July 29, 2004

Marshall Metamorphosizes into Moronic Mooreian

Have you ever heard of "Foopie," "Fupi'' or "Ahmed the Tanzanian"?

Neither had I until tonight (or newer fish like Zarqawi had, blissfully, crowded him out of my consciousness). He is an al-Qaeda terrorist who was allegedly behind the Tanzania and Kenya U.S. Embassy bombings back in the late '90s.

It appears he was arrested last Sunday by Pakistani authorities in a major firefight. His arrest has been made public today by the Pakistani authorities. The FBI has made no comment--and haven't yet been officially informed by the Pakistani authorities. In due course, reportedly, the suspect will be turned over to American authorities.

Enter Josh Marshall--all, adolescent-style, hotted up and breathless:

I'm not going to be able to watch the television coverage of this throughout the day. But many of you will. So I'd be very, very curious to hear whether when, oh say, CNN goes on about how this al Qaida guy has been hauled in they will mention at all, or with any consistency, that one of the most respected political magazines in the United States reported just weeks ago on the pressure the administration has been placing on the Pakistanis to serve up an al Qaida bad guy on this day.

Will they make the obvious connection? Or will they just ignore it?

This is just the latest, but perhaps the most blatant, example of how this administration has placed politics and, really, political dirty tricks above national security itself, and along the way persisted in defining political deviance down until tactics we used to associate with banana republics start to seem commonplace here.

And while we're at it, this is yet another example of how truly important it is that we democratize the Middle East. Because once we have, some of them will be able to come back here and redemocratize us.

Are you, like, kidding me? Please.

Ignore the descent into what Martin Amis would call the "moronic inferno" in Marshall's last graf (the inane musings about 'redemocratization'). Concentrate instead on the incendiary, and grossly unfounded, charges in his penultimate graf.

Let's begin by predicating that, to get anywhere near bouncing Kerry's speech off the networks, the HVT in question would need a lot more H in the VT, so to speak. All told, it would have to be UBL himself.

And did Josh read this part of the NYT article linked above?

His arrest appears to be the first high-level detention that has resulted from a series of Pakistani military operations launched in the country's remote northwestern tribal areas five months ago.

Did 'dirty tricks' Dick Cheney know it would take five months to get a second-tier HVT delivered up by Islamabad after a gunbattle this past Sunday? Just, er, to crowd out Kerry from the Boston podium action?

Friends, this is flatly risible fare isn't it? Or I am some buffoonish naif from an innocent and so-far-away pre-Watergate era?

Either way, let me issue a challenge to Josh Marshall. Since he's ostensibly an investigative reporter (tectonic-plates a shiftin' under le tout Washington), I'd urge him to support his musings about how the Bush Administration has put "political dirty tricks above national security itself."

I'd ask TPM to provide concrete evidence (no anonymous sources, please!) about how the Bush Administration, at any time in, say, the past 6-12 months, asked the Pakistani authorities to either delay searching for an HVT or, alternately, asked the Pakistani authorities to delay announcing the capture of an HVT (until the Democratic Convention) they had already apprehended.

If he can produce such a story (one that passes a preponderance of the evidence smell test)--I'll eat the New Republic issue where that meme was first aired (or at least the pages where the article in question appeared!).

Show me the money, Josh. Or, even better, quit sliming senior policymakers throughout the Bush Administration with your ad hoc, gratuitous attacks.

UPDATE: From the old TNR article:

The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Yo, what gives? It's the 29th of July today, right? We wanted the ISI to turn UBL over on the first three days of the convention--not the last--the better to get the full news cycle...what happened?

MORE: Some common sense from Will Baude: "coincidences happen, and...capturing terrorists is good."

And Tom Maguire wonders whether Josh Marshall feels the capture of HVTs is a bad thing.

Question: How many on the Left would be sad if UBL were genuinely captured, all dirty-tricks aside and purely coincidentally, at 10:01 PM tonight? I'd like to think few, if any--but still, just asking...


By the way, the argument that the U.S. simply froze its activities regarding hunting down UBL during 2002 and 2003 is simply false.

Just do some Googling. You'll find stuff like this from '02.

Note this gun-battle (two years before the Convention almost to the day!) served as the first "confirmation of the presence of Al-Qaeda militants in tribal areas of Pakistan."

Or how about 2003--when, according to the Richard Clarke crowd--the entire world stopped but for ill-advised military operations around Tikrit and Fallujah.

Nope, military activities continued in Afghanistan that year too (this Carlotta Gall article is from February of 2003)

There has been an increase in recent weeks in cross-border activity from Pakistan by militants opposed to the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, particularly in southern Afghanistan where a group of rebels set up base in mountain caves near the border with Pakistan. Hundreds of U.S. soldiers battled with the rebels last week and have spent days since sweeping the mountains and caves to clear the area. Afghan officials complain that Pakistan is doing nothing to apprehend Al Qaeda and Taliban troublemakers and is actively encouraging them. U.S. military officials have also expressed frustration at Pakistan's failure to contain the cross-border activity.

Khalizad also showed a rare sign of impatience with the Afghan government Monday, saying it needed to do "more and better" in its part in the reform and reconstruction of the country. He reinforced the U.S. commitment to assist Afghanistan even if there is a war in Iraq. "The U.S. is capable of doing more than one thing at the same time," he said, "and resources required for Afghanistan, in its entirety, we are able to deliver on and we are committed to delivering on no matter what happens in Iraq."

These subtleties and nettlesome facts don't fit the Spence Ackerman and Josh Marshall's of the world narrative. When you run a blog whose basic premise is that Iraq is inexorably going to hell (Ackerman) or that this administration is worse than Nixon's in its manifold dirty tricks chicanery (Marshall)--well, the spin just keeps coming--facts (quite often) be damned.

Posted by Gregory at July 29, 2004 11:26 PM

Greg, just watch the number of TPM defenders rise out of the woodwork to defend this descent in the moronic inferno. It will be amusing. There will be more twisting than at a rubik cube convention.


Posted by: capt joe at July 29, 2004 11:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Funny that Mr. Marshall would mention "Banana Replublics'", now he must understand how the other 90% of American's felt having Bill and Hillary renting out the White House for 8 very long years. The Clintons were the things that third world dictators are made of, thank god for term limits.

The New Repulbic article was just a fire break, to protect the Wooden Man (John Kerry), in case we caught OBL.

Why do I get the feeling that what pisses off the democrats most is that they didn't get 9/11 on their watch, so they could get their shot at greatness. Instead GW Bush gets a chapter in the history books and Al Gore gets to be a has bin. Get over it.

Posted by: Tom from the Holy Suburb of Dundalk at July 30, 2004 12:14 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I can see I'll have to keep track of this bet! Should you lose, be sure to use Heinz ketchup! Odds are slightly better that TPM will ignore your challenge. I hope he does.

Posted by: Lord Whorfin at July 30, 2004 12:16 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Oh, c'mon now -- the evidence is out there, but the Cigarette Smoking Man is hiding it so it couldn't possibly be found! ;)

Heh -- "moronic inferno" -- gotta remember that one!

Posted by: Michelle at July 30, 2004 12:17 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Nice use of the word penultimate! (My favorite word.)

Posted by: David Pinto at July 30, 2004 12:17 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

You're not naive (or at least not that naive).

Marshall is a cheap partisan hack, as has been increasingly (and blatantly) obvious for a few years now.

Posted by: Sigivald at July 30, 2004 12:19 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Does anyone have a directions for "do-it-yourself" tin foil hats? Now there is a fashion accessory for the Dems. A website could allow you to print your own name, slogan, etc on the sized pattern that you can then print out and wrap on the spot.

Josh would deserve his own dedicated area, and links to this site, of course.

TPM Hats here, be the first on your block.
- July HVT, just for you!
- Bush Lied, and I don't care what you say!
- Halliburton and the Tripartite Neocons
- Sewer Gator takes over the Pentagon

Posted by: Skeej at July 30, 2004 12:26 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Actually, what pisses off most Democrats (that I know anyway) is that the GWB administration has done a crappy job fighting what it calls the "war on terror" (primarily by monkeying around in Iraq, but also tactical errors in Afghanistan and Pakistan etc).

As for Josh Marshall, you're right, he comes off as a little breathless here.

But the unfortunate fact is that the GWB admin has a thick track record of putting politics ahead of all else - in its approach to science, in its approach to industry and environmental regulation, in its approach to the War on Terror, in its approach to social policy of all kinds ....

So now, people don't trust what they say? People suspect political intent behind curiously-timed Ridge terror announcements, curiously timed leaks of CIA agent names or ongoing investigations, curiously funky felon lists or curiously unverifiable touch-screen vote counts in Florida, curiously unavailable National Guard records .... we're suspucious? Bummer for them.

Forget about Josh, he's a symptom. Look at the admin's habits of deceit - - that's the disease.

Posted by: beetroot at July 30, 2004 12:27 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

From the very first days of the Bush Administration, Mr. Marshall has been suffering from the vapors. At that time, he was stating that the WH was making up stories about the vandalism in the WH and OEB by the Clinton Administration staff.

When the GAO report came out documenting that some vandalism did occur, albeit much less than was reported, Marshall cleared his throat and moved on.

To what? That the news media was covering up its report on the Florida recount in order to protect Bush's credibility. Two days later, the media consortium (LA Times, et al.) issued the report which indicated that in all likelihood Bush would have won any recount.

Much more throat clearing.

Sidney Blumenthal was nicknamed GK for grassy knoll because of his wild conspiracy theories. That sobriquet now belongs to GK Josh Marshall.


Posted by: SteveMG at July 30, 2004 12:29 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If there was any thought whatsoever behind the timing of the release of this story, don't you think it would have been held until the beginning of the next news cycle to stifle the anticipated Convention "Bounce"? By releasing this information today, it's much more likely to be buried behind 30 pages of reactions to Kerry's speech.

First the NASA photo claim and now this. With all the claims of "dirty tricks" coming from the Left these days, they are collectively beginning to sound like Chicken Little. Perhaps their "sky" really is falling.

Posted by: Kris Bornemann at July 30, 2004 12:30 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I am just agog at the new Democratic spin (taking Marshall as Spin Central, which is a safe bet) - the capture of an Al Qaeda HVT is a bad thing.

Good luck promoting that.

Posted by: Tom Maguire at July 30, 2004 12:32 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Personally I think you've made a much more important point than Josh is an adolescent idiot.

"Have you ever heard of "Foopie," "Fupi'' or "Ahmed the Tanzanian"?

Neither had I until tonight (or newer fish like Zarqawi had, blissfully, crowded him out of my consciousness). He is an al-Qaeda terrorist who was allegedly behind the Tanzania and Kenya U.S. Embassy bombings BACK IN THE LATE '90s."

Funny...Josh is upset we are learning of him tonight, but it doesn't seem to bother him in the least that during the Clinton years...Foopie got nary a mention. Zip....zero.

Some might think it more disturbing that during the entire Clinton administration, none of these bad guys forming a massive global jihad movement were being brought to our attention back then.

Posted by: Becky at July 30, 2004 12:33 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

There's a perfectly obvious explanation: the Pakistanis were confused about how the International Dateline works, and announced a day late.

Posted by: Bob Munck at July 30, 2004 12:37 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

Bush is putting "politics ahead of national security" by *ARRESTING TERRORISTS*?

I am really, really worried about the Left. If they really think that arresting terrorists is a political ploy that hurts national security, they have no business talking about this nation, or its security.

Posted by: J Holdfast at July 30, 2004 12:42 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Right on, Greg. Marshall's lost it.

Posted by: Larry at July 30, 2004 12:46 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Timing" is new tactic for the Dems. Putting an Anti-Bush Timing Spin on anything that the Admin does essentially means that any event related to the Administration will be spun to reflect negatively, and allow the dems to play victim to Bush dirty tricks. They are no doubt petrified of any massive breakthrough in WoT or Iraq, say OBL or WMDs turning up. I have my reasons to believe they will, and not necessarily because Bush is waiting for a more opportunistic time in the election.

I'm waiting for the news from the left about Bush planning on having a meteor land in Dem country on election day....you know, just so the left can hedge their bets.

Posted by: DelphiGuy at July 30, 2004 12:54 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

So Josh is pointing to the capture of an obscure murdering terrorist, who most Americans have never heard of, and declaring it a cynical political ploy and a threat to our democracy. He needs to lighten up.

Posted by: Chris at July 30, 2004 01:05 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

As an additional clue for any Dems who weren't paying attention (which I guess casts a pretty wide net), I posted this back on July 20:


We have had a "Spring Offensive" underway in Waziristan for *months*. Geez.

Posted by: Tom Maguire at July 30, 2004 01:06 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

It seems that the problem with the TPM article is that it is too assertive. It is not too hard to start thinking the way Josh does after reading the TNR article. In addition, the allegations of manipulating terror levels (all those vague announcements that have been made) are out there. All of this is highly circumstantial, but, it seems, not completely without merit...

Posted by: denis at July 30, 2004 01:13 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Oh, and one more thing. People here seem to imply that democrats are upset (at least those that are upset) about capture of HVT's. The problem, as it comes accross, is not the capture per se, but the announcement timing - captured Sunday, announced Thursday. It is pretty hard not to moronicize :)

Posted by: denis at July 30, 2004 01:16 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

you do need a number of days, if not weeks, to truly figure out who the hell people are...

see saddam's "death" at the start of the iraq war, the 30 times we killed KSM, the number of times we captured or killed zarqawi, etc

things are confusing on the ground and you need time, or else you look like an idiot.. but of course to a democrat, republicans being careful to not look like idiots IS UNFAIR!

Posted by: hey at July 30, 2004 01:34 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

How long had we had Saddam before that was announced?

Posted by: McGehee at July 30, 2004 01:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

you go greg! *insert personal attack on josh marshall here* *insert back-slapping WOT Bushco kudos here* *question anyone's patriotism who points out the obvious here* *insert cliche about how doomed the democrats are here*

the great thing about being a republican is, your comments can write themselves on snarky little blogs like this one.

Posted by: wallace winfrey at July 30, 2004 01:39 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Of course it's completely without merit.

All along, for Marshall and Moore and their crazy ilk, it has been conspiracy theory first, then bend whatever facts you can to fit the theory. And if the facts don't fit, ignore them - or change them.

If we capture a terrorist, the timing is convenient - no matter when it happens. If we don't, we're hiding something. It's purest bullshit.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 30, 2004 01:42 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I think the democrats will turn a corner in the election if they can generally appear happy and relieved when we do capture terrorists. KOS & TPM's "yeah, but" reaction is poison to the party and will guarantee a Bush win.

Posted by: Mister Gee at July 30, 2004 01:46 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

This is a "dirty trick" the way that the NASA thing was...

The Donks have discovered the term "dirty trick" and will use it in the next three months the way they wore out the terms "racist" and "Nazi."

Posted by: HH at July 30, 2004 01:57 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The bottom line - regardless of spin - is that a bad guy was caught. If you perceive his capture as potentially harmful for your political cause, regardless of the timing, then yes I will question your beliefs and your patriotism. If both parties were as serious on the WOT as I think we ought to be, there would be a need to spin this negatively.

Posted by: Tom at July 30, 2004 02:16 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

TPM has become unreadable out of embarassment for Josh.

Posted by: moptop at July 30, 2004 02:27 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"'Timing' is new tactic for the Dems."

Anyone remember how upset the Dems were when the "absurd" and "offensive" theorizing on Clinton's wagging the dog surfaced? Now they're miraculously able to see fire where there's not even any real smoke. Amazing how fear of impending crushing defeat can turn perceptions right around, ain't it?

Posted by: Mike at July 30, 2004 02:27 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Tom from Dundalk, Clinton actually made a remark to exactly that effect, that he regretted 9/11 didn't happen on his watch so he could play the father figure leading us all through the fiery trial, etc etc. A very sick man. Wish I could find the quote now.

Posted by: Tom at July 30, 2004 02:33 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The texas sharpshooter fallacy


Posted by: capt joe at July 30, 2004 02:37 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Following the Dem logic - OBL must have already been captured - as are all other high level terrorists....whose names we've never heard of before. Why? Because the announcement of the capture of any of these terrorists between now and Nov is just a "dirty trick". They are all in a cell just waiting for their turn in the parade.

Wait..if he's caught them all....oh..never mind. The Dem logic is truly so tin foil these days that it's impossible to follow.

I agree with Mr. Gee. They are so blinded by their hatred of Bush that they just line up to drink the Jim Jones Koolaid and never stop to ask themselves that maybe some of us don't want to vote for a party of Billionaires and Hollywood actors, pretending to be "the common man" and that have to stoop to the lies of Michael Moore and 8mm reenactments complete with fake bullets on the water in order to get us to take them seriously.

I used to be a dem, but they have sunk so low it's just mind boggling - they never even stop to wonder why??? they are voting for a guy who carried a 8mm and reenacted his glory in a war zone...more years ago than most of us were born. That's just so damn wierd...but don't let it bother you. It's more important to hate Bush. Drink up that koolaid, true believers.

Posted by: Becky at July 30, 2004 03:00 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Any question of timing suggests a parallel question. When would good timing be for any news that can be seen as good for Republicans, bad for Democrats? Next week, to cut down any convention bounce? Going into the Republican convention? Going out of it? Right over Labor Day Weekend, when the non-political Americans start to pay attention? Or maybe one or two weeks before the election?

Take it farther back. Just before the Iowa Caucus? Just before the NH primary? Just before the SC primary? Just before Super Tuesday? From November 2003 to November 2004, every date on the calendar could be spun as politically timed. Christmas! St. Patrick's Day so the Catholic vote will remember! Pump up the Memorial Day or July 4th celebrations! Rosh Hashanah! Yom Kippur! It's all so suspicious.

The Democrats accuse of what they are themselves guilty of. Beware another October Surprize.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at July 30, 2004 03:18 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Penultimate" is only my next-to-favorite word.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at July 30, 2004 03:20 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I've noticed that there have been a lot of these "questionable timings" recently (i.e. Sandy "Sox" Berger, etc.) and now this comes along. Does this constitute a trend ?
It has become obvious from a few stories (like WaPo) that Bush Administration is a bit deaf to this sort of stuff and perhaps they can get Josh Marshall to use his superior intellect to give them a few pointers on some "good dates" to do things like bring in al Qaeda suspects, cyptomanic Democrats and the like.
Josh .. are you up to it ?

Posted by: J_Crater at July 30, 2004 04:35 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

it seems some anonymous US counterterrorism people are pissed that this info was released. now it will be tougher to get his network broken down.

Posted by: praktike at July 30, 2004 04:38 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hey Skeej,

this is the site with instructions on making aluminum foil protective beanies. and they also have the skinny on protecting dogs as well--


I figure they must be getting a lot of hits from DNC headquarters after Kerry's dopy acceptance speech.

Posted by: John Cunningham at July 30, 2004 05:15 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The evidence is the fulfillment of the prediction. One could hardly expect that the documentation you require would be suppplied by those willing to take such a reprehensible action.

Posted by: Notsotrusting at July 30, 2004 05:33 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

One of my vague recollections of the 2000 campaign is that William Safire used every inch of column space to warn about the sinister possibility of an October Surprise: a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal, reached before the U.S. elections, thus helping elect Al Gore as U.S. President. When I read those columns, I thought to myself, "I sure hope he's right!" That's not because I was supporting Al Gore (although, admittedly, I was). It's because a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal would have been a GOOD THING.

This year, I'm not yet supporting either candidate, but I wouldn't be outraged by an October Surprise, if that surprise is the killing or capture of Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. I would be delighted! October Surprise? Bring it on!

Posted by: Arjun at July 30, 2004 06:30 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


If that's your logic, would you apply that to the possible interactions between a Saddam Hussein and an Osama bin Laden?

If the mere coincidence of timing is indicative that a prediction is correct, wouldn't the convergence of interests (hatred of the US), interactions between people (even the 9-11 Commission said that there were contacts), etc., not suggest, for groups w/ an incentive not to document things, possible cooperation?

Posted by: Dean at July 30, 2004 07:49 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

On the timing of the announcement - capture on Sunday, announce on Thursday - let's first note that an announcement on Mon, Tues, or Wed would have prompted outrage, too.

Secondly, here is a link to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed:


Captured on Saturday, announced on Tuesday, and look at this:

"Some counterterrorism officials expressed frustration that the Pakistani government had so quickly disclosed information about Mohammed's arrest. One source said it put U.S. authorities "behind the eight ball" in trying to locate potential terrorist cells and that it would have been helpful if U.S. agents had been given a 24-hour head start. "

Finally, a seemingly simple test - *did* this news disrupt the convention coverage?

Posted by: Tom Maguire at July 30, 2004 11:23 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Defenestrate is the best word in the English language. Penultimate is clearly second-tier.

Posted by: Jeff at July 30, 2004 11:58 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

On this one, the democrats didn't make up the date, they got it from the pakistanis.

Unless you believe they made up the story for partisan political purposes.

And then the prediction almost came true. The paks delivered what was perhaps the highest HVT they had on hand, a day late. If they had given us OBL a day earlier it would have fit the prediction entirely, which would have been unacceptable. If the story was real, after it got revealed a phone call or a courier would have been sent to make sure the deal was off.

So here are the democrats accusing the republicans of crass manipulation. And here are republicans accusing democrats of the same thing. "Oh, they're sorry a HVT got found because it hurts them politically." It's all very sad.

When these accusations get made publiclly it makes the public more cynical. More cynical and less patriotic. We all depend on the mass of the public to be uncritically patriotic and it's bad when they see the people who're close to politicians displaying their condescension.

Here, I'll be real cynical. The public traditionally supports the President in times of adversity. Bush got a lot of approval after 9/11 just because he was president, when I hope he had had nothing to do with it. If Bush doesn't get re-elected it will be because he didn't supply us with enough adversity.

If the public gets cynical enough not to support the President in times of adversity, what will happen to the nation?

Posted by: J Thomas at July 30, 2004 12:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Oh, I notice I implied a binary choice, as if either the Bush administration actually asked for a HVT to be revealed at a particular time for crass political reasons and the paks leaked it, or else some democrat made up the story out of nothing for crass political reasons.

It's quite possible that some pak intelligence guy was sensitive enough to american nuances to notice what would be a news scoop, and he simply supplied what his contacts would want to hear. He helps his contacts, they owe him a favor, and maybe none of them even cared about the political consequences -- only that they both won something. There's value in a story that makes the news, sometimes money value, sometimes paid in other currencies.

Posted by: J Thomas at July 30, 2004 12:11 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The NYTimes puts this all in perspective:

The story about the captured HVT is noted in their "What's Inside" box, pointing to a story on p. 3.

The p. 1 tease - "Suspect in '98 Bombing Held"

But the payoff is directly below, where they tease the film reviews for The Manchurian Candidate and The Village. The headline - "Paranoia All Around".



(This is a one-day only link, BTW - they rotate it).

Posted by: Tom Maguire at July 30, 2004 01:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Josh Marshal confuses politics with basic principle, which is perfectly understandable for someone who doesn't have any, and which is why the Democratic Party is home to so many people like him. They may as well have nominated a herd of cats, but instead we get Lurch and Opie. Go figure. Here we have two of the richest SOBs on the Senate roster pretending to be nothing other than Average Joes like you and me, as if any of us would abandon our buddies on the battlefield and line up on the other side. That's POLITICS, not principle, and since Josh Marshal and his Democratic cat herd don't know the difference, it's a wonder, in this day and age, why anyone pays them any attention at all.

Posted by: Eracus at July 30, 2004 01:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Once again it occurs to me the Democrats don't have the stomach for this campaign. Marshall whining about timing and McAuliffe complaining about how mean Republicans are certainly take the starch out of Kerry begging for the GOP to "Bring it On".

This theory is FOS, but even if it were true, it's politics. Quit your whining and get in the game.

Posted by: spongeworthy at July 30, 2004 02:18 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Allow me to respond to some of the posts in this thread:

"I am just agog at the new Democratic spin (taking Marshall as Spin Central, which is a safe bet) - the capture of an Al Qaeda HVT is a bad thing."

No that's not what he said, or any other Dem for that matter. The argument is that, according to the New Republic article, the Bush admin has been exerting extra pressure on the Pakistanis to produce before November, and if possible something for the Dem convention would be extra nice.

TPM is not bemoaning the fact that he was caught, just marvelling at the timing, which seems to fit nearly perfectly with the prediction, and the fact that it implies that if extra pressure is being applied now, then why wait until an election year. We should have been applying this additional force sooner so we could round up more earlier.

Whether or not the article's sources can be trusted, that is the argument.

"8mm reenactments complete with fake bullets on the water"

So let me get this straight, in a paragraph which you critique Democrats for their indulgent pre-occupation with conspiracy theories, you put forth a completely unsubstantiated story that Drudge circulated to no avail. Interesting.

"two of the richest SOBs on the Senate roster pretending to be nothing other than Average Joes like you and me"

So let me get this straight, when George Bush buys a "ranch" in Crawford Texas the year he begins campaigning for President and has numerous photo ops of him doing manual labor like clearing the brush, he is showing his every man bona fides? Interesting.

And for what its worth, Edwards had a more "common" upbringing than any of them, but I think that Bush/Cheney is at least as out of touch as Kerry is.

Further on this theme:

"a party of Billionaires and Hollywood actors"

OK, there are a couple hundred Hollywood actors who support the Dems, and scores that support the GOP (Arnold, Reagan, Bruce Willis, Charlton Heston, etc), but a couple hundred does not a party make.

And are you serious about the party of billionaires tag? That is utterly false, an inversion of reality in fact. The GOP is the party of big business and billionaires. This is not to say that the Dems don't have their share of corporate or billionaire supporters, but clearly not as many as the GOP. Just because some, like Warren Buffett, said he didn't need another tax cut, and that the type of tax cuts put forth were minimally effective, does not make the Dems a party of billionaires (neither does Soros).

More accurately, from a current and historical perspective, the Dems are the party of the farmers, the agrarian populist movements, labor unions, working class empowerment, civil rights movements, worker's safety, veterans benefits, teachers pay, fire fighters and police officer's pay, trial lawyers, etc. Not exactly the party of billionaires.

And ultimately isn't it more important to note what policies you support rather than how much money you have? Wasn't FDR (wealthy but liberal) better for working people than Nixon (more modest income but more conservative)?

Posted by: Eric Martin at July 30, 2004 03:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Sorry to be pedantic, but don't you mean "metamorphoses" rather than "metamorphosizes"?


Posted by: MDP at July 30, 2004 03:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Go figure. Here we have two of the richest SOBs on the Senate roster pretending to be nothing other than Average Joes like you and me ...."

If that kind of behavior bugs you, Eracus, how can you, in good conscience, cast a vote for GW Bush?

Or Dick Cheney? C'mon, man, wake up. If those guys are average joes, I'm a six-toed cat. But people eat their s**t up. Clearing brush down on the ranch - - give me a freaking break.

Posted by: beetroot at July 30, 2004 03:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Oh and by the way, please note that, breathless asshole or not, Marshall and the New Republic did report several weeks ago that Pakistani officials were saying that they'd been asked to produce a target around the time of the Dem convention.

And lo, it happens. Again, it's testimony to the divisive and partisan nature of this administration that now, even when it does something presumably good (arresting a terrorist), half the country doesn't even trust it. Now how did THAT happen? Those crazy irrational bush-haters out there?

Or did a long string of deceptions, manipulations, and partisan attacks leave GWB's credibility in tatters? He's a divider, not a uniter, and now he's paying the price. Repeat: Marshall's a symptom. What's the disease?

Posted by: beetroot at July 30, 2004 03:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I didn' t read others responses, but I am wondering when you are gonna eat the pages of that article please.
The TNR article you link to provides the evidence, yes?
"Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston."
There you go.

Posted by: reed r. at July 30, 2004 04:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Agreed beetroot.
To be sure there are irrational haters on both sides of the spectrum.
But to call anyone who doubts the honesty of George Bush irrational is way off base, in my opinion.
There are many people who have been watching the events of the last few years very closely, and not screaming bloody murder at the actions of this administration.
You don't have to look very far to find intentional dishonesty coming from the white house.
And consistently the rebuttal from the right has been to try and shift the focus to past democrat failings, or label the presidents critics unpatriotic.

Posted by: chen dog at July 30, 2004 04:26 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hey Eracus!!
Say something without any insults or attacks in it please!!!

Posted by: notEracus at July 30, 2004 04:30 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

If only the CIA intelligence was as good as The New Republic's we wouldn't be in this mess.

Posted by: martin at July 30, 2004 04:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Chen dog, I think that's backwards. The accusations of dishonesty in the WH have been unrelenting, but I don't see that any of them have held up under scrutiny. The cumulative effect is that a lot of people believe Bush is lying, but the height of this house of cards keeps resolving to zero.

Beetroot, the questions answer themselves. If a little-noted terrorist arrest on a day only close to a moderately specific prediction of an explosive story fits your definition of Fulfilled Prophecy, then I submit any number of events will fit any number of predictions. Your moon is in Virgo, mate.

And you wonder why half the country doesn't believe him? Too many beetroots. Without the MSM generating assistance, the Democratic Party would be unable to draw 35%.

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