Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Finally, some goddamn unity here: after a nearly month-long stalemate in trying to pass the largest overhaul of national intelligence in a half-century, the Senate this afternoon voted overwhelmingly (89-2, with 9 abstaining) to endorse the bipartisan 9/11 Commission's recommendations toward establishing the post of a national intelligence director to oversee all of the nation's intelligence-gathering agencies. Yesterday, the House passed the bill by a margin of 336-75, and it is now on its way to Mr. Bush, who is expected to sign it. (Has he ever vetoed any substantial piece of legislation as our President? I can't recall.)

The objections made the leading members of the "near-rebellion" (as The New York Times worded it) in the House toward the bill were that the bill would impede communication between the Pentagon and the soldiers on the field, or something to that effect.

The Pentagon? Isn't this really about the CIA? You know, intelligence-gathering organizations? [Oh, well, there's the lesser known Defense Intelligence Agency.] But nonetheless, if some of the money that went toward the bombs that are helping bin Laden went instead toward overhauling the FBI's antiquated computers (I still cannot believe this) so that we could better do some real damage to bin Laden and his followers, it would be a great prospect.

Alas, as Richard Clarke (who referred to the 9/11 Commission recommendations in their final report as "toothless") has recognized, Bush has practically given almost every prospective terrorist in the world a sign-up for jihad. Where the legislation is for putting a quick and decisive end to this asinine and self-destructive (if not wholly counterintuitive) policy of lending a helping hand to our enemies, is something I would really like to know ...

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