December 13, 2007
by Dr Leo Strauss •
General Aktion •
Ignatius on the stuff you’ve seen here for free.
Considering what Conrad says in the above link about the Bill of Rights – He may appreciate this diligence:
Conrad replies to Buckley and Kissinger – Fascinating stuff – .
“Everywhere you looked around the Four Seasons restaurant on Aug. 24, there were the liberal media elite and its well-groomed lions: Tom Brokaw. Mario Cuomo. Eve Ensler. Frank Rich. Morley Safer. Arthur Sulzberger Jr. Joe Lelyveld. They’d gathered to toast Maureen Dowd and her new book, Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk …. I made my way through the party, asking if anyone had anything nice to say about my President, George W. Bush.
“I wouldn’t be able to respond to that,” said David Brown, the distinguished Hollywood producer.
“I could go on and on, but not about liking him,” said his wife, Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown, still super-sexy at age 82. “Something I could say that’s never discussed is that he’s nice-looking. He looks nice. He doesn’t have a tummy. He’s in good physical shape. He’s good-looking. And he doesn’t have a tummy.”
“You’ve made your statement,” said her husband.
“I’m thinking, I’m thinking,” said saucy gossip columnist Liz Smith. “Like Jack Benny-’I'm thinking, I’m thinking!’ …
“George W. Bush has a wonderful Dad,” said former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who still looks fresh.
“He likes Lyle Lovett-that’s a good thing about George Bush,” said New York Times reporter Abby Ellin.
“I don’t think I want to play this game,” said Vagina Monologues playwright Eve Ensler. “Because you know what? I’m really interested in transforming consciousness.”
~NY Observer 9-6-04
Leo, Having missed the Angola story, don’t you think David Brooks should make this his next destination, for a good sociology story?
We happen to agree with a number of Ignatius points – But he has to step back a bit and see things as a whole – If you read about the intelligence or police operations during a period of history, you immediately notice the historical context – Say you read about Doublecross in England during the war, the period details stand out, and you immediately see certain peculiarities of British culture and how that affects operations – Same with stories from the Civil War or the Revolution or the Cold War beginning etc.
Think about Baseball and steroids for a second – When George Mitchell gave his presser, no one seemed to notice the whole supercharged, blockbuster aesthetic of the presentation. Even subdued Mitchell’s presentaion was partly affect by same culture that makes steroid use seem normal. Years from now, historians will notice how odd it was to see a roomfull of enormous sized reporters, driving SUVS equal in power to 300 horses, could be puzzled by the rampant use of steroids in multi-billion dollar sports.
In a similar way – all of our intelligence problems are manifestations of our culture – They makes sense. Afeterall – it’s considered normal for news people to feature ex agency people (whether anti war Scheuer or pro war Pollock) as experts on TV when they would not last five seconds on the witness stand in courtroom if a lawyer probed their lack of knowledge in front of a jury. But this keeps going on and Ignatius is part of the culture – Just because he us higher up on the foof chain, does not mean he is not part of the food chain. Higher up , he shakes his head in shame at the slobs who cheer waterboarding and then shakes his head at thos bourgeois hypocrites who score the waterboaders (like the faux-liberals Orwell mocked for being anti cop, after benefiting from the cops)
We just were reminded of Pat – a few days ago – wondering why Bush let this NIE out, because it totally undercuts the Admin bellicose posture to Iran – Our point was that this was precisely the reason and we are surprised Pat was mystified. Meanwhile, Kagan already had his ‘let’s talk to Iran’ columns ready to go.
The biggest joke is that ridiculous story put out of McConnell peaking his head into the Oval Office and basically saying ‘Mr. President, I got some new material that will contradict everything you say about Iran – I can’t tell you what it is – not yet. Stay tuned …’
Going thru old newspapers and magazines – it’s amazing how often (just 3-6 months ago) people in both parties casually said “Iran makes no secret of it’s nuclear weapons ambition and their plans to use them.” This was such a common refrain that the eye would often skip over it, yet it was totally false even judging by what was considered the pravailing Intel at the time. In fact – often you would see ‘liberal’ media repeat that. The double false statement was actually a the end product of a series of false memes. Interestingly – if you read the key judgements in the current NIE, you’ll notice they are playing some grammatical games about Iran’s alleged secret nuclear program. IMO – Iran had or has had some sort of a secret program, but it apppears we never found out about in a meaningful way, so fictions were used to fill in the blanks. Otherwise, how else to explain the incredibly weak NIE statements – This whole ‘abondoned in 2003′ line sounds like the Bush admin decided not to attack for reasons Stiftung outlined earlier – plus Maliki-related concerns – and lack of UK support, plus little good Intel.
Ironically, the so-called concerns advanced by some realists types probably had little impact – It’s just not credible to believe, as one former Agency guys just did, that they were concerned about Hezbollah and Hamas attacks, in response. Both groups – esp the former – would have kept their head down overtly, well aware of the game being played. So – basically this NIE, like the last one, was made with a decision alread made in mind – Not as a guide to future decision making. As a bonus, they’ll use it to discount the IAEA reports on the way that will say the same thing.
“This process is broken, and the next administration should think creatively about how to fix it.”
Or, as Ezra put it:
“Congressional oversight of the intelligence community has broken down. Someone should figure out a way to fix that.”
So it’s broken. As we’ve said. Yes, yes, royalties would be nice. A plan to fix it would be nicer. Can we be the someone(s)? Any ideas? [crickets] Anything?
The first method of estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him. — Machiavelli
The first method of estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
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