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From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq

The White House
by Craig Unger

The same neo­con ide­o­logues behind the Iraq war have been using the same tactics—alliances with shady exiles, dubi­ous intel­li­gence on W.M.D.—to push for the bomb­ing of Iran. As Pres­i­dent Bush ups the pres­sure on Tehran, is he plan­ning to dou­ble his Mid­dle East bet?

In the weeks lead­ing up to George W. Bush’s Jan­u­ary 10 speech on the war in Iraq, there was a brief but heady moment when it seemed that the pres­i­dent might final­ly accept the fail­ure of his Mid­dle East pol­i­cy and try some­thing new. Ris­ing anti-war sen­ti­ment had swept con­gres­sion­al Repub­li­cans out of pow­er. Sec­re­tary of Defense Don­ald Rums­feld had been tossed over­board. And the Iraq Study Group (I.S.G.), chaired by for­mer sec­re­tary of state James Bak­er and for­mer con­gress­man Lee Hamil­ton, had put togeth­er a bipar­ti­san report that offered a face-sav­ing strat­e­gy to exit Iraq. Who bet­ter than Bak­er, the Bush fam­i­ly’s long­time friend and con­sigliere, to talk some sense into the pres­i­dent? [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE]


8 comments for “From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq”

  1. Mitt Rom­ney Jeb Bush has a path to the nom­i­na­tion in mind. It’s a ‘long game’ plan: The longer you know him, the more you’re going to love him. Or, at least, the more your going to hate all his rivals after he spends his giant cash pile repeat­ed­ly thrash­ing them:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post
    Inside Jeb Bush’s long game: A bet on peak­ing late

    By Matea Gold and Robert Cos­ta
    May 6 at 10:45 PM

    At a lux­u­ry Mia­mi hotel last month, one of Jeb Bush’s chief strate­gists stood before hun­dreds of top GOP fundrais­ers to deliv­er an unsub­tle mes­sage: The for­mer Flori­da gov­er­nor will not be one of the “pres­i­dents of August.”

    Dur­ing his closed-door pre­sen­ta­tion at the 1 Hotel in South Beach, Mike Mur­phy dis­missed buzz-fueled can­di­dates who rise fast ear­ly only to flame out once the pri­maries begin. Mur­phy ridiculed the ear­ly spate of pres­i­den­tial polls — many of which show Bush lag­ging, par­tic­u­lar­ly in Iowa — as “noise meters.” And he insist­ed that the Bush team is patient­ly play­ing a long game, one that will not be upend­ed by the actions of his rivals.

    Murphy’s talk was aimed in part at qui­et­ing pock­ets of anx­i­ety that have been per­co­lat­ing among Bush sup­port­ers who are begin­ning to wor­ry whether he can excite Repub­li­cans in the same way that many of his younger rivals are already doing.

    “They are loy­al to him and sup­port him, but they’re watch­ing close­ly to see if he can cam­paign in a way that says, ‘Yes, he has ener­gy to get the base elec­tri­fied,’?” said David McIn­tosh, pres­i­dent of the con­ser­v­a­tive advo­ca­cy group Club for Growth. He said there is grow­ing “angst” in the Bush bloc of the Repub­li­can donor com­mu­ni­ty.

    “This isn’t like 1999, when the mon­ey decid­ed there is no one else but George W. Bush and watched it all come togeth­er,” McIn­tosh said.

    In par­tic­u­lar, Bush’s back­ers won­der when he is going to for­mal­ly get in the race and start mak­ing his case to vot­ers in earnest.

    The answer: not any time soon. Bush, who has already stock­piled record sums, intends to hold back from offi­cial­ly declar­ing his bid for at least anoth­er month, peo­ple famil­iar with the plan said.

    The strat­e­gy is being dri­ven by a con­fi­dent, tight­ly knit group of Bush advis­ers who are focused on amass­ing as much mon­ey as pos­si­ble for his allied super PAC on the the­o­ry that a con­sid­er­able cash advan­tage will enable Bush to out­last his com­peti­tors.

    The approach is sim­i­lar to the tack Mitt Rom­ney took in 2012, when the for­mer Mass­a­chu­setts gov­er­nor pre­vailed at the end of a pro­tract­ed pri­ma­ry con­test in which a half-dozen can­di­dates briefly tast­ed front-run­ner sta­tus, only to fall. Rom­ney pre­cip­i­tat­ed many of those falls, using his finan­cial edge to relent­less­ly attack one oppo­nent after anoth­er.

    But Bush faces a rougher road to the nom­i­na­tion than Rom­ney did. The Repub­li­can field is one of the strongest in years and fea­tures sev­er­al can­di­dates who excite var­i­ous fac­tions with­in the par­ty. Many of them will also be sup­port­ed by their own well-fund­ed super PACs, poised to inter­ject unprece­dent­ed mon­ey into the race.

    Bush, mean­while, has staked out posi­tions on issues such as immi­gra­tion and edu­ca­tion reform at odds with con­ser­v­a­tive activists, and his most fer­vent fol­low­ing rests with the party’s donor class. As the son and broth­er of for­mer pres­i­dents, he must also over­come a feel­ing among many Repub­li­cans that it is time for a fresh start.

    Bush had hoped to over­come some of these chal­lenges with his ear­ly and aggres­sive entry as a poten­tial can­di­date, but he has not been able to have the “shock and awe” impact that some sup­port­ers had pre­dict­ed.

    “The big sto­ry so far of the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial race is the fail­ure of Jeb Bush to dom­i­nate,” said William Kris­tol, edi­tor of the con­ser­v­a­tive Week­ly Stan­dard. “He hasn’t pulled it off.”

    Bush and his asso­ciates main­tain they have plen­ty of time.

    “Not announc­ing yet may look bad to some of our donors,” said Vin Weber, a Repub­li­can con­sul­tant advis­ing Bush on domes­tic pol­i­cy. “They won­der, ‘Gee, are we wait­ing too long?’ That’s a nat­ur­al reac­tion, but it’s jit­ters. The campaign’s gen­er­al response is: We have a plan, and we’re on track to achieve all of our goals.”

    Dur­ing a stop Fri­day at the North Car­oli­na state GOP head­quar­ters in Raleigh, Bush said he will even­tu­al­ly win over vot­ers who have lit­tle appetite for anoth­er pres­i­dent from his fam­i­ly.

    “I have to go earn their respect. I have to go show my heart. I have to talk about my record,” Bush said, adding: “So if I share that, show who I am, have ideas that help peo­ple rise up, the dynas­tic ques­tion will sub­side a bit.”

    That is, he not­ed, if he decides to run — a coy aside that Bush con­stant­ly repeats, to the puz­zle­ment of some of his sup­port­ers.

    The con­se­quences of Bush’s maybe-I-will, maybe-I-won’t atti­tude are per­haps most appar­ent in Iowa, which hosts the first-in-the-nation cau­cus­es and has in recent years embraced hard-right favorites.

    Unlike his broth­er, who won the 2000 cau­cus­es after months of charm­ing GOP vot­ers, Bush has so far been less atten­tive to the state. He plans to attend the Iowa GOP Lin­coln Din­ner on May 16, but his allies pri­vate­ly acknowl­edge that he may neglect this August’s Iowa straw poll, a test of orga­ni­za­tion dis­liked by nation­al GOP lead­ers for the atten­tion it show­ers on low­er-tier can­di­dates. Last month, he skipped an Iowa faith group’s sum­mit.

    “I don’t care if he’s a Rock­e­feller lib­er­al. It’s his dis­dain for the grass roots, our sense that he doesn’t think that Iowa is rel­e­vant, that will make peo­ple stay away,” said Sam Clo­vis, a con­ser­v­a­tive orga­niz­er in north­west Iowa.


    In his slide-show pre­sen­ta­tion at the Mia­mi donor con­fer­ence, Mur­phy described the months-long mon­ey push as nec­es­sary to have siz­able cash on hand for ear­ly next year. So Bush is con­cen­trat­ing now on bring­ing in tens of mil­lions of dol­lars for his allied super PAC, tak­ing advan­tage of the fact that since he is not yet an offi­cial can­di­date, he has more free­dom to help raise funds for the inde­pen­dent group.

    Mur­phy also gave donors a glimpse of the campaign’s plans to pro­mote Bush across the ever-chang­ing world of Web plat­forms and mobile appli­ca­tions. Sound­ing like a brash Sil­i­con Val­ley entre­pre­neur with talk of dis­rup­tion and inno­va­tion, Mur­phy detailed the operation’s hir­ing of soft­ware devel­op­ers and design­ers, atten­dees said.

    The pre­sen­ta­tion impressed many in the room, who said it is clear Bush’s inner cir­cle has its eyes on a drawn-out race, rather than ear­ly gains.

    “One of the hard­est things in pol­i­tics is to be patient, to make the plan and work the plan,” said There­sa Kostrze­wa, a Repub­li­can lob­by­ist and fundrais­er in North Car­oli­na.

    Still, there was a per­sis­tent reminder through­out the two-day donor meet­ing of Bush’s odd sta­tus as a qua­si-can­di­date, as he and his advis­ers repeat­ed­ly empha­sized “if” he runs.


    Aha. So Jeb’s grand ‘long game’ plan appears to involve Mitt Rom­ney’s approach of get­ting so many donors to write him mas­sive checks that he ends up with such a mas­sive pile of cash that he can just destroy one rival after anoth­er. Plus, he’ll try to squeeze in as many ‘mod­er­ate’ posi­tions that he can get away in order to make the ‘piv­ot to the mid­dle’ fol­low­ing the nom­i­na­tion more effec­tive and believ­able. At least that sounds like the gen­er­al strat­e­gy.

    And how does he get that giant pile of cash? By con­tin­u­al­ly empha­siz­ing to these donors that he has an awe­some ‘long game’ strat­e­gy involv­ing their mon­ey that will car­ry him to vic­to­ry if he runs. And these donors are sup­posed to be so enam­ored with Jeb’s vision that might come to fruition if Jeb runs that they write the big check and make all hap­pen. There seems to be a bit of a self-defeat­ing prophe­cy tucked away in there.

    So is Jeb actu­al­ly run­ning? Well, let’s just say that if he is run­ning, the ‘long game’ strat­e­gy is going to be heav­i­ly reliant on very short mem­o­ries:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post
    One of Jeb Bush’s top advis­ers on Israel: George W. Bush

    By Robert Cos­ta and Matea Gold
    May 7 at 6:23 PM

    After spend­ing months dis­tanc­ing him­self from his family’s polit­i­cal lega­cy, Jeb Bush sur­prised a group of Man­hat­tan financiers this week by nam­ing his broth­er, for­mer pres­i­dent George W. Bush, as his most influ­en­tial coun­selor on U.S.-Israel pol­i­cy.

    “If you want to know who I lis­ten to for advice, it’s him,” Bush said Tues­day, speak­ing to a crowd of high-pow­ered investors at the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Club, accord­ing to four peo­ple present. The Repub­li­cans in the room spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymi­ty to divulge infor­ma­tion about the pri­vate meet­ing.

    The remark came as part of an answer to a ques­tion about Bush’s polit­i­cal aides and their pol­i­cy views, and whether he relies on the guid­ance of for­mer sec­re­tary of state James Bak­er, guests said. Baker’s role in Bush’s orbit has been the source of con­ster­na­tion for some major GOP donors, who were upset that the 85-year-old ex-diplo­mat spoke to a left-lean­ing Israeli advo­ca­cy group in March.

    Jeb Bush said that Bak­er is not one of his close advis­ers and that he leans on his broth­er for insights when it comes to Israel.

    Embrac­ing George W. Bush as a for­eign-pol­i­cy con­fi­dant is a risky and unex­pect­ed move for the for­mer Flori­da gov­er­nor as he read­ies for a like­ly pres­i­den­tial bid. While the for­mer president’s approval rat­ings have improved since he left office in 2009, his for­eign-pol­i­cy lega­cy — par­tic­u­lar­ly the long war in Iraq — remains deeply unpop­u­lar. He has also become anath­e­ma to some con­ser­v­a­tive activists for pre­sid­ing over an increase in the fed­er­al debt, among oth­er poli­cies.

    Jeb Bush has sur­round­ed him­self with many of his brother’s advis­ers and has endorsed many for­eign-pol­i­cy posi­tions that mir­ror those of the for­mer pres­i­dent. At the same time, Bush has repeat­ed­ly stressed that he has his own world­view.

    “I love my broth­er, I love my dad,” he told an audi­ence in Chica­go in Feb­ru­ary. “I admire their ser­vice to the nation and the dif­fi­cult deci­sions that they had to make. But I am my own man, and my views are shaped by my own think­ing and my own expe­ri­ences.”

    For his part, George W. Bush said last month that he planned to stay away from the cam­paign trail because vot­ers do not like polit­i­cal dynas­ties.

    Jeb Bush’s rev­e­la­tion that he seeks out his broth­er about Israel and the Mid­dle East indi­cates that the sib­lings may be clos­er than often por­trayed. The rela­tion­ship is often described as cor­dial and warm but dis­tant on pol­i­cy mat­ters.

    Tim Miller, a spokesman, played down the sig­nif­i­cance of Bush’s com­ment.

    “Gov­er­nor Bush has said before that his broth­er is the great­est ally to Israel in pres­i­den­tial his­to­ry, he admires his stal­wart sup­port for our ally, and that is in line with his com­mit­ment to stand­ing with Israel in the face of great threats to their secu­ri­ty and our own,” Miller said in a state­ment Thurs­day.

    Tuesday’s ses­sion was orga­nized by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer and his advis­ers so their asso­ciates could hear from Bush. Sim­i­lar meet­ings have been held with Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walk­er, Sen. Mar­co Rubio of Flori­da and for­mer Hewlett-Packard chief exec­u­tive Car­ly Fio­r­i­na, three of Bush’s poten­tial Repub­li­can rivals in the 2016 race.

    The ques­tion that led to Bush’s response was about how much he relied on Bak­er, a respect­ed par­ty fig­ure and long­time Bush fam­i­ly friend. Dur­ing his speech in March to the group J Street, Bak­er crit­i­cized Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu for not back­ing a two-state solu­tion.

    Bush said that he respect­ed Bak­er but main­tained that he is not part of his for­eign-pol­i­cy team.

    Bush also expressed regret for the way he has unveiled his staff hires and advis­ers and said the lengthy list he made pub­lic in Feb­ru­ary, which includ­ed Bak­er, was not an accu­rate rep­re­sen­ta­tion of whom he reach­es out to when he’s con­sid­er­ing Israel-relat­ed issues.

    Par­tic­i­pants said the recep­tion at the club was most­ly encour­ag­ing, but one attendee said he was “stunned” to hear Jeb Bush specif­i­cal­ly men­tion George W. Bush as his go-to advis­er. “I start­ed look­ing around and won­der­ing if peo­ple were record­ing it. It was jar­ring,” the attendee said. “If video of it got out, it’d be dev­as­tat­ing.”

    Oth­ers saw it dif­fer­ent­ly.

    “It was a very pos­i­tive response, just based on faces around the room,” a sec­ond attendee said. “There didn’t seem to be any sort of neg­a­tive reac­tion.”

    Jeb Bush’s com­ments were wide­ly inter­pret­ed as an effort to dis­pel lin­ger­ing con­cerns among Israel hawks that Baker’s com­ments were indica­tive of Bush’s own views. Singer, a bil­lion­aire hedge fund man­ag­er, is one of many top GOP mon­ey play­ers who fund con­ser­v­a­tive pro-Israel groups and can­di­dates who favor a hard-line stance against Iran.

    A major­i­ty of reg­is­tered vot­ers still have unfa­vor­able views of how George W. Bush han­dled his job as pres­i­dent, accord­ing to a Wash­ing­ton Post-ABC News poll in March. Nev­er­the­less, there remains deep affec­tion with­in the GOP for George W. Bush, with 87?percent approv­ing of his pres­i­den­tial tenure.

    “For all of the neg­a­tives in how George W. Bush is remem­bered in for­eign pol­i­cy, peo­ple who are sup­port­ive of Israel remem­ber him as sup­port­ive of Israel,” said Danielle Plet­ka, who stud­ies nation­al secu­ri­ty at the Amer­i­can Enter­prise Insti­tute. “For Bush, he has to find a way to deflect the fes­ter­ing ques­tion of his rela­tion­ship with James Bak­er.”


    Yes, “Embrac­ing George W. Bush as a for­eign-pol­i­cy con­fi­dant is a risky and unex­pect­ed move for the for­mer Flori­da gov­er­nor as he read­ies for a like­ly pres­i­den­tial bid.” And since this was a pri­vate event that just got leaked, you have to won­der how many oth­er pri­vate assur­ances by Jeb of his broth­er’s endur­ing influ­ence are tak­ing place behind closed doors.

    At the same time, you have to won­der how much dam­age this leak is going to do to Jeb’s ambi­tions since his whole sales pitch strat­e­gy to the mega-donors is that Jeb, and only Jeb with­in the GOP, is will­ing to take enough non-far right pol­i­cy posi­tions to get the medi­a’s ‘mod­er­ate’ label and actu­al­ly in the gen­er­al elec­tion.

    So it looks like this report was prob­a­bly a total­ly unin­tend­ed for gen­er­al con­sump­tion. It was meant for donor ears only:


    Par­tic­i­pants said the recep­tion at the club was most­ly encour­ag­ing, but one attendee said he was “stunned” to hear Jeb Bush specif­i­cal­ly men­tion George W. Bush as his go-to advis­er. “I start­ed look­ing around and won­der­ing if peo­ple were record­ing it. It was jar­ring,” the attendee said. “If video of it got out, it’d be dev­as­tat­ing.”

    Oth­ers saw it dif­fer­ent­ly.

    “It was a very pos­i­tive response, just based on faces around the room,” a sec­ond attendee said. “There didn’t seem to be any sort of neg­a­tive reac­tion.”

    Jeb Bush’s com­ments were wide­ly inter­pret­ed as an effort to dis­pel lin­ger­ing con­cerns among Israel hawks that Baker’s com­ments were indica­tive of Bush’s own views. Singer, a bil­lion­aire hedge fund man­ag­er, is one of many top GOP mon­ey play­ers who fund con­ser­v­a­tive pro-Israel groups and can­di­dates who favor a hard-line stance against Iran.


    Yes, it looks like Jeb may have been using a ref­er­ence to his broth­er as a for­eign pol­i­cy advis­er as a kind of code lan­guage to indi­cate his sup­port for a tough line against Iran and who knows what else. But now it got leaked and, as the one con­cerned attendee said, “If video of it got out, it’d be dev­as­tat­ing.” Well, the cat’s out of the bag now, video or not.

    So now we’re in a fas­ci­nat­ing sit­u­a­tion where Jeb’s secret mes­sage to the super-donor class is already out in pub­lic. And while most of the super-donor class is prob­a­bly extreme­ly recep­tive to the mes­sage, the very fact that the mes­sage got out in pub­lic at all quite pos­si­bly does more to under­mine Jeb’s gen­er­al elec­tion chances more than any­thing else he’s done.

    And it’s his sup­posed abil­i­ty to win in the gen­er­al elec­tion that is at the heart of Jeb’s ‘long game’ strat­e­gy: donors give him so much mon­ey that he’s able to win the pri­maries, despite his alleged ‘mod­er­a­tion’, and then he uses that alleged ‘mod­er­a­tion’ to win it all! That’s the ‘long game’! But now, thanks to the leak of this speech to the donors, Jeb may have under­mined the entire strat­e­gy because if there’s one thing that isn’t going to go over well with the US elec­torate it’s pledg­ing to fol­low George W. Bush’s for­eign pol­i­cy lead.

    Wow. Not a great week for Jeb. Maybe 2016 just isn’t meant to be for the Bush dynasty.

    Hope­ful­ly Jeb finds a new hob­by instead. Maybe George can give him some advice.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 7, 2015, 5:41 pm
  2. Fol­low­ing the reports last week that Jeb Bush told a group of mega-donors that he gets his for­eign pol­i­cy inspi­ra­tion from his broth­er, Jeb fold Fox News in a new inter­view that he would have signed off on the Iraq inva­sion in 2003. Not the best cou­ple of weeks for Jeb

    Agence France-Presse

    Jeb Bush: I would have invad­ed Iraq

    Pre­sumed Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial hope­ful tells Fox News say Hillary Clin­ton would have signed off the 2003 inva­sion, too, though admits mis­takes were made in the after­math

    Sun­day 10 May 2015 20.24 EDT

    Jeb Bush has said he would have autho­rised the US inva­sion in 2003 of Iraq.

    The pre­sumed Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial hope­ful said on Sun­day he would have autho­rised the inva­sion, though he acknowl­edged mis­takes made after Sad­dam Hussein’s down­fall.

    Bush, the son and broth­er of two for­mer pres­i­dents, point­ed out that the Demo­c­ra­t­ic fron­trun­ner Hillary Clin­ton vot­ed in favour of autho­ris­ing the use of force in Iraq before the inva­sion.

    “I would have [autho­rised the inva­sion], and so would have Hillary Clin­ton, just to remind every­body,” Bush told Fox News tele­vi­sion in an inter­view to be aired late on Mon­day. “And so would almost every­body that was con­front­ed with the intel­li­gence they got.”

    Fox News released part of the inter­view on Sun­day.

    Bush crit­i­cised US pol­i­cy at the time for fail­ing to focus on secu­ri­ty first, say­ing that led the Iraqis to turn against the mil­i­tary.

    But he also denied secu­ri­ty was a major point of con­tention between him and his broth­er, the then-pres­i­dent George W Bush, who ordered the inva­sion.

    “By the way, guess who thinks that those mis­takes took place as well? George W Bush,” Jeb Bush said. “Yes, I mean, so just for the news flash to the world, if they’re try­ing to find places where there’s big space between me and my broth­er, this might not be one of those.”


    The fact that Jeb said he would have vot­ed for the inva­sion in 2003 giv­en the ‘intel­li­gence’ avail­able at the time isn’t all that sur­pris­ing giv­en the over­whelm­ing sup­port for the autho­riza­tion for force in both par­ties (although you’d have to assume Jeb would­n’t have been privy to all the fact that so much of that intel­li­gence was fraud­u­lent­ly assem­bled by his broth­er’s admin­is­tra­tion).

    But part of what makes Jeb’s answer quite inter­est­ing is that he focus­es on the mas­sive blun­der of “fail­ing to pro­vide secu­ri­ty first” — which is pre­sum­ably an indi­rect ref­er­ence to dis­solv­ing the Iraqi army and basi­cal­ly send­ing the mes­sage that the Sun­nis were going to have sec­ond-class sta­tus (as opposed to actu­al­ly try­ing to fos­ter a nation­al con­scious­ness that tran­scends sec­tar­i­an­ism) — as the key area where he would have done some­thing dif­fer­ent­ly:


    Bush crit­i­cised US pol­i­cy at the time for fail­ing to focus on secu­ri­ty first, say­ing that led the Iraqis to turn against the mil­i­tary.


    While that was no doubt a mas­sive mis­take, the fact that the mis­takes of the imme­di­ate post-inva­sion phase are where Jeb would have devi­at­ed sig­nif­i­cant­ly from what his broth­er did rais­es a real­ly inter­est­ing ques­tion for all of the 2016 pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates, espe­cial­ly for those rid­ing in the ever more dense­ly packed GOP clown car giv­en that it’s look­ing like threat­en­ing a war with Iran is going to part of the sales pitch for almost any of the GOP’s nom­i­nees: Would you have vot­ed for the 2003 inva­sion of Iraq, but just done it dif­fer­ent­ly, know­ing what you know today? Inquir­ing minds want to know.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 10, 2015, 7:38 pm
  3. OMFG: It turns out that when Jeb answered that, yes, he would have sup­port­ed the inva­sion of Iraq in 2003, he was­n’t respond­ing to a ques­tion of whether or not he would have done it know­ing what every­one knew back then. No, he was asked if he would have sup­port­ed the inva­sion back in 2003 know­ing what he knows today.

    Wow. Some­one is rather rusty. So long Jeb­bers!

    TPM Livewire
    Even Know­ing What We Know Now, Jeb Would Have Invad­ed Iraq

    By Bren­dan James
    Pub­lished May 11, 2015, 9:09 AM EDT

    Like­ly pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and for­mer Flori­da Gov. Jeb Bush ® said in an inter­view set to air Mon­day that he would have invad­ed Iraq in 2003, like his broth­er did, if he were Pres­i­dent back then.

    Know­ing what we know now, would you have autho­rized the inva­sion?” Fox News host Meg­yn Kel­ly asked Bush in a sit-down inter­view.

    “I would have,” Bush said.

    “And so would have Hillary Clin­ton, just to remind every­body,” he added. “And so would almost every­body that was con­front­ed with the intel­li­gence they got.”


    Note that, now that we know that this ques­tion was pref­aced with “Know­ing what we know now”, it also make his answer rather bizarre since how the hell would he know how Hillary and any­one else would have vot­ed then know­ing what we all know now?

    At least he’s prob­a­bly got the Cheney clan’s vote all locked up but that’s prob­a­bly not going to be enough.

    So does this mean we’re going to miss out an excit­ing Bush/Clinton rematch in 2016?

    Maybe. But don’t lose hope. There is anoth­er...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 11, 2015, 2:06 pm
  4. In the wake of Jeb Bush’s poten­tial­ly cam­paign-destroy­ing answer about the inva­sion of Iraq, Josh Mar­shall has a mes­sage for Jeb: It gets better...for every­one that might enjoy watch­ing a bizarre Bush fam­i­ly dra­ma unfold as Jeb is forced into a series of no win sit­u­a­tions:

    TPM Edi­tor’s Blog
    Yep, JEB is FKD

    By Josh Mar­shall
    Pub­lished May 12, 2015, 11:52 AM EDT

    We’ve now seen Jeb Bush make what many saw as an eye-pop­ping state­ment yes­ter­day and now seen a for­mer top advi­sor say­ing he now claims that he mis­un­der­stood the ques­tion which prompt­ed that state­ment. There are some details to work through. Ana Navar­ro does not cur­rent­ly work for Gov. Bush (at least that’s my under­stand­ing), so we don’t know for cer­tain yet whether she is speak­ing for him in this case or pro­vid­ing the cam­paign’s posi­tion. (This isn’t to doubt her. We just need to hear this from an offi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive.) But the upshot is that Jeb Bush’s cam­paign is looked pret­ty screwed at the moment. And here’s why.

    It’s bad enough that Jeb took a posi­tion which when stat­ed out loud will be very dif­fi­cult to sus­tain with the cur­rent US elec­torate. (See the chart below which is from NBC’s write-up on this top­ic and their poll on this ques­tion.) It’s what this day two turn­about will now nec­es­sar­i­ly bring in its wake.


    Before get­ting to that though, let’s be hon­est. Of course he under­stood the ques­tion!

    As I not­ed yes­ter­day if you watch the exchange Jeb actu­al­ly ggoes out of his way to shift the ques­tion back from ‘what we know now’ to ‘what we knew then’. So not only did he under­stand the ques­tion, he under­stood how dif­fi­cult it was for him to answer and did every­thing he could in real time to avoid answer­ing it.

    By now switch­ing gears and say­ing he mis­un­der­stood the ques­tion he appears to be com­mit­ting him­self to some ver­sion of “Yep, that was a mis­take.” That in turn all but guar­an­tees a major sit-down inter­view ded­i­cat­ed entire­ly to the issue of Iraq (awe­some for the cam­paign!) in which Jeb will try to finesse say­ing that Iraq was actu­al­ly a mis­take and that his broth­er, George W. Bush, who he says advis­es him on Mid­dle East pol­i­cy, is respon­si­ble for what by sheer dint of its mag­ni­tude alone must be con­sid­ered one of the biggest for­eign pol­i­cy blun­ders in Amer­i­can his­to­ry.

    So far so good?

    It gets bet­ter!

    This is turn will lead to any num­ber of Dowdesque Bush fam­i­ly dra­ma columns about toss­ing W under the bus, Jeb’s need to show he can be pres­i­dent too and maybe bring­ing in var­i­ous oth­er sto­ry­lines about the par­ents, Mar­vin, Neil and what­ev­er cousin or nephew goes by “Dutch” Bush or who­ev­er else.

    If he does­n’t do that — sit down and address this — he’s basi­cal­ly going to be asked about this awk­ward­ly and pained­ly every time he gets with­in twen­ty feet of a reporter from now until he does.

    A lot of peo­ple say Jeb’s rusty. He has­n’t run for office since 2002. And even though Flori­da is a big state, no state is like run­ning for the pres­i­den­cy. I think that’s right. But I also think that, as I said yes­ter­day, this ques­tion is kryp­tonite for any­one named Bush. Every option he has to deal with it is bad. And when he gets close to it he los­es what­ev­er super pow­ers he has.

    Well isn’t that an unpleas­ant pic­ture: if Jeb can’t some­how turn this sit­u­a­tion around, and soon, Jeb’s ambi­tions get the US polit­i­cal equiv­a­lent of the kiss of death:

    This is turn will lead to any num­ber of Dowdesque Bush fam­i­ly dra­ma columns about toss­ing W under the bus, Jeb’s need to show he can be pres­i­dent too and maybe bring­ing in var­i­ous oth­er sto­ry­lines about the par­ents, Mar­vin, Neil and what­ev­er cousin or nephew goes by “Dutch” Bush or who­ev­er else.

    An end­less stream of Mau­reen Dowdesque columns attempt­ing to psy­cho­an­a­lyze Jeb and the Bush fam­i­ly dynam­ics. Yes, some Dowdesque columns were inevitable. But if Jeb had sim­ply respond­ed “No” to this high­ly pre­dictably ques­tion, instead of weird­ly dodg­ing it, the pun­di­toc­ra­cy would have been able to write their quo­ta of fam­i­ly dra­ma columns and move on.

    But that’s not real­ly an option now, is it? And now the whole polit­i­cal pun­di­toc­ra­cy is going to be incred­i­bly tempt­ed to start chan­nel­ing Mau­reen Dowd when­ev­er they write a Jeb-relat­ed col­umn. And how could they resist? If there’s one thing that effec­tive­ly trumps Jeb’s track-record as a far-right gov­er­nor in “mod­er­ate” cloth­ing it’s his bizarre embrace of his broth­er’s for­eign pol­i­cy deci­sions. Dowdesque psy­cho­analy­sis is real­ly the only option peo­ple have because what Jeb just did is so f@#!ing insane.

    What hath Jeb wrought?:

    The New York Times
    Jeb Bush’s Brain­less Trust

    Mau­reen Dowd
    FEB. 21, 2015

    WASHINGTON — I had been keep­ing an open mind on Jeb Bush.

    I mean, sure, as Flori­da gov­er­nor, he helped his broth­er snatch the 2000 elec­tion. And that led to two decade-long botched wars that cost tens of thou­sands of lives and tril­lions of dol­lars. The nation will be deal­ing for a long time with strug­gling vet­er­ans and the loss of Amer­i­can pres­tige. Not to men­tion that W. let Wall Street gam­ble away the econ­o­my, which is only now final­ly creep­ing back.

    But, all that aside, shouldn’t John Ellis Bush have the right to make the case that he is his own man?

    In his for­eign pol­i­cy speech in Chica­go on Wednes­day, Jeb was dis­mis­sive toward those who want to know where he stands in rela­tion to his father and broth­er. “In fact,” he said, mock­ing­ly, “this is a great, fas­ci­nat­ing thing in the polit­i­cal world for some rea­son.”

    For some rea­son?

    Like the Clin­tons, the Bush­es drag the coun­try through nation­al trau­mas that spring from their con­vo­lut­ed fam­i­ly dynam­ic and then disin­gen­u­ous­ly won­der why we con­cern our­selves with their fam­i­ly dynam­ic.

    With­out their last names, Hillary and Jeb would not be front-run­ners, buoyed by net­works of donors grate­ful for appoint­ments or favors bestowed by the fam­i­ly. (When Jeb and W. ran guber­na­to­r­i­al races in 1994, they both mined their mother’s Christ­mas card list for donors.)

    Yet Jeb is bristling with Jane Austen-style con­de­scen­sion, act­ing as though he would still be where he is if his last name were Tree. The last two pres­i­dents in his par­ty were his father and broth­er, and his broth­er crashed the fam­i­ly sta­tion wag­on into the globe, and Jeb is going to have to address that more thor­ough­ly than say­ing “there were mis­takes made in Iraq for sure.”

    He says he doesn’t want to focus on “the past,” and who can blame him? But how can he talk about lead­ing Amer­i­ca into the future if he can’t hon­est­ly assess the past, or his family’s con­tro­ver­sial imprint?

    In his speech, he blamed Pres­i­dent Oba­ma for the void that hatched ISIS, which he also not­ed didn’t exist in 2003 at the dawn of “the lib­er­a­tion of Iraq.” Actu­al­ly, his brother’s inva­sion of Iraq is what spawned Al Qae­da in Iraq, which drew from an insur­gency of Sun­ni sol­diers angry about being thrown out of work by the ama­teur­ish and vain­glo­ri­ous viceroy, Paul Bre­mer.

    Although Jeb likes to act as though his fam­i­ly is irrel­e­vant to his ambi­tions, Bush­world stal­warts recite the Bush dynasty nar­ra­tive like a favorite fairy tale:

    The wonky Jeb, not the cocky W., was always 41’s hope. H.W. and Bar nev­er thought W., unpre­pared, unruly and with a chip on his shoul­der, would be pres­i­dent. His par­ents’ assump­tion that he was The One got in Jeb’s head and now the 62-year-old feels he needs “to try to cor­rect and make up for some of W.’s mis­takes,” as one fam­i­ly friend put it. The old­er Bush cir­cle seems con­fi­dent that Jeb sided with his father and Brent Scow­croft on the fol­ly of let­ting the neo­cons push Amer­i­ca into divert­ing from Osama to Sad­dam.

    So for Bush­world, Jeb is the redeemer, the one who lis­tens and talks in full sen­tences that make sense, the one who will restore the lus­ter of the Bush name. But if you want to be your own per­son, you have to come up with your own peo­ple.

    W. was a boy king, propped up by regents sup­plied by his father. Since he knew noth­ing about for­eign affairs, his father sur­round­ed him with his own advis­ers: Col­in Pow­ell, Con­di Rice and Dick Cheney, who joined up with his pal Don­ald Rums­feld and abscond­ed with W.’s pres­i­den­cy.

    Jeb, too, want­ed to bol­ster his neg­li­gi­ble for­eign pol­i­cy cred, so the day of his speech, his aide released a list of 21 advis­ers, 19 of whom had worked in the admin­is­tra­tions of his father and his broth­er. The list starts with the estimable James Bak­er. But then it shock­ing­ly veers into war­mon­gers.

    It’s mind-bog­gling, but there’s Paul Wol­fowitz, the unapolo­getic design­er of the doc­trine of uni­lat­er­al­ism and pre-emp­tion, the naïve cheer­leader for the Iraq inva­sion and the man who assured Con­gress that Iraqi oil would pay for the country’s recon­struc­tion and that it was ridicu­lous to think we would need as many troops to con­trol the coun­try as Gen. Eric Shin­se­ki, then the Army chief of staff, sug­gest­ed.


    If he wants to reclaim the Bush hon­or, Jeb should be hold­ing account­able those who inflict­ed deep scars on Amer­i­ca, not hold­ing court with them.

    Where’s the shame?

    For some rea­son, Jeb doesn’t see it.

    That’s what Jeb hath wrought and that was Mau­reen’s take on Jeb from almost three months ago. Imag­ine what’s she’s going to come up with now and that’s just Mau­reen. As Josh Mar­shall point­ed out, now that Jeb:
    1. embraced the Bush for­eign pol­i­cy vision by select­ing so many ex-Bush advis­ers for his for­eign pol­i­cy team
    2. gave that bizarre inter­view answer where he clear­ly employed one of the worst dodges you could imag­ine to a ques­tion that he had to know he was to be asked.

    Jeb has to respond to this lat­est screw up and no mat­ter what he does it’s only going to fuel Bush fam­i­ly dra­ma columns from all sort of colum­nists. Unless, of course, he fig­ures out a way to throw W. under the bus in a way that does­n’t just add to the dra­ma.

    And that’s the big for the Bush clan these days: One of the Bush broth­ers has to be thrown under the bus. Either Jeb throws George or Jeb throws him­self. But some­one is get­ting thrown under the bus and if its not George this cam­paign is kaput. But he can’t throw George too harsh­ly.

    Is there a kinder, gen­tler means of throw­ing some­one under a bus? If so, Jeb is in a good posi­tion to fig­ure it out. After all, dis­cov­er­ing kinder, gen­tler means of throw­ing peo­ple under the bus was one of his broth­er’s sig­na­ture cam­paign themes. So maybe Jeb will find his way out of his ‘too much like his broth­er’ mess. He’s got a lot of fam­i­ly resources.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 12, 2015, 3:20 pm
  5. Jeb Bush just got a do-over on his cam­paign-killing answer to the Iraq War ques­tion. His answer: Of course I would­n’t have invad­ed know­ing what I know today. I just mis­un­der­stood the ques­tion “Yeah, I don’t know what that deci­sion would’ve been...”:

    TPM Livewire
    Jeb On Invad­ing Iraq: ‘I Inter­pret­ed The Ques­tion Wrong, I Guess’

    By Daniel Strauss
    Pub­lished May 12, 2015, 5:54 PM EDT

    For­mer Flori­da Gov. Jeb Bush ® said Tues­day that he mis­in­ter­pret­ed the ques­tion when he was asked ear­li­er this week by Fox News whether “know­ing what we know now, would you have autho­rized the inva­sion” of Iraq. But giv­en a sec­ond chance to answer the ques­tion, Bush said he was unsure what he would do with 20/20 hind­sight.

    Bush, in that first inter­view with Meg­yn Kel­ly on Mon­day, said he would have autho­rized the inva­sion. But in a radio inter­view with Sean Han­ni­ty on Tues­day the like­ly pres­i­den­tial can­di­date said he did­n’t inter­pret the ques­tion cor­rect­ly.

    “I inter­pret­ed the ques­tion wrong, I guess. I was talk­ing about giv­en what peo­ple knew then, would you have done it? Rather than know­ing what we know now. And know­ing what we know now, clear­ly there were mis­takes as it relat­ed to faulty intel­li­gence in the lead up to the war and the lack of focus on secu­ri­ty,” Bush told Han­ni­ty. “My broth­er’s admit­ted this. And we have to learn from that.”

    Bush then piv­ot­ed to praise his broth­er’s troop surge in Iraq say­ing it brought “sta­bil­i­ty and secu­ri­ty to Iraq which was miss­ing dur­ing the ear­ly days of the Unit­ed States engage­ment there.”

    Han­ni­ty then asked Bush what deci­sion he would have made with 20/20 hind­sight.

    “Yeah, I don’t know what that deci­sion would’ve been,” Bush respond­ed. “That’s a hypo­thet­i­cal but the sim­ple fact was mis­takes were made, as they always are in life and for­eign pol­i­cy. So we need to learn from the past to make sure we’re strong and secure going for­ward.”


    New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie ®, a poten­tial rival of Bush in the 2016 Repub­li­can pri­ma­ry, seemed to pounce on Bush’s answer to Fox News and in an inter­view with CNN’s Jake Tap­per said he would not have ordered an inva­sion of Iraq giv­en the the infor­ma­tion avail­able now.

    Well that answer should sat­is­fy pret­ty much no one.

    But what’s real­ly excit­ing about this whole sit­u­a­tion is that Jeb baf­fling­ly unpre­pared response to ques­tions about the inva­sion of Iraq just might end up spread­ing the Bush fam­i­ly taint to the rest of the GOP’s 2016 field because now they all are going to have do what what Chris Christie just did and state clear­ly whether they would have sup­port­ed the inva­sion know­ing what we know today. And, at that point, we get to find out whether or not Jeb’s strange inabil­i­ty to denounce the inva­sion is due to famil­ial bonds or could it have been due to Jeb’s aware­ness that the GOP mega-donors expect their can­di­dates to sup­port a high­ly ques­tion­able war because they want more high­ly ques­tion­able wars now.

    So we still don’t know what Jeb would have done in 2003 with 20/20 hind­sight since Jeb appar­ent­ly does­n’t know. And know Chris Christie’s posi­tion on the mat­ter. But what about the oth­er 20+ occu­pants of the 2016 GOP clown car? Isn’t the “what would have have done know what you know today?” ques­tion now a must ask ques­tion for all of them now that the guy that was once the pre­sump­tive front-run­ner poten­tial­ly implod­ed his cam­paign try­ing to answer it? It seems kind of an irre­sistible ques­tion now.

    So it will be very inter­est­ing to see which oth­er can­di­dates fol­low Christie’s lead and start spon­ta­neous­ly offer their opin­ions on what they would have done and how many of them make it through the process unscathed. Who knows, if we see more can­di­dates stum­ble on the Bush fam­i­ly’s kryp­tonite and end up drop­ping out of the race Jeb may have actu­al­ly done the GOP a favor.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 12, 2015, 6:40 pm
  6. Hi Ptera. Obvi­ous­ly, I agree with your con­tempt for this fool and the army of slugs look­ing to revive the fam­i­ly hon­or. How­ev­er, I dis­agree on your opti­mism that ANY of this spells some kind of “end for Jeb”.

    The media did­n’t exact­ly “jump” on this devel­op­ment out­side of the left­ie blo­gos­phere. Remem­ber: a HUGE amount of the GOP estab­lish­ment sticks to their “guns” on the Iraq mat­ter, they just twist it by say­ing “if only Oba­ma had kept the troops there a lit­tle longer, every­thing would have been OK and the Sun­ni and Shia would have learned to love each oth­er”. Which is anoth­er total fan­ta­sy based on Wash­ing­ton’s total fail­ure to com­pre­hend any­thing Islam­ic.

    Admit­ted­ly, the GOP grass­roots is dif­fer­ent and MANY of them now admit the Iraq war was a huge mis­take as they get that Sad­dam actu­al­ly held the worst jihadists in check. It’s pret­ty rare that I see a GOP grass­roots com­men­ta­tor defend the Iraq War. The best they can muster is “well, a lot of Democ­rats sup­port­ed it, too!”

    A lot of them also get the same thing in Syr­ia and hold Mus­lim Broth­er pimps like McCain and Gra­ham in con­tempt. How­ev­er, the grass­roots of the GOP does­n’t own the banks, the defense corps, con­trac­tors, the secu­ri­ty firms who CLEANED UP on the war. And those are the folks who will put Jeb in the White House. When Jeb speaks on this stuff, he is speak­ing to THEM, not to the GOP elec­torate who have large­ly soured on the Iraq effort. And the elite will not wince at names like Wol­fowitz. Remem­ber: these guys have been res­ur­rect­ed before. How many “dis­graced” Nixon/Ford flacks wound up in Rea­gan, Bush 1, and Bush 2 admins? Uh, pret­ty much all of them?

    I wish the “opin­ion of the Amer­i­can peo­ple” mat­tered more than it appar­ent­ly does. But a life­time of watch­ing this shit unfold has­n’t led me to that con­clu­sion. There is a great quote from late Arkansas gov Winthrop Rock­e­feller, who men­tored the Clin­tons, in Morris/Denton’s “Part­ners in Pow­er”: “there are only two things that mat­ter in a polit­i­cal cam­paign: financ­ing and orga­ni­za­tion. Issues are rel­a­tive­ly unim­por­tant”. It’s what the Clin­tons live by and part of why they, and so many oth­er politi­cians are able to skate through slip­pery ice. (not Clin­ton-bash­ing here, I vot­ed for Bill twice and Hillary over Oba­ma in ’08!) I always go back to that quote when I’m flab­ber­gast­ed by a choice by the Amer­i­can elec­torate.

    And you KNOW that Jeb will a) have mon­ey and b) his orga­ni­za­tion will be sec­ond to none. The fact that large chunks of his “base” 1) don’t want anoth­er Bush in office and 2) total­ly dis­agree with his take on immi­gra­tion reform 3) don’t like see­ing Iraq war shills back in office, will increas­ing­ly become irrel­e­vant as his GOP com­pe­ti­tion is picked off one by one by the media.

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | May 13, 2015, 9:56 am
  7. @Tiffany:
    Here’s an inter­est­ing twist on the ‘what hath Jeb wrought’ ques­tion that seems to sup­port the idea that Jeb has noth­ing to wor­ry about: Fox News con­duct­ed a recent poll of reg­is­tered vot­ers and guess who came in tied for first place at 13%. Ben Car­son and Jeb. Although also half of respon­dents say they’ve nev­er heard of Car­son and Jeb actu­al­ly had a 37% favor­able vs 44% unfa­vor­able rat­ing so it was­n’t all good news for Jeb. But all things con­sid­ered it could have been a lot worse:

    The Hill
    Poll: Car­son ties Bush for No. 1 among the GOP

    By Jonathan Easley
    May 14, 2015, 11:23 am

    Ben Car­son has surged into the top tier of GOP pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates in a Fox News poll released Thurs­day, tying for­mer Flori­da Gov. Jeb Bush for the No. 1 slot.

    The poll shows the Tea Par­ty activist and Bush in the lead with 13 per­cent sup­port each. That’s a jump of 7 per­cent­age points for Car­son, who was tied for sixth place in the same poll in April.

    Carson’s jump comes on the heels of his pres­i­den­tial announce­ment two weeks ago in Detroit. His cam­paign imme­di­ate­ly sought to fundraise off the poll, boast­ing of the more than 100,000 dona­tions it has col­lect­ed in recent weeks.

    Car­son has a strong favor­a­bil­i­ty rat­ing, with 26 per­cent view­ing him pos­i­tive­ly against 16 per­cent neg­a­tive, but the for­mer neu­ro­sur­geon remains rel­a­tive­ly unknown. Forty-nine per­cent said they had nev­er heard of him.

    Only busi­ness­woman Car­ly Fio­r­i­na and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have worse name ID.

    The poll is also good news for Bush, who sat in fourth place with 9 per­cent sup­port in April.

    While Bush’s poll num­bers are lag­ging in the first-in-the-nation cau­cus state of Iowa, which many believe to be a reflec­tion of his prob­lems with the base, he con­tin­ues to poll well nation­wide. Bush leads the field nation­al­ly, accord­ing to the Real­Clear­Pol­i­tics aver­age of polls, with 15.4 per­cent sup­port.

    Still, the Fox News poll shows he’s under­wa­ter on favor­a­bil­i­ty, with 37 per­cent say­ing they have a pos­i­tive view of him against 44 per­cent neg­a­tive.

    Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walk­er sits alone at third place in the Fox News poll with 11 per­cent sup­port, fol­lowed by for­mer Arkansas Gov. Mike Huck­abee at 10 per­cent, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) at 7 per­cent and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie at 6 per­cent each.


    The Fox News sur­vey of 1,006 reg­is­tered vot­ers was con­duct­ed between May 9 and 12 and has a 3 per­cent­age point mar­gin of error.

    Yes, it def­i­nite­ly could have been worse for Jeb. And who knows, it just might get bet­ter or worse because note the dates the poll was con­duct­ed: May 9‑May 12. May 10, Sun­day, was when we first got reports about Bush’s response to an inter­view ques­tion that was to be aired on Mon­day. Then on Mon­day we see the inter­view and learn that the he answered was actu­al­ly about would he would have done in 2003 know­ing what we know today. And then on Tues­day, May 12, Jeb respond­ed to anoth­er inter­view that he did­n’t hear the ques­tion cor­rect­ly and, know­ing what he knows today, does­n’t know what he would have done in 2003.

    Assum­ing the peo­ple polled were pay­ing any atten­tion to the GOP pri­ma­ry news at all, Jeb man­aged to tie for first when Jeb’s giant f#ck up was arguably get­ting worse by the day! That’s pret­ty impres­sive for a guy with net neg­a­tives run­ning against a clown car of oppo­nents. Of course, Jeb then went on to sug­gest that reex­am­in­ing the deci­sion that led to the Iraq inva­sion would be a “dis­ser­vice” to the troops and then final­ly just came out and said that he would­n’t have sup­port­ed the war know­ing what he knows today. But that did­n’t hap­pen until two days after the poll.

    So it’s going to be inter­est­ing to see how Jeb does in next mon­th’s Fox News poll. Well, as inter­est­ing as a Fox News poll can be.

    Who knows, after com­ing all as a shy war­mon­ger, if things go awry for Jeb in the pri­maries he can always flip back to sup­port­ing the inva­sion and be a strong con­tender as a ‘Dick Cheney’-esque VP pick of 2016 to pro­vide the ‘grav­i­tas’ for whichev­er nut ball gets tapped for the top slot. Assum­ing he was will­ing to take the sec­ond slot. Although, even there, he could have some stiff com­pe­ti­tion.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 14, 2015, 8:28 pm
  8. *warn­ing* This is not the onion. The video is real. Appro­pri­ate­ly, min­utes ~9 — 11 might cause explod­ing heads. You’ve been warned:

    TPM Livewire
    Judith Miller And James O’Keefe Dis­cuss Ethics In Jour­nal­ism (VIDEO)

    By Bren­dan James
    Pub­lished May 15, 2015, 1:43 PM EDT

    Ex-New York Times reporter Judith Miller and rightwing gueril­la film­mak­er James O’Keefe filmed an hour-long dis­cus­sion try­ing to answer the ques­tion that has per­sist­ed through their careers: “Why do they hate us?”

    “I think jour­nal­ists who poke holes in com­fort­ing nar­ra­tives tend to be sub­ject­ed to a fair amount of scorn,” Miller told O’Keefe. “I’ve spent my whole life try­ing to poke holes in com­fort­able nar­ra­tives. And I think that annoys peo­ple.”

    She com­mis­er­at­ed with O’Keefe about being “despised” by the main­stream media, say­ing that the two were unit­ed by “skep­ti­cism” and their efforts to get at the truth.

    Miller is wide­ly known for her reportage on weapons of mass destruc­tion in the lead up to the Iraq War, while O’Keefe is known for doing things like cross­ing the U.S.-Mexico bor­der dressed as Osama bin Laden.

    “That’s what jour­nal­ism is, tri­al and error,” Miller said to O’Keefe in the inter­view.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 15, 2015, 2:47 pm

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