Peace through victory - the American way.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Elected "Cabal" That Hijacked Foreign Policy

This story (here) reports on a speech given by former Colin Powell aide Lawrence Wilkerson in which he accuses Vice-President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld of running a cabal that has hijacked foreign policy from the bureaucracy.

Oooo, how scary is that? A secret cabal led by the second-highest elected official in the United States is running the foreign policy not an unelected bureaucracy.

But wait it gets worse. Later in his speech Wilkerson refers to the cabal as the "Oval Office cabal" and says this about President George Bush's involvement in the cabal.
The president’s role has been very integral to the process. When the president’s weight is needed, the Oval Office is entered by one person and the president’s role is obtained.
(See transcript here.)

What is this country coming to? How far has our democracy fallen? The two highest elected officials in the United States government are part of a cabal that has taken decision-making on foreign policy away from the unelected bureaucrats of the State Department who generally opposed the White House policy.

My God, it's time for a revolution!


Afterword: As is typical of reporting, the news story linked above simplifies and sensationalizes what Wilkerson said. The point of his reference to the so-called "cabal" was to argue that Cheney and Rumsfeld are bad managers because they cut out of the decision-making process the people who have to implement the decisions. Not a bad point, really, if true. On the other hand, the people who have to implement the decisions have to realize that their role precisely is to implement the decisions made by others. A major problem the Bush Administration has faced since 9/11 is the resistance of the unelected government to the policies of the elected government. The little told aspect of the Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby story is that it all came to a head because of bureaucratic opposition to the Bush Administration's push for the liberation of Iraq. That's the real story, not that elected officials are trying to make policy and have unelected officials carry it out.



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