Monday, May 08, 2006

A Sentimental Education

As expected, Field Marshal Bush has nominated Gen. Michael Hayden as director of the CIA. Most criticism has focused on putting a military person in command of a civilian intelligence agency.

Given that ca. 85% of monies budgeted for intelligence are already controlled by the War Department, it does seem overkill to put the only remaining major civilian intelligence agency under military control. (TV talking heads say the inside scoop is that Hayden and Rumsfeld despise one another. However, since both are creatures of Duce Bush, I don't see how that helps.)

The real problem lies in mindset and values, not the cut of clothes. Yes, Gen. Hayden criminally conspired with Bush in overthrowing the Constitution by conducting warrantless wiretapping. But, so did many civilian employees of the NSA. (One might argue that military persons, conditioned to operate within what amounts to a dictatorship, are more likely to have mindset and values consistent with unquestioning obedience to criminal orders. Perhaps, but it is also the case that many civlians cheerfully offer the same blind obedience --- from opportunism, or 'cause they genuinely believe the president is an elected fuhrer.)

I suspect this teapot tempest is, meant or not, a red herring, perhaps just more turf wars. (As the old saw goes: the real enemy of the Army isn't communism, it's the Navy.)

I believe this is all a distraction from something far more insidious.

When the CIA undertakes a covert operation, The Company must by statute report the operation to the intelligence oversight committees of Congress. A weak reed, this check-and-balance, but at least it means more people know about it, and, if the operation is sufficiently repulsive, at least a slight chance more that it will leak.

The Bush Junta (e.g., Admiral of Space and Time Rumsfeld and his boyz, "forward-leaning" (a JFK regime term - be proactive, be aggressive, be touch [meant "tough" --- was I unconsciously thinking of famous Hyannis Port touch football games? --- don't forget that St. Jack was an Ivy thug too, just more polished], nip the problem before the bud) had a Better Idea.

If military intelligence assets conduct a covert operation for the purpose of prepping the battlefield ("just checking out where we might have to fight, shit happens, we were forced to kill and blow things up") or force protection ("there's a chance those people might sometime attack the Army/Navy/AirForce/andMarines, so we took out them and theirs in a preventive strike"), same falls under authority of commander-in-chief, and no notification to pesky oversighters is required.

This is a swell fit to the overall militarization of the Executive Branch which is a Bush Junta priority. As Attorney General Gonzalez has repeatedly argued, the authority of the president as commander-in-chief trumps mere laws and Constitutional provisions, such as requirements for search warrants.

And, after all, we're fighting World War III. In an interview on CNBC on 5 May, Bush said of the United 93 passengers: “I believe that it was the first counter-attack to World War III. It was unbelievably heroic of those folks on the airplane to recognise the danger and save lives.”

"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound largemouth bass in my lake." --George W. Bush, on his best moment in office, interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, 7 May 2006

Spouse of HH, upon reading this: "He is so stupid."

HH: "No! When he says something like that, he is expressing his rich boy's contempt for the rest of us. As when Bill Gates recently lamented the burdens of being rich. (Bill: HH is an humanitarian. E-mail me at MoB and I'll send you my Swiss bank account info, wire it all to me, and I'll take up your burden for you.)

And why do they call it, "intelligence," anyway?

__________________________

1880 - Death of Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, A
Sentimental Education
, etc. All honour.

3 Comments:

Anonymous I don't like waffles said...

Yes, but I do agree with HH's spouse - "He is so stupid."

3:15 PM  
Anonymous O.R. Hinsdale said...

"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound largemouth bass in my lake."

For once, I believe him.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous La_Libertine said...

Saw this just a bit ago, posted by WI_Dem of DU:

"Best moments in office" of every president in the last 100 years

T.Roosevelt: The Environment
Taft: creating Dept of Labor
Wilson: creating Federal Reserve/ stewardship of WWI
Harding: Naval Disarmament Talks
Coolidge: Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 (renouncing War)
Hoover: Emergency Relief and Construction Act (first federal aid to unemployed) and RFC.
FDR: New Deal, Social Security, leadership during WWII
HST: Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift, Desegregating armed services
Ike: ending Korean War, warning against "military-industrial complex"
JFK: Leadership during the Cuban Missle Crisis
LBJ: Civil Rights Legislation, Medicare
Nixon: Detente with China and Soviet Union
Ford: Helsinki Accords
Carter: Camp David Peace Accords/ Human Rights
Reagan: Rallying nation after Challenger Explosion
Bush I: presiding over the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Clinton: Peace Initiatives in N. Ireland and Expanding US economy
Bush II: Catching a 7.5 lb. perch in "MY lake".


Arrrrggghhh.
This guy puts the ASS in EMBARRASSMENT.

5:16 PM  

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