Thursday, August 24, 2006


GOP Hacks to CIA: Tell Us What We Want to Hear ... AGAIN

by: Grand Moff Texan
Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 11:04:35 AM MDT
Corporate is not happy with marketing, it would seem. The American intelligence community has refused to confirm what Republicans have already decided to believe: that Iran is an imminent threat.

The 29-page report [.pdf], principally written by a Republican staff member on the House intelligence committee who holds a hard-line view on Iran, fully backs the White House position that the Islamic republic is moving forward with a nuclear weapons program and that it poses a significant danger to the United States. But it chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support that assertion.

What does this remind me of? Oh, that's right: the last time this kind of creationist thinking got thousands killed in the middle of nowhere for nothing.

Grand Moff Texan :: GOP Hacks to CIA: Tell Us What We Want to Hear ... AGAIN
Rewarding Failure Means Repeating Failure

Last time, Doug Feith went dumpster-diving at the CIA and found a bunch of stuff they already knew was unreliable crap. But it was useful to the Republicans because they could use it to scare the hell out of people. This is how the GOP sold us their disaster in Iraq. There are still people out there who think Iraq had it's old WMD arsenal in 2003. You never quite get the stink out, you know?

Now they're doing it again. It's the intelligence community's JOB to tell management what they want to hear, including that Iran has a missile that it doesn't and controls territory that it doesn't.

There is no "Shahab-4 missile and Iran does NOT control Kuwait, but hey, you wanted our government to work more like corporate America. This is what you get: people made dead by dumb ideas that came from people who feel entitled to be wrong at other people's expense. And until the people who're making the mistakes are the same as the people who are doing the dying, this will continue.

They are doing this because it's a critical time: it's an election year. The pressure is on ... again:

"American intelligence agencies do not know nearly enough about Iran's nuclear weapons program" to help policy-makers at a critical time, the report's authors say. Information "regarding potential Iranian chemical weapons and biological weapons programs is neither voluminous nor conclusive," and little evidence has been gathered to tie Iran to al-Qaeda and to the recent fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, they say.

Creationist foreign policy demands with a stamp of its curiously small, six-toed foot that those propeller-head guys at Langley with their whatever machines confirm the Republicans' unified-field theory of Islamic Eviltude.

The Campaign

Like, the nuke thing isn't selling anymore, n' stuff? 'Cause, like, somehow the word got out that, like, less than 10% purity is not the same as more than 80% purity? And people, like, are staying away in droves, so, you know, now it's gotta be, like, biological and chemical weapons instead? Then, we gotta make the pitch that a radical, like, Sunni Arab group wants to help a radical Shi'ite Lebanese group, and that Osama is in Beirut.

Shouldn't you be writing this down?

No, shut up. I talk, you listen. Either you pin the WMD on the sand-nigger or I'll find someone who will, capiche? I didn't spend three years on my knees at the Leadership Institute just to get back-talked by some ... analyst:

The report relies exclusively on publicly available documents. Its authors did not interview intelligence officials.

Well, of course they didn't interview intelligence officials. Can't you read an organizational chart? We tell them what to confirm and then they confirm it. Then something goes boom. That's our whole fucking model. We don't give a shit what intelligence officials have now, we're telling them what we need in time for November!

Still, it warns the intelligence community to avoid the mistakes made regarding weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war, noting that Iran could easily be engaged in "a denial and deception campaign to exaggerate progress on its nuclear program as Saddam Hussein apparently did concerning his WMD programs."

Right, because you failed to find the absense of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, you're probably failing to find suspicious absences of evidence confirming the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iran. Saddam tried to fool us into thinking he didn't have what he didn't have which is why you need to show what you don't know about what Iran hasn't had time to make so we can blow up something that doesn't exist.

All in time for the election.

The Plan

Since Rove isn't going to get 51% of the American electorate to believe that the terrorists took out a whole planet, they're going to have to come up with something else. Iraq has changed from an asset to a liability because Bush is fighting a rear-guard action there, not against the insurgents but against the final and symbolic admission that he has failed there: withdrawal. Instead, Americans will just have to keep dying there so that Bush can save face.

The Republican strategy, therefore, has long since switched from Iraq to terror. Up 'till now, that has meant trying to guarantee another terrorist attack on America by refusing to secure America's ports, nuclear and chemical facilities, etc. Since such attacks only happen to blue states, that's an easy sacrifice for the Republicans to make. But they have failed to get thousands of Americans killed again because Osama already got the Soviet-style disaster he wanted (albeit in Iraq, not Afghanistan). Must be very frustrating being a Republican and all those Americans stubbornly not dying in another fiery assault on our country. It's enough to make you go back to beating your mistress.

So, if scaring people by leaving thousands to die (again) doesn't work, we can scare people with Iran. Instead of a new 9/11 they need a new Iraq. Instead of another Osama, Rove will make sure we get another Saddam. This is why Rove is so optimistic. This is the plan. Or rather, plan B.

It doesn't matter that there is no military option in Iran. Republicans don't listen to military professionals any more than they do intelligence professionals. Both are supposed to keep their little "oh, I work for a living and actually know what I'm talking about" ideas to themselves, repeating and doing only what they are told.

Fucking union.

It doesn't even matter that exercising a non-viable military option in Iran will only make things worse for the US. That hasn't stopped any other administration policy over the last several years, has it? It is enough that the proper application of failure can keep the losers in power. Long term costs are for Democrats to clean up, and for working families to pay for. Properly timed, the spectacle of Iran in flames will be enough to throw the elections in November. What's the power of the presidency for if you can't murder people to help your party?

A Debilitating Condition

For the conservative movement, the ultimate downside of punking ignorant, superstitious, and frightened people is that you wind up with a political movement full of people who "want to believe," like this idiot. Conservatives aren't prepared to deal with a world that does not conform to and confirm their expectations. They are congenitally infantile, in this respect, but this also explains the persistance of compulsive self-delusion: comfortable ignorance can be a kind of luxury. The concentration of unaccountable power that only a few at the top on the right can ever personally attain, and that the rest mistakenly believe will be theirs one day, does actually produce the occasional Lord High Two-Year Old or King Sociopath, someone who can at least command that he be lied to so that he can believe whatever he wants. It's the solace of solipcism. People like Howard Ahmanson Jr. or Richard Mellon "get out of my way, you commie cunt" Scaife can pay people to humor their superstitions and the rest of us will just have to be dragged down by the ignorance they've paid for.

Rank-and-file conservatives may ape their elite, but they will never be liberated from their own failure. Instead, they are left to shriek about the liberal media and bully the CIA, et al., for not playing along. That's right: for conservatives, a real man is someone who tries to get people fired for not confirming his dumbass ideas.

The fantasy must, at all costs, be isolated from the proof of its failure. The strength of the kind of people who are attracted to this creationist epistemology is that they stick together. They would have to. But their weakness is that delusion is ultimately more important than success. Their strength lies in the fact that failure does not matter. Their weakness lies in the fact that, because of the latter, failures accumulate. They make for great cabals, and can occasionally hack their way to power, but they are inevitably doomed (as are those around them) to pay the price of not growing up and dealing with the real world.

The Alternative is Competence

Friends in low places are more useful more frequently than friends in high places. Friends in low places know how to get things done. Friends in high places wouldn't be missed if they disappeared for a week. I have, for this reason, an annoying habit of pumping new acquaintances for information about their expertise and experience. If someone works in that agency or for that department or in that industry, I'm always interested in comparing what I think I know from media sources with the reality, especially the reality that spews out in bitter tirades from people who've had a few. I'm convinced that you learn more from people who do the work than those who manage those who do the work. Leadership, from this perspective, means getting the best out of your subordinates. You ignore their consensus at your own peril, and had better be right.

We are up against Republicans (and some Democrats) who take the opposite view. Leadership, if that buzzword means anything at all to them, seems to refer to unaccountable power over others. No matter how ill-informed, regardless of whether its failed before, the "idea" of the "leader" is paramount.

But it's easy to be the "party of ideas" when you have no plans, when the details (and the costs) are for the little people.

It is for this reason that the wingnuts will challenge you to suggest an alternative to their miserable failure. In part, this is a sincere question. They really can't think of an alternative. If they could think for themselves, they wouldn't be wingnuts. But mostly the challenge is another dishonest ploy taught to them by the right-wing noise machine. They've been told that you just hate Bush, personally, and have no ideas.

In short, wingnuts live in their own little private North Korea.

But the alternative is simple: liberals, progressives, and most Democrats (other than the ones we're trying to take out) value the opinions of people who know what they're talking about. A Democratic president wouldn't ignore the advice of intelligence professionals or military professionals, making September 11th, Iraq, and whatever the Republicans are going to fuck up next highly unlikely. It's all part of valuing and respecting people who work, rather than the Republican's ambition of getting the little people to pay for his lifestyle. Democrats respect people who work for a living. Republicans, however, think people who work for a living are a bunch of suckers.

So it's no wonder that Republicans treat the intelligence community like servants and treat our troops like toilet paper. Those people work for a living, and are therefore beneath a Republican's contempt. That's why they can't govern worth a tin shit.

Rep. Rush D. Holt (N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee that prepared the report, said he agreed to forward it to the full committee because it highlights the difficulties in gathering intelligence on Iran. But he added that the report was not "prepared and reviewed in a way that we can rely on."

And there it is. For the Republicans, the problems of intelligence are a failure to be on-message. For the ranking Democrat, however, it means that this report is an insufficient basis for policy. Here is your clash of civilizations.

The right expects the left to be a mirror image of their self-satisfied incompetence. They expect that leftwing pundits drive Democrats' policies. Our answer is that we trust people of ability to do their job. We don't tell them to tell us what we want to hear. We leave that to the kind of insecure little men who flock to the Republican party. The expertise already exists (and is already being paid for by the American taxpayer) to handle and succeed in any situation that might confront our country. If Republicans weren't more interested in being on-message than actually, you know, succeeding, they might know that by now.

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