Friday, February 09, 2007

Quote of the day: Follow the Pentagon IG's report down the yellow brick road, and you run into loons from Mad Dog Dougie and Big Dick to Loco Joe


"The inspector general's report is a devastating condemnation of inappropriate activities in the DOD policy office that helped take this nation to war."
--Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, quoted by Walter Pincus and R. Jeffrey Smith in "Official's Key Report on Iraq Is Faulted," in today's Washington Post

Yesterday Senator Levin released portions of the report overseen by Pentagon Acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble [right] (can't you just imagine Chimpy the Prez whining, "Will no one rid me of these f---ing inspector generals? And while we're at it, how about that damn Congressional Accountification Committee too?") slamming former Defense Undersecretary "Mad Dog" Dougie Feith's bogus intelligence reporting on Iraq, and today the report was officially delivered to the committee. The chairman has released an unclassified "executive summary" (here in PDF form).

Maybe there will be some news, but most likely it merely confirms what we've known for ages about the Mad Dog's Pentagon intellegence-manufacturing operation, albeit with detailed corroboration, even if most of that is apt to be hidden in the part of the report that'll be kept permanently classified if the Bush Cover-Up Team (Our Motto: "We Cover Our Smelly Asses 24/7, and Then Some, and if You Get in Our Way, Well, We Gotta Do What We Gotta Do, Sucker") has anything to say about it.

Still, it's nice to have formal acknowledgment that Mad Dog Dougie [left], who I believe lists his occupation on his 1040 as "professional toady/scumbag," was using taxpayer dollars to phony up raw intelligence scratchings to the satisfaction of his Pentagon "intelligence" office's one and only client, the White House war machine ("Big Dick" Cheney, owner-proprietor--Our Motto: "The Intelligence Sociopathic Neocon Psychopaths Want, When We Want It"). For his part, the Mad Dog is claiming vindication, because the report specifically says that he doesn't seem to have done anything actually illegal. Whatta guy!

Why does this still matter, at this late date?

On the simplest level, because it matters how we got dragged into this mess. I know we've heard an infinite number of times--oh, since about the time "Mission Accomplished" turned so rudely un-accomplished--that it doesn't matter how we got into the mess, all that matters is what we do about it. But saying it over and over doesn't make it any less fatuous.

So let's just take a deep breath and say it all together now: OF COURSE it friggin' matters how we got into Iraq. What're you, nuts? In what universe could it POSSIBLY not matter?

And you know those people who've been trying to tell you it doesn't matter? I strongly urge you to shut the door in their face, immediately, and in particular without signing anything. They're just trying to cover their smelly asses.

What they really mean is, just like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men they think--when we demand the truth--that we can't handle the truth.

Oh, I bet "Big Dick" Cheney cues that scene up over and over. I'll bet he can't get enough of it.

Which brings us to the really important reason why we need to know about Big Dick's intelligence-cooking operation, and the role it played in dragging us into a war that has still never been justified or even explained to the American people. It's clear that within the unholy coalition inside the Bush administration which dragged us into war there were factions that actually believed in each of the justifications trotted out serially: WMDs that placed the U.S. in immediate peril, removing Saddam Hussein, fighting Islamic terrorism, bringing democracy to the Middle East. But none of them is "the reason" why we had to invade Iraq. What we were told was strictly a matter of public relations: How can we sell this to the morons who make up the American public? Don't forget, we can't handle the truth.

And remember that Mad Dog Dougie's faux-intelligence cookery came into existence because of Big Dick's inability to coerce our existing intelligence operations, notably the CIA, to provide him with the reliable stream of "intelligence" he wanted--no, demanded. Let them all deny it for the record, we know how much time Big Dick spent haunting CIA HQ in Langley--totally without precedent in the agency's history--and we can easily enough guess the kind (and intensity) of no-holds-barred intimidation he applied in his attempt to coerce what he wanted out of those goddamn sissies.

Alas for Big Dick, if you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself, or entrust it to that tiny group of people you can trust to produce results--you know, people like our Irving "Lewis" Libby. The kind who, if you say, "F--- that son of a bitch Joe Wilson," say, "How f---ed?"

Very possibly our Irving knows why we had to go to war in Iraq, because Big Dick trusted him. But as we heard our Irving say on that tape the other day, "It is not unusual for the vice president to tell me something which I am not allowed to share with others."

Of course our Irving was being modest. We can't handle the truth. Only he and Big Dick's other most trusted confidantes--only occasionally including Chimpy the Prez, I suspect (perhaps on a "need to know" basis)--can handle the truth.

So what, in the end, is this famous truth?

Nobody knows, except its exclusive possessors. But they know this truth of theirs to an absolute dead certainty.

And this for me is the scary truth about the currently ascendant Americn Right: These people believe themselves to be in possession of absolute truth, a truth of such importance that it justifies any tactics needed to protect and advance it. Big Dick really believes that this Great (Unrepeatable) Truth to which he is uniquely privy justifies whatever he has to do as he crusades in its furtherance.

When Big Dick's people sent then-Secretary of State Colin Powell before the United Nations to lie his head off, sacrificing his reputation and honor, I think they knew that almost every word they put in his mouth was a lie. But they believed that the lies were uttered in the service of their Higher Truth, the one that's too important and secret even to be uttered, and certainly can't be trivialized with some absurd demand that it be backed up with evidence.

It's the truth, and we know it.

These are, of course, many of the same people who spit at science and all other forms of human knowledge that depend on rigorous, "reality-based" investigation and proof, followed by further testing and revising and refining--and even, where necesssary, throwing out and starting all over again. Wherever the credible evidence takes us.

No, the only kind of knowledge that's worth anything is the kind that's acquired immaculately--coming out of nowhere, having no history and requiring no support, just all-consuming obedience.

Which fortunately is just what modern-day conservatives have in abundance. Make them feel they're doing their duty, and they'll believe anything. The more incredible, even invisible, the better.

And this brings me back to a point that I've tried to make several times here, drawing on the epiphany that David Brock describes in Blinded by the Right, recalling his days as perhaps the most acclaimed of the young right-wing "journalists," when it dawned on him that what he and his colleagues were doing wasn't journalism at all. They weren't setting out to find out the truth. They started out with fixed conclusions and set out to provide window dressing to justify them.

Just like Big Dick, they were in received possession of The Truth. Their mission, the one they had all accepted, was to do whatever they had to do, including using evidence they knew was fake and, when necessary, just plain making up stuff, to make it sound as if their truth had been proved.

You knew it was just a matter of time before we got to Loco Joe Lieberman, right? We know where he gets his Truth--straight from God. Of course, some of us unbelievers may suspect that it isn't God he's hearing so much as his own monumentally outsized and diseased ego. (Notice how similar the words are, "God" and "ego"?)

Loco Joe is so full of himself that he thinks he's telling us something we don't know when he warns us how dire the situation is in Iraq. Why, Loco Joe thinks he's a genius.

In fact, Loco Joe is a nincompoop. What turned Iraq into such a catastrophe was the country allowing itself to be snookered by psychotic lamebrains like Loco Joe, treating us like morons because we're not in possession of their Holy Truth--like the truth being manufacured in Mad Dog Dougie's kitchen of counterfactual horrors.

In retrospect, it was nuts to think that the famous Iraq Study Group report would have any civilizing effect on the lower orders of neocon sages currently keeping the faith, now that their superiors, people like Paul Wolfowitz and Dirty Dickie Perle, have flown the coop.

But one thing is still true--maybe more so:

Proof? They don't need no stinkin' proof.

They got better than proof. They got Truth.


At 2:05 PM, Blogger Maya's Granny said...

And this is vitally important because they are using the same tactics to drag us into a war with Iran.

If you don't learn how the rabid dog got into the house to eat the baby, it will do it again.

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn’t it a funny coincidence… the day the report was released which investigated the flawed Pentagon’s intelligence-gathering by Bush and Co., Lieberman and Co. are in Kosovo.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Bil said...

Thanks Kenny, there must be at least three posts worth here.

Let me respond on Neocon Feith,
Pentagon's No. 3 civilian, after Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. The last two are founding signers of the gag me, Principles Statement for The New American Century,June 3, 1997.

I will try and post the signers this time. See anybody you like?

Elliott Abrams Gary Bauer

William J. Bennett Jeb Bush

Dick Cheney Eliot A. Cohen Midge Decter Paula Dobriansky Steve Forbes

Aaron Friedberg Francis Fukuyama Frank Gaffney Fred C. Ikle

Donald Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad I. Lewis Libby Norman Podhoretz

Dan Quayle Peter W. Rodman Stephen P. Rosen Henry S. Rowen

Donald Rumsfeld Vin Weber George Weigel Paul Wolfowitz

At 5:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Correction to This Article

A Feb. 9 front-page article about the Pentagon inspector general's report regarding the office of former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith incorrectly attributed quotations to that report. References to Feith's office producing "reporting of dubious quality or reliability" and that the office "was predisposed to finding a significant relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda" were from a report issued by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) in Oct. 2004. Similarly, the quotes stating that Feith's office drew on "both reliable and unreliable reporting" to produce a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq "that was much stronger than that assessed by the IC [Intelligence Community] and more in accord with the policy views of senior officials in the Administration" were also from Levin's report. The article also stated that the intelligence provided by Feith's office supported the political views of senior administration officials, a conclusion that the inspector general's report did not draw. The two reports employ similar language to characterize the activities of Feith's office: Levin's report refers to an "alternative intelligence assessment process" developed in that office, while the inspector general's report states that the office "developed, produced, and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al Qaida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community, to senior decision-makers." The inspector general's report further states that Feith's briefing to the White House in 2002 "undercuts the Intelligence Community" and "did draw conclusions that were not fully supported by the available intelligence."

At 10:03 AM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Thanks for catching us up with the Post's correction, Anon. I'm feeling kind of smug, because as far as I can see, it doesn't affect a single thing that I wrote.

Remember, my lead quote was from Senator Levin, and I pointed out that the Pentagon IG report was unlikely to contain much if any news, since we've known what Mad Doug Dougie was up to in his private intelligence cookery for ages--at least as far back, it turns out, as Senator Levin's 2004 report.

What's significant about the IG report is that finally it comes from investigators on the government payroll. That the report in some respects stops short of saying outright that our Doug was cooking the intelligence seems to me nothing more than bureaucratic fluffery. When the report says that Dougie's "assessments . . . included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community," or that his 2002 White House briefing "undercuts the intelligence Community" and "did draw conclusions that were not fully supported by the available intelligence," I don't think it takes a lot of imagination to hear what the IG is angling at. (And to a significant degree we HAVE to use our imagination, because it seems a safe bet that the most incriminating portions of the report wil remain safely classified thanks to the ongoing White House Ass-Covering Project.

Thanks too to the other commenters, and in particular to Maya's Granny for pointing out the most immediate application we have for knowledge of how the Bush War Propaganda Machine works--because, sure enough (and incredibly enough), many of those same people along with the successors of some of the others are now playing the same game with Iran.

You want to say, "Don't those people ever learn?" And then you realize the more important question is, Don't WE ever learn?



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