July 2, 2006


Indo-US nuclear deal blasts ahead (Krishnadev Calamur, 7/01/06, Asia Times)

"I believe that this agreement is the most important strategic diplomatic initiative undertaken by President Bush," Senator Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate panel, said in prepared remarks ahead of the committee's hearing.

"By concluding this pact and the far-reaching set of cooperative agreements that accompany it, the president has embraced a long-term outlook that seeks to enhance the core strength of our foreign policy in a way that will give us new diplomatic options and improve global stability."

The panel's 10 Republicans all voted for the agreement, while two Democrats voted against it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 2, 2006 4:55 PM

I supposed this is off your thread, but in a sense it is related to just about every thread. The evidence looks good that Bush sought to monitor calls seven months before 9/11. If this story checks out--any objection in these quarters? Isn't the whole rationale for being able to do this that we are "at war"? Or is there another rationale?


Posted by: Rick Perlstein at July 2, 2006 6:56 PM


Shhhhh...your prior meme was that he'd done nothing to try and avoid 9-11--can't have it both ways.

Our position is always the same--no one needs privacy except to do evil.

Posted by: oj at July 2, 2006 7:48 PM

If the terrorists don't have sufficient privacy to plot our destruction, they will have won.

Posted by: Pepys at July 2, 2006 8:34 PM

Orrin, I'll give you $999,999,999 if you can find anything I've ever said that's even close to that. If not, I'll have your apology, please.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at July 2, 2006 8:35 PM

Just another secular Jew popping off, oj. No need to lose sleep over this fool.

Posted by: obc at July 2, 2006 9:22 PM

In her latest book, Ann Coulter describes Leftists as
"godless". I find it interesting that while Christians
may believe sinners will burn in the afterlife,
environmentalists believe that due to "global warming"
we will all burn in this one. Environmentalists do not
believe in God - and Al Gore is His Prophet. HA!

Posted by: obc at July 2, 2006 9:23 PM

L'etet c'est Whatever Orrin Says It Is.

He has disappeared behind his solipsism.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at July 2, 2006 9:58 PM

l'etat, monsieur.

Posted by: obc at July 2, 2006 10:08 PM

Just looked up what you have to say about Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism. You seem to endorse it. And yet you seem not to have read it. For her rejecting the notion of a sphere of privacy is the soul of totalitarianism. Since you're not a totalitarian, and yet you claim to hold to "no one needs privacy except to do evil"--you'd better go back to the intellectual drawing board.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at July 2, 2006 10:08 PM

Rick: It looks like a CALEA project. Although Bloomberg is a little cute about it, the request, if it was really seven months before 9/11, would have come in early February 2001. George Bush was, of course, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. Either building a second call center for NSA use was surprisingly high on his to-do list or this was a Clinton Administration project -- as, indeed, CALEA is.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 2, 2006 11:37 PM


Do you hate Bush because he has actually done things as President? Or just because he's done things you don't like?

And, in line with the thread, who will be the first Democrat to accuse Bush of nuclear evil because of the India agreement? Has it already happened?

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 3, 2006 12:36 AM

Jim, this has nothing to do with "hating" Bush. Does it not give you a second's pause that your man may have to switch horses in midstream and come up with an entirely novel defense of exactly the things he's been claiming he had to do because "we are at war"?

As for the cowardly giveaway to India, I attended to that months ago when it happene--click on the March 5 show (unfortunately I didn't know the most hilarious part at the time: one of the things we got out of the deal was favorable trade conditions for...mangoes!)


Posted by: Rick Perlstein at July 3, 2006 1:14 AM

If he has to switch horses, then yes, a pause.

However, I don't lose any sleep worrying over whether he'll have to - he will, or he won't, and I'm betting heavily on the latter.

Posted by: Noam Chomsky at July 3, 2006 1:59 AM

Bush was thinking about preventing terrorism months before 9/11? Wasn't the Clinton administration screaming about the Bin-Laden threat in their last years? So now Bush is evil because he took Clinton at his word and considered the threat to be serious? I'm interested to see, after all the dust settles from the war-on-terror, if the left can recover from siding with the terrorists. I suspect that the way most Americans view them will forever be changed to their detriment.

Posted by: lebeaux at July 3, 2006 4:06 AM

A) He may well have been thinking about preventing terrorism months before 9/11--but fecklessly and ineffectually, as the results indicate. We do know he didn't do the things that would have been useful ("all right, you've covered your ass now," we now know was his response to being briefed that bin Laden was planning to fly planes into U.S. buildings); and as yet we've been provided no real argument--other than being asked to put blind faith i our leaders, something our wise founding fathers demanded we never do--that echelon-type activities are effective (they aren't). See the outstanding series of posts by Jon "Hannibal" Stokes on arstechnica.com for the best argument as to why.

B) I know this one throws conservatives back on their heels--it takes away half their "arguments"--but I was not a support of Bill Clinton. His administration did, as you indicate, try to put in place the kind of surveillance capabilities we're talkinag about. At least he had the patriotism to stop when Constitutional roadblocks were thrown up in his way.

C) Stop siding with the terrorists, lebeaux. It is now a matter of record that Bin Laden preferred Bush win.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at July 3, 2006 6:55 AM


I don't understand your argument. Aren't you saying he should have done more but you oppose the little he did?

Why would you have supported Clinton? He was a conservative.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2006 7:43 AM


Here's a quote:

"He may well have been thinking about preventing terrorism months before 9/11--but fecklessly and ineffectually, as the results indicate."

You can donate the money to the USO.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2006 7:45 AM


Totalitarianism depends on privacy. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2006 7:51 AM


Actually, it never has anything to do with anything more than hating Bush.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2006 8:11 AM

Is there any arguing with someone who says "feckless and ineffectual" "even close" to "nothing"?

I'll expect my apology.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at July 3, 2006 8:12 AM


I don't believe I've ever said anything favorable about Hannah Arendt, who I think was a vacuous intellectual and not a serious thinker.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2006 8:17 AM


Are you sure you know what "feckless" means? or "close to" for that matter?

Thanks though for demonstrating the point by continuing the argument. You guys really do exist only to amuse us.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2006 8:18 AM


The state is us--it's a Republic. Want to take the treatment of terrorists to the voters as an election issue?

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2006 8:37 AM

Ah! How refreshing. Mr. Perlstein is still singing the same old crackpot songs. Even though his voice may be cracking, he still remembers the words.

Posted by: erp at July 3, 2006 9:01 AM


Bush told Condi Rice prior to 9/11 (in June, I think) he was tired of swatting flies. What does that mean to you?

Do you believe he wanted (i.e., lusted after) the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Does victory in the war(s) mean a return to the 1990s, or something different? Please explain.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 3, 2006 11:26 AM

You're right, Orrin. It was Jim Siegel. Dick Cheney, on the other hand, is a con man, and you are his eager marks.

Dick Cheney in an article in the January
4, 2006
Washington Post:

"Vice President Cheney said yesterday that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks might have been prevented if the Bush administration had had
the power to secretly monitor conversations involving two of the hijackers without court orders.


"Cheney said if the administration had the power "before 9/11, we might have been able to pick up on two of the hijackers who flew a jet into the

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at July 3, 2006 12:17 PM


No. If Mr. Cheney is referring to international calls he's simply wrong--that power is obviously inherent irrespective of war. If he means conversations within the US it's somewhat more problematic. Obviously non-citizens have no "Rights," but they may have privileges which Congress would need to revoke in order for law enforcement to be acting in accord with congressional mandates.

Of course, if the Administration thought the guys were threats they should have just ignored any congressional or Court pronouncements. Their first job is to defend America, not avoid controversy.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2006 12:44 PM

Rick -

Two more questions: as a serious journalist, wouldn't you like to interview Jamie Gorelick? Do you think her presence on the Commission was a conflict of interest?

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 3, 2006 2:45 PM