Transparency At Last

« March 2006 »

Memo to Peter Hoekstra: YOU ARE DUMB.

Hoekstra is one of several congressional Republicans who decided it was finally time for the business of government to be opened to the public eye. I know, as a die-hard leftie, I'm supposed to be for transparency, for public scrutiny, for accountability. And I am. Unless it's fucking stupid.

After what the New York Times calls "pressure" from these Republicans, spy czar John "Death Squads No Longer A Career Impediment" Negroponte has ordered tens of thousands of documents to be put on the Internet over the next year. These documents? All the papers captured from Iraqis by US troops. It's like "The Smoking Gun", only with more smoking craters.

That's forty eight thousand boxes of Arabic papers. Which will, when the project is complete, finally make Ain't It Cool News the second-most-incomprehensible website in the world.

Why would they do this? What is the point? Let me turn it over to Hoekstra, who had what may be the single worst idea in the history of government. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"We are hoping to unleash the power of the Internet, unleash the power of the blogosphere to get through these documents and give us a better understanding of exactly what was going on in Iraq prior to the war."

If I wanted to turn this site into a money-making affair, I'd hook turbines to all of your necks right now, and sell the power generated by your shaking them in amazement back to the utility company.

The blogosphere isn't that powerful. The most it's ever done is gotten low-level functionaries fired. That guy at NASA, that dickweed from RedState, and a couple of people at CBS. Maybe if you want to make a big list of CDs, you turn to the Internet's collective power. Maybe if you want to know what Harry Potter would say to seduce Ron Weasley, you turn to the Internet's collective power.

But using the blogosphere to translate 48,000 boxes of papers that I really, really hope our analysts have already looked over... that's madness. That's insanity. That's just inviting thousands of people with agendas to muddy the waters about the mythical Iraqi WMD, which the public has finally, at long last, begun to realize were never there... hey, wait a minute!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have hit paydirt. This whole thing, millions of federal dollars spent running this shit through scanners, setting up military web servers, etcetera... it's all so that Joey Jingo from can look at an Iraqi takeout menu, mistranslate "combo platter" as "nuclear weapon", and convince all four of his readers Saddam moved his unconventional weapons stores to a secret bunker codenamed "kebab palace".

And since people not only believe shit they read on the Internet, but exaggerate the details in the retelling, within a few months, half the country will be back to believing Saddam Hussein was ready to detonate a dirty bomb over their garage. Just in time for congressional elections.