Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wanted: Fall Guy. Must Be Highly Decorated, But Not Too Smart

Far be it from us to cast aspersions on our fellow citizens, particularly those who spend the better part of their day sober, but we have to say this seems to be, how shall we say, lacking in team spirit? We mean, sure it looks like a tough gig, but think of the rewards. Take George Tenet. Took the hit for WMD, got a Medal of Freedom. Colin Powell was the administration's sock puppet at the UN, got a...OK bad example. Look, the president just needs a stand up guy that's all. Someone to stand up and take the blame.

The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority flail about at the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but at least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position. "I'm a soldier, not an idiot," said retired Army General Jack Keane. "I've led men into combat on three different continents. I know a suicide mission when I see one."

"Ever see those clown cars in the circus? Well, this one's looking for a driver, and I ain't into grease paint.," said retired Marine General John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job.

The White House has not publicly disclosed its interest in creating the position, hoping to find someone who didn't burst out laughing the moment they were approached. "The new czar will have 'tasking authority,' or the power to issue directions, over other agencies," said Deputy White House Press Secretart Dana Perino. "Not that that means anything as the agencies are about as helpful as a screen door on a submarine. We really just need someone in the spotlight. At least until the president gets to Paraguay.

The administration's interest in the idea stems from the long-standing failure of civilian and military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan by different parts of the U.S. government. "We thought if we could consolidate all the incompetency under one head, that would be more efficient," Deputy Secretart Perino said.

The highest-ranking White House official responsible exclusively for the wars is deputy national security adviser Meghan O'Sullivan, who reports to national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley and does not have power to speak without being spoken to. O'Sullivan plans to escape soon, giving the White House the opportunity to rethink how it bungles the war effort. "You don't have to hit me with a bat," O'Sullivan said. "I can see what's coming, oh, and Condi, call me."

Kurt Campbell, a Clinton administration Pentagon official who heads the Center for a New American Security, said the difficulty in finding someone to take the job shows that Bush has exhausted his ability to get people to take the fall for him. "I mean, after Rummy, people began thinking, 'hey, I'll need to get a job somewhere when this bozo is out of office,'" Campbell said. "Even people in the Bush administration haven't lost their instinct for survival. That's located in a different part of the brain from the part you have to shut off to work for the guy in the first place."

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