Other People's Genius: Real Issues Edition

* Crooks and Liars has been working with the ACLU to fight torture:

I got word that we’ve sent 80,127 letters to Congress so far. That’s amazing in such a short time. Thank you for you participation. And I want to thank all the bloggers that joined in also. Barack Obama just came out on the latest Bush/torture revelations—saying that he would consider asking his “new Attorney General and his deputies to “immediately review the information that’s already there” and determine if an inquiry is warranted.”

This is excellent news. I still need your help in two ways. I’ve been emailing ABC News to ask them to have Charles Gibson bring up the torture issue during Wednesday’s debate since ABC actually broke the news.
If only Charles had listened to John! (Ironically, just before the "debate", I had planned a blog post praising ABC on their torture story). I submitted my letter to Congress. Have you?

* Glenn Greenwald continues to correct the record as far as Attorney General Mukasey's lies about FISA and terrorism are concerned:
There are several updates in the ongoing fallout from Michael Mukasey's patently false claims made in the speech he delivered several weeks ago in San Francisco regarding FISA and the 9/11 attacks. This week, Mukasey responded to a letter he received from John Conyers and two other Subcommittee Chair in which Mukasey acknowledged (because he was forced to) that the call he claimed originated from an "Afghan safe house" into the U.S. was fictitious, but he nonetheless vaguely asserted that his underlying point -- that FISA unduly restricted pre-9/11 eavesdropping and prevented detection of those attacks -- was somehow still accurate.

In the reply sent on Mukasey's behalf (.pdf), the DOJ claimed that the telephone call did not originate from Afghanistan but from another country he refused to identify, and further claimed that the call Mukasey was referencing was discussed in the Joint Inquiry Report -- which, as I noted when I first received the same explanation from the DOJ, reached the opposite conclusion of the one Mukasey was trying to advance: namely, that Report concluded that the Bush administration had all the authority it needed under FISA to intercept and investigate any such calls, and its failure to do so had nothing to do with any supposedly excessive constraints imposed by law.
Where I come from, there are penalties when an Attorney General lies.

* Tristero discusses the "major debacle" of the Iraq War:
For years I have said that any serious plan to confront the catastrophe created by Bush's utterly immoral invasion, conquest, and occupation of Iraq must acknowledge the unavoidable step one: Bush must leave office and a sensible president of the United States must be elected. In short there is nothing anyone can do but wait.

I realize that is a horrible plan, not much better than strengthening interagency planning. But it has the virtue of being honest and of not pretending anything can be done now that has a hope of mitigating the disaster.
The fact is that people are anxious to move beyond the Bush years and look ahead to A New Hope. But we know we need to keep on top of the guy who The Daily Show has termed "Still President Bush". He's up to stuff, whether we like it or not.

Happy (ominous) other people's genius Friday!

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