Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sullivan Wants Heads

Sully is so shrill:

We're told no heads will roll at today's review of anti-terror policy after the undie-bomber near-miss. Can you imagine any private sector company failing on such a core element of its enterprise and no one being fired?
Me neither. In this, Obama is in danger of becoming Bush. Yes, I understand that fixing the problems is paramount. And I understand the need to find out exactly who failed us and why and how to prevent that in future. And I can see why immediate firings may not be feasible.
But if there is not a period of house-cleaning in which those individuals who failed to do basic due diligence on a case that is close to identical to one that occurred eight years ago, then we will know that Obama is the same old same old.

Same old, same old? Same as Bush? Uh-oh...I smell dissent. I am sure when a failed terror plot by an underwear bomber came to Obama's attention the first thing he thought of was "who am I going to blame for this? Show me some heads!" or even the classic Bushism "Bring them on!" What we have here is President Obama assessing the systematic issues and policies while discovering what steps to enact to prevent further attacks. How is this like Bush in any way? The soap opera interpretation of the moment by Sullivan is aching to a Murdoch and Ailes wet dream. I like Sullivan, he writes at a blog speed pace, infectiously involving the reader to make his points, but this is just plain silly Sully. It reminds me of his pen-crush on Levi "the baby maker" Johnston.

And further, what private sector job is he talking about? The Atlantic? We all know what accountability Sullivan has for himself, so why are we to believe this would be any different?

There was a systematic breakdown from different branches of the government from what we know, so what does he suggest? FIRE SOMEONE!! ARGGHHH!! RAAAGE!! This faux controversy really is embarrassing. From all the years I have worked in the private sector if you have something blow up in your face, you might get a talking to, you might even get a warning, heck you could get a slap on the wrist depending on how many parties are involved, but nothing blew up. Yes, we learned that our airport security is flawed, albeit it is kind of shooting a pebble into space, but who is to blame and whose heads shall roll is really not solving a damned thing.

Sullivan tries to state that he gets it, but he wants it both ways, "And I understand the need to find out exactly who failed us and why and how to prevent that in future. And I can see why immediate firings may not be feasible."

He actually calls this little spat "As usual, no accountability." Sully should hold himself accountable for jumping on the "heads will roll" meme without addressing the underlining problem. This is an entire issue of system, not person or persons, we only need look at ourselves to see where the issues lie. Firing someone won't make up for the gaps in our approach to terrorism, however it is always easier to find a scapegoat.

Rachel Maddow covered the flaws in how America in general is missing the larger context of the Christmas failed attack. I will post it again to end my point.

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sterno said...

Yeah his position on this is just wrong. What he claims he wants is accountability but what he's asking for is a symbolic gesture. It seems that, to Sullivan's mind, if Obama just canned Napolitano, then the problem is solved.

This attitude is part of the problem in DC. There's such a tremendous fear of failure that it prevents our government from being proactive and effective. For example, one of the reasons we did not act against Bin Laden prior to 9/11 was fear of the blow back if the mission was a failure.

The end result is that we have a government that is deeply focused on ass covering rather than good governance. Nobody ever loses their job if they fail to act, but they lose their job every time if they act and fail.

Personally I would be fine with some firings if they make sense, but I'd rather focus attention on finding the problem first. If people are in fear of their jobs they will put their efforts into protecting themselves. On the other hand, if the administration takes more of a truth and reconciliation approach, the odds of them finding the problems and solving them increase dramatically.

By the way, to dispell any possible notion of hypocrisy here, I called for "heckuva job" Brownie to be fired. In that case, a glimpse at his CV made it clear he was not qualified for the job he was in. Napolitano, on the other hand, has the credentials and her only failing was perhaps in how she worded her initial public response to what happened. Frankly I'd be happy with a DHS secretary who's an incompetent public speaker but an effective administrator. So let's give her a chance, eh?

Asian-American Pundit said...

I second that! Well said.