Tuesday, August 03, 2004

No F*cking Way Redux

Via Atrios, we come across this New York Times editorial.

Mr. Bush spoke on a day when Americans were still digesting the terrifying warning of possible terrorist attacks against financial institutions in New York, Newark and Washington. The authorities in those cities did the right thing by stepping up security. But it's unfortunate that it is necessary to fight suspicions of political timing, suspicions the administration has sown by misleading the public on security. The Times reports today that much of the information that led to the heightened alert is actually three or four years old and that authorities had found no concrete evidence that a terror plot was actually under way. This news does nothing to bolster the confidence Americans need that the administration is not using intelligence for political gain.

And concerning the 9-11 panel's recommendations:

Mr. Bush did embrace the 9/11 commission's suggestion - one that did not challenge his turf - that Congress stop supervising intelligence and homeland security through scores of committees and instead have one committee in each house to oversee intelligence and one for homeland security. And he went beyond the 9/11 panel in one way by proposing a post to coordinate intelligence on weapons of mass destruction. That sounds like a bad idea, especially with the administration's record of fanciful interpretations of that intelligence on Iraq.

Mr. Bush's bureaucratic dodge on the intelligence director's job is the same one he used on the job of director of homeland security. Then he was forced to reverse field, endorse a new cabinet department and claim it as his own idea. We don't care who gets credit. What's important is that Congress reject what Mr. Bush came up with yesterday and do the job right when it returns in September.