"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

An Arrogance of Power

An Arrogance of Power

Ouch, ouch, ouch…. “Bush and Cheney are in the bunker,” not a cocoon within a bubble? Interesting assessment.

According to Ignatius “the arrogance of power is on display with the Bush administration.” The most recent being the Cheney hunting accident, which he says, “let us assume the obvious: It was an attempt to delay and perhaps suppress embarrassing news,” and that we will never know whether this would have been reported were it not for Katharine Armstrong, the owner of the ranch making her “own decision Sunday morning to inform her local paper.” Interesting juxtaposition, considering “the incident became known when Armstrong called her local paper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, on Sunday. Asked why the vice president's office didn't reveal the incident, McBride said, "We deferred to Katharine Armstrong." That is a far cry from “we will never know whether this would have been reported,” if not for Ms. Armstrong’s “own decision, according to the 2/13/06 Final Edition of USA Today, “Cheney shoots at quail, hits hunting companion; Accident happened when party split up, witness reports” (LexisNexis).

Igantius covers the “outrageous” attempt to undercut Paul Pillar’s assessment regarding difficulties in postwar Iraq. The author points out prior to this that he is not referring to the “botched job on weapons of mass destruction.” This has caused many of the “best intelligence officers” to retire when their acumen is most needed.

So, the CIA got the WMD thing wrong, but Pillar and other intelligence people got the post Iraq right. So now they’re all the rage again?

What worries Ignatius “most is the administration's misuse of intelligence information to advance its political agenda.” Citing as a recent example is the presidents statement from February 9th regarding the thwarted attempt to fly aircraft into the U.S. Bank Tower in L.A. in 2002. According to Ignatius a “foreign official with detailed knowledge of the intelligence scoffed” at the statement, as it wasn’t so much an “operational plan, as much as an aspiration.” When the author asked a “former high-level U.S. intelligence official” the official “agreed” that it was overstated intelligence.

The intelligence community would be the first to tell anyone, that it is not an exact science. Information can point in one direction and then the next. There will always be a "foreign official with detailed knowledge," and a "former high-level U.S. intelligence official," but that is there assessment and makes it no more fact than the presidents statement. With all the pieces displayed the president makes the best informed decision he sees. Will certain assessments not fit the scenario building? Yes, but at the time this does not make them any more facts than any other. Pillar and the other officers get to sit back, while someone else has to make the stand to the nation. Pretty weak stuff.

What is most “outrageous” is his comparison the hunting incident with Edward Kennedy and Chappaquiddick, which to me is far weaker than using “quagmire” or “Vietnam” for Iraq, regardless of lessons of history, Iraq is Iraq, with the exception of the Left’s reaction to it. Tedward ran from this accident with the intention of avoiding blame, while Mary Jo Kopechne may well have survived had he acted in a less self serving fashion. That isn’t assumed to “suppress embarrassing news,” that’s leaving the scene of an accident and possibly manslaughter of some degree or another. For more on Tedward and Chappaquiddick, see this, this, this, this, and HOLY CRAP READ THIS FULL OF HOLES TRIPE (but factual enough for the Loony Left)!!!!

I have enough of this garbage


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