I’d like to see the Tea Party crowd get angry about this


I saw Lawrence O’Donnell’s The Last Word where the host asked four tea party group members what they would do to cut government spending and make big government smaller.  They all raged on about socialism and wealth distribution, but not one, NOT ONE talked about this kinda’ of government largesse or government  waste.

Nearly 18 billion dollars earmarked for reconstruction in Afghanistan remain unaccounted for, snagged in a “labyrinth” of contract bureaucracy, a sweeping US government audit has shown.The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said 17.7 billion dollars was obligated over three years to nearly 7,000 contractors, but the Pentagon, State Department and US Agency for International Development were unable to say how much money has been spent.

The audit addresses fiscal years 2007 through 2009, but the problems go back to 2002 when the United States began funding Afghan reconstruction, because “much of the data available from the agencies prior to 2007 was too poor to be analyzed,” the report said.

Figures doesn’t it that the government waste they should be talking about occurred during a Republican administration which wasted its taxpayers’ money while giving tax breaks to corporations it was also giving taxpayers’ money to.  Can you spell double dip anyone?

The War On Terror Underscores Big Government Inefficiency


All the fear mongering and brutal imagery of war and terrorism aren’t enough to overshadow the fact that this war is as much a plague on the national identity of America as terrorism itself and the government has hindered not helped nor made safer the public it claims it wants to safeguard.  The recent statistics bear that out; with regards to detainees at Guantanamo Bay, only 15%………15% have withstood the habeas corpus guidelines and remained imprisoned…the remaining 85% have been set free, many times by George W. Bush appointed judges who followed the rule of law and not the whimsical desires of their mentor, a public figure drunk with power and image.  So why do we settle for such inefficiency from our government?  Why do we continue to insist the state pursue a course of action which yields only a bare minimum of results for the price we as a society have had to pay?

Even now we are still arguing whether the “enhanced interrogation” methods of the CIA yielded any actionable intelligence, trusting the word of a bygone administration that has continued to lie about its role in this phony war.  All those on the right clamoring for a restoration of government, should also ask for a restoration of the Law and ask why is the government in times of economic difficulty spending countless amounts of money for enforcements that can’t stand the test of the law?  Does the economic expenditure of a Guantanamo Bay which has perhaps even less than 15% of real terrorist inmates, worth the money it costs the US taxpayer at anytime, but especially now?  Is this what we demand and expect from government, that they run on only 15% efficiency?  Are the continued renditions of prisoner away from the scrutiny of an American judicial system we claim to love, honor, support and fight for worth the emotional, moral and financial price we pay for as a country? Do we still claim to assert that acts of violence against people we detained are not torture and therefore not illegal, when there are other indisputable acts of sound law enforcement and military training which yield better, more actionable results?    Glenn Greenwald in a very good piece on the propensity of some in government to support torture mentions this rather eloquent quote from Thomas Paine which should be noted here.

An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

It doesn’t get much better than that.