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October 26, 2005

Liz and I were lucky enough to get to see Joseph Wilson speak tonight at Town Hall in Seattle. It was pretty amazing to hear one of the central figures in what may end up being one of the great political scandals of our time, just as that scandal is reaching the boiling point. The mood in the room was jubilant, and only some of it was really vengeful. Most of it felt like people who had really just had enough, and were excited to see a crack in the armor of those who the feel are destroying the things they hold dear. It didn't feel entirely like schadenfreude, it felt like relief. Or at least the anticipation of relief.

Wilson gave a good talk. His message was fairly simple: participation and responsibility. He feels that his role in this whole affair is simply that he held his leaders accountable, and he strongly feels that we all should be doing the same.

He also mention some places in Washington state, and everybody clapped. Allow me to go on the record here and now that I'm sick of all the clapping. Clap when someone makes a strong point or finishes a song, fine. But can we please knock of the clapping every time a speaker or performer mentions something we're remotely familiar with?

"I was speaking to a friend in the sociology department at the University of Washington..." [clap clap clap clap] "I was in Santa Barbara a few months ago..." ["Yay, Santa Barbara!" clap clap clap]

For the love of god stop it.

Where was I?

Wilson also had a lot to say about the back story to the current mess we're in. He was in the foreign service for 20-some years, and served in the Iraq during the first Gulf War. He has a lot of admiration for George H. W. Bush and how he handled that situation, and claims that the feelings are mutual. He also had some powerful and moving words about the unbelievable waste of global good will that our government's actions after September 11 represent. It's really staggering, something I don't like to think about, but do pretty often anyway. We blew it in a magnificent way, and "it" was something we're not likely to see again in a long time.

That's it. It was good. I'm not much for "man-on-the-scene" reporting. Did I say it was good?

Happy [Maybe] Indictment Day.


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