Friday, September 17, 2021
HomePatriot Dispatches100-0? Present? Whatever?

100-0? Present? Whatever?

   

      Leon Panetta was confirmed by the US Senate as Secretary of Defense today by a vote of 100-0.  That vote leaves us feeling, well, disillusioned and somewhat  depressed.  Had the vote been 65-35, 80-20, or even 90-10, we would have been a little less upset, for we know we have a long way to go in returning the Senate to its former status as the greatest deliberative body in the history of Western politics, or so it was once touted.

     When Panetta was confirmed as CIA Director in 2009, there was concern in some quarters that he didn’t have much, if any, of an intelligence background that would recommend him for the job.  Nevertheless, he was confirmed by a voice vote,  meaning no official objection. Panetta’s resume had included such things as congressman, policy wonk, Republican – then – Democrat, Chief of Staff to a President, think tank head, brief military service, conservationist and so on.  Nothing that would disqualify him for the job, and some argued he had been in on national security and intelligence matters while sitting in on Presidential briefings and his well-roundedness and apparent lack of hard ideological bent smoothed the way.  He was not a John Podesta; he was good ‘ole Leon Panetta.  He could be a good little Agency head.

     And that was fine, and would have remained fine, and while still wishing for a Caspar Weinberger, we would have suffered in silence upon learning of his nomination to be Boss of the Pentagon, and perhaps not have been moved to rant today, had it not been for one thing – Libya.  When the Libyan fiasco was in its infancy, and President Obama was issuing wild statements about what was going on there, about who was attacking whom, and ‘citizens’ being targeted, and the specter of NATO and thus US involvement loomed and materialized, someone, somewhere had the audacity to ask “Who are the Libyan rebels?”   The administration and its spokesmen hemmed and hawed and couldn’t give an answer.  It was obvious that they had not even thought to concoct one in advance to use if needed.

     Leon Panetta did not know the answer.  In fact, he had embarassed himself in front of congressional inquisitors on Mid-East questions as recently as February regarding the situation in Egypt.  And even after that disgrace, he didn’t buckle down and do his homework.    Nor did he have the wit or the wile or the  presence of mind to dissemble, to make something up, to do whatever was necessary in a public forum to reassure or mollify the public, and say “We have assets engaged in the aquisition of relevant details…blah, blah, blah..”.   What actually transpired in the matter of the ‘rebels’ was that the Administration, and Panetta, finally reacted to a burgeoning media interest in the matter by saying “Okay; we’ll look into it“  ………having already committed to, and already started using, ships and planes and ordnance and personnel and money, lots and lots of money.

      We do not know, to this day, who the Libyan rebels are.  The latest from Panetta is that they ‘may very well’ include “extremists“.  Oh, really.  Not that the situation is exactly ‘in the past’ – it is very much an ongoing….fiasco.  (And that is a major point of this piece.  One would think that this episode would be fresh in the minds of the ….once and future ‘greatest deliberative body’  and all that jazz.)  But there was a time, Leon, when we ‘very well may’ have been able to use that information,  judiciously and perhaps pre-emptively, had you or your boss deigned to consider it an essential part of your job.
     Leon Panetta does not know who is friend and who is foe.  Leon Panetta is Secretary of the Department of Defense of the United States of America…by unanimous consent.    And so as we sit here and stare at that vote total, we plaintively ask …”Someone?…..Anyone? …..Marco?”

bobmontgomery
Poor. No advanced degrees. Unorganized. Feeble. Disjointed. Random. Past it. .... Intrigued, Interested, Patriotic and Lucky.

8 COMMENTS

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8 COMMENTS

    • If this was peacetime, and we weren’t currently having lawsuits over the War Powers Act, if we didn’t have assets in the region, if the whole Mid-East thing wasn’t being mangled, maybe be good sports and agree to let O have who he want. But I don’t understand at least a handful, or at least one or two, votes of conscience.

      • Good question, Bob. And I am afraid the answer is very disturbing. Where are the votes of conscience? How can every senator on our side of the aisle say they are in agreement with this guy? Because that is exactly what that vote showed. Abstaining is one thing, but to say “yes” to someone who represents and supports everything we are against…

        The Republicans remain a parody of what they are supposed to represent. Senatorial collegiality, inside the beltway, the ruling class. Where is the difference? Ironically, but not really, I would bet that if it was a Republican president naming their choice, the vote would not be a 100-0. Not only would there be the hard-core Leftists against our choice, but we’d even have a few GOP folks who would vote against our side. Yes, on this I would bet.

        The message in this vote (from our side) is disturbing.

        • I understand the concept of the President as CIC, of foreign policy being ostensibly a prerogative of the inhabitant of the White House, and all that. But if you are going to claim your intent to fight a Marxian/Stalinist/Socialist tooth and nail, in large part because of the very fact that he is a Marxian/Stalinist/Socialist, on the domestic front, had you better not perhaps question his choices and decisions a little more stridently in matters of defendingthe bastion of capitalism from those enemies foreign?

    • If this was peacetime, and we weren’t currently having lawsuits over the War Powers Act, if we didn’t have assets in the region, if the whole Mid-East thing wasn’t being mangled, maybe be good sports and agree to let O have who he want. But I don’t understand at least a handful, or at least one or two, votes of conscience.

      • Good question, Bob. And I am afraid the answer is very disturbing. Where are the votes of conscience? How can every senator on our side of the aisle say they are in agreement with this guy? Because that is exactly what that vote showed. Abstaining is one thing, but to say “yes” to someone who represents and supports everything we are against…

        The Republicans remain a parody of what they are supposed to represent. Senatorial collegiality, inside the beltway, the ruling class. Where is the difference? Ironically, but not really, I would bet that if it was a Republican president naming their choice, the vote would not be a 100-0. Not only would there be the hard-core Leftists against our choice, but we’d even have a few GOP folks who would vote against our side. Yes, on this I would bet.

        The message in this vote (from our side) is disturbing.

        • I understand the concept of the President as CIC, of foreign policy being ostensibly a prerogative of the inhabitant of the White House, and all that. But if you are going to claim your intent to fight a Marxian/Stalinist/Socialist tooth and nail, in large part because of the very fact that he is a Marxian/Stalinist/Socialist, on the domestic front, had you better not perhaps question his choices and decisions a little more stridently in matters of defendingthe bastion of capitalism from those enemies foreign?

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