A View From The Handbasket

Monday, May 08, 2006
Consolidation
Posted by neros_fiddle at 10:09 AM
There must be an increasing bunker mentality at the White House these days. Polls are down, the previously obedient media are starting to snarl a bit, the selling of the Iran threat isn't going well, and (worst of all) the President's own party is turning on him. The impulse to circle the wagons and reduce the radius of the inner circle is probably tremendous.

So while the questions surrounding Porter Goss' sudden resignation swirl (Was he too deep in the rapidly-expanding Hookergate? Was he sick of playing second fiddle to illegal contra funding and CIA death squad architect John Negroponte?), the only question that mattered to the administration was: who can we replace Goss with to protect and expand our power?

And now, in comes Gen. Michael Hayden, who's previously graced this site while dissembling about the warrantless wiretapping program that was ushered in under his watch at the NSA. Conveniently, he's currently working for Negroponte. So, here's a guy who's clearly on board with the whole "omnipotency of the executive branch" theory (if you liked the end of civil liberties and judicial oversight at NSA, you'll love it at the CIA), plus is all set to end all the pesky resistance to Negroponte's authority.

Finally, in what you could call a hat trick, he's active military, which might smooth over the friction between the Pentagon and the CIA that we saw in the runup to the Iraq invasion, ensuring Rumsfeld's homegrown intelligence gathering no longer conflicts with "civilian" intel.

All in all, what the media is describing as a "shake-up" in the administration is actually a massive consolidation of the existing neocon power structure. When replacing Scott McClellan with a Fox News talking head is the closest thing to "fresh blood" any of these new appointments offers, the blood is looking very stale indeed.

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