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Monday, April 20, 2015

A Horrible And Costly Lesson

 Aqueduct to Nowhere

Weakness is measured not by not having "boots on the ground", as our media and politicians love to say, but by not having a clear purpose, not a clear idea, no clear principles. And that fecklessness sums up the USA in 2015.

A new report by unearthed disturbing figures when it came to the number of police-related deaths that occurred in America in the month of March alone.
Just last month, in the 31 days of March, police in the United States killed more people than the UK did in the entire 20th century. In fact, it was twice as many; police in the UK only killed 52 people during that 100 year period.
When did we lose control of ourselves?
Why did we not care until now? Or, do we care even now?

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison.

“These findings are appalling and chilling in their indictment of our criminal justice system, not only for potentially innocent defendants who have been wrongly imprisoned and even executed, but for prosecutors who have relied on fabricated and false evidence despite their intentions to faithfully enforce the law,” Blumenthal said.
– From the Washington Post article: FBI Overstated Forensic Hair Matches in Nearly All Trials before 2000

And to this we may now return to "boots on the ground", and why that is not even an idiot's definition of World Leadership:

US primacy seen ebbing at global meet
As world leaders converge here for their semiannual trek to the capital of what is still the world’s most powerful economy, concern is rising in many quarters that the United States is retreating from global economic leadership just when it is needed most.

The spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have filled Washington with motorcades and traffic jams and loaded the schedules of President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jacob J Lew. But they have also highlighted what some in Washington and around the world see as a United States government so bitterly divided that it is on the verge of ceding the global economic stage it built at the end of World War II and has largely directed ever since.

“It’s almost handing over legitimacy to the rising powers,” Arvind Subramanian, the chief economic adviser to the government of India, said of the United States in an interview. “People can’t be too public about these things, but I would argue this is the single most important issue of these spring meetings.”

Other officials attending the meetings this week, speaking on the condition of anonymity, agreed that the role of the United States around the world was at the top of their concerns.

Washington’s retreat is not so much by intent, Mr. Subramanian said, but a result of dysfunction and a lack of resources to project economic power the way it once did. Because of tight budgets and competing financial demands, the United States is less able to maintain its economic power, and because of political infighting, it has been unable to formally share it either.

The most brilliantly abject demonstration of total lack of any sense of leadership was this country's response to 9/11.
The invasion of Iraq demonstrated the fallacy that "boots on the ground" will necessarily accomplish our aims. Yet even now people like Senator Tom Cotton have not learned that horrible and costly lesson.

To be a Hawk today is to be a bloodthirsty scoundrel, who well knows that all the blood spilled will not serve his cause, nor will all the balm in Gilead bind up the wounds.


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