Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Quick Slide From Incompetent To Liar

Erosion is usually a slow process, but not so for Bush administration credibility. There is something satisfying, if a bit frustrating, to see information that many of us on the left have known for years, finally making it into newspapers and onto newscasts. We knew that Bush lied us into the war in Iraq, we knew his administration went after critics with a vengeance and we knew that they’ve been covering up those lies from the very beginning, but now the rest of the country is getting the chance to know it too.

On the heals of Seymour Hersh’s article in the New Yorker exposing Bush administration plans to use tactical nuclear weapons in their effort to spark regime change in Iran, it seems the press has decided it doesn’t want to sit idly by and wait to cover the devastation such a move would cause.

The Washington Post declares today that the Bush administration knew they were lying when they said that they had found WMD in Iraq. As the words, “We have found weapons of mass destruction” were leaving President Bush’s lips, the Pentagon had already informed him that the mobile biolabs recovered in Iraq had nothing to do with WMD. In the past, Bush has been able to spin the cherry picking of intelligence as “a different point of view” and even on occasion a mistake. But this time, he knowingly lied to the American people and that makes all the difference.

With the problems in the 2004 election, the failure in Iraq, the Downing Street Minutes, the NSA illegal surveillance, and the CIA leak case, Bush has been able to avoid any responsibility and the press has done nothing but make a little noise. Each time there is proof of administration culpability in deceiving the public, they seem to find a way to wiggle out of it. Many of us over the last couple of years have thought, “this is it, they’ll never get away with this one,” but they do. It feels like this time might be different, but we’re too jaded from past experience to be too hopeful.

This new revelation from the Washington Post may not yield much, but it does seem to be part of a whole piling on by the press. Maybe they’re not as afraid of crossing a President with a 37% approval rating, or perhaps they have finally had enough, whatever the reason, it may just spur on those who’ve been sitting in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to tell the truth. Colin Powell seems to have received the memo giving the all clear.

According to Robert Scheer at Truthdig, Powell gave him the skinny on the Niger claim.
“The CIA was pushing the aluminum tube argument heavily and Cheney went with that instead of what our guys wrote,” Powell said. And the Niger reference in Bush’s State of the Union speech? “That was a big mistake,” he said. “It should never have been in the speech. I didn’t need Wilson to tell me that there wasn’t a Niger connection. He didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. I never believed it.”
It would have been nice if Mr. Powell had shared that information publicly when he resigned, but whatever, he’s saying it now and he is still a voice that carries a lot of credibility with Middle America.

Powell’s statement also puts the whole CIA leak case into perspective and I have long thought that Patrick Fitzgerald’s case could very well be the one that brings this administration down. The news last week that Bush and Cheney authorized the leaking of classified information is a political problem for sure, but it could lead to impeachment, even with Republicans in control of Congress. It may have been legal for the President to order the leaking of classified information, but impeachment is not only a legal remedy, it is a political one as well. As Dave Lindorff at Counterpunch explains,
“lying to the American people was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee as in impeachable offense in the case of President Richard Nixon, and was one of the counts approved by the full House of Representatives against President Bill Clinton. While not a statutory crime, Congress has long held that lying to the public can be a “high crime” meriting of impeachment under the Constitution.”

There is little doubt left that Bush has repeatedly lied to the American people and the evidence of those lies is beginning to make its way into even the mainstream news. We’ve been here before, staring at facts that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this President should be impeached, but if the pile on continues, if there is a backlash against Bush administration plans to bomb Iran, if career military men resign over the proposed use of nuclear weapons, if Fitzgerald can indict more members of the Bush administration, if the public decides that they’ve been lied to for the last time, maybe, just maybe Republicans in Congress will be forced to hold this President accountable. It certainly won’t be because it’s the right thing to do, but it may prove to be their only chance to save themselves and their Party. At this point, I don’t care how Bush goes, as long as he does.


Blogger Tom said...

Wouldn't it be great if the people of America would turn out to protest in the percentages that other countries do? Oh, and maybe if 2/3 instead of half would turn out to vote, that would be nice too. I am not sure how our voice is going to be heard if we volunteer our silence. Great article liberal girl!

10:43 AM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Tom--Thanks, and yes it would! I've been thinking a lot about the non-voters lately. In my experience, there are several reasons people give for not voting, not knowing enough about the issues, not feeling like their vote really matters, and not really believing that there is much difference between the two choices given. It's hard to argue with the last two considering that even those of us who do vote, have a tendency to feel that way.

I go back and forth on voting at this point. With the infrastructure for institutionalized vote rigging now firmly in place, it feels pointless to vote. And with Democrats and Republicans feeding at the same corporate troughs, there really isn't a difference in who they are accountable to and little question that they are serving the interests of corporate America at the peoples expense.

We are too complacent and feel far too impotent. I honestly don't know how to counter the apathy. If we take a pessimistic view and talk about fascism, we're told we're overreacting, and if we try to look on the bright side, we're told we're naive. The chasm between the two sides is staggering, yet neither extreme can find a voice that resonates and inspires real change.

11:10 AM  
Blogger JasonSpalding said...

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said “I declare here that the laboratory-scale nuclear fuel cycle has been completed and young scientists produced enriched uranium”. What was his definition of laboratory-scale? Laboratory scale characterization, small scale and pilot scale test method development.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous geocrackr said...


I think there are several issues you are touching on re: voting and voter turn-out.

First, the structure of our electoral system is currently set-up so that high turn-out favors the Democratic candidate. The Rethugs recognize this and that's why you see an institutionalized effort on their part to actively decrease voter turn-out. Democrats used to understand this, but lately it seems that either they no longer do, or in a few cases also believe that lower turn-out is better for them too for some reason. Either way, the Dems as a party are not more than token participants in traditional GOTV efforts.

Second, I've always tried to make the distinction when considering "the infrastructure for institutionalized vote rigging" between national and local elections and election systems. The election system on the national level can really only be considered in a "law of averages" kind of way, as a hodge-podge of individual systems. Think of them in terms of congressional representatives: some of them are basically functional and do the job pretty well, usually with minor problems that are recognized and addressed; others are corrupted in recognized and unrecognized ways and have no intention at all of doing what you put them in place to do. Here in WA, as far as I can tell, we have a basically functional system. The question is, how many nationwide are corrupted and how corrupted are they? For the presidential ticket, which has had the most scrutiny, we have a pretty fair guess -- at least ~8 million votes worth. When you go down-ticket the answer becomes more of a crapshoot; you have a wide variety of individual examples (such as the GA governors race) that suggests the corruption is widespread, which stands to reason since the Rethugs have expended a lot of effort towards gaming the system enough to take advantage of that "law of averages" effect, but we have no way to tell just how widespread it is and we can also assume that the Rethug effort suffers from some measure of a conservation of resources problem in that regard. Which is one of the reasons the effort to set up electronic voting nationwide is so scary, because then they'll be able to relay the same strategy to everyone and not have to concoct individualized strategies for each locale.

Third, I also go back and forth on whether my vote really matters. My default is to always vote, if only for local elections where I'm pretty sure it really matters. If I'm faced with the tweedle-dum/dee option, I've been known to vote against the more odious one, but I also don't have any qualms about not voting for either one. And I'll happily vote for a 3rd-party or independent candidate if given the opportunity -- but actually, that brings up another issue with my second point above, which is one way "the infrastructure for institutionalized vote rigging" is set up pretty much nationwide on the local and national level is ballot access restrictions, where the Dems collude with the Rethugs to ensure that no matter what they are the only two children who get to play on the playground. Again, not uniform, especially as you go down-ticket, but yet another example of how the Dems put the point-two in America's 1.2 party system. It was the Dems' efforts to demonize Nader and keep him off the ballot, rather than co-opt his issues and his voters, which more than anything else proved to me that the Dems weren't actually interested in my vote, only in ensuring that I couldn't vote for anyone else.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous UnMask911 said...

The General linked me over here. Good work!
Just finished several of your recent posts and have comments. Great rant for starters!!!
Latinos rock. Baby boomers should be ashamed of themselves. Sometimes it seems that Americans won't get it until their children step on land mines on the way to school or aerial bombardment destroys their homes. The American Bubble is infuriating.

As for the lying liars, we need to expand our scope of scrutiny. All Bush crime leads back to 9-11. The Great Enabler. The groundswell for truth about 9-11 is finally building. However, if that horrific event and the plausability of controlled demolition spreads through this country, we will see Herr Rove respond with unprecedented viciousness. All hell will break loose to keep 9-11 under wraps. One Story Only. But maybe not for much longer. My belief is that this is all carefully choreographed. Rove is brilliant and truly evil. As you say, they will initiate new crimes to distract from others. I have serious concerns about whether we'll see the far side of 2006. The stated reliance on psy ops and black ops has me watching very closely for an engineered civil war here in the US. I have a nagging suspicion, as the line between domestic and foreign policy blurs, that what we see in Iraq, planned chaos, is a preview of the near future here in America. New Orleans was our first glimpse.
Again, we cannot allow the 9-11 "story" to stand. Forget the coup d' etat of 2000. Rigged elections are not surprising in America. The mass murder on 9-11 is unsolved and the death and suffering that's ensued has been staggering. The fingerprints of this cabal is all over 9-11, which means it's so much worse than it appears! If we don't lance the American Bubble and get rid of this crew we are facing the likelihood that W will make Hitler look like mr. Rogers. The Latinos are showing us the way. Still we sit on our fat white asses. Shame!
Great Blog girl! I'll be checking in everyday now that the General's steered me over here.
And Maria Cantwell, traitor to all women and pro war, anti censure nitwit, has a wonderfully progressive Democratic challenger: Mark Wilson. Very excited about this gentleman's views!!

9:21 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Jason Spalding--Still doesn't make 'em a threat to us.

GeoCrackr--I've tried to make this point before and I'll try again. Even vote rigging on a local level (especially if it can be done electronically and remotely) has national significance because all that needs to be done is stratigically rig local elections to ensure one party rule. If they can control just a few places, like Alaska, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Florida, they will always have the national numbers they need to retain control of Congress, groom state officials for national office and continue to game the system. And there is no evidence that they are stopping there, with California sinking deeper and deeper into electronic voting hell.


Unmask911--Any friend of the General, is a friend of mine.

I have written about this many times and while I agree that more and more people are taking a long look at the evidence and maybe even coming around to see that it "could have been" an inside job, I don't see Middle America ever really coming to terms with that enough to actually accept it. If they do, it will be much like the Kennedy assassination, thirty years down the road, most people will believe it, but they will take comfort in the fact that it was never proven that our own government was involved.

The myth of America is a very difficult thing, even those of us who recognize its falseness, still want so badly to believe in its truth, or at least that it's possible to make it true.

I have little doubts about the reality of 9/11 (and it certainly isn't found in the 9/11 Commission Report), but I fear many of my fellow Americans will never be able to let go of their doubt. To do so would simply be too painful.

11:20 PM  
Blogger GraemeAnfinson said...

"At this point, I don’t care how Bush goes, as long as he does."

you, me and the rest of the world

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Dale Hippert said...

Unmask 911~

I'm not sure why we need to look beyond the Bush Administration's early demonstration of incompetence and failed leadership, together with bureaucratic inefficiency, for the 'truth' of 911.

They kept on the Clinton Admin Terrorist Czar Richard good did he have to be to be asked to stay on by Republicans? He, along with Bill Clinton, personally warned bush that terrorism would be the # one issue on the new Admin's plate. Bush not only ignored repeated warnings, he shifted defense spending priorities to missile defense,

We were so busy looking 'up', we simply got kicked in the nuts!

I believe the article at this site will address many of the conspiracy theories:

8:45 AM  
Anonymous geocrackr said...

As per usual, the Rude One today distills life in Shrub's America down to its purest essence:

"Sometimes one's daily life in George W. Bush's America makes you feel like Sonny Corleone at the right tollbooth at the wrong damn time. You pick up yer morning newspaper or turn on yer NPR and it's like a troop of mobsters just appear out of nowhere and start strafing your sorry ass with machine gun fire, feeling the quick burn and drive of the bullets burrowing into your flesh and meat, the number of 'em coming at you so fast that the force of the bullets actually keeps your dead body upright, turning you into a scarlet Swiss cheese puppet, dancin' that macabre ballet until you finally just collapse into yourself and bleed out. And, like a good Sisyphus, like a damned Prometheus, the next day you gotta do it again.

But then there's also the times you dig around a little bit, like readin' Fark Politics or Think Progress, and on top of the daily hit job, while you're sittin' and waitin' for yer blood to pool in the gravel around you, it's like out of nowhere a dwarf walks up to you and starts kickin' you in the nuts. He's not a particularly strong dwarf, but he's kickin' hard enough to really hurt your balls, which sucks, since you're already full of lead, pissin' yourself, hopin' for the sweet kiss of death. You're not even strong enough to swat the creepy little fucker away. All you can think is, "C'mon, do you gotta kick me in the nuts while I'm already down?" But this is a moot question, for this is the era of the George W. Bush, and, down or not, your balls are fair game for dwarf-punting."


10:13 AM  

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