In yesterday's Washington Post:
A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.In intelligence circles, this is known as 'burning the source.' If you have ever read Tom Clancy's novels (a great writer, even though he's pretty far to the right - and until the Iraq war he was a bit rah-rah about American interventionism) you know about the dilemma that intelligence analysts have when dealing with the product of intelligence operatives. If you act on a particularly juicy item gleaned from the enemy, you could give away the methods by which you garnered that item. You could save lives or gain some other strategic advantage on one hand, but is it worth it? The classic example of this is when the Brits didn't warn the people of Coventry they were about to be firebombed by the Nazis, because to do so would let the Nazis know they had access to an Enigma machine.
Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.
This isn't like that. There was no strategic advantage to be had, no lives to be saved. The source was burned just to gain a brief and intangible political advantage, out of purely irresponsible childish stupidity. I've said before that the key to Bush is that he was brought up in an environment where he was always bailed out of any jam he got himself into. 'DUI charges? - no problem, daddy will make it go away. Vietnam draft fears? - I'll get you into the Texas Air National Guard. Don't want to show up for TANG because they want you to piss in the bottle before they give you a multi-million dollar fighter jet? Daddy will fix.' As a result of this - HE HAS NO SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY WHATSOEVER. The only question left in my mind about George W. Bush is this - is he more evil, or more stupid? Demon or moron? I think I'll just call him demoronic and let it go at that.
Olbermann's excellent take on this story is available at C&L.
Outraged about the wanton killing of civilians by Blackwater, Inc? Me too. The Iraqi government is calling AGAIN to have them out of the country, the sooner the better, as two Christian women got killed yesterday by security contractors in a Baghdad intersection . Not good ol' Joe LIE-berman, who chairs the commitee responsible for government oversight of that kind of thing. He has declared that he won't be chairing an investigation into either the killings or corruption by Iraq contractors in general, as blogged at HuffPo. And this guy posed for most of his political career as a Democrat? As Seth and Amy would say, REALLY?!?
Maybe it's because Blackwater CEO (another hypoChristian fundy, BTW) Erik Prince interned with representative Dana Rohrabacher (R - Huntington Beach, CA) back in 1990 "and they have since become friends." Well, whoopdee-doo. Congresswoman Rohrabacher has said that her old BFF is "An American Hero Just Like Ollie North Was." Considering that North was involved in Iran/Contra up to his neck - illegally selling American high-tech weapons to an enemy in order to illegally fund a bunch of bloodthirsty thugs - and should have ended his career deciding on whether to accept the cigarette or the blindfold, I'll accept that comparison. Except for the hero part, of course.
And one other thing - while Joe-Mo is busily providing no oversight over corruption in Iraq anyway, he might as well not oversee the $750,000,000 (and counting) construction of the American Embassy in Iraq, the opening of which has been delayed indefinitely by shoddy construction from the Kuwaiti contractor. I guess 3/4 of a BILLION dollars just doesn't go as far as it used to. Henry Waxman wrote a letter to Kindasleazy Liesalot asking for an explanation. "Problems were so severe and widespread that the inspectors concluded that none of the buildings on the new embassy compound could be approved for occupancy." Documents showed hundreds of violations of fire codes and other regulations and electrical problems throughout the complex.
Not content just to waste vast amounts of money in Iraq and in support of tax cuts for the elite, Bu$hCo™ have allocated yet more funds to pushing a national ad campaign promoting abstinence. That should at least help their friends in the porn industry. No money of course is available to help sick children, but one suspects that some is getting funneled to the sick pundits of the reight wing who attack those very children from their various positions in the 'mainstream' Corporate-Owned Media.
Kind of gives a new meaning to the term 'bully pulpit', doesn't it?
Of course there's plenty of residual outrage over the usual things - the administration's lawless defiance of FISA, the continued unconstitutional 'suspension' of habeas corpus, torture, rendition, the growing threat from multinational corporations.. ..ad nauseum. And all of that is contributing to a growing outrage that Congress and the Democrats are doing little more than ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to address any of the above. Democracy cannot function in the absence of a real opposition party, or a press corps dedicated to the truth.
Isn't that exactly what we're seeing happen every day?
"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands may justly be pronounced the very definition of a tyranny."
-- James Madison --
TAGS: Corruption, Iraq Contractors, Intelligence, Congressional Oversight