I should avoid the news, but couple of items caught my eye. This Wash Post story led on some of the blogs yesterday, and I didn't even read it. Partly because I am busy, but also as Wasp Jerky puts it: who has the energy to keep up with all the scandals from this administration, especially when Bush's base runs around with their fingers stuck in their ears.
But this one annoys me. All the discussion about moral values seems to have ignored the fact that Bush prefers his version of things over something called, uh, the truth. As it turns out, even as Bush held up those mobile "weapons labs" (trailers) as proof of the Iraqi wmd program, he had ample, first hand evidence that they were anything but. Which story did they prefer? The one that made them right.
"On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile 'biological laboratories.' He declared, 'We have found the weapons of mass destruction.'The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true."
Read the story. It is a great example of how intelligence in this administration is all about the politics. They said that Clinton was all about politics, but Clinton evidently believed in policy too and some things were just policy. With Bush, it is all politics.
Of course, another thing bothering me is Sy Hersh's story in the New Yorker alleging that Bush fully intends to bomb Iran to stop their nuclear program. Sorry, nukular program. Bush, of course, says that is widely speculative and that he is pursuing diplomacy. But, you see, we remember him saying the same thing about Iraq, and we know from ample sources (Downing street, Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke) that Bush fully intended to invade Iraq regardless of how Saddam responded. The man who cites Jesus as his favorite political philosopher can't be trusted at his word.
I am not really a pacifist, though I have great respect for pacifism. But what really bothers me is that the Hersh story reveals that the Joint Chiefs think it is folly, I am reading that Israel thinks it is folly. The only people who think this is a good idea, at least now, are the people who think that Bush is the hand of God, and that reportedly includes him. Oh, and his amoral vp.
Does Bush really think that God speaks directly to him and placed him in office for this specific time? Does he really think that his adversaries are all evil and must be eradicated? Or does he believe the Left Behind books (though he doesn't read) and think he needs to jump start armageddon?
Either way, Bush and Cheney scare the living shit out of me.
Speaking of the gruesome twosome. Wasp Jerky's post is worth reading. He links to a very interesting Greg Palast post that addresses the newest twist in the Valerie Plame case--namely that the instigator of all of this mess was Bush himself. Bushite friends say that since the President can declassify materials, this wasn't a leak and no crimes have been committed. (As many have noted, Bush is more and more resembling Nixon in his assertion that when does something it is fine, when someone else does it, it might be a crime). Palast notes that even if all of this is true, Bush and Cheney stood around and allowed a multi-million dollar grand jury investigation to proceed half-blind when they knew the truth the whole time:
On February 10, 2004, our not-so-dumb-as-he-sounds President stated, "Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing. ...And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it."
Notice Bush's cleverly crafted words. He says he can't name anyone who leaked this "classified" info -- knowing full well he'd de-classified it. Far from letting Bush off the hook, it worsens the crime. For years, I worked as a government investigator and, let me tell you, Bush and Cheney withholding material information from the grand jury is a felony. Several felonies, actually: abuse of legal process, fraud, racketeering and, that old standby, obstruction of justice.
I am so tired of this crowd. I am so tired of people waving the Bible in one hand, quoting Ecclesiastes to appeal to the thumper crowd, and then acting in a way that would make Machiavelli blush on the other. I am tired of all of this--the Bush administration and the damn Bush enablers. You all deserve each other. Unfortunately, the rest of us have to live with an administration that lied to get us into war, then lied about that same war, then appears to have learned nothing and wants to get us into another war. And along the way, outed one of our spies to discredit a political adversary.
Wow, I will defend my votes for Clinton with ease.