Sunday, October 23, 2005

The CIA leak issue is only the tip of the iceberg

"The CIA leak issue is only the tip of the iceberg," Congressman Jerry Nadler told me when I ran into him on the street near our offices on Friday afternoon. He was quick to tell me of a call -- led by Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Nadler, along with 39 of their House colleagues -- for Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation to be expanded to examine whether the White House -- President, Vice-President, and members of the WH's Iraq War Group -- conspired to deliberately deceive Congress into authorizing the war. And, as Nadler reminded me, lying to Congress is a crime under several federal statutes.

This is the first call by members of Congress for an expansion of Fitzgerald's probe, amid mounting evidence that there was a well-orchestrated effort by what former State Department aide Larry Wilkerson dubbed last week, "the Cheney-Rumsfeld axis" to hijack US foreign policy and knowingly mislead the Congress in order to get its support for an unlawful war.

"We are no longer just talking about a Republican culture of corruption and cronyism," Nadler says. "We now have reason to believe that high crimes may have been committed at the highest level, wrongdoing that may have led us to war and imperiled our national security."

As we contemplate the White House's latest linguistic stunts, let's remember Karl Rove's infamous quote:

"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

Ah, what a difference a failed strategy makes! These same conservatives now want to downgrade The War on Terror (G-WOT?) to The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism (G-SAVE). Excuse me, struggle? Americans struggle with their weight, not al-Qaeda.

What's next? The War in Iraq called, like Vietnam was, a police action? The War on Drugs changed to The Tussle Against Extreme Addiction?

General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club that he had "objected to the use of the term "war on terrorism" before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution." The solution, he concluded, is "more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military."

Apparently, conservatives have seen the savagery of Iraq and taken up the liberal position. Liberals have seen the conservatives' partisan savagery over the War on Terror, and we don't know whether to laugh or cry. This is historical irony with a body count.


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