Monday, May 07, 2007

I don't recall - for now

I think I wrote about this before but I don't recall. I've searched my recollection but I can't recall. I have a vague memory of doing so but unless I am presented with other evidence I really can't provide any further answer other than what I've already said.

Memories like the corners of my mind are endangered in Washington. Who hasn't testified that they just can't recall anything important. I remember all the way back to Iran-Contra testimony of John Poindexter who was, if I can recall correctly, a National Security Advisor under Ronald Reagan and was called to testify about the arms for hostages with a covert slush fund diverted to the Contras scheme thrown in for good measure. In one memorable, at least for now - I may not recall this in the future, answer Poindexter could recall what he ate for breakfast while having a crucial conversation with one the of Iran-Contra players, Col. Oliver North (if I recall), but he couldn't recall the substance of the conversation. Those must have been some eggs.

So now we have George Tenet and Richard Perle (I'm not going to identify everyone I mention - if you don't know who these guys are go read some blog about the best hair gels out there) disputing what Perle may have said to Tenet after September 11. Tenet acknowledges he got the date wrong but insists he saw Perle leaving the White House in the days after 9/11 and told Tenet Iraq had to pay a price for the attack. Perle denies he said anything of the sort. Add this to the Alberto Gonzales testimony about fired U.S. Attorneys. He can't recall anything he did but he assures you he did nothing improper. To this day there is no answer as to who put together the firing list, or how they got on the list, or when the decision was made to fire them. No one can recall. Mind you these are people who for most part went to top colleges and law schools and have years of relying on their intelligence and powers of memory to recall bits and pieces of the law to do their jobs. All of a sudden they all become Sgt. Schultz knowing nothing and proud of it.

The game here is that saying, "I don't recall" is different than saying, "I don't remember." And now I'm having a bit of deja vu (not the movie by Denzel Washington althought that is on my Netflix queue) about this topic. Legally if you say "I don't remember" it's lost forever in the sands of time - sort of like my hopes and dreams. If you say, "I don't recall" then your memory can be refreshed by any method. Put a plate of scrambled eggs under Poindexter's nose and if his olfactory endings trigger his memory about subverting the Constitution then it's admissable. Show Alberto a memo that he did fire U.S. Attorneys for no real reason other than he can and that's what Karl Rove wanted then - Shazam! - no perjury, no obstruction of justice, no nothing. It's a miracle! But why go through all this? I mean, who has a plate of warm eggs or can piece together shredded memos at the right time?

I have a simpler solution. Since top officials in Washington seem to not recall very much, we invest in memory classes for all political appointees. As a backup we hire thousands of court stenographers and they are assigned, like Secret Service agents, to each high-level member of the government. They will walk next to each government official and take down everything they say for as long as they are in office. If they aren't doing anything improper as Gonzo says they won't mind the minor inconvenience. Under this plan you'd never hear, "I don't recall" anymore but rather "Let's take a look at the transcript."

A secondary benefit would be the job creation aspect. Can you imagine how many stenographers we would need to make sure "I don't recall" becomes a distant memory? Each top government official gets one, in the case of Gonzales maybe two would be in order. I'm sure they'll come up with some other excuse like alien possession at the time the alleged conversations were made but it's a start.

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8 Comments:

Blogger For Obama '08 said...

Time for new people! Go Obama! Hillary and Bill have trouble recalling as well. Don't need those two back! 1/20/09 - a brand new day for America! Crankyboy - got a candidate yet?

9:48 AM  
Blogger d.K. said...

Memories like the corners of my mind...

I'm so glad I'm of an age where witticisms such as this one are not lost on me. I'm glad I can remember some things...

9:47 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Do I know you from somewhere?

11:31 AM  
Blogger mrsleep said...

situational alzheimers

12:36 PM  
Blogger For Obama '08 said...

Crankyboy hasn't said who he's leaning towards for the Dems in '08. What about the rest of you guys?

1:02 PM  
Blogger mrsleep said...

Ask Gonzo, or Rover, or any Administration loyalist a question about anything Bill or Hillary has done over the last 30 years, and they will quote, you verse, source, date (down to the second). Ask them about what discussed a few weeks ago? "I don't recall Senator".

1:05 PM  
Blogger mrsleep said...

I'm still gathering my info. It's early yet. I believe Hillary is the perfect candidate for the attack dog spin machine of the Wingnuts to go after. Plus I just don't like her. However if she was THE candidate and running against Guiliani as an example, I'd vote for her.

1:07 PM  
Blogger For Obama '08 said...

Yeah, guess I'd have to vote for Hillary, too. I'd be tempted to vote for Nader in that situation if he did the 3rd party thing again, but we just don't need a 2000 repeat. There's no Florida recount if Nader doesn't run. After Obama, I'd be for Kucinich, but he can't win; after that I guess Edwards. He seems genuinely regretful over having voted for the war. There's always Gravel??? Giuliani makes me nervous as the potential Repug nominee (assuming they'll permit him to get it), because even though he's all wrong on the war, he might be just centrist/moderate enough on social issues to tip a few crirtical states red. Obama can do better in the South than many people think. He speaks perfect white and perfect black, which will be a big help.

1:16 PM  

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