I know this is a bit off-topic, but nonetheless, the subject is important to overlook.
Last week marked the fifth year of the Iraq War, PBS' Frontline will present a documentary on the Bush administration's war mongering tactics. In fulfilling a request from a faithful fan of the site, I'm turning over the keys of the site to a reader "I.C. Presumptive" who will elaborate on the documentary as well as offer his views on the Bush administration.I.C., the floor is yours:
Americans now face an undeniably, colossal, political crises that has both immediate governance and Constitutional issues.
Channel 13’s Frontline
has produced an explicit and consummate summary of the Bush administration’s war mongering and political corruption.
Channel 13 will rerun Bush's War
on Saturday, March 29 at 3 p.m.,
the second part at 5 p.m.
From the evidence presented it would appear the active manipulators would go to any extent to further their ambitions and/or divert public attention from their war criminal behaviors.
The question arises, just how far would they go to get what they want?
Presidents with far more integrity than that of the Bush Administration have intrigued before.
There really is no assurance that this administration will not do so.
The great questions of our times are how are we facing these issues?
What will we do about them and how fast will we do it?
Given some of the undemocratic warping of our nominally democratic system, its ingrained sluggishness and congestion, how much correction is possible and can it be done fast enough to be effective?
This political review focuses on a war that is depriving every municipality and state government of the resources needed to improve public life.
It is has destroyed national resources that could have been used for a national, efficient, health care system, for decent housing, for portable pensions and dozens of other policy supports for citizens.
It is still destroying those resources.
It seems as though this war was deliberately engaged in, in order to avoid just such policies.
For war is very profitable in the short run, it constantly feeds economic fantasies since it’s sheer waste is a perpetual watering hole for investment capital.
On the other hand domestic spending would result in a considerable freeing of citizens leading to more productive and meaningful lives.
Adequate health care embodies ‘freedom’ in a substantive way.
That is the rub.
Citizens would not be so effectively ‘chained’ to their jobs.
The powers-that-be would weep.
The question is who, or more accurately how many, in the Bush Administration have an invested interest in denying such democratic progress and why.
We now have reached 4000 dead young men and women, propagandized into battle to serve a lie.
Tens of thousands more are crippled, many functionally inadequate to continue their lives by their own capabilities.
This is the public payoff for electing a simpleton and a fascist to the highest offices in the land.
If you doubt such characterizations watch the Frontline
They will become compellingly clear.
The program makes many, specific, burning disclosures that depict several key elements in this administration’s political corruption and degeneration of democratic government.
The fault lies primarily with three men, two like-minded, immoral and valueless egos, and one vacant president.
Perhaps the foremost deviation from anything that could be called democratic government was the effort exerted by Vice President Dick Cheney
to lie into existence a public fear of "weapons of mass destruction
Through many permutations and twists of doctoring the political intelligence and denying facts, Cheney's propagandists went so far as to plant disinformation at selected prestigious newspapers.
Once articles were written from the pseudo facts of these plants, administration spokespersons referenced them as though they were independent, corroborative evidence of factually based opinion.
It was a debasing effort.
Not only debasing the administration but the newspapers that allowed the deceptions.
Another Cheney device was to funnel intelligence information to Donald Rumsfeld
’s controlled team in the Pentagon
to ‘make’ suitable war intelligence.
This Office of Special Plans by means of a great deal of threats and coercions of CIA and Defense Department analysts succeeded in manufacturing the desired facts to meet the policy.
The policy was war by whatever means could be contrived.
The purpose was to dismember Iraq
as a functioning nation and society so it could be grabbed for oil and Middle East
military control functions.
However, the prerequisite in order for these efforts to succeed was the need to also manufacture a systematic mischaracterization of the Constitutional war making powers of the president.
This legalistic concoction was also expected to serve to protect the conspirators from war criminal prosecutions.
The mere occurrence of their forethought to protect themselves belies their claims of innocence about the evidence methods or their purpose.
Yet they make such claims.
The purposeful constructions were placed in the hands of a young lawyer, John Yoo, a willing junior lawyer hired for his political loyalty.
He developed, apparently largely by himself, a preposterous S.Y.A (save-your-ass) legal, stone tablet of Constitutional rewrites to cover the Bush war policy.
He appears to conceive of himself as one of the sons of the founding fathers, intimate with their thoughts, and therefore thoroughly able to transform their magnificent document of the ages into a little rat’s nest of deceit.
It is interesting to watch this man's TV affects as well as read his written justifications.
He effects and certainly projects a perfectly innocent calm.
It is a projection of a preposterous, totally uncritical belief in the tyranny he has created.
He acts as if he was merely measuring American household rugs for cleaning.
The whole pretense is one of innocent Constitutional clarification, meaning of course, perfecting.
An immediate viewer response is the apparent lack of any critical thinking.
After all, he is conjuring up an American emperor, but claiming it is just an everyday, routine political construction.
He affects that he is merely performing a small part directed to him by a large governmental bureaucracy for which a small bit player like himself obviously cannot have any possible responsibility for the whole.
The result is surely a posture of absolute fabrication.
Or as Jonathan Raban
has wondered, “what kind of wormhole have you entered when the alternative to being afraid of what the government tells you is to be afraid of what it isn’t telling you?
The final and fulfilling necessity for the war plan is a vacant, absent presidency.
News clippings, news conferences, interviews of George W. Bush
strongly suggest that the man is not ‘there’ when he appears there. Frontline
’s narrative gives George W. Bush
a rather large benefit of the doubt while the visuals disclose that he is seldom ‘there’ when he so appears.
This was and remains a Teleprompter presidency.
The speeches are prepared, he is handed them at the last minute, he reads them, and the performances are more or less successful depending on how uncritical the public is toward the entertainment.
For entertainment is surely what it is.
We now know there was seldom a shred of truth to the whole war producing enterprise.
The media concoctions were, as they still are, completely formulated for public consumption.
As such it makes sense why glimpses of the man on many occasions seem to show that he doesn’t know what he is doing.
He often isn’t in touch and certainly not cognizant of what he is saying.
The whole routine comes across as a generic exercise in mindlessness.
Where it is not simply mindless, where the video presentation shows him as ‘present,’ the viewer is left with the edgy feeling that whatever he decided or decides is totally subject to the last man advising him on any particular day.
And Dick Cheney
, unmistakably, makes certain that he and he alone is that man
Unless, of course, it is Donald Rumsfeld
in his place.
Think of Chauncey Gardiner in Being There
and you will not be far from visualizing the substance of the Bush presidency.
Overall, the totality of Frontline’s factual presentation portrays an ever larger conceptualization that the Bush administration is the most morally adrift, manipulated concoction of indecent government that this U.S. republic has ever produced. Even Richard Nixon at his most thuggish best, pales in comparison as John Dean in his book has testified.
“Republicans have taken Nixon’s disgraced tactics and approach to presidential power as their starting point. They have learned that if caught, deny it. If that doesn't work, ignore the fact you have been caught and just keep doing it, and claim you have the inherent power to do so. They can get away with it because right-wing talk radio and Fox Cable News have become the cheering section that did not exist during Watergate. As for oversight, during the first six years of the Bush/Cheney administration, the GOP-controlled Congress could not even spell the word "oversight." Only now are we approaching real tests of whether the Democratic Congress will go the distance to get the information they are entitled to have.”[ii]
reveals that in the government process of the Bush Administration, there is no process.
This is verified by other observers and participants in the administration. Paul Krugman
has pointed out “their initial domestic surveillance program was apparently so lawless and unconstitutional that even John Ashcroft
, approached on his sickbed, refused to go along.”[iii]
Jack Goldsmith, the president’s legal counsel provides an abundance of their devices in The Terror Presidency
Lawrence Wilkerson does likewise in a New York Times
retrospective biographical sketch.[v]
Michiko Kakutani in a review of Fred Kaplan’s Daydream Believers quotes
“The Bush Administration’s strategies failed “because they did not fit the realities of his era: They were based not on a grasp of technology, history or foreign cultures but rather on fantasy, faith and willful indifference toward those affected by their consequences.”
“In their best intentioned moments, they put forth ideas without strategies, policies without process, wishes without means.”
And that is presuming that they ever presumed any ‘best intentions.’
That means there was no moral sense of the way facts were being gathered, no organization of counter arguments, weighing of opinions, resolution of conflicts resulting from these opinions, the careful preparation of a policy to match existing conditions, and no examination of the likely sequences of problems resulting from such a policy.
There was only a top down manufacturing by connivance, about contriving a case by bullying and coercion to prepare a system of lies for public deception.
It was and is a matter of deceit from start to finish.
In the end we come to the realization that the symmetry of the three men, their narcissistic (totally self-centered) flaming egos, allowed them to gather about themselves the most robust team of political sycophants this world has seen in 60 years and perhaps has ever seen.
In addition, typically as narcissists, these are men of absolute certitude, they never doubt, they never question themselves, they are never wrong, they listen to no one. “It has long been clear that President Bush
doesn’t feel other people’s pain.
His self-centeredness shines through whenever he makes off-the-cuff, unscripted remarks…”[viii]
We are being ruled by men “who are pathologically incapable of owning up to mistakes.”[ix]
Our sacred belief that the United States could not produce fascists because of our moral character and democratic system is here given the lie in all its stunning richness and degenerate flavor.
This triumvirate of warmongers has savaged a whole country, shoveling millions of Iraqis into a hell from which hundreds of thousands will never exit.
Our government and the public acceptance of its war policy until lately, the raving enthusiasm for war after 9/11 egged on by this administration, has laid waste the Iraqi nation and called it ‘freedom.’
No English word on this earth was ever given a more vile reputation on the ground of its application. That is unless we include England ’s grinding dissolution of the Scottish Highlanders and the starving of the Irish people.
Those were called ‘pacification.’
We shall pay for this travesty for a very long time, the innocent with the guilty, the fellow travelers with the objectors, the young and the old who couldn’t understand, all who refused to examine or denied that a coterie of democracy destroyers had taken over and has abused and continues to abuse the governing processes of the United States .
[i] Leland, John. United States of Anxiety. The New York Times, book interview with Jonathan Raban. My Holy War, New York Review Books, 2005.
[ii] Dean, John W. Editorial Review of Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush. NY, Viking Adult, 2007. From the interview at Amazon.com, Reed Business Information, Reed Elsesier, Inc. Date unspecified.
[iii] Krugman, Paul. Don’t Blame Bush. New York Times, May 18, 2007, A25.
[iv] Goldsmith, Jack L. The Terror Presidency. NY, Norton, 2007. Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, the president’s official legal counsel on affairs of state.
[v] Weisman, Steven R. Ex-Powell Aide Moves from Insider to Apostate. The New York Times, December, 24, 2006, A4. A retrospective biographical sketch of Lawrence B. Wilkerson. Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.
[vi] Kakutani, Michiko. Global Strategy or Grand Illusion? The New York Times, March 18, 2008, E1
[vii] Brooks , David . Ends Without Means. The New York Times, September 14, 2006, A27. George W. Bush: “This is the most inner directed man on the globe.”
[viii] Krugman, Paul. It’s All About Them. The New York Times, August 13, 2007, A19.
[ix] Krugman, Paul. Wrong is Right. The New York Times. February 16, 2007, A15