President Bush squandered America’s position of moral and political leadership, swept aside international institutions and treaties, sullied America’s global image, and trampled on the constitutional pillars that have supported our democracy through the most terrifying and challenging times. These policies have fed the world’s anger and alienation and have not made any of us safer.Indeed. And that's not all.
In the years since 9/11, we have seen American soldiers abuse, sexually humiliate, torment and murder prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. A few have been punished, but their leaders have never been called to account. We have seen mercenaries gun down Iraqi civilians with no fear of prosecution. We have seen the president, sworn to defend the Constitution, turn his powers on his own citizens, authorizing the intelligence agencies to spy on Americans, wiretapping phones and intercepting international e-mail messages without a warrant.
We have read accounts of how the government’s top lawyers huddled in secret after the attacks in New York and Washington and plotted ways to circumvent the Geneva Conventions — and both American and international law — to hold anyone the president chose indefinitely without charges or judicial review.
Those same lawyers then twisted other laws beyond recognition to allow Mr. Bush to turn intelligence agents into torturers, to force doctors to abdicate their professional oaths and responsibilities to prepare prisoners for abuse, and then to monitor the torment to make sure it didn’t go just a bit too far and actually kill them.
The White House used the fear of terrorism and the sense of national unity to ram laws through Congress that gave law-enforcement agencies far more power than they truly needed to respond to the threat — and at the same time fulfilled the imperial fantasies of Vice President Dick Cheney and others determined to use the tragedy of 9/11 to arrogate as much power as they could.
Hundreds of men, swept up on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, were thrown into a prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, so that the White House could claim they were beyond the reach of American laws. Prisoners are held there with no hope of real justice, only the chance to face a kangaroo court where evidence and the names of their accusers are kept secret, and where they are not permitted to talk about the abuse they have suffered at the hands of American jailers.All this makes perfect sense, does it not?
In other foreign lands, the C.I.A. set up secret jails where “high-value detainees” were subjected to ever more barbaric acts, including simulated drowning. These crimes were videotaped, so that “experts” could watch them, and then the videotapes were destroyed, after consultation with the White House, in the hope that Americans would never know.
The C.I.A. contracted out its inhumanity to nations with no respect for life or law, sending prisoners — some of them innocents kidnapped on street corners and in airports — to be tortured into making false confessions, or until it was clear they had nothing to say and so were let go without any apology or hope of redress.
It condemns the Bush administration -- Bush and Cheney particularly -- for egregious and obvious crimes: crimes against the Constitution, crimes against the people of America, crimes against the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, crimes against humanity itself..
So what's bizarre?
First, the "explanation" for all these crimes:
This sort of lawless behavior has become standard practice since Sept. 11, 2001.And second, the proposed solution:
The country and much of the world was rightly and profoundly frightened by the single-minded hatred and ingenuity displayed by this new enemy. But there is no excuse for how President Bush and his advisers panicked — how they forgot that it is their responsibility to protect American lives and American ideals, that there really is no safety for Americans or their country when those ideals are sacrificed.
Out of panic and ideology, President Bush squandered America’s position of moral and political leadership, swept aside international institutions and treaties, sullied America’s global image, and trampled on the constitutional pillars that have supported our democracy through the most terrifying and challenging times. These policies have fed the world’s anger and alienation and have not made any of us safer.
These are not the only shocking abuses of President Bush’s two terms in office, made in the name of fighting terrorism. There is much more — so much that the next president will have a full agenda simply discovering all the wrongs that have been done and then righting them.What kind of a mirror is the New York Times using?
We can only hope that this time, unlike 2004, American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably. Then when we look in the mirror as a nation, we will see, once again, the reflection of the United States of America.
Against all indications, the NYT attributes the actions of the Bush administration to "panic and ideology".
It's clear that neither Bush nor Cheney have panicked -- on 9/11 or ever since. They've been sitting quietly, watching the universe unfold -- right into their laps!
And it's even clearer that their ideology plays a heavy role in what they have done. So why talk about panic?
For that matter, why talk about "this new enemy" without trying to identify it?
The Bush administration took less than a day to decide who was to be held responsible for 9/11, less than a month to start bombing Afghanistan, less than two months to pass the enormous and egregious PATRIOT Act, and more than a year to empower a whitewash disguised as an investigation. What does that tell you?
The administration was (and still is) heavily populated by members of an extremist group which called for a cataclysmic attack on America, in order to enable their radical agenda, just before the 2000 election.
They wanted the catastrophic events of 9/11 to happen, they were ready for them to happen, and they took full advantage of them when they did happen. What does that tell you?
They were in position to make it happen, and they have done everything in their power to deceive us about the how and why of almost everything ever since! ... And we're supposed to believe they're telling us the truth about 9/11!
Alas, the official story of 9/11 is a shaky one, and our nation's leading paper could knock it down with one good investigative series -- but they won't. They'd prefer to enumerate the abuses we suffer at the hands of our own government and hope that we can vote our way out of trouble.
But the Times' prescription for healing America bears absolutely no resemblance to reality!
It's not the voters' fault that Bush got into the White House in the first place, and it's not their fault that he got to stay there for a second term. Both presidential elections were not only stolen by the Republicans but also given away by the Democrats, and the major American media -- led by the purportedly liberal New York Times -- played a huge role in legitimizing the theft, if not the giveaway.
Even now -- even though the illegitimacy of both "elections" is obvious, and even though the ideology of the "winners" has caused us enormous damage, the nation's "leading" newspaper will still not investigate or even acknowledge election fraud, unless it happens in a foreign country.
Even now -- with the official story of 9/11 in tatters -- the NYT will not investigate the events of that day, or even acknowledge that the official story is a crock of manure.
It's only fitting, I suppose, in a fun-house mirror kind of way, for the New York Times to say:
We can only hope that this time, unlike 2004, American voters will have the wisdom to grant the awesome powers of the presidency to someone who has the integrity, principle and decency to use them honorably.In point of awful fact, the only people who have "the integrity, principle and decency" to use "the awesome powers of the presidency" "honorably" are ignored, if not denigrated, by the nation's corporate press as a whole and by the New York Times in particular.
The hypocrisy required for the New York Times to pontificate about the "wisdom" of the American voters is absolutely beyond measure.
So much for the "liberal media".
If you don't have symptoms resembling stomach flu, you haven't been paying attention.