Printed Letters: Aug. 5, 2014
Udall, Sentinel guilty of rush to judgment in CIA snooping
While subsequent revelations may prove Sen. Mark Udall and the Daily Sentinel (“Change of culture needed at CIA”) correct in calling for John Brennan’s resignation/removal as CIA director, both may be guilty of a premature “rush to judgment” while begging the ultimate question as to who would be better suited and more motivated than Brennan to doggedly effectuate that “change of culture.”
First, we continue to operate in a polarized partisan environment wherein vestiges of the lawless Bush administration continue percolating up to the surface of public awareness — only to be historically and hysterically blamed on the Obama administration.
Thus, second, the actual subject matter of the CIA’s spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer files were its source documents for a report on CIA misconduct during the post-9/11 Bush years — including torture, rendition, and secret prisons. Thus, no one had more motivation to “spy” on the committee’s activities than Bush-holdover CIA officials whose complicity might be documented in the committee’s report.
Third, while “this grave misconduct not only is illegal” and arguably “violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers,” Bush/Cheney’s “grave misconduct” arguably constituted “war crimes” and violated both U.S. law (prohibiting torture) and the Geneva Conventions (concerning the treatment of captured combatants).
Thus, fourth, just as “insiders” made General Eric Shinseki (the only senior official to publicly question the Bush administration’s pollyannic “planning” for the Iraq War ) a scapegoat for that debacle and their budget-cutting neglect of the VA, so too would they now make Brennan the scapegoat for the “culture of recklessness” within the CIA — which was actually “fostered” by his predecessors and facilitated by Bush’s lawyers.
Fifth, perhaps equally alarming (given Manning’s “WikiLeaks” and Snowden’s NSA disclosures) is that the CIA “got caught” — suggesting a pervasive incompetence in our intelligence establishment that threatens our national security.
Meanwhile, despite his apparently naive belief that no one in the CIA could be so stupid, Brennan himself ordered the CIA’s inspector general report that identified the culprits. Thus, perhaps Brennan deserves a chance to prove the credibility of his apologies by forcefully pursuing accountability wherever the evidence leads.
IRS transgressions more concerning than CIA hacking
Sunday’s editorial (“Change of culture needed at CIA”) dumped all over the CIA for hacking into the computers of the staffers of the U.S. Senate Select Committee. Oh my, how dastardly of them. The Senate and House principals and staffers are the largest leakers of classified information in our government. Sen. Udall called for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan. Personally, I have no issue over that incident.
Try as I might, I could find no such fiery editorial over the transgressions of the IRS. That, to me, is far more a tragedy than the CIA’s hacking. But, President Obama said there’s not a “smidgeon” of evidence of IRS transgressions in dumping on perceived conservative groups with overly complex data requests. Talk about who needs a “culture change.” Does Sen. Udall have a comment?
Livestock committee thanks community for supporting sale
Sunday’s Daily Sentinel carried a large thank you at the end of the Lifestyles section that recognized the businesses and individuals who supported the annual Mesa County 4-H Fair and Livestock sale.
The weeklong event concluded with the largest livestock sale in the history of Mesa County. This outstanding event was made possible by the investment and generosity from our local businesses, and folks associated with the energy industry.
The generous financial contributions by our community’s long-standing local businessmen and women, coupled with energy-related operators provide a way for these youth to invest in their secondary education or their vocational field of choice. These businesses know that an investment in 4H and FFA youth will pay dividends for our community and our country for decades ahead.
On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce Livestock Marketing Committee, we are very appreciative of the support of our local businesses, and the investment by the energy industry. Thank you to all who attended, and for those who missed this year’s sale, we look forward to seeing you next year.
Co-Chairman, Chamber of Commerce Livestock Marketing Committee