Saturday, April 20, 2002

Avedon Carol states that David Corn's equation of Senator Inhofe's remarks with Congresswomen McKinney's is incorrect, with in her mind the former being "fruitbat territory" and the latter not. She may have just been trying to slam Inhofe, but I worry she inadvertently undercuts Corn's central point. I don't think Corn was trying to compare the relative Truth of the comments, but rather highlight the selective outrage of her critics.

Charles Kuffner claims that McKinney's comments were simply "read meat" for her fans. If only it were so. To me, it is more a dainty sliver of sashimi. Tasty, but not exactly coronary-inducing. Compared with the littany of lies that is Republican Red Meat, I'm quite happy for a bit of fiery rhetoric by the Dems. And, since nothing McKinney said was factually incorrect....where's the problem?

As Kuffner seems to ignore, both of her basic points are true. He seems to think that it is standard practice for Friends of the Administration to be war profiteers. Or, at least, he implies that the serendipity of the administration's close ties to the defense industry is something we just have to accept. The question of whether our military actions are morally justified or not should be separate from the administration's connection to military contractors. But, that doesn't mean that it is. It doesn't mean that the tremendous [proposed] increase in the defense budget is. It doesn't mean that the new Secretaries of the various armed forces are not just funnelling funds back to their previous employers.

The point is that currently there is an atmosphere which discourages even asking such questions. I want to know where this $50+ billion is going, to whom, why, and is the money being spent wisely? The demonization of anyone who dares to raise these questions, simply because they dare to suggest the obvious - maybe government contracts go to [horrors!] well-connected buddies, and maybe those expenditures are padded, is ridiculous. The connection between Cheney, Halliburton, and Brown&Root is obvious. The connection between Poppy Bush and the Carlyle Group is well established. The connections between Secretary White, who did give some military business to Enron, and Enron, are well established. Frankly, anyone who raises these questions deserves a medal. God knows Bob Woodward isn't doing it.

And, I'd also like to suggest that had Fritz Hollings made the same comments he wouldn't have gotten nearly as much press.