Friday, May 28, 2004

Chickenhawk wingnuts fought the law, and the law won?

The General has blogged previously on the dangerous game the far-right-wing of the Republican Party is playing by directly attacking the US national security state: the military, the CIA and the Congressional oversight structure -- especially the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees in the Senate. Not only is the national security state a cornerstone of any Republican political bloc, but it also has a good deal of autonomous power which it can wield against any who attack it.

In the face of strong resistance from pinheads like Sen. James Inhofe, Sen. John Cornyn, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter and Donald Rumsfeld among a host of others, national security state rock Sen. John Warner (R-VA) is standing his ground.
The silver-haired Virginian with courtly manners is a throwback to a forgotten era of congressional comity. But as he leads the Senate's inquiry into abuse of Iraqi prisoners, Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) also shows another side: a penchant for bucking his party, taking heat and surviving.

Warner says his committee has a "solemn responsibility" to discover what went wrong and to "make sure it never, never happens again."

. . . Warner -- a sailor in World War II, a Marine during the Korean War and secretary of the Navy before he came to the Senate in 1979 -- is motivated by a strong belief that the reputations of both the military and the Senate are at stake unless they get to the bottom of the scandal. "To do otherwise would be contradictory to everything he has experienced in his professional life," said committee member John McCain (R-Ariz.). Besides, McCain added, "it would be incredibly stupid politically."

. . . "Senator Warner is a military guy through and through. He volunteered twice, served in the armed forces twice -- that's twice more than a lot of members," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). . . .

Some see Warner's intervention against [Oliver] North and his outrage over the prisoner abuse as dual reflections of his devotion to the military.

Warner puts it in more personal terms. He went through both undergraduate and law school under the G.I. Bill of Rights and feels he owes the military for everything he has become. "I have a tremendous obligation to the military," he said.
There is no doubt that Warner is a dyed-in-the-wool member of the national security state, and he is defending its authority and legitimacy in the face of those interested in destroying it as an autonomous force within Republican politics.

Who ever thought somebody on the left could be cheering for the representatives of the national security state to win?


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