Two Op-Eds I Read

Saturday is always the bonus day for guest op-ed contributors at the nation’s finest rags. Today is no exception.

I find little fault with historian Joseph J. Ellis’ “Finding a Place for 9/11 in American History.” In it, Ellis berates the Bush Administration for putting 9/11 on a pedestal (inherently satisfyingn the terrorists) although it hardly stands in Ellis’ “top tier” of events thath were legitimate threats to American security.

He also debunks the Patriot Act as a farcical measure with little historical relevance on par with the Alien andn Sedition Acts, and the short-lived proliferation of McCarthyism.

It’s an eyebrow-raiser to read; The New York Times definitely sways out of its WMD-hunting non-gov’t-bashing comfort zone. Robert Schlesinger dissects it at HuffPo andn Ranting Prof, while not shocked, delves into the “analytical smoke and mirrors.” Much praise for Professor Ellis aside, Right Wingn Nut House will not stand for this historical contextualization of 9/11.
Even farther out, is? Beshara Doumani’s piece in Ssaturday’s L.A. Times titled: “Hamas in Charge.” In it, Doumani, author of Rediscovering Palestine lays theh blame squarely on Israel for the faltering Oslo agreement. I have heard this argument before and do not entirely disagree that Israel had a role in the eventual success, if not in the creation of Hamas. However, Doumani’s analysis reads as qwuite extreme, especially on the pages of the L.A. Times with its conclusion: ” Still, the Hamas victory will make it much easier for Israel to sell the ‘no partner for peace’ line.”

I am on the hunt for further analyses of this piecein the blogosphere and encourage discussion (as always) in the comments section below.

Adding to this The Texas Observer‘s Ronny Dugger’s call to “Impeach or Indict Bush or Cheney” (hat tip: MBlog)

Blog-breaking News

Big-time kudos to Glenn Greenwald who, as I mirrored yesterday, reported at his Unclaimed Territory on the inconsistencies in the administration’s 2002 stance on FISA and “probable cause” and what they are saying now.

Thursday’s Washington Post, Knight-Ridder, are among the media outlets crediting this blogger with breaking the story.

UPDATE Thurs Afternoon: Greenwald’s got more?

my post from yesterday, bumped up:
General Michael V. Hayden claimed on Monday that the government was forced to circumvent FISA formalities because of the burdensome “probable cause” standard necessary to constitutionally allow for wiretaps/eavesdropping etc.

But as Glenn Greenwald wrote today,when Mike DeWine proposed a 2002 bill that would reduce the standards required for “probable cause,” the Republicans voted it down. Is it because they really do know the fourth amendment, or had Bush and Cheney already decided it would be easier to just carry on spying, tapping into their “mandated” extraordinary power to circumvent Congress, the judiciary, society.

As evidenced by this cutting down of the proposed bill, as stated by James Baker, the DoJ attorney who supervises FISA requests, on behalf of the administration:

thanks to Congress’s passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, we have been able to use our expanded FISA tools more effectively to combat terrorist activities.

Does this insinuate that FISA was all they needed to combat terrorism in 2002, or does it reveal once again that the Bush Administration had taken the PATRIOT Act as a license to do as they please?

It’s (Un)Just War

A few headlines to sleep on:

The highest ranking U.S. military officer to be charged with prisoner abuse in Iraq was convicted of killing an Iraqi general by stuffing his head into a sleeping bag but will face no jail time.

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer could have faced a life sentence if found guilty on a more serious charge of murder, but instead will take a slap on the wrist and a 60 day vacation.

“The military is a family when you get right down to it,” Welshofer told Denver television’s 9News following the sentencing. “I can’t thank them enough for their support.”

What a warm fuzzy feeling, no?

Two German engineers kidnapped in Iraq (Reuters) — makes me wonder exactly how smart these Iraqi kidnappers are… Germany under Angela Merkel is not only likely to offer a large sum of money to free these hostages, but it will undoubtedly add to the contention between the U.S. and the EU.

Pakistani PM Shaukat Aziz is in Washington to further humiliate Bush and Rumsfeld for the recent surprise bombing that killed several women and children.

Tuesday’s headlines that you swear you’ve seen before…

NYTimes: Iraq Rebuilding Badly Hobbled, U.S. Report Finds
Wash. Post: White House Got Early Warning on Katrina
and: Bush Defends Domestic Spying

… and will undoubtedly see again — perhaps the media is protecting us against our super-short-term memories.