Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Let's Reform Rich Lowry's Intelligence

Rich Lowry is a moron.

"Intelligence reform" is, as they used to say of the Moral Majority, neither. The intelligence-reform bill that has at least temporarily been scuttled on Capitol Hill despite its endorsement by all the great and good of Washington — from Democratic congressional leaders to President Bush — is neither intelligent nor is it real reform. It is a meaningless, and perhaps even counterproductive, bureaucratic reshuffling that has garnered such across-the-board praise exactly because it is such an empty gesture.

OK. I'm fine with having this discussion. Honestly, I'm on the fence about this myself. Making radical policy decisions without thought or investigation is almost always stupid, (I'm looking at you Department of Homeland Security and Operation Iraqi Freedom and Patriot Act!) We should be permitted to debate everything that has been done over the last four years.

The fact is that measures to make us safer usually aren't uncontroversial — for instance, taking the fight to the enemy overseas as aggressively as possible,

See, and here's the problem. You say that we should sit and think about the Intelligence Reform Bill (a Democrat policy), but you want to state, as though it is a fact, that pre-emptive war (a Republican policy) automatically makes us safer. The reason pre-emptive war is controversial is because there is no proof - nor any evidence - that it makes us safer. I would argue, in fact, that it makes us much less safe. Not that we were even allowed to debate it.

...or offending the civil-liberties lobby by implementing the Patriot Act.

Stupid Constitution always mucking up Bush's world domination schemes.

Since many Democrats don't endorse these steps (in fact, routinely howl about them), they are always looking to get onboard window-dressing tough-on-terror measures, which is what makes the intelligence-reform bill a perfect cause for them.

For the last fucking time, asshole - this country was founded on the concept of individual freedom. If we take that away (whether it's locking up huge groups of people with no evidence and no access to legal council, or if it's transforming our secular government into a Christian theocracy), then we lose both our moral high ground (too late), and we lose everything the Founding Fathers were working towards. When we, as you put it, "howl" about losing our freedoms, it's because we want to prevent you and yours from stomping Jefferson's grand vision into the ground and transforming our country into an ordinary run-of-the-mill fascist state.

...transferring most of the military's intelligence-gathering assets to the CIA. Never mind that that agency has always performed poorly when analyzing military issues, whether it was the size of the Soviet ICBM force, Chinese military modernization or Iraq's weapons-of-mass-destruction stockpiles...

Uh... Yeah, you work in the... well, let's call it "news" to be generous to your magazine, industry. I'm thinking that you should have at least heard about how the CIA was all, "Take the thing about Niger out of those speeches," and Condi was all, "Fuck you, you're my bitches!" and like Cheney was all over at Langley like, "help me invade Iraq! That's not good enough!" and the CIA analysts were like "get out of here!" and Bush was all, "You're fired! Get me someone who will say that they have WMD!" Remember all that? Remember when Bush cherry-picked all the evidence that made his invasion case, and ignored anyone who told him different? In fact, I believe it was Rumsfeld and his most blessed Defense Department analysts who got virtually EVERYTHING wrong about Iraq.

Mr. Lowry, a debate is useless if you ignore anything that contradicts you. Oh wait! Same with an intelligence agency! Weird...

Abuse is being hurled at House Republicans and Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld, who, in the absurd imaginings of his critics, secretly engineered the Capitol Hill doings that undid the bill while he was away at a summit in Latin America.

Did they outlaw phones in Latin America? It's not like Rumsfeld needs to physically be somewhere to get something done. He's not personally torturing legislators to make sure they do his bidding - Rumsfeld only orders that people be tortured, and has the peons do the dirty work. Besides, is there any question where he stands? Is there any question whether he's got Bush's ear? Look how bad he fucked up this whole war and he STILL has his job! What Rumsfeld wants, Rumsfeld gets - and rest assured, he doesn't need to pick up a phone.

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