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December 07, 2007

The Smooth, Pudding-Like Consistency Of Jay Rockefeller

So Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, knew all about the interrogation tapes the CIA destroyed. But he did nothing. Glenn Greenwald beats the crap out of him here.

And as long as everybody's beating the crap out of him, let's remember his amazing statement of complete impotence. I never realized U.S. senators with gigantic personal fortunes had so little ability to affect things.

(The Rockefeller interview was conducted by reporter Charles Davis, whose recent conversation with Dennis Kucinich is here.)

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at December 7, 2007 12:19 PM

Greenwald quotes Marty Leberman, who suggests the Democrats elect a Chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee who will "treat this scandal with the seriosuness it deserves."
Well, sure, but the "seriousness" muscle in the brains of most Amercans has atrophied. From books and book reviewing, in movies and on TV and on campus, most matters "serious" are shunted aside as sooo "heavy" or depressing. Seriousness, or gravity, is a downer. We want a quick solution, an easy laugh, a pat on the shoulder.
Look at the debates, the WaPost coverage of candidates, the emphasis on the personal, on cheap religiosity, on shouting matches--Kurtz, Matthews, Coulter, O'Reilly--the arbiters of our public dialogue.
After decades of such stuff, the "serious" is almost unknown. Senators are part of our culture too, which is almost all pop.
Even the public figures you disagreed with--Robert Taft long ago, Bob Dole more recently--far, far more serious than the equivalents public climate now allows, or perhaps even demands.

Posted by: donescobar at December 7, 2007 01:02 PM

2 words--- cover up.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 7, 2007 01:58 PM
Rockefeller admits he learned of this in November, 2006. And he did nothing.

Identically, AP reported: "Rep. Jane Harman of California, then the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and one of only four members of Congress informed of the tapes' existence, said she objected to the destruction when informed of it in 2003." But as was true with Rockefeller's "objections" to the NSA lawbreaking, her objections were confined to private expressions of "concern" to the CIA, and she took no steps -- no press conferences, no investigations, no demands for a criminal referral, no court action -- to impede this destruction-of-evidence plan in any way.

The tapes were destroyed in 2005 (if it is to be believed). It says he learned of it in 2006.

Harmon is more at fault, but I'd like to know what they are to do if they are briefed on a classified program. They can't just whistleblow at that point, and they can't summarily declassify because they're outraged (although I don't think she would be). Do you think that members of congress want to hear these things? I'd wager they walk around the hallways, like Sgt Shultz, going "na-na-na-na-I-can't-hear-you, I can't-hear-you! I see nothing!"

One of the tricks to get a person to stop talking in public is to show them the classified documents on the subject they're being bothersome about.

Posted by: Ted at December 7, 2007 02:09 PM

Given the pathetically weak mind of Glenn Greenwald, I'm sure that at most only 30% of the dirt on Carpetbagger Jay was unearthed.

Is Greenwald still denying the existence of the PNAC?

That dude is a joke. You people want compelling legal analysis, you should look elsewhere. You want viable political analysis, you BETTER look elsewhere.

Glenn Greenwald is just this side of a moron.

Posted by: The Wendigo at December 9, 2007 11:09 AM