mad in pursuit: greed & arrogance

2004 political season

mad in pursuit home

greed & arrogance index


10.8.04 Bush as Chief Intelligence Executive

I keep hearing the Bushies say Kerry "read the same intelligence" they did and originally came to the same conclusions about Iraq. And maybe, just maybe they are getting around to saying the intelligence was wrong. But, but, they say, Kerry believed it too!!!!

Wait a minute. Bush and Kerry were not two senators sitting side-by-side in an intelligence briefing. Bush is the President, the Chief Executive. He's the one responsible for the agencies that got the intelligence screwed up. He's the one who is the final arbiter of conflicting intelligence. He is the one who, in the final analysis, determines who gets to see what.

Sure, Congress is supposed to provide oversight, checks & balances, yadda, yadda. But I get the idea they have to fight for information. Too often they find things out via Executive Branch leaks to the press. How many time this year has The Washington Post published a document excerpt that Congress then has to beg to be "declassified" so they can see it too?

Wasn't anyone listening to Richard Clark when he said no one in the White House was interested al Qaeda reports? When he said the Bush team had their own agenda and were going to pursue it, data bedamned?

We'd like to think that Congress can trust the Executive Branch to provide them with the best intelligence. There is an honorable tradition of faith in a Chief Executive who says he's got the right data to start a war. With a Republicans in control of both House and Senate, maybe they've been a little too trusting.

Bush's track record clearly indicates that he cannot manage his own intelligence organizations, flawed though their structure may be. And Bush's track record shows he can't get it right to declare a war. Why does he keep acting like it's someone else's fault?

I have not heard the Democrats use this line of reasoning and I wish they would.





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