Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lindsey Graham: Ultimately an Idiot

There is an old adage which goes, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  Those who know me will understand that I have trouble not saying anything at all, and so because as far as I can tell Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is an utterly contemptible specimen without so much as a single redeeming feature, I will say some unkind things about the invertebrate from South Carolina.

Let me preface those remarks by saying that they should in no way be interpreted as excusing the Obama administration for its complicity, along with a Congress egged on by nihilist neocons, in imperilling the interests of our citizens through its prosecution of aggressive war, its embrace of methods of terror and barbarism, and its assault on the human rights and liberties of people at home and abroad.

The problem with Graham, aside from his general self-interested opportunism and willingness to abuse his position of power to mislead the public, is that he has a knack, together with his addled mentor John McCain, for seizing on precisely the wrong problem and worrying it, thereby creating a distraction from a serious problem.

Often Graham operates by snarky innuendo, but in this case he came right out and held the Obama administration responsible for the bombings in Boston.  When the U.S. at last begins to feel the consequences of climate change in a more obvious way, I have no doubt whatsoever that Graham, a master hypocrite and liar, will manage to pin the blame for the damage that does to our country and the globe on the Obama administration.

The way Graham assigned blame is telling.  “I have no idea who bears the blame.  I just know the system is broken.  The ultimate blame I think is with the administration”. 

At the risk of sounding slow, those two sentences do not make sense next to one another.  The context is that Graham is saying that he wouldn’t be satisfied with blaming just one person (Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano), and that he’d rather just smear blame all around.  But the fact remains that he does not in fact know where the problem lies, but that he is comfortable scoring cheap political points by throwing around accusations.

Graham went on to say, “The FBI and the CIA are, they have great people but you know we’re going backwards in national security.  Benghazi and Boston to me are examples of us going backward”.  It’s interesting that Graham won’t actually countenance blaming our intelligence agencies (it’s bad politics, after all), although it is almost certainly within or between their own bureaucratic structures that the communication breakdown took place.  Or because fighting “terror” is not a science.  Counter-terrorism as embraced by the U.S. and Graham is, after all, just a question of fighting terror with terror.

I guess the idea is, why do your job and read intelligence reports and try to work out why the chain of command within and between intelligence agencies failed when instead you can get on tv and defame the President and his cabinet (goodness knows these people can be defamed for any number of reasons—and Graham would be guilty on all the same counts given his cosiness with the fanatical neocons)?

Like many of his blowhard colleagues, Graham’s existence is a sanguinary one, and he has hundreds of thousands of lives on his hands.  I wonder why Graham sees an intelligence sharing mistake that allowed one attack to take place as such a catastrophic step backwards and does not feel the same about any of his own mistakes.

Why, for example, would the response to 9/11 not count as a giant step backwards?  Or his decision to back Israeli colonialism with weapons and money and moral support?  Or his decision to authorise the murderous war of aggression in Iraq which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people?  Or his support for the escalation of the war of terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan?  Or the constant drumbeat for war with Iran and Syria that he has kept up for years from his vulturine perch in the Senate?

As if this record isn’t enough, this despicable man is now calling for the sweeping transformation of our legal system to deny U.S. citizens access to representation, and to apply the rules of war at home in the United States.  This creeping logic would suggest that ultimately, the methods of terror adopted abroad—abduction, torture, disappearance, murder, and rendition—could apply here. 

Our nation has a lot of serious problems.  Many of those are in the misconduct of our international relations, and to a varying degree, Lindsey Graham and the worldview he represents are responsible for many of those.  It’s truly pitiful that the best he can come up with by way of addressing these problems is a pathetic, whiny attempt to pin responsibility for the Boston bombings on our President.

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