Monday, July 26

Richard Milhous Nixon, Imperial President-for-Life

I MADE the mistake this morning--let's just call it an experiment in foregone conclusions--of seeking out and tuning in CNN, which may've had something to do with the fact that over the weekend I'd seen Wolf Blitzer talking to Valerie Plame, and he brought up the Great Soviet Spy Exchange of Aught Ten ("Was it a good idea?" he asked), and after Ms Plame said something he mumbled something about "that red-headed spy", which tells you all you ever needed to know about Wolf Blitzer, CNN, and the state of American journalism.

And yet I tuned back in; in my defense I was just killing time before the cat had to be pilled and I could go out riding. And Perky Hair is talking to Overseas Spook Sniffer with a British Accent (boffo demo, that; MI-6 meets White Man's Burden). And Hairdo says something like "Of course the question we all want answered is 'Will this [the Wikileaks Afghanistan document release] compromise our national security?' " And George Lazenby replies with a five-minute switchback that attempted to turn that into the sort of question we all might want answered, let alone one which hadn't been, already (see Ghraib, Abu, national security risk of photos from), in the living memory of Newscaster Barbie, even. And failed. And I actually felt a little sorry for him, or would've if this sort of charade wasn't his chosen profession; it's gotta be tough trying to lie on American television with an upper-class British accent these days, when you're following Tony Hayward, and when the flat-accents do it natural as drawing breath. It's gotta be like honoring the Marquis of Queensbury, getting kicked in the nuts, and overhearing the American announcer questioning your Euro-sensibilities while you puke on your cornerman's shoes. (I had to wonder, for a moment, how the Ticcy High Church English of William Fuhbuckley would fare these days.)

Anyway, two supposed journalists, zero concern for the basic mission of Journalism, unless the Goverment approves. Where's that New Teabagging Spirit? At some point Hairdo introduced the heroic words of the heroic National Security Advisor General James Jones as he heroically took a bullet intended for the last twelve Presidents excepting Carter:
The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security.

Let's just be clear, here. Wikileaks isn't telling the Afghanis something they didn't already know. Nor Pakistan, nor "the Taliban". We're already giving them all the encouragement they need to want to kill us, while vastly shortening the aiming distance. The only people who might be finding out something new are Americans, and you've already made it abundantly clear their opinions don't count.
Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents

Meaning no one connected with 'em used a telephone, or email, which amount to sending you guys an open invitation? Wow, my respect for Wikileaks just took a big jump.
These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people.

Ix-nay on the aspriations-hay there, General. And if you're gonna adopt the William Westmoreland playbook, you might wanna look into how it worked for William Westmoreland first.
The documents posted by Wikileaks reportedly cover a period of time from January 2004 to December 2009. On December 1, 2009, President Obama announced a new strategy

"Hey, that's not even the pooch we screwed!"
with a substantial increase in resources for Afghanistan, and increased focus on al Qaeda and Taliban safe-havens in Pakistan, precisely because of the grave situation that had developed over several years. This shift in strategy addressed challenges in Afghanistan that were the subject of an exhaustive policy review last fall. We know that serious challenges lie ahead, but if Afghanistan is permitted to slide backwards, we will again face a threat from violent extremist groups like al Qaeda who will have more space to plot and train. That is why we are now focused on breaking the Taliban’s momentum and building Afghan capacity so that the Afghan government can begin to assume responsibility for its future.

And our security.

Well, not that I'd dream of telling you guys how to do your job, General, but have you considered winning the war in less time than it took for two World Wars to end? Maybe there wouldn't have been so much space for Our Enemies to plot and leak.

1 comment:

murfyn said...

"Risk-taking." What risk is being taken by whom, exactly? Are those guys working signs by the on-ramp, entrepreneurs whose IPO didn't fly? Is it the risk of failure itself that is so terrible? The risk that they might have to get a job? I face that risk every day . . .