...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
      ( 4:48 PM )
Memory Revisions

The way the Bush people are backpedalling these days, it's a wonder they don't just moonwalk everywhere. It's hard to know where to start with a discussion on all the crap that is coming out of their mouths this week. But in total, it reminds me of the much used allegory of "1984." I am actually reading this book for the first time right now (I never did read it in school). It's hard not to draw the conclusions that everyone does about this administration and its eerily similarity to Big Brother's Government. With the Ministry of Truth being the main issue this week. In the book, the main character's job is to go back and alter historical records (newspapers, books, etc) to reflect the current Party line. The theory being, if it isn't written down, it didn't really happen. The Party believes if you repeat something enough as being not true, the actual memory gives way to the "altered" memory.

The tap dancing being done by Scott McClellan, Condoleeza Rice and even the President this week makes me think that they believe they can alter true memory and actually tell us something and we'll forget what actually happened. The press so far has done a good job of going along with this plan, but cracks are starting to show this week, since Richard Clarke's testimony is simply too big an elephant in the room to be ignored.

So of the several excuses that have been given in response to Clarke this week, I can't find one that doesn't make the administration look totally stupid.

1. Richard Clarke was "out of the loop." - Dick Cheney said this on his ridiculous emergency interview with Rush Limbaugh yesterday (the fact that Cheney went on Limbaugh and not regular television is another issue). So why did they keep him as Counterterrorism Coordinator and then put him out of the "loop?" That smacks of incompetence at the very least and stupidity at the most.

2. Richard Clarke is a disgruntled former employee who is politically motivated. - He worked for 30 years and for four different administrations, and he even stayed on 3 years with the BushII admin while things got frustratingly worse. He is known to be incredibly hawkish, even sharing opinions with the likes of Richard Perle. He has no role or offered role with the Kerry team, and he has never professed to be a democrat.

The administration seems to have a problem with hiring so many of these potentially disgruntled whistleblowers. Josh Marshall puts it best:

It's amazing how many partisan Democrats and
disgruntled former employees working under cover
as career civil servants, spies and military officers
have betrayed this president. It just seems to happen
again and again and again. I mean, just think of the
list: Rand Beers, well-known partisan Democrat and
hack, Richard Clarke, self-promoter, disgruntled former
employee, and "self-regarding buffoon", Karen
Kwiatkowski, conspiracy theorist and all-around freak,
Valerie Plame, hack and nepotist, Joe Wilson, partisan
hack, self-promoter and shameless green tea lover.
When will the abuse end?

Josh left out Paul O'Neill - another abusive former employee. This poor, poor administration, how they have been victimized!

3. Finally, yesterday, the administration thought they could level this argument against Clarke: his resignation letter mentions some appreciation for the president. Thus, he is a lying flip-flopper who doesn't stick to his story. Again Josh Marshall:

Spin and push-back is a delicate art. Used indiscriminately
it can show how weak your real case must be.

Case in point. This afternoon the White House released
Richard Clarke's resignation letter from January 2003,
arguing that boilerplate praise for the president
contained in the letter shows that Clarke has
flipflopped and is thus a hypocrite.

Here's the phrase that they're highlighting: "It has
been an enormous privilege to serve you these last
24 months ... I will always remember the courage,
determination, calm, and leadership you demonstrated
on September 11th."

The best they can do.

Lame. That's what they are. No, worse than lame. Lying bastards and cheaters. Condoleeza Rice does not testify in public hearings because she does not want to risk being prosecuted at a later time for lying under oath. There is nothing they can do but tread water on this stuff. They came into office with a set agenda. It was all Iraq, all missle defense. Who of us doesn't remember this? We got our first taste of how inadequately they were addressing current world issues when in May 2001, one of our planes was shot down in China. They had no resources with which to deal with the issue - not even a China desk in intelligence to brief them immediately. They were woefully unprepared for dealing with the current international crisis issues, and they didn't care.

Let me just say one other thing about the hearings this morning. I heard part of Tenet's testimony, and once again he went down the path of "oh, woe is the CIA because we didn't have the resources because CONGRESS made us cut our budget and operations after the Church hearings." I'm sorry. If the reason 9/11 happened was because the CIA didn't conduct more operations, then it's not Congress' fault, it is squarely the fault of the CIA. They abused their power and resources in the 1960's and 1970's. If they hadn't done that, if they hadn't misused, abused, misled and even killed American citizens, then they wouldn't have had to face the Church Commission, and they wouldn't have had to deal with the consequences.

I find a similar pattern now starting to backwash onto Bush and his cold-war cronies. They were the ones who committed the wrongs and who committed the ommissions. Yes, there were significant problems with the FBI (SIGNIFICANT) not passing on domestic intelligence and coordinating with the CIA, but the administration must bear the brunt of its actions - the fact that they were wholly focused on Iraq and even AFTER 9/11, only used that event to further their original goals instead of totally shifting their policies to address the true issues, then we would be safer now. But we're not. And we won't be until the whole truth comes out and until these people leave Washington.

And now they're trying to tell us that they never did this, that they never did that - they are trying to revise our memories and pretend they didn't say things, that they didn't purposely lead Americans to believe things, that they didn't respond in horrendous ways to 9/11. But the difference between our current reality and 1984 is that we do have the proof that they lied, we do have the proof that they continue to lie, and we do have the ability to make that truth more powerful than whatever lies they use to try to adjust history. This administration has done NOTHING that has helped this country. I can't think of one thing. Hopefully the voting American public in November won't be able to either.

UPDATE: Pictures say 1000 words - nothing like a political cartoon to put it in concise perspective.

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