“War Czar”: Banana Republic, here we come !

Is defending our nation’s founding principles at every turn a paranoid response in the post-9/11 NSA, Monica Goodling, James Comey testimony world?
You tell me where the greater danger lies: al-Qaeda or George Bush? Are we clear? Even Thomas Friedman gets it:

… while the Bush team has been lecturing the Iraqi Shiites to limit de-Baathification in Baghdad, it was carrying out its own de-Democratization in the Justice Department in Washington.

Some have suggested this new War Czar will just be another fall guy, like Petraeus, that Bush can blame. He may even be a Bush/surge doubter. But I think he’s more than that.

Firstly, let’s recognize explicitly that Czar Lute would be a part of the great stall. He will go through Senate approval hearings, and eventually will be approved 99-0. That will be in June. So in September, when Petraeus throws up his hands, the Bush line will be (whine)”.. the Czar was approved 99-0 by the Senate to fix things in Iraq, and he has just begun; we have to give him a chance.” Another 6 months. Another 600 US dead, another 2000 crippled; another 50,000 Iraqis dead, another 500,000 refugees.

But more importantly, in my view, is the little consideration mentioned in passing, from the Washington Post:

As the White House’s new “war czar,” Lute will oversee the policy on and the execution of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, reporting directly to the president and issuing directions to Cabinet secretaries in Bush’s name. Although the newly created position is not subject to congressional approval, the Senate will have to approve Lute’s assignment because he is a senior active-duty military officer.

[Lute’s] selection comes at a time when the administration is struggling internally over extending the troop buildup in Iraq. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander there, has promised a progress report by September, which many in Washington have come to consider a make-or-break moment. But the administration is trying to tamp down expectations that the situation will have changed dramatically by then. Officials are already studying how to keep the extra troops in Iraq.

Furthermore, there is a reason that active duty Army generals don’t boss around the civilians in the United States government. Civilian control of the military is a basic principle of our country.

That will require him to force cooperation among agencies that have squabbled through much of the four-year-old war — a tall order for a three-star officer dealing with onetime superiors and Cabinet members. “If necessary, he will kick people in the pants to get things done,” said an officer who works with him. “And he will not be shy about telling his opinion.”

This “good ole boy” talk is a Bush tool used to make violation of our laws seem benign and just plain common sense, just good fun, etc…it is purposely deceptive and dangerous. The appointment of this guy is a decided step in the wrong direction, as is indicated by the term Czar. It is wrong, it is corrupt and dishonest. The Senate should not approve this step.

EVERY SINGLE THING THE MILITARY TOUCHES BECOMES BEYOND THE REACH OF THE CONGRESS, THE PRESS, AND THE PEOPLE. The military is inherently anti-democratic, designed to achieve its ends by force, and is granted total secrecy.

Kick butt, my ass. so to speak. How are you going to feel when this guy struts around Capital Hill with a security detachment of Marines, carrying automatic weapons? How about when he walks his boys over to the Washington Post and tells them what not to publish? How about when he starts “leaning on” US Attorneys to “ensure domestic tranquility”? None of it discoverable by democratic process.

Did you listen to the Republican presidential debates? “double Guantanamo?” Listen, people, we are dealing with crazy people and it is far from over.

We are already seeing the moves to seal off Iraq from the media. You may or may not believe that reporters and photographers are being targeted for attack, but you cannot dispute the fact that the number of reporters there is now down to only 75 (source: Bill Keller); that photographs are now forbidden, that casualty numbers are being manipulated, that the propaganda rules are being changed, that internet communications are now not only censored but forbidden.

What do you think is going on? Do you think that Bush, Rove and Cheney are crawling into a corner and dying? Hardly. Are you watching the defiance of the laws and the Congress and its subpoenas? Hmmm? are you? What else do they have in mind to maintain their control of the United States?
Washington Post:

JAMES B. COMEY, the straight-as-an-arrow former No. 2 official at the Justice Department, yesterday offered the Senate Judiciary Committee an account of Bush administration lawlessness so shocking it would have been unbelievable coming from a less reputable source.

Are the upcoming elections the last chance to reverse the thuggery of the past 6 years? Hello?

What in the world can the Senate be thinking, to roll over for this ploy. This is like giving a stick of dynamite to a 6 year old. Yet the press laps it up and begs for more:

“why did it take so long to find a war czar?”

If Bush’s cabinet and NSC and Joint Chiefs and CENTCOM are incompetent, he should replace them. That is the message the Senate should send him. They should not give another tool to use in subverting our democracy.

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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iraq, Middle East

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