Tom Kean.

Well, I just got back from the opening act in my university’s (Drew University) Forum series, where they bring in three speakers across the year (not counting whoever they get for graduation). This year Tom Kean, our University President, former NJ state governor, and Co-chair of the 9/11 commission was the first speaker. He gave a one to 1:15 minute long lecture followed by fifteen to 30 minutes of Q&A.

He covered, for the most part, the 9/11 commission, and focused on the intelligence community. Foreign policy came in second place for the amount of time spent on a subject. Some of what he said in the speech has already been said by him or in the report, so I’ll stick to things I thought were unique.

Some highlights from what he said:
-he said that the “wag the dog” accusations, in light of the movie of the same name and the Monica Lewinsky scandal, against Clinton after he launched two cruise missiles in an attempt to kill Bin Laden ('98, I think it was) cowed that administration into not pursuing the problem more fully.

-(this next one was big)No one who knew the history of Iraq would have been surprised by what happened after we invaded.

-(a little off topic, this was the answer to a question)Some parts of the No Child Left Behind Act are good, but after a couple years in action it needs to be reexamined, and to be effective it has to be funded properly.

-The government overclassifies information. He said that half of the documents he read contained nothing that the public already didn’t know. He said that he knew what the government spent on intelligence, but that if he told us directly he would be violating the law. So, to get around that, with a wink and a nod (figuratively, literally it was with a slight squint and his unidentifiable accent) he said that the New York Times reported that the government spends $40 billion on intelligence. He also said that most of it is wasted.

-He refused to endorse a candidate, citing the comission members’ agreement to concentrate on pushing the recommendations for reform they came up with.

Interesting points there, but with one of them, I am flat lost: can you rephrase the “wag the dog” point. I think I get it, but then again I am totally lost, so rather than assume I know, I’ll ask.

As for the rest of it, I think the overclassification is evident in the rest of the points. The no child left behind initiative doesn’t actually suck, it just needs to be applied right, and kept dynamic. Meanwhile I, an engineering major who hates modern governmental studies and history class, did point out what was wrong with invading Iraq, and why it would fail. All I had to do was keep my ear to the ground about Afganistan, and see that the occupation there sucked also.

Still, its always good to hear it from someone with credibility, because then I get to feel vindication. Ah, vindication, it feels like a soft summer rain, washing away the sin, and replacing it with all sorts of toxins that get pumped into the air by the ton.

Man I would’ve liked to have sat in on that.

Delita: “Wag the Dog” was a movie in which a President of the USA fakes a war in order to distract the public from a sexual scandal he’s involved in:

And- is that BLUEGRASS of the GALAXY RANGERS you have as your avatar??? GR is the SECOND greatest non-anime cartoon EVER (Gargoyles is first.) Delita gains 50 Coolness Points :victoly:

Edit: Err, Bluegrass is actually from SILVERHAWKS. Got my Space Cowboys confused. 8P But GALAXY RANGERS still rules.

True, but mostly obvious points. Still, it must’ve been nice to sit in on.

It’s not so obvious to everyone, which is why things like this are more important. The more firsthand accounts you can get of incriminating evidence, the better, whether it’s obvious to some or not. It’s a credibility thing, and the more accounts you get like this, the more credibility you’ll find within the claims.

SG: Excellent point, I forget that I sometimes think outside the box of what I am told, and it is good to have someone who helps define the box say this, for the sake of those who live inside the box.

And WM: Do I still get points for a Silverhawk?