Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006



A day after his "major" address on Iraq, it was back to "stay the course" with Sen. Lieberman, glad-handing the Iraqi president, refusing to put any pressure him, and claiming "progress" was being made.

From the front page of the Courant, this wasn't the headline he wanted to see (pdf of front page here):

Getting Not So Tough

A day after saying in a major campaign speech that "we must get tougher with the Iraqi political leadership," Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman met Tuesday with Iraq's president and had a pleasant conversation that ended with the two men agreeing progress is being made....

Asked if he followed through on Monday's "get tough" message, Lieberman said, "This is a question of allies working together. With a friend, you don't essentially put a gun to their head."...

"If anyone asks what progress has been made in Iraq as a result of American involvement, look at this man," Lieberman said. "He has taken the place of Saddam Hussein."

Not every Senator agreed. Like, say, Sen. Clinton (D-NY):

Not all senators were so encouraged after meeting with Talabani. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., who attended the meeting, afterward sharply criticized U.S. policies and cited a lack of progress.

"The writing is on the wall and it doesn't say, `Mission accomplished,"' Clinton said.

And, of course, Sen. Kerry (D-MA):

"We don't need misleading speeches. We don't need slogans. We need leaders who will tell it straight and stand up to this administration and say it's time to change course. Ned Lamont is providing that kind of leadership," Kerry said.

Sen. Lieberman put forward no specifics and even went back to claiming there were "terrorists in Iraq" before the war started:

At the Capitol, though, Lieberman would not specifically define what he meant by rejecting an open-ended commitment, saying his own goal "is not as neat as a deadline but a deadline is a deadly and disastrous alternative."...

Even the news about the National Intelligence Estimate, which found that the Iraq war had spread terrorism, did not deter Lieberman.

"Are there terrorists in Iraq? Of course there are. That's a reason we went in," he said. But he would not comment on the report itself, saying, "We don't know what it says. We have to see it."

And two days after brushing aside the National Intelligence Estimate as meaningless, and one day after the report was partially declassified in an attempt to hold back a tide of bad headlines, this wasn't the headline Sen. Lieberman or President Bush wanted to see on the front page of NYTimes.com:


Portions of the report appear to bolster President Bush’s argument that the only way to defeat the terrorists is to keep unrelenting military pressure on them. But nowhere in the assessment is any evidence to support Mr. Bush’s confident-sounding assertion this month in Atlanta that “America is winning the war on terror.’’...

In short, it describes a jihadist movement that, for now, is simply outpacing Mr. Bush’s counterattacks.

“I guess the overall conclusion that you get from it is that we don’t have enough bullets given all the enemies we are creating,’’ said Bruce Hoffman, a professor of security studies at Georgetown University.

Cross-posted at dKos:
Letter to John Kerry, thanking him for helping CT Dems!

Dear Senator Kerry,

I wish to thank you for the statement you issued Tuesday condemning Senator Lieberman's foreign policy speech and praising Ned Lamont. I greatly admire your courage to stand strongly with the Democratic nominee of our party in Connecticut. Other leading Democrats, notably Bill Clinton, have done the opposite. There seems no bounds to Clinton's ability to "triangulate", as evidenced by his recent interview with Chris Wallace on FOX News, describing the situation in CT is an unmitigated blessing!

Thank you for saying what needed to be said. I was particularly impressed by your eloquent formulation of the job at hand for the Democratic Party:

"We don't need misleading speeches. We don't need slogans. We need leaders who will tell it straight and stand up to this administration and say it's time to change course. Ned Lamont is providing that kind of leadership."

While other Democratic leaders are seemingly too afraid to involve themselves in the election in Connecticut, you have shown great courage and the stakes are high.

Here's a quote from a front page article by Jeff Kurz in Sunday's Meriden Record-Journal:

"...Democrat Diane Farrell hopes to unseat U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays in the 4th District; Christopher S. Murphy challenges Rep. Nancy L. Johnson in the 5th; Joseph Courtney seeks to unseat Rep. Robert Simmons in the 2nd. These races are all opportunities as Democrats try to win a majority in at least one side of Congress in the mid-term elections. Democrats must gain 15 seats in the House on Nov. 7 to win control. Had Lieberman bowed out after his primary defeat, Lamont likely would have cruised to a win in the general election; Republican Alan Schlesinger has failed to gain the support of even his own party. Then Democrats could have focused resources on the congressional challenges and New Haven Mayor John De Stefano's bid to unseat Gov. M Jodi Rell. As it is, those races continue to share just a sliver of the media spotlight.

In the best of all possible cases -- and this is where Joe Lieberman is hurting Democrats -- if Joe had done the right thing and bowed out, Ned would be alone and Democrats could focus on the congressional races," said George Jepsen, Lamont's campaign chairman and former state party chairman. "So Joe's running as an independent is an opportunity lost," he said. "We're not getting that opportunity. A lot of the money, time and effort that will go to the senate race would go to the congressionals."

Thanks again!
Blue Sky
If anyone else is interested in contacting Sen. Kerry to offer him thanks for standing with Ned Lamont, he can be contacted at the following link:

So, according to Lieberman, the reason we went into Iraq was because there were terrorists there. Good one. My remembrance of the facts is that Saddam Hussein, while a terrorist against his own people, made sure he prevented outside terrorists from entering Iraq. We opened the door to a massive influx of jihadists. I think he needs to be nailed on this and the other fallacies that spew out of his mouth.
Great to see The Courant laying into Joe.

Lieberman really has no clue what's going on in Iraq or with national security. He's completely disconnected from reality and he has more access to intelligence reports and security estimates than he has time to read (assuming he cared to read them).

I think we need to find out if Lieberman has read the NIE and if not, why not.
actually, while careful to prevent "wholesale" intrusion of terrorists, SH liked to "pal around" with the leadership of terrorist organizations (just to keep his options open). His "security" folks actually did a lot of "work" with terrorists world wide because they had the money and ability to train (remember Salman Pak where Arabs trained and the phony kuwaiti passports provided to the 93 WTC bomber, and also the abu abbas?). So while you are right, it was not afghanistan, it was not the garden of eden either. With this as a back drop, the leap to "we must take pre-emptive action" is not quite the "cowboy reaction" some would have you believe. Layer the fact that they wouldnt come clean on WMD and "its a slam dunk"
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