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Archive for October 2004

Conradian

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The most f’d-up paragraphs of them all from Ron Suskind’s terrific piece on Bush and Faith from the NY Times magazine today.

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Perhaps a bit too blunt, too plainly-spoken for Conrad even – but it’s there. The “fascination of the abomination,” this is….

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October 17, 2004 at 12:47 am

Posted in Politics

Mini-October Surprise

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Funny timing. Funny content.
FBI releases information Thursday that a computer had been found in Iraq containing “intelligence” that seemed to point towards plans for an Iraqi terrorist attacks on US schools. See this article.
It just so happens that the schools specifically mentioned in this so-called “intelligence” were nearly all located in swing-states: Florida, Michigan, Oregon, and New Jersey. Figure they threw in California and Georgia just for l’effet du reel.
Then today we learn that:

The disk was made by an unidentified Iraqi man who was doing research and had no connections to al-Qaida or the Iraqi insurgents battling U.S. forces, according to the FBI. The man did have links to the Baath party that ruled Iraq under Saddam Hussein, but that’s true of many former government officials and community leaders.
Material on the disk appeared to be downloaded randomly from a publicly accessible Education Department Web site and included such things as manuals on workplace safety, crisis-management studies and building-security diagrams.
It also contained an Education Department report on school-crisis planning that was published in May 2003.
“It’s not about schools, it’s about policy,” said FBI Agent William Evanina, spokesman for the FBI field office in Newark, N.J. “There’s no terrorism threat to these schools.”

Hmm… Looks like a mini October surprise a la Rove, doesn’t it. Just a wee one for now. But there’s way more to come, apparently.
Brilliantly double-knotted little move the master:
1) Keeps terror on the minds of the security moms.
2) Reminds one of (and gets the local news mentioning) Beslan.
3) Keeps the Iraq / Terror link up and running.
4) Exemplifies what seems to be one of the principle aspects of the Rove MO, especially given the retraction today: the News gives far more time to sensational claims than their retraction. 10 Minutes of panic, 10 seconds of reason two nights later, if that… But the adrenaline has already been let loose.

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October 9, 2004 at 10:57 pm

Posted in Politics