IG Report Casts Doubts On New Bush Security Plan; Says Nation “Out of Strategies”
Shortage of Strategy Makers and Bush Administration Wiping Out Inventory Puts Office On Brink Of Crisis
The White House, and the Republican Leaders of the Congress were hit with a major setback this morning, after the Inspector General for the National Strategy Office said that the office “is wiped out of inventory” and that President Bush cannot launch, “by law”, his new National Security Strategy
“There’s nothing left on the shelves,” said John Crane, Assistant Inspector General, from the Department of Defense’s Office of Communications and Congressional Liaison. “The Bush Administration has used everything the NSO had and, actually, is in violation of the law regarding owing the department about five-years worth of strategies.”
For a presentation due today at the U.S. Institute of Peace, by National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley, the White House last night gave advance copies of President Bush’s new, 48-page National Security Strategy to The Washington Post,
Bush’s strategy is less new, and more of an update reaffirming his doctrine of preemptive war against terrorists and hostile states with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
White House In Violation of Law
The National Security Strategy has no legal law behind, but is used by various government agencies and officials as a guide for policies, across a wide range of areas, including military and diplomatic actions.
A 1986 law requires the Administration to revise the strategy annually, to which the Inspector General says the Bush Administration is “clearly in violation of that law.”
The new National Security Strategy released by the White House last night was the first, since 2002.
‘They haven’t filed a new strategy in nearly five-years,” said Crane. “We’re forwarding a report to the Justice Department to see if charges need to be filed.”
Last night, in an interview with The Washington Post, Mr. Hadley began, what is expected to be yet another new strategy, to defend the administration
"I don't think it's a change in strategy. It's an updating of where we are with the strategy, given the time that's passed and the events that have occurred.”
“Being that we haven’t changed our strategy or position, I believe the President feels he doesn’t need to meet that requirement,” added Hadley. “There are measures that cover this, in the Executive Powers section of the Constitution, as we well as the War Powers Congress voted to give the President. He’s well within the limits of the law and I don’t expect we’ll worry about this very much.”
White House Ignored Warnings From NSO
Crane says that the White House ignored warnings from NSO Chiefs, as the President churned out new strategy, after new strategy over the past few months.
A recent audit by the NSO’s Inspector General shows a rush of new strategies, just in the past few months, undertaken by the Bush Administration.
Bushapalooza: Strategy For A Scandal (in the wake of Republican Lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s indictment)
New Media Strategy (in the wake of Vice President Dick Cheney’s shooting)
“The National Strategy Office has suffered in recent years from a shortage of strategy makers,” said Crane. “This has led to the increasing use of outside resources and, I believe, you’ve seen some of that in the results of actions and policies by the White House.”
“We have, repeatedly and often,” added Crane, “cautioned and warned the White House, and Congress, that the NSO was on the brink of a crisis.”
Crane said that if the situation isn’t addressed soon, if new strategies aren’t developed, this will likely be “a strategy debt we’ll be passing on to our children and grandchildren.”
Congress Stunned By Strategy Shortage and May Call For Hearings
As news of the strategy shortage swept across Capital Hill this morning, members of Congress and Senate expressed shock and dismay over the prospects of the nation being without a clear, national strategy.
“I’m very concerned by this,” said Senate Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). “I want to go to my office and review as much videotape on this crisis, before I make any comments for the record.”
“This is another sign of the White House’s irresponsibility,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “Back home, everyone knows, you can’t keep flipping over griddle cakes and not check on how much batter you have ... This President keeps setting the table, put he doesn’t have anything to put on the plate.”
Both the House and Senate Leadership said they are concerned and may call for hearings.
“We’ll have to check first,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader in the House. “If we have to strategize, before we call for hearings, we may be in violation of the law. The President has used up all the strategies, without any consideration to the Congress. I don’t know if we can do it.”
Feingold Feels Now Is The Time For His Censure To Flourish
One senator believes this bombshell of being “strategy-less” is a golden opportunity.
Senator Russ Feingold (R-WI) said that “this is the best thing that could have happened for my Censure Resolution.”
Earlier this week, Feingold introduced the resolution to censure President Bush, for his violation of law in conducting his warrantless NSA Wiretapping program
So far, Feingold has gotten scant support for the measure, with fellow Democrats “cowering” and moving away from it, and Republicans using it to branded the Democrats as unpatriotic and weak on national security.
“Look,’ said Feingold, “it’s already out there, it’s been introduced. We, being the Democrats, can call for a vote on it now. The Republicans can’t strategize on it without being in violation of the law ... If they do, I’ll introduce more censures.”
Name Change For WHIG - Now Becomes WHIIG
White House Spokesman Scott McClellan reiterated Hadley’s comments, saying that “the President is operating, fully, within the scope of the law.”
“We’ve had this vetted by White House council, the Justice Department and, others in the Cabinet and the Department of Defense. President Bush clearly has the authority to launch new strategies, and is protected by the Office of the President and all appropriate Executive Powers.”
McClellan also announced, as an adjunct to the new National Security Strategy, that the White House Iraq Group would be undergoing a name change.
“WHIG is still same, but will now be known as WHIIG – The White House Iraq and Iran Group.”
WHIG is the group of White House staffers, Cabinet Members and other Neocons who launched the marketing aspects of President Bush’s decision to invade and occupy
Those that regular attend WHIG meetings include Chief of Staff Andy Card (who started the group), Special Council to the President Karl Rove, I. Lewis "Scooter: Libby, Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff, special media advisor to the Vice President Mary Matalin, former cabinet member, now World Bank leader Paul Wolfiwitz, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes, and policy advisors James R. Wilkinson and legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio
When pressed by reporters, McClellan admitted that “this isn’t really a big change.”
“I suspect, as we ratchet-up the rhetoric on Iran, we’ll likely use a lot of the same things we used for Iraq – mushroom clouds, WMD’s, fighting them over there ... All the standard fear-raising phrases, making the dire case for immediate action ... So we felt the name should reflect that and we want to keep this group together, versus creating a new group. It’s simply reducing a redundancy, that’s all it is.”
McClellan couldn’t confirm rumors that the Department of Homeland Security will be introducing a new, color-coded chart for Iranian threat.
“I can’t speak to that,” said McClellan, “You’ll have to talk to DHS. My thoughts would be that it is doubtful. The current group of colors we have are working fine ... I don’t see a need to change them ... It may confuse the American people, at time when we will need their support.”
“Likely,” added McClellan, “DHS would have a strategy on this. If they don’t, they may have to wait awhile.”
An Inspector General's report cites that President Bush and his Administration has wiped out the inventory of national strategies