mine) 9/9/08  

Delay says he wishes it hadn’t taken six years.

Maybe when this is all settled they can all go out for a pizza together.  

Delay said he’s currently working as a political consultant in Sugar Land, Texas, and helping the Tea Party.  Here’s a sample of his help from March:   Delay: people are unemployed because they want to be.  The unemployment benefits keeps people from going and finding jobs.

6. John Doolittle prayed hard enough. He thinks. Ex Congressman Doolittle of CA 04,  meanwhile, claims in June that he had his lawyer contact the Dept of Justice earlier this year, and that they told him he was not currently under consideration of being charged.  Salon’s  6/11/2010…    ( This blog’s story’s version of Doolittle initiating contact with the DOJ, which contradicts what is implied in Werner’s AP story,  came after the AP broke the story of “Case Closed,” and the DOJ has no official comment. Doolittle subsequently gave an interview to Roll Call (subscription ) that has a different version-  he’s looking for work as a consultant, and the talent agencies didn’t like the ongoing DOJ problem on his resumé.  He also talked to the Auburn Journal. )  This is in spite of the fact that ex aide and ex lobbyist Kevin Ring’s second trial, (the first one resulted in a deadlocked jury) which names Doolittle and his wife as un indicted co – conspirators in the Abramoff scandal, is not scheduled to happen until this September, although a list of exhibits and witnesses is supposed to be presented to the Court on this friday, Aug 20th.…

With the Supreme Court having in the meantime made a ruling on “Honest Services Fraud”  in Skilling v. United States, all of the extraordinary money and financial relationship between Abramoff’s lobbyist’s clients, and Kevin Ring and John and Julie Doolittle, is going to be cooked down to,  did Ring offer them a few free event tickets and meals.

Yes, although Julie Doolittle was not only working for Abramoff, and taking a 15% cut of each campaign donation to her husband’s campaign account as a salary…..   not only was Wilkes flying around in private jets to casino fundraisers with Tom Delay for John Doolittle….   http://legacy.signonsandiego.c…

wait.  Wilkes ?  Did you say Brent Wilkes ?

7.  US Attorney General Eric Holder’s DOJ also gave a pass to the former US Attorney Alberto Gonzales “Attorneygate” scandal, announcing that the “case was closed” on July 21, 2010. Nora Dannehy, appointed by then US. Attorney General Mukasey to “investigate”  the firings in September of 2008, said she couldn’t find anything wrong with Bush’s attempt to politicize the Dept of Justice over corruption investigations by firing attorneys investigating the wrong side – Republicans.…

The whitewash ends with a whimper. Dannehy only investigated the firing of US Atty David Iglesias of New Mexico, who claimed that he was threatened because he would not go after a Democratic officeholder to benefit Republican Heather Wilson.

(A local norCal Republican friend of John Doolittle, Tim Leslie, wrote an indignant and unintentionally very funny letter to then Attorney General Mukasey on Dec 7 2007,  telling him basically to “hurry up” and exonerate Doolittle, which I blogged about previously. )

an excerpt with one of the greatest political typos ever, somebody put the text on google documents:…

“Dear General Mukasey

While I have no idea if the Congressman or his wife are in violation of any law, I do know them personally and find it hard to believe that they would never knowingly do anything of a criminal nature.

I realize that you are new to the job and may not be aware of the particulars of this investigation.  It has, however, been going on for more than three years !

The Federal attorney appointed to investigate the Attorneygate scandal, Nora Dannehy, has been found to have illegally suppressed evidence in another political corruption case, resulting in some convictions being overturned.

The nine U.S. Attorney firings by the Bush administration led to a firestorm in Congress upon their disclosure in 2007, partly because of fears that many of the remaining U.S. attorneys in the nation’s 93 offices were forced to make politicized decisions to keep their jobs. Then-attorney general Alberto Gonzales’s chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, had recommended to White House senior advisor Karl Rove that they populate prosecution offices with “loyal Bushies.”

For years, defendants in official corruption cases around the nation have been counting on DOJ to investigate any wrongdoing involved in the purge. In 2007, the House Judiciary Committee cited research by University of Missouri professor Donald Shields into news reports of Bush DOJ probes of  elected officials, candidates and fund-raisers.  The Shields findings, most recently of some 1,200 elected officials, candidates and fund-raisers from throughout the eight years of the administration, showed that the targets were nearly 5:1 Democrats.

The investigations and convictions deeply affected the nation’s political map and policy-making since most targets lose their jobs and careers.   So, the patterns are important not simply to the often financially devastated defendants and their families, but also to a wider group of those concerned about government policy across the range of potential decision-making in such varied matters as health, jobs, education or public safety.…

 Attorneygate, or “gonzogate,” –   in Dec of 2006,  Dept. of Justice under Bush/Cheney was hand firing attorneys who were daring to go after Republican corruption in Congress, (see how US Atty. Carol Lam, who prosecuted the defense contractor Duke Cunningham case, and indicted the CIA’s “Dusty” Foggo,  was told to resign before the Brent Wilkes indictment, because the Brent Wilkes case involved Doolittle. )  it is widely thought of in the blogosphere, after watching Alberto Gonzale’s and Monica Goodling’s testimony before Congress, that former US Attorney Lam of Southern CA was the main target of the nine US attorneys that were axed.  Because she was breathing down John Doolittle’s neck.…  

8. Kevin Ring, the ex Doolittle aide and Abramoff associated lobbyist about to go to trial,  has also written an unpublished book, which has had excerpts appear on the evidence documents list, in which he appears to have novelized his life in the past tense.

The book’s title ?   “Revolutionary Felon ”    http://anticorruptionrepublica…


edit update. add  dropped paragraph on Petraeus and fixed typo on numbers.


  1. …. requires looking back.

    Il n’ya du justice.

    They are sure trying to get things “tidied up” before the tables turn in January.

    Damn.  Think I left out a paragraph.  BRB.  

  2. Comment from under the other diary Wed. about Afghanistan, re the LA Times saying that Petraeus had hired Fred Kaplan and Gen. HR McMaster.

    LAT link, info, Kerry sent to coax Karzai,  Kagan hired by Petraeus  8/18/2010

    blog post dissing Kagan

    Empire Burlesque   –    Release the Kagan  wed aug 18 2010

    And so we had Kagan’s “surge,” the sole aim of which was to perpetuate and entrench the American presence by an adroit manipulation of the then-prevailing media “narrative.” What was seen as an appalling “failure” soon became a rousing “success” (or even “an extraordinary achievement,” as the Peace Laureate himself put it) in the American media. Why? Because after the Americans helped its Shiite protégés finish their ethnic cleansing of Baghdad, and bribed other insurgents to change sides (for awhile), the horrific monthly death counts of murdered civilians dropped from the world-historical levels of 2006-2007 to the “merely” abominable levels that afflict Iraq today.

    And so here, at last, is the true “mission accomplished”: the establishment of a permanent American military presence in Iraq — which was one of the stated aims of PNAC’s 2000 blueprint for an expanded militarist empire. Although America’s “combat role” in Iraq was declared over this month, 50,000 troops (and an equal number of Washington-paid privateers) remain in the conquered land, carrying out the same missions as before. Meanwhile, the State Department is now amassing its own armed force of up to 50,000, which will be a massive, permanent military presence, even if the Pentagon ever decides to move its troops elsewhere. (Which is highly unlikely, with the American-installed local leaders currently saying that US troops will be needed “at least” until 2020.)

    Fred & Kimberly Kaplan’s are the PNAC family of War Experts, that Institute for the Study of War, along with brother Robert,  whom the military trots out when they need somebody to quote on how great their next mid east surge or invasion is.

    Robert Kagan currently at Carnegie outfit for “peace” :


    Fred Kaplan wrote this for the NYTimes in 2007.  McMaster was a Col at the time, since then because of what he did in Iraq he’s been promoted

    Lt Col Paul Yingling wrote this piece called a “A failure in Generalship” about how the Army generals in Iraq weren’t up to it

    Eventually Petraeus got appointed by Def Sec Gates to promote a different bunch of generals (see my diary from Monday, which has the link and quotes from the www. foreignpolicy story on Gates’…  )

    This group, CIA, Gates, Petraeus, McMaster, the Kagans, PNAC, all tight with each other, all taking care of each other’s interests

    Basically they will say, put more human troops in a situation where you’re understaffed and maybe things change

    But they’re all still trying to prove that IF ONLY they had done something “different” in Vietnam they’d have won that one.

    Challenging the Generals  (by Fred Kaplan, 2007)

    The commander of the third regiment, Col. H. R. McMaster, was a historian as well as a decorated soldier. He figured that Iraq could not build its own institutions, political or military, until its people felt safe. So he devised his own plan, in which he and his troops cleared the town of insurgents – and at the same time formed alliances and built trust with local sheiks and tribal leaders. The campaign worked for a while, but only because McMaster flooded the city with soldiers – about 1,000 of them per square kilometer. Earlier, as Yingling drove around to other towns and villages, he saw that most Iraqis were submitting to whatever gang or militia offered them protection, because United States and coalition forces weren’t anywhere around. And that was because the coalition had entered the war without enough troops. Yingling was seeing the consequences of this decision up close in the terrible insecurity of most Iraqis’ lives.

    In February 2006, Yingling returned to Fort Sill. That April, six retired Army and Marine generals publicly criticized Rumsfeld, who was still the secretary of defense, for sending too few troops to Iraq. Many junior and field-grade officers reacted with puzzlement or disgust. Their common question: Where were these generals when they still wore the uniform? Why didn’t they speak up when their words might have counted? One general who had spoken up, Eric Shinseki, then the Army chief of staff, was publicly upbraided and ostracized by Rumsfeld; other active-duty generals got the message and stayed mum.

    “The crux of the problem in our Army,” Wass de Czege wrote, “is that officers are not systematically taught how to cope with unstructured problems.” Counterinsurgency wars, like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, are all about unstructured problems. The junior and field-grade officers, who command at the battalion level and below, deal with unstructured problems – adapting to the insurgents’ ever-changing tactics – as a matter of course. Many generals don’t, and never had to, deal with such problems, either in war or in their training drills. Many of them may not fully recognize just how distinct and difficult these problems are.

    What most of us are not realizing yet,  is that the Military/CIA   also is looking at a skeptical civilian voting population, and is adapting to the public’s discontent by constantly shifting those goalposts.

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