Wednesday, January 26

audiopost: The Rice Hearings, plus a regular post

this is an audio post - click to play

update: Barnett posted on this today. I got this indictment from him in the first place.

First, he says that pre-war intell is not the answer:
this is the biggest bit of nonsense. If anyone voted to take down Saddam just on WMD, then they were stupid. After a decade of violated sanctions and all the killing he did and all the killing we did with bombings and sanctions, it was simply time to get him off the stage. Vote should have been about whether or not US committed to doing the job right, which gets us to the real questions to ask Rice.
Then he goes on to the questions that should have been asked:
The real point on her role as Nat'l Security Adviser is that her office was in charge of the inter-agency process that ran, or should have run, the occupation. If there is one single person to blame for that job, it's her, and so that is where all the questions should go. Senate plans on plopping an office of postconflict stabilization and reconstruction in State, which is a very bad idea, but it only points up that SECSTATE will, if this bill goes through, be very much the person on the hook now regarding this task. Again, since Rice did a very bad job of coordinating on the Iraq occupation, and since that office will now be her's to run, all the questions should focus on that aspect of her job--both past and future.
Tom explains why Ted Kennedy is a blockhead, which you can read for yourself. Then he gets to some more meat:

First, a quote from the Post article he's referencing:
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), a possible presidential candidate in 2008 who voted to authorize the war, said Rice "has been a principal architect of policy errors that have tragically undermined our prospects for success" in Iraq. "The list of errors is lengthy and profound, and unfortunately many could have been avoided if Dr. Rice and others had only listened to the counsel" of lawmakers from both parties, Bayh said. "This is no ordinary incompetence. Men and women are dying as a result of these mistakes."
Then, Tom adds his closing commentary:
This is the right tone and the right focus. She was the principal architect of the occupation, by virtue of her job. Her performance has undermined our long-term prospects for success. The Bush administration did not listen well. The vast majority of the personnel who've died have died in the badly planned and badly run occupation, not in the brilliantly run war. Rice is on the hook for the occupation, not the war. That is where the focus should be.
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