For a while, I had this plan to follow up on my synecdoche post from a few days ago with a post about the revelation that the Bush administration actually knew that Iran stopped its nuclear program in 2003, and had known that for months, while still ratcheting up the rhetoric. I was going to make the point that the criticism of Bush in that regard is, again, synecdoche. The problem isn’t that Bush is a warmonger who will do whatever he must to invade Middle Eastern nations, the problem is that the administration he represents is a pack of mendacious warmongers who would rather send our children off to die than admit the slightest error.
If that’s true [that the President was unaware of the NIE saying that Iran had stopped its nuclear program], he has the most incompetent staff in … modern American history and he’s one of the most incompetent presidents in modern American history.
While Biden thinks “that’s not believable,” I’m kinda rethinking things. Michael Deutsch was a college dropout appointed NASA, and used his position to rewrite reports by NASA scientists. Lizzette Reynolds, then-Governor Bush’s legislative aide and a staffer in his federal Department of Education thinks that the Texas Education Agency should be neutral about whether nonscientific ideas like creationism should be presented in science classes. George Tenet used to run the CIA, and he thought it was a “slam dunk” that Saddam Hussein had an active WMD program. Condoleeza Rice inspired a brand new verb in Hebrew. Lecondel means to run around having lots of meetings without accomplishing anything. George W. Bush looked into Vladimir Putin’s soul and saw something other than the reincarnation of Stalin. Can we call any of these folks competent?
It’s disturbingly plausible that this administration (or at least the political appointees), from the President on down, is grossly incompetent. It also gives us a reason why this challenge is unanswered, nearly 5 years later:
give me one single example of something with the following three characteristics:
1. It is a policy initiative of the current Bush administration
2. It was significant enough in scale that I’d have heard of it (at a pinch, that I should have heard of it)
3. It wasn’t in some important way completely fucked up during the execution.
Disappointing, isn’t it?