14 June 2005

Why is this administration so reluctant to do the right thing?


El-Baradei's appointment to a third term as head of the IAEA has been approved, after the US dropped its objections to him. Why, you might ask, did they not want him?
Administration hawks accuse ElBaradei of...trying to obstruct America's invasion of Iraq by questioning U.S intelligence that asserted Saddam Hussein had a nuclear arms program.
In other words, El-Baradei was right, and the administration was wrong.

As far as this adminsitration is concerned, it's perfectly OK to be egregiously wrong, so long as you're toeing the White House line. Tommy Franks, who led the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, George Tenet, who as CIA director told the White House that the case for WMD in Iraq was a "slam dunk", and Paul Bremer, who oversaw the occupation for its first year, all won the Medal of Freedom. In other words, a man who misrepresented the case for invasion, a man who mishandled the invasion — which delivered munitions into the hands of the insurgents, and allowed the looting of Iraq's national treasures — and a man who completely bungled the occupation, were all rewarded for their incompetence with the nation's highest civilian honor.

On the other hand, there are few things the administration regards with more disfavor than disagreeing with them and being right. Just ask Paul O'Neill, Larry Lindsey, Anthony Zinni, Eric Shinseki, and Richard Foster. This administration values loyalty above honesty, above integrity, above the truth.

So no one should be surprised by the Downing Street memo. Of course the "facts were being fixed around the policy" — doing anything else would have been thought disloyal.