Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The national security state seems to have finally had it with the Bush administration.
Even worse for Rumsfeld and his coterie of neo-conservative true believers who have run the Pentagon for the past 3� years, three major institutions in the Washington power structure have decided that after almost a full presidential term of being treated with contempt and abuse by them, it's payback time.

Those three institutions are: The United States Army, the Central Intelligence Agency and the old, relatively moderate but highly experienced Republican leadership in the United States Senate.
Clearly the Army and the CIA are constituent members of the national security state. The Senate Republicans in question are Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Pat Roberts (R-KS) and John Warner (R-VA). Warner, Roberts and Graham are all on the Senate Armed Services Committee, with Warner being the Chair; Lugar is Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and Hatch the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. All but Hatch are clearly tied into the national security state by their positions in the Senate. Throw in McCain (R-AZ), also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and you have a powerful element of the Bush bloc in outright revolt.

According to Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer,
The first characteristic of a National Security State is that the military is the highest authority. In a National Security State the military not only guarantees the security of the state against all internal and external enemies, it has enough power to determine the overall direction of the society. In a National Security State the military exerts important influence over political, economic, as well as military affairs.
Both through the Iraq war in general and the torture scandal in particular, the Bush administration has violated this cardinal principle of the national security state. First, the "military experts" -- uniformed officers and their non-uniformed supporters in Congress -- were screwed over by a rather small collection of neocon ideologues from outside the national security state. Second, the national security state is clearly enraged that the neocons besmirched their social prestige and honor by dealing with the Abu Ghraib scandal with such obvious political calculation. Now it's time to pay.

Democrats going ga-ga over a Kerry-McCain ticket need to look before they leap. While McCain and the others are clearly serving the short-term interests of anybody interesting in taking Bush down a few dozen pegs, one cannot forget that these Senate Republicans are all core members of the national security state and thus devoted to militarism, secrecy and the power of capital. They may look good enough to flirt with across the room, but do you really want to wake up in the morning next to them?

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