Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

PS. Why isn't the Kerry campaign or the DNC slapping together an ad with the video of President Bush saying he isn't concerned about bin Laden?

I have no friggin' idea.

Late Update: I've been hassling folks about this for days. But, as of today, it turns out they do have such an ad. It still doesn't include as much of the quote as I'd like. And it uses the text quote rather than the actual video. But it hits the basic point. And on this I'm quite happy to be corrected.

Even Later Update: I was going to suggest that it'd be much better to use the actual video to give a feel for the president's swagger and nonchalance in saying he wasn't concerned about bin Laden. So I jumped back to the post I did from a few days ago about this to get the link to the transcript and the video clip. But when I clicked on the video link it wouldn't come up. Then I remembered that someone had sent me an email alleging that the White House had been pulling embarrassing video feeds from the White House website. And indeed this site claims that the particular clip in question has been pulled down, even though the video for the press conference immediately before and after this one remain. I can't say myself whether there's not some more innocent or more technical-snafu type explanation. But it does strike me as suspicious. And I'd be eager to hear more about this.

Later and Later into the Night Update: Moveon does have an ad with the video in question. And it's good. But, honestly, I don't think it's as well put together as it might be. The fact that the president lied about having said this in the debate, or forgot he'd ever said it, is less the point than his palpable lack of interest in finding bin Laden as evidenced by the clip itself.

A telling line ...

[Kerry] refuses to acknowledge progress, or praise the growing democratic spirit in Iraq. He has not made democracy a priority of his foreign policy. But what is his strategy, his vision, his answer? Is he content to watch and wait, as anger and resentment grow for more decades in the Middle East, feeding more terrorism until radicals without conscience gain the weapons to kill without limit?

This is a passage from the <$Ad$>president's 'major address' on foreign policy today. And statements such as these are the ones that take us beyond mere lying, which the president's campaign is doing so much of today, to a more fatal and willful myopia.

Kerry will "watch and wait, as anger and resentment grow" in the Middle East?

Does the president think we're in the bubble with him?

Let me first stipulate that I have long thought and continue to believe that, setting the issue of methods and modalities aside, liberalization in the Middle East is a key strategic interest of the United States. But if anger and resentment is your issue, who cannot see that on this point, with his methods and modalities, President Bush has sown the wind and is now reaping the whirlwind?

You might argue that bottled up emotions pale in comparison to force and power. But if you are making the argument about hearts-and-minds, who denies that by every measure, both empirical and impressionistic, President Bush has conjured these passions almost more than all before him combined? The rhetoric has truly achieved lift-off from the facts.

This is grand strategy by vacant syllogism and cliche. It gives a new meaning to sound and fury signifying nothing.

Just out, CBS/NYT poll: Bush 47%, Kerry 45%. President's approval rating, 44%.

"This was not an unfortunate misreading of the available evidence, causing a mistaken linkage between Iraq and al-Qaida. This was something else -- a willful choice to make a specific linkage whether evidence existed or not."

Al Gore today, saying what is undeniably true, though something the White House has managed to again make controversial.

Many of you have read this Knight-Ridder article by Strobel and Walcott already. But in <$NoAd$>case you haven't or only did so in passing, let me excerpt the first few grafs ...

In March 2003, days before the start of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, American war planners and intelligence officials met at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to review the Bush administration's plans to oust Saddam Hussein and implant democracy in Iraq.

Near the end of his presentation, an Army lieutenant colonel who was giving a briefing showed a slide describing the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, known in the planners' parlance as Phase 4-C. He was uncomfortable with his material - and for good reason.

The slide said: "To Be Provided."

A Knight Ridder review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country. The administration also failed to provide some 100,000 additional U.S. troops that American military commanders originally wanted to help restore order and reconstruct a country shattered by war, a brutal dictatorship and economic sanctions.

In fact, some senior Pentagon officials had thought they could bring most American soldiers home from Iraq by September 2003. Instead, more than a year later, 138,000 U.S. troops are still fighting terrorists who slip easily across Iraq's long borders, diehards from the old regime and Iraqis angered by their country's widespread crime and unemployment and America's sometimes heavy boots.

"We didn't go in with a plan. We went in with a theory," said a veteran State Department officer who was directly involved in Iraq policy.

In truth this is not so different from what folks who were reporting on this stuff at the time were hearing as it all unfolded. But it's quite a thing to hear all the unforgivable details set out in such detail.

Why has the Department of Justice worked so hard to keep a lid on the New Hampshire phone-jamming case?

The Nashua Telegraph wants to know now too.

Soon to join the jobless?

The DC Bureau chief of Sinclair Broadcasting, Jon Lieberman, is denouncing his employer's plan to air an hourlong, unpaid Swift Boat ad later this week, according to the Baltimore Sun.

"It's biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election ... For me, it's not about right or left -- it's about what's right or wrong in news coverage this close to an election."

Sinclair News VP Joe DeFeo has told Lieberman he risks being canned for speaking out and refusing to participate in the presentation of the 'documentary.'

While Gallup and ABC/WaPo are trending for Bush, Zogby is trending for Kerry. This morning Zogby has the two tied at 45%, from a 2 point Bush lead yesterday and four points the day before that.