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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The process of artful dodging by our politicians

From Guest Blogger Off Duty Again:

I was having a discussion with a good friend the other day and the topic turned to art.
Now, you must understand my friend. I have never actually seen any of her work other than in pictures. But she professes to be an artist and I believe her. As a matter of fact, she has such credibility in our conversations that she could say she performed brain surgery last week and I would buy that too. But, I digress. 

The topic turned to art and the “process.” If I understand her properly, she wants people to appreciate her art and the work it took to create it. 

I think I understand this concept. We could place the same art supplies on a table between us and at the end of the day, she would create something alive, wonderful, and marvelous.  I...well... suffice it to say there won’t be any of my art hanging in a gallery sometime soon. It’s not that I cannot “see” the art. It is the major disconnect between brain and hands. It’s all in the “process.”
But like a bad 80’s era tune that you cannot get out of your head....I cannot shake the word “process.” It’s rolling around upstairs and refuses to leave.
Lately, the word has been in use (or possibly overuse) by our friends on Capitol Hill. It seems everyone is concerned about process. Democrats are concerned with the process of getting Chuck Hagel confirmed and worry the Republicans will try to deep-six John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA.
Republicans are concerned about the “process” that went into the decision-making during the attack on our consulate in Benghazi and the “process” that was used to determine talking points that UN Ambassador Susan Rice relied upon to spin the story on the Sunday shows. Process here...process there...EVERYONE seems to be worried about the process except me.
Frankly, I understand the process. What I want now is the “art.” The “finished product” if you will.
I want to know why Chuck Hagel made the remarks about the “Jewish lobby” and I want to know who the Senators are on the Hill who, he says, are so intimidated they changed their vote.  I want to know why John McCain and Lindsay Graham asked some tough questions of Chuck Hagel, yet threw marshmallows at Hillary Clinton.
I am curious if John Brennan considers himself, or better yet, does the Attorney General consider him a “high-ranking government official” that can authorize the killing of an American citizen who may be considered an “imminent threat” to the security of the United States?
It’s time we not worry about the “process” but start looking for some “art’”
It is beyond belief the President of the United States, can have a 15 minute brief with Secretary of Defense Panetta, who tells him about the attack on the consulate, yet issues no orders, nor follows-up on the attack at ANY time prior to leaving for Vegas. Likewise, it strains credibility the SecDef didn’t pick up the phone at some time to talk to his boss as the attack continued. 


This from the same team that brought us the minute-by-minute, photo-op extraordinaire of Seal Team Six’s take-down of Osama bin Laden? Oh, and did I mention two films too? Sorry, doesn’t pass the smell test.
And, where was our courageous 2016 Presidential heir–apparent,  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?
Hmmm, we have testimony from Charlene Lamb who indicated there was real-time intelligence available from the two drones that were overhead that night. Also it was intimated during testimony the intelligence was available to not only CIA, but also State, White House and others.
But Hillary was conveniently absent. Why? More importantly, she had the audacity to reference the suspect video numerous times during the ceremony at Andrews AFB when Ambassador Stevens and the other brave American’s bodies were returned to the US. She stated with indignation the maker of said video would be arrested without delay. And he was. 

Either she was still conveniently out-of-the-loop, or she doesn’t think lying to the families of the slain heroes and the American people is such a big deal.
And what about the numerous cables from Ambassador Stevens in the months preceding advising State the facility was vulnerable to a coordinated attack? Not to mention the recent mortar attack that had breached a compound wall and the British government’s decision to close their Embassy because it was too dangerous. Good to know our Sec of State had her eye on the ball.
Former CIA Director David Patreaus eventually did testify, but his testimony was curiously tainted by the revelation of an affair just prior to his scheduled appearance. Coincidence? Or was he collateral damage?
Yet, in all the Committee hearings in both the Senate and the House, we still know nothing more than we did before. Could it be we are too concerned about the “process” rather than the truth?
I am appalled the Congress chose to close ranks along party lines rather than get to the bottom of why 4 Americans died that day. To all the Democrats who applauded the globe-trotting former Secretary of State and didn’t ask a single pertinent question, please explain how you will look a grief-stricken family member in the eye and justify your actions. 

To you Republicans who chose to use your time to make another speech rather than ask direct questions, was it to go along to get along?
Recently, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans for his less than collegial treatment of Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel. Senator Barbara Boxer inferred Cruz was the modern-day Joe McCarthy. John McCain said he had “gone too far.” McCain continued saying Cruz can be a tough questioner without being “disrespectful.” 

This was the same John McCain that sat next to Senator Chuck Shumer and other Democrats at the SOTU address.
Cruz has also been criticized by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual. It seems Cruz doesn’t like Emanual’s idea of writing to banks and asking them to no longer do business with gun manufacturers. I don’t suppose it could be because what Emanual has suggested is a violation of Federal law? No, apparently it’s about the “clubby” atmosphere that is supposed to exist in the Senate. It’s about the process.
Senator Cruz and to a lesser degree Senator Marco Rubio have been soundly criticized by their colleagues and the media for not going along with the “process” and instead marching to a different drum. A mis-placed water bottle is more newsworthy than the content of Rubio’s speech. Already a disqualifier for seeking a higher office.
And now we have Senators McCain and Graham realizing the “process” is more important and have walked back their opposition to the Hagel appointment. Did anyone think they’d do otherwise? Especially Graham who accepted Hagel’s explanation to his question about the Jewish Lobby by answering later “he couldn’t remember.” Wow, what an in-depth response.
Nope, looks like our elected leaders in Washington have got this “process” thing down pat.
But when will I see the “art?”

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