Monday :: May 26, 2014

No Better Than Bush


by Deacon Blues

I think it’s been demonstrated that the Obama administration has shown a lack of competence in the administration of government. Whether it be the failures of the Obamacare website rollout, the president’s ignorance of NSA spying upon foreign heads of state, or the VA cover-up, this White House staff across both terms hasn't been up to the task.

And now they’ve managed to expose our CIA assets.

The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops.
The White House recognized the mistake and quickly issued a revised list that did not include the individual, who had been identified on the initial release as the “Chief of Station” in Kabul, a designation used by the CIA for its highest-ranking spy in a country.
The disclosure marked a rare instance in which a CIA officer working overseas had his cover — the secrecy meant to protect his actual identity — pierced by his own government. The only other recent case came under significantly different circumstances, when former CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed as officials of the George W. Bush administration sought to discredit her husband, a former ambassador and fierce critic of the decision to invade Iraq.

Great, comparisons to the wretched Bush/Cheney disaster. And no, it's not OK to dismiss any comparisons simply because Rove and Libby were acting intentionally, and this was unintentional. This is a failure of basic governance, basic but with serious consequences for error. Something that any decent staff with checks and balances would have prevented from happening.

Just like not knowing your signature initiative had no working IT system months before going live, or not knowing you were spying on your allied heads of state, or that your administration had been failing to deliver on your 2008 campaign promise on VA health care for six years.

Given that this administration's foreign policy, by multiple accounts, has been run directly from the White House by the staff closest to the president, and not by foreign policy professionals, basic failures of governance afflict not just domestic but also international and security issues. And its well past time for this president to clean house within the White House and assemble a team that can do the basic things well, let alone the complex tasks.

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