If another nation had specifically trained agents in ways to subvert our constitution, and then managed to get these agents embedded into positions throughout the government, would we be afraid? Very afraid!
And what if the agency that trained these agents wasn't another nation, but a group that has formed a shadow government, calling shots for the elected officials, demanding their agents be placed in positions...even calling on the U.S.A. to assassinate other foreign leaders?
Couldn't happen here? It has...and for those who don't consider Pat Robertson's gang a "sleeper cell" look a bit deeper.
By now, Monica Goodling's dazzling combination of incompetence and fanatacism are known to most progressives. Here's Slate describing her background:
A 1995 graduate of an evangelical Christian school, Messiah College, and a 1999 graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University School of Law (this seems to be her Web page), Goodling's chief claim to professional fame appears to have been loyalty to the president and to the process of reshaping the Justice Department in his image (and thus, His image).
And then of course, there's the revelation that Rachel Paulose, Goodling's best friend, has such chaos in her operation that her staff are demoting themselves. Chuck Schumer says:
"This is another example of the proud corps of U.S. Attorneys being deprofessionalized," Schumer said. "We wonder in how many other offices the same lack of confidence is taking its toll. Attorney General [Alberto] Gonzales has a responsibility to see that the finest people are put in these positions, not simply cronies
The problem is she wasn't a croney. It's unlikely anyone in the White House had ever met her. Her one--and only--qualification was that she was a fervent Christian, on Robertson's "payback list" for his help in the election.
Just two examples? Don't bet on it. Again from Slate:
Goodling is only one of 150 graduates of Regent University currently serving in this administration, as Regent's Web site proclaims proudly, a huge number for a 29-year-old school. Regent estimates that "approximately one out of every six Regent alumni is employed in some form of government work." And that's precisely what its founder desired.
The former dean of Regent's Robertson School of Government, Kay Coles James, was promptly installed as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management. (She left in 2005, but many of these hires were on her watch.)
Certainly, graduates of private schools are a part of the nation's intellectual wealth--even those with the mission of
Our vision, through our graduates and scholarly activities, is to provide Christian leadership in transforming society
. But their stated goal is to
The curriculum is contorted to meet that goal. Here's a snip from an article from yesterday's Boston Globe:
The title of the course was Constitutional Law, but the subject was sin. Before any casebooks were opened, a student led his classmates in a 10-minute devotional talk, completed with "amens," about the need to preserve their Christian values.
It's hard to believe that such a curriculum could foster students who could pass the bar--and in the first few years of Regent's existance, they couldn't. But the curriculum has been strengthened, with specific cram courses and the pass rate has improved.
John Ashcroft, and now Albert Gonzales have been so aggressive in appointing young, inexperienced Regents graduates that now the government is full of them. Many of the graduates have high profile positions such as the nation’s first Assistant Secretary of Labor, by Presidential nomination and U.S. Senatorial confirmation, Lisa Kruska (Gov '88). But some 150 other graduates have been placed in lower level positions, below the radar screen and less likely to be vacated when a new President takes office. One in six graduates are already in government.
What harm can they do? Consider how that sort of hiring destroyed the effort to reconstruct Iraq:
...a 24-year-old with no background in finance was tapped by the Bush administration to run Iraq's stock exchange...20-year-olds with Bush campaign and Heritage Foundation credentials were running Iraq's $13-billion budget...a guy with an unsuitable background was put in charge of Iraq's health system.
(From Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City and an assistant managing editor of The Washington Post.}
With no test of competence in government, we have a President who (barely) graduated as a business major with no training whatsoever in constitutional law. Soon he'll be gone. But what will the long term effects of Robertson's "sleeper cell" on American government?
And a final thought: Is the reason that the religious right is hesitating in endorsing a candidate at this point that they can't find one who will commit to the continued infiltration of government?