Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pragmatic sanctioned

I hear the Man Called Petraeus has resurfaced, embarking on his redemption tour with a dinner address to the ROTC of USC in which he may have mentioned his "extremely poor judgment". I think we can expect to see him engaged to Mother Kardashian before too long. It gives me pride to note here that my hometown newspaper, the New York Times, has declined to headline this story, and I had to Google to find a paper that did (one of the Posts, Washington or Sideboob).
Image from Cafe Press.

Anyway, it's given me a sort of disquieting thought. I've been telling myself this pleasing story about Obama choosing Father Brennan to lead the CIA so as to take away their drones and generally reconvert them from their current status as presidential secret army to the good old conventional role of central intelligence agency for which they were originally named. ("I think I'll call you 'Central Intelligence Agency'," beamed President Truman as he tickled the infant outfit behind its ear.)

The disquieting thought is this: if it weren't for the extremely poor judgment of the Man Called Petraeus and the Woman Called Broadwell and their email habits, to say nothing of the sex part, an unforgivable breach of biographer ethics—if not for that, the militarization of the CIA would be carrying on apace while Obama and Brennan sat in the Situation Room chatting about Niebuhr, wouldn't it?

So which does Obama actually support? When the General was running the Company like the Petraerian Guard, did Obama agree with that and then change his mind, or did it just take him five years to get the CIA director he wanted? Or is it not important? Is the program simply to make the agency go, regardless of where it goes in particular?

Does he pick people for jobs and then ask them, "Well, what would you like the CIA to do?" "Jeez, Arne, I can't stand high-stakes testing, but you're the boss." "Golly, Eric, you don't have to indict any bankers if you don't want to, I just thought you might enjoy it."

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