Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Jane Harman: "There is a 2ND NIE, That is Only About Iraq . . . "

According to Chris Matthews on Hardball today, in addition to this redacted NIE (the chutzpah of this administration, to presume they deserve the benefit of any doubt, automatic trust, is just spectacular), representative Jane Harman (ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee) has announced that there is a 2ND NIE that is strictly about Iraq and how the threat to the U.S. is made worse, and that NIE has been stamped `DRAFT' so that the House Intelligence Committee can't see it. Harmon is calling for Bush to declassify that one:
Representative Jane Harman of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said the administration is withholding a newer draft report on Iraq that is ``highly negative.''

``I have written to Negroponte asking him to send it up to Congress,'' Harman said in an interview.

Matthews spent the better part of his show today eating crow. I think of days like today as `window opportunities,' when it's possible to get through to journalists like Matthews. Today, Matthews was visibly shaken over the new reports of George Allen's racism. Matthews was talking about how he had pushed the idea of George Allen as a 'short list contender' for the Presidency in 2008, and how clueless he'd been assessing Allen's character. It won't last long, the window will close, but while it's open it's a good time to take advantage of it.

Every once in a while, Chris Matthews seems to channel a line from somewhere deep inside himself that crystallizes the situation in a way that reasonable people on both sides of the aisle come to rally behind. Last week it was that "Bush began a war that he couldn't finish."

That really is how politicians, particularly Presidents, need to decide the agenda for their administration. "What can I do in my term (4-8 years)?" If you're thinking about your legacy, as the media seems to force modern Presidents into considering in the last years (even though a good 25 years needs to pass before history can begin to judge), "What can you comfortably get done?"

But that's the bigger picture, and something for ruminating over when we aren't facing imminent moves by this deranged and corrupt administration and the Republican party behind it.

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