Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Some very fast spin just erupted onto CNN an hour or so ago as the Pentagon attempts to counter the negative effect from the release of Secretary Rumsfeld’s rather-more-candid-than-a-presser memo to top officials of the Department of Defense:
He’s just trying to provoke some creative thinking…If you paid close attention to what the Secretary has said over the past few weeks you’ll see this really isn’t just that different.
So says the oddly blank face of Barbara Star following yesterday’s staged contralto in the snake-handling General diversion within the Secretary's press conference.
What did Rummy say in his leaked memo?
Well, according to USAToday:
It is not possible to change DoD fast enough to successfully fight the global war on terror; an alternative might be to try to fashion a new institution… we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror… Does the US need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists?
No, Barbara, I pay close attention and I must say, in all honesty, that I don’t recall the Secretary saying any such thing.
In fact, I don’t seem to recall the Secretary using many nouns, period, for the past majority of Mr. Bush’s elapsing appointive term.
Oh well, memory is a funny thing, isn’t it CNN?
Odd isn’t it, with all your videotapes and blinking lights?
However, an impaired human memory can be sharpened by some terrific reporting such as that found in this excellent history of right-wing politization of the CIA’s analytical division by former Associated Press and Newsweek correspondent Robert Parry published on Consortiumnews.com earlier today:
Though one cost of corrupting U.S. intelligence can now be counted in the growing U.S. death toll in Iraq, the origins of the current problem can be traced back to the mid-1970s, when conservatives were engaged in fierce rear-guard defenses after the twin debacles of the Vietnam War and Watergate.
The CIA analysts – confident if not arrogant about their intellectual skills – prided themselves in bringing unwanted news to the president’s door… But that tradition came under attack in 1976 when conservative outsiders demanded and got access to the CIA’s strategic intelligence on the Soviet Union. Their goal was to contest the analytical division’s assessments of Soviet capabilities and intentions… The concept of a conservative counter-analysis… became known as “Team B”… a pre-set agenda to fashion a worst-case scenario for launching a new and intensified Cold War. What was sometimes called Cold War II would demand hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayers’ money for military projects, including big-ticket items like a missile-defense system… Team B’s analysis of the Soviet Union as a rising power on the verge of overwhelming the United States is now recognized by intelligence professionals and many historians as a ludicrous fantasy, it helped shape the national security debate in the late 1970s. American conservatives and neo-conservatives wielded the analysis like a club to bludgeon more moderate Republicans and Democrats, who saw a declining Soviet Union desperate for arms control and other negotiations…The Reagan administration, for instance, wanted evidence to support right-wing media claims that pinned European terrorism on the Soviets. The CIA analysts, however, knew the charges were bogus partly because they were based on “black” or false propaganda that the CIA's operations division had been planting in the European media…the CIA’s traditions of analytical objectivity continued to erode in the 1980s, analysts who raised unwelcome questions in politically sensitive areas found their jobs on the line.
Clearly the present White House leaker of Ambassador Wilson’s covert operative wife isn’t the only Bush partisan facing, if not actual, historic charges of treason.
Some, on line, are quibbling. Was this a leak or a hand out? It seems the Defense Secretary gave the memo to three Congressmen who gave it to the press. This makes some wonder if Rummy wanted the information spread.
I think it is clear from the fast counter offensive that the Secretary did not want the memo released.
Being the first to admit that things are not always as they seem, the evolving Rummy Memo spin now pretends it displays the Secretary's keen cutting-edge questioning technique, leaked or not.
Ahem. Excuse me? The man who is to dissent what wolves are to fat bunnies?
No, this looks more like an attempt at a fait accompli for an ultimate privitization gambit. Something kind of along the lines of half Pentagon and half Halliburton, if you please, kind sirs.
After reading the Perry article on Consortiumnews.com the Rummy Memo, particularly with the part about creating another new federal bureaucracy, seems to jive with the historically hair-brained conclusions of Team B.
On the Food Front
Please, this autumn, do yourself a favor at the grocery store and buy a few examples of the wildly misunderstood roots of Parsnip, Turnip, and Fennel.
I promise to post some simple ideas for these forgotten vegetables like a wonderful gratin and a unique soup.
Last evening I placed a peeled and halved Onion in a buttered baking dish with some Parsnips and thick slices of Turnip.
Spray veggies with a PAM-like substance or drizzle with Olive Oil and season with Salt, Pepper and a little Thyme.
Lightly cover and bake at 350 for one hour or until tender. Yum