In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Saturday, January 16, 2021

Traitors one and all

In more than 40 years of dealing with politics as either a journalist or a political operative, I’ve learned one thing: Political partisans have short memories.

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Hayden lays tape blame on others

CIA Director Michael Hayden is briefing lawmakers behind closed doors about the destruction of videotapes showing harsh interrogation of terror suspects but says he can’t answer all their questions.

Hayden told reporters after testifying Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee that he had “a chance to lay out the narrative, the history of why the tapes were destroyed” and the process that led to that decision.

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Will Hillary need a Plan B?

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s backup plan if she falters in Iowa can be summed up in two words: New Hampshire.

Clinton’s Democratic team is preparing television ads here criticizing Barack Obama’s health care plan and working to build what campaigns call a firewall. If the Obama presidential campaign ignites in Iowa, she wants to be ready to cool him off in a state where her organization is strong and her support has proven durable.

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Politics for rednecks

From behind an anchor desk ringed with empty Budweiser cans and Jack Daniel’s bottles, the pundits of “Red State Update” dissect election politics from the good ol’ boy point of view.

The Web-based sketches star “Jackie Broyles” and “Dunlap” deriding Democrats’ inability to talk to NASCAR fans or inflating and then deflating home state hero Fred Thompson. (He’s not lazy, the real-life former Tennesseans insist — “he’s just real old.”)

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Destroying tapes violated court order

The Bush administration was under court order not to discard evidence of detainee torture and abuse months before the CIA destroyed videotapes that revealed some of its harshest interrogation tactics.

Normally, that would force the government to defend itself against obstruction allegations. But the CIA may have an out: its clandestine network of overseas prisons.

While judges focused on the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and tried to guarantee that any evidence of detainee abuse would be preserved, the CIA was performing its toughest questioning half a world away. And by the time President Bush publicly acknowledged the secret prison system, interrogation videotapes of two terrorism suspects had been destroyed.

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Torture doesn’t work

News that the CIA destroyed tapes of interrogations during which al Qaeda operatives were tortured has elicited little public reaction.

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How Democrats can win the war

“The Democrats have missed a bet,” said my friend, the Tall Man, as we slurped down some coffee during our weekly political discussion. “They are crazily pretending that the enormous success of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq doesn’t matter when they could be taking credit for it.”

“How so?” I asked.

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Lot’s of talk, no real answers

Republican presidential candidates failed to provide convincing or clear answers on issues of key importance to Latinos during a Univision-sponsored debate at the University of Miami Dec. 9.

Immigration was its central issue, with instant interpretation provided for the network’s Spanish-speaking audience.

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A payback budget

The White House killed via a veto threat a tentative congressional compromise on a $520 billion government spending bill because it contained $18 billion more than President Bush wanted on domestic programs and not enough on things he did want, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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