Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Getting a Straight Story On Why Rule of Law Failed In America

We the People can provide the leadership the GOP refuses to demonstrate.

The way forward is to examine what went wrong, and compel the GOP to do what it failed to do in 2002. If they refuse, it is more evidence the GOP Candidates for the White House are reckless and should not be taken seriously.

* * *

Here we are in the sixth year of the descent into fascism.

The American public, lawmakers, and historians will have a field day: How the American government, despite the challenges of civil and world wars in the 19th and 20th Centuries, spiraled into lawlessness in the 21st Century; and what will prevent it from recurring.

* * *

The laws are clear. The problem is when the laws are not enforced; and the leadership refuses to enforce the law.

Take the Department of Defense. It has rules. This President ignored them. How the laws violated is secondary to the expectation that there be consequences, and an adjustment.

___ How did the US leadership, despite the law, permit this much illegal activity?

___ Why was so much illegal activity assented to by US government officials?

___ What is required to compel people to assert their oath?

* * *

Put aside the possibility that there is a solution. Let's focus on the thought process going through the minds of the American leadership that would consciously choose not to fully assert their oath.

___ How does the GOP explain, despite "all these laws," why the laws were ignored?

___ What happened?

___ What failed?

___ What permitted this to occur?

* * *

I'm wiling to hear all the excuses, and the non-sense on one condition: The world accept that these are frivolous excuses which were not checked or stopped as they should have been.

___ What were people thinking to believe that the rule of law was debatable?

___ Which abusive personalities need to more quickly see sunlight and examined?

___ How is this much non-sense going to get ended more quickly next time?

* * *

Many people were fearful of doing their Jobs, standing up for their oath, and were complicit. This needs to be examined and explored.

___ Why did it take so long for the leadership, SES, and combatant commanders to stand up and refuse to play the non-sense games?

___ Despite the laws granting authority to the Joint Staff to be the principal advisor to the President, why was the Congress unwilling to challenge openly what the SecDef what illegally doing: Bypassing the legally required procedures, consultations, and authority?

___ Why was Addington and Cheney given influence on what the oversight, consultation, and other communications would be on issue of Geneva, war crimes, combat preparations?

___ What's been going on with the National Security Council chief legal advisers, and the meetings which have proven to be utter shams?

* * *

It is inexplicable how and, despite the law which clearly defines the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as the President's legal advisor, why the requirement was ignored; but nothing was done -- until recently -- to correct this problem.

___ Where is the evidence of the illegal activity;

___ How did the DoD General Counsel and Addington agree to illegally circumvent the law on communications with the Presided;

___ What failed in the Congressional oversight that would do nothing to examine the White House meetings and consultations on military issues?

___ What examination should have been don by way of DoD IG, GAO, CRS, or other audits which would have well documented the problem?

___ Where is the evidence of Member of Congress concern with these legal issues?

___ How did the Joint Chiefs document their concerns with the President's illegal refusal to meet with the legally-required experts on the Joint Staff?

Something like this doesn't just happen. There are decisions to ignore the law; and other decision to do nothing. Whatever broke needs to be fixed; whatever is fixed, needs to examined; and whatever solution there is needs to be regularly visited so this does not happen again.

* * *

It is absurd to discover that the Joint Chiefs were supposedly cut out of planning; but to learn that the President, Addington, and the OSP were doing an end run.

Someone knew the required planning was not occurring; and that the planning that was occurring was not legal or sufficient.

___ How was the illegal planning documented;

___ Which contractors attended;

___ Where are the records of their travel to these illegal meetings;

___ What is the plan of the President and DOD to remedy this defect so that this does not happen again?

* * *

Regardless whether the Joint Chiefs were or were not consulted, the President has the responsibility to ensure he is leading a war. Whether he decides to ignore the law is one thing; but for him to lecture Americans about how "great" he is, yet his internal controls to ensure compliance with the mandatory reporting to him were worthless.

___ When did he review the DoD IG audit reports;

___ How did the audit reports related to the known failures to comply with tech report get reviewed by the OPM for purposes of performance valuations;

___ Where is the legal memorandum related to decisions not to review this information;

___ Where was Gonzalez in this mess;

___ How does anyone in the White House Counsel's office argue that the President does or does not have power, but he's not supported in implementing his single power with the best information, as required by law, from the Joint Staff?

___ How does this happen?

___ How, despite the legal training of so-called "experts" in DoJ and on the White House counsel's staff, do we have this much non-sense?

___ What's Brad Berenson's explanation for what was or wasn't happening?

This is a mess.

___ How did these people go to work everyday knowing this mess was around them: What was going through their head?

The goal should be to share with others the non-sense thinking required to support this illegal activity; and ensure indicators of this non-sense are timely reported, reviewed, and examined so it does not happen again; or that it is nipped in the bud earlier.

Claims of "we can' Be perfect" are absurd. This isn't an issue of perfection, it is chaos: How could this much chaos continue, yet there was no leadership?

___ Who had gag orders?

___ How was this evidence f illegal activity, incompetence suppressed?

___ Who is still on the NSC that can shed light on this chaos?

___ What kind of chaos is required to continue this; and how did this chaos manifest itself prior to Sept 2001?

* * *

Let's start with basics: There are rules and procedures designed to solve problems. When problems are not getting solved, that means something needs to be corrected.

Yet, this thinking apparently wasn't happening.

___ How did the White House legal counsel physically get out of their bed, drive to work, and find their way to their desk?

___ How did they physically, mentally go through that process -- get to work -- but remain oblivious to the non-sense, illegal activity, and chaos spewing forth from the White House?

___ How did they mentally compartmentalize the process of thinking logically to drive to work; but divorce themselves from reality, and say nothing about the chaos; and do nothing to fix things?

Alot of people got paid alot of money to do nothing, apparently. I'd like to know, by name, who was in there; and ensure they are forever closely monitored as they wander through the American legal and political landscape. They can't be trusted to do important things; I'm not going to waste time finding out they can't be trusted to do their jobs. There's no reason to hire them. They've failed to do the important work.

* * *

How does a disaster like this happen, not get changed, and continue for this long?

Unless there had been information for the public to make an informed decision, the prospect was that the American government would have continued in the wrong direction.

___ How more years as it going to take for the "experts" in the legal community to have stood up, called for a change, and done something?

___ How does a legal requirements, that supposedly everyone knows, get ignored; but nothing happens -- how does that occur, what broke, and what as the FBI doing with this information?

* * *

Leadership, competence, and results should not be so divorced from the law that outside intervention is not only required, but the necessary catalyst to do what shall be done according to law.

* * *

Let's get specific. The GOP would have us believe that views of the Joint Staff-- when echoed in Congress -- are signs of problems. No, it means that the old guard of the GOP, which illegally ignored the Joint Staff, can't stop the Joint Staff; rather, they oppose the argument as a name, not with any credible basis to argue.

This is not leadership. The Joint Staff, even if they were not going to be agreed with, should have been consulted openly.

___ Who in the GOP assented to this non-sense?

___ What was the plan of the GOP to "blame" someone who they ignored?

When the GOP shuts out the experts, the GOP cannot blame others for what goes wrong.

* * *

The Joint Chiefs are concerns bout the White House plan for Iraq. Planning is underway for a backup plan. Congress needs details:

___ What are the criteria being used to determine when this back-up plan is needed;

___ How is the backup plan shaping;

___ Based on current trends, when is this backup plan most likely to be required;

___ What assistance does the Joint Chiefs need to ensure the required resources to implement this backup plan are available;

___ Who is getting in the way of the planning for this backup plan;

* * *

It is troubling to discover this late in the game that someone decided to examine what as or was not working. Good grief, this is an oversight issue which should have been part of the original plan, well before the first shots were fired in 2002:

___ How are we doing;

___ What are the indicators that there are problems;

___ As we progress, what do we need to use as a decision point to adjust;

___ Do we have the resources to support these other decision points.

This wasn't done with seriousness until many years after the invasion. This is absurd.

___ Where were the reviews?

___ When did the GOP plan to review this plan?

Nothing was done.

* * *

I will not accept the White House staff counsel excuse that the Joint Staff was giving 'bad advice." They were being ignored.

___ Why wasn't the President involved with reviewing what was or wasn't going right?

The President and his apologists in the GOP cannot credibly argue the President' was or wasn't getting something -- this President had the power, even self-delegated him illegal power -- to do what he wanted. There was no excuse for the President not to have known, or for failing to ask for reviews. The President even got on his Blue Plan, and landed in Iraq during combat. If the President wanted to do something -- get information -- there was nothing stopping him from being a leader, asking, and listening. This President didn't do that. No excuse. We have the self-evident mess in Iraq as a testament to what the President, on his own, refused to do: Adjust.

That's what Congress needs to give him specific instructions: This President, absence clear guidance form Congress, cannot lead, nor adjust, nor will he do, on his own, what is needed.

The White House needs to stop blaming the Pentagon; and start accepting the blame rests with the one they say is all powerful: The incompetent President who did not ask, did not seek other views, and did not follow the law compelling him to work with those he refused to listen to or work with. This is a mess the President created, did not stop, and failed to consult the law; had he followed the law, he would have found ample advice and ideas of what to do.

___ Where was the White House counsel in all this?

___ What was the White House counsel doing by way of memorandum that would not tell the President about the law or what his options were?

The White House counsel appears to have been useless. This needs to be correct so that defective counsel are timely highlighted and shown the door, not let this drag on fir five [5] years.

* * *

What is even more amazing, despite the illegal war plans, is that the Joint Staff finally "got around" to looking at these issues last year.

___ What took so long?

___ Why wasn't this review part of the original plan?

___ What kind of oversight was there of the Chairman of the Joint Staff to make sure that he was reviewing these issues?

___ How did Members of Congress document their concerns in the Title 28 and Title 50 excepting reports?

___ Was there any plan by anyone to ask the simple question in 2003: "Gosh, do you think we should adjust?"

No, these idiots, until 2006, didn't apparently do a serious review or consider the possibility that they should listen to the experts. Wow, only four years after the illegal war crimes planning started and someone "though about" thinking of adjusting. What a complete reckless group of idiots. This American government did a really "great job" at putting into practice the lessons of other military battle: Planning, adjustments, and other things. [/snark]

Not impressed with the means by which [1] lessons of combat from other era was or was not [2] translated into credible leadership, oversight, and results. No, we have the opposite: A group of idiots embarking on illegal warfare; then pretending that everyone else doesn't understand.

And American wants the world to believe that this country has "the best" system. Look at the Taliban: Their "system" is running circles around the buffoons on the Joint Staff, White House. How "great" is that? [/snark]

* * *

Self-inspections don't work.

___ Where was the DOD IG in reviewing NSC and Joint Staff?

___ Where are the reports from DoD IG on this bungling mess?

___ How were the reports of this illegal activity, when they were known to members of Congress, documented in the Title 28 and Title 50 exception reports?

___ Once Congressional staff counsel learned of the bungling mess -- which they knew, or should have known because they were part of the illegal planning -- what was their plan to ensure American never found out about this?

___ Who was threatened?

___ How many people were blacklisted?

___ Did the GOP think that nobody would find out?

Here's hint: You can't hide problems in battle: The problems are exploited by the enemy. It's like a problem the capital market: The bad news always gets exploited, and combat -- like an open market -- always has correct information:

___ Who is competent

___ Who is able to translate plans into results

___ Who is or isn't complying with the rules

___ Which rules, when violated, are properly being examined

___ When there is no leadership, how are the leadership problems being exploited

___ When one side reuses to follow the rules, how is the other side legally retaliating for that recklessness?

The answer is not to hide reality; but to confront it as what was not done.

Reality: November 2006 -- The President, GOP, and Senate have no power to prevent We the People from giving fully support to audits, reviews, and oversight.

We’ve learned, that Even in combat, audits are required to solve problems; not let them continue as has been the case under this reckless GOP leadership.

This GOP leadership had years to implement their PNAC illegal activity and plans; but they didn't create a legal plan, or one that was fully supported or viable. That planning activity, regardless whether the records are destroyed, needs to be examined:

___ HO was it able to take root;

___ Why wasn't the DoD IG and White House forces to account for this reckless PNAC planning

* * *

I don't care how long this takes to find the answers: The reality can be quickly understood. Delays and excuse aren't going to work.

DoD IG has a job to explain what on earth they were or were not doing.

The GOP has the burden. This is their mess. They ignored the laws; ignored the audits; and didn't do what was required. Nobody made them do illegal things; they chose to accelerate timeliness and do illegal things.

The problem is that they circumvented many things, and it took this long to compel them to comprehend: They have to change. No, it should not take this long; especially when people were supposedly educated -- as commanders -- of what should or should not be happening by way of leadership, planning, problem resolution, and legality of orders.

* * *

Yes, let's put this on the table: These are issue of war crimes. But until the prosecutions start, we still have a fundamental problem to deal with -- reality, what is going to be done -- right now -- to make sure the need reforms are put into place.

I do not want to hear any non-sense that we have to "wait" until that is litigated. Non-sense. Reality tells us one thing: There is a mess for the GOP to face, clean up, and resolve. Until the GOP faces heir mess, they should not be seriously considered as contenders for the White House.

How can anyone in GOP argue that they can competently do anything. This was an exclusive GOP disaster, which they have yet to openly discuss. Until the GOP Senators accept their bungling. Americans should rebuke any calls by any GOP leader that they have clue how to do anything.

Despite the law, they ignored it. Tell the GOP to take a hike.

* * *

Where was academia and the DOD Contracting?

DoD pays alot of money to SETA contractors who do process control studies. They issue reports, make recommendations.

___ Where is the SETA contact report related to war planning?

___ When did the Joint Staff put these SETA contractors on contract?

___ Where are the report review briefings?

___ What are the award fee plans for these SETA contractors?

____ How much money did the Fee Determining Officials [FDOs] pay to have these SETA reports reviewed, awarded, and part of the award fee?

Someone has a big problem: The contracting community -- which contributed to this mess -- has paid money for contact or support for things the Joint Staff would have us believe they "just got around" to looking at.

No, the contractors were, or should have been, reviewing the processes; and making recommendations as required by their contract award fee plans.

___ Where was academia?

___ Which Flag officers who attended the Kennedy School of Government classes, and Senior Staff Courses, sat on their rear end and didn't put that education into practice?

Again, the point is simple: The Flag Officers who attended these classes; or were part of the Fee award process can be traced; and the entire decision process can be reviewed, examined, and explored.

___ Where is this study?

___ Why wasn't it done?

___ When was the Joint Chiefs going to look at their operations based on the known problems which the contractors were discussing?

___ How does the Joint Staff reconcile the argument --- "oh, we had no idea" -- with the known CIA reports that contradicts this and expressly states there were known, open discussions related to concerns that there were problems?

Bottom line: Join Staff arguments about "having no clue" do not match what the CIA and intelligence community -- going forward from 2002 -- were saying were going to be problems:

___ Why weren't these problems -- as identified in 2002 -- part of the monitoring and oversight system?

___ Despite the 2002 concerns, why did it take then 4 years for the leadership to then consider what the intelligence community knew?

___ What did Senator Roberts and Cheney do to shut own the CIA, dissuade their staff to not awaken Rumsfled, and dissuade DoD from reviewing the matters which the CIA identified going forward from 2002 as risk areas?

___ How was the creation of OSP really part of an effort by Cheney, Addington, and others to ignore the CIA concerns going forward form 2002 -- and focus the DoD on the myth of PNAC, without any consideration for the reality, known risks, and problem surfacing?

___ How did the "big plan" -- going forward form 2002 which CIA well know has problems -- get massaged through the media leaks; and how was the media manipulation designed to package what the President, CIA, and Joint Staff knew was a complete mess: Utter chaos, no planning, and risk areas not getting attention?

Cheney and Addington can spew forth all sorts of non-0sense about the media. The problem is when the Vice President makes 17 trips to the CIA; but the CIA concerns are not part of the DOD plan to manage the illegal war. Doesn't add up. Says one thing: Vice President wasn't listening; he was inappropriately abusing the CIA analysts.

___ What is going to be done to ensure this does not happen again?

___ If this does happen again, what is gong to be done timely adjust course not let this non-sense drag on into five years, and then "maybe" someone thinks about this?

There is a solution. But the GOP needs to be thrown through the coals to make them figure out what is going to be done -- in their world -- to tie their hands. After they commit to "their plan" we'll shove the real solution down their throat: "No, as always, the GOP got it wrong."

The GOP is a cess pool of morons who cannot be trusted to plan, lead, or comply with the law.

* * *

I don't want to hear from the Military Commanders -- yet -- whether a law change is required. I want to hear form the GOP Senators what their solution is.

This GOP Senate will not discuss their solution. Fine. Then let them wonder what is going to lawfully happen.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is not doing his job when he, unlike the GOP Senators, refuses to debate the legal solutions.

The system as it is designed may be sufficient. The problem with that argument is that it is insufficient, and has impermissibly allowed end runs, allowing the Constitution to get destroyed.

* * *

I do not buy the argument that on one person controls the military. Indeed, one person would control the military -- the President. That was no done.

We had the opposite: Lack of control, no adjustments, and a failure of leadership.

The issue is less of whether there is or isn’t total control over all things; but the opposite: When there is no one person who is in charge, what got in the way of at least one person from doing what was right; why did it take this long to finally have an adjustment?

This is not an issue for the Joint Staff to self-examine; someone outside DoD and the GOP needs to be brought into the nexus, review what failed, and solve this problem. If Congress will not agree; then We the People are able.

We the People got it right on November 2006 and forced a change; We the People can e reasonably expected to get it right on doing what the US government has proven it is incapable of doing: Leading, adjusting, developing plans, and dong what should be done to fully assert the Rule of Law.

* * *

The way forward is to look beyond those who were complicit with illegal activity, and examine what failed across Congress, DoD, and the Executive Branch, along with the DOD IG, and the legal counsel's office.

I expect the GOP to be active in the debate in the Senate. If they fail, then they're communicating they do not want any input into the institutional changes.

The Senate is the inferior body. IF it would like to be taken seriously, it needs to provide some leadership and confront these issues. Without a confrontation, We the People shall do what the US government and GOP have refused to do: Provide leadership.