Monday, August 24, 2009

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

This is a moment we, as a nation, will long regret. My prayers are with Leon Panetta, who was thrust into this leadership position unprepared for the weight of the mission that has fallen upon him. And my prayers are with the agents and employees of the CIA who have served this country faithfully, with courage and loyalty, often in the most dangerous of assignments.

Eric Holder, our nations Attorney General did not reach the decision to prosecute agents of the CIA for their allegedly torturous activities in the pursuit of al Qaeda terrorists, lightly. I know he agonized long and hard. Still, the decision reeks of political decision making.

Most importantly the decision puts our country at great risk. Holder and President Obama will deal a death blow to our intelligence gathering efforts. It is a poor decision and one that should have been handled differently.

This does not mean I advocate torture. This does not mean we should accept torture. This simply needed to be handled within the agency, by Mr. Panetta, in an appropriate manner consistent with the mission of the agency.

As qualified and talented HONORABLE agents flee the agency, as agents hold back in the performance of their duties in fear of political retribution, the nation will be vulnerable. Agents cannot be put into the position of having to second guess their orders, let alone disobey them.

Would Barack Obama want agents to second guess his decisions? They will. And we will all pay the price.


Chris said...

What a convenient time to go after the "torturers" from the evil Bush regime, when Obama has lost control over the health care debate. Won't that be a nice little sop to his base.

Vigilante said...

Wizard, I couldn't agree with you more. Our international war criminals of the eight-year stain (recently ended) on our nation's honor are not to be found within the rank and file of the C.I.A. We need a robust CIA now, more than ever. The real yet-to-be-indicted thugs are the guys Chris voted for (twice!) as well as the horses they rode in with. There's no need to cite their names and numbers here or now...

Chris said...

Yes, I voted for the adults twice. Adults make tough choices and take unpopular paths because they seem to be the thing to do, when doing nothing would be worse. Whether those were the right things to do is up for debate, but they were legal, and they had the authority to do them. The people you voted for gave them that authority, whether they want to admit it now or not.

Please explain how branding your political opponents as criminals is helpful to this "bi-partisanship" that a lot of people seem to think is a good thing. Shall we hold the present administration to the same standard? Please show me where in the Constitution a government takeover of private industry is spelled out as within the government's purview. I suppose that if the past administration is culpable then this one is as well, is it not? This is the road to a banana republic. Do you want to go there?

shoo said...

Those that want to treat the Bush administration as criminals are the flip side of those that claim Clinton and now Obama are committing treason.

Vigilante said...

Chris, you ask,

"Please show me where in the Constitution a government takeover of private industry is spelled out as within the government's purview."

Howabout the Preamble?

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

See also the Commerce clause: Section 8 - Powers of Congress

On the ills of private, for-profit health insurance, I've posted a brief tutorial that even you and Shoo should be able to grasp.

Chris said...

The Preamble is a statement of intent. You should read Section 8, because I just did, and it says nothing about Congress taking over private businesses. Either you cannot read, or you cannot reason. Take your pick.

I literally could not make it past your description of Medicare, a program which is going broke as we speak. It's all about the evil profits with you, isn't it? The fact that IT workers in the VA got bonuses doesn't even register, does it? Did you forget the millions in bonuses that Raines and Gorelick got for running Fannie Mae into the ground?

The President brought up the example of the Post Office as well, and was roundly and rightly criticized for comparing its performance to UPS and Fedex. The Post Office only exists because it has a monopoly on regular letters. Amtrak requires massive subsidies to remain viable.

Medicare rations costs right now, which is part of the reason that health care costs have gone up. Doctors and hospitals recover about 60% of their charges for treatment from Medicare. Guess who pays the remaining 40%?

If you really believe that adding millions of new consumers to a public option while using Medicare models of cost containment will not cause services to diminish, you are not thinking logically on this issue. This is basic economics, not wish fulfillment.

By the way, those evil investors include millions of Americans who invest in 401(k) plans. They are also invested in evil pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, and utilities.