Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A little learning is a dangerous thing

On the same day that the US Attorney General Eric Holder made it clear that the Justice Department would not be holding Bush administration officials accountable for ordering torture (only subordinates who took liberties with those orders), Obama announced his decision to nominate Ben Bernanke to a second term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. We are told Obama thinks that "Ben's done a great job."

I suppose the one bright side of the Bernanke re-appointment was that it meant that Obama's chief economic adviser Larry Summers (who along with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner advocated financial industry deregulation) did not get promoted into the job.

It seems Obama learned two important things from the previous president.

First, he learned that if bad things happen, you make sure the grunts take all the heat -- à la Abu Ghraib.

Second, Obama learned that should disaster befall the country -- the attacks of 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina -- you heap praise on whoever was in charge at the time (i.e. George Tenet, Michael Chertoff), reappoint (i.e. Rumsfeld), or promote that person (i.e. Condi Rice).

A little learning can be a dangerous thing.
Photos: George Tenet receives Medal of Freedom, Private Linndie England who served at Abu Ghraib is led away in handcuffs, and a shot of Obama at the G20.

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