Saturday, November 04, 2006

Warnings about Web Nuke Plans Ignored

Shades of the summer of 2001. Plenty of pre-9/11 warnings were floating through the system. Some of them even made it to Condi's office and into Bush's vacationing hands. (Condi's job title at the time was, um, National Security Advisor. Bush was still only President, not yet War President. I'm not sure whether he had the title of The Decider at that point. But, title or no, he decided to do nothing.)

Likewise, warnings about the exposure of dangerous nuclear secrets, were sloshing around the bureaucracy.
said scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California last month had protested some of the weapons papers on the site to the National Nuclear Security Administration, an arm of the Department of Energy that runs the nation’s nuclear arms laboratories. The objections “never perked up to senior management,” the official said. “They stayed at the midlevels.
Warnings about two of the most sensitive documents were taken down last month. But the rest remained publicly available until the Times blew the whistle Thursday night. The Times story lists several examples of warning raised and ignored.

The web gambit for captured docs was a calculated and acknowedged risk urged by the chairs of the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence, Pat Roberts (R Kansas) and Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R MI-02), . Roberts is the guy who has been keeping the lid on his Committee's investigation into pre-war intelligence. Hoekstra is the guy who stood next to Sen. Rick Santorum to proclaim they had found Saddam's WMD.

Whatever their impact on the security of the United States, at least their own seats are safe this year. Roberts is not up for re-election until2008. Hoekstra has never polled less than 60% of the vote in his district. This faces, Kimon Kotos, the same Democratic sacrificial lamb this year that he faced in 2004. The vote then was Hoekstra: 225,343 vs. Kotos: 94,040. That's 69.3% vs. 28.9% (the remainder going to third-parties). Kotos is hoping to do better this year. Maybe the GOP meltdown and these new revelations about Hoekstra's role may give him an added boost. But he's not on anyone's radar as a competitive challenger.

Mickeleh's Take: Hoekstra will hold his seat, but lose his chairmanship when the Dems sweep the house. Memo to Rahm (or his successor at the DCCC): recruit strong candidates everywhere.

(Tags: , , , , , )

No comments: