A year ago it was "Shock and Awe" but now it's "Block and Jaw". As in, block the truth as long as possible, then give the 9/11 Commission a lot of jawboning.
The recent "presidential daily briefing" of Aug. 6, 2001 that clearly detailed an imminent threat of bombings and/or skyjackings under orders from Osama and Al Queda, proves that the White House has been lying for quite some time now. President George W. Bush's National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice stridently asserted to the Commission Thursday that the briefing delivered to her boss did not indicate any specific information about threats on U.S. soil.
Some people believed her, others were skeptical. But the PBD, declassified Saturday, shows clearly that Bush lied about what he knew. It is clear in the document that Bush was informed a full month before the terrorist attacks that Al Queda might somehow use airplanes in the course of raiding U.S. targets. Bush has said repeatedly: "If I had only known they might use airplanes, we could have done something".
This means that Rice committed perjury, if that still is defined as lying under oath. With the Bush Administration and its up-is-down, end-justifies-means, gladiator mentality, a new lexicon is in play. And only a few insiders know what the revised definitions are. Upon receipt of the Aug. 6 PDB, Bush should have been able to connect the dots, realizing without being specifically warned that hijacked planes could be used as weapons of mass destruction. That failure of imagination in a U.S. president is, at best, an example of atrociously inept leadership.
We're almost four years beyond the Florida recounts and the Bush pleas to the U.S. Supreme Court that illegally trumped the Florida Supreme Court, but a clear pattern is beginning to emerge--even for Bush backers who have desperately wanted to believe they could always see a glimpse of John Wayne manliness in Dubya's stubborn smirkiness.
Most don't want to admit it, but die-hard Bishites are starting to be faced with a moral crisis within their own party. Now they're having to take a long, hard, disturbing look at who Bush and his people really are--right wing fanatics hell bent on bending and shaping the world in their own strange image.
I remember a story in Time magazine a couple of years ago that quoted a high-ranking White House official as stating that Bush poked his head in a meeting Rice was having with other officials, and he smiled and looked at Rice: "F*** Saddam, we're taking him out," the president said. Then he pulled his head back and shut the door, leaving Rice a little uncomfortable in the wake of his suprise profane pronouncement.
As Richard Clarke stated so clearly before the Commission--and it's in his recent bestseller as well--Bush was single-minded in his desire to attack Saddam no matter what the facts were. And, Clarke said, the facts were crystal clear: the WTC and Pentagon terrorist attacks were ordered, organized and executed by Al Queda and Saddam Hussein had no part in it. Bush wouldn't hear of it. And when the truth is told by a loyal American patriot like Clarke, Bush and Company order a smear campaign against Clarke--the same dangerous, Nixonian, tactics employed in the "outing" of CIA agent Valerie Plame. As if no one would notice.
Publicly releaving the identity of a U.S. covert agent is a federal crime. Strangely, even though the outing occurred in a column written by right-wing columnist Robert Novak, who got his information from a senior White House official, nothing has come of the investigation.
Just about everybody in Washington knows who gave the information to Novak, including Novak, but strangely enough the FBI can't find out who that White House "outer" was. Whatever happened to our Congress and the power of subpoenas in crucial investigations?
I am glad the Watergate affair did not happen in these times we are in now, because nobody--not Congress, not the media, certainly--has the guts to bring down a corrupt American regime. Even as hundreds of young American soldiers and Marines have died in Iraq in the name of regime change there. The inconsistencies and hypocrisies, of the Bush Administration and the media that surrounds and cushions Bush from the real world, truly are stunning.
Even with the proof that Rice and Bush both have lied about what the president knew concerning the threats, the media have cranked up their fog machines that will allow Bush's prevarications to fade off into the darkness, and when the sun comes up again there is no trace left. The old hound dogs of truth tracking those elusive Bush lies, veterans like Robery Byrd and Ted Kennedy, will again come back tired and beaten.
Growing up on a farm in North Texas during the 1970s, I remember Watergate and how it trickled it's way from a nothing story about a simple bungled burglary to a raging river that flooded the Nixon White House, and when I think about how effective our government was then in correcting itself, I have to sigh.
Back then, I thought we were living in disastrous times. Now, looking back at those Watergate hearings and Nixon's forced resignation, I realize that America was still run by the people and when we told elected officials like the president and Congress to jump, they asked "how high?" Now it's the other way around, under the Bush Administration and his Republican lackeys in Congress.
Big money has bought and paid for the powers that now run things, from the government to the media to the military. Big money, cronyism, the power elite, the Bush country club crowd. And they don't want anybody screwing with this nice little money-making set-up.
They've got the perfect Howdy Doody-like marionet smiling and plotting in his Oval Office, and they've all made billions from this War in Iraq. So what if a few hundred kids have to die.
Not to worry, CNN will spin it.
Somewhere Richard Nixon must be watching all of this and saying: So THAT's how you do it.
John W. Flores
New Braunfels, Texas