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Tuesday, October 03, 2006
All the President's Supporters - Barney, the dog, and the First Lady
In Falsehood and in Deceit * Vindication of a Tortured Prisoner * Panic In Red Land
Among the gems (there are many) in State of Denial: "According to Woodward, Bush was absolutely certain he was on the right course on Iraq. The writer said that when Bush invited key Republicans to the White House to discuss Iraq, the president told them, 'I will not withdraw even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me,' referring to his wife and Scottish terrier."
Well, dogs are said to be man's best friends. Good for Barney to stand by his master.
Anne Mcllroy's article in The Guardian about Canadian citizen Maher Arar's imprisonment and torture (his interrogation was outsourced to Syria under "extraordinary rendition" program of the CIA) makes interesting reading. It has a happy ending -- he is a free man. The memory of what he went through will not be forgotten, it will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Four years ago, Canadian Maher Arar was detained on a routine airport stopover in the United States. He ended up Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured for 10 months.
When he was released by the Syrians and returned to Canada, he started asking how he had been targeted as an Islamist terrorist. His search for answers has made him into a national celebrity, and is likely to end with an apology from the prime minister himself.
Late last month, a public inquiry cleared him of any connection to terrorism and criticised the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for feeding American officials misleading information about him.
Last week, RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli finally offered Mr Arar a full apology: "I wish to take this opportunity to express publicly to you and to your wife and to your children how truly sorry I am for whatever part the actions of the RCMP may have contributed to the terrible injustices that you experienced and the pain that you and your family endured."
Sex Scandals and the GOP
Panic among Republicans. They are getting a taste of their own medicine and it is sour. Paul Farhi writes in the Post about fallout from the Foley scandal - The Redder They Are The Harder They Fall: "Sex scandals involving politicians are as old as Thomas Jefferson, but the outcome seems to depend on which party you represent. In recent years, for the most part, Democrats have been able to survive their sordid escapades while Republicans have paid with their political lives."
Foley's creepy behavior might have done him in even if he'd been the most liberal of Democrats. But that's not assured. With a Republican at the center of the seamy scandal, however, it was almost a slam-dunk that Foley would have to quit.
That's how it usually turns out for members of the conservative, traditional-family-values party. Just ask Bob Livingston, Jack Ryan, Bob Packwood, Dan Crane or others in the GOP who've watched their careers go pffft! with salacious disclosures. Or ask Bill Clinton, Gerry Studds, Barney Frank and other Democrats who've withstood embarrassing revelations to govern another day.