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On second thought...


Fri, Feb 17th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

That was Minnesota’s own Senator Norm Coleman watching the Administration’s back in Senate hearings two weeks ago when he went after former FEMA head Michael Brown of “you’re doing a heck of a job Brownie” fame.

Brown testified that the administration (Department of Homeland Security) knew that the levees had been breached in New Orleans a full two days ahead of when they said they knew. Brown also said that a fatal flaw in the government’s planning for disaster response was putting FEMA inside Homeland Security.

This didn’t sit well with Coleman who went after Brown:

NC: “As I listen to your testimony, you’re not prepared to put a mirror in front of your face and recognize your own inadequacies and say... I didn’t get things done... Perhaps you may get a more sympathetic hearing if you had a willingness to confess your own sins in this.”

MB: “Senator, with all due respect, what do you want me to say? I have admitted to mistakes publicly... What more, Senator Coleman, do you want from me.”

NC: “I’m saying that no leadership makes a difference. You didn’t provide the leadership. Even with structural infirmities, strong leadership can overcome that...”

MB: “Senator, that’s very easy for you to say sitting behind that desk and not being there in the middle of that disaster watching that human suffering... And I absolutely resent you saying that I lacked the leadership to do that, because I was down there...I’ve admitted to those mistakes. And if you want something else from me, put it on the table and you tell me what you want me to admit to.”

NC: “A little more candor would suffice.”

So, who scolded who. Coleman going in for the kill on the beleaguered Brown got more than he bargained for. One is reminded of what former British Prime Minister James Callaghan said to a political opponent after he had scolded Callaghan for a misdeed:

“Now I know what it is like to be salvaged by a dead sheep.”

“The media only reports the bad news”

How about those Bush ads airing in Minnesota with three former soldiers touting the Administration’s line on Iraq. Now we finally learn that the reason we invaded Iraq was so that we could fight Al Quaida in Iraq rather than over here.

The CIA has already said that there was no link between Al Quaida and Saddam Hussein, but tell that to these spin-meisters.

In fact, Paul Pillar, a 28 year veteran of the CIA, who recently coordinated US intelligence on the Middle East went so far as to accuse the Bush Administration of “cherrypicking” intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war.

“Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war,” Pillar wrote recently in the journal Foreign Affairs. “It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions.”

According to Newsweek, the Iraq ad is produced by the group Progress for America which spent $35 million trying to get W re-elected in 2004 and another $10 million supporting his policies in 2005.

The ads are only running in Minnesota, seemingly in support of Mark Kennedy’s run for the senate this Fall.

According to one Democratic website, Kennedy voted 97% of the time in sync with the Bush Administration. Which may be why his campaign needs shoring up.

This whole ad campaign for the hearts and minds of Minnesotans warrants another quote from Callaghan, who served as British P.M. from 1976-1979:

A lie can be halfway around the world before the truth has got its boots on.

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