Editor’s Note: Readers had some insightful comments on how the Washington insiders failed the country on the Iraq War, why the Bush administration’s fired eight federal prosecutors, and what the derivation of the word “petard” is:

Re: Iraq & Washington’s Systemic Failure

Anyone with just a small measure of decency in them, can relate to this latest article. I don`t have anyone in the conflict in Iraq, but in my mind, not a day or night goes by, that I don`t think about the young men and women and their families, and their sacrifice.

I am a member of the WWII generation, when we experienced honest and real patriotism. Only people like those in power now, who started this whole mess, would have such blatant disregard, for each and everyone of us, and call us unpatriotic. Our very birthright as citizens affords us that.

During WWII, our leaders then were very somber and focused, not like our president who recently greeted his brother, and was laughing, fixing his tie and slapping one another around. It repulses me to watch them, and surely should offend the ones that are really involved in this war. 

I think the missing link in all of them, is decency. Oh yes, there will always be those who have to be supporters, or collaborators, which in my mind if more appropriate, that have to tell one another how good they are. 

In many of your recent articles you refer to the biased press, and I will use the word again, collaborators. I have noticed one thing though, the edge has gone away for those that have the privilege of accompanying the royal ones on Air Force One.

One question on Hillary. I remember her appearance at the AEI, which I believe is the think tank you refer to, and also did she accept a bundle of money from Rupert Murdoch. There`s a patriot for you. These two things raised a red flag in me. Haven`t we had enough of bought and paid for politicians.

After watching Al Gores presentation on the environment, I still think he is the most qualified.  Correct me if I am wrong. Even Chris Rock, with his appearance on Bill Maher, felt that Al was the most qualified, even over Obama. To be as funny and quick as Chris, you have to be very intelligent.

Since the administrations attempt to keep everyone afraid by playing the terror card, which doesn`t work anymore, I often wonder what card can they play yet. Since they have from the outset skirted one the real reasons for the war, such as oil, which would, admittedly, in a sense expose the oil moguls also.

I have said myself, Bush will never leave Iraq without the oil, and if push comes to shove, don`t think they could say, well, if we have to get out of Iraq the price of gas will go to $5.00 or more. Would they pull this one, I`m sure they would. Just a thought.

Bill

--

Re: ‘Prosecutor-Gate’: Bush’s Power Grab

I have been watching the scandal over the fired attorneys with real curiosity, since some of them were supposedly fired for not prosecuting Democrats for voter fraud. I am particularly interested in two of them, McKay in Washington State, and Iglesias in New Mexico. I grew up in New Mexico and I now live in Washington State, (although I still get the Santa Fe 'paper' (online) to keep up on the news there.)

I have been wondering why, if these two attorneys were charged with finding Democrats guilty of voter fraud, they did not notice or call attention to obvious signs that the elections were stolen by Republicans. In both states, there were lawsuits filed in relation to the "irregularities".

In Washington, the suit was against Sequoia for its voting machines, and in New Mexico the suit was about being able to vote on a verifiable and recountable ballot. There wasn't much coverage of either suit even in local media, although I ran across it eventually. Had I been in the legal profession, it would have been harder to miss.

Then, during the WA governor's race argument, which went on for weeks, I ran across an article in the October 2004 Atlantic Monthly describing how Rove shoehorned his handpicked judge into office when the Democrat won in a close race. The similarity of what was going on in the Washington case, down to the details, was virtually identical.

I forwarded the article to the State Democratic Chair. A few days later, a newspaper article mentioned that he had accused the Republican campaign of being orchestrated by Rove, which the GOP vehemently denied. I know from events earlier in the year in Sandoval County, New Mexico, that it's possible that Rove had a hand in targeting that county.

I had watched the NM election results in real time Election Night (online connection) and Sandoval came to a screeching halt after only 4 precincts had come in, then didn't budge all night. That was fishy. I finally gave up at 1 am. It had gone narrowly Republican by morning. I had never thought there were enough Republicans in that county to even add up to half!

The only thing I can figure is that these attorneys must have been loyal enough to keep quiet about their own party's voting fraud, but turned out to be reluctant to find any Democrats to charge. Because of the lawsuits about the voting machines, and some of the results of voter-rights investigations, I find it hard to believe the attorneys would have been completely unaware of possible GOP complicity.

I know Carol Lam actually prosecuted a Republican, but I have to wonder if at least these other two were being asked to trump up fraud charges against Democrats in the hopes of weakening or distracting from any stories that may come out about Republicans stealing elections.

In Washington State, the GOP launched a long and vigorous campaign of screaming "fraud" at the Democrats. (The author of the lawsuit found this particularly ironic.) This kind of thing would fit with one of Goebbels' techniques: "Accuse the opponent of doing the very thing you are doing."

Karl Rove, of course, is obviously familiar with the Goebbels playbook, as he regularly uses the same tactics. But I am really puzzled that these attorneys were apparently asked to look for Democraticfraud, knowing that they might find evidence of Republican fraud, unless they had shown some "loyalty" previously, had promised to keep quiet about it at the time they were given their "assignment", or were specifically told to put a "counterspin" into effect. 

I've read that some of the voter repression across the country was probably carried out by other Republicans determined to see their party win, or religious-right conservatives that were convinced the Democrats were "evil", or other "freelancers" that were given little hints by their local Republican Party.

It couldn't ALL have been orchestrated by the White House, but it sure looks possible to me that Rove may have had a more direct hand in these two cases. I just can't figure out why someone took the chance of even pointing these prosecutors in this general direction. (It would explain why Rove is refusing to appear at a hearing and take an oath!) Any ideas what might have been the motive?

Susan O.

--

Re: Bush/Cheney & a Love of ‘Petards’

I thought you might be interested in the translation of "hoisting him on his own petard."  I believe the correct phrase is "hoist on his own petard." The line comes from Shakespeare, specifically Hamlet, act III, scene 4, lines 206 and 207: "For 'tis sport to have the engineer/ Hoist with his own petard...."
and it means lifted in the air by the power of your own fart or your own explosive device. 

Liz Rich

--

The word 'petard' is a cognate of the French 'peter', which means 'to fart'. A petard was a sort of firework that made a farting sound, used in the Elizabethan theater. Sounds about right for Cheney and the gang.

Joel Shimberg

--

Good piece.

As I'm sure you know, petard is a cognate of "fart"--also a small explosion. Somehow, this seems relevant in reference to statements from Bushcheney.

Dave MacMichael

To comment at Consortiumblog, click here. To comment to us by e-mail, click here. To donate so we can continue reporting and publishing stories like the one you just read, click here.  

Back to Home Page