Haven’t had the chance to see the testimony of the 9/11 Commission, but I did have the chance to see Richard Clarke’s opening statement just now.
I think–and this is just my gut feeling–that Clarke will end up being the “John Dean” figure in this whole tragic, sorry affair. My impression of him is that he cuts a very trustworthy, decent cloth, and it’s going to be hard to dismiss so cavalierly a man who’s served as the counterterrorism capo for every President since Reagan.
Especially when he does something like accept responsibility for what happened that autumn day:
Your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. I failed you. We tried hard, but we failed you…I ask for your understanding, and your forgiveness.
Amazing, and if there was any fairness in politics or life, George W. Bush, and the rest of his fifth-rate* gaggle of never-would-have-beens and should-have-never-beens will be hounded by shame and dishonor, for having had the opportunity to prevent the death of innocent Americans, and not doing a bloody thing about it.
Or, for that matter, having the simple human grace and decency to admit their error, and beg our forgiveness.
Losing office is too good for these folks. They’ve lost mine, and others’ respect, so I think they should lose their liberty, since they have no honor to surrender.
As you’ve noticed, I’ve changed the template. Nothing fancy, but I wanted a new look for the site. Also, I’ve changed the title, to Better Angels of our Nature. Appropriate, since, of course, my pen name is Arkhangel.
The phrase is taken from Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural, and the whole quote is as follows:
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
And in these times, with America at war at home and abroad, nothing can be lost by appealing to the better angels of our nature. I hope to do so, and with your help I’ll continue to do that.
Which brings me to this: I’m leaving Kuwait, and by extension, the theater of operations tonight. I’ll be Stateside by the weekend, God willing, enjoying life, hopefully.
I’ll take a couple of days to rest up, but I’ll be back writing and documenting my view of things as they develop. So if you don’t see any new posts, that’s why.
I appreciate all the well wishes, good thoughts, and encouragement. And like I said a while back, if you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.
And together, we’ll keep fighting, as God gives us might to see the right, to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.
*I say fifth-rate because, while the vast majority of them are really tenth-rate hacks and drones, there are some gems. I’ll give Rumsfeld credit for pushing through some badly-needed reforms in the whole Transformation project (especially concerning the Army’s Crusader artillery piece, which he wanted scrapped), and the guy’s who’s responsible for drafting the Administration’s work on immigration and foreign aid. Matt Yglesias is right: Bush has made some real progress in those two fields, and while it might make sense from a political viewpoint to slam him on, say, immigration, it might just be better to praise his work in that field.
But the rest…wow…the rest are just mediocre. Where to start? Gale Norton? Mel Martinez? Rod Paige? Tony Principi? Ann Veneman? And how about Norm Mineta? Now that’s a sad story of irrelevance there–the lone high-ranking Democrat in a rabidly partisan Administration, the man responsible for ensuring that our trains, planes, ships and other means of conveying people from here to there are efficient and safe, especially in view of 3/11…and he’s just not even a ghost–he’s utterly invisible. I dare anyone to show me where he’s been out front on the issue of securing America since 9/11.
So, therein lies my slam.