Hillary Rodham Clinton's Sovietology Exercise

Freeland Abbott freeland at harlequin.com
Fri Mar 26 09:48:13 EST 1993

In article <RICKS.93Mar25170838 at luke.luke.nrl.navy.mil> ricks at luke.nrl.navy.mil (Richard Schumeyer) writes:

> Why is it ok for Hillary & co. to draft a plan in secret, but if the military
> bombs a target without notifying the press first, then the press whines
> about censorship?  (This is meant to be a rhetorical question.)

(No such luck, sorry).  Do you have any idea how many _plans_ to bomb
targets the military has?  As close to "all of them" as possible, I'm sure,
and I expect the press would whine if they *didn't* have them.  You know,
lack of preparedness and all that.  Now, if they start secretly executing
those plans, that's another matter....

Second point is that it's a lot easier to _draft_ a plan if you can do it
in private (note, not especially in secret---if it were secret, we wouldn't
know it was happening).  They're thinking of ideas, "maybes": they don't
want to have to defend themselves from claims that "XXX plans to..." or
even "XXX is in favor of..." and all that drivel.  I know that in a
brainstorming session I personally mention ideas that I wouldn't want, to
see whether anyone else can twist them into something better, or just to
make what we're ruling out explicit.  And I wouldn't want that to be on the
record.  Now, I don't think it would matter if we at least knew who was
being consulted, but they may be trying to keep people from being pestered
with questions, since they don't want to answer them now.

When the plan comes out, as has been observed, *then* it will be debated,
reviewed, and modified... maybe it'll even survive to be partially

> Since this PLAN is probably going to affect me, I would
> like to know who is on the panel, what their backgounds are, what their
> beliefs about health care are, etc.

Why?  Probably all you care about is what the plan is, and how it will
affect you.  At that point, again, we go through the usually lobbying and
such to get input supposedly from the masses.  However, first we want a
plan---unless what you're arguing is the plan to make a plan to solve the
problem, in which case maybe we should argue the (plan ^ n) to plan a
solution, limit as n->infinity.  ;-)

> Are you suggesting that it is ok for the President/CoPresident
> to make a habit of secrecy because we don't need to know?  (Note that we 
> are talking about domestic policy, not military strategy.)

Phrased that way, of course not.  However, we aren't talking about hiding
policies, we're talking about finding a quite place to think for a bit,
then coming back and making a well-considered suggestion, getting that
reviewed and probably changed, and *then* doing it.  It's the same as a
House Committee, or any other kind of committee or task-delegation: take a
public question, have a small (read "manageable") group work in relative
privacy to think about it, and then publicly review the recommendation
before committing to it.  I do it all the time in work; I have no problem
with the government's using the same technique.



More information about the Bioforum mailing list