The Democratic Study Group was a 150 staff member legislative service organization(LSO) that had as customers all of the Democratic members of Congress and a good number of Republicans. This internal think tank analyzed policy proposals, serving as an in-house ‘brain’ for Congress. The “Republican Revolution” of 1994 would lead to the defunding of this entity in 1995, functionally turning over control of domestic policy making to the likes of the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. This has result, in my opinion, in an unmitigated policy making disaster that has ended the American empire and that endangers the stability of our nation. The construction of Progressive Congress News was a halting attempt to reverse this trend.
Our intelligence community was more resilient, due to their structure and duties. The outing of Valerie Plame, a twenty year CIA veteran and the head of our counter-proliferation operation, for failure to support the Bush administration’s desire for an adventure in Iraq, ought to have resulted in the prosecution of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. Instead we limp forward with this crime unpunished, lugging a variety of other attendant baggage of our decay.
Having seen the problems at the domestic level and having a good idea of how they’ll be resolved, I decided I would turn my attention to foreign policy issues. I have gone through the Quadrennial Diplomacy & Development Review, the State Department’s companion to the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review, I spent the first three months of the year surveying the foreign policy discussion space, and I have my own short list of openings in the area.
Phi Beta Iota: It is increasingly clear that nobody in Congress or the Executive actually cares about ethical evidence-based decision support. Decisions in the public interest are not being “paid for” in terms that individual officials appreciate. Instead, decisions against the public interest are the order of the day. What Brother Neal is leading up to here is the near-term emergence of a citizens’ intelligence network that can collect, process, analyze, and disseminate very high-value and very timely open source ethical evidence-based decision support rooted in every Congressional District and publicly visible to every stake-holder, Congressional District by Congressional District. Information and intelligence CAN defeat special interest money, IF AND ONLY IF they are public, and constituents can beat their corrupt Members over the head with it, publicly. It would appear that is precisely what is emergent.