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Joe Lieberman has taken a beating (irony noted) on here of late for his defense of Abu Ghraib torture and his dismissal of our actions there in light of the Berg beheading.

Essentially, Lieberman, along with Evan Bayh and a few other Democrats are providing cover for Rumsfeld and the Bush administration, even going so far as to criticize those calling for Rumsfeld's resignation.

In other words, as much as people are justifiably bashing Zell Miller for openly backing Bush, Lieberman and Bayh are supporting Bush by essentially criticizing our nominee (who has called for Rumsfled's removal) and backing the administration's point of view on perhaps the most critical issue facing our nation in a generation... and probably for generations to come.

The interesting thing is that Lieberman and Bayh are actually just spouting the Al From/DLC line on Abu Ghraib...

(more)

In the DLC's New Dem Daily Commentary and Analysis of May 3, our heroes at the DLC note the following (emphasis mine):

Moreover, the sense that nobody in particular is in charge of U.S. policy in Iraq has been painfully amplified by the global dissemination of photos of American troops torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners. This isolated outrage, which all Americans condemn, is but a pale shadow of the systematically barbaric behavior of Iraqi insurgents, who kill unarmed civilians and "collaborators" every day as a matter of deliberate policy. But it's hard to place these events in any kind of proper context given the overall drift of U.S. leadership in Washington.

Sound familiar?  It should.  

This is precisely the rhetoric Lieberman has used and continues to use (seconded in Senate hearings by Lieberman's DLC collegaue, Evan Bayh) to provide cover for Bush and company.

People are outraged at Miller's rips on Kerry and support for Bush.  I agree.  But when it comes to the most critical issue at hand, the sentiments set forth by Al From and the DLC, Lieberman, Bayh and others should be seen as just as outrageous.

I'm sick and tired of being called to task by a few here for criticizing the DLC, Lieberman, Bayh and their cohorts.

These folks are undermining our own candidate in favor of their twisted world view.

I know some on here will claim this diary is yet another example of the proverbial (and overused, in my estimation) "circular firing squad."

But this issue is too important to be brushed under the rug.  The DLC and its sponsored agents need to be called out on this garbage.

Passing off abuses at Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities as "not as bad as Saddam," or "at least we don't behead prisoners," or "the actions of a few" (when it is obvious that such treatment was a matter of policy) is inexcusable from Democrats or an organization that wishes to call itself a key part of the Democratic Party.

Al From, the DLC, Liberman, Bayh and their DLC cohorts are undermining our candidate, their expressions of support notwithsatnding.

Originally posted to Bob Johnson on Sun May 16, 2004 at 11:55 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Fuzzy logic (4.00)
    I had a funny thought today that some people are beomaning the fact that the acts of "a few bad apples" are being allowed to taint the Arab opinion of the United States. But isn't that what Bush did when "a few bad apples" blew up the WTC and attacked Washington DC and so Bush decided to go on a holy war against all brown people of the world who, if they resist our attempts to dominate them by force, are all terrorists?
  •  Policy (4.00)
    (Quoting the New Dem Daily)

    This isolated outrage, which all Americans condemn, is but a pale shadow of the systematically barbaric behavior of Iraqi insurgents, who kill unarmed civilians and "collaborators" every day as a matter of deliberate policy.

    Damn, I hate that sentence. (Apologies in advance, late at night here, inarticulate.)

    • "Insurgents." Nice, neutral word, I guess. Better than "terrorists," I guess. But still, there's a worldview hidden in that word-choice, and it's a bad one.
    • "...kill unarmed civilians..." Since no one's allowed to count the bodies, there's actually no way to be sure who's responsible for the most civilian deaths. But the complacency and denial required for the implied argument here is horrifying.
    • "...'collaborators'..." The scare quotes and the hypocrisy they signal... awful.
    • "...systematically... as a matter of deliberate policy." It is becoming clearer every day that what went on at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere was "systematic" and "a matter of deliberate policy." The implied contrast may be comforting, but it's not a situation that calls for comfort.
    • "...barbaric behavior..." Well, I guess that's a nice way to sum up the racism that lies behind so much of what has been said about this war.
    • "...isolated outrage..." Bullshit.
    • "...which all Americans condemn..." And that's just a lie.
  •  I just finished reading (4.00)
    Robin Wright in today's WaPo.  

    As an exemplar of where BushCo + cohorts, the Repub party and the appeasement, ''happy to be with ya'', faction: Lieberman, Bayh, etcetera, and then etcetera again, got us.  

    A far cry from the headlines on Le Monde the night of the 9/11 tragedy:  
    Nous sommes tous "Les Americains" (paraphrase).  

    I make no brief for any reporter, frankly none, but I have read Wright since Gulf 1, and she manages to eke out some integrity in a tough world.  It is a damning piece.  And of course being in the WaPo, "moderate" without doubt.

    [O]ver the past quarter-century, I've covered the rage of the Islamic world, witnessing much of it up close, losing friends who became victims to its extremist wings and watching its furies swell. But I've never been scared until now.

    The stakes in Iraq -- for which the Abu Ghraib prison has tragically become the metaphor -- are not just the future of a fragile oil-rich country or America's credibility in the world, even among close allies. The issues are not simply whether the Pentagon has systemic problems or whether Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the Pentagon brass or even the Bush administration can survive The Pictures. And the costs are not merely the billions from the U.S. Treasury to foot the Iraq bills today or the danger that Mideast oil becomes a political weapon during tumultuous days down the road.

    The stakes are instead how the final phase of the Modern Era plays out.
    ....
    For now, America's ways have been discredited for many beyond America's borders. The reaction in some quarters is already ridicule. In the end, the most enduring impact of Iraq and the travesty at Abu Ghraib may be to set back the course of the Modern Era for years, even a generation or more. [snip]

    Amazes me that Democrats think the too cute games (sorry, it is not merely difference of opinion) that the DLC and the various "whatever one wants to call them" Dems play is fine.  It ain't.

    I guess we have Gen. Boykin Rules of Engagement: our god is bigger.

    by Marisacat on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:24:51 PM PDT

    •  Agree (4.00)
      As someone with two daughters who will be coming of age in the aftermath of this epic disaster, I take the issues described by Wright very seriously.

      This isn't farm policy.  Or what to do with Social Security.

      This is about wht the world will be like for generations to come.  What my kids will face.

      And it can't be dismissed as "differences of opinion" within the Party.

      Fuck the "big tent."  Excusing this damning "mission" for whatever reason should be as much grounds for "drumming out of the party" as Zell Miller's inane rants.

      We need to stand for something as a party, not only for our (America's and the Democratic Party's) sake, but for the world's sake at this point.

      •  Yup.... (none)
        it is as simple as the old adage:  
        Stand for something or fall for anything

        Not to resurrect the primary challenges but I simply loved Dean's line from his classic stump (and on the Faulkner remix):
        Stand up for America!, Stand up for America!

        Loved it...

        I guess we have Gen. Boykin Rules of Engagement: our god is bigger.

        by Marisacat on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:38:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So, what would you do as a practical matter (none)
        Throw them out of the party???  

        Get 47 Democrats in a room (fuck Zell Miller) and you're bound to get a few different opinions.  You are going to get a few people offside on almost any issue.

        The American people will decide for themselves ultimately.

        The DLC memo you quoted is disgusting.  The attempt to make an equivalancy between the behaviour of the Iraqi insurgents and the U.S guards who behaved wrongly is absurd and sickening.

        1. The insurgents never promised to be liberators concerned about human rights.
        2. It's slight of hand. Because other people are doing worse, suddenly the wrong you are doing is ok? What sort of moral relativistic crap is that?
        The 'few bad apples' meme may simply not be true.  I think we need to be very careful as Democrat supporters not to go overboard and start troop bashing, or suggesting that all guards behaved in this manner.  But, there is a lot of evidence that  the mistreatment of prisoners was far more widespread than a 'few bad apples'.  

        I think the proper response is for the leadership (Tom Daschle...) to go public and shoot the DLC down.  Point out that rationalizing the behaviour of the guilty guards by comparing it to the behaviour of guilty insurgants is simply unnaceptable, and point out that we simply don't know how widespread the prison torture is.

        •  Sure... (none)
          Not saying throw them out of the Party, but the hypocrisy of From and the DLC, ripping Miller (an easy target) while, simultaneously, condoning the shit at Abu Ghraib is too much to stomach.

          Your comment on Daschle calling for anyone to do anything will never happen.  Never.  It is not in his nature to take on fellow Dems when he is often reluctant (for political reasons) to even take on Republicans.

          But From, Lieberman and Bayh need to be called out, even if it's just on blogs, because their position is antithetical to our standard bearer's position as well as to what we should stand for as a Party.

          As I stated above, this isn't Medicare policy.  This is the defining issue of our time.  These clowns are not doing anyone (except Bush) any favors with their crap.

          •  Sadly you are probably right about Daschle (none)
            He needs to go.  But, the Democrats has other people most Americans perceive as 'party leaders'.  I would look to Ted Kennedy to speak out.

            Besides, what about John Kerry?  I can understand he would be reluctant to take on the 'few bad apples' part, given what I said about people wanting to believe in their national myths.  But, he should express moral outrage at the attempt to minimize the torture by comparing it to the actions of the Iraqi insurgents.

            He could even say something like "I reject any attempt to minimize the torture by using some kind of moral relativistic scale.  Bad behaviour is bad behaviour"  Bringing up moral relativism ought to really set the pseudo moralist rightwing off :)

            •  Daschle seat (none)
              is too weak for the Leadership spot.  Frankly I am displeased how long we have been strung along on this soft approach.  He needs the leadership spot to stand for relection, but his support is too soft for him to be hard and active on the Democratic side. Well, wow. Plus apparently changes in the state due to Janklow situation (natives posted that Janklow historically provided a protection of sorts to Daschle with state power Repubs) and here we go again, into an election cycle for Daschle and how he must have the Leaderhsip to bolster his instate support and votes.

              Enough.  I am fully done with it.  He MUST go following this coming election.

              I guess we have Gen. Boykin Rules of Engagement: our god is bigger.

              by Marisacat on Sun May 16, 2004 at 02:06:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not so sure they are all bad (none)
    It depends on how you use them, really.
    1. I don't think they provide cover given that you have on the other side John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Chuck Hagel.  I think it makes the whole thing look like a more bipartisan issue.
    2. They can also provide cover for the handful of Democrats that are going to go overboard and come across overgleeful in bashing the military and the troops.  "Really, Democrats are bashing the military? Look what Evan Bayh and Joe Lieberman said"
    3. As far as I can tell, the rest of the world (I'm Canadian) seems to be getting fairly different news on this story than Americans.  I can understand that, we all like to believe the myths about our own country and, millions of Americans are going to only want to hear that it was 'merely a few bad apples and not reflective of the
    American people', and the news media is going to be very careful in presenting stories that challenge that myth.

    That said, I think ultimately, for many people, the truth will come out.  And, I don't think we truly know how widespread these actions were at this point or were the orders came from.  I think we as Democratic Party supporters may be a little quick in jumping on the reports that this behaviour was either sanctioned or insisted upon at the top because it would obviously suit our purposes electoral if that were the case.

    I think we should hold back and let the story come out.  Where Americans who are concerned with this sort of behaviour (almost everyone) should be putting their activist emphasis is on the news media by insisting that they don't self censor and that they put the whole and true story out.  However widespread or not it is.

    •  You're giving the DLC, Lieberman and Bayh... (none)
      ... far too much credit.

      They're not spouting this nonsense to "provide cover" for other Dems.  If only they were that strategic.  (They've proven time and time again not to be.)

      And there is a difference between them criticizing the administration (and seen as "piling on") and them defending these actions... which is what they are doing.

      As for "wait and see" on whether these actions are systematic, don't be absurd.  The administration is doing its damndest to portray this as "the actions of a few" but it is clear that it was part of a far wider pattern of systematic abuse.

      I agree that this administration is likely to hang itself.  Arrogance and hubris often lead to such an outcome.

      But excusing these abuses using the sentiments put forth by the DLC, Lieberman and Bayh is just horseshit coming from anyone in the Democratic Party.  If they really feel that way, they should just shut up rather than undermining the position of our frontrunner.

      •  Well, that wasn't my point (none)
        Of course they aren't attempting to provide cover for the handful of Democrats that may go overboard.  I never said that.  

        I said, should the need arise to use Bayh and Lieberman as cover if a few Democrats go overboard, that option is now available.  

      •  Also, (none)
        The admin can say what it likes.  Again, I don't really know how it's being reported in the United States, but, if it's anything like Canada, I think most people would tend to think that the Admin would have no way of knowing how widespread the behaviour was.  Of course the mindless partisans will be mindlessly parroting the "few bad apples" line.   But, the independents appear to be taking far more of a wait and see attitude. If it becomes clear that the behavious was more than a few bad apples and that it was either sanctioned or insisted upon at the top, then the admin's attempt to downplay the torture will come back on them.  It will merely feed into the growing credibility gap.
  •  This post is a classic smear ... (none)
    ... to wit, a defamation by blurring of relevant distinctions, with coincidental associations or similarities adopted as license to treat factually distinct parties, motivations or actions as indistinguishable.

    And this is a smear decked out in classic style -- with a quote ripped out of context to give an impression diametrically opposite its actual usage in context. (Skeptical reviewers are advised to read the piece in its entirety.)

    ... Administration policy on Iraq in recent weeks has been a pageant of irresolution, improvisation, and now, apparently, panic. ... the sense that nobody in particular is in charge of U.S. policy in Iraq has been painfully amplified by the global dissemination of photos of American troops torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners. This isolated outrage, which all Americans condemn, is but a pale shadow of the systematically barbaric behavior of Iraqi insurgents, who kill unarmed civilians and "collaborators" every day as a matter of deliberate policy. But it's hard to place these events in any kind of proper context given the overall drift of U.S. leadership in Washington. ... the president seems to think it somebody else's job to figure out what, exactly, to do in Iraq. ...

    In other words, NDOL rips Bush a new one, and goes on to strongly endorse Kerry's approach. There's nothing in the piece that conceivably echoes Zell Miller (or Lieberman, for that matter).

    You are entitled to your gripes with Miller, Bayh, Lieberman, From, the whole DLC, or its "sponsored agents" ... but this fraud-laden polemic in the style of The Corner does not support your case. (Whatever your case may be ... I don't find anything here but a declaration of hostilites, and that in itself is not very interesting. )

    •  Sure, read the entire piece... (none)
      But the bottom line is that the DLC (unsigned) dismisses Abu Grhaib in the same language used by Lieberman and Bayh.

      And that's bullshit.

      WHo cares if they back Kerry and rip Bush?

      Everyine in the U.S. who supported the war is now running around, shouting "Mismanagement!" about how Bush and company has executed the postwar period.

      Your post is a prime example of dismissing the key point of the argument and burying it in a mountain of hyperbole.

      These guys are putting up excuses for Abu Ghraib.  Period.

      Cloak it in whatever bullshit you like (as is your wont).

      Lieberman is simply mouthing DLC garbage.

      Sorry if calling attention to it irks you.

      •  Fraud on top of fraud (none)
        The article you cite does not dismiss Abu Ghraib. Anything but.

        I defy you to produce anything from Bayh that dismisses or defends the atrocities at Abu Ghraib. Just the opposite. He's criticized it strongly, and it was Bayh who broached the resignation question in the Rumsfeld hearings. His view is best capsuled here: "I suspect that if he does step down, it's going to be to try to alleviate any political problems the president has. And that's not an honorable way to do things. You don't throw a subordinate over the side just to save your own skin."

        Kerry has a different view, on both Plan Iraq and resignation -- but in no way does Bayh "essentially" attack Kerry by expressing his own reasoned views. ("Essentially" is a smear-word.)

        Lieberman did not dismiss or defend the atrocities -- he drew a relativistic parallel many of us find reprehensible.

        As for "dismissing the key point of the argument", you've got no legs here. What's the key point? What's the argument? What's the different between your (generally false)accusations of Democrats failing to denounce Abu-gate, and Colin Powell's (generally false) accusations of Arabs failing to denounce the Berg slaying? And do you claim that Abu Ghraib is central to the error of W's ways in Iraq? That Plan Iraq would be A-OK if these abuses had not occurred?

        And "WHo cares if they back Kerry and rip Bush?" Well, for one, you did in your original post, where you accused all of them, amorphously, of "essentially" attacking Kerry and backing Bush.

        Lieberman has a particular view of the matter which neither you nor I share. Neither do Bayh,  From, Kerry, or "the DLC".

        Your conclusions could be right, your conslusions could be wrong, but none of your argument is grounded in fact, and all of it is drenched in rhetorical flim-flam. Putting words in people's mouths is not honest discourse, and imagining that everyone who does not agree with you must agree with each other is not sound thinking.

        •  By the way, thank you for citing the exact quote.. (none)
          ... I highlighted in my original post in effort to show that I somehow misrepresented what the DLC had on its website in regard to Abu Ghraib.

          Here's that section (now for a third time):

          ... Administration policy on Iraq in recent weeks has been a pageant of irresolution, improvisation, and now, apparently, panic. ... the sense that nobody in particular is in charge of U.S. policy in Iraq has been painfully amplified by the global dissemination of photos of American troops torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners. This isolated outrage, which all Americans condemn, is but a pale shadow of the systematically barbaric behavior of Iraqi insurgents, who kill unarmed civilians and "collaborators" every day as a matter of deliberate policy. But it's hard to place these events in any kind of proper context given the overall drift of U.S. leadership in Washington. ... the president seems to think it somebody else's job to figure out what, exactly, to do in Iraq. ...

          First, they call Abu Ghraib an "isolated outrage."  That is untrue statement and it is the exact same rhetoric Lieberman used in the hearings, the same rhetoric later commended by Bayh.  Lieberman has continued to use this "lessening" rhetoric through his television appearance today.

          Then, they use the old, "but the other guys are worse" defense when they add this comment:

          ... is but a pale shadow of the systematically barbaric behavior of Iraqi insurgents...

          More rhetoric repeated by Lieberman at the hearings and commended by Bayh.  And of course, the real irony is in DLC's use of "systematic" when describing the "barbaric behavior" of "insurgents" juxtaposed against their use of "isolated" in the description of the Abu Ghraib matters.  It wasn;t isolated and wasn';t even limited to Abu Ghraib, but one wouldn;t know it from reading this stetment from the DLC.

          Your attacks on me are the best definition of "smear" so far in this diary.

          Standard operating procedure from you...

  •  Of course I cited the quote to show it in context (none)
    ... where it is clearly a passing reference, and not tke "key" point of anything. You've grabbed it and run around hollering "GOTCHA!", but you've got nuthin' here.

    And you are still entirely in arrears re evidence supporting of any of the accusations you've laid out (except perhaps in circles where "argument ad hominem by presumption of evil intent" is considered valid).

    You've taken a bunch of people you don't like, lumped them together, put words in their mouths, and announced a directed verdict of "Guilty!". This is NRO-style argument ... not the stuff of rational Enlightenment progressives.

    For the sake of argument, I'm willing to grant that you may have the power to turn lead into gold (or vice versa), but you haven't shown it here. I've merely blown away the smoke and pointed out the mirrors.

    •  Are you denying that the DLC cites Abu Ghraib... (none)
      ... as "isolated" in direct opposition to the facts that prove otherwise?

      Are you denying that the DLC and Lieberman have used the "we're-not-as-bad-as-they-are" moral relativism defense in tandem?

      What the hell are you talkng about?

      Read the relevant passage.  And then tell me that the DLC and Lieberman are not using the exact same tactics on Abu Ghraib.

      I note that you like to pontificate and bloviate but you won't debate the facts that are before you.

      •  Yes, I'll deny that. (none)
        Liebermen used Iraqi atrocities to minimize the importance of US atrocities.

        NDOL cited the atrocites in passing, as distractions from the larger issues inherent in US involvment in Iraq.

        Further, the phrase you pick out of the NDOL item is functionally equivalent to the "obligatory disclaimers" Atrios often includes, throwing a sop to gotcha-players who would otherwise craft accusations on account of his failure to mention that "Yes, Saddam is evil".

        The two cases are entirely dissimilar -- as are the express views of Bayh (a subject you are assiduously avoiding), and for that matter, Miller, and Bush.

        Like Bush, you seem to think that wearing the White Hat entitles you to say anything you want about anybody wearing a Black Hat, whether or not you have any basis for it. That doesn't work even if you've got the hats on straight.

        •  You deny facts... (none)
          I didn't write it.  They did.

          Nice spin and nice avoidance of the facts. (Why would I expect anything else from you?)

          As for Bayh, he commended Lieberman's ridiculous comments at the Senate hearing with Rumsfeld.

          Two peas in a pod.

          You seem to think by blustering and bloviating, you can skirt the issue at hand.

          Someone at the DLC posted this to their website.  They called this crap "isolated" when it is cleary not "isolated" (a point you continue to ignore becuase it shoots holes in your bloated argument).

          They attempted to diminish the abuses at Abu Grhaib by using loaded language to describe how much worse the enemy was.  More propaganda right out of the White House playbook.

          Yet you want to deny these realities.

          We will not convince each other of anything at this point.  You want to hold onto your denials of reality like Bush wants to believe everything is a-ok in Iraq.

          What's up is down.  What's down is up.

          The backwards, inverted world of RonK.

          •  Not facts. interpretations. (none)
            (Though you've run away from several fact-quesitons.)

            Some interpretations are reasonable. Some are not. Your picking out an adjective in a tangential comment halfway down the NDOL essay and making that the main theme of the piece is not reasonable. It wouldn't pass muster for a 4th-grade reading comprehension exam, and it doesn't pass muster here.

            Shifting targets, Sen. Bayh's comments with respect to Lieberman's comments don't seem to bear the weight you attempt to put on them:

            BAYH: I appreciate your candor.  My second question has to do with some comments that Senator Lieberman made, and I would like to associate myself with what I thought were very appropriate and moving comments by Senator Lieberman.
            But it's not clear which of Lieberman's comment's Bayh is commending, until we get to the "second question" Bayh references, namely "Mr. Secretary ... do you believe we're on the right course presently?"

            We get a better sense of where Bayh stands on all this when he reads an external comment into the record:

            I'd like to just read a couple of sentences from a column in yesterday's New York Times by Tom Friedman, who supported this endeavor in Iraq. He says, "We are in danger of losing something much more important than just this war in Iraq. We are in danger of losing America as an instrument of moral authority and inspiration in the world.
            If you take that as defense or dismissal of Abu Ghraib, you're just making it up and blowing it out.
            •  Bullshit (none)
              I'm not making anything a "main theme."

              That's your interpretation.

              And you're still not addressing the specific language used in the piece.

              I won't bother repeating those points again because for the purposes of your bombastic argument style, you continue to ignore the facts.

              We're talking in circles.

              •  Weasel words (none)
                So you're not making anything a "main theme"?

                But -- your words in this thread -- you have referred to the choice of adjectives as "the key point of the argument", "the most critical issue at hand", DLC "talking points", "their position", and "the issue at hand".

                A reasonable person, not having read the piece under discussion, might conclude that defense, dismissal or minimization of the Abu Ghraib atrocities was a major theme of the article ... or that Sen. Bayh had made comments remotely supportive of such points of view.

                You're off the deep end, Bob. Buh-bye.

                •  The link is included in the post... (none)
                  I encourage everyone to read the full piece.

                  No, it is is not the "theme" of the piece, nor did I ever claim it to be the "theme" of the piece.  That is your twisted spin, as only RonK can twist and distort the words of another.  That's your MO.

                  I was specifically talking about that portion of the piece that dimsisses the abuses at Abu Ghraib as "isolated" (a lie currently in use by BushCo, but on its way to crumbling under it's own bloated web of deceit), and the DLC's attempt at moral relativism along the same lines as Koe Liberman.  That is, "They're worse than us."

                  That is the DLC position as it is Lieberman's, seconded by the DLC poster child, Evan Bayh.

                  Nice try, again, Ron, but as usual, you cowardly ignore the facts to focus on your own agenda.

                  Please explain the use of the word "isolated" and the feeble attempt at moral relativism on the part of the DLC.

                •  P.S., friend... (none)
                  The "argument" I am referring to in all of my posts is the argument I put forth in the original diary about the specific wording of the section highlighted in my post.

                  Your bogus claim that I was somehow making the case that the entire peice was about excusing Abu Ghraib is disingenuous (par for the course from you) and not what any reasonable reader would deduce.

                  In fact, I would be willing to post a poll to that effect and see how the majority of folks here would read this very diary.

                  You'd be in a very small minority, Ron.  Probably a minority of one.

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