Wednesday, July 16, 2003

 Petitions before breakfast 

For some reason I felt motivated enough this morning to sign an online petition urging congress members to start an independent bipartisan investigation of the Iraqi intelligence scandal. For what it's worth, here's the content of the letter I submitted:

Too much focus is being placed merely on the "16 words" in Bush's State of the Union address last January, and not enough in the long-standing pattern of deception that took place over the past year. Frankly, dissenters in congress (and surprisingly, the usually aggressive media) were way too timid for the past year of sounding alarm bells before this disastrous Iraq policy came to fruition. The fact is this whole matter could have been exposed as the fraud that it is 6 months ago.

Be that as it may, please PLEASE start doing something about it now. Investigate all the evidence that was trotted out to whip up support for this highly politicized war. Revisit those satellite pictures. Inquire about the connections betweeen the AEI and this administration, and our increasingly "faith-based" intelligence and foreign policy. Hammer on the issues regarding the *urgency* of waging this war, when it is apparent now that we as a country were in fact in no imminent danger from Iraq at all.

We need accountability in government, and you folks are in the best position of any of us to raise a stink about this whole thing. You have to be adroit about this, I understand that - the political and media climate surrounding security issues in this country often pays more attention to "attitude" than to substance. But it can be done if you frame the issue in the way it needs to be framed. "Framing" is not a dirty word, like "spinning" - it speaks of understanding the way the electorate thinks, and highlighting the truly important aspects of reality in a clear, expressive, and cogent manner.

This petition is a call for you to start work on this. For all of us who feel increasingly vindicated in our dissent towards the President's misguided policies, please take action. Thank you.

It's funny that I inserted that little bit about "framing". But I couldn't help it - it just seemed so appropriate. So much discourse nowadays is dismissed even if it is substantive, just based on the perception of the motivations of the speaker. But I still think you can have transparency in your motivations (which is what liberals often strive for) and still get your points across through proper framing. And in this case I just think the stakes are too high to not drive the point home that people who come at least a little closer to representing me finally get their collective act together, say what needs to be said, and do what needs to be done. We want to bring democracy to Iraq? Why not practice a little bit of it here first?

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