Friday, September 09, 2005

Sandy Berger in re: Katrina Flying Feces Fest

It's almost tempting to say to The Honorable Senator Hillary "Yes, PLEASE go ahead with a Congressional Investigation."

"Please Don' Tho me in Dat BRAR PATCH!"

[Out of a sense that it would likely arouse distracting arguments about Political Correctness, I was tempted to delete this line. However one feels about the sin of racial stereotyping as possibly exemplified by the tales of Uncle Remus, there is nonetheless a store of wisdom to be shared by those stories. So poop on anybody that objects to the reference.]

A truly independent and rigorous investigation of the mess in New Orleans would be the WORST possible thing for Democratic party aspirations. Locally, regionally, nationally.



Do they really want the whole country to be shown the satellite pictures of the hundreds of New Orleans School busses, sitting unused in their depots before the levee broke, then afterward in the pond? Those photos are public knowledge already, but who bothers to look at 'em? They're only on the internet, being examined by the wretched "pajamahedeen" right-wing crazy bloggers.

Do they really want to have a detailed public airing of the New Orleans hurricane emergency preparations and response documents that were so carefully prepared, but never followed?

Do they really want to have the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans testify under oath as to the true timing of their requests for Federal intervention, or the reasons why the convention center and superdome were not allowed to be supplied by the Red Cross?

In a forum where lying has consequences to the liar?????????

These strongly suggest that any investigation will be torpedoed, manipulated, watered down, etc.

In this context, consider how we're finding out MONTHS AFTER the publication of the final report of the so-called "9-11 Commission" many crucial pieces of information showing Clinton's administration failed to act on intelligence reports and failed to pursue identified terrorists. Consider that the reasons for refraining from action were almost invariably POLITICAL CORRECTNESS rather than substantive questions of constitutionality or jurisdiction. Wouldn't it be an immeasurable service to the public for Clinton's national security adviser Sandy Berger to tell us what sort of information was in the documents he stole and destroyed when he was allowed access as a private citizen to secret documents in the National Archives from the Clinton administration?

As owner/operator of a small animation studio, I've been through fairly exhaustive security clearance interviews and training for my company to handle classified data. BELIEVE ME, the government people went to great lengths to impress upon me the seriousness of the responsibility, and the possible consequences of and penalties for any breach of procedures. (Yes, I know... I've mentioned this before.) I understand that journalists aren't normally concerned with security issues (except possibly in relation to protecting their information from competing news hounds) but for Mr. Berger to feign ignorance, forgetfulness, or carelessness in stuffing classified documents into his socks, shirt, and pants, is ludicrous.

As he finally acknowledged in court in April, pleading guilty to unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, he knew full well he was breaking the law. Magnificently timed to take advantage of the convenient media circus surrounding the dual expirations of Terry Schiavo and the Pope, his admission of guilt went largely unmarked by the alleged Mainstream News Media. He worked out a plea bargain by which he pays a $10,000.00 fine (at least an inconvenience for someone of his station) and agrees to "surrender his security clearance" for three years.

Swallowing THAT frog is a challenge. Since when is security clearance something to be "surrendered" by its possessor? That phrasing of the plea bargain suggests that the clearance is an entitlement, which must be restored automatically in the absence of compelling arguments contrariwise. Well, if stealing top secret memos about security preparations against terrorist attacks isn't sufficient argument against restoring one's security clearance, we may as well change our names to Hassan, and learn to shit in the desert. Only a certified idiot would consider re-instating a clearance for someone who has admitted to such a grotesque abuse of the privilege. The man simply should never again be trusted to enter the same room with a sensitive document except accompanied by a responsible adult. Preferably one armed with a truncheon, cattle-prod, or large-caliber side-arm.

But really, folks... S. Berger is only a bit player in this sordid business.

For him to have done the crime to which he has confessed suggests strongly that whatever information he shredded was damning to himself or to his CinC. Berger is either a loyal soldier or a coward, but in either case, he got off awfully easy for acts that would have put most of us in prison.

This may seem a little off topic in the context of natural disasters. But the point here is that the people trying most strenuously to lay the blame for the screw-up in New Orleans, are precisely the same people that enthusiastically defended Clinton's every act. The same people who are frantic to get a Democratic administration back into the Whitehouse, and willing to use any expedient method to do so. And the presumed candidate will be the wife of ex-president Clinton, he of the DNA-stain and the hapless-aspirin-factory janitor; that bold president whose defining gesture in the matter of terrorism was his Pardon granted to terrorists convicted years ago of murdering several people to advance the cause of Puerto Rican independence.

Mind you, that magnanimous gesture of reconciliation with the miniscule percentage of Puertoriqueños who actually support independence, was on the eve of the New York senatorial election in which Hillary Rodham Clinton was a candidate. Estimates showed that the vote of the Puerto Rican population in NYC could swing the election in Hillary's favor. (She won, you may have heard.)

Keep that in mind as you assess any hysterical accusations flying about in the aftermath of a natural disaster.


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