Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Pelosi vs CIA

Things are heating up, and perhaps not the way some intended. Even Dan Balz understands that Speaker Pelosi has raised the stakes, and may regret it. Charles Krauthammer (a two minute video) is more straightforward. Worth watching.

Discussions - 11 Comments

What she said, I think is likely true. However, she will regret saying it. Is she touring Dallas soon? I think she will become a welcome sacrificial lamb.

This is also a nice hot button issue to come about over bildaberg weekend. IMF to become world treasury operating under the UN. ICC treaty to be submitted for ratification late one saturday night to avoid media coverage; Will over rule the constitution and place America under international law (Obama's homework assignment to happen early 2011 after the more leftist senate gets in place). Debate about whether the depression should be shorter and harsher or decades long with stagflation; depends on which will push world government farther. Geitner and company are leaning toward the shorter recession because decade long would damage elite bussiness too much. The US media will be used to smear the Libertas movement and push for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty by saying libertas is supported by US arms dealers. Lets hope the Irish remain strong because this appears to be the big issue this year. Talks about the world tax being introduced on oil at a low rate per barrel which will not be noticed at the gas pumps at first.

Coming from Jim Tucker who has a much better record than anyone I have seen in journalism. People getting arrested two miles from the site in Greece, but it isn't real and not happening right?

I'm no fan of Speaker Pelosi, but Krauthammer's comment should remind us why the CIA is, and has always been, a problematic organization. For most of the past eight years, the agency worked against Bush administration policies that they didn't like. Now they're trying to undermine the Speaker of the House. I'm inclined not to trust the Speaker on this one, as doubts about her version of events come from places other than the CIA. On the other hand, perhaps we can have bipartisanship here. Perhaps now the Democratic leadership in Congress will make common cause with former Bush Administration officials aginst the CIA. It is always a challenge to find people who are comfortable acting deviously abroad who are not comfortable doing the same thing at home. Combine that with the normal imperatives of a Washington administrative agency and you have a mess. Senator Moynihan was probably correct to suggest that we should abolish the CIA.

Richard Adams, we are not supposed to maintain a standing army, either, but the reality of our world demands both a standing army and a CIA. They both pose the same problem for the U.S.; depending on who is running them and who is in them, we could have a problem because of the kind of power each has. Are you suggesting that the CIA does not protect our interests? The kind of political pressure portions of our government (Say the Treasury Department, in the last year?) can bring to bear on the populace is a great argument for smaller government, which largely falls on deaf ears. In the case of our national defense, do we really have a choice in this? We can't exactly decentralize that kind of intelligence gathering, can we? If not the CIA, then another agency would have to take up the burden.

Nancy Pelosi, seems to be coming part over this. I feel such a guilty pleasure watching her torture herself.

So, maybe not? If the agency were disbanded, where would the scheming paper-pusher seek jobs?

Not that it is likely that the Agency would be disbanded as in government scheming paper-pushers always seem to be successful, which is why we have so many of them. Art Deco, I have read similar criticisms of the CIA since the 70's. I still ask, do we really have a choice? Somehow, those workhorses have to be coordinated. When what's-her-name in the Clinton Administration forbade that, national security was not improved.

Art Deco,

I cannot argue, believing that what you say is true, especially your question. Yet, Gerecht is not the only former employee of the CIA to call it ineffective, inept and even counter-productive. All I was saying was that government seems to shelter the unproductive, being a haven for our scheming paper pushers. Except for those who are elected (who I sometimes wish were less productive or at least less busily counter-productive)there seems to be little accountability for government employees, especially those in the black box realms. Do you have a suggestion for getting rid of such people? I am charmed by the idea of their learning a real trade.

Of course, there are those, mostly on the Left, who say we should disband the CIA because it is the source of all political evil in the world. Do you agree with that?

The CIA was, is, and always will be an extension of corporate espionage. It was formed after WWII and staffed by people who worked for Standard oil or Ford, the type of work they do and have always done is in the intrest of wealthy business owners, but is it really in our interest? There was no need or even idea of a permanent spy agency prior to this and the only people with experience were those who worked for corporations. Overthrowing dictators in third world contries then putting in another dictator is hardly what I feel is good use of my tax dollars. Then again, mabye I don't pay as much tax so I should not get an equal say. Getting mineral rights is a lucrative business. That is assuming you don't have a ton of stock in Brown, Root and Herriman.

Thoughts on the idea of the ICC being passed late one night? What a monday that should be, the bill of rights no longer has meaning so speaking out against what just happen will constitute a thought crime and not be allowed.

Thank you, Art Deco. Have we had a good Civil Service reform in a long time? I very much like #4, which might be enacted if #1 happened.

I don't know about the ombudsman, though. What you are proposing sounds like what our Congressional Representatives do for us, or ought to do for us, already. I do not like the part about his not being removable except by impeachment, because that sort of entrenchment invites other kinds of corruption. Your comptroller would have the same temptations if entrenched and protected. They would be obligated to whoever, accountants and statisticians, or whoever employed those folks, for office and so would be inclined to protect them.

And #10, I do not agree, because Ohio has term limits and it has not done anything for any of those problems and may have made them worse, new folks getting into office only with the monetary backing of those with money, beyond parties, usually special interest groups. Also, in Ohio, politicians just change chairs, the attorney general becoming Sec. of State, then going on to Governor or becoming something else. I think elections are our rotation in office and an alert electorate is vital or it gets what it deserves.

However, the essence of your proposals seem good to me, though the devil in not just in the details, but in the fact that the current system protects itself from such reforms as these, all too effectively.

Single term or life-time appointments look like the only way to prevent or at least ameliorate the problem of officeholders becoming beholden to interest. When was the last time a Supreme Court Justice was accused of corruption in office? I think the Founders had it right with senators.

The things I do not like about limiting terms of office is that we throw out good politicians along with the bad ones and that we remove from the citizens the option of keeping a politician, either good or bad, that they happen to like. I do acknowledge the problems, as who could not.

In Ohio, the Republicans went round and round until the voters couldn't stand them anymore and replaced them all with Democrats. Elections are term limits.

I do like the age minimum of forty years idea, but given our culture's delight with youth think that may be the least likely of your proposals (all long-shots) ever to be adopted.

Okay, no life tenure. It always depends on the individual, though. Individual character means so much. Your mention of Ed Koch is a case for that.

In connection with this argument I have been thinking about property qualifications, as we had once upon a time. I taught my high school history classes that those qualifications were to limit political participation to those who had a stake in the nation, paid taxes, and had material reasons keeping government in its place. I wonder if the point wasn't also something like yours. A person of property had to manage that property. He had to do things beyond politics to survive and keep his property prospering. He could not afford to be a politician always, and besides, he always had something to go back to. Part of the rotation problem and the striving for political office is that it is so hard for career politicians to go back to real life. Part of that is the divestiture required for public service, which I think may be a mistake, though I understand the motive behind it.

Yes, some requirement that people who go into politics have done something real would be very good. Listening to George McGovern in the last few years is much different than listening to him in the 1970s. Owning property has been good for his political thought.

Art Deco, this goes around the bend soon. It has been a pleasure reforming government with you.

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