Thursday, April 15, 2010

Raking in the big bucks






This morning the US House Armed Services Committee held a hearing. They were taking testimony from an "independent" panel on the Quadrennial Defense Review. Chair Ike Skelton called the hearing to order and moved to welcome members of the 'independent' panel who were present but would not be giving testimony. He declared, "Congress created the independent panel in the Fiscal Year 2007 National Defense Authorization Act. It was charged with conducting an assessment of the QDR [Quadrennial Defense Review] and presenting its findings to Congress. Last year, we expanded the panel by adding eight additional members appointed by the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee."

And behind the curtain, waiting to provide testimony were William J. Perry and -- drum roll and possibly serial killer theme from a slasher movie -- Stephen J. Hadley.

Can someone explain that? Nancy Pelosi, you took impeachment "off the table." The country, the world didn't get the needed impeachment of Bully Boy Bush. You were a coward and put your own personal interests ahead of what the country and the Constitution needed -- what the Constitution demanded. But did you have to allow the criminals to be appointed by Congress to 'independent' panels?

Hadley's not the only one. In fact, the gossip girl Hadley's partner in crime in outing CIA agent Valerie Plame's on the panel. Explain HOW THE HELL THAT HAPPENS?

It happens because we have an INEFFECTIVE and INEPT Congress. They created this panel in 2007. If you're mind's functioning, you grasp that Democrats controlled both houses of Congress then (and now). There are 20 members on the panel. Congress only appoitns 8. They forked over 12 to the Secretary of Defense. With him/her selecting the majority of the members, it will never be independent and Congress needs to stop insulting the American people.

Nancy can at least take comfort in the fact that Stephen Hadley and his roll dog weren't appointed by Congress. Robert Gates appointed Hadley. He's also the one who appointed Richard Armitage. (Click here for DoD press release.)

Richard Armitage. The Hedda Hopper of the DC set stepped forward, for those who don't remember or never knew, after an investigation was opened into the outing of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame. Dick revealed he was a real Chatty Cathy and, WOOPSIE!, he's the one who told journalist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame was CIA. After that, you really should be off the government payroll, after that you really are done. You shouldn't be trusted with any information at all. It's as though Dick burned down the White House while playing with matches and, shortly afterward, the US government decided to make him a ranger in charge of Sequoia National Forest.
Why does the country have so many problems? Your answer is found in that 'independen't panel. Be a government employee who outs a CIA agent and you get to continue doing government work, being paid for by the government? Congress creates an 'independent' panel but gives the Secretary of Defense the power to select the bulk of the committee members. It's nonsense and it's why DC runs in circles chasing its own tail. There is no accountability and you can do the most vile and disgusting thing and continue to receive the US tax payer money instead of having to get a real job. And that's Dick Armitage and Stephen Hadley both. Throughout 2005, at this site and at Third, we were noting Hadley's role in the outing (click here for a July 2005 piece at Third). From SourceWatch:

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley was "the senior administration official" who told Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA officer, attorneys close to the investigation and intelligence officials" told Raw Story reporters Larisa Alexandrovna and Jason Leopold November 16, 2005.
Identified by the Washington Post as Rice's "top lieutenant", Hadley, "along with CIA Director George J. Tenet -- took responsibility for allowing into Bush's State of the Union 2003 address a dubious and ultimately inaccurate claim about Saddam Hussein's efforts to obtain nuclear materials." [2]

Hadley not only outed Valerie Plame, he also couldn't properly vet a speech? And he's chairing a panel today -- with his salary paid for by the US tax payers?

There's no accountability and Congress rushes to turn over their own powers to flunkies in the executive branch. And it's there in the fact that Robert Gates remains Secretary of Defense when he should have been replaced long ago. How many scandals do you get to have on your watch before you are asked to step down? At the end of January, Kevin Baron (Stars & Stripes' Stripes Central blog) called out the 'independent' panel:

Independent? In this town? You can't throw a lobbyist into DC without hitting a former government official somewhere. Last week the president of the left-leaning Center for a New American Security trumpeted his own selection to the panel. By the way, the Pentagon's policy chief in charge of the QDR, Michele Flournoy, was the last president of CNAS.
Maybe "bipartisan revolving door panel" is a better term.

"Prevailing in today's wars will also help our military prepare to defeat adversaries and succeed in a wide range of contingencies," Hadley prattled on after noting that losing "today's wars" would create further conflict. Could it? If so, maybe Hadley doesn't need to be on the panel?

If you sold the Iraq War, should you really be advising anything at this point? Hadley served on the White House Iraq Group. From SourceWatch:

The White House Iraq Group (aka, White House Information Group or WHIG) was the marketing arm of the White House whose purpose was to sell the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the public.
[. . .]
Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus, in the August 10, 2003 Washington Post, seem to have broken the story of the White House Iraq Group, [. . .]:
The escalation of nuclear rhetoric a year ago, including the introduction of the term "mushroom cloud" into the debate, coincided with the formation of a White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, a task force assigned to "educate the public" about the threat from Saddam Hussein, as a participant put it.
Systematic coordination began in August 2002, when Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card, Jr. formed the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad. A senior official who participated in its work called it "an internal working group, like many formed for priority issues, to make sure each part of the White House was fulfilling its responsibilities."
"In September 2002, the White House was beginning a major press offensive designed to prove that Iraq had a robust nuclear weapons program. That campaign was meant to culminate in the president's Oct. 7 speech in Cincinnati." [1]

Why are we allowing anyone with these issues to advise -- on the tax payer dime -- what's needed and not needed?

I know Ike Skelton and like him, but he made a real fool of himself today patting himself and the Committee on the back as he claimed that they worked really hard to be not just bi-partisan but non-partisan. While appointing criminals to a panel? You want to brag about that? In fairness, repeating, Congress itself did not appoint Hadley and Armitage; however, when it surrendered the right to appoint all the members, they invited it, when they surrendered their own powers, they courted it. It's on them.

And Hadley couldn't stop mentioning Iran and he was far from the only one bringing it up in the hearing. That too is on the Democratically controlled Congress.

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Distortions and rumors, it's Iraq"
"PTSD, costs of war"
"Terry Gross can't find a woman writer"
"The economy"
"This and that"
"Obama tanks in approval ratings and so do I!"
"If I like it, it always gets cancelled"
"If this were American Idol, he'd be kicked off already"
"Maddow The Buffoon"
"PR Watch, War Criminal"
"Polls, Eric Massa, 24"
"It's a tough life"
"The final frontier"

No comments: