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  • Senators Kerry and Lugar – Senators to the World!

    Posted by onparkstreet on November 29th, 2010 (All posts by )

    Because I’m loads of fun, I decided to pay a visit to Senator Lugar’s website. I searched for the names “Kerry Lugar” which turned up the following:

    Senator Lugar considers a secure Pakistan to be vital in the protection of United States security interests in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East and South Asia. From January 2003 to December 2006, Senator Lugar served as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has been the Republican leader since January 2007. In this capacity, he has exercised close oversight of U.S. policy in Pakistan and participated in more than 15 hearings related to ongoing affairs in the country from 2003 to the present.

    Goodness! That is impressive! Wait a minute, what’s that you say?

    Since 1951, the United States has given significant funding to Pakistan. Since September 11, 2001, U.S. funding has been intended for the following five purposes: to cover the extra cost to Pakistan’s military of fighting terrorism; provide Pakistan with military equipment to fight terrorism; to provide development and humanitarian assistance; covert funds (such as bounties or prize money); and cash transfers directly to the Pakistani government’s budget.
     
    Pakistan (sic) one of only four countries to receive direct cash transfers. Between 2002 and 2008, this “thank you” to Pakistan for help in fighting terrorism cost the U.S. taxpayer $2,374,000,000. By its nature, these cash transfers became Pakistani sovereign funds, precluding U.S. oversight.

    “U.S. Aid to Pakistan—U.S. Taxpayers Have Funded Pakistani Corruption,” Belfer Center

    Oh dear. Well, that is unfortunate. Perhaps the close oversight needs some tweaking?

    Again from the Senator’s website, I find a link to something called PUBLIC LAW 111–73—OCT. 15, 2009 – the ENHANCED PARTNERSHIP WITH PAKISTAN ACT OF 2009. The linked .pdf has lots of stuff like the following in it:

    OPERATIONS RESEARCH.—The term ‘‘operations research’’ means the application of social science research methods, statistical analysis, and other appropriate scientific methods to judge, compare, and improve policies and program outcomes, from the earliest stages of defining and designing programs through their development and implementation, with the objective of the rapid dissemination of conclusions and concrete impact on programming.

    That sure is a lot of words. You know what has fewer words in it? This: By its nature, these cash transfers became Pakistani sovereign funds, precluding U.S. oversight.

    I suppose Instapundit does have a point: “I’d say that if the GOP has started issuing seats like titles of nobility, without caring what the voters think, then that’s beyond redemption. Nobody should be immune to a primary challenge.”

    I guess not.

    (Look, I can’t read “legalese” so I have no idea if the Enhanced Partnership With Pakistan Act Of 2009 will be able to avoid the problems of the past. Maybe I am being unfair. What I’d like to know from our readers is the following: once the cash is transferred to the civilian government, how can we know what it is being used for?)

    Update: I changed “legalize” to “legalese”. Didn’t catch it the first time. I’m sure there are other errors. My writing skills are a bit shaky. I’m trying to improve them so if you see mistakes could you please point them out in the comments? I’ve got busy days and blogging is the lowest priority. I love it, but it’s low priority compared to other stuff.

     

    3 Responses to “Senators Kerry and Lugar – Senators to the World!”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Lugar needs to retire, ASAP.

    2. onparkstreet Says:

      I think I get why Senators don’t retire easily. I think it is because they have a chance to act like mini-Presidents: big foreign aid bills with lots of travels abroad, heads-of-state-like, or domestic bills which the Senators promote on television amidst all the light and glamor and attention.

      It must be fairly intoxicating. I wouldn’t be immune to the intoxication.

      Perhaps I am being very unfair, though. Perhaps they think they are performing vital functions?

      – Madhu

    3. NaSa Says:

      It must be fairly intoxicating. I wouldn’t be immune to the intoxication.
      It does. Power in all its forms, corrupts, corrodes and at the very least blows up people’s ego’s to enormous levels. The 100 Senators in the US Senate have a combined ego that will outsize all professional atheletes, rock stars and Hollywood celebrities put together.

      Perhaps I am being very unfair, though. Perhaps they think they are performing vital functions?

      They are performing a certain useful function by constantly reminding us that they have a net negative effect on America’s interests – domestically and globally.

      Can any one honestly say that the US Senate is a positive influence on the polity, say in the last 3 decades ? From Supreme Court Hearings (starting with Bork, Clarence Thomas) to the “Food Safety Bill” the US Senate has shown itself to be the Great Nothing that mostly harms rather than help the country.