Monday, May 30, 2005
How To Succeed at Failing: The Bush Administration's (and Corporate America's) Motto to Live By. The Worse You Are, The Higher You Get Promoted.
May 31, 2005
The Success of Failure
By YT Cai
A recent case where two Army analysts who earned job performance awards for reporting that aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq, and normally used for ordinary rocket casings, could have been used as centrifuge parts to enrich uranium is only the latest example of how ineptness is rewarded in the Bush Administration.
The list of individuals who received accolades and/or promotions for performance that would otherwise call for reprimand, summary discharge, or even possibly criminal charges is quite lengthy. Some of the more egregious examples of people who have benefited from nonsuccess are as follows:
Marion "Spike" Bowman (FBI Agent) - when Zacarias Moussaoui came under suspicion as a person of interest enrolled in an American flight school it was Bowman who found no probable cause to issue a FISA warrant thus keeping investigators from looking into Moussaoui's computer which arguably could have uncovered the 9-11 plot. When the likes of Sen. Charles Grassley says Bowman didn't deserve the Presidential Rank Award afforded, one has to wonder exactly what was Bowman told to do by superiors when field agents expressed real concern about a hijacking plot in the making. Maybe some day the administration will build a Stone Wall in Bowman's honor.
George Tenet (former head of the CIA) - not only did the 50 plus warnings about 9-11 get past Tenet, he ultimately convinced Bush that the weapons of mass destruction case against Saddam Hussein was a "slam dunk." Who could forget the assuring Tenet seated behind Colin Powell when the then Secretary of State made the WMD case to the UN, giving more credibility to a portfolio strong on graphics but rather flimsy on the facts? Upon leaving of his own accord Tenet was presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, although the Broken Time Piece would have been more appropriate, with which he'd be right at least twice a day.
L. Paul (Gerry) Bremer (former proconsul in Iraq) - another chartered member of the Presidential Medal of Freedom club, Bremer was brought in after the quick dismissal of Jay Garner to set in motion a number of policies that would smoothly pave the way for an Iraqi interim government. Among the more obvious Bremer failures are an Iraqi insurgency that picked up steam due to Bremer's inability to provide real security or any meaningful reconstruction, especially by not getting essential services like electricity, septic or water systems up and running. Bremer even went as far at one point to blame the Democrats for the deteriorating situation. Add in the billions of Iraqi dollars that came up missing and the widespread torture that took place, that he should have been aware of, and you have a prime candidate for the Humpty Dumpty Award in Nation Building.
Alberto Gonzales (Attorney General) - former counsel to Bush and crafter of memoranda that dismissed the Geneva Conventions as quaint and mucked up traditional definitions of torture directly leading to the lowest level of international esteem our once highly regarded nation now holds. Instead of becoming upwardly mobile Gonzales should have been named the Torquemada Fan Club's Man of the Year.
Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State) - the former National Security Adviser under whose watch the worst terrorist attack on American soil occurred is a real mover and shaker in the Bush administration. She was put in charge of the Iraq occupation that went steadily down hill under her watch, with billions of dollars of US taxpayer money going unaccounted for or unspent which contributed to the ill will towards our troops. Condi would, though, qualify for the Fear Factor Academy Award for her talk of mushroom clouds and imminent attacks which helped the administration bring to market the Iraq War product line.
Paul Wolfowitz (head of The World Bank) - this former Under Secretary of Defense, and neo-conservative extraordinaire, was the mastermind of shock and awe democracy. He used to regale us with tales of welcoming Iraqis and a war that would be self funded by Iraqi oil. When he nearly bought the farm on his last trip to Iraq he quickly scurried off to accept his Chickenhawk Little Medal, along with a plum new position where he can work more of his magic on third world countries.
John Bolton (Under Secretary of State for Arms Control) - it must be something about the title "Under Secretary" that screams "Screw Up." The only real threat to America from the Axis of Evil has literally "gone nuclear" on us following Bolton's continual insults and goading. Now that North Korea is cranking out nukes at a frightening pace it is no wonder that Bolton is up for an ambassadorship, and to the UN of all places. Could the plan be to get all nations to go nuclear so as to promote world balance? If approved, then Bolton will surely gather up the Bull in the China Shop Award for the fifth year running.
With the above as only an overview of incompetence, and being a partial list of those who moved on to bigger and better things following gross failures, there is little room for hope as the players continue to rack up awards and change positions while in the midst of a long losing streak.
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION