Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for President Obama to consider firing General Keith Alexander. You know, Keith, the guy at NSA who Obama approaches hat in hand to request if, at least if it’s not too inconvenient, it’s possible for Alexander and his minions (all thousands of them…) to stop spying on everyone in the world. Alexander, of course, flicks off the President’s pleas as if they were stray lint spots on his uniform.
That’s Doug MacArthur on the left side of the image at the top of this post. Alexander is on the right, admiring Dugout Doug’s five stars. After all, why not? All it would require for Alexander to add another star would be an Act of Congress and Obama’s signature. Hell, NSA has enough dirt on the members of congress to get them to formally declare that shit is chocolate pudding then to eat a dish just to prove the point. (In case anyone wonders, I took the liberty of adding a few stars and ribbons to Alexander’s uni…I know he’d appreciate the gesture.)
Now, about MacArthur. He was a general for-fucking-ever. Dwight Eisenhower was a light colonel at the time he worked for MacArthur when the great one was Chief of Staff of the Army back in the 1930s. MacArthur fought in the Philippines, in WWI, then in WWII before saddling up for one last go during the Korean Conflict. Harry Truman–President Harry Truman, guy in the civilian suit and funny hat in image to the left–was the boss. Old Mac remembered when Harry was a major in WWI. MacArthur was already a brigadier at the start of that particular war. Truman didn’t want MacArthur to light the fuse on the Chinese bomb; MacArthur said he had it all under control and then ordered a massive attack across the Yalu River. The Chinese sent hundreds of thousands of troops into action to help the North Koreans. Bad, baaad scene. (I heard tales of just how bad from my father who flew F80 jets in ground support…)
Truman fired MacArthur. Period. Fired a man who many people–not just Americans, either–believed was the greatest general who ever wore stars. MacArthur went home.
Barack Obama doesn’t fire generals, not even piss-ant generals like Keith Alexander. He requests that they listen to his whining. Yeah, Obama accepted Stanley McChrystal’s resignation after the general criticized him and his policies in front of a reporter who rather rudely wrote about the comments. Though McChrystal didn’t have the obligatory three years in grade necessary to retain his rank for pension purposes, Obama let McChrystal keep his fourth star and his fat pension…don’t want to hurt his feelings…
Back to Alexander the Not-So-Great. Now what the hell is that console in the image to the right? Well, it’s Keith Alexander’s command center from back when he only had 3 stars. Lt. General Alexander would invite important politicians in to sit around the table (which he referred to as his Information Dominance Center) when he ran the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command. General MacArthur used a crumpled hat and a corncob pipe as props for his grandiosity. General Alexander used a set from a shitty sci-fi series. How many millions did the Star Wars desk job cost American taxpayers? Something around $140 million. Stainless steel ain’t cheap.
I suppose President Obama does have an excuse for letting General Alexander and the National Security Agency get out of hand. After all, during the past couple of years Obama has been busy with his health care program and needed all his attention focused on getting the website right so there wouldn’t be any glitches when the system rolled out.
Maybe Obama could replace Keith Alexander with someone who knows how to administer a major program without causing the boss embarrassment. Kathleen Sibelius would be a good choice.
Yes, Alice, the Red Queen does believe six impossible things before breakfast. .