culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Thursday, March 20, 2003
Killing credibility. I was all set to write a post about Rand Beers, the National Security Council's counterterrorism director who resigned Monday under hazy circumstances, but
Atrios informs me that Monkey Media Report has already done an excellent job of it.

Instead I offer you only these additional words from the Washington Post tracing the pattern that arcs across a number of similar resignations:
Beers declined to comment yesterday, but close associates said he had considered leaving the high-pressure job for some time before submitting his one-paragraph resignation letter on Monday. Although some speculated that his resignation was a protest against the White House's increased concentration on Iraq at the expense of the overall counterterrorism effort, others cited general weariness with fighting internal battles.

News of Beers's departure was followed yesterday by the third resignation of a U.S. diplomat over Iraq policy since last month. Mary A. Wright, the number two official at the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, had spent 15 years in the foreign service and 26 years in the Army and Army Reserves.

"I strongly believe that going to war now will make the world more dangerous, not safer," Wright said in a letter to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. "In our press for military action now, we have created deep chasms in the international community and in important international organizations. Our policies have alienated many of our allies and created ill will in much of the world."

Wright, the highest-ranking diplomat to resign over the current situation, also criticized what she called a "lack of policy on North Korea" and said she disagrees with the administration's "lack of effort" in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She said the United States has "done little" to end the violence. She called on the administration to "exert our considerable financial influence" on the Israelis and Palestinians alike.

"I have served my country for almost 30 years in some of the most isolated and dangerous parts of the world," concluded Wright, who won a State Department heroism award in 1997 in Sierra Leone. "I want to continue to serve America. However, I do not believe in the policies of the administration and cannot defend or implement them."

John Brady Kiesling, a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Athens resigned in February, telling Powell in a letter that he no longer believed he was upholding the interests of the American people and the world by supporting President Bush's policies.

"The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests," Kiesling said. "Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security."

John H. Brown resigned last week from the foreign service after serving for 22 years. He said: "The president's disregard for views in other nations, borne out by his neglect of public diplomacy, is giving birth to an anti-American century."
I imagine it must be very difficult to act in any counterterrorist capacity when every executive decision contradicts your very purpose. US counterterrorism efforts — the first line of true "homeland security" — have been eviscerated by Bush and scribbled over by Tom Ridge and his tiny, useless box of domestic alert crayons.

Harkening back to the blissful state of America before 9/11/01, it's hard not to be reminded of ousted FBI counterterrorism expert John O'Neill who sparred with then-ambassador to Yemen and soon-to-be administratrix of postwar Iraq, Barbara K. Bodine. He, too, couldn't get Bodine or anyone above him in the FBI to listen to his Chicken Little arguments about the sky falling — but the sky did fall on September 11, and it took him with it.

Because We the People can't hear a thing except for the bloodthirsty din of CNN and Fox News and the meaningless blathering of a docile White House press corps, the current crop of counterterrorism professionals is yelling a warning to all of us as loudly as they can — with their feet.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

. . .