Gadfly is Marty Aussenberg, a columnist for the weekly Memphis Flyer. Marty is a former SEC enforcement official, currently in private law practice in Memphis, Tennessee. (A full bio is below the fold.) Cross-posted at The Memphis Flyer.

In the aftermath of the GOP attacks on Murtha and Dean, let’s not forget who first told us the war couldn’t be won.

Did you notice the great hue and cry emitted by the administration and its shills when Howard Dean announced his view that the war
in Iraq was probably unwinnable? The RNC immediately posted its 

“Retreat and Defeat” ad,
superimposing a waving white flag over a larger
than life picture of Chairman Dean.

The administration’s attack dogs followed up with the likes
of Tony Blankley, the British ex-pat, former Gingrich slash-and-burn expert and
current Moonie disciple,

comparing Dean’s statement to a pre-civil war slaveholder
, who, in the guise
of wanting what was best for his slaves, kept them nonetheless.  And, of course,
the administration and its messengers continue to

marginalize Congressman Murtha
for his call to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq “with all deliberate speed,” including Senator McCain’s criticism that Murtha
isn’t a “big thinker,” and has become “too emotional,” about the war.  Would
McCain, I wonder, accept the same criticism of his impassioned campaign to
outlaw torture, or, indeed, of his

famously emotional display of support
for GWB”?

But, the most interesting thing about this “winnability”
issue is that Bush himself, in one of his unguarded, un-ventriloquized moments,
stated his belief that the war can’t be won.  For those of you who’ve forgotten,
let me remind you that when GWB was campaigning to fool us again in ’04, he gave
an interview to Matt Lauer of NBC “Today Show” fame in which he

said the war on terror couldn’t be won
. It was probably the most honest
thing that man has ever said.  He was referring, of course, to the “war on
terror,” for which, as we know, the war in Iraq is the “central front.” He tried
to take back his words subsequently, after his handlers told him what a bad
thing candor is (something he has diligently avoided since), but by then the
damage had been done. 

The fact is, no one in a position to know thinks this war
can be won militarily, not the people closest to the people fighting the war
(e.g., Murtha), or the people who have devoted the most careful analysis to the
question (e.g.,
General William Odom
), and all the bullying, insulting and political
posturing to the contrary won’t change that fact.


Mr. Aussenberg is an attorney practicing in his own firm in Memphis, Tennessee. He began his career in the private practice of law in Memphis after relocating from Washington, D.C., where he spent five years at the Securities and Exchange Commission as a Special Counsel and Trial Attorney in its Enforcement Division, during which time he handled or supervised the investigation and litigation of several significant cases involving insider trading, market manipulation, and management fraud. Prior to his stint at the S.E.C., he was an Assistant Attorney General with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking in Philadelphia and was the Attorney-In-Charge of Litigation for the Pennsylvania Securities Commission, where, in addition to representing that agency in numerous state trial and appellate courts, he successfully prosecuted the first case of criminal securities fraud in the state’s history.

Mr. Aussenberg’s private practice has focused primarily on investment, financial, corporate and business counseling, litigation and arbitration and regulatory proceedings. He has represented individual, institutional and governmental investors, as well as brokerage firms and individual brokers, in securities and commodities-related matters, S.E.C., NASD and state securities regulatory proceedings, and has represented parties in shareholder derivative, class action and multi-district litigation, as well as defending parties in securities, commodities, and other “white-collar” criminal cases.

Mr. Aussenberg received his J.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and his B.A. degree in Honors Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Immediately following law school, he served as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow with the Delaware County Legal Assistance Association in Chester, Pennsylvania.

He is admitted to practice in Tennessee, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, before the United States Supreme Court, the Third and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States Tax Court, as well as federal district courts in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. He is an arbitrator for the NASD, New York Stock Exchange and American Arbitration Association, has published articles (“Stockbroker Fraud: This Kind of Churning Doesn’t Make Butter”, Journal of the Tennessee Society of C.P.A.’s,; Newsletter of the Arkansas Society of C.P.A.’s; Hoosier Banker (Indiana Bankers Association), and been a featured speaker on a variety of topics at seminars in the United States and Canada, including: Municipal Treasurers Association of the United States and Canada, Ottawa, Canada; Government Finance Officers Association; National Institute of Municipal Law Officers, Washington, D.C. ; Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, Memphis, TN; Tennessee Association of Public Accountants, Memphis, TN (1993)

Mr. Aussenberg has two children, a daughter who is a graduate of Columbia University and holds a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and is currently a student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and a son who is a graduate of Brown University and is working with a conservation organization in Marin County, California while he decides what to do with the rest of his life.

Mr. Aussenberg is an avid golfer whose only handicap is his game, an occasional trap shooter whose best competitive score was a 92, and an even less frequent jazz drummer.

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