Sunday, May 21, 2006

Brooks Was Bored

I agree with him 100 %. Even the crack about the lefty blogosphere (because I'm just waiting until all the facts come in, or not).
The Big Sleep - New York Times: "These hearings were the dullest event in the history of the universe since the creation of sedimentary rock. They were the sort of hearings doctors prescribe to patients who have developed nervous disorders from watching paint dry. If God does not exist, then the afterlife will be like an eternal watching of the Hayden hearings.

In fact, in terms of sheer soporificity, they achieved a certain narcoleptic greatness. An interaction among human beings — whose hearts were presumably beating and whose brain waves were presumably functioning — so lacking in normal human arousal deserves a show of respect.

And for this reason, the hearings must be investigated, for their dullness derived from three catatonic streams. It was, to twist the metaphor of a recent book, a perfect calm.
They really were that boring.
The second cause of the dullness was General Hayden's obvious competence. The 19th-century journalist Walter Bagehot noted that the best government is dull. It consists of the regular implementation of minute decisions and requires no lofty appeals to emotion nor deep contentions of mind. By this standard, General Hayden is a public official par excellence.

He brings to the role of senior intelligence official a reassuring relish for epistemology, the ability to talk for seconds that seem like hours on inductive versus deductive reasoning and how an information bureaucracy should be organized. This is surely the cast of mind required atop the C.I.A.

Finally, there was a third tributary contributing to the hearing's catatonic calm, this one more troubling. You would never have known, as the epochs dragged by and the viewers fantasized about spontaneously combusting, that the United States had just suffered cataclysmic intelligence failures, that the C.I.A. was in crisis, that Americans' lives were at risk.
The real injustice, the real crime completely ignored by those in power. The world is laughing at us and the next time we have an incident, very little help or compassion will be offered.

You reap what you sow and the intelligence failures are going to come back to haunt us, hopefully not costing too many Americans their lives. The national psyche is too fragile for that.

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