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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, August 05, 2003


Robert David Steele goes to bat for Dean

posted by annatopia at Tuesday, August 05, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
RDS is a 25 year veteran of the intelligence community and founder of In response to the panel on LKL last night, Steele has this to say:
Larry King and his panel have missed three critical points:
(1) Bin Laden is very very smart. He realizes that the best possible catalyst for a long-term Islamic radicalization is the re-election of Bush Junior. There will be no Al Qaeda attack on the American homeland until after November 2004-expect a rocky Christmas.
(2) The majority of Americans have dropped out of politics or been marginalized. Howard Dean can not only bring the Democratic Party back to life, he can provide a big tent for everyone else as he commits himself to electoral reform.
(3) The blond from Texas is evidently not aware that there is a Defense Intelligence Agency report on the Internet that documents the chemical attacks on the Kurds, many, many years ago, as being of Iranian original. The use of chemicals over a decade ago is not evidence of current chemical capabilities, but then Texas Republicans appear to be very loosely educated.

Whoa. This is coming from someone in the know, so take it at face value.

update Woops - here is the official press release from Steele, which goes into further details and explains why Dean is right:
"From where I sit, Howard Dean is the only candidate who is serious about helping the American people understand that what we are doing now with a heavy-metal military and the failing efforts to reconstruct Afghanistan and Iraq are simply not working. We are over-invested in a complex and cumbersome "system of systems" and we have failed to empower the human capabilities -- civil affairs, disaster relief engineering, diplomacy, overt public relations and information -- that are urgently needed to actually come to grips with the most basic security threats to America. I would describe Dean as a cultural creative, a new progressive, and as beyond left or right -- he is the center because he is focused on America's center of gravity: all of the people, not some of the people some of the time."
"Howard Dean seems to understand that there are four distinct threats to America: conventional state militaries; unconventional non-state gangs -- both terrorist and criminal; non-traditional non-violent threats including migration, disease, and water scarcity; and ultra-modern electronic threats including economic espionage and attacks against our critical infrastructure. We cannot survive with a one size fits all national security regime that is obsessed with Star Wars systems that cannot find guerrillas in a cave."
"Using these four threat classes, and the instability factors now visible around the world, it is fair to characterize our current national security system as ineffective, wasteful, and incomplete. Howard Dean seems to understand that we must continue to spend $500B a year on national security, but that we must redirect half those dollars toward expeditionary and constabulary forces, toward peacemaking and relief forces, and toward a vastly expanded homeland security architecture that includes state-based intelligence and counterintelligence, including community intelligence centers that are of, by, and for the people of each state." Steele concludes: "Howard Dean can balance the books and make us smart strong, not stupid strong. He has my vote because he does not shirk from seeing reality and dealing with it honestly."

I won't even comment because the press release speaks for itself.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.