The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The ‘Dilbert’ Factor in Libya

Posted on | October 10, 2012 | 13 Comments

“Mother, do not wonder that my loyalty is growing weak. . . . I am sick and tired of the disaster and the fools that bring disaster upon us.”
— soldier in the 79th New York Infantry regiment, 1863

The cartoon strip “Dilbert” is popular because it relates an experience common to nearly everyone who has ever worked inside a dysfunctional workplace: A clueless boss, backstabbing colleagues, and the plight of the competent, hard-working guy who is just trying to do his job.

What we call “office politics” is a constant hindrance to effective teamwork. It is unfortunate that so often people are both incompetent and ambitious, that such creatures seek positions of authority for which they are not qualified, and that once they obtain these positions, the incompetents “bring disaster upon” the loyal subordinates whose valuable advice they habitually ignore.

Thus I was reminded of that New York soldier’s letter home to his mother, complaining about the incompetence of Union army commanders, when I saw the video in which former State Department security official Eric Nordstrom complained about the unhelpfulness of his superiors:

On the one hand, there is this specific situation and the disaster in Benghazi, but on the other hand, Nordstrom’s complaints about his bosses reflect an all-too-common experience, something with which many people can empathize. Too bad that this “Dilbert” situation took place under circumstances where human lives — and, indeed, the national security of the United States — were at stake.

“One of the last things my husband said to me before he was killed, when I would ask him, ‘Chris, what do you need over there? What can I send you?’ he said, ‘I need a new president.’”
Jane Horton, whose husband was killed in Afghanistan

Amen, Mrs. Horton!



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  • Dianna Deeley

    I was reading the closed captioning as the hearing was streamed, and I am sick with fury. Maybe in a day or ten I can come up with some snark. Right now, no.

  • JeffS

    Snark is merely stress relief. We need pain relief.

    Obama. Must. Go.

  • Dianna Deeley

    Yes, he must.

  • Zilla of the Resistance

    If this had happened under a Republican president and the same coverup ensued, the POTUS would be run out on a rail and probably put in prison, along with his or her entire administration.

    Obama and shillary should resign now lest they face the criminal charges that they so richly deserve for this. Getting involved with Obama was a career killing move for Shillary; she could have run in 2016 against Romney had she not joined this disastrous administration, now the only way there will ever be another Clinton in the WH will be if Chelsea runs one day (and let us hope that day never comes).

  • Adjoran

    In Dilbert, the Boss is clueless and makes decisions arbitrarily. Obama is incompetent, but his decisions serve his vision. He sees America as having too much of the world’s wealth and advantages, and wishes to take us down a few notches. He’s made a good start.

    Only such a vision would allow us to keep personnel in Banghazi when every other nation had evacuated because of the anarchy in the streets. Only such a vision would allow us to refuse requests for adequate security for our boots on the ground just to appear less imperial.

    The question should not be whether or not Obama should be run out of office, but whether or not he should hang.

  • Adobe_Walls

    I doubt that tehwon is engaged enough to be giving orders about consular security or even trying to recover weapons that have gone walking about the Maghreb. Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power have been running that show from the beginning. While He is responsible for the actions of his subordinates to some degree, he probably had nothing to do with decisions as to how much security was provided or whether we had personnel in Benghazi.
    If he was briefed on the situation there he paid no attention or only dwell-ed on the info fitting his narrative about AQ loosing. If there were a discernible upside to throwing Hillary and/or the other two harpies (Rice and Power) under the bus she/they would have been run over weeks ago.
    This is where prior mistakes and premises come back to bite Comrade President in the ass. He and his have taken the notion that Al-Qaeda is the sum of Islamic Terrorism and by declaring victory we could move on to what he perceives as the real terrorist threat which would be us. If Islamic terrorism or Al-Qaeda are on the rise this misadministrations entire anti-terrorism strategy and foriegn policy in the region have failed. Throwing Hillary under the bus would highlight that rather than hide it which is all BO cares about right now.

  • SDN

    Dilbert is the universal operations manual.

  • Paul H. Lemmen

    Dilbert is the cartoon existence of the Peter Principle.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Don’t forget the huge influence of Valerie Jarrett.

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