Q&A: Milt Bearden

Writer and former senior CIA operations officer Milt Bearden on the systemic national security problems that exist when “modern impeachments deal with break-ins and blow jobs.”

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Mother Jones: What will Bush’s legacy be?

Milt Bearden: The Bush legacy, in its most reduced and understandable form, will be that the limits of American democracy, and all its institutions, will have been exposed. We all know now, after eight years of Bush, that there are really no checks and balances built into our system when it comes to national security. If a president, however flawed, driven, or even deranged, decides on a military action, Congress really cannot stop it. Modern impeachments deal with break-ins and blow jobs.

We have finally seen the limits on America’s ability to conduct a thoughtful foreign policy that serves our national interests, with 535 members of Congress in a contest to see who hates Hezbollah and Hamas the most, and who loves Israel the most. Israel, sadly, is the loser in this madness. Just ask the Israelis what they think.

We have seen the limits of military might, of having the most massive destructive capability in human history, but a tiny army detached from its citizenry, and virtually no money. This has been Bush’s recipe for disaster in an era of asymmetrical warfare.

And Bush has shown us that intelligence—a huge, unmanageable, uncoordinated $42 billion disaster—can be expected to continue to fail in the future as it has in the recent past. There is too much information and too little understanding. And our adversaries, large and small, are all capable of manipulating it, turning us into the puppets at the end of the chain.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate