Bloggers are smacking their heads over Harriet Miers' answers to a Senate judiciary questionnaire, responding to charges that U.S. soldiers burned the bodies of Taliban fighters, and discussing Condoleezza Rice's statements yesterday before Congress.
Miers' straits: Senate judiciary committee leaders Arlen Specter and Patrick Leahy asked Miers to redo a questionnaire she filed to them because her answers were insufficient. One particular response—seemingly indicating Miers' limited knowledge of constitutional law—has bloggers aghast. She wrote that she had had to deal with the "proportional representation requirement" of the Equal Protection Clause as a member of the Dallas City Council.
At Captain's Quarters, conservative Captain Ed can't believe that an experienced attorney could make such a blunder: "For Harriet Miers to make that kind of mistake when talking about her work on Constitutional theory is a jaw-dropping mistake. … [A]nyone who has paid attention to politics over the past twenty years should know the difference, let alone an attorney who claims to have worked on constitutional issues." The revelation has conservative Patterico "on the ledge." And Right Wing News purveyor John Hawkins is frustrated: "This whole nomination has been a slow motion train wreck from start to finish. … For the love of God, somebody in the White House, please, please, try to talk Bush or Harriet Miers into withdrawing this nomination for the President and the Party." At Onward and Upward, Edward, "a moderate to conservative ballet dancer," thinks that the "insulting" way Miers answered the questionnaire could point to nefarious intentions. "Know for her strictly meticulous nature, the lackadaisical nature with which she has approached this latest assignment suggests that she might feel that her nomination to the Supreme Court is a free ticket to a reign as one of the supreme lawyers of the land."
Read more about Harriet Miers here. In Slate, John Dickerson says Miers' nomination is no longer viable; Dahlia Lithwick finds a questionnaire Miers could easily tackle; Emily Bazelon decoded Miers' signals to the right; and Henry Blodget assessed her finances. For Today's Cartoon's take on the Miers's nomination, click here.
Burning allegations: Investigations are under way by the U.S. military and Afghanistan government into charges that U.S. soldiers "burned the bodies of two Taliban fighters and taunted other Islamic militants."
Bush critic John Aravosis at Americablog accuses U.S. soliders of disregarding the Geneva Conventions and chastises the administration: "The Geneva Conventions are now 'quaint.' Our soldiers trade photos of war dead for porn and the Bush administration does NOTHING about it. And now we have video alleging to be US soldiers yet again violating the rules of war. We treat their dead like toys and we expect them to treat ours with dignity." Conservative administration critic Andrew Sullivan concurs: "[W]e now have a litany of abuses that are objectively evil and almost designed to lose us support among the broad Muslim population. When you do not stamp out religious bigotry at its base, when you give it a wink in politics and in warfare, you make these kinds of incidents inevitable." Sullivan encourages lawmakers to "pass the McCain Amendment."
Mountain-dwelling Elanie Supkis at Culture of Life Breaking News hangs her head in shame. "We are now utterly despicable," she writes. "Our moral rot is so bad, we are competing with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union for status of 'most evil evildoers'."
Andrew Cochran at The Counterterrorism Blog admits the act was "pretty stupid" but suspects it will be used as propaganda by Arab media who "will play it up and continue to ignore or minimize both Saddam Hussein's cruelties during his reign of terror and the chilling stories of murder and intimidation perpetrated in the name of the caliphate by Al-Zarqawi and his thugs." Blogs for Bush's Sister Toldjah sniffs out a case of liberal media bias and accuses SMH.com, the Australian news outlet that broke the story, of "manipulate[ing] news to support their anti-war viewpoints. Our fighting forces are in Afghanistan to smoke out (no pun intended) terrorist thugs who want to kill us and turn our country into an Islamic state, yet we get this nonsense about alleged brutality/desecration done by our troops to them? This is such a horribly reported story that it's pathetic."
For more opinions on the corpse-abuse story click here.
Iran and Syria on notice: Yesterday, while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on progress in Iraq, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refused to discount the use of military force against Syria and Iran.
In a profanity-laced post at A Political Misery, liberal blogger Misery Maligned asserts, "This ignorant woman is perhaps the most dangerous asshole in the world. Why she is in a position that demands the couth and tact of a finely polished diplomat is beyond me--she has neither." Anti-war blogger Chris Craine at IRAQNOPHOBIA inquires, "Where does Washington expect to get all the soldiers to partake in this blasphemy? Recruiting goals are falling ever-so short as of late, along with growing public outcry against the illegal, preemptive attack on the soverign nation of Iraq. A draft? Allocation of mercaneries?" Rhode Island techie Kannafoot, at The Grape's Vine, views it as an unpopular but necessary natural progression of the war on terror: "To date, they [insurgents] have operated with impunity because they are thus far safe from military reprisal. Unless Syria heeds the warnings and takes action against the insurgents on their soil, the US hand will be forced and you will see US and Iraqi troops cross into Syria."
Read more reactions to Rice's testimony here.