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February 13, 2014

It's Not Our Fault If It's a Perfect Storm!

Whenever elites fail in a gigantic, public way, you can be sure of one thing: it was a "perfect storm," so you can't blame them for what happened.

Edward Snowden's leak of NSA documents was, at least by their standards, a big failure. But as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper explained to Congress on Tuesday, it wasn't their fault because it was a perfect storm:

The director, James R. Clapper Jr., testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Mr. Snowden had taken advantage of a “perfect storm” of security lapses.

Why was there a gigantic financial crisis in 2008? According to the International Monetary Fund's chief economist, you can't blame them because it was a perfect storm:

In short, underestimation of risk, opacity, interconnection, and leverage, all combined to create the perfect (financial) storm.

Why was New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Katrina? According to then-Director of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, you can't blame them because it was a perfect storm:

"That 'perfect storm' of a combination of catastrophes exceeded the foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody's foresight," Chertoff said. He called the disaster "breathtaking in its surprise."

And why did everyone in the U.S. government believe Iraq was teeming with WMD? According to a top U.S. intelligence official, you can't blame them because it was a perfect storm:

[W]as Iraq, as one senior intelligence official told the Commission, a sort of “perfect storm”—a one-time breakdown caused by a rare confluence of events that conspired to create a bad result?

That's four perfect storms in ten years. Man, our elites have the worst luck.

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at February 13, 2014 11:24 AM

If I remember the movie correctly, Clooney and his crew make a bad decision and aim their boat right into the center of the storm.

Posted by: darrelplant at February 13, 2014 01:40 PM

Oh yes,the Perfect Storm......
ACCOUNTABILITY became the victim of Perfect Storm of lies, greed, scapegoating, hubris.......
I could just go on and on and on.....

Posted by: rupa shah at February 13, 2014 05:05 PM

Some things ya can't fix. I'm thinking the NSA (&the "intelligence" community in general) is one of those things. Apparently, when it rains they stand there with their heads back and mouths open, wondering why they're drowning. Snowden/ Manning/ Wikileaks/ et. al. PROVES the "age of government secrets" is dying---Google it!
Before its over WE're going to know EVERYTHING, they won't be able to hide anything.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 13, 2014 09:14 PM

(From the book of Matthew, ch. 27)

But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

Posted by: Lewis at February 14, 2014 12:59 AM

The Iraq War was not a perfect storm, it was and is deceit. Today it is delusion or something, I don't know what to call it but if we can nail this down I really do think we could get Bush behind bars.

Let's all remember that the pre-war intel CANNOT be used as the excuse for starting the Iraq War because the fact of the matter is Saddam allowed the inspectors in and those inspectors searched for months and the intel was disproven BEFORE THE WAR! Yes BEFORE the war it was debunked. Bush claimed Saddam didn't even allow the inspectors in! We must continually point that out! Even when these kinds of facts get a bit of coverage (Like this example I posted in the video description of the video linked below: Bush memoir makes selective use of Iraq data By Walter Pincus Washington Post Staff Writer "Bush left out that Blix later said, "Iraq has on the whole cooperated rather well so far" with inspectors. "The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect and with one exception it has been prompt."), with the mindset of the elites the public narrative is to act like these facts were never reported. The big game being played is that pre-war intel is why Bush "had to attack" Iraq when that is clearly not what happened. Bush is LYING (and almost everyone is going along with it by not pointing it out) about Saddam allowing inspectors in. See this video please about how Bush has repeatedly lied about he very reason for attacking Iraq.

Posted by: Tom Murphy at February 15, 2014 12:53 AM

Tom Murphy: Pelosi took impeachment off the table, (believe me, I called her more than once in the matter, explaining these EXACT SAME points to her staff) Congress IS corrupted over this matter. No charges will be made, nothing is going to happen to Codpiece except he'll just get richer but no smarter.
When the "opposition party" sez its OK, then its OK.
Oh, I suppose History will one day judge OUR village idiot, but that will be LONG after WE are dead and gone. The Zombie, Deadeye, may very well still be around to face charges by then, who knows? Don't look for it in this climate, with THIS Congress, THIS President, THIS Attorney General.
Hell, ask Valerie Plame how it works, how things end up.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at February 15, 2014 05:26 PM

Accountability in the US seems to have begun disappearing [except for the poor and powerless] 8 September 1974 with Ford's pre-conviction pardonning of Nixon. Post conviction I would have a different quarrel with because the system of accountability would have been used against a "king" but pre-conviction pardonning marked a first [that I am aware of] in terms of signalling that the powerful won't be subjected to the system and thus may act with impunity.

Posted by: stevelaudig at February 15, 2014 08:42 PM

Along with "perfect storm" there is the potentially related "no one could have known".

Posted by: Larry Roberts at February 16, 2014 02:46 PM