…the Federal Bureau of Investigation on November 8, 1945, reported to the White House that (Harry Dexter) White was a spy. The report was suppressed. The entire story was exposed nine years later by the Attorney General and the Subcommittee of the Senate [Committee –ed.] in November, 1953. White had been furnishing documents to the Soviet government. Providentially for him, Harry Dexter White died before his misdeeds caught up with him.
The Struggle To Make Government Responsible And Accountable
The US Internal Revenue Service is sued by a Tea Party group — and it looks as if the effort might be automatically doomed by laws limiting the ability of the citizenry to deal with improper acts committed by federal civil servants. Start with the WaPo story, and then consider this observation made by a commenter just below the story:
All hype by Jay Sekulow. He knows that, by statute, the Department of Justice will certify the IRS employee/defendants as acting in their official capacities, which means that the suit will actually be a suit against the United States. That’s right. True the Vote, Inc. v. The United States.
Then, since the court lacks jurisdiction under the Anti-Injunction Act and the Declaratory Judgment Act, as well as the fact that Sekulow’s complaint fails to identify any statute under which THE UNITED STATES has waived sovereign immunity, the DOJ will move to dismiss this suit and, under longstanding precedent, it will be dismissed.
Sekulow knows the suit is doomed. He has to get all the publicity he can before this case is tossed down the court house steps.
If those claims are accurate, then the sheer amount of legislative work involved in repairing this badly broken system means it will be impossible to bring the IRS to heel. Not only might all the misbehaving federal officials be immune to punishment, but the Obamoid strategy could be deathless.
Not so, as far as this newsletter is able to determine. Now there are no lawyers on NTG’s staff, but to the interested layman, it does appear that Congress tried to prevent all federal civil servants from becoming sacrosanct, invulnerable despots. Tea Partiers should do some reading and consult an expert.
Book Review: The “War on Terror” Comes Under Examination
The Way of the Knife: The CIA, A Secret Army, And A War At The Ends Of The Earth by Mark Mazzetti, ISBN 976-1-59420-480-7
The author of this volume, a Pulitzer winner and NY Times correspondent, describes the rivalry between the Pentagon and the CIA. The implication: the struggle to safeguard the USA and demilitarize Islam is a confused mess that is causing more problems than it addresses successfully.
Yes, the military is not usually tasked with spying, and spies must transform themselves if they are supposed to kill people, so the expedient compromise in the competition between people like Rumsfeld and the CIA’s many heads (until Petraeus arrived, an event Mazzetti virtually ignores) was for the CIA to borrow military units to assassinate bin Laden and many others. Some of the targets badly needed killing, though the cost in innocent lives was high. Mazzetti’s tale of the unfolding of the rivalry between the Pentagon and Langley presents the reader with a Punch ‘n’ Judy-style farce in which both sides do stupid and counterproductive things in their eagerness to court the fickle approval of Team Obama. The outcome: a partial and slipshod response to a deadly threat that leaves the reader grateful that anything at all was accomplished in the defense of the West.
Mazzetti provides just a truncated account of the disaster at Benghazi, and no one is mentioned negatively. Hillary, with her moronic claim about the movie no one saw? Not a word. Her extreme fascist rejection of freedom of speech and press? Nothing. Her rank incompetence and stupidity? No, no. Knife is very politically correct. Yes, in this book the informed observer will spot the NY Times gremlin, peeking puckishly at the reader. Mazzetti seems to believe the ordinary citizen is too simple to realize that a grimly partisan editorial policy is shaping his discourse. There’s a jarring contrast, therefore, between the revelatory, objective tone of most of the book and the sanitary depiction of the Benghazi debacle.
Too, Knife abounds with “insider” details that are not subject to confirmation, so the reader is expected to take Mazzetti at his word and credit his many unnamed sources. If his overall account is correct, one can only marvel that the USA has met the needs of the defense of the West as well as it has.
Killing very bad people is a good idea, but eventually one must ask how the political basis for bloody-handed adventuring will hold up in the light of day (letters of marque will be reinstituted, perhaps?). Mazzetti seems to feel that if the electorate knows the USA’s champions are actually little more than selfish defenders of bureaucratic empires, somehow reform will eventuate. If that is his view, he is probably wrong.
The Way of the Knife is an unblinking view of the inefficiencies, miscues, fumbling and interdepartmental wrestling matches that have marred the USA’s attempts to deal with Islamist mass murder. Because it is merely a critique devoid of proposals for the effective defense of Western Civilization, the book could be accused of proceeding from a pacifistic or even defeatist mindset.
Then too, Mazzetti makes no effort to explain why the Obama administration has chosen to fight as it has. (For a partial answer that deals with the fundamental motives behind Obama’s decision to order people killed, see this newsletter, Number 252. Thanks to the Trojan efforts of loyal reader JY, it’s posted here.) From the information provided in Knife, one can only conclude that the effort to defend the nation is a frantically devised ad hoc crazy quilt stitched together by literal tyros. When Iranian engineers figure out how to counter those noisy, slow drones, the entire house of cards…well, you can imagine.
Washington’s political hierarchy — the Ruling Elite — seems to have no practical, theoretical or even ideological grasp of the threat. If there is a grand strategy, perhaps it can be deduced from Obama’s apologetic and flattering words to Islam in general and his focus on assassinating “terrorist” leaders (again, see Number 252) while ignoring the doctrinal roots of the carnage. Unfortunately Mazzetti never discusses the origin, rationality or long-term effectiveness of Obama’s choice.
Instead the author makes clear that the USA’s military and intelligence arms have taken on each other’s tasks, discovered that they are incapable of doing enough to perform those tasks, and turned to private industry to learn things and kill people. The bills go to the taxpayers, of course, and a flow of funds has enriched many canny entrepreneurs. The reader may well ask whether this still-expanding service industry (call it Acme Data and Bloodshed Unlimited, perhaps?) arose and exists today in order to defend Western Civilization. Mazzetti has no answer. He appears simply to believe that the sheer professional enthusiasm of CIA and military careerists was inspired by all the exciting activity, and that the profit motive can explain the appearance of private contractors who now aid the overburdened government. Like Topsy, it just growed.
That is a simple explanation that says nothing about the motives that animate Obama and his associates.
Mazzetti might have looked at Obama’s background and values, in so far as they can be determined. Note first that much of that information is murky and/or unavailable. Second, the community organizer who disdains the US federal constitution as inadequate and tosses Obamacare in the lap of the Internal Revenue Service (!) does indeed display a lusty craving for control. The secrecy that surrounds much of the improperly named “War on terror” adds another fact to the mix. To this newsletter, it is clear that Obama is moving along a comfortable path, and will take the nation into regions both uncharted and profoundly change-inducing.
That vision of the present implies the probability that as Obama’s sense of control — remote control, in fact — increases, ordinary citizens of the USA will find they are more than ever targets of invasive and transformative government control than can presently be imagined.
Control is not just essential to the creation of a Utopia; it is a powerfully addictive capability that fosters and enhances its own necessity by altering those who wield it. Rulers who control millions of human beings do not grow in wisdom and insight by virtue of their power. In fact they tend to madness.
The preventive is obvious, but remains ignored: how Western Civilization should defend itself yet again against its oldest and most deadly foe should be openly debated, with candid leaders providing information to the electorate rather than extracting data from it.
What, for example, is the real threat? It is only dimly perceived, though it is in plain sight. While most people fear (very rare) falling airplanes and (infrequent) improvised bombs, the Islamic demographic weapon continues to wreak seismic cultural and legal havoc across Europe and the United Kingdom. A rational appraisal of what Islam plans to do puts far less emphasis on explosions than it does on sociological, political and financial impacts. Islamofascists are not just violent criminals: they are true revolutionaries whose vision of your future is a nightmare beyond imagining.
The discussion of Islam’s motives and methods should begin with the Koran and move at once to what immigration and birth rates are accomplishing. That discussion will never be undertaken unless Obama and leaders like him are removed from power. The truth is, for all his obsession with control, the Obamoid politician is incapable of dealing with the reality of the Islamist challenge. He can shoot back, and he will — but that will accomplish next to nothing. Assassinations are a tiny, virtually inconsequential, part of a temporary defense; they play no role whatsoever in the decades-long struggle the West faces. Islam, the death cult that is by scriptural design malevolent and intransigent, can not possibly be discouraged by Obamoid policy.
If the threat to the West proceeded from the ambitions of a Napoleon-like personality, of course Obama’s battle plan — kill the bastard — would be rational. Obamoid solutions and strategies are neither perceptive nor intelligent, however, and they will fail precisely because The One either does not grasp or does not care to address the genuine threat. He seems to believe that a childish conspiracy theory is relevant to a winning strategy; he believes a tiny group of charismatic figures inspires the inflammation of global (decent, admirable) Islam to violence. Wipe those few naughty people out, and you win. That’s so simple-minded that it defies categorization.
Whatever the cause of his incompetence, Obama is utterly unsuited to the task history has assigned to him. If Mazzetti recognizes that fact, he refuses to articulate it. (But…who took G. W. Bush’s mistakes, and turned them into incompetence and futility on steroids?)
That observation returns this commentary to the book under review. Knife is more a history of turf wars than a clarification of what the CIA and Pentagon are doing and how that heartbreaking sacrifice could be made successful. If the author is correct, your children and your culture don’t stand much chance against sharply-focused Islamist rage and durable missionary zeal.
Some might muse that it is ironic that Obama the culture warrior does not understand the nature of the threat posed by Islam.
Then again, though Knife is a book for pessimists, it might also serve as a “How Not To” manual of a sort.
If Mazzetti accomplishes anything positive, therefore, it might be to aid in the realization that the USA and the West can do a lot better than trust Obama and his feuding crew of radical cynics. If the top were righteous and wise, the rest of the pyramid of power would be infinitely more effective and admirable.
The “wingnut” online publication Commentary, often cited here, says that “…what Greece showed Europe and what Detroit tells Americans is that sooner or later the well of public funds will run dry if obligations to liberal constituent groups continue to grow unchecked”. The commentary goes on to examine Paul Krugman’s denial of prudential governance (he’s an influential advocate of “progressive” economic policy, and a headstrong Obamite). Recommended.
A little politically incorrect history: Cuba.
This looks good — really good. Similar outfits have run into trouble, though, and that’s cause for genuine concern, and cause for your participation. Do take a look. You could make a real difference where differences matter enormously.
This may well be a voice of reason in the discussion of what, if anything, to do about Syria.
The USA knowingly does this, but eschews the use of torture. How consistent is that?
The prank was funny — no, it was hilarious. It was not vile, nor was it done with racist intent (clowns are allowed to make language-related jokes). But the fact that it worked bothered some very small people, and those mental midgets lashed out viciously.
Creepy-ass crackas fight crime.
It’s notoriously hard to predict the future of computing, but to this newsletter, the most rational innovation is about to come from Canonical. In any event, Microsoft seems to have entered its long-overdue decline, and Apple has lost momentum that will be extraordinarily hard to regain. Canonical’s only obvious weakness at this early stage: Linux is not the best operating system for graphic design; that prize goes to the combination of Apple’s OS X and Adobe’s Photoshop. So far.
Major media malpractice.
“The ‘political philosophy’ that has guided so many diligent and clever analysts into absurdities does not address the definitive political phenomenon of our time, namely cultural suicide.” Yes! Read it all.
The “progressive” element that savages G. W. Bush for his war on Iraq has little helpful to say about outcomes like this. There are two lessons here: first, the best intentions, when handed over to bean-counters, tend to turn to sewage. All bureaucracies are inherently inimical to solutions to the problems they are tasked to address because the primary goal of every bureaucracy is self-preservation, not arranging its own extinction. Second, the military mission is never complete until a sincere effort is made to cope with the consequences of combat. If Obamites genuinely want to do the right thing, why don’t they simply do it?
Hope and change in action: “With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball” said The One (here). Phony scandals? Well, this is what he said a couple of months earlier: “If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions. And people have to be held accountable, and it’s got to be fixed. . . . I’ve got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it.” (Source) That’s change, all right, but that kind of change is pretty hard on the hope for principled leadership.
I turn on Channel Six, the President comes on the news
Says I got no satisfaction, that’s why I sing the blues
His wife says don’t get crazy, Lord, you know what to do
Just crank up that old Victrola, put on your rocking shoes
The God way up in heaven, for whatever it was worth
Thought he’d have a big old party, thought he’d call it Planet Earth
Don’t worry about tomorrow, Lord, you’ll know it when it comes
When the rocking, rolling music meets the rising, shining sun
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Herbert Hoover.
The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Slackware Linux, Emacs, and Firefox.
Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee.