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  1. #856

    Re: The Run to the WH

    Max Boot @MaxBoot

    “As a Senate candidate for an anti-war party in 1974, [Sanders] once went so far as to call for abolishing the CIA.”
    Sean Biggerstaff @Seanchuckle

    What's bad about wanting to abolish maybe the most prolific and successful terrorist organisation in history?
    Asha Rangappa @AshaRangappa_

    Oh good Lord. Have a seat while I explain a little history for you, and how our government actually works. This is generally covered in Week 5 of my National Security Law class (where I also assign the documentary, "The Man Nobody Knew" by Carl Colby -- worth watching) <thread>

    2. The CIA was created by the National Security Act of 1947. It essentially created a peacetime intelligence function, one that was already being conducted in wartime by its predecessor, the OSS. Its primary function is intelligence collection 2/

    3. Now, as intelligence agencies go, the CIA was a neophyte when it was created. Compare with, say, the British intelligence service which has its roots under Elizabeth I, or Russian intelligence, which goes back to the 19th century. 2/

    4. Intelligence collection is important. We need to get secrets from other countries in order to inform our own political diplomatic, and military activities. Even George Washington relied on spies in order to wage the Revolutionary War (I highly recommend Netflix's "TURN") 3/

    5. Now, intelligence collection is different from what we call "covert action." Covert action is an operation designed to achieve a specific policy objective. The origins of covert action in the U.S. goes back to something called the "fifth function" in the NSA of 1947 4/

    6. The "fifth function" was a vague provision which suggested that the CIA could engage in "other activities related to intelligence which the President may direct." Was Congress intending to authorize covert action? Unclear. But unsurprisingly, Presidents interpreted it so

    7. Over the next couple of decades, administrations engaged in various types of covert actions to stop the spread of Communism. Many of these operations were unsavory, and had no oversight. I recommend Tim Weiner's
    @360rsd Legacy of Ashes for more 5/

    8. These operations -- in Latin America, East Asia, Africa, etc. are commonly what people refer to when they like to slam on the CIA. But there's a lot that happened after, if you've read anything and aren't frozen in the 70s 6/

    9. For one thing, following Watergate, the Church Hearings laid bare many of the worst activities of the CIA -- including assassinations, coups, and psyops. This led to much more oversight of these kind of activities. There was also EO 12,333, which spelled out parameters 7/

    9. Then, after Iran-Contra, there was even *more* oversight, and statutory limitations -- including written findings and approval by the President, transmitted to Congress, for any covert actions undertaken 8/

    10. In fact, the very fact that we know about the CIA's covert activities is the result of oversight. So it's facile to use historical events from the 50s-70s, which were under a different (read: nonexistent) legal framework to inform an opinion about CIA now 9/

    11. In any event, whatever you think about covert actions, it's completely idiotic to suggest that we should "abolish" the CIA and not have any intelligence collection capability. Intel, among other things, helped us find Bin Laden 10/

    12. And intel also helps us know when WE have moles who are working as double agents for other countries! The CIA knew we had a spy in our midst when their Soviet sources were being killed...which ultimately led us to find Robert Hanssen 11/

    13. In short, saying you want to "abolish the CIA," and you want Bernie to be POTUS, is saying that you want him to operate as President in a completely ignorant vacuum where foreign adversaries have an advantage over us. It's really, really stupid, and bad for the U.S. /END
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  2. #857

    Re: The Run to the WH

    Decision Desk HQ

    Decision Desk HQ Partial Nevada Delegate Projection:

    Bernie Sanders has won at least 15 delegates in NV. Joe Biden has won at least 4.

    This total will update as more votes are tabulated. #NVCaucus

    Updated 2020 DDHQ/UVA Center for Politics national delegate estimates:

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

  3. #858

    Re: The Run to the WH

    Senate Budget Committee

    Feb 10
    Replying to

    Trump's budget calls for a $36 billion cut to the EPA - 41 percent by the end of the decade. Clean air and clean water are staples of society, and this budget would deprive everyone of them, poisoning us all.

    Already struggling to reach as many families as it should, TANF would be slashed $22 billion under Trump's budget, more than decimated.

    Trump's budget would entirely eliminate LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program - $42 billion in cuts over the decade. LIHEAP helps 6 million people heat their homes in the winter and cool their homes in the summer.

    As with so many other parts of this budget, any "investment" the president claims is often more than fully offset by other cuts - sometimes future cuts in the same program. Despite touting a NASA increase, Trump's budget calls for deep cuts to NASA over time.

    The Trump budget would cut the National Science Foundation by $15 billion over the decade. This is not investing in the future.

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa

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