Abrogation of Duty: The Missing Media and Congress on the Matter of Iraq.

It is long past time that we need to consider whether or not we want to stay down the rabbit hole of total government control of information and oversight concerning reports from Iraq.  General Petraeus says that Iraq violence is down 60%.  Perhaps.  But that's not the point.

The point is that we should neither defer to one man, nor pretend one man (or woman) can be the arbiter of Iraq information.  This should be obvious.  But in the bizzarro-world of 2007, it isn't. Worse, the media is now so derelict, the government so secretive, that we can hardly get the information we need as citizens in a supposedly free country.  Oh, yeh, I forgot in Bushworld being "free" means "free to submit."

Despite our beliefs that we have a free press, we have a history in the US of being spoon fed propaganda, especially, though not exclusively, during this administration.  In an effort to deceive us, the government produces propaganda "news" segments aired on (our) airwaves.  Dana Perino reaches new heights of spin and renders press conferences a sad joke.  (And we thought Ari Fleisher was the master.)  Where unfettered, objective information is concerned, we've gone from bad to worse.  Caskets cannot be photographed.  Reporting the numbers of Iraqi casualties is a no-no.  It might upset Americans to know the real parameters of this war.  What little bad news (it's "supposed" to be all good) gets through doesn't without the freepers unleashing a torrent of antipathy.  They (freepers) want to kill the messenger. Serving as a conduit for news failing to highlight our government favorably sets off a cast of FAUX News malcontents.  Wound tighter than a spring, they go from angry to rabid in a millisecond.  Don't dare to speak truth to power, or we'll pay, the FAUX brown shirts want us to believe.  They'll bully, even stalk, those who say things they don't like.  You gotta drink their Kool Aid, or else.    

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Poll: Americans want Congress to Stand Up to Bush, But All They Get is This Lousy Move-On Censure.

[Note: A slightly different version of the commentary is cross-posted at RaisingKaine.com under a different title.]

A new Washington Post-ABC poll here shows that Americans want the Congress to stand up to the Bush administration. That's in the real world, but in Congress World it's as "Bizarro-world" as a Saturday Night Live skit.

On Monday, the Senate voted 97 to 3 to give Bush everything he wants --again.  Moreover, this WonderBread Senate doesn't know the difference between supporting the troops, supporting the safe redeployment of the troops, hyper-militarization, and military idolatry.  Our military defends us, or it is supposed to.  But now, it is being misused, and so are we. 

We owe our military servicemen and women our respect and appreciation.  We owe them honesty in recruiting, honest and sufficient equipping of their deployment, fair treatment, good medical care when they return.  I also believe we owe them a GI bill for post-service reeducation, if they wish it.  However, we do not owe each and every individual who has served a free pass.  Given Petraeus' politcized history and recent Senate testimony, all bets are off.  But too many Congressional Democrats think that, in order to support the military, they must give blind homage to the likes of Petraeus.  And so they attack their own instead.  If you accept the logic of the Congress, it's hard to see how the civilian side of this country is actually in charge.  Reflexively giving the Bush Pentagon cart blanch  is no civilian oversight.  (The Webb Commission, and his efforts to rein in Bush on Iran, are notable exceptions to the utter Wasteland that is the Senate.)  And reflexive subservience to authoritarianism is not the same thing as supporting a strong defense. 

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