But isn't it rather indicative of sanity to say you "won't nuke" a city in Pakistan "JUST" to kill Osama?
But that is not how Obama said it, and thus Attaturk ignores the problem with Obama's statement. Let's review again what Obama said:
Q: In Afghanistan or Pakistan, is there any circumstance where you would be prepared or willing to use nuclear weapons to defeat terrorism and Osama bin Laden[?]" Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday he would not use nuclear weapons "in any circumstance." "I think it would be a profound mistake for us to use nuclear weapons in any circumstance," Obama said, with a pause, "involving civilians." Then he quickly added, "Let me scratch that. There's been no discussion of nuclear weapons. That's not on the table."
(Emphasis supplied.) "Scratch that." Why did Obama say "scratch that" you think? Because he remembered, in the middle of his answer, that it is a bedrock doctrine of nuclear deterrence that you do not discuss how and when you would use nuclear weapons. It may be rational and wise to discuss it as Obama initially did, but in a political campaign, such a departure from doctrine should not come in an off the cuff answer to what was a ridiculous question. Thus, Obama's "scratch that." Discussing it was the gaffe. Policywise I think it is obvious that no one will use nukes in that secenario or, indeed, in any first strike scenario. But the politics demanded something better from Obama. More.
This is precisely why Clinton answered as follows:
I think that presidents should be very careful at all times in discussing the use or non-use of nuclear weapons. Presidents, since the Cold War, have used nuclear deterrence to keep the peace. And I don't believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or non-use of nuclear weapons.
This is, for better or worse, the consensus view. When a Presidential candidate offers a break from such a bedrock view, it is imperative that they explain why and not fumble over the answer --"scratch that."
The other problem that Attaturk and others ignore is once you start answering questions on if and when you would use nukes, then other questions are sure to follow about this hypothetical or that hypothetical. Use them against North Korea? China? What circumstances? It is a Pandora's Box that no President should open.
It is obvious that Obama made a mistake, he even recognized it immediately. It is surprising that others would not also recognize this.
It seems mind-boggling in this day and age, after all we have heard about lead paint, that a manufacturer anywhere in the world would use it on a child’s toy. In my work, I have known children who needed to be hospitalized because of going into a coma from lead poisoning. I have [...]
A report released publicly on Thursday by the Defense Department's (DOD) inspector general has found high-ranking Army and Air Force personnel violated long-standing military regulations when they participated in a promotional video for an evangelical Christian organization while in uniform and on active duty.
The report recommended Air Force Maj. Gen. Jack Catton, Army Brig. Gen. Bob Caslen, Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, Maj. Gen. Peter Sutton, and a colonel and lieutenant colonel whose names were redacted in the inspector general's report, "improperly endorsed and participated with a non-Federal entity while in uniform" and the men should be disciplined for misconduct. Caslen was formerly the deputy director for political-military affairs for the war on terrorism, directorate for strategic plans and policy, joint staff. He now oversees the cadets at the Military Academy at West Point. Caslen told DOD investigators he agreed to appear in the video upon learning other senior Pentagon officials had been interviewed for the promotional video.
The inspector general's report recommended the "Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Army take appropriate corrective action with respect to the military officers concerned."
The officers did not return phone calls or emails to respond to the report's findings.
The 47-page report was also highly critical of Pentagon Chaplain Col. Ralph G. Benson, whom the inspector general's report accused of knowingly misleading the DOD when he requested permission from DOD officials to film a video inside the Pentagon claiming he was interested in gathering information about the Pentagon's "own ministry." In fact, the report says, Benson was determined to use the video to "attract new supporters" to the Christian Embassy, an evangelical organization that evangelizes members of the military and politicians in Washington, DC via daily Bible studies and outreach events. The group holds prayer breakfasts on Wednesdays in the Pentagons executive dining room, according to the organization's web site. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, founded the Christian Embassy 30 years ago.
Over the past few years, the military has set its sights on prosecuting Iraq war veterans who have completed active duty, soured on the war and participated in antiwar protests while wearing their uniforms. Recently, the US Marine Corps prosecuted Cpl. Adam Kokesh and Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, both of whom were photographed marching in an antiwar protest while wearing their uniforms in what the Marine Corps says was a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Military prosecutors vigorously sought to have both men dishonorably discharged. However, it appears unlikely the military will apply the same standard to the Air Force and Army officers who the inspector general said violated the same code of conduct Kokesh and Madden were found to have broken, according to the disciplinary recommendations of the report.
The Army generals who appeared in the video appeared to be speaking on behalf of the military, but they did not obtain prior permission to appear in the video. They defended their actions, according to the inspector general's report, saying the "Christian Embassy had become a 'quasi-Federal entity', since the DOD had endorsed the organization to General Officers for over 25 years."
"The non-DoD speakers on the video included six Congressmen, two ambassadors, two ambassadors' wives, as well as the Under Secretary of benefits for Veterans' Affairs and the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, who acknowledged "Christian Embassy's" international and federal-governmental evangelical Christian training," the report added, although the identity of those individuals are unknown at this time. ...>> The report also concluded a film crew was not escorted or monitored during production of the video inside the Pentagon, and the Pentagon chaplain's office gave at least 34 "religiously affiliated volunteers" unrestricted access to the Pentagon that allowed the individuals to move freely throughout the facility. The so-called "contractor badges" were unauthorized, the report says.
In response, the inspector general urged the administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Army and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency "initiate inquiries into the manner and appropriateness of issuance of contractor badges to volunteer personnel."
The inspector general launched an investigation last year after receiving a letter from Mikey Weinstein, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit government watchdog group that aims to enforce the separation of church and state within the US military. Weinstein's group discovered the video on the Christian Embassy web site. Weinstein drafted a letter to the inspector general alleging misconduct by the officers, citing the military's strict policy that prohibits military personnel from appearing in uniform and participating in "speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies or any public demonstration ... which may imply Service sanction of the cause for which the demonstration or activity is conducted."
Weinstein said the military brass who participated in the video "were clearly identified by their positions within the Defense Department, however, the video did not include any disclaimers indicating that the views expressed were not those of the Defense of Department."
The former White House attorney under Ronald Reagan, and the author of the book "With God On Our Side: One Man's War Against an Evangelical Coup in America's Military", said he is still "dissecting" the inspector general's report, but "clearly this is a gigantic victory for our foundation."
"The report confirms the total destruction of the Constitutionally-mandated wall separating supernatural and natural, metaphysical and physical, spiritual and temporal, church and state at the highest levels of the technologically most lethal organization ever created by humankind; our honorable and noble United States military," Weinstein said in an interview. "The embarrassingly pedestrian excuses feebly offered by senior US Army and US Air Force generals and other senior officers are pathetic and not worthy of those that might have been offered by a first-grader. The fact that these senior Pentagon officials control our country's nuclear arsenal should shake the very foundation of the American public's trust in our country's current leadership."
Weinstein said perhaps the most egregious aspect of the inspector general's report is the findings that non-military personnel were given "badges" to roam freely throughout the Pentagon calling it a "shocking national security breach of the highest order." He called for Congressional oversight hearings into the matter.
"The rise of evangelical Christianity inside the military went on steroids after 9/11 under this administration and this White House," Weinstein said in an interview. "This administration has turned the entire Department of Defense into its own personal faith-based initiative. "
In the video, which is posted on militaryreligiousfreedom.org, Major General Catton talks about how his faith in God and the Christian Embassy helped him land a powerful position as a "director on the joint staff."
"As I meet the people that come into my directorate I tell them right up front who Jack Catton is, and I start with the fact that I'm an old-fashioned American, and my first priority is my faith in God, then my family and then country," Catton says. "I share my faith because it describes who I am."
Army Secretary Pete Geren, the former acting secretary of the Air Force who oversaw the Air Force's response in 2005 to claims evangelical Christians were pressuring cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, also appeared in the video praising the Christian Embassy.
The Christian Embassy "has been a rock that I can rely on, been an organization that helped me in my walk with Christ, and I'm just thankful for the service they give," Geren says.
The inspector general investigated Geren's participation in the video, but determined he did not act improperly. Geren testified he was unaware the video would be used for fundraising purposes or to attract new members. He was identified in the video as "Honorable Pete Geren Presidential Appointee."
The report said Geren, who was also a special assistant to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, has had a long-standing relationship with the Christian Embassy organization.
"According to his testimony, Mr. Geren first became involved with Christian Embassy while he was a member of the US Congress, attending Bible study and fellowship activities arranged by Christian Embassy on Capitol Hill," the inspector general's report states. "He said that he continued his relationship with Christian Embassy when he began work for DOD in the Pentagon, attending the Senior Executive Fellowship and Bible Study."
Robert Varney, executive director of the Christian Embassy, testified the video was used to raise money for his organization.
........................................................................... Jason Leopold is senior editor and reporter for Truthout. He received a Project Censored award in 2007 for his story on Halliburton's work in Iran.
Steven Stark writes: There's no doubt that Edwards made a mistake with the haircut, and that wealthy populist candidates are not easily forgiven for reminding people that they have money. But most candidates on the trail spend a lot on...[...]
Yet another Friday Episode of Music we love, this takes us away from our folky roots to the Land of the Blues...
We were listening to Stephen Stills last night. He had never been my favorite of the CSN mix; last night his blues-driven solo work changed my mind.
This version of "Treetop Flyer" from the 2006 "Freedom of Speech" tour kicks some serious ass. We saw it live, pay attention about halfway through when he & Neil lick off eachother. The Detroit version was even wilder, but this YouTube gets you in the ballpark of his Blues Roots.
The Blues has always been my absolute favorite for seeing any live venue. The improvisational conversation between musicians stuns and amazes me.
Many think of the Godfathers, and blues being passe'. Oh, not so, it is alive and thriving my friends.
The list goes on, in no particular order (reminding me again, its time to re-alpabetize my goddamned CD collection:
Buddy Guy John Lee Hooker Albert King B.B. King Etta James Koko Taylor Muddy Waters Howlin Wolf Junior Wells Robert Cray Sonny Boy Williamson Earl Hooker Melvin Taylor Vernon Reid John Mayall Freddy King Lonnie Mack Larry McCray Shemekia Copeland Luther Allison Marcia Ball Steve Earle Albert Collins The Butterfield Blues Band Ronnie Earl The Glen Eddy Band Robben Ford Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Stevie Ray Vaughn Elmore James Rufus Thomas Otis Spann James Brown Katie Webster John Mayer Kenny Wayne Shephard T Bone Walker Panama Red Juanita McCray Rory Block Saffire Charlie Musselwhite Willie Dixon Keb'Mo
Are your eyes crossing yet? I may be poor, but I am rich in CDs and Albums.
Then you have to realize just how very much the Blues influenced Rock in the works of Clapton, The Allman Brothers, Joe Cocker, Santana and so many other bands of the roots of rock.
There are two ways to play today, give a shout out to your favorite blues song, (be it old or new) with a YouTube if you can find it.
Do a music swap between ourselves. Got a cd I'd like, want a copy of one of these? Maybe we can trade amongst ourselves.
A special shout out to John Lee and B.B. for making records with the next generation of blues players. "The Best of Friends" and "Deuces Wild" respectively.
The posts are coming fast and furious today, thanks in no small part to all the entertainment of YearlyKos.
Right now I'm taking in a panel on the mainstream media and blogs, which seemed like it would be more combative than it's actually been. The panelists are Jay Carney of TIME, Mike Allen of Politico, Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, and Jill from Feministe. Mike lavished praise upon Glenn and the TPM enterprise, among others, and Jay was complimentary to the panel and the crowd. Glenn threw some grenades, making the point that there *really are* differences between blogs and MSM, and many structural failings of the latter, despite the initial love-in, and now the questioners are laying into Jay and Mike a little bit.
But you know what? The only person on the panel whose work I was previously unfamiliar with, Jill, is perhaps the most impressive. She's being bypassed a little now that the audience is challenging the MSM representatives (who, I should note, are being great sports and savvy reporters by doing the panel), and the topic is turning toward security issues (which Glenn has covered extensively) but every time she talks I find myself nodding. For example, it's a basic but overlooked point, which she made clearly, that the left wants the media to be accurate, and the right wants the media to be conservative.
So while I listen I'm going through the Feministe archives, and it's some really good stuff. I'm pretty interested in feminist issues, as everybody should be, and my regular feminism read is Salon's excellent "Broadsheet." Another one for the ever-growing RSS feed, I guess. For a sample, here's a very thoughtful discussion about the YKos conference in the context of feminist priorities.
UPDATE: Jill wins more points by making the (unpopular in this crowd but nonetheless accurate) point that it's unfair to trash the MSM for reporting White House statements -- that stuff *is news,* it just needs to be reported in context (i.e., "White House says whatever . . . experts and facts belie the statement).
UPDATE II: Allen is just getting creamed by questioners, but he's holding his own, rhetorically at least. Politico is pretty crappy; why does the guy who runs the political reporting sound so reasonable in this context?
FINAL UPDATE: For those here at the conference, I'll be on the foreign policy panel starting at 2:30 (CST) in room 404a-c.
Last night the Senate took up legislation that would expand the SCHIP program, marginally raising the federal tobacco tax so that millions more American children would be able to receive healthcare coverage. The bill is basically a no-brainer -- it's[...]
I'm almost tired of talking about O'Hanlon and Pollack, but it's telling as to the biases of the media and the political system that two Brookings hawks can get this much notoriety and press for detecting a glimmer of hope...[...]