NSA

Q: Why Has It Become "Fashionable" to "Take Whacks" at Military, Intel Agencies? A: The Last 12 Years.

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"It is now become fashionable on both sides of the aisle to take whacks at the military and our intelligence agencies," sighs the Washington Post's "Right Turn" blogger Jennifer Rubin.

Yeah, a dozen years of disastrous occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, a rough doubling of military expenditures in nominal dollars and ongoing demands for ever-greater spending, disclosures about massive covert government surveillance of U.S. citizens in America, and secret presidential kill lists really puts the hurt on whatever faith and trust folks once had in such institutions. (And I should note that according to Gallup, about 76 percent have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the military; by which I suspect they mean rank-and-file soldiers more than the David Petraeus' of the world.)

Rubin is particularly bent out of shape by the near-passage of a bill sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) that would have limited NSA surveillance of Americans here in the States (read all about here).

In letting the congressman who has stabbed leadership in the back countless times run through the House with scissors, leaders risked real damage to national security and to the image of the GOP as the more responsible party on the issue.

Stabbing in the back? What is this, Weimar Germany? The problem isn't Amash and his rag-tag band of howling commandos dedicated to due process and rule of law, it's leadership in both the Republican and Democratic parties that have been stabbing the Constitution in the face for the past dozen or so years.

Rubin is also pissed at the idea that there's something wrong with current procedures regarding rape and sexual assault in the military:

Over in the Senate, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) has teamed up with two of the most destructive and least well-informed Republicans when it comes to national security – Ted Cruz (Tex.) and Rand Paul (Ky.) (who have become canaries in the coal mine of legislative foolishness) – to undermine the military chain of command in sexual assault cases.

Come on. If bashing this reform effort rises to the top of your to-do list, it's only because you don't want to grapple with the generally horrible performance of the military and American intel in the 21st century. Somehow, out bold gambit to play globo-cop has only reduced our standing in the world, increased our debt, and turned successive presidents into self-aggrandizing liars who use the cover of national security to do what they want. Oh yeah, and how's that Middle East working out for us? There's not a lot to be proud of but suggesting that reformers are the problem is not going to deflect the attention from where it needs to be.

Ful Rubin here.

Hat Tip: Veronique de Rugy. Read her Reason archive here and follow her Twitter feed here.