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The Expansionist
Thursday, July 09, 2009
 
Impeach Panetta — or Defund the CIA. Leon Panetta insists that "it is not the policy or practice of the CIA to mislead Congress", even as he supposedly admitted to Congress in a June 24th hearing that the CIA did indeed mislead Congress under the Bush Administration. How, pray, are we to interpret this? It depends, apparently, on what "is" is. What "is" the present policy of the CIA? What WAS the policy of the CIA during the Bush Administration? It is not a quibble.
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The Central Intelligence Agency can be a cancerous growth and a threat to our democracy if it is not answerable to Congress, as we have seen. If the CIA cannot be controlled under Panetta, impeach Panetta. If Congress cannot impeach Panetta, let them cut the CIA's budget to $0.00 — zero dollars and zero cents — until and unless the CIA admits very publicly that it has NOT always briefed Congress adequately or truthfully, and pledges to tell Congress in the future everything it is entitled to know — which is anything at all that Congress wants to know, because Congress represents the people, and the people, at least thru their elected representatives, have an ABSOLUTE RIGHT to know what is being done in their name. We are the ones who are bombed at home and targeted for death abroad when misdeeds of agencies like the CIA antagonize billions of people around the globe. We are the ones who volunteer for the military — or do not — and risk death, in national service, at the hands of enemies that rogues like the CIA and the Zionist lobby make for the United States.
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How many lies or instances of withholding information or misleading Congress by half-truth or implication — or any other type of deception; we really do not need to specify each and every type of deception we can think of, because that only invites CIA to look for something not on the list — constitutes a "policy or practice"? How many constitute only an 'isolated incident', 'momentary failure', 'mistake', 'misjudgment', or, again, anything of that nature, without need of a laundry list that might leave something out?
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"Zero tolerance" is a phrase that represents what has come to be misused absolutism in, for instance, enforcement of arbitrary and capricious codes of behavior regarding "sexual harassment" in schools. But when it comes to Executive Branch agencies lying to Congress, "zero tolerance" is not extremist at all, but the very least we can accept.
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President Obama has threatened to veto an appropriations bill if Democratic amendments that require the CIA to report to such members as Congress itself, in due exercise of its own discretion, demands be briefed. Fine. Congress controls funding. If Obama wants to control the information that Congress — the people — receive from the CIA, then Congress can completely and absolutely defund the CIA. It doesn't have to abolish the agency. It need merely put the CIA's $0 funding into an omnibus spending bill that Obama can either sign or veto. And Congress doesn't have to fund ANYTHING. Obama is not king nor emperor nor Pope. He cannot demand anything from Congress, because Congress's legitimacy does not derive from him but from the people directly, without any presidential intermediation.
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(Congress should certainly defund all CIA publications, such as the World Factbook, that Americans cannot understand because ONLY foreign measures are used — areas are given only in square kilometers, for instance, and there's not one native-born American in a thousand who knows how large a square kilometer is, compared to a square mile.)
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In any contest between President and Congress, Congress must win, because Congress has ALL the money, and the President can do NOTHING without the people's money, voted by Congress. All Congress has to do is stand firm. What does it have to lose? As an institution, Congress is enormously unpopular, for having NOT done the people's will in opposing the misbehavior of President Bush. How much more unpopular could it get for opposing the misbehavior of President Obama?
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The Obama Administration has sold us out over and over again, not delivering the change that candidate Obama ran on. If he won't do what the people want done, let Congress do it, and present him with, for instance, a single-payer healthcare system as a fait-accompli he can either sign on to or veto and thus destroy his reputation as reformer. Obama could become a lame duck in his first full year in office, and a Congress that he seems willing to go out of his way to offend can rise up on its hind legs and slap him down hard. At end, somebody has to stand up for the people. If Obama won't, then Congress must.
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(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,322 — for Israel.)



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