Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Once again frontline was a killer show last night.
Read the extended transcripts for some amusing anecdotes... such as:

It was a bunch of young kids -- had no experience managing finances -- who
were given the task of running Iraq's budget. It turned out that this group of
kids who had come over together couldn't quite figure out why they'd been
chosen. They finally discovered that what had tied them together was that they
had all applied for jobs at the Heritage Foundation, this conservative think
tank in Washington.

What happened was that the hiring was done by the White House liaison to
the Pentagon, an office of the Pentagon political appointee. This office served
as the gatekeeper. Instead of casting out widely for people with knowledge of
Arabic, knowledge of the Middle East, knowledge of post-conflict reconstruction,
they went after the political loyalists and canvassed the offices of Republic
congressmen, conservative think tanks and other places where they knew they
would find people who would be unfailingly loyal to the president and to the
president's mission in Iraq.

The hiring process involved questions that would have landed a
private-sector employer in jail. They asked people what their views on Roe v.
Wade were, whether they believed in capital punishment. A man of Middle Eastern
descent was asked whether he was Muslim or Christian. People were asked who they voted for for president.

The civilians at the CPA, including many of these young 20-something
Republican loyalists who came, regarded the soldiers as their errand boys --
their drivers, their couriers, their coffee fetchers. We're talking people who
were soldiers in their 40s and people who were majors and colonels being forced
to work for these young kids and being very disrespected.

Iraq gave up the ghost a year ago - so when you see reports from the middle east, take a cue from Clayton Williams and just relax and enjoy it.

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