Crack Team in Washington
by Karen Kwiatkowski: Can
We Live Free in an Unfree World
slated to rule the massive and mysteriously budgeted CIA, and Panetta
poised for the Pentagon, one cannot help but admire the Washington
eliteís audacity of hope.
Bush 41 family
friend and cohort
in crime, Robert
Gates has overseen the astounding over- and under-the-table
money churn called the Pentagon for over four years now. Under Gatesí
leadership, two wars and two nation-builds have blossomed and continued
to waste billions of US tax dollars, grow the debt, create
uncertainty and shortages in global oil markets, and sow hatred,
and a third oil and regional basing occupation effort has been launched
Ė as usual, with neither a plan nor an exit strategy. As the great
men in America are measured, in
death and destruction, we can count several million displaced,
and tens of thousands murdered on Gatesí watch. Gates was a 27-year
intelligence "professional" in the CIA prior to his current
position. The new Prince of Pentagonia will be former CIA Chief,
Leon Panetta, whose most recent claim to fame is his enthusiastic
cheerleading of CIA military-style operations in Pakistan, Yemen,
Libya and elsewhere.
We donít yet
have a definitive investigative guide to CIA budgets and intelligence
community funding along the lines of Winslow Wheelerís new book
Pentagon Labyrinth. But the appointment of these insider-bureaucrat
front-men tell us that the power elite in Washington is not really
worried about growing domestic anti-war sentiment, nor are they
concerned that the growing outcries opposing out-of-control federal
spending overseas and at home will have any impact. Instead, it
tells us that the power elite is fat and happy, hauling in the rewards
of the American corporate-political kleptocracy
hand over fist, with the boot firmly planted on the throat of average
Americans who canít seem to get a straight answer from
anyone except Ron Paul.
nothing new. He represents and embraces the chronic spending addiction,
the chronic stupidity, and the chronic misunderstanding of the Constitution
that characterizes both his predecessor at the Pentagon, and his
successor at CIA. Look
at this interview he gave last summer. Panetta denies the Executive
Branch maintains an assassination list that includes US citizens,
defends drone attacks everywhere, and expresses great concern over
both Iranís [nonexistent] capabilities to threaten the US while
exaggerating the risk that cybercrime poses for the U.S. proper.
Panetta is hugely on board with the latest Pentagon bureaucratic
cancer called USCYBERCOM,
co-located with the National Security Agency Headquarters in Fort
Meade, MD. The NSA is a massive sector of the U.S. intelligence
community, reporting operationally to the DoD rather than directly
to the CIA. Traditionally, NSA has been prohibited from collecting
information and intelligence on US citizens when they are within
US territory. But the co-location of Cybercom (with its domestic
defense mission) with "born fighting for any new mission"
NSA is a sign of things to come.
of Petraeus for CIA chief is not unprecedented. For
50 years now, weíve known how important it is for a President
to have reliable yes-men running the CIA. This talent was certainly
the key to the great career success of George Tenet, and Petraeus
brings not only three bags full to the Executive suite, but provides
a kind of military "reliability" to "managing"
the massive CIA bureaucracy and keeping a lid on its potential to
cause transparency malfunctions that could publicly embarrass the
president or the power elite.
of the "secrets" of the Afghanistan, Iraqi, Pakistan and
Yemen operations, his culpability in the torture of Afghan prisoners
(and their prisonbreaks!) and the official lies about incremental
success in the various U.S. outposts in the Middle East makes Mortensonís
Three Cups of Tea scandal appear innocent and mild. His
connection, through his hiring of past and present theater commanders,
to the whole strange but true story of our Knights
of Malta foreign policy in the Middle East will be very useful
to him as CIA Director.
There is a
bright side to these pending appointments, of which the power elite
is well aware. Panetta, at age 72, may not be long for his California
walnut ranch, and Petraeusí health history of prostate cancer, and
the odd fainting spell during Congressional testimony frontload
both of the bureaucrats for a public sacrifice, whenever needed.
For the moment,
there is no hope for a rational and rapid contraction of the metastasizing
U.S. empire. There is no hope for a serious reduction in debt accumulation,
pointless and costly military spending, or any kind of fiscal sanity
in Washington. Eighteen months from another big presidential election,
in which Obama has declared himself a candidate and shifted smoothly
into electoral mode, we are witnessing the final days of the empire
Ė but all signs indicate it will not go gracefully.
wisdom, rationality and grace in Washington in this time of substantial
governmental and constitutional crisis, these two appointments tell
us exactly what we the people should expect from the political elite
over the next few years. We can look forward to an increased police
state at home, and a new wave of Washington-generated media implemented
fear-fests (hysteria levels and color-coding to be determined).
We can expect an increasingly nationally-directed economy, where
public welfare crushes private production, driving the smart and
lucky ones overseas or to Galtís Gulch, and everyone else into the
ground. The only acknowledged "good" jobs will remain
in public education, or in one of the military, law enforcement,
and prison industrial complexes. Wars and occupations, current and
future will continue to consume our domestic wealth and our international
credibility. Inflationary pressures will cause the people to rise
up and demand a new kind of "Hope," and "Change"
they can believe in. And, shortly before the election, as a sign
of this hope and change, Panetta and Petraeus will be thrown under
the Obama bus.
will seem audacious, assertive, finally a real sign that things
will get better. The news cycle will consume and digest the significance
for the useful idiots, while the political elite sucks the last
bits of depleted marrow from what was once a prosperous republic,
stopping only to check on the communications upgrades, helopads
and security fences around
their second homes in South America.
columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send
her mail], a
retired USAF lieutenant colonel, blogs occasionally at Liberty
and Power and The
Beacon. To receive automatic announcements of new articles,
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2011 Karen Kwiatkowski
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