This is just ridiculous. Here's Minnesota's GOP Chair, Ron Carey in the Strib:
"It's incredible that Coleen Rowley criticized the Bush administration for taking a 'no-holds-barred' approach to fighting terrorism," said state GOP chairman Ron Carey in an e-mail. "Voters in the Second District expect nothing less than a no-holds-barred approach to fighting terrorism."
Here's what Rowley actually said:
AG Ashcroft's decision to seek the death penalty for Moussaoui also set a "no holds barred" tone. But such draconian charges were accompanied by a significant cost to law enforcement and the effort to prevent further acts of terrorism. It made it impossible to attempt to interrogate and seek the suspect's cooperation, something that would otherwise be standard operating procedure and which proved successful in most other terrorist cases-for example, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the African embassy bombings and the case against the "millennium Al Qaeda terrorist" Ahmed Ressam. In all of those prior investigations, valuable intelligence was obtained from some of these lower level terrorist suspects which further disclosed the scope of the conspiracy.
Rowley's criticism couldn't be more plain. In fact, it's the premise of nearly half of all crime dramas in the history of television. Tonight on Fox: This tough-minded district attorney is forced by circumstance to bargain with a bad guy in order to build a case against a bigger fish.
As I noted yesterday, I don't know whether Moussaoui had information valuable enough to warrant forgoing the death penalty. Rowley, a 22 year veteran of the FBI, thinks Moussaoui knew something important. John Ashcroft, a 4 year veteran of nipple obscurement, disagreed. That's fine. But Carey is taking the phrase "no holds barred" out of context to try to mislead voters into thinking Rowley is soft on terror.
Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Carey does literally believe in a "no holds barred" approach to terrorism. "No holds barred" is a wrestling term which means that the grapplers are free to use any hold they like: the Full Nelson, the Piledriver, and the Mandible Claw are all in play. If you take Carey's "no holds barred" comment literally and put it through the GOP spin machine, you come up with this:
Ron Carey supports eating babies!
While Minnesota GOP chair Ron Carey trumpeted his approval of a "no holds barred" approach to combating terrorism, Coleen Rowley steadfastly reiterated her position. "I do not believe we should devour suspected terrorists' children in an effort to compel them to talk," Rowley explained. "That's a hold I would not use."
"Likewise," she continued, "I strongly oppose torturing American citizens who are suspected of belonging to terrorist groups. That's a hold I would not use. I also oppose publicly beheading captured terrorists. There are something things America shouldn't do. Public beheadings is another hold I would not use. Mandatory internment of all American Muslims and Arab Americans -- also, a hold I would not use."
"That's the difference between Ron Carey and me. Ron Carey supports eating innocent children. I don't."