Correction to This Article
An earlier version of this column incorrectly stated that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted in February. He was convicted in March.
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Fitzgerald Again Points to Cheney

Another choice bit from Cheney's speech: "As Army officers on duty in the war on terror, you will now face enemies who oppose and despise everything you know to be right, every notion of upright conduct and character, and every belief you consider worth fighting for and living for. Capture one of these killers, and he'll be quick to demand the protections of the Geneva Convention and the Constitution of the United States. Yet when they wage attacks or take captives, their delicate sensibilities seem to fall away."

As blogger Digby put it: "He's explicitly saying that only a bunch of girly-men with 'delicate sensibilities' need the protections of the Geneva Conventions or the Constitution of the United States. He isn't proud of them. He thinks they make the US weak and it's obvious that he'd be thrilled to take a match to both the treaty and the constitution."

Bush's Opinion

I often wonder why more news stories don't start: "President Bush yesterday again denied reality. . . . "

And then along comes this delightful surprise from Jennifer Loven of the Associated Press: "Confronted with strong opposition to his Iraq policies, President Bush decides to interpret public opinion his own way. Actually, he says, people agree with him.

"Democrats view the November elections that gave them control of Congress as a mandate to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. They're backed by evidence; election exit poll surveys by The Associated Press and television networks found 55 percent saying the U.S. should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.

"The president says Democrats have it all wrong: the public doesn't want the troops pulled out -- they want to give the military more support in its mission.

"'Last November, the American people said they were frustrated and wanted a change in our strategy in Iraq,' he said April 24, ahead of a veto showdown with congressional Democrats over their desire to legislation a troop withdrawal timeline. 'I listened. Today, General David Petraeus is carrying out a strategy that is dramatically different from our previous course.'

"Increasingly isolated on a war that is going badly, Bush has presented his alternative reality in other ways, too. He expresses understanding for the public's dismay over the unrelenting sectarian violence and American losses that have passed 3,400, but then asserts that the public's solution matches his.

"'A lot of Americans want to know, you know, when?' he said at a Rose Garden news conference Thursday. 'When are you going to win?'

"Also in that session, Bush said: 'I recognize there are a handful there, or some, who just say, "Get out, you know, it's just not worth it. Let's just leave." I strongly disagree with that attitude. Most Americans do as well.'

"In fact, polls show Americans do not disagree, and that leaving -- not winning -- is their main goal. . . .

"Bush aides say poll questions are asked so many ways, and often so imprecisely, that it is impossible to conclude that most Americans really want to get out. Failure, Bush says, is not what the public wants -- they just don't fully understand that that is just what they will get if troops are pulled out before the Iraqi government is capable of keeping the country stable on its own. . . .


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