Monday, March 06, 2006

The Incompetence Excuse

Accusing this administration of incompetence is easy to do. The president is a boob who can't tie his shoes without getting instructions through a hidden earpiece. He hires cronies like Brownie, who's main qualification for becoming head of FEMA was failing as a commissioner for a horse association. So when things go wrong, it's easy to attribute that to incompetence.

But often the truth is much worse, and incompentence is simply used as a cover-up for intentionally criminal acts. This article will look at the three most glaring examples of this.


This is the most obvious, and most well accepted, instance of the incompetence excuse. If you were to believe this administration, it was all "curveball's" fault. Everybody was being misled! If only we had better intelligence.

Of course, we didn't need the Downing Street Memo to know that ''the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy''. As the NY Times puts it, while trying to squirm out of their lack of reporting on the memo while it was making international headlines, it wasn't that important because "Three years ago , the near-unanimous conventional wisdom in Washington held that Mr. Bush was determined to topple Sadam Hussein by any means necessary". The recent comments by Paul Pillar also serve to emphasize this point: the intelligence was irrelevant.

This one has gotten so much coverage that over half of the country understands it was a hell-bent administration, not incompetent intelligence, that led us into this war.


"Failure to connect the dots." That's the big catch phrase about 9/11. Once again, our intelligence community just didn't get it right. Once again, this alleged incompetence is hiding the reality that many powerful people in this administration were part of the 9/11 operation, and were working hard to make sure that the dots were not connected.

Colleen Rowley, the FBI agent whose attempts at investigating the 9/11 plot were thwarted from above at every turn, says it best: "jokes were actually made that the key FBIHQ personnel had to be spies or moles, like Robert Hansen, who were actually working for Osama Bin Laden to have so undercut Minneapolis' effort". Of course it was Cheney and Rumsfeld's moles that she was dealing with, though she had no way of knowing that. Many others have reported similar obstructions (see chapter 6, "Did US Officials Obstruct Investigations Prior to 9/11" of David Ray Griffin's "The New Pearl Harbor").

Similarly, the FAA and NORAD are the convenient foils for the failure to get fighters up in time to intercept the hijacked aircraft. The DoD order issued in June 2001 requiring Rumsfeld to OK such interceptions, the redirection of the planes into holding patterns or over the Atlantic, and the multiple war games going on that both confused NORAD personnel and served as cover for the operation are rarely mentioned.

And, most famously, there is the inability to capture bin Laden. As Kerry liked to say, we "outsourced" his capture to the Northern Alliance, a major military blunder. But the reality was quite different: the escape route was intentionally left open, and helicopters assisted in rescuing the remaining Al-Qaeda members.

It's possible to go on, but these examples illustrate how incompetence becomes a cover story for a complex plot that was, in the end, fairly competently carried out.

New Orleans

Who knew the levees were breached? And when did they know it?

If you read the news right now, you'd think that was a major issue, a crucial problem to be solved in ascertaining blame for the failure to help those stranded in New Orleans after Katrina.

Everybody knew the levees might be breached. The mainstream news was screaming this in the days before Katrina arrived - others, for much longer.

The lack of help for those in New Orleans was not due to incompetence, but to a systematic plan to deny them help. Here's the testimony of Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, on "Meet the Press":

Let me give you just three quick examples.  We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water.  FEMA turned them back.  They said we didn't need them.  This was a week ago.  FEMA--we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish.  The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away."  When we got there with our trucks, they got a word.  "FEMA says don't give you the fuel."  Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines.  They cut them without notice.  Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, "No one is getting near these lines."

"Three quick Examples." He's right - there were many reports coming out then not of an inability to help, or of incompetence in providing help, but of the intentional withholding of help and interference with help being otherwise provided. "FEMA comes in and cuts all of our communication lines". That is not incompetence. That is sabotage. Similarly, it is active interference that prevents the Coast Guard from delivering fuel or Wal-Mart from delivering water. This is not a matter of someone not knowing that there was a dire situation in New Orleans; quite the opposite, it is someone who did know what was going on there actively stopping people, both governmental and not, from going in and helping.

Why was help thwarted? Was it a turf fight of some sort, or an attempt to experiment with martial law? Was it part of more a complex plot involving bombing the levees and clearing out poor people, as those in the ninth ward claim? I certainly can't answer these questions, but I do know that much more than incompetence was involved.

In Conclusion

The incompetence excuse often ends up being a safe haven for the left. It's acceptable, it doesn't challenge any mainstream notions, and it lets them get their digs in. But it is important not to ignore the facts, the ones that point out acts that are quite intentional, and always harmful. History does tend to repeat, and allowing them to get away with criminal behavior, again and again, and only accusing them of incompetence, will increase the probability that these acts will continue.

I've noticed that, more and more, people are beginning to realize just how radical and unscrupulous this administration is. It's important to continue to expose this, and not help them cover up their most drastic acts.


Anonymous George Korein said...

on a lighter note -- yo, where's philly on the hit list?

1:31 PM  
Blogger Mopso said...

New York always beats us out. We deserve to be nuked at least as much as they do.

6:25 PM  

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