January 26, 2005

The Hamster Speaks

Courtesy of the New Pats, I see that Mark "Senator Chicken Little" Dayton has spoken out against Condi Rice.

Let me preface my review by saying Senator Dayton has to give Babs Boxer solid competition for the title of Dumbest Senator.

And I still think Dayton gets the nod.

Naturally, I'll let you be the judge:

Thank you, Mr. President. I rise today to also oppose the nomination of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice for Secretary of State.

I do so, because she misled me about the situation in Iraq before and after the congressional resolution in October, 2002, authorizing that war, a resolution that I opposed. She misled other members of Congress about the situation in Iraq, members who have said that they would have opposed that resolution if they had been told the truth. And she misled the people of Minnesota and Americans everywhere about the situation in Iraq, before and after that war began.

Let's stop here for a moment.

Rice was using the same intelligence everyone had. Including her predecessor.

Dayton is dinging Rice for not being clairvoyant.

It is a war in which 1,372 American soldiers have lost their lives and over 10,000 have been wounded, many of them maimed for life. Thousands more have been scarred emotionally and physically. All of their families and many thousands of other American families whose loved ones are now serving in Iraq, who are suffering serious financial and family hardships, who must wonder and worry every day and night for a year or longer whether their husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters are still alive, will stay alive, and wonder when they will be coming home.
Naturally, not a word about the troops who want to make damn sure that some liberal hamster back home doesn't render their comrades' sacrifice in vain.
For many, the answer is not soon enough. I read in today's Washington Post that the army is planning to keep its current troop strength in Iraq at 120,000 for at least two more years. I did not learn that information as a member of Congress. I did not learn it as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where I regularly attend public hearings, classified meetings, and top secret briefings. I did not learn it from the U.S. military command in Iraq, with whom I met in Baghdad last month. I read it in The Washington Post.
So what does this tell us about Mark Dayton?

That the Armed Services Committee sandbags him because he's an idiot? That the military command regards him as an ignorant hamster (as he showed during his consummately idiotic stint on the 9/11 Commission) that is best kept away from the pointy objects?

Would that it were true. More likely, it means Mark Dayton is content to spin unconfirmed stories from the WaPo that contradict what he's learned on The Hill.

Just as I read last weekend that the Secretary of Defense has created his own new espionage arm by -- quote -- "reinterpreting an existing law." Without informing most, if any, members of Congress and by reportedly -- quote -- "reprogramming funds appropriated for other purposes."
Er, right. Because the Secretary of Defense is given executive discretion to do his job, and because the CIA isn't delivering the goods while DOD intelligence is - a problem that will get worse as the 9/11 Commission recommendations are implemented. The SecDef isn't a bag boy for the Senate, Mr. Dayton.Just as I learned last weekend by reading The New York Times that secret U.S. commando units are operating in this country based on the administration's reinterpretation of another law.So secret, the information is available in public; from the Times:
"But the Northern Command document that mentions Power Geyser is marked "unclassified." The document states that the purpose of the Department of Defense's contingency planning for the inauguration is to provide "unity of D.O.D. effort to contribute to a safe and secure environment for the 2005 inauguration."

The Northern Command missions include deterring an attack or mitigating its consequences, and coordinating with the Special Operations Command.

In a telephone interview from his home in Vermont, Mr. Arkin said the military's reaction to the disclosure of the counterterrorism plan and its operating units reflected "the silliness of calling something that's obvious, classified." ".

The military frequently, and under strictly controlled circumstances, assists law enforcement. The "Secret Commandos", according to the Times, were part of the security for the Inauguration - just as they were reportedly part of the security for the '02 Winter Olympics.

In other words, Senator Dayton - it's nothing new, it's not a conspiracy, and it's not a sign that the Administration is operating outside the law. Get over it.

I might as well skip all the Senate Armed Services Committee hearings and meetings and top secret briefings and just read the papers. And thank goodness for a free and vigilant press to ferret out the truth and to report the truth, because we cannot get the truth from this administration.
Yeah, Senator. Trust the media, whatever you do.
Dr. Rice stated in a television interview on December 8, 2002, as the Administration was launching its campaign to scare the American people and stampede Congress about Saddam Hussein's supposedly urgent threat to our national security. She shrewdly invoked the ultimate threat that he possessed or would soon possess nuclear weapons. She said that day -- quote -- "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
Which, Mr. Dayton, you lying piece of filth, was exactly the threat Bill Clinton reacted against when he took military action against Iraq in 1998.
I don't like to impugn anyone's integrity, but I really don't like being lied to repeatedly, flagrantly, intentionally. It's wrong. It's undemocratic, it's un-American, and it's dangerous. It is very, very dangerous. And it is occurring far too frequently in this administration. And this Congress, this Senate must demand that it stop now.
So now "mistake" equals "lie"?

In other words, when Senator Dayton closed his DC office and scampered like a scared bunny back to Minnesota, he wasn't "overreacting"; by his "logic", he was lying.

(Although there are those who contend he did the whole stunt to free up his staff to campaign for Kerry in Minnesota - in which case, he was lying by any conventional definition of the term).

My vote against this nomination is my statement that this administration's lying must stop now. I urge my colleagues to join me in this demand, Democrats, Republicans, independents; we are all, all of us, first and foremost Americans. We must be told the truth, if we're to govern our country and to preserve our world, and that's why we must vote against this nomination.
Nonsense, "Senator" Dayton. You're voting against Dr. Rice because the little string that moves your jaw is jerking.

I am rededicating myself to seeing you retire in two years.

Posted by Mitch at January 26, 2005 07:42 AM | TrackBack


You are defaming hamsters, which are cute little rodents, with a resonable level of bowel control. I know that our family pet is quite scandaled to be compare to our senior, yet lessor senator.

Posted by: rick at January 26, 2005 10:12 AM

I was thinking more like a mole emerging from his hole fit the bill.And where is a good"Whack-a_Mole"analogy when you need one?He's our first official US Senator on anti-depressants...It just fills me up....

Posted by: Ed Viehman at January 26, 2005 04:12 PM

And I still think I should challenge the results of last year's Fraters poll.

Some ironies are just too delicious not to contemplate.

Posted by: ccwbass at January 26, 2005 08:20 PM

Googled a DOD document that includes a statement in reponse to Dr. Rice's "Mushroom" quote.

Posted by: Michael A at January 26, 2005 09:54 PM


I wonder if Senator Dayton must have not been copied on the diplomatic response to Dr. Rice's views on Iraq found in a dispatch to Japan years ago:

Rice Convinced Coalition Forces Were Right to Make War on Iraq

By Robert Fullerton
Washington File Staff Writer

U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said October 3 that she remains convinced
U.S. and coalition forces were right to invade Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

Rice made the comment on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" after being questioned
about a New York Times story that examines whether the Bush administration described Saddam
Hussein's nuclear weapons program honestly. The lengthy Times article specifically looks at
whether aluminum tubes being imported into Iraq were for nuclear weapons or artillery rockets.

Rice acknowledged that differences existed within the U.S. intelligence community about the
threat level posed by Saddam Hussein. For instance, she said, "you had a debate" about whether
the aluminum tubes "were only really suited for nuclear weapons." Rice said the tubes "were
alongside a lot of other evidence about experts being kept together, about balancing equipment
being brought in, about how these procurement efforts were being funded."

Nonetheless, the intelligence community "as a whole," including then-director of the Central
Intelligence Agency George Tenet, was convinced the tubes were "for centrifuge parts" to be used
in making nuclear weapons, she said. The intelligence community believed that Saddam Hussein,
a "dangerous man in the world's most dangerous region," in fact "was reconstituting" his nuclear
program -- and that he had biological nuclear weapons."

Rice said people within intelligence circles "are still debating the question. But whatever
the case there, I stand by the decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein and remove this
threat to American security, this threat to the Middle East, this thorn in the side of any
efforts to build a different kind of Middle East. When you're a policymaker, yes, you can try
-- you can get ground down in the details of this debate versus that debate."

"But," she said, "you have to keep your eye on the most important assessment, and that's was
Saddam Hussein a threat? Of course he was a threat. And anyone who believes that the world was
better with a false sense of stability with this dictator in power than we are now with an
opportunity to build a different kind of Iraq as a lynchpin for a different kind of Middle East
really isn't making a good judgment."

Asked if President Bush would apologize, as coalition partner Great Britain's Prime Minister
Tony Blair has, over faulty intelligence reports about Iraq, Rice said, "We are all unhappy that
the intelligence was not as good as we had thought that it was. But the central judgment was
absolutely right."

When "you are confronting that kind of threat, you're best to go after it before it is to late,
" she said. "And I stand by the decision firmly today."

Lately, Senator Dayton seems more likely to follow the reasoning or attitude of West Virginia's Senator Byrd:

National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice was quoted as saying on September 9, 2002, by the Los Angeles Times, "We don't want the 'smoking gun' to be a mushroom cloud." [Los Angeles Times, "Threat by Iraq Grows, U.S. Says," 9/9/02] Talk about hype! Mushroom clouds? Where is the evidence for this? There isn't any.

Here's the way she put it.

"I don't think anyone wants to wait for the 100 percent surety that he has a weapon
of mass destruction that can reach the United States because the only time we may be
100 percent sure is when something lands on our territory. We don't want the smoking
gun to be a mushroom cloud."

Now I wonder if Senator Dayton can count on Moore dollars after this speech?

Posted by: Michael A at January 27, 2005 12:27 AM

I'm ashamed to have Dayton as my senator, but at least we have Senator Norm Coleman who is and always will be more dignified and better than this unusal nutcase Dayton. hands down! ^-^

Posted by: Ray Vahabi at February 1, 2005 10:03 AM
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