Friday, June 25, 2004

Embedded Patriots

Thanks to the fine folks at Blah3 for pointing to this article:

A potent guerrilla insurgency has formed in and around the Bush presidency--a revolt of old pros in government who strike from the shadows with devastating effect. They tell the truth. They explode big lies. They provide documentary evidence that undermines popular confidence in the Commander in Chief. They prod the media and the political community to ask penetrating questions of the Bush regime. Doubtless, these anonymous sources act from a mixture of motives--some noble, some self-interested--but in present circumstances one might think of them as "embedded patriots."


We don't need to know the identities to grasp that these and other over-the-transom "communications" provided forceful and well-timed contradictions to the White House line. It is also obvious that these leaks could not have come from the lower depths of the bureaucracy. The material is too sensitive for wide distribution. Not to take anything away from aggressive reporters, but the leakers clearly targeted the Post, Times and Journal to achieve maximum impact on Washington. The messages are not from some office crank at the Xerox machine but had to originate among sophisticated and highly placed officers of government.


Cynical readers may resist this explanation, but the motivations within the permanent government are most likely grounded in principle and patriotism, not narrow partisanship. Among bureaucrats, there is always a current of low-level grumbling about the elected leadership, but career civil servants and military rarely take such provocative countermeasures. In this Administration, the level of disgust and alarm is more palpable because Bush has been willing to trash the accepted norms of behavior and to cross perilous thresholds, unaware of the dangers despite many warnings from the professionals. To people who will be in government long after Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld have departed, the Bush crowd looks like the worst possible combination of qualities--it is both incompetent and ruthless.


The President himself did not express alarm at these revelations. He turned aside questions as casually as his lieutenants dismissed the Constitution. Thus, an ominous warning light is now flashing for the Republic: the potential for criminal charges running far up the military chain of command, and for the lodging of impeachment charges against this President and for an international tribunal to examine American war crimes. The connecting facts are not yet visible to support these accusations, but a plausible outline for how they may be connected is well exposed. These matters, in other words, could lead to a constitutional crisis as momentous as Watergate, maybe more serious because the offenses are far more fundamental.

More, much more at link. Read it, email it, quote it. I mean it.


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