Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Thanks Senator Feingold

For tipping us off to a recent speech by Vice-Admiral Mike McConnell, Director of National Intelligence, at his alma mater of Furman University.

The Senator's undies are in a bunch because he claims the Vice-Admiral made disparaging remarks about certain Senatorial participants in the recent FISA debate. It's entirely possible he's still ticked because Davidson college knocked off the University of Wisconsin in the NCAAs.

Anyway, in trying to debunk this charge it was necessary to actually read the speech (targeted mainly at college kids with a goal of recruiting into the IC community), which featured several worthwhile quotes that would have otherwise escaped notice. Such as:
Now, a lot of people have an image of this President. The first thing that stunned me is he reads about 3,000 words a minute, so I stay up all night, half the night, and I read all the material. I take in an article; I read it again before I go to his office. We hand him the article. It’s four pages long and I’m scrambling to keep up, make sure if he’s asking a question on page three and I’m still on page two. This President has – in a personal sense moves very, very quickly, retains incredible data, so this is a challenge.
Well whaddya know, Bush probably reads faster than some college professors, or even a few Senators. One of the best Karl Rove quotes goes like this--"never underestimate the power of being underestimated". There's a certain gravitas in appearing modest, something Kerry never understood.

Ironically McConnell dropped a Colbertism by describing his job as "telling truth to power" and claims to be a political independent. He also said our greatest threat was a growth in the nuclear club, not terrorism, all surely to fall on deaf ears in the derangement fever swamps where some likely believe the White House janitors sport iron crosses. Hey, this guy is an ex-admiral, not an academic. He's not the first of his type to inject a dash of BS into a speech for effect but it doesn't disqualify the message. McConnell would do well to explain himself a little bit better, like naming names (just kidding).

Actually, it sounds like a compliment. In other words, while some in the Senate do indeed hate Bush with a passion they STILL managed to pass the Senate version of the FISA bill by an overwhelming margin. Not so in the House. Notice how the "reality community" over at TPM Cafe and Huffpo left out the last sentence in the paragraph, which stated "we should have it passed by both House and the Senate". As Dan Rather could have easily said after his last broadcast, "truthiness".

There was a media person present and video so there's a decent chance they'll try to trump this up some more, but there's really nothing there to pump up (unless someone wants to challenge Bush to a speed reading contest). Actually, the most significant thing he revealed was that al Qaeda is currently recruiting white Europeans due to their ability to enter America without a VISA, something a border fence can't stop.

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