You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

November 14, 2004

Let's Work Together To Make America Incredibly Stupid

Via Bob, here's an extremely encouraging story about the Bush administration and the CIA:

The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources.

Ah, purges. I'm trying to remember... how have purges generally worked out for the country in question? Really well, right?

Among those victimized by the Great Purge were large numbers of experienced Red Army officers and even high-ranking generals. This left the armed forces incompetent and leaderless, and left the country vulnerable to invasion, and may actually have encouraged Hitler and Nazi Germany to launch Operation Barbarossa after they learned of its weakness.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: from the largest superpowers to the smallest schoolboard, the only goal of leaders is to remain in power themselves. They do not care in any way about the well-being of the people they supposedly lead. If making us vulnerable to attack helps them retain their exciting plush executive offices, well, that's a small price to pay.

UPDATE: Chris W. in comments points to this NPR story on the same subject, as well as this post by Phil Carter at Intel-Dump. Carter draws the same promising parallel with Stalin's purges.

Posted at November 14, 2004 11:07 PM | TrackBack

Ah, Jon. The joy of purges.

Purges are wonderful things. Very successful. Purges kept General Pinochet in power all those years in Chile. Purges kept Kim II Sung in power in North Korea (in spite of a war) for 46 years...and continue to do great things for his successors. Purges have formed the basis of the successful regime in Cuba, in China and in Indonesia. Not to mention dozens of other "stable" countries.

I'd like to add that many of those purges occur with complete American support, sometimes in the form of the infamous "blind eye" and sometimes with fine, fine weapons bought directly from the US government.

Now why would America want to export the technique of the efficient pogrom to foreigners if it wasn't good enough for the people at home?

Posted by: Alexis at November 15, 2004 09:04 AM

I, as a reluctant Bush voter, knew this was going to happen. Can you say, "Overreach?" Have the Republicans learned nothing from the Gingrich debacle of 1994-1996? How depressing.

Between the Specter fiasco, the rise of Dr. Dobson, and this sort of crap, the Republicans are quickly going to lose those moderates or independents like me that happened to think that Bush was the lesser of two evils. If Bush and the Republicans ever had a mandate, they've already squandered it. Gee, 13 days. Nice job!

Posted by: Brian at November 15, 2004 09:10 AM