Thursday, January 13, 2005

RatherGate vs WMDGate

I think this more or less sums up which of the two evils is greater:

The Poor Man Compare and Contrast

CBS held themselves accountable and let four people go as well as rebuking Rather. What has the Bush Administration done to hold themselves accountable for such a failure? The lack of a post-war invasion plan is criminal.


Bunny said...

Apples and oranges.

Ben said...

The points of interest for both situations are very similar. In both cases senior officials of an organization responsible for disseminating information to the American public relied on faulty sources to make major policy decisions. Whether the use of faulty sources was deliberate in both cases may never truely be known. However, the fact that one of them deals with elected officials, billions of taxpayer dollars, and the lives of thousands of coalition soldiers and countless Iraqis and the other one is just about bad reporting makes it hard to hold the two cases to the same standards of accountability. So I have to agree with Bunny about 'apples to oranges' (our oranges look strikingly red, but they're still oranges).

I disagree with The Poor Man regarding the number of high level resignations that occured as a result of the incidents. Dan Rather had been rumored to be planning on stepping down for some time so I imagine that his resignation would be occuring in the near future regardless of the events of RatherGate. However, I find it interesting that the directors of the FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security, along with the Secretary of State, all people responsible for making Bush's case for War to the American people, have resigned for various reasons in such a short period of time. None of them have cited any reason related to the war because to do wo would incriminate the Bush administration.

As I said before, I don't think that you can use the same standards of accountability to compare the two. What I find troubling, however, is that stricter standards of accountability are being used for the media than for the administration that it reports about.

Ryan said...

You hit the nail on the head at the end, Ben. Who should have standards of accountability that are more strict? A public official that works for the people, or a private corporation?

And I disagree about apples and oranges. Repectively I believe you missed the point. While the numbers obviously don't compare, its the overall message of accountability that is being compared and that is meant to be shown. CBS was accountable, the administration has not been, and probably will not be until their employeers start holding them accountably.

Also, regarding the directors that stepped down are not the ones responsible for making Bush's case for war. The FBI and CIA heads were scapegoats for the faulty intellegence, although there were words of warning regarding the lack of evidence of WMDs. Ridge had nothing to do with making the case for Iraq as his post is purely domestic. Powell, wow, what a disappointment that guy was. He was screwed more than anyone else regarding his opinions not being heard. Who knows why he eventually towed the line, but the reason for his leaving is because of serious differences between his thinking and that of the Administration.

No, all those people left because they were either in the way or were scapegoated. Look who followed them into the posts they left vacant. First, we have Condi Rice, a very loyal person to Bush who stuck with him through the PDB controversy, etc. Historical document my ass. Next we have two turkeys that were nominated for HSD. Kerik went down in a ball of flames for all kinds of different reasons. Not sure about the new guy, don't know anything about him yet. The replacements for both the FBI and CIA have ties to Bush and the Bush family going way back and are both considered loyalists.

In other words, accountability had nothing to do with those heads leaving or better people being promoted. Instead, it has to do with loyalty being promoted in the most secretive administration ever.

And, to wrap this rant up, the one person that should be replaced more than anyone else is Rumsfield. Again, the lack of post-war planning is criminal and unforgivable.

Ben said...

I never said that the people that stepped down were being held accountable, I just said that they likely stepped down as a result of the whole ordeal. Quite to the contrary, they aren't being held accountable for anything, which is the problem.

Ryan said...