web counter Media Lies: Where should I begin?

Thursday, November 18, 2004

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Where should I begin?

The NY Times published a really stupid editorial that screams for a fisking.

Here it is.
When President Bush rushed to appoint Porter Goss, a partisan Florida congressman, as director of central intelligence before the election,
"..a partisan Florida congressman"? I'm getting so tired of reading this I want to scream. Please, can just one journalist in this country get over the "partisan politician" crap? Is there some other kind? When the Republicans gerrymandered the districts here in Texas to elect more Republicans and get rid of some long time Democrats, the press screamed, "Parisan!". Duh! You think??? Good lord, people! Politics is partisan! Get over it already! The last non-partisan politician died thousands of years ago. ARRRGH!!! My head hurts!!!

Here's a shocker for you high-falutin' northeast liberal types. Our forefathers actually knew that politics is partisan! Even more amazing, they actually planned for it in our government's design! Gasp! Oh the horror!!

Now that I've gotten that off my chest.....
the choice raised concerns about how serious Mr. Bush was about fixing one of the central problems with American intelligence: that the president was being told what he wanted to hear to confirm his policy choices, rather than what he needed to know. Now that Mr. Bush has been safely re-elected, Mr. Goss is only heightening those fears.
Accusing Bush of "being told what he wants to hear" is a bit like accusing a bull of being careful in a China shop after he's broken all the dishware. If there is one thing that is obvious about the President's management style it's that he relishes conflict among his strong-minded advisors. Hello! Powell v. Rumsfeld? Earth to the Times??? Do you suppose the President might have already made up his mind what needs to be done at the CIA and now he's implementing those changes?

Or would you prefer that he remain indecisive? How dense can you possibly be?
No one who has read the 9/11 commission's report or the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the prewar intelligence on Iraq could doubt the need to shake things up in the intelligence apparatus. It's also important to allow the head of a major government agency to make changes without undue second-guessing. But what Mr. Goss is doing at the Central Intelligence Agency is starting to seem less like reform and more like a political purge.

Mr. Goss has removed the head of the clandestine operations division and his deputy - both career intelligence officers. The No. 2 C.I.A. official, John McLaughlin, has resigned, along with four other senior people. Others are reported to be thinking about leaving. Many of them feel trampled by Mr. Goss's inner circle of political operatives from the House, where he was chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
Help me understand your "logic" here. You agree that we need to "shake things up" at the CIA, but then you complain that what Goss is doing is "a political purge"? Can you say h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e? Give me a break already. Man! What morons!

I'll bet a Moon Pie and a Nehi that you wouldn't be complaining if this was a Democratic administration! Oh wait! I win!
He dutifully noted that the C.I.A.'s job is to "provide the intelligence as we see it - and let the facts speak to the policymaker." But Mr. Goss added language that has reportedly sent a chill through the intelligence agencies: "I also intend to clarify beyond doubt the rules of the road. We support the administration and its policies in our work. As agency employees we do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies."

Certainly, the C.I.A. should not be taking sides in presidential campaigns. Many of Mr. Bush's supporters claim that high-ranking members of the agency attempted to undermine the president's re-election - if Mr. Goss has evidence of that, he should present it.
Here's an idea. Mr. Goss could provide reprints of your "news" stories quoting "unamed sources" within the CIA. Would that be sufficient? Hmmmmm????
But it's inappropriate for him to suggest that it's the job of the C.I.A. "to support" a particular administration and its political decisions.
Well what exactly is the job of the CIA, bozos?
The C.I.A.'s loss of public credibility in recent years has been due, in part, to a perception that the agency saw how much the Bush administration wanted to invade Iraq and cooked its conclusions to support that goal.
Which claim was conclusively refuted by the Senate Intelligence Committee. You did read that, didn't you? You cite it earlier as proof of your point. Did you even bother to read the darn thing?
What the country wants, and deserves, is an agency where intelligence operatives feel free to tell the administration that policies are based on wrong or incomplete information.
No..what the country wants and deserves is an agency that gives the President accurate, timely information, appropriately vetted, cautious when necessary, definitive when possible, and let the President and his advisors decide what policies to develop from that information. This isn't some editorial board, you loons! It's an intelligence agency!
They should be able to blow the whistle on mistakes and wrongdoing to the appropriate bodies in Congress without having to go through Mr. Goss's palace guard.
Which part of this argument justifies leaking opinions to the press, writing "tell-all" books and airing the administration's dirty laundry in public? Huh?

Here's a hint. If your sports department decided that the way you were running things was completely wrong and they decided to air their opinions in the Washington Post, what would you do? Take all the time you need. I can wait.

The CIA is an executive branch agency. So is State, Education ,etc., etc. (I know, I know, I really shouldn't have to point this out.) They serve the President. Not me. Not you. Not the taxpayers. The President. Their job is to provide the President with the information that he needs to do his job and to carry out the orders that he gives them. They do not work for Congress. They work for the President. Yes, Congress has oversight of their budgets, and they brief Congress on their activities, but they work for the President.

As soon as you start allowing your employees to blab your inner secrets and bitch and gripe to every Tom, Dick and Harry blogger that is eager to embarrass you, then you can start pointing fingers at the White House. Until then, SHUT UP!!

DId I make myself clear?