Yes, the Wikileaks documents destroy right-wing claptrap about Obama

It is tedious to constantly be wrestling with the goofy, conspiratorial narratives that the far-right continues to churn out about the Obama administration and the direction that America is taking.

But because those narratives have moved to the mainstream of our politics, it is unfortunately necessary.

So in reading through the various revelations contained in the Wikileaks documents, I found myself asking:

Is there any evidence here that any of the Glenn-Beck-Rush-Limbaugh-Sarah-Palin narratives are true?

First a bit of context.  Whatever else they might offer, the Wikileaks dispatches published widely over the last week give a glimpse of the inner “id” of America’s behavior, diplomatic agenda and self-image overseas.

This is our chance to eavesdrop on the backroom chatter, the unguarded moments, the unvarnished stuff that we rarely get to hear.

If the far right were correct, we would be hearing some very specific stuff here.

We would be finding evidence that the Obama administration is apologist in its worldview, eager to kowtow and suck up to foreign powers, and bent on pursuing a dodgy new world order.

Last spring, Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru write the following in the conservative National Review:

“President Obama’s first year in office should be seen in the context of contemporary liberalism’s discomfort with American exceptionalism. The president has signaled again and again his unease with traditional American patriotism.”

This is a common and even an obsessive theme on the right.  Sarah Palin spent an entire chapter in one of her books contrasting her own supposedly virile view of American “exceptionalism” with that of the president.

So is it true?  Do we find the Obama administration deep in secret discussions aimed at establishing foreign “entanglements” that will slowly erode American sovereignty?

Do we find the mutterings of an administration bent on emulating socialist regimes in other parts of the globe?  Do we find a lot of ivory tower hand-wringing and navel-gazing about our own flaws and shortcomings?

Predictably, no.

What we find is a pretty typical president in Barack Obama and a fairly typical secretary of state in Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Both are busily wielding American power around the globe and doing so fairly ruthlessly and unilaterally, dispatching diplomats to build the alliance against Iran, bullying Germany, and even sneering about Canada.

They are managing two overt wars — in Iraq and Afghanistan– while prosecuting a much wider and more aggressive war against terrorism, which includes regular and unapologetic forays by our military and secret agencies into other sovereign countries.

According to the Wikileaks documents, when Germany tried to complain about our accidental kidnapping of the wrong person on their soil, the Obama administration’s diplomats told them, more or less, to shut up and keep quiet.

Indeed, nowhere in any of the documents released thus far do we find any of the George-Soros-black-helicopter-Obama-needs-to-find-his-man-pants stuff that the right churns and rehashes obsessively.

There’s no sign of any softness on the question of supporting Israel.  No secret plans to create some kind of vast new North American nation.  No secret memos about Obama’s true nationality.

No plans to create a climate-change related world government driven by enviro-wackos.   No schemes for a world currency.  Heck, there’s not even anything here about putting fluoride in our water.

These revelations won’t change things much, of course.

The same sources that are discredited by this overwhelming release of facts and evidence will go on making the same absurd claims and they will go on getting interviewed and talked about.

But next time Glenn Beck and his ilk map out a complicated connect-the-dots conspiracy theory, claiming to describe the way the world really works, remember that we actually got a glimpse of the truth.

And once again it made their performance look both silly and cynical.

As always, your comments welcome.

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43 Comments on “Yes, the Wikileaks documents destroy right-wing claptrap about Obama”

  1. klem says:

    “even sneering about Canada.”

    Never heard of the place. Isn’t that in Afganistan? no wait that Candahar.

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  2. Paul says:

    Brian, if you didn’t take these “far right conspiracy theories” so seriously you would have more time on your hands. These guys are just trying to entertain and make lots of money. It is working well and you are helping them out.

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  3. Brian, Truth has never been an obstacle to the true believers of any stripe. They decide what they believe then turn out any and everything that doesn’t fit their chosen beliefs.

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  4. Brian says:

    paul – i wrestle with your concern at the top of my piece and, frankly, i just disagree. these guys (limbaugh) and gals (palin) are not just entertainers. they are actively and successfully shaping the debate and public policy in america. i think we have plenty of evidence by now that ignoring them doesn’t work.

    brian

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  5. phahn50 says:

    but Brian – it is still true, as pointed out repeatedly above, that “truth” is pretty irrelevant to the right wing clap-trap. That was the whole basis of the “truthiness” concept made famous by Steven Colbert. There is some kind of emotional reality that trumps actual reality.

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  6. Brian says:

    Yes, and the tedious truth is that we have to keep pointing this out. Otherwise the truthiness eclipses the truth. And not just in the minds of people on the far right. A lot of mainstream people think death panels exist. Which means that as a journalist it’s part of my job to keep pointing out — dull as this is — that they do not in fact exist.

    Brian, NCPR

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  7. marie says:

    Brian, I agree with you that it is a tedious task and I thank you for your service. I also believe that these people (Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, etc) are poisoning minds on a wide and frightening scale. I understand what some of the posters are saying. Some people just aren’t into rational thinking and can’t be reached. But I do think efforts like yours can help in reaching those who are not so far gone. I think that at least we need to try. It can’t hurt. But we need to pick our battles wisely. Otherwise we could end up wasting a lot of time and energy.

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  8. Paul says:

    “they are actively and successfully shaping the debate and public policy in america.”

    Yes, you are probably correct but I think that is partially because many people want to actively debate them.

    marie, I think it can “hurt”. If you engage them then they are engaged.

    If the “left” wants to counter this then the best bet is to come up with a way to “actively and successfully shape the debate and public policy in america.” There is nothing stopping the left from doing this, except their inability to do it successfully. Getting rid of these pundits won’t help folks with a different view become more articulate in advocating their points.

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  9. phahn50 says:

    Brian – I didnt mean at all to suggest that you shouldnt keep pointing out the truth. “Once more into the breach”…

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  10. Bill G says:

    Unfortunately, the discussion is too often couched in left/right vs. right/wrong terms. While I find the cable and radio blowhards extremely distasteful, I believe that there is a special place in hell reserved for the Olbermans and Michael Moores of the world because they only serve to validate the jerks on the right.

    Shaping the discussion to fit ideology, rather than the facts, is the issue. Unfortunately, although the leaks should do much to discredit the whacko narrative re Obama, I doubt they will have that effect with the “true believers” – and that, to me, says more about the believers than the preachers.

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  11. Bret4207 says:

    Wow! I’m truly impressed that you managed to read every word of all 251,287 documents Brian. That’s must have taken you weeks to sort through, with your trained journalists eye discerning nothing that could possibly be construed as supporting any thing the right wing has ever said!!! I can’t imagine how long it took to sort through everything, determining the context each document was in relation to, checking the backgrounds of who said what and how each of those 251.287 documents authors related worked in relation to the others.

    Well, just knowing that YOU personally went through all 251,287 pages of documents and found absolutely nothing that could possibly support anything that those right wing sobs and their “ilk” support is good enough proof to me that there is absolutely nothing factual in anything they’ve ever said! Like that bogus story they’re spreading that the Fed is going to bail out the EU! Or that the the FCC is going to go ahead and push for Net Neutrality even though the courts told them it was illegal to do so! What utter tripe.

    Thank goodness we have unbiased professional journalists at NCPR to sort through every word of all 251,287 documents and do our thinking for us. I mean, you’re no Stephen Colbert, but maybe in time……

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  12. Cassius says:

    Brian, sounds like you hit a nerve.

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  13. PNElba says:

    Ha. I knew someone would eventually explain why you are wrong Brian. Since when does truth or evidence count for anything these days. I’m sure somewhere in those 251,287 documents there is evidence that Obama is a commie/socialist/fascist/klanner/urbanite. Then you will have to admit you are wrong and Rush and Glenn are right.

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  14. newt says:

    Maybe Bret could show us one, just one, of those 251,287 docs that contradicts Brian’s point.

    Or maybe he could even find one the tells where just where Saddam hid all those doggone WMDs.

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  15. Notinthevillage says:

    It is tedious to constantly be wrestling with the goofy, conspiratorial narratives that the far-right continues to churn out about the Obama administration and the direction that America is taking.

    What is tedious is the constant flow of strawmen with broad generalizations devoid of any specifics. Here is the direction that America is taking

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  16. Elaine H says:

    The fact that all of those documents were edited by the left-leaning New York Times prior to release could be the reason you read the pages the way they want you to.

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  17. Bret4207 says:

    The point is that Brian is asserting that since in his skimming over of reports of what the documents contained (because there’s no way anyone has read all the original documents since their release) that in his OPINION (that’s not FACT) he saw nothing that supports ANYTHING the right has said, therefore EVERYTHING the right has said must be wrong. That’s a bogus claim to start with since he didn’t read the original documents and since he doesn’t actually listen to what Glenn Beck, for instance, actually says. If he did he wouldn’t be making bogus claims that Beck has called for violence. Just the opposite is true, Beck has gone out of his way to berate anyone even thinking of violence and has said numerous times that if anyone see’s someone heading that direction to contact the proper authorities if necessary.

    IMO all Brians post shows is that he’s just a biased as anyone else. His mind is made up and he’s searching for justification of his position. Because he found nothing in his brief skimming of the documents that appeared to him to bolster what he thinks the right is saying he makes the leap that everything they say must be false. And yet, Brains very next post down the page is regarding the liberal bias the CBC takes against the US and the way that affects our relations. Huh? So in one post there’s absolutely nothing in the Wikileaks to support anything the right says but in the post before that the media bias (a very common right wing complaint, and the CBC has been mentioned numerous times) and it’s affect in US-Canadians relations as found in the Wikileaks release is a problem??????

    Still got those blinders on , eh Brian?

    Newt- Well, it’s not Wikileaks but 550 metric tons of Saddams yellow cake are in Canada now. You can start there if you want. You can continue by looking into links like this-

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/what-is-assad-hiding-in-his-backyard-1.292935

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  18. PNElba says:

    Nosir, Glenn Beck wants nothing to do with violence. He’s opposed to violence completely. He’s made certain to let his listeners know that the evil progressives should be left alone.

    “To the day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter.”

    “Progressives want you dead.”

    “I fear a Reichstag moment, a — God forbid — another 9-11, something that will turn this machine on.”

    “This game is for keeps”; “[Y]ou can shoot me in the head … but there will be 10 others that line up.”

    “President Obama, why don’t you just set us on fire? … We didn’t vote to lose the republic.”

    “When do we ever run those who are bankrupting our country and literally stealing our children’s future out of town? Grab a torch.”

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  19. newt says:

    Haaretz, huh. I think if any reliable intel source believed this, someone would have said something by now. Dick Cheney, for starts. In his case, even a fairly unreliable source.

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  20. phahn50 says:

    cmon Bret – Brian didnt say that there was nothing in the wikileaks that supports anything the right has ever said. (Im sure that some rightwing nut job has correctly identified the day of the week, for example, and there may be support for that in the wikileaks) What he said was that the wikileaks contradict the general thrust of the right wing criticisms of the Obama administration. I must admit that my exposure to Glen Beck is via clips on Jon Stewart, but Beck seems appallingly ignorant and naive while lecturing his audience on US and world history. But where does Brian accuse him of inciting to violence?

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  21. phahn50 says:

    Although, it seems that he (Glen Beck) comes pretty close.

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  22. RickM says:

    It’s a tedious job. But if we keep plugging at it the truth and decency will win in the end. It’s just such a long hard job to keep at it. We are getting more civil, we are caring more for those at the bottom. Evil things still happen of course. But the world is slowly getting better. The pendulum analogy only works so. It does swing but it’s tending to the side of reason.
    Unfortunately, major shifts in attitude often only happen with education of a new generation. Think racism. When my parents were children it was so ubiquitous as to be nearly invisible. When I was a kid people were starting to think about it in a serious manner. Now many high school students barely notice race.
    I’m not saying be patient. I’m saying work harder. Educate and be an example of what you want our culture to become.

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  23. Bret4207 says:

    Phan, it’s a long standing peeve of mine that Brian has done several times and refused to address or defend further, the Beck thing I mean. Instead of listening to clips on a comedy show, listen to the radio show for a few days and tell me when he advocates violence. He doesn’t, never has, and those who pathetically try to grab a clip here and there, as in one of the posts following mine, to prove their point are doomed to failure because they don’t know the context and won’t be able to provide any context that proves their point. Beck may irritate you, but he’s not stupid enough to do something that would feed the fires of his hate monger opposition.

    Brian took the opportunity to try and make a point over the Wikileaks and IMO it failed miserably. I’ve been taken to task in the past by Brian and others here when I tried to use a story to validate my opinion. Why are the rules different for anyone else?

    Newt, do some research. Cheney did say that the WMD did exist long after Bush gave up on the idea. And I recall quite clearly the sat pics of convoys leaving suspect WMD sites and going to Syria on CNN. This is old news, just as Cheney stating that there “thing you aren’t privy to” long after every one else gave up on the WMD is old news. Personally I think things like that, the yellow cake etc. validate the WMD fears. What we didn;t find was the armed nuke addressed to 1600 Pa Ave Wash DC, which is the only thing that would have satisfied people.

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  24. phahn50 says:

    Bret – I have no doubt that Glenn Beck is a great entertainer and that the Fox News business people are thrilled to have him working for them. But as Brian has pointed out, he is more than just an entertainer – he is an opinion maker – a “pundit”, and it is fair to ask whether or not the dots that he has connected turn out to reflect the real world – especially as more information becomes available. The Wikileaks refute his analysis of the Obama administration.

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  25. Bill G says:

    Whether it’s Beck or Olberman or any of the other “opinion makers”, no one drags their listeners to the TV or radio. In many cases, these guys understand the mood of their audience and reflect it back in a narrative that is appealing to it. I recommend the text of the speech by Edward R. Murrow re Joe MacCarthy’s Houe Unamerican Activities Committee (available on YouTube) as an insight into the demagogy of a different era.

    This doesn’t excuse the demagogue, but it places the responsibility where it should be, squarely on the audience.

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  26. Pete Klein says:

    I have a hard time giving a hoot over these leaks. They rank right up there with who broke into whose house out someplace in California.
    If the government feels the need to classify just about everything, then it is its responsibility to keep secret what is classified. If someone can find out, then the government did a lousy job of keeping it secret.
    They should know, once you try to hide something you encourage people to want to know what the big secret is.
    Want to hide something? Leave it out in plain sight and people will think it is unimportant.

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  27. Bret4207 says:

    Phan, how do you know the dots don’t connect if all you get is sound bites from Stewart? And how do you know Wikileaks refutes Beck or anyone else if you haven’t read the actual unedited documents? I have not read the documents, I make no claim or suggestion that I have. There’s 251K documents and you guys are making a judgment on what amounts to a 5 second sound bite. So I’ll make you guys a deal- you get a way to get the unedited documents and provide then so we can all read through them and then we can see if there’s nothing there that backs up anything anyone on the right has said. We already know the US/Canada media issue is in there and that type of thing has been a right wing talking point for decades. So if you’re willing to do that and actually take the time and effort to do the work (you try listening to a few days of Becks radio show instead of just sound bites too) rather than judge based on what amounts to speculation, maybe then I can accept your opinion with more than goggle eyed disbelief.

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  28. Bret4207 says:

    Bill, interesting you should mention McCarthy. I ws thinking about that while beating on a tractor tire today in respect to Newts disbelief that there was anything to WMD in Iraq. While I agree McCarthys “witch hunt” probably got a bit out of hand, we should also remember that he was vindicated decades later in the late 90′s or early this decade when declassified documents showed that he was entirely right about Alger Hess and a lot of other people. But that’s not something that the leftist media chooses to report. That would reflect badly on the accepted way things should be, that communism just hasn’t had a good chance to work with the right people in charge.

    I have little doubt that someday we’ll find out that there was a lot more to the WMD issue than we like to believe.

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  29. Mervel says:

    The cool part or interesting part about conspiracy theory is that any facts can fit into the theory somehow, so no this data dump will have no impact on conspiracy theories on the Right or on the Left.

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  30. Bill G says:

    Bret,

    I think you’d agree that it’s pretty difficult to rehabilitate Joe McCarthy. The Venona Papers reveal the extent of Soviet espionage but only the most ardent McCarthyites would claim that they legitimize his behavior. After all, he was censured by his peers and circled the drain for several years before he drank himself to death, indications that he wasn’t a particularly stable individual. And, his claim of partisanship during his censure hearings ring as hollow as those made by Charlie Rangel. Also, regardless of the position one might take on present day media, the world was a different place in the 50’s and claims of a left wing anti-McCarthy conspiracy just don’t hold up.

    With regard to WMD: their existence was the second claim by the Bush administration in launching the Iraq invasion. The first was that Saddam was complicit in 9/11. To my knowledge this initial claim has not been substantiated by any credible source. The WMD claim, the next line of offense, inordinately focused on nuclear weapons development (how many times did we hear from administration officials that “they didn’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud”?). While there is no hard evidence that there were chemical and biological weapons, it is a virtual certainty that Iraq had no nuclear capability in 2003 or had the ability to develop that capability anytime within the decade. I don’t dismiss the possibility that there may have been some transfer of chemical and/or biological materials to Syria, but I am extremely skeptical. Is it reasonable to assume that they could have erased every trace of these materials internally? Would Syria, an enemy government, have cooperated in such a transfer? Possible, but not probable.

    I believe that the invasion of Iraq was driven by the belief that we could drain the Middle East “swamp” of nasty dictators and introduce contagious democracy to the region. The action was facilitated by the immediate post 9/11 domestic mood and the widespread recognition that Saddam was a really bad guy. I don’t question the objectives of the Bush administration but I do think the adventure demonstrated its naïveté.

    Also, a reality that eats away at my stomach lining is the willingness of those who launched and jawboned this adventure (Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, Bolton, Kristol) and were willing to sacrifice the lives of our young troops in doing so almost universally chose not to serve during their war.

    I guess I’ve taken the bait on WMD and Iraq, but there it is.

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  31. Bret4207 says:

    He was censured by his peers? Yeah boy that’s some harsh treatment. And if we want to talk about alcoholism lets take a hard look at Teddy Kennedy, Tip Oneil, etc. The facts are he was right about Hess and a lot of other people whether anyone likes it or not. That’s my point. Nobody wants to hear that. Screws up your view of history.

    “While there is no hard evidence that there were chemical and biological weapons…”- Uh, what about all the Kurds he gassed and the Iranians he killed with chemical weapons? And what do you need 550 tons of yellow cake for and all the centrifuges, etc. if you aren’t aiming at developing nukes?

    Revisionist history strikes again.

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  32. Bret4207 says:

    BTW- The King Obama never served and he hasn’t stopped the war. Clinton didn’t serve but he sent our guys in harms way. FDR didn’t serve either and how many did he kill? That’s a hollow argument at best.

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  33. PNElba says:

    What is pathetic are people who fall for the conservative/TEA party demagoguery. It’s always about fear, fear, fear and hate, hate, hate.

    Beck has all the symptoms of a dry drunk, yet he is a hero to millions. Yeah, you have to take all of Beck’s violent innuendo in context. He’s really a God-fearing, humble man of the earth who spends his spare time repairing tractors to feed the hungry of the world. Conservatives have the great lie technique down pat. Just keep repeating a lie and it will soon be taken as gospel.

    BTW, Were there chemical and biological (potential) weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Of course there were, we sold them to Saddam in the late 80′s.

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  34. Bill G says:

    My last words, I promise. You can have THE last word if you wish. If anyone else is following this, I’m sure they are finding it tedious.

    Re McCarthy: even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I don’t think anyone is surprised that spies had penetrated the government and, yes, some of his claims ended up being accurate, but he abused his position and appointed himself as judge, jury and executioner. You may approve of his methods but apparently his peers, a group that is extremely hesitant to meet out punishment to their own, did not. I’m not sure what Teddy Kennedy’s or any other Senator’s bad behavior has to do with it. I think Kennedy should have been prosecuted for Chappaquiddick and thrown out of the Senate, but that has nothing to do with McCarthy’s fitness to serve. I don’t believe that it makes any sense to excuse the psychotic behavior of McCarthy because Teddy Kennedy was a drunk.

    People can go on believing that the Iraqis had WMD’s, but that flies in the face of Bush’s and Blair’s own admission that they didn’t exist. The point isn’t that the Iraqis didn’t have some poison gas in the early 1990’s. It’s that they didn’t have WMD in 2003. There’s no revisionist history in that statement. The revisionism is justifying the war based on the fact that Saddam was a bad actor, when it became evident that the original justifications (complicity in 9/11 and the existence of WMD) proved wrong.

    Finally, on the “hollowness” of the observation that many in the administration aggressively lobbied for the Iraq invasion even though they didn’t serve. You miss the point. All those I noted AVOIDED the war of their generation. Quite honestly, I would not have an issue with that in isolation. What I do object to is that they studiously AVOIDED their generation’s war, but were eager to send this generation’s youth in harm’s way. This is particularly true of the neoconservatives. I am the roughly the same age as these guys (all in their 60’s now) and I remember well the efforts one would have to make to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War. It took affirmative action (not pot luck). It seems these guys got “religion” once they pulled themselves from hiding under their desks. To cite Slick Willie, Roosevelt, and Obama sorely misses the point. (Roosevelt’s lack of service may have had something to do with the fact that he was a cripple.) The war agitators pushed hard for invasion and they shirked their responsibility to a man when duty called.

    There seems in your comments to be an obsession with the shortcomings of Democrats and the media. I would distinguish my position on these matters to be independent of political affiliation, idealogical belief, or conspiratorial theorizing…but I’m sure you would just consider that naïve.

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  35. Mervel says:

    I agree, it’s like these guys now who are tax cheats but want to take their pay from the government.

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  36. Bret4207 says:

    Bill, as far as McCarthy goes I don’t defend his mistakes, I said he went overboard. My point is that 50 years later we find out things weren’t as we supposed, that McCarthy wasn’t wrong about guys like Alger. We often find out things aren’t as we supposed decades after the fact. But if those facts don’t fit what we want to believe or if they make our beliefs seem less than they should be, depending on your perspective, we either jump all over it or ignore it or exaggerate it. A classic example was the DNA evidence “that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with his slave”. Well, that’s the way it was reported, there were even TV movies made about it. But the facts don’t support that. The evidence supports the fact that someone in the Jefferson lineage fathered those kids. No one ever reports that Jeffersons brother was known for indiscriminate dalliances with slaves. The DNA supports that too, but it’s a lot more fun to tear down a good man than his “Billy Carter” brother.

    It seems to me that since we don’t know all the facts that it’s entirely possible that Saddam did have more than we are told. I have talked to returning vets who describe things very differently than what we hear on the news. I simply don’t believe we know as much as we think we do about what was really there or not there.

    As for the relation of Kennedy to McCarthy, well, you brought up the alcoholism. I thought you considered that important. And as far as the not serving in VN, there were all sorts of people voting to go to war that never served. I think that’s a strawman argument. Hillary was all for it, she never served. Does that make her just like Bush? Her husband believed Sadam was a threat to the US. He passed up Osama twice, but he gets a pass for that stuff. And people go on about “Bush lied”, well Clinton said our guys would only be in the Balkans for a year and that wasn’t what happened, was it? The left loves to talk about the civilians in Iraq that have died, but they never discuss the Christians in the Balkans Clinton bombed and killed from 30,000 feet.

    My “obsession” is with leftists who love to point out the ketchup on the tie of the right winger while completely ignoring the mustard covering their shirt front! We have a 2 party system that is broken. There is so little difference between the 2 parties now as to be laughable. The Repubs are desperately trying to find some back bone, and failing. They said, “No more earmarks!!!”. But, they’re back taking earmarks. The Dems are still blaming the economy on Bush, but they’ve been on power for almost 5 years. It’s just as much their fault as Bushs, and they have no plan for fixing any of it.

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  37. phahn50 says:

    Bret – The “evidence” changed our collective opinion of Alger Hiss slightly, but had nothing to do with how we collectively think of McCarthy (he was evil). Had nothing to do with alcoholism or any other moral vices other than he was a mean-spirited bully who ruined peoples lives for personal gain (power). And as for the WMDs – a red herring. Its true most people thought Saddam had them – evidently he wanted the Iranians to think so. But the Iraq adventure was and is a disaster for the US. It strengthened our enemies and cost us a trillion dollars. We are worse off (in the middle east) now than we were when Saddam was in power. It was the incompetence more than anything.

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  38. Pete Klein says:

    Even if Saddam had WMDs, so what? We have them and so do a lot of other countries.
    All that should ever be done about WMDs is to have a simple, clear cut policy. You use them and we take you out forever. Period.
    Yes, this policy should apply to Israel.
    We really need to stop sticking our nose into every country in the world. This includes the so called Muslim world. If people are willing to be oppressed by a religion or a government, that should be there problem, not ours. If they themselves want to rise up and request our help, we should consider it. We did not help Hungary when it needed our help.
    Communism? I’d rather not but many religious orders practice a form of communism and the US military has a form of government that is pretty darn close to being a communistic dictatorship. Except for getting paid, you give up most of your rights as an American when you join the military.
    McCarthy? I would argue the main problem wasn’t McCarthy himself but the very idea that a person’s life could be ruined simply by believing in communism or being associated with people who believed in communism.
    Or course Marxist Communism is opposed to capitalism and just as naturally capitalism is opposed to communism. So the real question or debate should be: do you have faith in the people of a democracy to reject communism and favor capitalism? Or not?
    The only worry you should have in a democracy is whether or not capitalism is working for the majority of the people. If capitalism fails the majority of the people, only rewards an elite few and oppresses the majority, then you have a lot to worry about and this is exactly the situation you had in Russia and China where a majority of the people were oppressed by their rulers.

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  39. oa says:

    Really hard to take history lessons seriously from a guy who can’t even spell Alger Hiss’ last name correctly. Teh google. Use it.

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  40. Bret4207 says:

    I teh’d google. It didn’t work. I also spell morron wrong.

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  41. Bret4207 says:

    Phan, McCarthy isn’t the point, neither is booze or communism or anything else. The point is we simply don’t know what we don’t know.

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  42. phahn50 says:

    yes there is some uncertainty in life, and how things look now, might change. Doesnt mean you cant come to conclusions, even if they dont hold up.

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  43. Bret4207 says:

    And you come to one conclusion, I come to another.

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