December 20, 2007

Col. Addington, in the EOVP, with the lead pipe ...

David Kurtz at TPM deduces, from this AP article quasi-exonerating Abu Gonzales in the CIA torture tape destruction, that "Cheney's Cheney's Cheney" Addington is likely the onliest culpable subject left in the decision tree.

Now, of course any real intel/foreign-policy decision in the Bush Admin is ultimately going to leave a slime trail leading back to Cheney's office.

That said, it still seems clear to the Confidence Man that our earlier speculation regarding the proximate motivation for destroying the torture tapes was, as we say, right on the squirrel: to wit, that Cheney/Addington/Libby determined that the tapes should be destroyed only when it seemed as if Pat Fitzgerald might (advertently or not) have been close to discovering the tapes during his prosecution of Libby.

(We might speculate further that the tapes themselves could likely include visual evidence of Cheney, Addington, and/or Bush actually being present for some of the interrogations. But that would be irresponsible.)

December 11, 2007

The CIA torture tapes and the Libby prosecution

Reading today's NYT account of CIA counsel's apparent advance approval of the destruction of the CIA torture tapes, I was struck by the timing of the decision.

The tapes were apparently destroyed in November 2005.

Now, as the Confidence Man wades through this vale of tears, looking backward becomes more and more problematic. But it seems as if I recall some sort of legal-political firestorm around that time, and that it centered on tacit Executive-level approval of the dissemination of classified CIA information. Hmmm ... what was going on then ... then ... then ... then ... < cue wavy flashback effect >

Uh, this was going on then.

That's right: Scooter was indicted in October 2005; the CIA (and, likely, folks in the Exective Branch) decided it should obnstruct justice and destroy evidence immediately thereafter.

It's. All. About. Protecting. Cheney.

(And, to a lesser degree, Chimpy McFlightsuit.)

December 10, 2007

Did Rudy Giuliani just out himself to Tim Russert?

Via Andrew Sullivan, the clip of 9iul1an1 on MTP yesterday:

Now, everyone seems to be focusing on 9iul1an1's nervous, giggling meltdown and his inability to parry Russert's flaccid thrusts. And that's all to the good.

But I want to focus on something strange.

At the 3:45 mark, Russert starts in on a recitation of Huckabee's anti-Teh Gay bona fides, and tries to box 9iul1an1 into alienating Teh Base by defending his Sodomitic Heritage as a Rootless Cosmopolitan.

9iul1an1 responds by being fair to the Huckster and refusing to take the bait. He then makes an odd parsing of Catholic dogma regarding ass-fucking and segues clumsily into the "hate the sin, not the sinner" shibboleth -- and he does specifically invoke "sin": "It's the acts -- it's the various acts that people perform that are sinful, not the orientation that they have."

Then, as Russert tries to move on, 9iul1an1 can't leave well enough alone, and cuts Russert off: "Which includes me, by the way."

To be sure, he then stammers, continues, and tries to contextualize his odd (and oddly insistent -- Russert clearly didn't get what he was aiming for, and was trying to move on) segue: "Unfortunately, I've had my own sins that I've had to confess and deal with and try to overcome. And so, I'm very very empathatic with people. We're all imperfect human beings, struggling to try to be better."

9iul1an1 trying to "do" humility is itself a transparent charade (and also, in this context, a weird decision itself, as he's clearly trying to squeeze in between the aw-Hucks man-o'-Gawditude and the clumsy-Mitted deployment of vague theologisms). Perhaps his handlers were insistent in the Green Room that 9iul1an1 had to thread the needle this way.

But the manner of 9iul1an1's compulsion to cut Russert off, and to go for the confessional gesture immediately after condemning ass-fucking as a sin, strikes me as a Freudian "tell."

What's more, any Fundie watching that exchange would (even if he knew about 9iul1an1's serial adultery) take it the same way (without the Freud, of course). Here's the sequence: 9iul1an1 deploys the "hate the sin, not the sinner" trope; then he specifically condemns ass-fucking (and its constellation of perversions) as a sin; then, when Father Confessor Tim is clearly done with him and implicitly granting absolution, 9iul1an1 insists that he himself is of that same category of sinner.

This sequence is identical to the prominent Protestant pervert's public confession -- Haggard, Foley, et al. Any religious cultural literate watching 9iul1an1 there will know that he's not confessing to adultery -- he's confessing to sodomy.

Now, that sodomy doesn't necessarily have to be same-gender. But, since 9iul1an1 is being so insistent about it, shouldn't he be asked?