Updated twice: Your kung fu is powerful, Mr. Frank

I was a bit dismayed when Nancy Pelosi announced that the Dems were releasing an "alternative" to the GOP's resolution condemning the media for reporting that we're actually trying to catch terrorists (Crooks and Liars has a compilation from MSNBC's Countdown of 5 years of Bush saying "we're tracking terrorists' finances" and "we're following their money").

I asked myself, why would the Dems validate this nonsense by drafting a resolution expressing their "concern that unauthorized disclosures of classified information may have made it more difficult to locate terrorists and terrorist networks, and disrupt their plans"?

Then I downloaded the resolution (PDF), offered by Barney Frank (MA) and it turns out to be a pretty nice piece of snark.

Frank didn't actually write his "Democratic alternative"; he took the Republican resolution offered by Michael Oxley (OH) and, in pen, crossed out "Oxley" and wrote in his own name.

The he crossed out 16 of the 24 paragraphs with the notation "Conclusion -- not known" in the margin.

Where the original resolution said: "the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive intelligence information inflicts significant damage to United States activities in the global war on terrorism," Frank inserted "including the names of clandestine service officers of the Central Intelligence Agency" -- a reference to the outing of Valerie Plame.

He made a bunch of other fixes -- some pretty damning to the Repubs -- and then released the whole messy thing to the media.

Given the Dems' inability to set the agenda in Congress, a little bit of fact-based mockery is not a bad thing -- certainly better than going along to get along.

I'm awarding the point to Frank.

Update: The House passed Oxley's resolution 227-183. Frank's "alternative" was defeated, but now has 119 co-sponsors. It's all meaningless -- a non-binding bit of red meat for the Republican base -- but, going forward, we should watch this story with some vigilance, especially in light of wingnut Peter King's (R-NY) request that the DOJ prosecute the NYT for running the piece.

Update 2: In the comments, there's a copy of an e-mail I sent to some yahoo of a librarian who cancelled his library's NYT subscription.


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