Mudcat Café message #1743652 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1743652
Posted By: Amos
18-May-06 - 11:30 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Saying No to Bush's Yes Men
Thomas Friedman
NYT Op-Ed (excerpt)

President Bush has slipped in one recent poll to a 29 percent approval rating. Frankly, I can't believe that. Those polls can't possibly be accurate. I mean, really, ask yourself: How could there still be 29 percent of the people who approve of this presidency?

Personally, I think the president can reshuffle his cabinet all he wants, but his poll ratings are not going to substantially recover -- ever. Americans are slow to judgment about a president, very slow. And in times of war, in particular, they are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But I think a lot of Americans in recent months have simply lost confidence in this administration's competence and honesty.

What has eaten away most at the support for this administration, I believe, has been the fact that time and time again, it has put politics and ideology ahead of the interests of the United States, and I think a lot of people are just sick of it. I know I sure am.

To me, the most baffling thing about the Bush presidency is this: If you had worked for so long to be president, wouldn't you want to staff your administration with the very best people you could find, especially in national security and especially in the area of intelligence, which has been the source of so much controversy -- from 9/11 to Iraq?

Wouldn't that be your instinct? Well, not only did the president put the C.I.A. in the hands of a complete partisan hack named Porter Goss, but he then allowed Mr. Goss to appoint as the No. 3 man at the agency -- the C.I.A.'s chief operating officer -- Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, whose previous position was chief of the C.I.A.'s logistics office in Germany, which provides its Middle East stations with supplies.

Mr. Foggo has spent almost his entire undistinguished C.I.A. career in midlevel administrative jobs. He ingratiated himself with Mr. Goss during his days as a congressman by funneling inside dope about the C.I.A. under George Tenet to Mr. Goss, Newsweek reported. When Mr. Goss was tapped by the president to head the C.I.A., he plucked Mr. Foggo from obscurity to handle day-to-day operations at the agency, where he immediately made his mark by purging the C.I.A. of veteran spies and managers deemed unfriendly to the White House. I feel safer already.

Mr. Foggo resigned, along with Mr. Goss, after the C.I.A.'s chief internal watchdog opened an investigation to determine whether Mr. Foggo had helped steer a contract, apparently involving bottled water, to a company run by his old friend Brent Wilkes, a defense contractor who was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case involving the corrupt San Diego congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who is now in prison. Mr. Foggo is not an expert on Iran or Iraq or Russia, but rather on Perrier, Poland Spring and Fiji water. That is the guy the Bush team chose as its chief operating officer at the C.I.A.

Is there no job in this administration that is too important to be handed over to a political hack? No. (...)