Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Constitution, Such a Pain in the Ass

I am reading Newsweek's excerpt from Bob Woodwards's new book, "State of Denial".

In the excerpt, Woodward describes Rumsfeld's frustration at what he termed the "Anchor Chain" mentality at the Pentagon. In other words, Rumsfeld wanted changes, big changes. He wrote in 2001,

The maze of constraints on the Department force it to operate in a manner that is so slow, so ponderous and so inefficient that whatever it ultimately does will inevitably be a decade or so late.

He isn't entirely incorrect in his assessment. But his approach to it was all wrong. This is part of what became known as the "Anchor Chain Memo" where Rumsfeld was laying out his idea of "transformation". What I can derive from this is the result. Contractors. Obviously, since the Pentagon was chained to its anchor, you get around that by privatizing. So we are forced to contract our work to a private firm. But guess what? The private firm doesn't really know how to do our job. So we have review their work, check, and fix it. So the government pays twice for the same thing rather than fixing its own problematic regulations, which is really a more sustainable solution. Go figure.

But here is the more shocking thing Woodward reveals. On May 1, 2006, Rumsfeld circulated a 6 page memo proposing some fixes for the mess he had created with this attempts at "transformation". This memo was called, "Illustrative New 21st Century Institutions and Approaches" (title makes no sense in English). Still deeply frustrated by the Pentagon bureaucracy (which has only gotten worse with Rummy at the helm), he wrote that not only was the DoD tangled in its anchor chain, so was the whole government, the whole world. He wrote,
"The charge of incompetence against the U.S. government should be easy to rebut if the American people understand the extent to which the current system of government makes competence next to impossible."

Yeah, I guess all those Constitutional limitations, like checks and balances are a real bureaucratic drag.

He later says in a interview with Woodward,
We're facing a set of challenges that are different than our country understands . . . they're different than our Congress understands. They're different than our government, much of our government, probably understands and is organized or trained or equipped to cope with and deal with. We are dealing with enemies that can turn inside our decision circles. . . . They [the enemy] don't have parliaments and bureaucracies and real estate to defend and interact with or deal with or cope with. They can do whatever they want. They aren't held accountable.

Wa wa. I don't see anyone holding Rummy (I could do a whole post on his poor English and tendency toward redundancy) accountable for anything. I don't see a Congress getting in his way. How can they? They are incompetent in his book and can be ignored.

Call me crazy, but, reading between the lines, it seems Rummy would be an advocate of dissolving of our current system of government and replacing it with a new one (like say, the type they have in Iraq). The man is a megalomaniac.

Bush must be impeached and he and his administration tried for treason.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that.

It reads like a series of excuses for failure. "It's not MY fault I failed! It's the system! And what's more, not only was it not my faul I failed, I'm really the only one who understands."

I get this about once a semester from students who are failing my classes. It's not their fault they didn't do the readings and bombed the essay question. It's MY fault because I only posted the lecture notes a week before the exam instead of the day before the lectures. Or it's their friend's fault because they "had" to go on a week long bender for someone's birthday or something.

Rummy's an old jock and I bet he justified any number of dissapointing grades in exactly the same tone as these memos. What a maroon. What a nin-cow-poop.  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

When I hear Republicans say things like, "You don't understand who our enemies are..." I always remember that, in seeking to attack Al Qaeda, they attacked Iraq. These people have no idea who our enemies are.  

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

More interestng points from Woodward's book. (recounted in part from the LA Times, 10/02/06 in Tim Rutten's Book Review.) American forces are attacked 900 times a week, that's about one every 15 minutes...and by most estimates, it will get worse in 2007....this is a war that you can not win militarily and that comes from Bush's generals. In Feb of 2005, Condi Rice sent her aide, Philip Zeilkow to Iraq and wrote in a secret memo that the county was "a failed state." In the days and weeks before election day in 2004, violence surged in Iraq. The number of insurgent attacks had soared that summer going from 1,750 or so in June and July to more than 3,000 by August...the violence was now 10 times worse than when Bush landed on the aircraft carrier in May 2003 and declared that major combat was over. Rumsfeld is characterized by former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and former chief speech writer, Michael Gerson, as the boss from hell... petty, petulant, vindictive, territorial, arrogant and self pitying micromanager who resolutely refuses to accept responsibility for his decisions. And to again hammer home the point about how we don't know who the real enemy is......2 months before 9/11, when Rice was Bush's national security advisor, I'll say it again, national security advisor, received a surpirse visit from then CIA director Tenet and J. Cofer Black, the state department's counterterrorism chief. They reviewed freshly collected, top secret intelleigence pointing to an impending attack by Al Qaeda. Based on the material, they sounded the loudest warning that Osama bin Laden's target was inside the United Woodward's account, Rice listened politely, then gave them "the brushoff."

I wonder how many incidents have to occur before we impeach these peple or whatever they are.....we need stem cell research to help the deomcrats grow a spine and some balls.  

// posted by It's Good to be King

Anonymous said...

The Democrats lack of a spine is not what's preventing impeachment. Their lack a majority is. If the voters weren't supporting Bush et al with their votes, there probably wouldn't be a spinelessness issue.

It really frustrates me to hear people say, "I'm sick and tired of the Republicans screwing stuff up but I'm still going to blame the Democrats because they haven't done anything to stop it." But this ignores the fundamental fact that under our Constitutionk the minority party can AT BEST, slow down or block legislation (in the Senate). They cannot hold hearings, they cannot conduct oversight, they cannot do anything of substantive importance. All they can do is complain - which they have done - but then people say that all they do is talk. Well, vote for a Democratic majority and see what happens!

We may get a chance for a controlled test here after November! VOTE DEMOCRAT! ONLY YOU CAN GIVE THEM THAT SPINE!

// posted by RBR