Clowns on Parade

Reading Kevin Drum’s recent “take”:http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_01/005419.php on DepSecDef Wolfowitz’s “laughable prewar testimony”:http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/consequences/2003/0228pentagoncontra.htm inspired two not-terribly-original thoughts.

1. Everyone who supported the Iraq invasion should be embarrassed. They should really rethink their qualifications to speak about any foreign policy issue, or at least learn from their mistakes. They should also start apologizing profusely to war opponents. The latter is especially true for people who “made their living during the 1990s by trash-talking arms control”:http://www.twq.com/spring00/232cambone.pdf, as well as for liberals (like the New Republic’s Peter Beinart) who still feel entitled to “slander those who disagreed with him about the war”:http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?pt=whKP5U%2BbbaxbirV9FQhQuh%3D%3D.

2. Watching the administration and its minions pontificate about foreign policy is like watching David Brent opine about management — only it’s tragic rather than funny.

One nice example is contained in a slide that was part of a briefing about Iraq and terrorism that some folks in OSD Policy (wearing floppy shoes) shopped around to the SecDef, the NSC, the CIA, and the Office of the Vice President. (Senator Levin’s staff issued a “report”:http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/supporting/2004/102104inquiryreport.pdf this past October that nicely summarizes the issue.)

This particular slide is special because it was left out of the briefing shown to the CIA. Entitled *Fundamental Problems with How Intelligence Community is Assessing Information,* it includes this highlighted gem.

And so the circle is closed: evidence of a partnership, as well as the lack of such evidence, proves that Iraq and al-Qaeda were buddies.

Note to OSD: absence of evidence is still absence of evidence.

Only in this administration could you present something like this to senior policymakers and not be a laughing stock.

1 thought on “Clowns on Parade

  1. JLo

    David Brent’s popularity in management circles has a lot to do with how well he mouths the lyrics while remaining extravagantly ignorant of the tune. Your example is poignant for the same reason, but the tune is “99 bottles of beer on the wall”. Sung as a round. With people getting killed.

    And no beer.

    Reply

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