Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Oh no, please, give up.

Two of my least favorite news bites of the day:

Right before July 4th, the CIA closed down Alec Station. Not any sort of homage for the aged actor that played Obi Wan Kinobi, Alec Station's mission was to track down Osama and his henchmen.

You remember Osama bin Laden, right? The guy wanted dead or alive? The guy we were going to "smoke out of his cave"? The guy who masterminded attacks on US soil, the very attacks Republicans wrap around themselves as they claim we're in a never ending war on terror?

Yeah, well, apparently, we REALLY don't care about him (over to the Judy Miller Times):

The Central Intelligence Agency has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, intelligence officials confirmed Monday.

The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center, the officials said.

The decision is a milestone for the agency, which formed the unit before Osama bin Laden became a household name and bolstered its ranks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when President Bush pledged to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice "dead or alive."


Michael Scheuer, a former senior C.I.A. official who was the first head of the unit, said the move reflected a view within the agency that Mr. bin Laden was no longer the threat he once was.

Mr. Scheuer said that view was mistaken.

"This will clearly denigrate our operations against Al Qaeda," he said. "These days at the agency, bin Laden and Al Qaeda appear to be treated merely as first among equals."

Wow. How can one respond to that? Talk about not using the tools at our disposal to win. And speaking of that,

...the Democrats apparently won't use all the legal means at their disposal to win back Congress. The Washington Post reports (HT AmericaBlog):

In Illinois, as in many other states, the current congressional map is the product of a bipartisan agreement to protect incumbents of both parties, election after election. Democrats, who hold 10 of the state's 19 House seats, control the legislature and hope to reelect Gov. Rod Blagojevich this fall. They possibly could gain another House seat or two in the 2008 elections by packing Republican voters into overwhelmingly GOP-leaning districts, the tactic that DeLay used against Texas Democrats.

But recent history suggests that they will demur. The current district lines have strong support in both parties, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) got nowhere last year with a bid to redraw them in retaliation for what happened in Texas. "I couldn't get enough fellow Democrats to see the benefits of that," said Emanuel, who chairs his party's campaign to elect more House members.

The story is similar in New Mexico, where some Democrats think an aggressive redistricting effort could reverse the GOP's 2-to-1 advantage in the three-member House delegation. The state's Democratic Senate president called for such a move in 2003, but Gov. Bill Richardson (D) seemed cool to the idea, and it never took flight.

Are you freaking kidding me? Ruled legal by the Supreme Court, we know what the Repugnicans will do. Is there a reason you won't take the fight as seriously as they do? This is why the Repugnicans win, Democrats!

In the meanwhile, I hope Ken Lay waits for Reagan to have the hot pokers removed from his orifaces before he says hello. Maybe he should get fried in an electric chair that uses all the energy that Enron stole for the rest of time.


Blogger ALG said...

I guess I feel that just because something is legal, doesn't make it right, and redistricting to win elections strikes me as wrong. Even if the idea did originate in my home state. :)

"Stooping to their level" is not a winning proposition in the long run. There are many real reasons why Democrats aren't winning, including that a lot of people don't know what they stand for, and they often don't seem to know what they stand for themselves. I would prefer to see Democratic candidates, and the party as a whole, articulate that they stand for, and keep to that message, than win by gerrymandering.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Ruby K said...


Thanks for the comment. I think the Dems have to bring forth articulate strong candidates, but I also think that the Republicans will use every advantage they can.

While I agree that i'm not for stooping to their level, once the Supreme Court rules redistricting can happen whenever the legislature chooses, that drastically changes the level of debate and the playing field. As long as the districts are within the rules of the Voting Rights Act, I say people need to be prepared for to use all the tools at their disposal.

12:29 AM  

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