Friday, November 04, 2005

Bush's Weakly Review

TapirSaver's blog
Bush's Weakly Review

Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:50 pm
Bush’s weakly review. It hurts. Filed under: Constructive Criticism — MrBogle @ 8:31 pm With Plamegate and the entire WMD mushroom cloud hanging over the Bush White House, how did our President react to the scandals? By ignoring them. Some strategy, eh? The guy’s a regular Sonny Tzu. On the day Hopalong Libby pleaded “not guilty” to the charges leveled against him, for instance, Bush was heading to Argentina to attend the 34-leader Summit of the Americas where, no doubt, he’ll be greeted with rose pedals, shouts of “hoo-rah” and quite a few rocks lobbed in his direction. According to recent polls, Bush’s popularity in Latin America is slightly ahead of that of a festering boil. It’s a close race, though. Bush’s “operation distraction,” began Monday when, Presto-Alita, he pulled a Supreme Court wannabe out of his hat. Sam Alita was an official sop to the right wing-nuts who are, of course, Bush’s biggest boosters. Tuesday was Bush’s big bird flu speech. (Summary: don’t catch it.) And, then, “operation distraction” went down in flames. Two reasons: Democrats and WMD. Last week, Senate Dems managed to do the unthinkable. They found their balls and forced a rare closed door session to dramatize their charge that Bush relied on faulty intelligence in the run-up to the Iraqi invasion and congressional Republicans have refused to investigate it. “They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why,” Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Tuesday in demanding that the Senate chamber be emptied of everyone but members and a few staffers. Nobody knows what was said during the closed session but, by session’s end, Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., had vowed to complete the second phase of his prewar intelligence investigation and a six-member task force - three members from each party - was appointed to review the Committee’s work and report to their leaders by November 14th. The notion that the Senate was actually going to DO something moved Bill “Hello Kitty” Frist, R-Tenn., to declare: “The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership.” Hey, Bill. Terri Schiavo sez “hey.” The Democrats’ maneuver yanked both Alita and the coughing canaries out of the headlines, replaced by Libby, WMD and the Iraqi invasion. In spite of Bush having a lovely formal dinner with Prince Charles, his “distractions” disintegrated. And things were just getting started. Scott McClellan tried out the “Clinton thought Saddam had WMD, too” trainwreck of thought. It was quickly pointed out to him by alert reporters that Clinton didn’t bomb the shit out of Iraq. Bush did. Pinch-hitting for Scotty, at a news briefing, White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said: “Scooter Libby is a fine person. And he served the president and the vice president well.” Oddly enough, he wasn’t hit by lightning. So much for the angry God of the Old Testament. Sheesh. It should be noted that, back in the day, when Hadley was Condi Rice’s familiar, he was one of the biggest spewers of, um, creative info. He was joined at the hip to Chalabi and met with the head of Italy’s secret intelligence service Nicolo Pollari on September 9, 2002 shortly before the “yellowcake” intel burst forward. According to an investigation published last week by “La Repubblicca” and denied by the Italian government, Italy provided false documentation to its US allies, who were at the time seeking a “smoking gun” in Iraq. Hadley fondly remembers it all as a “courtesy call.” Since everyone in BushLand seems to have the long-term memory of a fig, others felt obliged to weigh in. Jimmy Carter talking about WMD on “The Today Show,” said. “I think that the claims that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and the claims that he had massive weapons of mass destruction that would threaten our country were manipulated at least to mislead the American people into going to war.” You know you’ve blown it when even Jimmy Carter is pissed-off. “The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really all about, how this administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions,” said Senator Harry Reid. While still reeling from the Democrats’ show of bravado, The Bush Mis-Administration, had to deal with the leakage of the fact that Omar al-Farouq, one of Osama bin Laden’s top lieutenants in Southeast Asia until Indonesian authorities captured him in the summer of 2002 and turned him over to the United States had escaped from a U.S. detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan….LAST JULY! Maybe they just thought he’d run away from home, like Timmy from “Lassie,” and come back after he’d missed a few meals. Everyone knows Omar loves peanut butter and jelly sammitches. At this point, Bush could have started blowing up frogs on the White House lawn and nobody would have paid attention to him. Then, “The Washington Post” broke a story stating that the CIA uses secret “prisons” abroad to house terrorism suspects. Ah, the old “out of sight, out of mind” kind of justice. It seems that the CIA has been hiding and interrogating al Qaeda captives at a secret facility in eastern Europe, part of a covert global prison system that includes sites in eight countries and was set up after 9/11. Cheerfully called “black sites,” one of the “prisons” is located in a former gulag in what was, in the good old days, the USSR And because this is all top secret stuff, nobody can (or will) say who the prisoners are, how they are interrogated or how long they will be held. (“Omar? I’m agent Igor. And this is my friend, Mr. Whippy.”) National security adviser Hadley would not comment directly, but said Bush had made clear the United States fought terrorism while respecting the law, and has investigated allegations of misconduct. “While we have to do what is necessary to defend the country against terrorists and to win the war on terror, the president has been very clear that we’re going to do that in a way that is consistent with our values and that is why he has been very clear that the United States will not torture.” (Note to WH staff: change the word “torture” to “tough love.” It’ll play better on Dr. Phil.) Hadley amazingly didn’t burst into laughter, while declaring: “The fact that they are secret, assuming there are such sites, does not mean” torture would be tolerated. “Some people say that the test of your principles (is) what you do when no one’s looking. And the president has insisted that whether it is in the public or it is in the private, the same principles will apply and the same principles will be respected. And to the extent people do not meet up, measure up to those principles, there will be accountability and responsibility.” Hmmm. Dude, when no one was looking, you destroyed this country. Accountability? Responsibility? Where have you been for the last five years? Never mind. I just remembered. For the record, the Bushistas are very big on the concept of “tough love.” Last month, the Senate passed a military spending bill 90-9 which included Arizona Senator and former Nam POW John McCain’s Amendment banning “cruel, inhuman and degrading” interrogations. Bush has threatened to veto it if it survives the bloated House’s compromise. The House’s only concept of torture concerns listening to Dennis Hastert speak in public for long periods of time. Dick Cheney has been trying to strong-arm senators to delete McCain’s verbiage, as well. Meanwhile, re: the black sites. The European Commission said that it will investigate the CIA created jails in eastern Europe. The governments of the European Union’s 25 members nations will be informally questioned about the allegations. International human rights organizations, including the Red Cross, are on the hunt as well. Also, Human Rights Watch in New York said it has evidence indicating the CIA transported suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan to Poland and Romania. That conclusion is based on an analysis of flight logs of CIA aircraft from 2001 to 2004 obtained by the group, said Mark Garlasco, a senior military analyst with the organization. Round up the usual bad apples! Those zit-laden, knuckle-draggin’ military tadpoles. Well, maybe not. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, told NPR he’d traced a trail of memos and directives authorizing questionable detention practices up through Donald Rumsfeld’s office directly to Cheney’s staff. “The Secretary of Defense under cover of the Vice President’s office … regardless of the President having put out this memo (to abide by the Geneva Conventions) … they began to authorize procedures within the armed forces that led to what we’ve seen,” Wilkerson said. Maybe it’s time for Bush to dress up like “Tinkerbell” and give a press statement to do that distract thaing he does so well…if he hasn’t been labeled “Piñata Boy,” by now, in Latin America. In a statement Wednesday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, reiterated his call for a detailed congressional review of the “fundamental legal and operational questions” surrounding terror suspects in U.S. custody. “Once again, it appears to me that the White House has dictated that the Republican-controlled Congress not conduct oversight of an important national security matter,” Rockefeller said. “They have made it clear that anyone who suggests that oversight is needed should be labeled as unpatriotic.” Jimmy Carter, appearing on “Hardball” was almost slack-jawed. “I never even considered the fact that our country would be debating whether or not we could continue to torture prisoners around the world in secret prisons. This is something that’s inconceivable. “But I notice that the administration now is pushing hard to get Congress not to approve the John McCain proposal, supported by 90 out of 100 senators, that we not resort to torture. This administration is insisting that we resort to torture, which I think is a profound change in our basic moral values, just one of many,” he said. As for Cheney’s alleged meddling with the Senate? “I think that’s an open fact that everybody knows. He been to senators and they have made it public that he has urged them to permit the CIA to continue torturing prisoners.” As for his reasoning to be against torture, aside from the fact that, usually, the prisoner being tortured will confess to ANYthing just to make it stop, Carter took the high road. “Well, first of all, it’s against a basic human rights commitment that was made 50 years ago when the United Nations was first formed, and every country has agreed to abide by this restraint, including every president who served for the last 50 years. “It also besmirches America’s position as the so-called former champion of human rights. There’s not a single major human rights organization in the world that’s not now condemning America as one of the foremost violators of basic human rights. “And it’s not only just overseas in prisons for torture, but we have also done the same thing at home in doing away with civil liberties and incarcerating about 1,200 people after 9/11 who were not ever accused of a crime, who couldn’t have access to a lawyer, who couldn’t see their own family. They were finally — some of them secretly released. “But these kind of secret things that have been, I guess, excluded from the knowledge of even the overwhelming members of the Congress have now been revealed, and I think it brings about a lot of knowledge about what this administration has done that we didn’t know before… “Also, it brings about discredit for the reputation of America as a country that believes in justice and fairness and abides by international structures that have been put forward.” Carter, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is genuinely saddened by the world of Bush. “We have known for 200 — well, at least for 100 years — that the United States government had the policy under Democratic and Republican presidents, we will go to war as approved by the international agreements if our own security is directly threatened. That particular premise concerning peace has been abandoned. “We now have preemptive war, which means we will go to war, we will bomb people, we will send missiles in to attack people, we invade countries if we disagree with their leader and think he ought to be removed or if we think that someday in the future they might pose a military threat to us.” On the TV stump, Carter added. “In the last five years there has been a profound and radical change in the basic policies or moral values of our country. “This is just one indication of what has been done under this administration to change the policies that have persisted all the way through our history.” So, how is that preemptive war going, anyhow? How’s this headline? “Six GIs Killed in Iraq; 20 Die in Bombing,” with a throwaway final paragraph: “In other violence Wednesday, at least 13 Iraqis were killed and 25 wounded in scattered shootings and other bombings around the country.” So much for Bush’s distraction contraption. Oh, yeah. In the latest CBS poll? Bush has a whopping 35% approval rating. In all fairness to Dubya, “festering boil” was not included on their poll. Bush’s numbers might have been lower had that been the case.


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