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Report: Spy Gained From FBI Laxity
Being 'Mediocre' Didn't Hold Hanssen Back, Justice Dept. Inspector General Says

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 15, 2003; Page A04

Convicted FBI spy Robert P. Hanssen, who provided U.S. secrets to the Soviets and Russians for more than 20 years, was a reckless and "mediocre agent" who succeeded because of the bureau's poor oversight and lax security, according to a review of the case released yesterday.

The report by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine also found that Hanssen, who compromised some of the United States' most vital intelligence and military secrets, repeatedly advanced on the career ladder despite weak performance, poor management skills and awkward relations with colleagues. One supervisor called him the "strangest person" he had ever encountered at the FBI.

The inspector general's findings, outlined in a 31-page executive summary, appear to differ sharply from previous characterizations by many Justice Department and FBI officials, who had sought to portray Hanssen as a savvy and experienced counterintelligence agent who outwitted pursuers.

Instead, the report depicts Hanssen as an erratic and bumbling spy who managed to avoid capture primarily because the FBI was not paying attention. In fact, Hanssen committed numerous security breaches that went unpunished and, for the most part, unnoticed, including disclosing classified information to a Soviet defector in one case and to the British intelligence service in another, the report said.

"Although Hanssen escaped detection for more than 20 years, this was not because he was a 'master spy,' " the report said. "Hanssen escaped detection not because he was extraordinarily clever and crafty, but because of long-standing systemic problems in the FBI's counterintelligence program and a deeply flawed FBI internal security program."

The inspector general's investigation, which was begun shortly after Hanssen was arrested in February 2001, is the latest in a series of internal and public reviews of the case, which is considered one of the most significant espionage breaches in U.S. history and which prompted an avalanche of promised reforms at the FBI.

Attorney General John D. Ashcroft said in a statement yesterday that "the FBI has already implemented many new measures" aimed at improving security and "has reformed and refined its capabilities to detect and deter those who would betray the United States." FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said, "The FBI has built, and continues to improve, a comprehensive, centralized and forward-looking security program."

But the report found that the FBI has still failed to address many of the systemic problems that allowed Hanssen to spy during five presidential administrations, including a computer system that "remains insecure and vulnerable to misuse."

"Many of the traditional tools of internal security are still not really in place," said Paul G. Gardephe, a former federal prosecutor who led the team that produced yesterday's report. "It's been more than two years since Hanssen was arrested, and the reality is that a lot of this stuff still hasn't been done yet."

FBI officials said a new computer system set to launch in December will vastly improve information security. They also said that numerous other steps -- from the implementation of random polygraphs to the creation of a Security Division -- have significantly increased the chances of detecting espionage and other security breaches.

Hanssen began his spying career in 1979 and is blamed for giving the Soviets information leading to the deaths of three people who spied for the United States in exchange for $600,000 in cash and diamonds and promises for about $800,000 more. He pleaded guilty to espionage charges and was sentenced to life in prison in May 2002.

The summary contains only a small part of the inspector general's report, which took more than two years to complete and totals 674 pages in the most highly classified version. A less sensitive 383-page version has been more widely circulated in the intelligence community. Neither version will be released publicly.

The report's findings are somewhat similar to the conclusions of a commission headed by former FBI and CIA director William H. Webster, which said in April 2002 that Hanssen's success was partly the result of a "pervasive inattention to security." FBI officials said yesterday that an internal damage assessment of Hanssen's activities had been completed, but declined to provide details.

The inspector general's report, based on more than 200 interviews and 368,000 pages of documents, said the FBI repeatedly refused to consider the possibility that one of its employees was responsible for a security breach. After CIA spy Aldrich H. Ames and others were arrested in the early 1990s, authorities in the intelligence community remained convinced that another "mole" must be responsible for serious intelligence losses to the Soviet Union.

In searching for a mole, however, the bureau focused almost exclusively on the CIA, eventually pursuing and -- according to new details released yesterday -- nearly charging an innocent CIA officer, despite top brass's serious doubts. Hanssen's espionage was discovered in late 2000 through an audiotape that many FBI investigators had suspected would include the voice of the CIA officer. Instead, Hanssen's voice was on the tape.

"This report proves what we've been saying all along: that they were wearing their institutional blinders," said John Moustakas, a Washington attorney who represented the wronged CIA officer. "They couldn't conceive of the notion that it could be one of them. . . . All of their spin about Hanssen being a master spy was nonsense to cover up their own incompetence."

During his 25-year FBI career, Hanssen was never given a polygraph test and was the subject of only one cursory background investigation.

Among the security lapses by Hanssen noted in the report was a 1987 incident in which he disclosed classified information to a Soviet defector during a debriefing; a similar unauthorized disclosure to the British intelligence service in the early 1990s; and an incident in which he hacked into the computer system to access Soviet counterintelligence documents, then reported himself under the guise of performing a security check.

Hanssen's brother-in-law, an FBI agent in Chicago, told superiors in 1990 that Hanssen's wife had found an unexplained $5,000 in his dresser drawer; Hanssen's supervisor dismissed a request for action.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), a frequent critic of the FBI, said the Hanssen case demonstrated "arrogance, a lackadaisical attitude about internal security and a mindset that the FBI could not be penetrated."

The inspector general report's authors concluded that "what is needed at the FBI is a wholesale change in mindset and approach to internal security. The FBI must recognize and take steps to account for the fact that FBI employees have committed espionage in the past and will likely do so in the future."
In case any of you apologists for white people forget, didn't Jayson Blair represent the case AGAINST affirmative action?
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Gosh, if you can not see how this is a case of AA for white folk then clearly you are blind. This man is and was a bumbling spy, a reckless and mediocre agent who succeeded because of the bureau's poor oversight and lax security" this really means he succeeded because he was white in an environment where being white is a pass and enough of a reason not to question ones stupidity.

This is where white folk do not get it, the moment a Black man or woman does something stupid his or her action is proof that AA is putting incompetent people in places and positions they do not deserve to be, however when a white person is shown to have been clearly unqualified for the job, no one stops to think that this is white privilege aka AA for white folk at work.

This is clearly a case of AA for white folk.

When our most educated, and best prepared turn their back on our community, stagnation sets in and the men and women who are not the most educated and not the most prepared become the example for those coming behind them. It is up to those of us who are not rich and well off but are educated and prepared to educate our youth and prepare them for what they will face when entering the world.

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
Originally posted by Goshtoire:
Could you elaborate on how this is has anything to do with a secret Affirmative Action for Whites program?

Why do I always seem to attract the ignoramuses?

Let me give you a hint, two court cases in the 1990's affirmed the FACT that blacks have to work twice as hard as whites in order to be "equally qualified". Hows THAT for white affirmative action?
Hey - let's ease up here a bit. In my opinion, Goshtoire asked an honest question and is looking for our frank perspective on the issue. While most whites live their entire lives without ever thinking about issues like this, Goshtoire is here, being honest, and trying to learn something about what we think. I'll never condemn him for that!

There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
Sorry if I was disrespectful, but after reading his misplaced, snarky reply, I couldn't resist. Do I meticulously educate this individual about how whites have advantages over blacks that dare not speak its name, whether it is in employment, criminal justice, social or political? Or do I answer a snarky comment with an equally snarky answer?

I wasn't in the mood tonight, so I chose the latter.
No worries. The crazy thing is that many poorer whites are victimized by "the system" almost as much as blacks are. Things will really change when they start pointing the finger at wealthy whites as opposed to at "minorities". Take George Bush for example. He is commonly known to have been a drag upon society until after the age of 40. He lives off of his family, gets into schools solely based upon family legacy, and is a drunk and a cocaine addict - getting arrested at least three times (along with his wife killing someone in a car accident, and Dick Cheney being arrested for DUI as well Eek ). Despite all of that he tugs on the family coattails, and of course on white priviledge (which is the most powerful societal "lubricant" around!), to get elected governor and then President of the United States. This while poor whites fight day in and day out merely to put food on the table and provide for their families. George skates through life and then when in office sends their sons and daughters to Iraq (George was reportedly AWOL from his military reserve unit) to further line his cronies' pockets (oil companies, Bechtel, Haliburton, etc.) and passes tax breaks for the rich. How many poor (or even middle class) folks are going to benefit from the elimination of taxes on dividends? How about on eliminating the estate tax? Oh yes, I forget about "trickle down economics" Roll Eyes

It's easier to point a finger at blacks and at programs like affirmative action when in reality that's not who is screwing the average white guy. Our constitution was created by and for wealthy white males. If you weren't wealthy you weren't a full citizen; you coldn't even vote. The vestiges of that aristocratic legacy exist today. Black folks aren't taking opportunity away from anyone. Wealthy whites are trying their best to preserve every last ounce of priviledge that they can - even from their less advantaged "cousins".

There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela

[This message was edited by MBM on August 15, 2003 at 09:37 PM.]
The funny thing is that the Bush administration was good in at least ONE respect: they have pushed me to stop thinking about black self-interest and expanded my concerns to the country itself. It would seem counter-intuitive, who wouldn't want angry whites going through the same type of pain and desperations blacks experienced. But as they say, America's headache is black peoples' migrane.
I know that this article is off topic, per se, but it speaks to my last post about the 'class warfare' that Bush is waging against this country. Again, it amazes me how anyone outside of the privileged elite can vote for this guy.

Leave No Millionaire Behind
Driven by hollow political priorities, the Bush administration's disastrous economic policies are undermining our national ideals.

Arthur I. Blaustein
July 21, 2003

The President and his party have cooked up the ultimate recipe for keeping political power. A nation in a constant state of anxiety -- over the thereat of terrorism, or a potential war -- is a nation off balance. And that insecurity is the perfect cover to divert public attention from the country's serious domestic problems and the administration's political agenda.

The "Bush doctrine" opens the door to a series of pre-emptive wars against "evil" regimes, ostensibly to protect the United States and bring security, stability, safety and democracy to the citizens of Damascus, Tehran, and Pyongyang -- as the president claims to be doing in Baghdad and Kabul. Meanwhile, the administration shows little or no concern for the security, stability and safety of the citizens of Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland, or thousands of other cities and small towns across America, who are facing enormous economic and social difficulties.

Just like in the "The Wizard of Oz," when we finally get to see who is operating the smoke-puffing machine, we find a consummate pitchman. In Bush's case, the man behind the screen is a flag-waving, lapel-pin wearing, anti-terrorist fear monger who labels his opponents anti-patriotic. He has done a clever job of manipulating the mass media, but in reality his smooth imagery and charming personality are subtly undermining America's values. While he composes hymns to individualism, Sunday piety, trickle-down economics, and family values, he is trying to gut every program providing for social, economic, and environmental justice. America's families need less pious rhetoric, and more policies geared toward a healthy economy, secure jobs, decent health care, affordable housing, quality public education, renewable energy and a sustainable environment. Bush seems unable -- or unwilling -- to grasp that the government has an important leadership role in this. In fact, the only policy that Bush seems energized by is one of tax giveaways for the rich and for corporate America.

At present, there exists an air of suspended belief over the radical changes of the past two years. That is because the layoffs, shutdowns, cutbacks, and reduced paychecks have been obscured by the events of September 11 and the nation's subsequent focus on terrorist alerts and the Iraq war. But those changes are taking a huge toll. Bush's economic policy, which in turn determines social policy, is much like the iceberg waiting in the path of a steaming Titanic.

Bush does not seem to understand that, while it is not a sin to be born to privilege, it is a sin to spend your life defending it. John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt understood that. They knew the narrowness privilege can breed. This administration, despite its early pledges to provide a policy of "compassionate conservatism" has in fact adopted policies that amount to a war against the poor and the middle class. The tax and budget cuts were not made in order to jumpstart the economy or balance the budget; they were simply massive cash transfers. Social programs are being slashed to pay for tax giveaways for the wealthy and new defense contracts for arms makers who just happen to be big campaign contributors. Moreover, this was accomplished in a policy vacuum. The administration has not provided the American people with a strategic vision as to how this excessive and bloated arms build-up fits into our larger defense, anti-terrorist, or foreign policy. Is it in the national interest to relegate our most precious assets -- our human and natural resources -- to the junk pile while we increase the pace of an arms race where overkill has long been achieved? Do we really need to spend $9 billion on a missile defense system that doesn't work?

Thomas Jefferson warned us that we could be free or ignorant, but not both. We have not taken that warning to heart. We have not had a serious national debate about the Bush administration's policies because the mass media have treated politics -- as well as economic and social policy -- as entertainment: a combination of hype and palliative. The political and economic life of the country has been reduced to little more that a struggle for partisan power, the results not unlike the score of a football game: BUSH WINS AGAIN or SENATE DEMS BEATEN. There seems to be no sense of higher good, no question of national purpose, no hope for critical judgment. Hype has impoverished our political debate, undermining the very idea that public discourse can be educational and edifying -- or that national public policy can grow out of reflective discussion and shared political values. We have sought simplistic answers to complex problems without even beginning to comprehend our loss.

Which brings us to the difficult and complex issue of the inter-relationship between America's economic and social policy, and how these policies are shaped by politics in Washington. A fundamental assumption underlies the administration's domestic approach -- an assumption so ill-conceived that it seriously jeopardizes any prospects for solving our nation's pressing domestic needs. It is the illusion that economic policy can be separated from social policy.

This is impossible, and the consequences of believing it are grave. By separating economic theory from social policy, and by pursuing the former at the expense of the latter, the administration has adopted a strategy of brinkmanship that could lead to social disaster. The drastic cuts being made in basic social and human service programs will exact painful and immediate social and human costs, and they will also appear as direct financial costs -- in terms of illiteracy, incarceration, and ill-health, among others -- at future times in different ledgers.

The administration's contention that renewed economic growth as a consequence of tax cuts for the rich will eventually "trickle down" to the poor flies in the face of everything we know about poverty today. The best research indicates the opposite. Growth in the private economy has had a declining role in reducing poverty, and virtually all of the reduction in poverty since the mid-1960s has been brought about by the expansion of national social insurance and income-transfer programs of the kind now under attack by the Bush administration.

In addition to the massive tax cuts, the administration proposes to privatize or turn over to the states vast portions of the nation's social, education, housing and health programs -- a move that amounts to reneging on our social and moral commitments as a nation. The real issue is not public versus private or federal versus state; rather, it is the diminution or avoidance of any national standards of responsibility and accountability. Worse than that, Mr. Bush seems to be denying that this responsibility even exists. Successful and effective national programs are being replaced with an inequitable, inconsistent patchwork of systems run by states -- a patchwork that is restrictively financed, more bureaucratic, less accountable, and subject to intense local, political, and fiscal pressures. Instead of the more efficient government that Bush promises, we will have fifty bureaucratic and anachronistic messes: government by provisional catastrophe. The question becomes whether basic human services will be provided at all.

For true conservatives, the ideological implications behind Bush's economic policies must be disturbing, in that they depart from the genuine conservative philosophies that have played such an important role in American history. Historically, conservatives have not promised lower taxes or economic privatism. Traditionally, conservative leaders have focused on the underlying problems of the human community -- issues of leadership, of equality of opportunity, of continuity and order, of the obligations of the strong to the weak, and of the safeguards needed to keep the privileged from abusing their power.

By contrast, the Bush administration encourages us to revert to our basest inclinations: Look out for number one; write off those who can't make it as shiftless, a drag on the economy. Our moral decline deepens as we condone the sheer political power of special and self-serving private economic interests -- wealthy campaign contributors and corporate powers -- over the legitimate moral authority that represents our nation's best public interests. Rather than opportunity, equality, justice, and vitality, the Bush prescription for economic stimulus amounts to inequality, economic cronyism, and acquiescence. People programs are out and tax avoidance schemes are in. Human needs are made subordinated to political and technical arrogance.

Recently, I took the opportunity to reread Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and the Federalist Papers, and recalled that our founding fathers were well aware that politics and economics were interrelated faces of power, each necessitating its own checks and balances. What impressed me most, though, was their mature leadership, one that was based on a genuine commitment to the struggle for social, political, and environmental justice as well as economic opportunity. A commitment to this sense of public interest is just as important today.

Only those people have a future, and only those people can be called humane and historic, who have an intuitive sense of what is significant in both their national and public institutions, and who value them. It is this conviction and the continuing belief in the common-sense vision of the American promise that demand that we begin a serious national dialogue over our country's economic and social policies. The Bush administration's radical and dangerous changes have occurred without any serious national debate. Mr. Bush seems to think that his electoral "mandate," as suspect as it was, has changed our government from a representative democracy to economic royalism.

The Bush economic policies -- and the overtly antisocial political priorities driving them -- are not based on a commitment to any high principles such as freedom, liberty, equality, justice, or opportunity, although such pieties are mouthed at the swivel of a camera. The administration's policies instead are based on the very narrow personal prejudices and biases of a group of men who have been motivated by the acquisition of money and power. Bush and Cheney have constructed a hypothesis to fit a simple notion: "The plutocracy is good to me, so I'll be good to the plutocracy."

For the past two years I have listened carefully to the President, his chief advisors, and the neo-conservative right. All of it has reminded me of a passage in The Heart of Darkness. Joseph Conrad put it this way:

"Their talk was the talk of sordid buccaneers: it was reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage; there was not an atom of foresight... in the whole batch of them, and they did not seem aware these things are wanted for the work of the world."
Conrad's words capture the radical frenzy in Washington; they reflect the mood and the moral nullity of the reactionary enterprise that seeks to tear apart the public good. The Bush administration just doesn't get it. No country can sustain itself, much less grow, on a fare of smooth one-liners, rerun ideas, hot-house theories, paranoia, and official policy pronouncements borrowed from Orwell's 1984; where recession is recovery, war is peace and a social policy based on aggressive hostility is compassion.

Arthur I. Blaustein is a professor of economic and social policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was chair of the President's National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity during the Carter Administration. His most recent books are Make a Difference and The American Promise: Justice and Opportunity.

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This article has been made possible by the Foundation for National Progress, the Investigative Fund of Mother Jones, and gifts from generous readers like you.

© 2003 The Foundation for National Progress

There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
As long as we are illuminating how the Bush cabal is minting the hard coin of the public trust into the debased currency of their personal ambition. . .
Attempted robbery with a loaded federal budget

By Thomas Frank
Harper's Magazine
Jun2003, Vol. 306, Issue 1837

The Bush Administration's proposed budget for 2004 fills five phone
book--size volumes; it is 2,866 pages long. The list of authors alone runs
to hundreds of names, arranged alphabetically, occupying four pages of
four columns each. The UPS man who delivered my copy had to carry it on
his shoulder, puffing as he climbed three flights of stairs. When he
plunked it down on the floor of my apartment, the dishes rattled in the

The five-volume budget set includes a book of precise details in
microscopic type, a book of tables showing how much was spent on the
various programs over the years, a book of hints for unlucky staffers who
have been assigned to think about matters budgetary, and a main volume--a
reader-friendly book featuring a continuous prose narrative, full-color
pictures of your government in action, items of interest set off in
attractively typeset boxes, and a reassuring abundance of the familiar
phrases of bureaucracy: "homeland," "stewardship," "caregiver."
"Transition" gets used a lot as a verb.

I don't have too much of a problem with the budget's desk-crushing backup
volumes. I find it kind of interesting to read seven pages of tables
detailing highway expenditures from 1940 to the present. It's the part of
the budget I'm supposed to like that I really can't stand.

Let me upgrade that remark: The 2004 budget is toxic. It is an epic of
distortion and evasion and contradiction and misleading rhetorical ploys.
The object of this malodorous epic is to outline the Bush Administration's
plan for plunging the nation from surplus into deficit and to cast the
blame for the ensuing disaster on the very people--the retired, the sick,
the poor--who will feel the brunt of its effects. Whether Congress alters
this budget, reduces its tax cuts, or rejects it altogether is beside the
point. This document we will have always with us, an indelible reminder of
what the Bush team would do if they possibly could.

There is nothing inherently wrong with deficits, even massive ones, as a
tool of state policy. In wars and recessions it is right and even proper
for the federal government to spend more than it takes in, so as to ensure
that resources continue to flow to consumers and to those hardest hit, and
thus stimulate the economy. The 2004 budget is not concerned with any of
that. Here war and recession are merely pretexts for getting the crudest
social trends of the last twenty years moving again. This deficit is
designed to enrich those at the very top of the social pyramid while
cutting services for those lower down. This is not cyclical Keynesianism.
This is not a helpful or even a merely benign program of deficit spending.
It is a blueprint for sabotage. It is an instruction manual for how to
power up a complicated machine and dash it headlong into a stone wall.

After which the president will turn to us and say, See? I told you big
government doesn't work."

We know he will say this, because his budget pretty much says it now. In
the early days of his administration, George Bush was hailed as the "CEO
president," an M.B.A.-bearing true believer who would put management
theory into practice. This was thought to mean that he was a practical man
who would make things work smoothly, just like they supposedly do in a
corporation. What such interpretations overlooked was that management
theory holds government to be a uniquely depraved social actor.

M.B.A.-speak is intertwined with contempt for government throughout the
2004 budget. A preliminary chapter called "Governing with Accountability,"
for example, simply heaps blame on federal shoulders. When corporate
scoundrels are accused of wrongdoing, of course, they try to defend
themselves, or at least take the Fifth; here the White House can be seen
confessing, on behalf of previous administrations and, indeed, the entire
federal workforce, to just about anything you care to think of. "Federal
agencies," for example, are said to be so out of touch that they have "not
managed themselves well enough to know whether they had the right people
with the right skills to do their work." Among federal workers "pay and
performance are generally unrelated," which is apparently not a problem in
the private sector. Another chapter spreads the blame to federal efforts
generally, lamenting that "in most cases, we do not know what we are
getting for our money." This in turn is said to be a failing of "the
Washington mentality," which "has wasted untold billions of dollars..."
The books tell of gaping loopholes in the Social Security system,
credit-card abuse by federal employees, and preposterous agricultural
price supports, all of these problems flowing together to give the overall
impression that government is simply a gigantic boondoggle.

When government is relieved of its duties by the private sector, though,
the narrative turns chirpy and upbeat. Indeed, the highlight of the budget
is meant to be the administration's proposal that every single federal
operation embrace a little M.B.A. magic: outsourcing, merit pay, the
setting up of websites. Congratulation is due whenever a department
manages to toss a bone to the private sector, such as the construction of
housing on Army bases or even the taking of bids on the printing of the
budget itself, which is such a big deal that it receives its own brag box
on page 39. It is surely not a coincidence that the Department of Defense,
one of the only departments Dubya likes enough to increase its funding, is
flattered on the very first page of its chapter by being compared to a
"large corporation." Call it Regime Change, Inc.

That there might also be waste and inefficiency and even fraud in the
private sector is a topic the budget chooses to ignore, just as the
National Energy Policy, developed by Vice President Dick Cheney in
consultation with a cabal of energy executives, refused to acknowledge
that electricity problems in California were caused by corporations gaming
the system. In the case of the Department of Defense, that organization so
like a "large corporation," the problem of private pork is known to be
particularly severe. But although the budget tells proudly of a Navy base
that has found a way to save on heating bills, the epidemic of
mismanagement at defense contractors and the enormous divide between pay
and performance all across the private sector are neither described nor
criticized, Nor is market manipulation by electricity traders, though it
cost the government immense sums. Nor is cherry-picking by the HMOs, into
which this budget wants to push even more Medicare recipients. Nor are the
disastrous conflicts of interest on Wall Street, even though one of the
supplementary budget volumes suggests that Wall Street is a good place for
our Social Security savings. Nor are the practices of the oil companies
that the budget proposes to turn loose on the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge and, soon enough, on Iraq. That waste and inefficiency is just not
up for debate.

Much of the press commentary on this budget has focused on the deficits
into which it proposes to plunge us. The budget's authors have, of course,
anticipated this reaction. That surplus for which everyone pines was, we
are helpfully informed, nothing more than a "revenue bubble" propelled by
a bull market that was "already in the process of popping" when the
businessman president took office. Although it is obviously true that the
booming stock market pumped up tax receipts, and although it was foolish
for anyone to count on those inflated tax receipts continuing into the
future, to call the surplus a "bubble" is to confuse the issue. In
ordinary usage, a "bubble" is a pitfall of the private sector, a situation
in which prices are driven to unsustainable heights by collective
fantasies of stupendous future profits. A bubble is a swindle--you know,
like the NASDAQ. Here the term is simply used to imply that the surplus
was doomed all along and that the current administration, unlike its
predecessor, is in no way to blame for its disappearance. Those tax cuts
enacted two years ago? They did not cause the deficit. The budget would
have been in deficit anyway because of falling revenues after the
stock-market crash. Tax cuts, therefore, aren't important. Slam door, walk

What this fails to consider is that the deficit is worse, is more bad,
than it otherwise would have been had those tax cuts not been enacted.(A)
What this further fails to consider are the deficits going forward, which
the budget expects to get bigger as we begin to feel the effects of the
mammoth new tax cuts that are proposed only four pages earlier in this
selfsame document.

But no. "The Real Fiscal Danger," the budget tells us in a chapter of that
title, is Social Security and Medicare. When you cut rich people's taxes,
no harm can possibly come. When you offer insurance for the average per
son's health care and retirement, however, you're playing with fire. The
Bush Administration has already distinguished itself by the lengths to
which it will go to libel Social Security--its handpicked commission on
privatizing the program actually implied that it was somehow racist--but
here the administration outdoes itself in cynical innuendo. The budget
implies that these programs are in such staggering ill repair that they
may in fact be responsible for the overall deficit. Here is a sentence
that actually occurs on page 31 of the main volume of the 2004 federal

But in 2002 the combined shortfall in Social Security and Medicare of
nearly $18 trillion was about five times as large as today's publicly held
national debt.

An eighteen trillion dollar shortfall! Frightening, is it not? Until you
read further and realize that, in fact, both programs are today in
surplus, that Social Security will remain in surplus for fourteen years to
come (it will be able to function on the money in its Trust Fund until
2042),(B) and that the $18 trillion figure is a cumulative
seventy-five-year estimate based on extreme long-term projections that
will probably turn out to bear as much resemblance to reality then as the
Futurama exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair does to our reality today. None
of this is admitted, however, until the chapter is nearly over, even
though the mind-bending $18 trillion number has already been unleashed to
do its terrifying work on the very first page. The chapter also includes a
boxed heart attack headed "What Does $18 Trillion Mean To You?" which
invites the reader to believe that in order to pay for Social Security and
Medicare "the federal government would have to confiscate almost half of
all household wealth..."

This is irresponsible even on the budget's own terms. In the preceding
chapter, the one about deficits, the authors had insisted that federal
budgets need only look ahead five years (rather than ten, which had been
the previous standard), on the grounds that longer-term forecasts vary so
much they are largely worthless. But not if those forecasts might help to
impugn Social Security and Medicare! When that is the object, it seems, no
technique, however inconsistent or speculative or fanciful or simply
wrong, is out of bounds.

By the terms of normal human interaction, this stuff is so dishonest it's
well-nigh Enronian. According to one economist I talked to, the $18
trillion number is so groundless that it can have been introduced here
only in order to panic and deceive. It is a transparent effort to redirect
the blame for the massive cuts in government spending that Bush's tax cut
will necessitate. And, one might add, to come up with some figure that
might rival the actual, present-day, real-world destruction of more than
$7 trillion of household wealth by the collapse of the stock market--the
very place, as it happens, that this administration would rather we put
our Social Security money.

Medicare's share of the imaginary $18 trillion is $13 trillion. No one
denies that the system is in trouble; health-care costs in America have
been out of control for years, soaring above what they are in every other
industrialized country, even those that are healthier than we are, even
those with socialized medicine. To arrive at its frightening number, the
administration projects that this situation will continue and even worsen,
with health-care costs ascending at such a rate that they will eventually
wreck the entire economy, private sector and all. For normal readers, this
prediction is as shattering an indictment of the free-market way as
anything ever dreamed up by Eugene Debs. But in keeping with their general
belief in the infallibility of markets, the authors of the budget offer no
plan for restraining health-care costs, as is done in so many other
countries. They take it for granted that all we will care about as the
world goes to managed-care hell is this one shocking number, the tab the
taxpayer might have to pay, fished up from who knows where and manipulated
to imply that the basic idea of social insurance is somehow to blame.

For Social Security that one shocking number is given as $4.6 trillion.
The budget asks the reader to imagine this A-bomb of a number, piled up
over the next seventy-five years, as though some cosmic collection agency
were phoning us night and day demanding we cough it up right now. This is
like those pro-abstinence posters that tried to convince us that since the
total amount a parent spends on a child over the course of the child's
life is something like $100,000, we shouldn't even contemplate having a
kid until we'd saved the hundred grand. Consider also that seventy-five
years from now the United States will be a much richer country than it
currently is; asking us to pay off a debt today from that bigger,
wealthier nation of 2078 is sort of like asking Haiti to pay off France's

In truth the only way to understand projected future public debt is as a
percentage of projected future economic output. Economist Dean Baker of
the Center for Economic Policy Research points out that over the same
seventy-five-year horizon gross domestic product is also expected to grow,
keeping the Social Security shortfall at less than one percent of future
GDP. Measured this way, Baker continues, the $75 billion that President
Bush requested from Congress in April to pay for the war in Iraq is
"bigger, relative to GDP, than the amount of money needed to make Social
Security fully solvent for the next seventy-five years."

Even if you accept the administration's wildly pessimistic view of Social
Security's future, the problem is dwarfed by the size of the
administration's tax cuts. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
estimates that this budget's proposed tax cuts, added to those of 2001,
will, over the course of seventy-five years, outweigh Social Security's
estimated long-term shortfall by a factor of three. Take into
consideration who will benefit from each policy choice--fund Social
Security, help out the average American; go ahead with the tax cuts, help
out the very wealthiest stratum of society--and it is clear that what is
being proposed here is an historic reconfiguration of the machinery of
government to serve the rich rather than the poor or even the middle

The real problem with Social Security, of course, is that it is a popular
and successful program. Its existence confirms that there are economic
functions better served by government than by business, and as such it
provides a foundation for the activist government that pro-business
conservatives like the current president have dedicated their lives to

The title that the budget's authors chose to put on the chapter
introducing the administration's proposed tax cuts is "For Everyone
Willing to Work, a Job." Willingness to work has nothing to do with it,
though. To receive the stock dividends that the chapter proposes to make
tax-free you don't even have to get out of bed in the morning. Dividends
merely require that you have excess money lying around. This budget is the
administration's way of showing its support for a population of
unproductive freeloaders, as long as they're rich freeloaders.

The rest of us have to work, of course. And as recent headlines confirm,
work is becoming scarcer by the day. Hence, I suppose, the chapter's oddly
socialist-sounding title. But there is, of course, no full-employment
program offered here. In fact, jobs also have nothing to do with what the
chapter proposes, except as a hoped-for by-product of the torrential
economic activity meant to flow from the dividend windfall for the idle
rich. A more accurate title would have been "For Everyone Who Has a
Million Dollars, Some More."

For all the media attention that has been paid to the administration's tax
package, the budget itself gives the subject surprisingly short shrift.
The tax-cut chapter is only four pages long, the figures that it presents
are apparently unrelated to those being used by the media, and the
breakdown of who will benefit from the tax cuts is as predictably
misleading as everything else in this feculent document, proceeding by age
group and marital status rather than by the more obvious and useful
category of income.

This is unfortunate, at least from a literary standpoint. The tax cut is
by far the most daring and controversial and hence interesting aspect of
the 2004 budget; if passed by Congress, it would surely be the golden
cross on which federal budgets for years to come were crucified. And yet
these five volumes and countless words of text give us almost no idea of
what the tax cut actually looks like.

So let's put a face on it. The genius of the administration's new tax-cut
plan is that it balloons over time as different tax cuts kick in. Passing
it now would take only $40 billion or so out of the federal revenues, but
by the year 2013 it will have rolled up a total cost, according to the
Citizens for Tax Justice, of nearly $2 trillion, including interest. Add
to that the $1.6 trillion in lost revenue that will eventually result from
the 2001 tax cut, and you can see the vague outlines of the vise in which
legislators ten years from now will find themselves squeezed.

Who will benefit from this? According to the administration, we all will;
people in the highest income brackets are only the immediate
beneficiaries. In fact, 77 percent of this year's tax cuts will go to
society's richest 20 percent. Fully 32 percent of the total tax cuts this
year will go to society's richest 1 percent. While the average person will
get a tax cut of $289 in 2003, people who take in more than a million
dollars a year will get tax cuts of more than $30,000 each. Ironically,
these are the same people who benefited from the great bull market of the
1990s, as well as from the great bull market of the 1980s. The bull may
have exhausted himself now, but with George W. Bush taking up the slack
these same folks are going to get their third up-decade in a row.

Just imagine how the president's writers might have illustrated this
aspect of the budget. Rather than photos of impoverished children getting
school lunches and handicapped people working in a garden, the documents
might have included pictures of high-income Americans posing proudly on
their new sailboat, or pointing to the gleaming copper gutters they've had
installed on their suburban manse, or sharing a laugh with the eager young
staff of the rule-breaking libertarian magazine they've endowed. We could
gawk at their titanium tree house designed by Frank Gehry, their Turnbull
& Asser ties, their friend the congressman, their trip through Indochina
on a sedan chair.

Think also of the drama lurking on the other side of the ledger. One of
the reasons the Bush people love tax cuts is that tax cuts defund
government--but gradually and indirectly, allowing plenty of time for
blame evasion later. Although it may not look like much now, this tax cut
is a time bomb planted in the heart of activist government: as it grows,
the whopping giveaway to the rich will compel massive cuts in government
spending somewhere down the road. Imagine as all the deficit-reduction
battles of the early nineties are fought all over again, only with much
greater stakes. Imagine the look of dawning desperation on those
politicians' faces as they begin to understand Bush's masterful fait
accompli. Like the U.N. delegates Bush has similarly outmaneuvered, they
will vote and speechify in vain. The public will laugh at their impotence.
And then will come the moment of hard truth. On whom will death set his
fateful hand? Who will be defunded? Maybe it will be Head Start. Or
Medicaid. Or Food Stamps. Or perhaps the windbags in D.C. will accede at
long last to the administration's desires and do the only thing that will
rescue them from this elegant trap--gut Social Security.

Cutting the taxes of the wealthy while heaping calumny on Social Security
and Medicare for not having enough money in the bank might seem to many
readers like a perverse way of doing things, but through the prism of
management thought it makes perfect sense. After all, the Bush plan
certainly does "build shareholder value," doesn't it? And it rewards top
management in the manner to which they are most decidedly accustomed.
Everyone knows that to attract and retain top talent you have to offer top
compensation packages.

Consider also how the 2004 budget deals with labor, the chronic buzz-kill
of the M.B.A. world. In the spirit of such classic market-model solutions
as medical savings accounts and school vouchers, it unveils what it calls
"Personal Re-employment Accounts" (PRAs), a bold new program that may
someday supplant traditional unemployment insurance altogether. The budget
describes our existing unemployment system as "an unwieldy relic," mainly
because it relies on taxes levied on the worker's former employer, and
because "employers complain that their federal unemployment taxes are too
high." Awww. PRAs, on the other hand, will provide the unemployed worker
with a fixed sum of money (up to $3,000, apparently regardless of the
worker's expenses or previous state of employment), doled out to her in
installments while she remains unemployed, the balance deliverable as soon
as she finds work. The PRA is thus supposed to give the worker--get
this--an incentive to find a job. Evidently that's what's lacking in these
recessionary times: the will of workers to get off their ass and stop
being poor.

Imagine how an observer who is utterly innocent of American ways might
respond to this. "Won't this incentive business simply be negated by the
above-described dividend business?" they might ask. "Won't those
unemployed workers simply fall back on their newly tax-free dividends and
continue their lazy ways?" Imagine how the room would fall silent and
everyone would blush at the stranger's naïveté, how some thoughtful
Bushite would take him aside and explain to him that we have, in America,
something called social class. The policies aren't contradictory, since
the people who receive unemployment and the people who receive dividends
come from very, very different groups. Handouts are okay for the rich, who
own most of the stock, but workers--well, workers need to learn

The groups that claim to represent workers need to be taught a lesson,
too. Just as Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao recently took the opportunity
of addressing the AFL-CIO's annual meeting to read aloud from a list of
union-related crimes, the budget for the Department of Labor proposes,
under the heading "Standing Up for the Rights of Union Members," to
increase the budget for investigating and prosecuting unions. "Cracking
Down on Labor Racketeering," as the budget puts it, might be of some
benefit, but it is by no means a burning requirement of the moment. (Did
unions destroy the NASDAQ?) The notion's prominent place in the budget is
yet another blame-dispersal device, this one lifted from the playbook of
the auto industry: whatever goes wrong, blame the unions. In the meantime,
the initiative will impose costs on innocent unions as well as villainous
ones, and is thus a clear signal of where the administration's sympathies
lie. The Labor Department budget is getting smaller, remember, not bigger,
and while the dollars flow for down-cracking, other programs from the days
when unions had a say in how the country was run are simply being

Every kid growing up in Kansas in the seventies knew, as I did, that the
Republicans were the party of sound government. Whereas Democrats
practiced a degraded politics of tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and
elect, Republicans were upright men who stood for balanced budgets and
deplored the dalliance with deficits in which the country had engaged
since the 1930s. Republicans were insiders, responsible businessmen,
people with a personal stake in the fiscal probity of our public

Now all that stuff sounds like the quaint idealism of youth, something
akin to my Boy Scout faith that the United States would never strike first
in a war. To believe either today you'd have to have spent a long time on
another planet.

There still are honorable, balanced-budget Republicans, of course. But the
dominant, conservative strain of the party's thought and rhetoric has gone
way beyond probity. Today the GOP is not the responsible government party;
it is the antigovernment party.

"Government is not the solution to our problem," Ronald Reagan famously
said in his first inaugural address. "Government is the problem." Today
the phrase reverberates across the years, echoed by a mighty chorus:
Limbaugh, Coulter, Liddy, North, O'Reilly, Hannity; Fox News, Conrad
Black,; Gingrich, Barr, DeLay; Hayworth, Gramm, Santorum.
Yesterday's far right is today's mainstream, and the belief that
government is merely misguided has given way to the belief that government
is unredeemable; that the liberals who staff it are elitist, un-American,
treasonable. Talk to the average Kansan about politics today and you will
find that he despises the federal government the way one would despise a
colonial tyrant. He believes it has nothing to offer him, despite the fact
that it paid for his college education and has subsidized his way of life
with agricultural price supports. He imagines that by writing
government-hating emails on some listserv, he is participating in a noble
brotherhood of revolutionary patriots not unlike the Founding Fathers.

Much of the GOP's most spectacular initiatives over the last ten years
seem to have been designed less to accomplish some overt object than to
throw a wrench into the works of this despised institution. Conservatives
turn a budget debate into a crusade to shut the government down. They
paralyze the executive branch with harassing investigations and
impeachment proceedings. They joke about assassinating a Democratic
president. They fantasize about abolishing entire departments. They cut
the wages of federal workers. They dream up ways to make the tax code bear
more heavily on the poor, in order to turn the poor against government and
"get [their] blood boiling with tax rage," as the Wall Street Journal
recently put it.(C) They suggest that they might default on government
bonds. They "strengthen" Social Security by making it appear weaker. Even
Republican blunders such as Watergate wind up reinforcing their message:
You just can't trust government!

Reckless, massive deficits have become, since Reagan, the signature
gesture of Republican administrations. The goal is not so much to prime
the economic pump, as in the liberals' beloved Keynesian theory, but to
break it. And along the way, to do unto the despised liberals as the
conservatives believe the liberals have done unto them for decades.
Traditional deficit spending, according to conservative dogma,
redistributes the hard-earned wealth of real Americans down into the
pockets of liberalism's contemptible constituents. Republican deficit
spending, by contrast, reverses this flow and redistributes wealth upward,
into the bank accounts of their people.

That's the goal it you believe this has all been thought through. It seems
equally likely that this budget document, in both its juvenile rhetorical
tricks and its idiotic plans for the nation, is merely supposed to teach
us a lesson in how badly government can misbehave. Conservatives know that
what will be discredited as we slide toward the inevitable reckoning is
not the Republican Party but deficit spending, the whole hated concept of
an interventionist government.

Historians often describe the New Deal of the 1930s as an effort to save
capitalism from itself. Maybe that's what the policies of the Bush
Administration are, too, coming as they do after a systemic crisis that in
many ways resembles that of 1929-33. The technique, however, is different.
The Bush team seems bent on so battering and stigmatizing the only
institution capable of policing capitalism that we will be left with no
practical alternative. They will fritter away the surplus. They will
squander the goodwill of the world. They will jam the locomotive into
reverse, toss something heavy on the throttle, and jump for it.

In 1981 the conservative thinker George Gilder published Wealth and
Poverty, a fire-breathing damnation of government's interference with
capitalism that inspired the Reagan Administration's own strategy of
deficit-inducing tax cuts. Twenty-two years later, Gilder is still
hammering away at the villainy of government, though the particulars of
the indictment have changed a little. Today it's all about "trust," a
property the private sector is said to possess in great abundance but that
government lacks. In a free market, Gilder asserts in the December issue
of Forbes magazine, "the truth will out in a relatively short time," and
the laws of nature will see to it that those who have abused our trust
will face the consequences. Weaselly, unaccountable government, however,
screws up everything that it touches--naturally, Gilder finds malevolent
significance in the term "antitrust"--and the moral gulf between
government and the pursuit of private profit strikes Gilder as so vast
that he "trust[s] Kenneth Lay of Enron and Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom"
even more than he trusts Justices Rehnquist and Scalia.

Gilder apparently has much to teach us about the ways in which trust and
accountability work in America circa 2003. After writing speeches for
Reagan, he became a freelance prophet of Silicon Valley, discovering that
the microchip agreed with Reagan in many important respects. He was a
one-man Wired magazine, with heavy religious overtones: constructing a
virtual theology of what he called the "telecosm," worshiping at the
shrine of the entrepreneur, becoming a superstar stock picker. And he bore
as much responsibility for puffing the "New Economy" bubble as anyone in

Today the telecoms have imploded, and Gilder's portfolio of tech-stock
picks, the subject of journalistic awe three years ago, has lost more than
90 percent of its peak value. If you trusted Gilder, you would be sorry
now. Yet here he is, like those CEOs who walk away with millions while
their companies die, still at it, inveighing against government in the
pages of Forbes, proclaiming that the only way to react to the economic
downturn he insists capitalism didn't cause is by doing absolutely
nothing, by letting the market enforce its trust laws in its own
mysterious way. Were one not struck speechless by the self-serving
audacity of Gilder's arguments, one might respond that his own continuing
prominence rather neatly disproves the whole accountability myth.

Gilder is able to soldier on because the fantasy world he imagines in such
vivid colors--that perfect libertarian universe in which markets work
flawlessly and the blame for anything that goes wrong can be neatly
outsourced to government--is one in which the very, very wealthy dearly
like to believe. In March, I attended one of Gilder's high-tech business
conferences, this one having to do with what he calls "Storewidth." The
high point of the gathering was not the technical presentations, even with
their projections of amazing entrepreneurship to come; it was a political
stem-winder delivered by Gilder's friend and patron Steve Forbes, the
publisher and onetime presidential candidate.

Naturally the Bush tax plan was prominent in Forbes's thoughts. In fact,
he was ecstatic about the prospects, calling the elimination of the
dividends tax a "step forward to the flat tax," his own pet idea for
enriching the rich. With those who complain about the return of deficits
Forbes had no patience at all, since obviously the federal shortfalls
would quickly be made good by the economic growth that the tax cuts would
surely unleash. The doubters, he went on, were motivated by a congenital
hatred of the very idea of tax cuts; besides, Washington used accounting
that would "make Enron look honest." And this was an odd thing to say:
Wasn't Forbes's own magazine one of the many business publications that
literally did make Enron look honest? And not just Enron, but electricity
deregulation itself, the billions to be made in bandwidth, the whole New
Economy swindle?

Maybe so, but Forbes was showing no contrition. The business class had led
us into disaster, but now they thought they deserved some help from Uncle
Sam. They wanted what Forbes called "the dead weight of Washington" off
their backs. They wanted the entire world to embrace their deregulatory
agenda. They wanted a tax cut.

Walking around the luxurious hotel in which the conference was being held,
it wasn't hard to see why. The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa was
built two years ago, at the tail end of the bull market, in the southern
California city of Dana Point, just a little inland from the even posher
Ritz-Carlton. It's the kind of place that sifts people like me out even
before we get inside: arriving by car, you either pay the valet and come
sweeping in the grand, chandeliered main entrance or you park it yourself
and enter via an unmarked door tucked away behind the registration
counter. The hotel has its own high-end antiques store; it has its own
bakery/coffee shop with old-style wood trimmings; it has a fine restaurant
with the requisite jeroboams of champagne posted by the door; it has a
Versailles-size fountain and a golf course overlooking the Pacific;
hanging over the bar it has an enormous reproduction of Maxfield Parrish's
Garden of Allah, one of those idyllic dream-scenes in which everything
shimmers in a golden haze. And aside from the conference attendees, the
hotel was almost deserted.

I sat by myself on the hotel's vast, sweeping veranda and looked out past
the empty balconies of the hotel rooms, the empty deck chairs by the empty
swimming pool, the empty terrace with the oversize planters, out to the
brand new empty suburb erupting from a nearby hillside, all the
ocher-colored homes ready to be occupied. The instant civilization of
upper-class America was all here, antiques to zabaglione, but no one had
come to consume it.

They call this "excess capacity." Just like in Gilder's beloved telecom
industry, which so overbuilt during the bubble years that only 5 percent
of all fiber-optic lines worldwide are currently in use, someone had made
a huge miscalculation here. They had plunked down an enormous bet on good
times for the rich carrying on forever, just when the free money from
Silicon Valley was starting to dry up.

But now comes George W. Bush, savior of his class, to get the good times
rolling again, to give us a tax cut of such magnitude that it may well
replace the NASDAQ and keep the people of southern California relaxing in
style. Social Security will be steered deliberately into the ground, but
excess capacity in the luxury industry is one problem that the federal
budget for 2004 will undoubtedly solve. Their coffers swelled with
tax-free dividends and inheritances, the Republicans will soon be back in
Monarch Beach. Tan men dressed in business casual will pull up to the
grand entrance in Boxsters and Ferraris. Cosmopolitans will clink under
the Maxfield Parrish. Hungover heiresses will chew biscotti in the
European-style coffee shop. And the venture capitalists will return at
last, toasting their clients out on the veranda, opening that jeroboam,
celebrating as though none of it had ever happened.

(A) A study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that the
2001 and 2002 tax cuts caused roughly 30 percent of the decline into
deficit and that if they had not been enacted the budget would soon be
back in surplus.

(B) The Social Security Trust Fund is not mentioned in the main budget
document. This date is given in the 2003 report of the Social Security
trustees. It is a revealing number in and of itself. We have been hearing
catastrophic predictions about Social Security for almost ten years now,
and yet during this time the date when economists expect the Social
Security Trust Fund to run dry keeps getting pushed further and further
into the future. The Social Security Trustees' report for 2000 gave the
expiration date for the Trust Fund as 2037; this year's report gives it as
2042, yielding a gain of five future years per every three actual years.
If that rate holds, by 2017, the year the budget names as the beginning of
the end, economist will be gravely warning us that the Trust Fund will
expire in 2064.

(C) In my home state of Kansas, which is currently caught in a budget
crisis of its own thanks to rabid tax cutting in the 1990s, the
Republican-dominated state legislature proposed to deal with the problem
by delaying state tax refunds. This will, of course, infuriate voters,
but, as Mike Hendricks of the Kansas City Star recently pointed out, their
fury will likely fall not on the stridently anti-tax Republicans who did
this to them but on the usual targets--the state revenue department and
the machinery of state government, which happens to have a Democratic
governor at its head.


Thomas Frank is the editor of The Baffler and the author, most recently,
of One Market Under God. His last essay for Harper's Magazine, "The
Trillon-Dollar Hustle," appeared in the January 2002 issue.
It is difficult for me to believe that something like the FBI would be stupid enough to be so overtly "Pro-white."

I think that the mistake was for other reasons. Possibly family ties to the FBI, which is how Bush got to where he is. He might have had a few big successes that allowed him to reach the minimum requirement for a promotion, despite his usual inadequacy. We don't know the full story, and until then, I refuse to wholly accept that this was all because of racism.

I know racism exists in the workplace, but when it comes to workplaces like the FBI, CIA, and even some of the better City Police Departments, that kind of thing goes in the can due to the nature of the job, there simply is no room for it. You'd have to work in an environment like that of law enforcement to really understand, most of the issues that we deal with everyday are subconsciously deemed trivial and things like racial prejudice is at least thrown to the side momentarily. I know this and I am not even a sworn officer yet, but from what little experience I have in the field, I know that that kind of crap just doesn't fly.

I can imagine that the same would go for the military in combat situations.

We are all blind in some way including you, I am no exception.

Like I said above, certain law enforcement careers just don't aplly to white AA, though I understand that it would exist in many other if not most other careers. I am more knowledgeable then you in certain areas, but I would not call you an ignoramus just because you don't know much about the subject, its impolite and uncalled for and nothing about my reply was "snarky". If you don't feel like educating me oh wise one then don't reply!
Originally posted by Goshtoire:
It is difficult for me to believe that something like the FBI would be stupid enough to be so overtly "Pro-white."

Oh sure, whenever a white person messes up publicly, it CAN'T be because racial preferences, as well as other factors, contributed to their rise to power and control. Ho no, that distinction is reserved for only those of the more swarthy races.

Face it, you are just contriving and apologizing for a process of favortism which is tainted by racism. It would be facile for me to tell you to imagine if a black person fouled up in the way Hanssen did, but if that's the way you want to play. . . (hint: black federal workers are twice as likely as white federal workers to be fired, even when their performance reviews are similar.)

Like I said above, certain law enforcement careers just don't aplly to white AA, though I understand that it would exist in many other if not most other careers. I am more knowledgeable then you in certain areas, but I would not call you an ignoramus just because you don't know much about the subject, its impolite and uncalled for and nothing about my reply was "snarky". If you don't feel like educating me oh wise one then don't reply!

I thought you were deriively referring to a grand Illuminati-like affirmative action program for whites in your first post, but then that was is just me.

But I still stand by my statement. For all I know about the advantages that whites enjoy in the workplace relative to blacks, how all their screw-ups don't reflect on the population as a whole, how white professionals with lower qualifications than a black professional can successfully sue for reverse discrimination when they are laid off - it's kinda hard to NOT to identify those who have contrary beliefs as ignorant. I'll be fair though, I won't complain when you call me ignorant on a subject if it's wholly apparent that I deserve the label.
There is another aspect that we have not taken for account. Promoting someone out.

This has been done in the military for so long, in which there is a "bumbling fool" that gets on a supervisor's nerves. The easiest thing to do in order to get rid of that person is to promote him/her out of their office.

Now of course I have never seen a black person go through that, so I am sure that racism is still a factor.

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