Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Justifications, Like Details, You Can Have Too Many

Update. Joe Wilson/Plame on Dubya's memoir.

Particularly when you're trying to absolve yourself from starting a war of aggression and being tagged as a war criminal and mass murderer.

And it has to be said, there's no justification like self justification; and not for one minute do I have to remind you of that little castle in the sky.

I read on two subjects yesterday, the first being George Dubya's latest passel of lies in his forthcoming memoir, Decision Points, crayons optional. And t'other, the scribblings of Keir Simmons.

But of all that I read, one thing jumped off the page more than any other. Let me deal with that first then I can move on. See if you can pick out in these few lines just what that something might be?

In clips from a wide-ranging interview in advance of the publication this week of Mr Bush's memoir Decision Points, the former president also discussed his widely-reported decision to give up drinking at his 40th birthday.

"I didn't like the person I was," he said, noting his preference for beer, martini and bourbon. "I was a drinker. Now, I wasn't a knee-walking drunk."

Mr Bush agreed with interviewer Matt Lauer's suggestion that he was a "habitual drinker" rather than an alcoholic. source

Yes that's the bit, kind of sets the tone for what kind of interview one might expect.

(pics below are from the early days, so they might be a tad amateurish in places.)

A few talking points then regarding Bush Forty Three, aka Dubya.

Three people were waterboarded,
now call me a tad cynical, but I do have a little trouble with that figure.

The next few lines are not without interest, shedding a little light on Tony Blair's, what I can only describe as a runaway attitude and supportive of Dubya's little folly whole heartedly, no matter what the cost. In short, George and Tony's private war.

I will say though, that the arrogant little fuck has lost none of his arrogance, special relationship did I hear you mention?

With arrogance only matched by his shamelessness, the Forty Third President of the United States of America, treats us to another of his innumerable little gems regarding the present day lot of the Iraqis, post invasion. I won't even give the man the comfort of tagging him deluded on that little issue.

But nothing comes close, as you can well imagine, nothing comes close to Bush's shear audacity as when he treats us to lies, so abject, so utterly contemptible, as when he talks of his disappointment in there being no WMD in Iraq. Mind you I don't want to be so terribly unfair to Dubya, we do need to spare a thought for Tony, 45 minutes, Blair, when all said and done.

Mr Bush's memoir, Decision Points, is being serialised in the Times.

In an interview with the paper the former president said: "Three people were waterboarded and I believe that decision saved lives.".........

.........In Mr Bush's interview with The Times, the 64-year-old former president described his close relationship with Tony Blair, but was dismissive of public opinion in Britain about the war in Iraq.

"It doesn't matter how people perceive me in England. It just doesn't matter any more. And frankly, at times, it didn't matter then," he said.

Mr Bush said when Mr Blair faced a possible vote of no confidence in Parliament on the eve of war, he offered him the chance to opt out of sending British troops into Iraq.

However, Mr Blair told him: "I'm in. If it costs the government, fine."

Mr Bush said he still had "a sickening feeling" about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But he defended his decision to invade Iraq, saying Iraqi citizens were better off without the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the US was better off without Saddam pursuing biological or chemical weapons.

Mr Bush admits that he was shocked when no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. source

We all know the bottom line concerning this shabby pair, of course we do. But as Bill Maher says,"You can't lie anymore." (with the internet) Sorry video pulled. Never mind, try this pertaining to 1999.

War on my mind
By Russ Baker

Houston: Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.

“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.” more

So much for WMD.

Before we leave our erstwhile President, just a note on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. If you were following the story at the time you would know just what the man held his hand up for, about the only thing he didn't cop to was the Kennedy assassination, but then I'm not so sure about that. So much for the quality of intel resulting from torture.

Right, the other fellow then, and yes I'll also hold my hand up to cherry picking, but at the end of the day I'm doing no more than playing by the oppositions' rules.

Why I was prepared to stand up for journalism and stand up to Lily Allen.
Keir Simmons 22 July, 2010

Which is why it worried me so much that last night Lily Allen accused Channel 4 News of only targeting Zac Goldsmith because he is rich. In other words she questioned the motives of Channel 4 News and their integrity…………

And that would never do would it, I mean who are we to question Channel 4? But wasn't it Channel 4 that brought us.......
I think that statement more than anything epitomises the attitude of Simmons, as described by John Blacksmith in the post below this.

…………It seems to be fashionable to attack journalists and journalism these days. And we should be able to take the criticism and be forced to defend our decisions like anyone else. But it’s worth remembering how crucial to democracy journalism is and that in general journalists’ guiding principles are to tell people what’s happening and to question those in power.
Indeed for their investigation Channel 4 News worked with the ‘Bureau of Investigative Journalism’, a not for profit organisation that aims to promote the kind of difficult journalism that is under threat in these difficult times.
Difficult times in which it’s worth remembering the old adage ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ and perhaps adding another, ‘you’ll miss us when we’re gone’. source

But it’s worth remembering how crucial to democracy journalism is. Stop for fucks sake. And.

and perhaps adding another, ‘you’ll miss us when we’re gone’. Just like I'd miss Leprosy, what a puffed up delusional fuckwit if ever there was.

Keir Simmons 6 July, 2010

At ITV News our fundamental purpose is to discover the truth and share it with our viewers.Yet there are rare occasions when we agree to put that aim on hold. Yesterday was one such occasion………..

..........We hate it when we can’t tell people everything we know. It goes against everything we stand for. But we also know that ITV viewers expect us to act responsibly. Over the last 24 hours that is what we have done. (a Raoul Moat story)

I think I'm starting to loose the will to live. Last dollop.

Keir Simmons 11 June, 2010

What is the job of journalism? It is to spread word, to ask questions, to hold to account – all of them noble principles. Which is fine in principle, the trouble is doing the job can be not very noble at all.

Because beyond the principles of journalism are real people, suffering real heartache. Their story may need to be shared with the nation, it may raise crucial questions that must be answered, but it is also their life.

A reporter should never forget that our stories aren’t just stories.
At ITV News we are daily faced with the challenge of reconciling our duty to report the story with our duty to care about the people we report on. The two do not always fit neatly together – far from it at times…………………..

……..And as ever – I will welcome your feedback as to whether we strike the right balance between the fair and the firm, the inquisitive and the intrusive. After all ITV News is, ultimately, about the people who watch us. source

Noble! bleedin' noble! principles of journalism! For fuck's sake! one of us needs locking up, but in the meantime, I've got me razor blades, got me box of matches, and all I need now is a busy intersection where I can play.

And let me leave you with this pearl, it is a permanent fixture in the side bar at Only in America.

I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that. I mean, the people understand that we've endured great sacrifice to help them. That's the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that's significant enough in Iraq.view 60 Minutes 1/14/07