Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Shit: It Doesn't Just Happen 

We still believe that ex-spook Michael Scheuer, the "anonymous" author of Imperial Hubris, is a psycho freak, but we do not deny that he can be, at times, a useful psycho freak. (And, of course, a highly entertaining one.) His new article, "Accountability: Why Not Start at the Top?" -- is a laundry list of areas in which "failures large and small can lead to disaster for America," if the chronic fuckups and CYA artists who infest every level of government are never held responsible for their actions. Here are ten issues over which, in Scheuer's estimation, heads should have rolled long ago:
1. Making War
("The Founders never intended the president to have a war-making power far greater than that held by George III; they wanted that decision to be made by the people through their elected representatives. In essence, congressional cowardice has produced the de facto amendment of the Constitution, transferring the war-making power to the executive branch and making demi-monarchs of our Republic's chief magistrates.")

2. FBI Computers

3. Immigration

4. Dual Citizenship

5. The Borders

6. The Military (Except the Marines)
("The books that have appeared since 9/11 – by Richard Clarke, Steve Simon , Bob Woodward, Dan Benjamin, Steve Coll, and others – make it clear that General Shelton, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Zinni, as CENTCOM commander, consistently refused requests from President Clinton to take action against Osama bin Laden. Asked by Clinton for plans to use 'black-clad ninjas' to take out bin Laden, the generals always came back obsessed with fear of collateral damage, and plans that resembled the invasion of Normandy, plans clearly impossible to implement secretly or promptly. They in effect defied the president's wishes; shame on them and shame on Clinton for allowing them to do so. Not to be outdone, their successors – General Myers and General Franks – had nothing usable to offer President Bush on 9/11 or the day after.")

7. 9/11 Commissioners
("My own bet here is that the next – and larger – batch of al-Qaeda-produced American dead will be avenged by the dozens of IC officers who told the 9/11 Commissioners in detail about the personal failure and negligence of senior IC officials that got our country to 9/11, and who were totally ignored.")

8. Energy Policy
("The question is not whether oil will be available, but how many American soldiers we are willing to spend to secure how many thousands of barrels of oil. That is, how many foreign interventions are we willing to brook to allow our elected leaders to ensure reelection by not promoting domestic production and alternative-source development, which would require raising energy taxes, ignoring environmental preservationists, and alienating oil companies?")

9. Iraq
("Mistaking a spate of public demonstrations and rigged elections in Lebanon, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia as "democratic winds of change" sweeping the Islamic world, Messrs. Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Cambone, Woolsey, their media acolytes, and general-officer sycophants drive America ever deeper into an unending era of unnecessary warfare in the Muslim world. Perhaps accountability is not possible here, for if these error-spewing ideologues were cashiered for their lethal misadventure in Iraq, most could simply retire on their millions, return to the groves of academe, or go back to working with Benjamin Netanyahu.")

10. The Next al-Qaeda Attack
("Please refer to all of the above.")

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