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Monday, November 15, 2004


the purge continues

news today of powell's long-awaited resignation from his cabinet post is no surprise, perhaps. more interesting is the tack taken by porter goss as the new chief of the cia, where he clearly intends to run out all dissenters, even at the risk of sparking revolt.

it's long been reported that the bush administration is not publicly run on the principles of constructive criticism -- indeed, it appears rather more like a cult, brooking no deviation from the faith, admitting no mistake nor possibility of such. but, internally, it has been supposed that very heated policy debate has occurred all along, pitting the pragmatic powell and sometimes tenet and cia against the ideologues cheney, rumsfeld, wolfowitz and DoD. the pragmatists apparently didn't win often, and have now been moved out.

while there were hopes in some quarters of a neocon diminishment in the aftermath of the presidential election, it's not crystal clear that just the opposite is taking place. any important actor who has expressed contrary opinions, regardless of validity, is being cleared off. the washington note describes it as "neocons +1, realists -8". raimondo is as acerbic as ever.

what does that mean for us? i suspect that policy decisions will become even more detached from reality if ideology has no counterpoint in white house discussion circles. time will tell, of course -- but i personally cannot view as positive the loss of pragmatism's advocates at the highest level.

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