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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Every ambassador a shill

[Updated below: shills and more shills!]

It is just possible that this is slightly less disgusting than the corruption of the (In-)Justice Dept., or the partisan abuse of GSA and other federal departments, but still. According to WaPo today,

White House aides have conducted at least half a dozen political briefings for the Bush administration's top diplomats, including a PowerPoint presentation for ambassadors with senior adviser Karl Rove that named Democratic incumbents targeted for defeat in 2008 and a "general political briefing" at the Peace Corps headquarters after the 2002 midterm elections.

The briefings, mostly run by Rove's deputies at the White House political affairs office, began in early 2001 and included detailed analyses for senior officials of the political landscape surrounding critical congressional and gubernatorial races, according to documents obtained by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The documents show for the first time how the White House sought to ensure that even its appointees involved in foreign policy were kept attuned to the administration's election goals. Such briefings occurred semi-regularly over the past six years for staffers dealing with domestic policy, White House officials have previously acknowledged.

If only they had been this organized for the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath or for hurricane Katrina! But we know that the key value of The Regime is power and not national security or "domestic tranquilty."

[Addendum: OK, maybe this is that disgusting-- it looks like they also briefed career State Department officials (and the Peace Corps!) on GOP electoral priorities for 2008. As Sen. Joe Biden wrote, "Nor do I understand why department employees would need to be briefed on 'key media markets' in states that are 'competitive' for the president." This is clearly a continuation of the Lurita Doan/GSA escapade. They have, as the ancient prophet Jeremiah wrote of those who brazenly corrupted his nation's socio-political ethos, "forgotten how to blush." (Jeremiah 6:13-15)]

Updates(2) from TPM:
  1. David Kurtz reports the list (from WaPo) of federal agencies whose employees have been incorporated into The Regime Machine: 20 in all! Richard Daley the 1st would be so proud!
  2. My personal favorite, Josh Marshall excerpts an article by Joel Brinkley from the San Francisco Chronicle about an article that Condi Rice co-wrote with the CEO of Cisco Systems "about public/private partnerships and how they might be of use in rebuilding Lebanon after last summer's war. No one would publish it. . . . Every one of the major newspapers approached refused to publish an essay by the secretary of state." [My emphasis.]
    The coup de grace of the article are comments from Price Floyd, who recently left his position as the State Department's director of media affairs after 17 years. Floyd said that the article "was littered with glowing references to President Bush's wise leadership. 'It read like a campaign document.'" About his departure from State, "he said he was fed up with the relentless partisanship and the unwillingness to consider other points of view. His supervisor, a political appointee, kept 'telling me to shut up,' he said. Nothing like that had occurred under Presidents Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush. 'They just wanted us to be Bush automatons.'" (Shades of the Surgeon General! And of various Communist dictators of less than blessed menmory: Chairman Dubya.)

"I'm so proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free!" (A line that never really made sense to me, but at least now gets to be ironic.)


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