Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Drones Come in to Testify

The White House has agreed to make available to Congress the secret documents used to justify targeted killings of Americans.  The stated reason is to help with the confirmation process of John Brennan as CIA Director:

Unlike Chuck Hagel, the Defense secretary nominee who endured withering criticism last week from Republicans, Brennan is facing complaints largely from members of the president's own party.

A demonstration that the president’s own party does not march in lock step.  Very comforting.

Lawmakers threatened a "confrontation" earlier this week over nominees if they did not receive classified legal memos on the drones.

It is political theater, as all such nominating events are.  Nothing will change in terms of the direction of US Government policy, whether or not this specific nominee passes his Senate test.

With lawmakers set to receive the memos Thursday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she was "pleased" with the decision.

Feinstein, from the President’s own party, is “pleased.”  This is a clue.

"It is critical for the committee's oversight function to fully understand the legal basis for all intelligence and counterterrorism operations," she said.

It is political theater, but it is theater with a purpose.  The end result of this tragic-comedy will be Congressional blessing of the executive’s practice.  This will remove controversy from the politically-acceptable dialogue; this will remove the issue from future, partisan, criticism. 

This is the middle-ground politics of compromise.  This is the desire of those who complain that politics in America is polarized. 

And here is CNN, hitting on just this theme (h/t to Daily Bell):

If Congress has danced at the most perilous edges of brinkmanship, we the people helped push them there.

We did it by voting lawmakers out of office when they work with the other party to craft legislation but then claiming we want Congress to compromise and seek bipartisan solutions.

We're doing it by sending to office those who promise to toe the line and continue the partisanship we say we despise.

This CNN article uses “we” perhaps two-dozen times, attempting to lay a collective guilt on all Americans.  This is a significant tool of control, but for the moment is secondary to my point here.  The applicable point from the CNN article in the context of this post is that politics should not be polarizing; politics should reach for compromise.

This is the intent of the supposed controversy regarding this feigned concern about the rationale for drone strikes that target Americans.  This will end in compromise and bi-partisan agreement – the ideal of politics for CNN – a compromise intended to protect this horrific practice from being questioned in the future.

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