Saturday, February 26, 2005

Massive Bush takedown by Froomkin 

It seems like Froomkin has finally lost patience. And about time, too.

It was an amazing moment: After the introductory comments, Andrey Kolesnikov, a correspondent for the Russian business newspaper Kommersant, got up and said -- albeit not so succinctly, and not in English -- Hey, no wonder you guys see eye to eye! You're both authoritarians.

This prompted Bush to launch into a possibly unprecedented defense of himself as a democratic leader. He did it by describing his view of the country.

"[BUSH] I live in a transparent country.

Cadre grows to rein in message; Ranks of federal public affairs officials have swelled under Bush to help tighten control on communiques to media, access to information, Newsday, Feb. 24, 2005; Administration Paid Commentator; Education Dept. Used Williams to Promote 'No Child' Law, Washington Post, Jan. 8, 2005; Groups raise concerns about increased classification of documents, GOVEXEC.com, Oct. 27, 2004.

"I live in a country where decisions made by government are wide open and people are able to call people to -- me to account, which many out here do on a regular basis.

High Court Backs Vice President; Energy Documents Shielded for Now, Washington Post, June 25, 2004; Mr. President, will you answer the question?, NiemanWathchdog.org, Dec. 3, 2004; Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy, Washington Post, Jan. 16, 2005 (in which Bush says: "We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections.")

"Our laws and the reasons why we have laws on the books are perfectly explained to people. Every decision we have made is within the Constitution of the United States. We have a constitution that we uphold.

How U.S. rewrote terror law in secrecy; White House group devised new system in aftermath of 9/11, New York Times, Oct. 24, 2004; In Cheney's Shadow, Counsel Pushes the Conservative Cause, Washington Post, Oct. 11, 2004; Slim Legal Grounds for Torture Memos; Most Scholars Reject Broad View of Executive's Power, Washington Post, July 4, 2004.

"And if there's a question as to whether or not a law meets that constitution, we have an independent court system through which that law is reviewed.

• Recount 2000: Decision Sharpens the Justices' Divisions; Dissenters See Harm to Voting Rights and the Court's Own Legitimacy, Washington Post, Dec. 13, 2000; Scalia Won't Sit Out Case On Cheney; Justice's Memo Details Hunting Trip With VP, Washington Post, March 19, 2004.

"So I'm perfectly comfortable in telling you our country is one that safeguards human rights and human dignity, and we resolve our disputes in a peaceful way."

Torture at Abu Ghraib, the New Yorker, May 10, 2004; Ground War Starts, Airstrikes Continue As U.S. Keeps Focus on Iraq's Leaders, Washington Post, March 21, 2003.

(via WaPo)

Pin this one up on the fridge; xerox it, and hand it out in the streets.

The reality-based blogging community couldn't have said it better.

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