S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Another Big One Speaks Out

Reference: Pillar on Intelligence in Foreign Affairs-2/10/06. Quoting from the article,

Summary: During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, writes the
intelligence community's former senior analyst for the Middle East, the Bush
administration disregarded the community's expertise, politicized the
intelligence process, and selected unrepresentative raw intelligence to make its
public case.
Paul R. Pillar: The man at the CIA, the senior analyst in charge of the Middle East and South Asia sector is talking. He is no longer working for the government; rather he is now working in at Georgetown University. And he is telling all, about how the CIA and the current administration worked together and separately before the war in Iraq. Without revealing classified information, it is a fine line for him to walk, indeed.
He is saying what has been said before, at other times and by other highly placed officials also no longer in the government. But, somehow, his revelations have a kind of weightiness that should impress skeptics. His explanations and the background he presents offer unique insights into what went wrong before the United States attacked Iraq.
In my opinion, at the beginning the current administration had decided to dismiss "everything Clinton." The most influential neocons had decided they alone were now in charge of the world and it would be their agenda on the desk in the oval office. And so it has all played out as it inevitably would, given such mistaken thinking. Power and hubris did not equate with the realities the neocons encountered.
Those realities still stand in stark contrast to this administration's governing style. Pillar's article lays out with great skill what went wrong. I make the point that those same concepts still define what is going wrong with the remainder of the current administration's governance efforts.

I took the liberty of using the author's article's headings as leads*. They generalize nicely into other problem areas in the Republican party and the executive branch that have to do with damaged boundaries, much at the heart of the leadership's ineptitude. (I have posted about this before on 1/11/06):
  • *"A Dysfunctional Relationship"- The relationship between the Majority and the Minority parties is polarizing and counterproductive. The party currently in power began blaming and demonizing their opposition during the campaign. And that is SOP during their current legal and scandal troubles. They seem unable to form a working partnership to work to find common ground for the good of the nation.
  • *"A Model Upended"- The Vice President of the United States has, in some ways, more power than the President. Even though his Chief of Staff has been indicted, V.P. Cheney continues to harm the nation's interests through his inordinate exercise of governing power. And our current president continues to allow it to happen seemingly unchecked.
  • *"Standard Deviations"- The Legislative and Judicial branches do not exercise separate and equal power in balance with the Executive branch. This administration's adoption of the so-called "unitary executive" theory is an outlier on any chart. It is not part of any "bell curve" to which normal citizens are entitled.
  • *"Varieties of Politicization"- The election was over in 2004. There are certain problems that do not lend themselves to political solutions. The imposition of the right wing moralistic style to mere issues of governance is inappropriate at so many levels. It is wrong for Democrats to have their patriotism assailed when they question the terms of remaining in Iraq or when they attempt to protect civil liberties.
  • *"Partial Repairs" - The changes made in the government since the terrorists attacked on 9/11/01 have not made the United States more safe. Parts of the intelligence community still do not communicate well with each other. The Department of Homeland Security is a behemoth with an ineffectual leader. We are mired in a very dicey political situation in Iraq, over which we have little control. Active radical Islamist jihadis have multiplied. The "fixes" have not been smart of effective.
To this day the current administration and their right wing base has difficulty with governing effectively. They too often do not tell the entire truth, that divide without uniting and they are often remarkably inept at handling complex problem solving. Election Year=2006!
Cross posted at a TPM Cafe Reader diary. My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is about the furstrations of blogging.

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