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Flotsam and Jetsam

Former Vice President Dick Cheney tells Stephen Hayes he observed those who “left the little guys out to dry” during the Iran Contra scandal: “And this time around I’ll do my damndest to defend anybody out there–be they in the agency carrying out the orders or the lawyers who wrote the opinions. I don’t know whether anybody else will, but I sure as hell will.”

You want truth? Noemie Emery will give you truth. Perhaps Democrats might want to reconsider show trials  if potential witnesses come prepared with testimony like this.

Stuart Taylor has more: “The fashionable assumption that coercive interrogation (up to and including torture) never saved a single life makes it easy to resolve what otherwise would be an agonizing moral quandary.The same assumption makes it even easier for congressional Democrats, human-rights activists, and George W. Bush-hating avengers to call for prosecuting and imprisoning the former president and his entire national security team, including their lawyers. . . .But there is a body of evidence suggesting that brutal interrogation methods may indeed have saved lives, perhaps a great many lives — and that renouncing those methods may someday end up costing many, many more.”

Michael Barone nails it: “It’s tough trying to please people who crave vengeance almost as much as Madame Defarge, the unsparing French revolutionary in Dickens’ ‘Tale of Two Cities.’ That’s what Barack Obama found out last week — and will find out next week and for weeks to come unless he settles once and for all that he will follow the practice of all his predecessors and not prosecute decision-makers in the previous administration.”

But the public may have more sense than Nancy Pelosi: “President Obama and Senate Democratic leaders are opposed to more investigations of how the Bush administration treated terrorism suspects, and 58% of U.S. voters agree with them. A number of congressional Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are pushing for a wider probe. Just 28% think the Obama administration should do further investigating of how suspected terrorists were questioned during the Bush years, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.”

The White House press corps gives (at least publicly) “mixed grades” to Robert Gibbs, mostly quibbling with the extent of (non)transparency. These people must be grading on the Scott McClellan curve. (Or maybe they don’t want to imperil the job of a highly mockable  press secretary who makes them look brilliant by comparison.)

Time may be running out on Jack Murtha: “Democracy 21 and other good-government groups are expected to ask the House ethics committee next week for an investigation into lawmakers with close ties to defunct lobbying firm PMA Group, Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer said on Friday. The request will seek a probe into whether the millions of dollars in campaign contributions the firm generated for favored Members of Congress influenced the tens of millions of dollars in earmarks those lawmakers secured for PMA clients. . . .Democratic leaders have remained in a defensive crouch in the wake of reports that federal investigators are probing the earmark empire of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), the defense-spending chief in the House and a close confidant of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).”

And the stories keep piling up telling us that “a string of federal criminal investigations of contractors or lobbyists close to Mr. Murtha, the top Democrat on the defense appropriations subcommittee, are threatening to undermine his backroom clout.” I keep waiting for the most ethical Congress ever to do something about him.

More evidence the public likes the president personally a lot more than his fiscal policies.



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