Tuesday, February 28, 2006
2005 (July-Sept) Cronies, Corruption & Katrina
U.S. Military Casualties in Iraq: July - 54, August - 85, September - 49
RIP : Luther Vandross (July 1),James Doohan (July 20), Peter Jennings (Aug. 7)
Bob Denver (Sept. 2), William Rehnquist (Sept. 3) Don Adams (Sept. 25)
If one was foolish enough to listen to right wing pundits commenting on the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, one might be inclined to think the incident was "trivial" or even confusing. Well actually the truth is rather easy to follow:
Intent on selling an invasion of Iraq by claiming an imminent threat and WMDs, the White House pursued intelligence that Iraq had sought to buy enriched uranium (yellowcake) from Niger. First presented by the CIA to Dick Cheney in late 2001, the intelligence was unconfirmed and sketchy. In 2002, Joseph Wilson (who had served as an Ambassador in both Niger and Iraq) accepted a CIA position to travel to Niger and investigate the allegations. Wilson's investigation found the uranium "sale" to be unlikely, and in March the CIA issued an memo to the White House that echoed Wilson's findings. Cheney then appeared on National TV falsely claiming that Sadaam was pursuing nuclear weapons. Despite strong objections from the CIA, the White House continued to pitch the Iraq nuclear myth, and Bush referenced the Iraq-Niger connection in the State of The Union address on January, 28 2003. It would soon be revealed that the documents supporting the Iraq-Niger claim were in fact forgeries. When Joseph Wilson went public and published an article that was critical of the White house's misuse of this intelligence, his wife Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA operative by syndicated columnist Robert Novak two days later. Novak claimed his information was provided by " two senior administration officials."
See? I told you that would be easy! The White House chose party loyalty over National Security. They chose their obsessive win at any cost agenda over the truth and security of the American people. We may never know the collateral damage that was caused by this heinous act of political revenge. Since Plame's job involved real WMD investigation and uncovering sources of terrorist financing, outing her might erase a trail the administration did not want followed. So as the summer of 2005 heated up so did the investigation. New York Times reporter Judith Miller, a shill for the WMD charade, was jailed for refusing to reveal evidence connected to the leak ( the source later was named as Scooter Libby). Time reporter Matthew Cooper avoided a similar fate by cooperating and naming Karl Rove as his source for an article he penned about the treasonous leak. The White House claimed anyone involved in a leak would be fired, yet they now maintain a position of not "commenting on an ongoing investigation." Libby would be indicted on perjury charges later in the year, and resigned immediately.
After 24 years on the bench Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement . Bush nominated John Roberts on July 19th, conspicuously timed when much attention was on Karl Rove's involvement with the Plame affair. (Roberts would be later nominated to succeed Chief Justice William Rehnquist passed away on September 3rd). Although concerns over Roberts' conservative corporate lawyer leanings, and Federalist society ties, he was fairly assured of a confirmation.
John Bolton, Bush's controversial nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, was successfully filibustered by Senate Democrats. Nominated in March, Bolton's reputation for intimidation and open hostility for the U.N. made him an questionable nominee for the post. The NSA refused to release documents requested by the Foreign Relations Committee which at first prevented a committee green light prior to the filibuster. Why would they possibly want to withhold this information if Bolton was such a great nominee? Could it be that Bolton had been spying on former Sec. of State Colin Powell, ordered by Condi Rice? Bush would later exercise a recess appointment to place Bolton to the post, further underscoring the White house's self serving agenda, regardless of consent or public sentiment.
August would bring about a Bush tradition: extended vacations that included complete disregard of important national issues and concerns. Let us never forget that in August of 2001 the President received the PDB that warned about attacks by Bin Laden possibly involving highjacking of U.S. aircaft and he did nothing. When the mother of an American soldier began a protest vigil outside Bush's ranch asking to explain the "noble cause" her son died for, Cindy Sheehan put a face on the families of American Iraq casualties and became a symbol for ant-war voices across the country. What did our President do? Well, he ignored her of course. All the while the right propaganda machine led by Limbloat and the zombies on Faux "News" wasted no time smearing Sheehan as anti-American and a tool of the "far left". They ranted and raved that opposing Bush's ill conceived foreign policy hurt America, embolden the enemy and hurt the troops. Dissent is encouraged, freedom is on the march, except in America. Do I smell fascism? If Sheehan would have protested during the Clinton presidency, I guarantee you that Clinton would have met, listened and embraced her within an hour after the start of her protest. Whether he agreed with her not. Unfortunately were not talking about Bill Clinton, the last legitimately elected President of The United States. This is Clueless George, the simian boy-king, the puppet of the highjacked US government.
Ironically, it took another female to distract the public and temporarily remove Sheehan from the headlines , and her name was Katrina. She could be seen from outer-space five days before her arrival, and the potential devastation of her landfall had been predicted. Yet when Lake Pontchartrain flooded New Orleans leaving thousands dead and millions homeless, Bush remained on vacation. While thousands suffered, drowned and were left without help and provisions, and bodies floated in the street, the President posed for photo ops. Federal agencies designed to deal with these disasters failed to respond or even acknowledge the crisis allowing the chaos to escalate and the death toll to rise. Investigations would show massive incompetence by Federal agency directors: Michael Brown and Michael Chertoff to actually do their job. The pervasive abuse of cronyism would be further revealed, spotlighting appointments of loyalists to critical positions, rather than qualified and experienced experts. And the White House response to the criticism? Blame somebody else, fail to take responsibility, and refuse to hold anyone in charge accountable. When Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declared a State of Emergency on Friday, August 26th, it would be nearly three days before any action was taken. Spin, blame and misdirection takes considerable effort and time. Speaking the truth is much, much quicker.
In times of national crisis, time and time again, this Administration fails to act. They are strong on bumper sticker politics, repeating misleading talking points and ceasing money and power at any cost, but have no idea how to actually govern. When the Clinton administration and counter terrorism officials warned of the danger of terrorist extremists, Bush did nothing. When highjacked airliners made U-turns in the sky on September 11th, 2001, Bush did nothing. When the second WTC tower was struck later that morning, Bush did nothing. And when one of the worst natural disasters in U.S history made its way to and finally landed on the Gulf Coast, Bush did nothing. These evil sons-of- bitches spend more time crafting how to spin a crisis for political gain then actually confronting and dealing with the crisis itself.
September would bring the confirmation hearings and appointment of John Roberts as Chief Justice, the indictment of (former) House majority leader Tom Delay on conspiracy charges, and an investigation of Senate Majority leader Bill Frist on an (alleged) insider stock trading deal. But its was the aftermath of Katrina and the lack of response by Federal agencies that dominated the news. As former FEMA chief and Arabian horse judge Michael Brown blamed everyone else, people remained displaced, homeless or dead.
Over 1300 "official"deaths were blamed on Katrina with an additional "missing" 2000 human beings the White House doesn't want you to think about. Over 6000 citizens on American soil, have died on this Presidents' watch. This is way beyond criminal. This is an abomination.