Greetings to all subscribers!
The chess moves being made by the Bush team are, with each passing day, growing increasingly transparent, increasingly cynical, increasingly contemptuous of the American people, and – perhaps most of all – increasingly arrogant.
It is becoming more and more obvious that this administration doesn’t feel the need to even give lip service to justifying their actions to the American people — doesn’t feel the need to tell lies with even a modicum of credibility. For Bush & Co., no lie is too absurd to parade out before the American people.
Now these people, with the rather obvious exception of George himself, are not stupid. They simply don’t care. They have elevated arrogance to a level perhaps never before seen on the world stage. They know that they can rely on all of their media whores to boldly repeat any lie that rolls off their lips, and they really don’t give a damn how thoroughly ridiculous those lies have become.
In my mind’s eye, I can picture them sitting in a smoke-filled back room somewhere laughing their asses off at the willful ignorance and blind patriotism of many of our fellow citizens. Yes, even as we wave our flags and tell pollsters how much we admire the exemplary job that Team Bush is doing, they are having a good laugh at our expense.
How could they not be?
They have taken a man who, if he hadn’t had the good fortune to be born with the name “Bush,” would have had a hard time holding down a job shoveling shit out of the stables, and they have installed him, against the will of the electorate, in what is purportedly the highest office in the land.
In a country where we are indoctrinated from the womb to believe that we will be rewarded for hard work, talent, and intelligence – where we are taught that the very best and brightest will naturally rise to the top – they have chosen to install at the very top of the food chain a lazy (intellectually and otherwise), talentless, functionally illiterate, hollow shell of a man.
In a nation of better than 250,000,000 people, George Bush was declared to be the best qualified applicant to represent to the country, and to the world, the principles for which we claim to stand — principles which George Bush contradicts by his very existence.
And cynically installing Sir George was just a warm-up exercise for what has followed.
If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the bellows of laughter coming from that smoke-filled room.
Cheney: “Wait a minute guys … how’s this for an idea … let’s all start talking about how he has really grown into the job.”
(hysterical laughter follows)
Rumsfeld: “Wait … I’ve got an even better one: let’s compare him to Churchill!”
(even more hysterical laughter)
Ari Fleischer: “Oh my god, that’s perfect!”
George Bush: “Ha, ha, that’s funny … who are we talking about?”
Karl Rove: “Hey Rummy, are you going to pass that bong around or what?”
(high-fives all around the room)
If one has the ability to journalistically detach ones self from the passing parade, the fools on the Hill put on a wonderfully surreal and sublimely hilarious show. But the unfortunate reality is that the actions taken by this administration and its congressional team of rubber-stampers have consequences that are all too real and all too ominous.
Without question the most disturbing development of the week was the announcement of the arrest of “Dirty Bomber” suspect Jose Padilla. Now make no mistake about it, everything about the purported case against Padilla absolutely reeks, from the cynical timing of the announcement, to the fact that the state doesn’t have anything even remotely resembling actual evidence to support its charges.
The boys in the back room must have been in rare form as they bounced around ideas about how to present the Padilla case to the American people.
There is no question that the timing and near hysterical tone of the initial announcement smacked of cynicism and opportunism. John Ashcroft, appointed to office after demonstrating that he couldn’t even beat a corpse to get elected to office (“Hey John, how did you do against that dead guy?” “Oh, I lost … but I think I can take him next time”), acted as though he had single-handedly foiled a plot, just in the nick of time, that would have reduced New York City to a mushroom cloud.
Now don’t get me wrong — that’s a really good story. Really scary. It made us all feel very vulnerable and thankful that Uncle John was there to save us. The only problem is that the entire story is bullshit. And not even good bullshit, like the kind that I spread all over my lawn last weekend to piss off my neighbors. No — this bullshit has a much more pronounced stench. Call it, as others have, Bushit.
First of all, the alleged ‘dirty bomber’ had been in custody for weeks, and had ceased being a threat, if in fact he ever was one, long before the announcement was made. Second, he didn’t actually have a plan, nor a target, nor the materials to create the so-called ‘dirty bomb,’ nor the training to know how to build a ‘dirty bomb,’ nor – as near as can be discerned – much of a motive.
So Ashcroft’s scare tactic of presenting a scenario whereby there was an imminent threat to the country can only be described as pure, unmitigated Bushit.
Then there is the fact that the threat posed by a ‘dirty bomb’ was, shall we say, somewhat overstated. For those who don’t yet know what a ‘dirty bomb’ is, it works on much the same principle as that little stunt you used to pull as a kid: putting an M-80 under a pile of dog shit on your neighbor’s front porch.
And the effects of the ‘dirty bomb,’ according to the experts, are basically the same as the effects of the shit bomb: a lot of noise, a big mess to clean up, and a lot of upset people — but not much real damage (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-000041027jun11.story).
So this entire escapade could be laughed off as just another stunningly heavy-handed, and unbelievably transparent, attempt by the Bush regime to manufacture a blatantly fraudulent threat to the nation to keep the American people in a constant state of fear and confusion so that they will blindly lend their support to the most reactionary of police-state measures.
But the scripted response to this sideshow spectacle is certainly no laughing matter. Make no mistake about it: Team Bush has openly declared war on the American people, particularly all the dissenters in the crowd. Anyone who fails to grasp the significance of the unabashedly Gestapo-inspired actions taken against Padilla is truly living in a fantasy world.
All joking and snide remarks aside, this is a very serious, and very deadly game we’re playing here. The stakes couldn’t possibly be any higher. There is nothing less at stake here than the futures of your children and your grandchildren. So the question is: what is it going to be? What kind of a world do you want them to inherit?
A world of never-ending violence and war? A soulless world devoid of compassion? A world of vast police-state powers? A world filled with fear and despair? A cold and brutal world where anything remotely resembling social services have been sacrificed on the altar of grotesquely bloated military budgets? A world where the select few hoard all the world’s resources while the huddled masses are left to wallow in their misery?
What’s that you say? That’s not what you want? You think your kids deserve a better world than that to grow up in? Then the question that needs to be asked is: what are you going to do about it? The boys in the back room don’t think you’re going to do a goddamn thing about it. That’s why they’re laughing at you.
And to tell you the truth, I’m not so sure that they aren’t right.
The changes that have occurred in this country in the last nine months, with only the most muted of protests, are truly staggering. The world (or more precisely, what we refer to as the ‘Third World’) has been put on notice that the formidable U.S. military machine will strike first, will strike without warning, and will strike without presenting any justifying evidence.
A U.S. citizen has been thrown in a military prison without a shred of evidence having been presented to justify the sensational accusations leveled by the Bush regime. He hasn’t been charged with any crimes, because there isn’t any evidence to support any criminal charges.
He will not be brought to trial, because the state would then have to present some kind of a case, which would, of course, require the presentation of actual evidence. He is not allowed any legal counsel. He will be held under such conditions, according to Team Bush, approximately until hell freezes over.
That the case of Jose Padilla, who may or may not prefer to be called Abdullah Al Muhajir, was used in an inept attempt to bolster the credibility of the FBI (“see? … we didn’t screw up this time”) couldn’t possibly be any more transparent. Even the subservient U.S. media took note of the convenient timing by Ashcroft and Co.
Far more disturbing though is that Padilla’s case is also being used to set a precedent, and an extremely alarming one at that: any American citizen can be swept off the street under the most preposterous of pretexts, and locked away indefinitely without the bother of legal representation, an indictment, a trial, the presentation of evidence, or any of those other outdated traditions of the American criminal ‘justice’ system.
And don’t look to the courts to curtail the blatantly unconstitutional powers that this administration has unilaterally conferred upon itself. The head of the presidential appointment team, William Rehnquist, has made it very clear that the highest court in the land has no intention of doing any such thing (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-000041966jun15.story).
There is no shortage of other Bushit to cover this week, but first I have to get to some of the latest news out of the Washington surrogate in the Middle East known as Israel. I have a fairly large backlog of articles, so bear with me while I try to get through them all.
First off we have a report here of a clandestine meeting between CIA Director George Tenet and his counterpart in the Mossad. They were, I’m sure, discussing peaceful solutions to the current conflict. (http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm?id=634069031&Section=Main&page=Home&channel=All%20Arab%20News&objectid=2A17E941-F5E0-11D4-867D00D0B74A0D7C)
And here’s a report from Amnesty International condemning the mass detention of Palestinians “in cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions.” (http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/Index/MDE150742002?OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIESISRAEL/OCCUPIED+TERRITORIES) Coupled with that is this condemnation from the International Committee of the Red Cross. (http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList325/C4091471E111E80BC1256BA00058ECF5)
Next we have a website calling for divestment from Israel until such time that the Israeli leadership complies with longstanding UN resolutions that have been ignored for decades. (http://www.princeton.edu/~speac/apartheid.htm)
The next order of business is this WSWS posting that looks at the Bush regime’s support for Sharon’s refusal to seek diplomatic solutions (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/jun2002/isra-j12.shtml). George and Ariel purportedly agree that there can be no negotiations until the Palestinian Authority has new leadership.
The truth though is that the last thing the Western powers want is for Arafat to be replaced. If that was indeed the goal, Yasser would have drawn his last breath a long time ago. The furthest thing from Bush and Sharon’s minds is deposing Yasser Arafat, which would create a power vacuum that could conceivably be filled by someone who isn’t a pawn of Western intelligence services.
This Los Angeles Times report takes a peek at the concerted efforts made by Israeli military forces to prevent aid groups from getting humanitarian assistance and basic supplies to the besieged Palestinian people. (http://www.latimes.com/la-000041017jun11.story)
Finally, here are a couple of postings that take another look at the wanton war crimes committed by Israeli forces in the Jenin refugee camp — war crimes that are openly boasted of by one of the men who committed them.
Of course we all know, as various respondents keep reminding me, that “everyone” now agrees that there was no massacre in Jenin. That is why, I’m thinking, Israel blocked all efforts to conduct any sort of a serious investigation into what exactly took place there.
According to Sharon, Israel stands above international law. In fact, Israel doesn’t have to answer to anyone for anything that it chooses to do: “Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial.” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1241000/1241371.stm)
Speaking of arrogance, I seem to remember reading something about some other rogue state that declares itself to be above the law, but I can’t quite put my finger on which country that is …
And speaking of massacres, it turns out that that far-fetched story that the Bush boys put out months ago about a prison revolt in Mazar-i-Sharif was exactly what some of us said it was at the time: Bushit. (http://www.news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=648372002)
What actually occurred there, according to an apparently well-documented film, was a U.S.-directed massacre on a scale that would have made the Nazis proud. Don’t expect though to see this film showing up on your television screens anytime soon.
And here’s some more Bushit exposed: remember that badly-botched hostage rescue operation in the Philippines that the United States had nothing to do with and didn’t provide any military support for? Well … shockingly enough, it turns out that the administration may have been fudging just a little bit on that story. (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/06/09/1022982800237.html)
Continuing on, here’s yet another Bushit story exposed: remember when the Bush team moved into the White House as though they had actually won the election and then started whining about how the Clinton staffers had totally trashed the place? It seems that Bob Barr wasn’t going to let that story go away, so he persuaded the GAO to conduct a thorough inquiry.
And now, thousands of man-hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, we have a 200+ page report that reveals that there was, at most, a total of $15,000 in maintenance and repairs costs after the Clinton team moved out. (http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-na-clinton12jun12.story) And apparently (and this is the really scandalous part), they weren’t required to leave a security deposit when they rented the place.
Some of you may remember another bit of Bushit as well: The Smirk’s claims during the presidential selection that he wasn’t into “nation building.” We should assume then that the Bush team wouldn’t have any interest in shaping the ‘post-war’ government of Afghanistan.
But according to a number of reports, Afghanistan’s loya jirga was a wholly manufactured and U.S.-directed affair:
From Canada’s Globe and Mail comes this fascinating bit of information: “In the minutes after the [September 11] attacks, control of the continent’s airspace was turned over to NORAD.” (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate?tf=tgam/common/FullStory.html&cf=tgam/common/FullStory.cfg&configFileLoc=tgam/config&vg=BigAdVariableGenerator&date=20020613&dateOffset=&hub=international&title=International&cache_key=international¤t_row=3&start_row=3&num_rows=1)
According to the deputy commander of NORAD, their “reaction on that day was sufficiently quick” — so much so that he claims that “we may well have precluded at least one other hijacking.”
Now that is a most remarkable statement given the fact that the most damning evidence of complicity of the Bush administration in the events of September 11 has always been the complete absence of any civil air defense measures taken that day.
Though aircraft that were known to have been hijacked remained in the air for considerable periods of time that day, no jets were ever scrambled to intercept the errant aircraft. Dispatching interceptors is, as several researchers have noted, a fairly routine procedure. It does not require that the hijacked craft be shot down. The first job of an interceptor is merely to attempt to make contact with the suspect plane.
And at no time did that happen on September 11. There is simply no reasonable explanation for that. There is no way that it can be explained away, and no way that it can be spun out of existence. That is why the ‘conspiracy’ bashers on the ‘left’ like Michael Albert and David Corn tend to steer clear of the issue.
In the following posting, an experienced pilot explains how the air traffic and civil air defense systems work, and why the official September 11 story doesn’t add up: http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?id=165346&article=10650. And here, for additional perspective, is the transcript of an interview with Jared Israel, who has been at the forefront in emphasizing the significance of the lack of any military response to the attacks: http://emperors-clothes.com/indict/radio-1.htm
In other news, The Smirk has now signed into law a “Bioterror Attack Bill,” part of an ongoing effort by the boys in the back room to militarize the country’s healthcare system. The bill was passed by the U.S. Congress with but a single dissenting vote, carrying on a post-9/11 tradition (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-000041575jun13.story).
Apparently the casting of a single dissenting vote in the 435-seat House is supposed to reassure us that there is still some loyal opposition on the Hill to Plan Bush.
For those who doubt that militarizing healthcare, or – to put it another way – the merging of medicine and law enforcement, is a goal of the Bush regime, take a look at this photo and ask yourself: does this look like a man who should serve as the top healthcare official in the nation?
No? Well, George Bush thinks that it does. Meet Richard Carmona, The Smirk’s pick to serve the country as Surgeon General.
For those of you who are wondering how all those additional billions of dollars allocated to America’s defense will be spent, one avenue of research is the possibility of converting ground troops into cyborg-like “supermen” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1112000/1112411.stm). And coming soon to a war near you, we may soon have the “objective individual combat weapon” to arm our robotroops: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/military/1998/9/army_wonder_weapon/index.phtml
Other uses for your tax dollars include the creation of “Directed Energy Weapons” – to be used for military purposes and for civilian law enforcement and crowd control (which is to say, the control of dissent) (http://cndyorks.gn.apc.org/yspace/articles/raytheon-optics.htm) – and the control of the weather as a potentially devastating tool of war (http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/military/1997/2/weather_wars/).
There were, I’m happy to report, some encouraging developments this week, though they were easily lost in the flurry of ‘dirty bomber’ reports. For example, an unprecedented legal decision will force Unocal to answer in court for its human rights abuses in Burma:
And, though it is a long-shot at best, the Bush team may find themselves in court as well, answering to charges that they knowingly and willfully allowed the events of September 11 to transpire: http://www.examiner.com/news/default.jsp?story=n.lawyer.0611w. In a similar vein, a coalition of World Trade Center widows have come together to demand an independent investigation: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/12/politics/12WIDO.html?ex=1024899617&ei=1&en=abd51f87c44203ab.
Activist Judi Bari won a posthumous court victory when her estate was awarded nearly $3 million by a federal jury as compensation for the violation of her civil rights by the FBI and the Oakland Police Department (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-000041226jun12.story).
Bari had been the victim of a Cointelpro-type operation. Cointelpro was, of course, a massive domestic spying operation aimed at stifling dissent in this country (http://www.sfgate.com/campus/). For those who missed it the first time around, have no fear: it’s coming back with a vengeance, thanks to Ashcroft, Ridge and the rest of the White House gang.
I mentioned several pages back that John Ashcroft lost his last Senate race to a dead guy. It just occurred to me, as I am writing this, that maybe we should have corpses run as candidates in all elections. That might be a good way to clear all the jackals out of office without merely replacing them with other jackals.
Maybe we can even start up a Corpse Party and fill the White House and Congress with dead guys. We can tie strings to their arms and legs so that they can be animated when necessary. They will basically function exactly as our current politicians do, except that they won’t smell quite as bad and won’t make quite as many asinine statements to the press.
Moving on to the week in sports, some basketball team from Los Angeles won some kind of a championship thanks in part to some questionable officiating, and Mike Tyson was knocked out by Lennox Lewis — which wasn’t nearly as entertaining as watching Greg Brady get his ass kicked by Danny Partridge on Fox’s “Celebrity Boxing.” Now that’s entertainment. Lewis, I’m happy to report, finished the fight with both of his ears intact.
And finally, I leave you with a very special treat from my mailbag this week: actual e-mails that I have received from my alleged relatives. Specifically, these two e-mails arrived in response to a mailing of mine that mistakenly found its way into the in-box of my first-cousin Nancy and her husband Harry. OK … it didn’t really arrive there mistakenly … I actually sent it there deliberately, but that’s beside the point.
Harry and Nancy are, as their correspondence indicates, huge fans of my work. This first response came from Harry. Now Harry is, purportedly, a fairly well-educated man who runs a successful business in America’s heartland. I’m quite embarrassed to say though that his e-mailed response is reproduced here exactly as it arrived:
Man your are out there, if you could onle have served in the military and not hide behind some else who served for you. Just to give you the privledge to slam anthing you don’t feel is good. Ever thought of living in Iraq or Iran? I’ll pay for the ticket. BosoThis country has alot to be proud of and people like you will never know it.To bad.Harry
I don’t think the president himself could have composed a more literate message. This second, considerably more frantic mailing arrived less than an hour later:
David, I didn’t read any of your email and Harry didn’t read much of your email before he realized that he didn’t share your opinions. Be advised that we will NOT open any emails that you send in the future. Are time is very valuable. Please remove us from your email address book. I’m sorry you are missing the blessing of being an American and living in the United States. You are in our prayers.Your Cousin,Nancy
You would have thought that Satan himself had deposited mail into their in-box. I haven’t sent them any further mailings. I don’t want to take up any more of their valuable time. There are flags that need to be waved and bibles that need to be thumped. Hypocrisy can be a very time-consuming task.
I had some other very amusing e-mails that were sent by a few other cousins, but I seem to have already deleted them. Maybe I’ll send this newsletter out to the family to see if I can generate some new comedy material for a future newsletter.
Until then ….