January 31, 2004

Correspondence: Jonah Goldberg

In regards to your recent column I think you're not giving Bush credit for what he's doing. Beyond the political grandstanding problem that you rightly point out will likely afflict an investigation into the intelligence failures of the CIA et al there is another problem, one that you yourself have fallen prey to and it seems to be a common failing in the US. The destructive temptation is to go off half cocked, to call for heads on pikes all around and to destroy careers and lives without first going to the trouble to not only understand that something is deeply wrong, but the specific problem that needs fixing and who materially contributed to that problem.

Do we have the answers to these questions? Are you confident that we are not going to besmirch and destroy the reputations of honest patriots in the intelligence bureaucracy whose major fault is being less adept at the CYA internal blame game? I'm not confident of that and the idea of rushing to the head of the mob and storming the intelligence castles without knowing precisely what we're doing fills me with a certain dread.

There is a 9/11 commission which will report soon. After it reports, resignations will likely be in order and those resignations will not cause the damage to our government they would have caused if they would have been demanded before the results of the commission are published.

It appears that there will likely be a subsequent investigation into systemic failures in intelligence gathering. It is vital that an investigation is as sober and as free of grandstanding as possible with investigation first, trial afterward, and only then a verdict. The verdict has already been reached by many. Is it really just pique that President Bush resists giving in to a witch hunt mentality?

Posted by TMLutas at January 31, 2004 09:30 PM