Iraq ’em Up

Mark Fiore explains Why we should invade — right now! Salon; on the other hand, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorializes that there is No way for Bush to justify unprovoked war with Iraq:

…President Bush has yet to offer a concrete, convincing explanation why the United States should launch a major war against Iraq without any clear provocation, without any significant international support, and over the objections and even pleadings of those in the Arab world who have otherwise been our allies.

Nor has the president accepted the reality that he needs congressional approval before launching such a war…

We have …an administration trying to sell a pre-emptive war on the basis of weapons that Iraq might have, and whether it might give those weapons to terrorists. There is no evidence that Hussein has even contemplated such a step, and considerable history to the contrary. For at least 20 years, Hussein has had access to chemical weapons and has never once let them out of his control.

Furthermore, endorsing the concept of pre-emptive war as a legitimate use of power is extremely risky. It is essentially the rationale imperial Japan used to justify its attack on Pearl Harbor more than 60 years ago.

Meanwhile, The Washington Times (not exactly your most reliable source, however), reports the Administration as saying

that the Joint Chiefs of Staff are, finally, all behind the invasion of Iraq concept. Next, For Bush, a New Vulnerability:

Late last week, the Republican National Committee distributed a memo that unintentionally spoke volumes about how the political ground has shifted for President Bush. The memo’s headline trumpeted four areas of accomplishment for the president, but it did not include the war on terrorism or homeland security.

Washington Post


Joshua Micah Marshall expounds on “Why the myth of Republican competence persists,

despite all the evidence to the contrary
Washington Monthly

Bush drops protection on medical filesThe Bush administration on Friday officially eliminated many protections for the privacy of medical records by issuing final rules that allow doctors and hospitals to distribute patients’ health information without the patients’ written approval.Chicago Tribune

A reader asked me to comment on this move. I started getting incensed, and wrote about it, when these changes were first proposed several months ago. This is, simply, a travesty and a giveaway to Bush’s friends in the healthcare and insurance industries. Just as they did with the estate tax reform, Administration arguments about the benefits to the little guy (under the restrictive Clinton regulations, what would a pharmacist do for written consent for a prescription that had been phoned in and was being picked up by a relative?) serve to obscure the corporate giveaway at the heart of this plan. Don’t listen to any arguments about making clinical communication more efficient; this is all about making fiscal communication about a patient’s history more efficient and less controlled by the true owner of your health information, you. Patients with fewer safeguards will probably be less willing to speak in candor to their physicians and physicians less likely to record sensitive facts.

Adopt kids, not roads:

‘In the universe of marketing tools for charitable causes, the ”adoption” concept has seen wild success. Since excess litter sparked the first Adopt-A-Highway program along a stretch of Texas highway 18 years ago, ”adopted” roads have sprung up in nearly every state, and people have adopted everything from killer whales to greyhounds to sewer pipes.

But a group of Massachusetts adoptees and their parents say the word adoption should be reserved for humans. Joining what some say is a growing national movement against the language of ”adopt-a-cause,” they have launched a drive to change the signs planted at frequent intervals along many roads.

”Adoption means something very different than what you do with a highway. It’s not about temporarily fixing something up…” ‘ Boston Globe

Guilty Until Proven Innocent:

Ex-Army Scientist Denies Role in Anthrax Attacks: “(Steven) Hatfill was once a highly respected researcher and teacher of biological warfare. Now he is doing neither. Since February, he has lost one job and been suspended from another. He had seemingly dedicated his life to combating biological terrorism, but his has become the leading name in the investigation into the most dramatic act of bioterrorism that America has ever seen.” This Washington Post story catalogues alot of suspicious circumstantial evidence against Hatfield, including the fact that the fictitious return address on the anthrax letters is in Zimbabwe where he went to medical school, that he lied about his credentials; that he removed several cabinets suitable for working on anthrax from the lab he worked in at Fort Detrick. Yet it is all circumstantial; the FBI’s tosses of his home have revealed nothing incriminating. Looks like we’re starting to see a pattern at The New FBI® of leaking suspicions about high-profile suspects, regardless of what it does to their lives if they ultimately are exonerated, to deflect criticism about lack of progress in their investigations.