Our “intelligence community” did not fail us leading up to President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Mr. Bush and his various appointees failed us. Our Congress failed us. Our press failed us.
Bush chose Cheney as his Vice President. He appointed people like Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Rice to serve in his cabinet. He ate the poison fruit of neocon ideology and proceeded on a ruinous course of action that almost destroyed our economy and that of the rest of the world.
When Bush et al got intelligence information they didn’t like, they rejected it and restated it in ways that were consistent with what they wanted to do. They wanted to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein. They did exactly that. They destabilized the entire Middle East in the process.
We elected an incompetent President. He ignored intelligence briefings leading up to 9/11 and thousands of people died. He and his minions then went to work using 9/11 to justify invading Iraq – a country that had nothing to do with the events of 9/11.
What did we do? Well a lot of us wrapped ourselves in the flag and labeled any criticism of Bush as unpatriotic. In a frenzy of nationalistic fervor, we closed our eyes as our Congress sought to unravel our domestic safety network and our President misused our armed forces.
After Obama succeeded Bush as President, he focused on saving our economy and restoring our domestic safety net. He succeeded to a point. During the midterm elections following Obama’s election, we turned the House over to the Republicans. For the next 6 years we continued to elect more and more extremist, right wing hacks to the House and Senate. During the last 6 years of Obama’s term, he was hamstrung in his efforts to do anything by a recalcitrant Congress.
When we elected Donald Trump as President we may have finally done it. In a wave of blind, ignorant rage coupled with hatred and stupidity, we elected a bombastic miscreant as our President. We elected a man who had zero experience in government. We elected a man who Vladimir Putin wanted to see win the election.
Since the election, we have watched a continuing parade of incompetents who Mr. Trump has chosen to serve in his cabinet. A parade being orchestrated by a man living in a gilded tower. Trump chose Mike Pence for his Vice President. Pence is Mr. Trump’s Sarah Palin. Pence is the man Trump may be relying on to orchestrate his domestic policy.
Trump picked Rex Tillerson for his Secretary of State. Tillerson has no experience in government, but he has strong allies in Russia. Tillerson was the Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil. Exxon Mobil is the world’s largest publically traded oil company. Tillerson was negotiating multi-billion dollar oil deals with Russia before sanctions were imposed on Russia after it invaded the Crimea and the Ukraine.
Trump has remained in isolation since the election. After a brief “victory tour”, he began a national policy campaign on Twitter. He has studiously avoided the press. Now he is attacking our national security network. He is rejecting the intelligence reports on Russian intervention during our last election. He is showing open contempt for the CIA and other security agencies while signaling his intent to restructure our entire security network.
Donald Trump is starting to resemble Kim Jong Un in his approach to leadership. We appear to be on the eve of our government being disassembled while our national security agencies are converted from data and intelligence gathers to propagandists.
I don’t know whether we are seeing a coup orchestrated by Vladimir Putin or the results of a brain virus that has infected almost half of our voters. Either way, the future is looking bleak.Holy Moly!