Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Blame the messenger

Noah Shachtman writes The Enemy is Me. In his speech on Monday, President Bush decried an L.A. Times article on an undeployed anti-IED system. Noah, who has written about these technologies as well, says:
Folks, that doesn't pass the laugh test. This technology, Ionatron's Joint IED Neutralizer, hasn't even been shipped to the field -- and may never get there. So insurgents are posting instructions on how to beat a device that they've never seen? Based on a few, vague paragraphs in the L.A. Times? Yeah, right.
After years of relatively small investments, the U.S. is spending several billion dollars of our public money to try to stop roadside bombs. 40 American soldiers are dying every month, because of these IEDs. The public has a right to know how that money is being spent, and how those soldiers are being protected. Period. And this attempt to demonize the media for handmade bombs is just a way to keep folks from asking why more wasn't done sooner to deal with the IED threat.
Exactly, and this has been the way things have been for years. The Bush administration would rather blame the messenger than fix the problem. That's why we get them and their allies complaining about press coverage of the civil war slaughter in Iraq, rather than trying to actually, you know, fix it. Government scientists are blamed for pointing out how policies don't have the intended effect, rather than the policy makers having to take

The administration's apologists like to whine about the New York Times revealing the existence of the illegal domestic wiretapping. But the problem isn't that people reported it, the problem is that it was happening.

I could go on, and I'm sure you could too. I recall some discussion of "taking responsibility" back in the 2000 campaign. What ever became of that?