When I was 17 or 18, I hit a big time college with student protests and hippies and draft dodgers. It's amazing how much a teenager will think about things if they think they might be drafted and die. Up until then, I had seen the letters of the CIA and the FBI in a high school textbook but that was about it...Now they would become matters of life and death. Suddenly, I had friends who were dead. Killed in war...A war which no one could explain.
The Viet Nam war had no real purpose except to make defense contractors very rich. Tens of thousands of American kids got killed for some obscure reason that no one could really figure out called the "Domino Theory". Even after we elected Richard Nixon because he said he had a secret plant to end the war, even more American chldren were sent to their deaths. The needs of the defense contractors were just too great to be opposed.
"We can't just cut and run," they said..."We are not cowards." "Americans don't surender."
So an additional 30,000 or so Americans died while the Nixon Administration imploded in its own political juices and came up with some obviously transparent lie about "Withdrawal with Honor", which I have likened to some Pope approved birth control method. Neither one works, by the way.
America tucked its tail and ran. We all saw it on tv. Mothers and fathers orphaned their babies by throwing them into the open door of a helicopter as it lifted off from the roof of the American Embassy. A combat boot kicked out at the screaming locals who were trying to climb onto the chopper as it left them behind to serve their death sentence as American sympathizers. It was the end of the world...Everyone had said so. If we don't stay the course, Vietnam and America would be lost, somehow.
But hundreds of thousands of returning American troops were wounded in their hearts and minds, far beyond what anyone could have predicted. Part of their goodness was gone.
The CIA had wanted this war and the FBI took down anyone who opposed it. Today this has all changed. The CIA never wanted the Iraq war. The CIA warned the President that Osama was determined to attack inside the United States. The CIA eventually got eviscerated.
Porter Goss was installed as CIA head in order to turn the CIA into a political tool. Good old Porter brought in a few underlings with no experience in covert activity, but lots of political connections. They also didn't have the discipline required of intelligence operatives and they apparently lacked something else an intelligence operative requires...Intelligence!
So there's this floating card game with lobbyists and hookers at the Watergate Hotel in Washington and these idiots can't stay away from it. One Congressman has already gone to jail for it and several more (all Republicans, btw) are now being fitted for an orange jumpsuit. But does this hit the news bigtime? Hell no...But just let a Kennedy crash a car, by golly. National security is getting totally compromised and nary a peep out of any of the big news orgs, except for the Baltimore Sun.
Ok, so Goss has resigned and his hooker whipped flunkie named Foggo have resigned. Bush names the one guy absolutely guaranteed to make everyone realize that the Constitution is an outdated document.
"So now they’re turning the CIA over to a general who not only ran the warrantless wiretap program but still can’t figure out that it’s unconstitutional. Why do I get the feeling this is W. and Karl again flipping the finger at some grown-up they don’t like? "
From here on, Molly Ivins says it far better than I...
I leave you hoping that you folks can draw your own parallels with today's situation before all of our children also have friends who are dead in war.