Lying may be the lifeblood of politics, but sometimes it gets so absurd, so bald, so over the top, I can’t let it pass. If nothing else, the big whoppers expose the contempt these jerks running for office have for the voters. On Wednesday, October 20, I was watching CNBC and it showed a clip of our truth-challenged prez at some campaign stop saying, “I would only choose war as a last resort. You know that.” Words to that effect, though I couldn’t confirm them on the web.
C’mon! The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. He thirsted to attack from the beginning of his regime, and every political junkie knows it. Here’s two pieces of evidence: David Frum, ex-speechwriter for Bush, writes that in February ’01 Bush was determined “to dig Saddam Hussein out of power in Iraq” (p. 26). Paul O’Neill, Bush’s first Treasury Secretary, went to the first meeting of the National Security Council on January 30, 2001, and thought, “Ten days in, and it was about Iraq” (p. 75). “From the start, we were building the case against Hussein and looking at how we could take him out and change Iraq into a new country. And, if we did that, it would solve everything. It was all about finding a way to do it. The President saying, ‘Fine. Go find me a way to do this.’” (p. 86).
The war-lust of this self-described “war president” and his henchmen, plus the 9/11 dispensation to indulge in it, go far beyond invading two countries and displacing one lousy tyrant in the middle east. The monstrous neocon cabal has ruled the clueless Bush since it took over.
From the git-go, these armchair warriors claimed that “there was no greater menace in the world than Iraqi President Saddam Hussein” (p. 60). That’s aside from the threat they themselves pose to the world, I guess. Secretary of State Colin Powell, reacting to Donald Rumsfeld’s proposal to attack Iraq immediately after 9/11, said to Army General Hugh Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “What the hell, what are these guys thinking about? Can’t you get these guys back in the box?” (p. 61).
We should be so lucky. These guys are “steadfast,” as the President says, and it’s too bad that they won’t be “committed” back to their loony box, where they rightfully belong. Fanaticism is fashionable today, though. The good news is that they remain fully eligible for indictment and subsequent trial for treason, high crimes and misdemeanors, and then incarceration for life or hanging.
One of the remarkable features about Woodward’s narrative is reference to “Pearl Harbor.” In Donald Rumsfeld’s first eight months back in the Pentagon, he struck two major themes. First, “the military was hidebound and outdated” and required “transformation.” Rumsfeld’s second theme was a “surprise. He routinely handed out or recommended a book called Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision by Roberta Wohlstetter. Rumsfeld particularly recommended the foreword, written by Thomas Schelling, who argued that Pearl Harbor was an ordinary blunder, the type government specializes in. ‘There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable’” (pp. 22–3).
Isn’t that rascally ol’ Rumsfeld a prescient forecaster, suggesting that a Pearl-Harbor-type event might happen!? Marvelous to have his prophecy protecting us at DoD. How could he have known? Hmmmm.
Pearl Harbor was no “ordinary blunder,” but then again, 9/11 wasn’t either.
Given the infirmities of so-called ordinary blunders, Ms. Wohlstetter’s volume advocates preemptive strikes around the world, taking out trouble-makers before they can exploit our susceptibility to surprise attacks. The more government screws up in the homeland – faked or real – the more armed aggression (ahem, “preemption”) overseas. Important book, alright, since it’s the essence of the Bush doctrine.
Rumsfeld and Pearl Harbor make quite a pair. As the initial U.S. attack on Afghanistan slowed, Rumsfeld “was doing some research on the historical context of one of his favorite subjects – Pearl Harbor and World War II” (p. 283). At a press conference on November 1, he lectured the media on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath: “It took four months before the United States responded to that attack with the Doolittle Raid in April of ’42…” (p. 285) and so forth and so on.
Rumsfeld’s homework on Pearl Harbor stinks. The parallels between Pearl Harbor and 9/11 ill serve the Bush government. Robert Stinnett proves beyond a doubt that FDR finally maneuvered the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor and the devious Mr. Roosevelt knew every bit of their plans, yet failed to warn the U.S. fleet at Pearl. We had broken the Japanese military and naval codes long before. Roosevelt’s evil motive: stimulate rage, overcome dominant isolationist sentiment and get a fuming, foaming-at-the-mouth United States into full-bore war, especially against Germany.
And our more recent “Pearl Harbor”? That’s about as big a mystery as who murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. September 11th has the fingerprints and DNA of the United States government all over it. Most people don’t get it yet because they crave respectability, not the truth. Plus, when it comes to seeing through government and its arsenal of dirty tricks, common sense ain’t common. Thinking is hard work, so better to just absorb news shoveled by government and media spoon feeders. September 11th was a big covert operation and American brainwashing has it that a big conspiracy can’t work (ignore the fact that they have in the past using “compartmentalization,” ideology and “incentives”), besides it’s too horrible to contemplate that “our own” government could do this to America. The mainline press has avoided in-depth investigation to see if the official 9/11 account fits the evidence and is otherwise believable for very good reasons.
Think about it: A few smart guys in caves over in Afghanistan and 19 Arab dummies here certainly did not pull this event off. They could never arrange a U.S. Air Force stand down on 9/11, the precise demolition of three steel skyscrapers at World Trade (after hitting only two of them with planes!), a small military drone or cruise missile to fly into and explode at the Pentagon, a shootdown of Flight 93 (or whatever plane it was), the suppression of intelligence from the field prior to 9/11, criminal destruction of evidence post-9/11, resistance to any independent investigation, and incriminating evidence of cover ups and consciousness of guilt by high government officials.
Even Bob Woodward, establishment journalist that he is, finds it ironic that 9/11 was oh-so-Hollywood:
“September 11 was not only the deadliest attack on the American homeland, surpassing Pearl Harbor in body count, but the most photographed and filmed violent assault in history…It was almost as if the terrorists had a perfect sense of the American thirst for the theatrical and dramatic. It seemed they realized that the country had a news media and value system that would push all these images back in every face time and time again” (pp. 94–5).
We’re supposed to believe that Muslim extremists in caves had such deep insight into the American psyche that they sat back and asked, “What would Hollywood do, given a really big budget, to really frighten Americans and get their dander up and c’mon after us?” No, it wasn’t a small group of foreign terrorists who thought this up in a cave and executed it well. An American covert-operations mindset was at work, with emphasis on “American” (= unAmerican betrayal in this case!). There are criminals in America, ya know, and some work as spooks or higher in government.
How could terrorists get the President to act like the guiltiest person imaginable? He refused to testify alone, under oath and therefore subject to perjury, before the softball 9/11 Commission. That’s like the vast majority of criminal defendants who refuse to take the stand in their own defense in courts throughout the land. This president, unlike his predecessor, knows he isn’t smart enough to talk his way through an interrogation, even with friendly interrogators. It would’ve been satisfying to see Bush “taking the 5th.” Innocent people thirst for a platform to explain their innocence. The guilty don’t want to be cross-examined because their fabrications are easily torn asunder.
Then we have the morning of 9/11. The President behaved strangely, concentrating on reading an enthralling story about a girl’s pet goat in a Florida classroom while New York City burned, thousands died and duty called. The Secret Service has the best communications equipment in the world and yet the President feigned ignorance about the hijackings and first crash at 8:46a into World Trade. Vice President Cheney slipped up during an interview on “Meet the Press” on September 16, when he said, “The Secret Service has an arrangement with the FAA. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was…” – and stopped himself, before finishing the sentence. Actually, this aspect of the scandal goes much further because the Secret Service has its own radar system that allows it to see “what FAA’s radar was seeing” (pp. 6–7), so the President knew from 8:20a on (as a criminal conspirator, of course, he would know far earlier).
On September 13th, Bush scheduled a televised conference call with New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New York Governor George Pataki. “Bush appeared uncomfortable, almost distracted as he talked…” That’s odd behavior. A reporter asked the President, “Could you give us a sense as to what kind of prayers you are thinking and where your heart is, for yourself, as you…” It was “instantly obvious that he was struggling with his emotions. “I think about the families, the children.” He turned his head and his eyes filled with tears. “I am a loving guy,” he said (p. 54).
Reminds me of another sentimental slob, that affable double-murderer, O.J. Simpson. Remember his good-bye (suicide) note? “First, everyone understand I had nothing to do with Nicole’s murder. I loved her, always have and always will. If we had a problem, it’s because I loved her so much [I’d hate to see what he’d do to somebody he hated]…Despite our love, we were different…please, please leave my children in peace…I want to send my love and thanks to all my friends…I think of my life and feel I’ve done most of the right things…I’ve lived a good life. I’m proud of how I lived. My mama taught me to do unto others. I treated people the way I wanted to be treated. I’ve always tried to be up and helpful, so why is this happening…At times I have felt like a battered husband or boyfriend, but I loved her. Make that clear to everyone…” (pp. 307–8). Nicole was stabbed seven times in her neck and scalp and nearly decapitated. Goldman was stabbed thirty times, and both victims had defensive wounds to their hands trying to ward off the assault. The bodies were lying in a pool of their own blood, their clothing drenched (p. 18).
Feel the love? Criminals believe they are decent people. Just a few minor trip-ups here and there. Doesn’t matter if they raped babies, sodomized 6-year-olds, or any other crime imaginable. They occasionally experience guilt and remorse from a conscience that’s only partially operable. Conscience inflicts pain and we all want to avoid pain. “When they commit a crime, they can shut off considerations of conscience as quickly and totally as they can shut off an electric light,” writes criminal psychologist Stanton E. Samenow (p. 163). The fact that a criminal can feel guilt helps him maintain the belief that he is a decent person, “a loving guy.”
Finally, there’s the big-picture rationale for mass murder. That lovable communist, “Papa Joe” Stalin, tells us, “You cannot make a revolution with silk gloves, ” (Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 15th edition, p. 766). Bush and his neocons are self-styled revolutionaries, aiming to remake the world into a U.S. pond and therefore the loss of lives 9/11 (it’s only one month’s highway traffic death toll, whatever) were an unfortunate but necessary price paid to awaken the American people. But conscience occasionally creeps in unexpectedly, and emotion bursts through.