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Monday, October 25, 2004
 
The Wolves Respectfully Disagree (Part II)

The ecological ignorance of the “Wolves” spot is only
the surface of the matter, however. What's even more disturbing are
the “factual” underpinnings of the ad itself.


As Slate magazine points out, the accusation against Kerry
in the ad is most likely related to fallout from a ten-year-old
intelligence scandal — one that involves the blackest of
black-budget agencies in that carnival
of spooks we call US intelligence
:


Here's the background: In the
early-to-mid '90s, the National Reconnaissance Office—the
branch of the U.S. intelligence community that controls spy
satellites—had come
under investigation
for serious financial malfeasance.
The
probe found vast waste, extravagance, and hoarding. In one instance,
the NRO canceled the launching of a highly expensive spy satellite,
didn't tell Congress (or any federal agency) about it, and kept the
money.


So, Congress voted to cut the
budget—not to curtail intelligence operations, but simply to
retrieve money that was never spent.
As I put it at the time,
“[I]t's as if Kerry had once filed for a personal tax
refund—and Bush accused him of raiding the Treasury.”


Another distortion in the “Wolves”
ad: It wasn't just “the liberals in Congress” who voted
for this refund. The sponsor of the Senate amendment that
passed—and it passed without controversy—was Arlen
Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania.


Sheesh. The NRO. Ooh, my head
... when is the hurting going to stop?


So it wasn't Kerry and his pack of “liberal” minions
at all who tried to pop a cap in the intelligence budget, but a
bipartisan panel of affronted Congressmen. And it wasn't anything in
the budget that they wanted to cut out, but rather a massive slush
fund
kicking around the agency for God knows what purpose.


Billions of dollars in unregulated fun-money, a mind-bogglingly
expensive satellite that never gets launched, a massively corrupt and
inbred intelligence circle-jerk exposed ... and Bush makes out that
Kerry's the chump for trying to do something about it.


Then there's the matter of the NRO's record of personal duplicity
in this matter. Consider, for one, that this is the same agency whose
satellites most certainly intercepted all
those pre-9/11 al Qaeda communications
... you know, the ones
that hinted of an attack coming, but never
gave enough detail
for our agencies to actually act on it.


And then remember, for two, that this was same the agency that, in
one of the most startling
coincidences
of the September 11 attack, had actually scheduled
an airplane-collision
drill
for its northern Virginia campus on that very morning.


Add those two points together, and one cannot help but wonder:
what else do those NRO boys have hidden up there in their
Chantilly, Virginia headquarters — squirreled away from the
prying eyes of Congress, the public, or even other federal agencies?



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