Friday, June 04, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Special "Fall On Your Sword" Edition!

Does "I'm a Total Fuck-up" Count as a "Personal Reason"? Farewell, then, George Tenet. The Clinton-appointed CIA director, who arguably presided over the worst series of failures in the agency's history, has jumped on the grenade for the Bush administration's disastrous handling of Iraq. But don't think for a second that his resignation, coming as it does when the president's poll numbers are at an all-time low, has anything to do with the catalogue of failures the agency has amassed under his tenure. No. Nor should you assume that his resignation was timed to coincide with the three harsh reports assessing the CIA's failures on September 11 and Iraq that are going to be released soon. No indeed. For, as George W. Bush says, Tenet is merely stepping down for "personal reasons." Yes, I'm sure that's it.

They're Dropping Like Flies My goodness, the CIA must be rife with untended "personal reasons"! A day after Tenet announces he'll resign, James Pavitt, the agency's deputy director for operations, is also quitting the spook biz. Just as before, the CIA insists that this resignation (1) has nothing to do with the three reports coming out blasting the agency's poor performance (2) is not connected in any way to Tenet's resignation and (3) was planned "weeks ago," anyway. Still, it's a little creepy when satirical headlines are actually writing the news in advance.

Just Wait Until the Election, Damn It! Hugo Chavez, the democratically-elected president of Venezuela, faces another anti-democratic attempt to remove him from office: a recall election. Opponents of Chavez have barely garnered enough signatures necessary to force a recall (it helps if you sign up dead people, as the anti-Chavistas did), although Chavez's term is up in 2006 anyway. Boy, you know, if they keep this up, eventually Venezuela's political system is going to have as poor a reputation as the one in the United States.

Fifteen Years Later Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. To commemorate this event, pro-democracy forces in Hong Kong, Taipei, and Washington gathered for marches, vigils, and hunger strikes, and Human Rights Watch released a list of people still imprisoned in China because of their activities during the demonstrations. Meanwhile, the Chinese government commemorated the event, which it still denies happened, by arresting 16 protesters who were marking the anniversary.

Today's "Thank God It's Friday" Special: Is Our Fabulous President Fabulously Gay?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

-Consider Arms