Posted by: thescoundrel | July 14, 2009

Politicians Keep on Playing Wag the Dog

A couple of CNN stories draw question about the timing and intent of the Dick Cheney/CIA story surrounding the anti-terrorist program that was concealed from Congress.

In one story Mary Matalin is quoted that the whole show is an attempt to distract from President Obama’s struggles with running the country. That is probably partially true. The Cheney/CIA leak is a smoke and mirror show designed to get the Obamamites screaming for blood while distracting the rest of the public as the False Prophet of Change and Hope, Barack Obama, employ the media in attempts to polish his successes and hide his failures. Though I am inclined to believe it is also a wag the dog shield to help protect Nancy Pelosi from scrutiny over her war briefing memory blunders. But then what is Matalin’s statement but another smoke and mirror show to dazzle the public while Republicans attempt to right their flailing ship? The whole process is a case of “politics as usual” from both sides of the aisle.

The second story I found more revealing (well as informative as most stories revolving around secret intelligence agencies ) than practically any of the political spin being tossed around by any of the smoke and mirror jesters. In that story two former intelligence officials were quoted as saying, “Cheney was getting a bum rap” about the now exposed program. According to them the program fell under the wings of another broader covert program that Congress was briefed on. Plus the actual program was never implemented and eventually the proposal was cancelled. At some point in time the program has been reinstated. However the officials stated that the Congress would only have been required to be informed about the program had they ever went operational with the program. They did not and the program was recently cancelled by current CIA Head – Leon Panetta. Meanwhile both political parties attempt to pander and profit from an intelligence program that should have stayed secret. I am sure more smoke and mirror games will follow.

Here is my view in a nutshell. From the gist of the limited information that the public is privy to it sounds as if the paths followed were within the legal parameters. Should they look into the process? Probably and privately. I have said this before- governments and especially intelligence agencies often work in a world of shadowy secrets that the public will never be privy to. And when dealing with a loose-lipped Congress where individuals from both sides of the political aisle leak information for political gain – it is an almost certainty that the inner circles of intelligence information knowledge will be kept small.  And with the political smoke and mirror games this program will generate – what might have eventually been a feasible program – is now compromised and destroyed by politics. Here was a program being worked on that would have been aimed at taking out terrorists while reducing the chance of damage and death to bystanders. Perhaps they will be able to revive and resuscitate the program after all the political games are over, maybe not. What a waste.


  1. Thanks for doing this post so I don’t have to do another “Quick, look over there! It’s Dick Cheney torturing Eric Holder! type post.
    You covered everything I had planned to cover–and then some.

    I fully expect another round of Church-like hearings and the accompanying shackling of the CIA—and then another “surprise” attack.

    If you live long enough, you will see history repeat itself.

  2. [and then some]

    😆 Concise has never been one of my virtues. I have been called long winded by high school and college teachers plus my fellow students forced to listen to my debates/oratories.

    [If you live long enough, you will see history repeat itself.]

    I worry you are too correct in your statement. Especially since so far, Obama does not seem to have learned from past failures of kissing up to terrorist countries or the Bush/Putin love fest.

    I do wish I had more time to blog -but lately- life keeps getting in the way. 😦

    I just noticed the other day that when I changed blog design back a few weeks ago it dropped all my links. So last night I started working on re-inputing all the information. I have been thinking of doing a complete blog makeover since. Sigh – As if I really have that much time right now!

  3. I didn’t mean it as a slam—your posts really ARE more comprehensive than mine. I mostly focus on a narrow point, then proceed to beat it to death!

    PS: Hope you will be able to re-gird your loins soon and get back in the blog battles. It always bugs me when real life intrudes on my blogging time. 😀

  4. I never took it as an insult. 🙂 But I have stated from day one of my blogging experience – I am long winded – sometimes to the point of being tiresome. It is just the way I am. As I used to tell my teachers when they would complain – this is me take it or leave it. (Of course when telling a teacher that graded my work – I had to put it in kinder more gentler detail. 😉 )

  5. That’s interesting, because I received exactly the OPPOSITE criticism when I was in school.

    My English teachers always complained that my writing was too sparse, spare and “Hemmingwayesque” and that I needed to fill out my writing with more “details” and not just present “the facts ma’am.” 😀

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