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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bush Ignores Everyone, Surprises No One

That should be the headline after the media digests whatever emerges from the release of the Iraq Study Group report and two "independent" studies being conducted by the Pentagon and NSA. The only thing we KNOW about any of those reports is that they will be ignored by President Bush unless they end with "you're doin' a heckuva job."

In the past 7 days, Bush has managed to:

  1. alienate and publicly undermine the head of the Iraqi government

  2. get publicly snubbed by same said head of state

  3. publicly state twice his strategy is based on his principles which won't change, even though he can't describe what those principles are

  4. meet with the top Shi'ite leader within Iraq who may prove to be Bush's equal in denial after claiming "the true picture is not being presented" about progress in Iraq (#1)

  5. accept the resignation of an Ambassador not even his own party would support for a permanent appointment because of his pig-headedness

  6. have his choice for Secretary of Defense sale through committee for a Senate vote while publicly re-iterating he has no plan for a "graceful exit" and plans to stay in Iraq as long as the Iraqis request our presence

How fresh are the ideas likely to be provided by Gates? Not very. How far outside the "circle of fixers" has Bush really looked? Not far. The Gates confirmation process may be the most telling sign yet of the danger the Bush Administration is posing to America's short term and long term interests.

A cursory review of some key aspects of Gates' career includes the following items (#2):

* two years service in the Air Force during Vietnam
* served 15 years at the CIA from 1970-1974 and 1979 to 1989
* served with the National Security Agency from 1974 to 1979
* was deputy CIA chief under William Casey at the time the United States began clandestine efforts to provide arms to Saddam Hussein
* was closely linked to numerous players in the Iran-Contra scandal but escaped indictment
* served as a security advisor to GHWB from 1989 to 1991
* nominated to lead the CIA the first time by GHWB but withdrew due to the Iran-Contra scandal
* nominated and approved a second time to lead the CIA for GHWB from 1991 to 1993
* retired to the academic and lecture circuit
* acted as interim dean of the George Bush School of Government at Texas A&M
* was Dubya's first choice to become the first Director of National Intelligence but declined

So what does all this tell us about the net effect of adding Robert Gates to the Administration?

  1. His background is intelligence, not the military. He is very likely to stray towards what he knows and is comfortable with, rather than sticking with his assigned responsibility. We already have a Director of National Intelligence, we don't need a second and we don't need a Defense Secretary at odds the established intelligence community or attempting to run his own. We've already tried that (see results from September 12, 2001 to present).

  2. His past involvement with dealings with Iran, Iraq and illicit funding of military efforts in Nicaragua that were explicitly forbidden by statute by Congress means he has a great deal of familiarity with the very roots of the immediate problems we face.

  3. He is a trusted member of the "inner circle" of approved Bush "fixers", which means none of the ideas he has will be far outside the box of ideas that produced the current disaster he's expected to help correct. He's one of the members of the Iraq Study Group so his appointment will do NOTHING to widen the pool of ideas on the single most pressing problem he is being brought in to address.

  4. He is a trusted member of the "inner circle" of approved Bush "fixers", which likely confirms there were no other candidates up for consideration outside the circle of fixers. This means there are probably NO other candidates remotely qualified to actually fill the job that would consider working for George Bush when they know they will be ignored and will do nothing by their sacrifice but add their name to very dark pages in American and world history. Would YOU take a job under those circumstances?

Point #4 is the most telling. Congress and the American people are fooling themselves if they think a few personnel changes in the Administration will stop the bleeding. George Bush has ignored every bit of information that didn't match his instinctive "gut". No one qualified to correct the damage we are doing to our country will accept a job working for this President under those circumstances. It's time for Bush to step down. Until then, we're fooling no one and many more innocent people will die in vain in the mean time.


#1) http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2006/12/shiite_leader_s.html

#2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Gates