Saturday, May 28, 2005

Thanks, Dick

Falling upward:
Two Army analysts whose work has been cited as part of a key intelligence failure on Iraq -- the claim that aluminum tubes sought by the Baghdad government were most likely meant for a nuclear weapons program rather than for rockets -- have received job performance awards in each of the past three years, officials said.

This is how bureaucracies function, of course. It’s what they do - reward incompetence and punish original or contrary thinking. Ordinarily there are some brakes on the more egregious examples of this behavior, including IG offices and news coverage such as this article. No more. As it does with everything it gets its mits on, the Bush administration has taken this natural bureaucratic tendency and fine-tuned it in the interests of self-protection.

The Bushies say they're trying to change the federal bureaucratic culture to make it more competitive, more like the private sector. But the White House inclinations toward secrecy, its demands for results based on politics rather than intelligent analysis or science, the stress on loyalty over common sense, and the lack of accountability are damaging the agencies in ways that will last long after Bush leaves office.