Politicizing national security

Karl Rove wants the Iraqis to cobble together some form of self-rule by summer — doesn’t matter what, just throw something together with duct tape and chewing gum, the important thing is for Bush to be able to claim in the summer of ’04 that Iraq has been handed over to the Iraqis and we’ll be pulling our troops out of there just any damn day now. “Claim” being the operative word here.

On a similar note, the Bushies want the 9/11 commission to wrap it up and hand over their report and clear out their desks well before the Presidential campaign shifts into high gear, and without looking at too much, you know, evidence:

The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks announced on Tuesday that it was seeking an extension of its deadline to complete the investigation until at least July, raising the prospect of a public fight with the White House and a final report delivered in the heat of the presidential campaign.

The White House and Republican Congressional leaders have said they see no need to extend the congressionally mandated deadline, now set for May 27, and a spokesman for Speaker J. Dennis Hastert said Tuesday that Mr. Hastert would oppose any legislation to grant the extension.

But commission officials said there was no way to finish their work on time, a situation they attribute in part to delays by the Bush administration in turning over documents and other evidence.

Few entities in nature have a stronger instinct for self-preservation than a sitting presidential administration. I understand that. What I don’t understand is how anyone, anywhere on the political spectrum, can look on these blatantly self-serving maneuvers with anything other than a mixture of contempt and derision.

Despite John Kerry’s win in New Hampshire (pop: 1,275,000), it’s probably a bit early to annoit him as the inevitable Democratic candidate for President of the United States of America (pop: 292,470,677). But whoever the candidate turns out to be, I hope he drives these two points home repeatedly until it is impossible to turn on the tv or glance at a newspaper without contemplating George Bush’s sheer incompetence and venality — and wondering what, exactly, he’s trying to hide.