Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Whole New Form Of Government

Jack Ruby, the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, wanted to testify in Washington before Chief Justice Earl Warren, whose Commission was "investigating" the JFK assassination. Ruby felt intimidated in Dallas and repeatedly asked Warren to take him to Washington; Warren replied falsely that it was not in his power to do so.

Seeing that his chance had slipped away, that the Warren Commission was about to whitewash the JFK assassination, Ruby sounded a warning: "a whole new form of government is going to take over the country".

Warren thought Ruby was delirious, and many writers have sneered at this comment over the years. But it keeps coming to mind, much more often lately than ever before, and much more powerfully...

Take for instance the following excellent column, from Joe Galloway in the Salt Lake Tribune of May 17, 2007:

Hang in there, America: Only 613 more days of Bush
There are 613 days left until Jan. 20, 2009, and the end of our long national nightmare as President George W. Bush and his Rasputin, Vice President Dick Cheney, shuffle off to their necessarily well-guarded retirement homes and onto the ash heap of history.
We HOPE they shuffle off!! ... and by the time you read this the number will be less than 613, but it's still a long, long time.
So much of what they talked about doing in a new century and a new and different world never came to pass.
That was all deliberate. Those were promises they never intended to keep.
So much of what they did to grow the power of the presidency and prune the constitutional safeguards crafted by our founding fathers, they never talked about.
Exactly. And this was deliberate too.

There are many here among us who've been saying so all along. We were mocked six or seven years ago; now that everyone can see we were right, is it too late?

Chris Floyd has touched on this point quite recently:
It's not a question of "spin," of "putting the best face on things," or being "clearer than truth," in Dean Acheson's sinister Cold War phrase -- gilding the lily, exaggerating for effect. Nor, conversely, is it a case of self-deception, of "true believers" unable to take off their blinders, of "idealists" unwilling to bend their dreams to mucky reality, or even of fourth-rate dullards too stupid to see the filth and ruin caused by their own cretinous policies. They are not just spinning, they are not deceiving themselves, they are not too stupid to know what's going on.

They are lying -- lying deliberately -- lying brazenly and cynically [...] They are lying because their causes are evil and cannot be spoken of openly: aggressive war for loot and domination; the callous rape and despoiling of their own nation for the profit and power of their wealthy cronies; the construction of a global gulag of secret prisons, eternal captives, carefully refined and officially approved torture; the deliberate, systematic destruction of the Constitutional system of government in favor of arbitrary, militarized tyranny; the deliberate, systematic sowing of division and rancor and hatred and fear among the people, to keep them disunited, weak, scattered, unable to resist the depredations of a small, criminal elite. If these be your gods, then of course you must lie to do them service.
Joe Galloway continues:
The American people have turned their backs on George Bush and his dreams of planting the seeds of democracy in Mesopotamia at the point of a gun and seeing them spread like kudzu across the Middle East.
There are those who no longer believe the president ever had such a dream -- that it was all only a public relations strategy. And there are those who never believed it for a moment, even at the beginning. Let's see now, democracy for Iraq, did that come before or after human rights? I know it came after weapons of mass destruction. We've had so many different reasons for liberating these damned ungrateful Iraqis, it's no wonder nobody can keep all the justifications straight.

And yet, those who said so all those years ago were moonbats! Are you with us or against us now?
He's failed in his quest for victory in Iraq and for a world put in order by a new and stronger United States, and his brash blundering into a dangerous land has made us all much less safe.
There are those who say this was intentional, and it's tough to argue with them. in my opinion, it's the vilest protection racket ever developed; Bush knows his war in Iraq makes the US weaker and generates more global terror, but that's fine with him; without more global terror, his chief political advisor would have to learn a new trick.
The president's approval ratings are below his knees, sinking to 28 percent in one recent poll, and he cannot recover short of the kind of miracle that parts seas and feeds the multitudes.
Bush's numbers are three times as strong as Cheney's, for all the difference it makes. Cheney still struts around the world, telling America's allies what he expects of them, and his buddy Georgie has already accomplished what he set out to accomplish. And yet, somehow, most of America's best dissident writers still have not figured this out. So they write such as:
The war that was never ours to win by military means -- the only button this president who never learned war ever learned how to push -- is lost. Bush and Cheney and the rest of their cronies and co-conspirators are toast.
I disagree! In what sense are they toast?

Chris Floyd gets this right, too:
They have taken the measure of the Democratic "opposition" and now realize that no one is going to seriously hinder them in the pursuit of their sinister agenda. Oh, they may have to toss a few bodies overboard -- Gonzales himself is probably being fitted for a winding sheet even as we speak -- but it is now obvious that the leaders of the criminal organization are not going to be held legally accountable for their high crimes. They are not going to be impeached -- although the many causes for impeachment cry out to the heavens. They are not going to be tried; they are not going to be jailed. They are not going to suffer the slightest inconvenience. They can see already that they will retire to lives of staggering wealth and privilege.
Joe Galloway continues:
The question is: How did such ordinary-looking men -- seemingly unable to carry out even the smallest non-political tasks of governing -- succeed in doing such extraordinary and lasting damage to our country, our military and our body politic in so few years?
Actually, both the question and the transition itself were easy. And in both cases, the answer is the same: 9/11!

The attacks were false
but the reaction was genuine. And they needed the reaction, so they didn't mind that the attacks were bogus -- so long as they were never properly investigated!

And by the way, they're not as incompetent as you might think. It's only a disguise.

They're very good at implementing their private agenda, and utterly incompetent at doing what they said they would do for us! How ironic!
With Congress in the hands of the Democrats, and the 2008 election looming dead ahead, the president can't even count on key figures in his own Republican Party to stand behind him as he embarks on a long and painful lame duckhood.
But it doesn't matter -- this particular president is the least lame of any duck in presidential history. The electoral system is wrecked -- not worn down and broken, but deliberately smashed! Vandalized for political gain! And the payoff hasn't even started to roll in.
His hopes of crafting meaningful immigration reform and fixing Social Security are dead on arrival.
Hang on a minute: Immigration reform was a campaign promise nobody ever intended to fill. And they were hoping to loot Social Security but that hasn't happened -- yet. So apparently you can't have everything, at least not all at once, even if you're a born to wear the chimperial visage, so to speak. But that was all a distraction, anyway. And the ship of crime sailed a long time ago.
The legacies that George W. Bush will carry into retirement are the war he started, lost and stubbornly refused to end, and the corruption that he and his team visited on our democracy and Constitution.
But he doesn't care about all that. He will have a retirement of wealth and privilege beyond measure, rather than the justice he deserves. And his extended crime family of despicable drunken evil pricks will roll on untroubled.
The president's lawyer, "mi abogado," Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, dangles in the wind as we learn, day by day, of how grotesquely this administration politicized the professional staff of the Justice Department.
The AG will be kept on as long as practicable, not a moment longer. When he's gone there will be another to take his place. And another, and another...
It was Gonzalez, as White House counsel, who provided legal cover for the torture and maltreatment of prisoners and suspects that led directly to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the CIA's secret Kafkaesque prisons scattered around the world where "enhanced" interrogation methods were generously, if unproductively, employed.

It was Gonzalez, as attorney general, who hired and gave unprecedented hiring and firing powers to a 33-year-old attorney, Monica Goodling, who'd graduated from a TV evangelist's law school. It was Goodling who resigned and took the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering questions that hadn't even been asked. It was Goodling who was Justice's liaison to the White House and Karl Rove.

Meantime, the White House can't find 5 million e-mail messages involving official business and refuses to provide many of those it can find to the congressional committees investigating the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Helen Thomas explained it perfectly:
Picture this: Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was in intensive care at a local hospital where he is being treated for pancreatitis in March 2004. Comey, then the acting attorney general because of Ashcroft's illness, was in the hospital room with Ashcroft when Gonzales, then Bush's White House counsel, arrived and tried to pressure Ashcroft to approve the legality of Bush's warrantless wiretapping program.

Ashcroft refused to do so. But Bush went ahead anyway with the illegal wiretapping, relenting later when Comey and others threatened to resign.

Bush later promoted Gonzales to attorney general.

I'm not making this up.
Helen Thomas rocks!

Joe Galloway continues:
The agencies of government - the CIA, FBI, Treasury, Department of Defense and who knows who else - use secret executive authority to suck up databases of personal information about ordinary Americans, without regard to their privacy rights, in a search for suspected terrorists.

Have they found any, using that information? Have they unearthed terror cells with more potential than the ones in Florida and New Jersey that were penetrated and perhaps manipulated by FBI informants?
No! They haven't, and we can strike the "perhaps". "Manipulated" it is! Hooray for Joe Galloway!
That sort of terrorist isn't half so frightening as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Half? A tenth!!
Over in Iraq, 150,000 American troops soldier on, attempting, at the cost of their own lives and limbs, to follow the orders of a president who still thinks he can pull victory out of defeat.
Ahh, but he can, he can!

It's called the Oil Law, and if he can get Congressional Democrats to endorse it as a benchmark (which they seem utterly and spinelessly willing to do) then he's a winner! No matter what Joe Galloway or anyone else says about it:
A democratically elected but hopelessly divided Iraqi parliament feuds and dithers and contemplates its summer vacation while Americans and Iraqis die in increasing numbers in the streets outside the Green Zone, and the mortar and rocket fire lands inside that sanctuary with increasing frequency.
The Iraqi government is neither as democratically elected nor as sovereign as one might suppose.
Six-hundred-thirteen days, and counting. Nineteen months. It doesn't seem possible or even bearable.
No possible, not bearable, and everyone knows it.

Major changes are afoot, methinks. Long before we see those nineteen moons, we will see indisputable evidence of what Jack Ruby would call "a new form of government tak[ing] over the country."

All the pieces are in place; they have been for some time now.

As the counter-terror experts keep telling us, it's not a question of "IF".