It's Time For Condi To Resign

[ Posted Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 – 13:33 UTC ]

The time has come for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to hand in her resignation. The latest revelation that the Blackwater personnel involved in the recent Baghdad shooting were given immunity by the State Department for giving statements about the incident should be the final straw for America's patience with Rice to come to an abrupt end.

Of course, the real time for Condi to have handed in her resignation in an honorable administration should have been September 12, 2001. Remember, at this time Rice was National Security Advisor to the president. The NSA's job description is to "take all the intelligence from the various intelligence agencies in the U.S. government and put it all together for the president to act upon." Her spectacular failure to perform this job would have meant disgrace and a shameful resignation in virtually any other administration in history.

But not in Bush's White House. She didn't get a medal for her incompetence (unlike some other spectacular failures within the administration), but she did eventually get a promotion to Secretary of State. Bush values loyalty over competence to the detriment of our nation, and nowhere is this more obvious than Rice's elevation to Cabinet status.

If this seems too harsh, then here's a quick quiz: what are Condi's accomplishments since becoming Secretary of State? Well... World War III hasn't broken out... but that's about all that comes to mind. It's impossible to name any other success she's had at doing her job.

Condi's sole qualification for the job of Secretary of State seems to be her impressive ability to lie and obfuscate in front of congressional committees (which, with quavering voice, she's actually pretty good at doing). She has brokered no peace deals, she has not stopped North Korea or Iran from advancing their nuclear ambitions, she has not repaired America's relationships with any of our previous allies, and when she embarked on a sweep through the Middle East recently her whole trip was written off by all participants -- before it even happened -- as nothing more than a photo op.

I guess the only thing she can be given some credit for is reining in Vice President Dick Cheney, who (from all accounts) never met a country he didn't want to bomb. But that's simply not enough any more.

It took Iraqi outrage over Blackwater's cowboy shoot-em-up behavior to force America's somnolent media to realize that we are paying a half-million dollars each (per year) to a mercenary force in Iraq that operates under no law whatsoever. The final ignoble act of the Provisional Authority in Iraq (literally on their way out the door as we transferred sovereignty to the Iraqis) was to sign an order which exempted Blackwater (and all other contractors) from any Iraqi laws. Since they are also not under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (or even in the military chain of command at all), and since they don't work for the Pentagon, no U.S. law applies to them -- they are truly a lawless military force. They literally answer to no law whatsoever.

This in and of itself should have been an embarrassing situation -- one that an incoming Secretary of State should have realized existed, and immediately rectified. But it festered unaddressed for years. Incident after incident after incident involving Blackwater personnel essentially murdering people on the streets of Baghdad caused no review of their status, and no prosecution whatsoever, no matter how blatant their actions were.

Congress has finally woken up from its slumber, and is in the process of putting Blackwater under military law. The White House (of course) is opposed to this effort, proving once again that they have absolutely no clue when it comes to winning the "hearts and minds" of the country we're occupying.

But now we learn that even in the incident which got all the bad press, Blackwater guards may not even face a slap on the wrist -- because before they were interviewed, the State Department actually gave them immunity. This is disgraceful. And it happened within the State Department itself (the FBI is furious about this, with good reason). Which means that the buck stops on Condi Rice's desk.

So all Americans should respond to this recent revelation by calling for Condi to decide to spend more time with her ice skates, her piano, and Stanford University.

Please, Secretary Rice, do the right thing, for once -- resign now.


-- Chris Weigant


2 Comments on “It's Time For Condi To Resign”

  1. [1] 
    fstanley wrote:

    I agree that it is time for Secretary Rice to step down but I am not holding my breath. This administration is so wrapped up in itself that it does not care how bad they look. In fact they seem to be proud of what they are doing!

    I can only hope that Iraq goes to the world court to demand justice now that it appears the US will not be prosecuting the Blackwater guards.


  2. [2] 
    greg wrote:

    I must admit, while watching Condi testify last week, I realized I've developed a grudging admiration for her determination to put a dignified face on the
    Bush foreign policy fiasco. Her efforts to put a "we're on top of this," "we've thought this through" veneer on what is plainly one of the most fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants operations in history are truly indefatigable. She never, ever breaks character, no matter how ridiculous it gets. Running around trying to put together a peace conference even the participants don't think will succeed, as if Bush, Blair and Olmert are going to achieve some kind of breakthrough. I'd sooner put my money on Curly, Larry, and Moe. She's either the most clueless person on the planet or a better actress than Meryl Streep.

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