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Those Damn Trees

So, Rumsfeld is making some sort of attempt to apologize.

Apparently this isn't something he does often, because he's not very good at it.

Like this little nugget of joy: He said the purpose of the committee hearing was to find out why Congress was not kept informed when senators and congressmen were receiving endless calls to find out what was going on. Okay....so, the individual senators and congressmen knew, but "Congress" didn't? You'll pardon me if I think that sounds like a steaming heap of self-serving rationalization.

This is eerily reminiscent of Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 Commission where she said repeatedly that she had been informed of certain intelligence months before 9/11, as far back as January when the Bush team took over from the Clinton team, but she was never "told what to do with the information."

The president has populated his cabinet with people who are unable to perform the most basic function of management: to take information from their subordinates, assess it and act appropriately upon it. But here's the even deeper problem: the only thing that Dubya did right was to surround himself with people smarter than he is.

The horror...the horror.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
gallifreyan
May. 7th, 2004 06:19 pm (UTC)
Like this little nugget of joy: He said the purpose of the committee hearing was to find out why Congress was not kept informed when senators and congressmen were receiving endless calls to find out what was going on. Okay....so, the individual senators and congressmen knew, but "Congress" didn't? You'll pardon me if I think that sounds like a steaming heap of self-serving rationalization.

I read that as "Congressmen and Senators were being asked by their constituents what the fuck was going on, and nobody would tell them," mainly because they don't say the congresscritters were receiving endless calls to TELL THEM what was going on. There is a difference.
junglemonkee
May. 8th, 2004 11:54 am (UTC)
I seriously doubt that anyone was calling their congresscritters and saying "Hey, just what the heck is going on over there?" It's never that vague and general.

It's more like "Hey, I just saw some very disturbing pictures of torture. Why is that happening." Which would mean that individual members of Congress did know that it was happening, although nobody seems to have put too much effort into finding out why, stopping it, etc.

Rumsfeld admitted to knowing about the abuses as far back as mid-January and "taking steps," but he didn't see fit to inform the President or anyone else of problems that, if known, would (and did, when they came to light) damage what tiny shred of credibility the U.S. might still have with the international community.

It was not mentioned in this particular article, but the story on 60 Minutes that showed photos and videos of the abuse was actually delayed by two weeks at Rumsfeld's direction. During that time he testified before Congress as to the current situation in Iraq, conveniently leaving out anything regarding abuse of detainees. He knew, and he didn't want anyone else to know until after his testimony so he wouldn't have to deal with it then.

Let's not be disingenuous about things. They're not sorry it happened. They're deeply, truly and sincerely sorry that they were caught at it.
gallifreyan
May. 8th, 2004 02:22 pm (UTC)
I seriously doubt that anyone was calling their congresscritters and saying "Hey, just what the heck is going on over there?" It's never that vague and general.

Maybe not, but I don't have actual phone messages or letters to quote. I'm being vague, I'm sure some people have called congresscritters and asked very specific questions that I'm not privy to.

And I would be shocked and amazed if congress acted very fast or even had room to act based on random constituent calls and letters. They haven't been able/willing to do anything about Gitmo and they've had what, 2-3 years for that?

A lot less shocks me after a few books of Hiaasen and Dorsey and Leonard. Politics is a dirty game.
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