Senator Wyden has placed a hold on the nomination of John Rizzo to the position of CIA general counsel due to Mr. Rizzo’s failure to object to a memo authorizing interrogation techniques that may have given officers “shaky legal advice”.
According to the International Herald Tribune, Rizzo has been “acting general counsel off and on for most of the past six years”. AP stories mentioned that he his most recent stint as acting general counsel has lasted for three years.
Will Senator Wyden’s hold on Rizzo’s nomination to a permanent position have any effect on his status as de facto general counsel at the CIA?
Senator Ron Wyden has gotten a good deal of press — including a mention in a recent New Yorker article on CIA “black sites” by Jane Mayer — for placing this hold. That’s great and all, I would love to have the people responsible for authorizing torture held accountable for their actions. But none of the articles that I have seen mentioning Wyden’s action say anything about what the actual effect will be of preventing or delaying Rizzo’s permanent appointment to a position he has filled in an acting capacity for much of the Bush administration. Maybe someone who has better access to the Senator could ask that question.
Flipping around through TV last night there was remarkably little on the fifty or so channels we get about Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast, or New Orleans. And by “remarkably little” I mean almost nothing. Apart from CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360”, the only other significant piece I came across was “Storm Stories” on The Weather Channel, which had an (oddly enough) interesting episode called “Postmark Katrina”, a joint production with the US Postal Service about how mail operations were undertaken in the wake of the disaster. Take it with a grain of self-served salt, but the USPS’s emergency operations come off looking a lot better than FEMA’s. And it even features some footage from Portland — although that’s about people scamming FEMA money.
Gordon Smith understands the importance of bringing our troops home from Iraq. He is a supporter of a plan to transition Americas mission to the Iraqi security forces leaving our troops focused on our arch-enemy extremists and terrorists.
That’s — uh — it. He “supports” a plan but doesn’t tell you what plan it is.
I thought I once posted a piece where I had to agree with the O‘s Bad David (as opposed to David Sarasohn) on something but I either wrote that as a letter to the editor or it was just some memory of a hellish nightmare.
On the other hand, I have to wonder out of which hole Reinhard pulled the word “speechifying” of when he described the Obama/Novick half of the equation as:
And in this corner, the super-charged challenger, the hot new kid on the block who makes up in pizazz, speechifying and life story what he lacks in public-office experience…
To me, anyway, that sort of has the smack of Tony Snow’s use of “tar baby” a year or two ago. It’s not flagged as derogatory in my online references, but then “tar baby” isn’t either. It’s just a little odd that Reinhard pulls out the Foghorn Leghorn/Pogo language for highfalutin disquisition when he’s talking about Obama who is — ahem — African American.s
After a couple of weeks of wrangling between Hillary Clinton, Obama, and the media over the question of whether he has enough experience to be President — and Obama’s quite justifiable response that the “experienced” senators were the ones who fell for fake claims of WMD in Iraq and authorized George W. Bush to attack Iraq and get the US into the mess it’s been in for more than four years — now an “experienced” foreign policy expert comes through and says that Obama “has the upper hand” over Clinton in his grasp of foreign policy.
It seems self-defeating for a campaign to make the claim that the longer experience of an opponent doesn’t necessarily make them right, then buttress their clearer judgment by pointing to an endorsement by someone with even more experience without an examination of the endorser’s own record.
I think there will be a staggering loss of human life out of all proportion to the stakes involved and I see no guarantee that once we go through that kind of a murderous and destructive kind of military effort that the situation out there will be any better. In fact, I think it will be a lot worse.