Thursday, June 28, 2007

Must reads on power and politics

It would have been hard to miss these this week, but for anyone who has:

The CIA's Family Jewels, newly released documents at National Security Archive. These, of course, include documents on CIA spying on Americans in the '60s and '70s, plots against Castro, etc. There are links to specially interesting documents, and to news stories analyzing the files. Files are redacted, of course, so some (like this one, E. Howard Hunt requests a lockpicker) contain blank spaces.

Angler: The Washington Post's blog series on Cheney. A blockbuster of a series, starting on Sunday and continuing, about the vice president's extraordinary influence on the Bush administration. This is definitely creating a buzz, with Congress considering a bill to cut his office's funding and calls for impeachment like this one from Bruce Fein, at Slate:
Cheney has dulled political accountability and concocted theories for evading the law and Constitution that would have embarrassed King George III.

Among the shocking revelations, how Cheney managed to get the president to sign the executive order designating terrorism suspects as enemy combatants without any review by any other cabinet or staff members, blindsiding Secretary of State Colin Powell. As described by Sidney Blumenthal in The Imperial Vice Presidency, in Salon:
...Powell himself does not fully understand all the ways he was misled, manipulated and abused in order to get him to make the case for the invasion of Iraq. To this day, Powell still does not really know what the CIA and the White House knew about weapons of mass destruction and when they knew it, largely because Cheney was so successful in his rigging of the intelligence process.

On the other side of the political spectrum, an interesting report in Fast Company on Al Gore's successful retirement from politics: Al Gore's $100 Million Makeover. On his political ambitions:
...he seems genuinely distanced from the idea of running for President--at least for now. "What politics has become," Gore explains at one point during our discussion, "is something that requires a kind of tolerance for artifice and manipulative communications strategies that I just find I have in very short supply. I just don't have the patience for things that seem to be greatly rewarded in today's political system."

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