10/31/2005

Marine killed on his FIFTH trip into Al Hadithah

lawnorder: Marine killed on his FIFTH trip into Al Hadithah

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter tells us the story of Edward Schroeder, a Boy Scout turned Marine, who was killed along with 13 other soldiers on their fifth trip into Al Hadithah, Iraq, to clean out insurgents. Their fifth trip. Augie's grieving father [said] "that is the definition of insanity." (doing the smae thing over and over and hoping for a different outcome).. And because of Bushco's gag order this insanity has not been debated on natianal media for the last 2 years, as Alter's article points out -- law

The Price of Loyalty - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com

The Schroeders were on my mind as I watched Patrick Fitzgerald's skillful press conference. He laid out the seriousness of blowing the cover of CIA operatives. He explained clearly why Scooter Libby had been indicted. He even struck a blow against rogue prosecutors (like Kenneth Starr, though he didn't mention him) whose staffs routinely leak to the media in violation of the law. But Fitzgerald was wrong on one count, at least metaphorically. "This indictment is not about the war," he said. Oh, yes, it is.

The conventional Washington explanation is that this is just old-fashioned politics. As long as you don't lie to a grand jury, there's nothing illegal here. But the consequences of a bias for loyalty over debate—even internal debate—have been devastating. The same president who seeks democracy, transparency and dissent in Iraq is irritated by it at home. O'Neill tells his story in a book by Ron Suskind called "The Price of Loyalty," and that title is the missing link in explaining the failure of the Bush presidency. The price of loyalty is incompetence. Issues don't get aired; downside risks remain unassessed.

Instead of reaching out and encouraging disagreement, Bush let neocons like Libby and Paul Wolfowitz hijack his foreign policy. Amazingly, the pros and cons of invading Iraq were never even debated in the National Security Council. If you had doubts, like Colin Powell, you were marginalized. (Powell's former chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, said last week that a "cabal" of isolated policymakers ran a government of dangerous "ineptitude.") Consider the case of Brent Scowcroft. According to last week's New Yorker, former president Bush has tried to arrange a meeting between his old national-security adviser (and best friend) and his son. But after Scowcroft wrote a 2002 op-ed piece titled "Don't Attack Saddam," the president has consistently refused his own father's request. Now we know that Bush's lack of curiosity has proved fatal.

Paul Schroeder says that well-meaning people offer their condolences over Augie, "then they whisper to us, 'We oppose the war, too.' Why do they whisper?" Why? Because until now, the Bush White House has successfully peddled the idea that dissent is somehow unpatriotic. Paul and his wife, Rosemary, take a different view. "I think it's more patriotic to speak up," Rosemary says. "If the emperor has no clothes, or the president has no plan—then you have to speak out. Otherwise, you're putting all these lives in danger for no good cause."

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