17 August, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Could it be justice at last(h/t Think Progress)?

Federal prosecutors have sent target letters to six Blackwater Worldwide security guards involved in a September shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, indicating a high likelihood the Justice Department
will seek to indict at least some of the men, according to three sources close to the case.

The guards, all former U.S. military personnel, were working as security contractors for the State Department, assigned to protect U.S. diplomats and other non-military officials in Iraq. The shooting occurred when their convoy arrived at a busy square in central Baghdad and guards tried to stop traffic.

An Iraqi government investigation concluded that the security contractors fired without provocation. Blackwater has said its personnel acted in self-defense.

The sources said that any charges against the guards would likely be brought under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which has previously been used to prosecute only the cases referred to the Justice Department by the Defense Department for crimes committed by military personnel and contractors overseas.

It would be fantastic to see prosecutions of these mercenary bastards. Too many private firms seem trigger-happy, lawless, and completely out of control. Time to make them aware that there is such a thing as the law, and that you can't murder indiscriminately. "War zone" does not equal "open season."

This would also be a nice message to the Iraqis that, you know, we give two tugs on a dead dog's dick for their welfare.

In other news of potential justice, the former Justice Department assclowns who used political litmus tests in hiring and firing attorneys may be in for a much-needed arse kicking:

Six attorneys rejected from civil service positions at the Justice Department filed a lawsuit today against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and three other top officials for allegedly violating their rights by taking politics into consideration in the hiring process.

The suit is an attempt to hold top officials accountable for the hiring scandal that ultimately led to Gonzales' resignation last year, said Daniel Metcalfe, the attorney for the plaintiffs who is also executive director of its Collaboration on Government Secrecy at American University's Washington College of Law.

"My clients wish that they hadn't had to bring this lawsuit -- they would have greatly preferred to be working inside the Justice Department, where by all rights they deserved to be, defending the government in court rather than standing as victimized examples of government wrongdoing," said Metcalfe, a former longtime Justice Department official.

Welcome to the Bush regime, where being on the receiving end of a government ass-raping is the order of the day if you're not an ultraconservative, loyal Bushie. I'm glad these six are fighting back. I hope the fuckwits who rejected them on ideological grounds get their teeth handed to them in a hat by the courts.

Another day, another Republicon at a loss for words:

This morning on NBC’s Meet the Press, host David Gregory asserted that the Republican Party “used to be the party of big ideas.” Gregory then asked his guest Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), “What’s the big idea Senator McCain is campaigning on?” Jindal responded, “I think there’s several,” but couldn’t provide an answer. Gregory asked again, “Where are the new big ideas of the Republican Party that John McCain is, is championing?” And again Jindal couldn’t provide an answer.

I love it when they get all tongue-tied. That seems to be happening a lot lately. I think that might be because the Republicon party is out of ideas, has no accomplishments to speak of other than completely fucking the country, and are hated by all but the most deluded of the neo-theo-cons.

Since that's the case, you may be wondering just why McCain's polling so close to Obama. Turns out there's a simple answer: Americans are fucking clueless:

The handwringing over Barack Obama’s modest lead in the polls is already rather tiresome — “Why isn’t Obama up by double digits?” the political world demands to know — and there’s no shortage of competing rationales to explain it. But the NYT’s Frank Rich offers one of the more compelling explanations I’ve seen: “[T]he public doesn’t know who on earth John McCain is.”

What is widely known is the skin-deep, out-of-date McCain image…. With the exception of McCain’s imprisonment in Vietnam, every aspect of this profile in courage is inaccurate or defunct.

What follows is one of the most succinct takedowns of the McCain myth I have ever seen. And in a national newspaper, no less. Phenominal. I hope a few people spilled their Wheaties reading that one this morning.

This would come on top of the bad moment they had last night, wherein they learned their hero has some funny ideas about who's rich:

Last night, during his Saddleback Church presidential forum, Pastor Rick Warren asked both Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) to “define rich.” With regard to tax brackets, “where do you move from middle class to rich?” Warren asked. Obama said, “if you are making $150,000 a year or less, as a family, then you’re middle class.”

McCain, however, dismissed Warren’s question, asking in jest, “How about $5 million?”

WARREN: Everybody talks about, you know, taxing the rich, but not the poor, the middle class. At what point, give me a number, give me a specific number. Where do you move from middle class to rich? […]

MCCAIN: How about $5 million?

Go read his remarks in full context on Carpetbagger. They get worse. The man is living in some kind of alternate universe.

Aren't they all?


Cujo359 said...

The problem with security contractors, IMHO, is that for too long they were under no real legal jurisdiction. The Iraq Provisional Authority gave them a green light to do whatever they wanted, there was little to control them until Congress gave the military jurisdiction a few months ago.

On the SCF debate, all you have to do to realize that Americans aren't the most thoughtful voters is to realize that, of all things, we're having the only special-interest debate in a church, conducted by a pastor. With all the questions of law, science, and foreign policy before us, they choose this. And lots of people say they found this thing illuminating.

Paul said...

I think you might be right that McCain is close to Obama in the polls because the public doesn't know the real John McCain.