Wednesday :: Nov 17, 2004

Rising Past Their Level Of Incompetence


by pessimist

Many moons ago, long before some of our wrong-wing friends made their debuts into this world, a man named Lawrence J. Peter came up with a novel theory which states:

"In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence."

Considering we have an incompetent pretending to be president, that sets a high standard indeed!

Take Condi Rice - PLEASE!

Ba-da- boom!

Thank you! I've got a dozen of 'em! I'm here whenever I can get the PC away from the kids!

Seriously, Condi's first test as Secretary of State designee is already upon her - dealing with a long-memoried France:


Europe Remembers Rice's 'Punish France' Quip

In Europe, it's hard for some to think of Condoleezza Rice without recalling the low points in trans-Atlantic relations that grew out of the war in Iraq.

After all, it was Rice who raised eyebrows last year with her Machiavellian suggestions for how Washington should treat European opponents of the U.S.-led invasion. "Punish France, ignore Germany and forgive Russia," Rice was widely quoted as telling associates in the spring of 2003.

Trans-Atlantic ties have since improved to some extent. But Rice's reputation still precedes her.

We could always throw her into George's ! I think she'd like that!

And then there is the next Chief (in)Justice of the Stuporeme Court!

Blunt-speaking Scalia draws protests at U-M

Controversial U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to a full house at the University of Michigan on Tuesday and took the unusual step of taking questions about affirmative action and the 2000 presidential election. He peppered his answers with quips that drew laughter and some boos.

A dozen protesters, who marched through Rackham Auditorium carrying signs denouncing Scalia, briefly interrupted his speech about the philosophy of constitutional interpretation.

"Is this an accepted form of free speech?" he asked U-M Law School Dean Evan Caminker, who nodded stoically. "Can I expect another parade?"

The protesters continued their demonstration outside.

When he was asked by a member of the audience whether he would like to revisit his decision in 2000 the Al Gore/George W. Bush election dispute, Scalia cut off the questioner, saying, "I'm inclined to say it's been four years and an election. Get over it."

That drew loud boos from the crowd.

"The issue is not whether the decision should have been decided in the Florida or U.S. supreme courts, but that the Constitution had been violated. ... The only decision was to put an end to it after three weeks and looking like fools to the rest of the world," Scalia said. "It was too much of a mess. The equal-protection clause had been violated because they were counting votes differently. What did you expect us to do, not take the case because it wasn't important enough?

"There was no way the court could come out ahead. I don't think the justices on either side voted for political reasons."

Scalia will receive a $10,000 honorarium from the Helen L. DeRoy Fellowship, a privately funded program established at the law school in 1980 to enhance legal education.

Boy! I sure learned a lot! Didn't you?

I have to confess that I stole that joke at the beginning of this post - and the basic theme.

Robert Sheer inspired me to rip off his idea:

The Peter Principle and the Neocon Coup

The bloodletting has begun.

I'm not referring to the latest attempt to reconquer Iraq, but rather the wholesale political revenge campaign being waged by the hard-liners in the Bush administration against anybody and everybody inside the government who challenged the way the second Persian Gulf war in a decade was marketed and run.

Out: Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose political epitaph should now read, "You break it, you own it" for his prescient but unwanted warning to the president on the danger of imperial overreach in Iraq.

Out: Top CIA officials who dared challenge, behind the scenes, the White House's unprecedented exploitation of raw intelligence data in order to sell a war to a Congress and a public hungry for revenge after 9/11.

Out: Veteran CIA counterterrorism expert and Osama bin Laden hunter Michael Scheuer, better known as the best-selling author "Anonymous," whose balanced and devastating critiques of the Iraq war, the CIA and the way President Bush is handling the war on terror have been a welcome counterpoint to the "it's true if we say it's true" idiocy of the White House PR machine.

Meanwhile, incompetence begat by ideological blindness has been rewarded. The neoconservatives who created the ongoing Iraq mess have more than survived the failure of their impossibly rosy scenarios for a peaceful and democratic Iraq under U.S. rule. In fact, despite calls for their resignations from the former head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Anthony Zinni, among others the neocon gang is thriving. They have not been held responsible for the "16 words" about yellowcake, the rise and fall of Ahmad Chalabi, the Abu Ghraib scandal, the post-invasion looting of Iraq's munitions stores and the disastrous elimination of the Iraqi armed forces.

As of today, the neocons on Zinni's list of losers Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz; the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby; National Security Council staffer Elliott Abrams; Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld are all still employed even as Bush's new director of central intelligence, Porter J. Goss, is eviscerating the CIA's leadership.

This is the culmination of a three-year campaign by the president's men to scapegoat the CIA for the fact that 9/11 occurred on Bush's watch.

So far, half a dozen of the nation's top spymasters have been forced out abruptly a strange way to handle things at a time when Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are still seeking to attack the U.S. Ironically, this all comes as Goss is suppressing a lengthy study, prepared for Congress by the CIA's inspector general, that, according to an intelligence official who has read it, names individuals in the government responsible for failures that paved the way for the 9/11 attacks.

Thus Bush, with Goss as his hatchet man, is having it both ways: He can be seen to be cleaning house at the CIA when he is simply punishing independent voices while denying Congress access to an independent audit of actual intelligence failures.

We should remember that as flawed as its performance was under former Director George J. Tenet, the CIA at least sometimes tried to be a counterweight to the fraudulent claims of Rumsfeld's and Dick Cheney's neoconservative staffs. All of the nation's traditional intelligence centers were bypassed by a rogue operation based in Feith's Office of Special Plans. Feith was given broad access to raw intelligence streams the better to cherry-pick factoids and fabrications that found their way into even the president's crucial prewar State of the Union address.

Now, by successfully discarding those who won't buy into the administration's ideological fantasies of remaking the world in our image, the neoconservatives have consolidated control of the United States' vast military power.

With the ravaging of the CIA and the ousting of Powell instead of the more-deserving Rumsfeld the coup of the neoconservatives is complete. They have achieved a remarkable political victory by failing upward.

In this modern day topsy-turvy Malice in Blunderland that America has become, what else can one expect?


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pessimist :: 3:22 PM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!