My friends. My countrymen. My fellow Americans. I want you all to sit or stand upright where you are. I want you to hold out your hand, either one, whichever you prefer. I want you to open the palm of this hand, and look at it from arm's length. Now, listen carefully. I want you, with all of your might, to slam that hand into your own face! What is the matter with you? How much more of this are you going to take? Why have you allowed it to come this far? These people are out of control! I mean that literally. There has been absolutely no accountability from the administration of President George W. Bush for the numerous violations of law that they have willfully, intentionally, and unconstitutionally committed. Of that there can be absolutely no dispute.
Previous Attorney General John Ashcroft would frequently pop up at times when it looked like bad news was coming out unfavorable to the administration, with a new "terror alert" meant purely to scare the bejesus out of you. At one point, he actually made an announcement while attending a conference in Moscow, Russia, that they had caught and arrested a terrorist who, they claim, was an al Qaeda supporter. This suspect was said to have tried to plant a "dirty bomb". Or he was going to try to get one. Or he was thinking about trying to get one. The thing is, the guy had been arrested a month before that announcement. There was no sensible reason to go through the trouble (at taxpayer expense) to make this announcement with all this fanfare when, at that point, there was no danger to the public? Why didn't they make this big announcement a month before when they had arrested him? I think it's because they knew back then that he was a nothing, but they needed something today to distract everyone from the bad news making headlines.
In an odd echo of that all-to-frequent type of incident under Johnny "Let The Eagle Soar" Ashcroft, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff tells the country that we are in increased danger of an attack from that dreaded terrorist group al Qaeda, not because they have intercepted and translated messages indicating an attack was imminent, messages that might have said, "The match is on", or something to that effect; not because of intelligence gathered from people with ties to the "organization", with knowledge of plans in the works, specific or otherwise; and not because there's been any pattern of activity observed which suggest a prelude to some sort to an attack. No. We are told that we should be worried because "it is summertime", and that's when al Qaeda "likes to strike" and, most important of all, he has a "gut" feeling. Strangely enough, a report is issued shortly after which claims that al Qaeda has regained its strength to "summer 2001" levels. Is he deliberately trying to scare us? is that what the Secretary of "Homeland" Defense is supposed to do? Terrify the citizens of the "Homeland"? I thought he was supposed to be providing the "Homeland" with "Security". I thought he was supposed to be protecting Americans not just from "the enemy", but from Mother nature herself. After all, some dimwit thought it would be "a good idea" to place FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency [get the damn link, Wayne], the ones who respond when Mother Nature decides to smack a few things around, like cities and buildings and people, under the newly created, barely staffed, hardly functioning Department of Homeland Security. So not only was he responsible for protecting us against threats to the "Homeland" (this is still the United States of America, isn't it?) from terrorists by sending in armed military troops to our communities, but also for rescuing us from natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina by sending in armed military troops to our communities.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a man who is supposed to represent the people of the United States of America, instead feels that it is his constitutional role to represent their president. Never mind that he already had that role as White House Counsel. But he has been given a new duty to perform for this country. He is the people's representative in the judicial system against those who would flaunt, sneer at, disrespect, disobey, and flat out trash the laws of the United States of America. No matter who they are. Be they you, be they me, be they the president of the United States. His sworn obligation is to support and defend the constitution of the United States, not support and defend the president against the constitution. By now everyone knows that he has given sworn testimony that indicates one of two things. Either he is a completely incompetent boob who has no business being allowed near a court room, let alone speak for the people in one; or he is a liar and a perjurer, and should be arrested and sent to jail the moment he is impeached and removed from office. And he is not the only one.
Vice President Dick Cheney is, IMHO, without any doubt whatsoever, the most lawless man in the United States of America. And I'm not just talking about the time he downed "a beer" at lunch, shot a 78-year-old man in the face, sent his friend out to the press to lie about what happened ("Zero. Nada. Zilch" about alcohol at lunch?), refused to submit to a blood alcohol test by the local police and refused to answer their questions until the next morning, didn't tell the president personally until the next day what had happened and, to top it all off, had the victim of the bird shot to the face, Harry Whittington, apologize for inconveniencing the vice president! No, I'm not talking about that.
It is arguable that from the time Dick Cheney chose himself to be the running mate of the 2000 Republican Party Presidential Candidate, he laid into motion a series of plans that, once in office, he could implement for the purpose of making the Office of the President of the United States the most powerful entity on the planet, answerable to no one. Not to the nation's citizens, not to the nation's government, and not to the nation's constitution.
Dick Cheney was a founding member of the Project for a New American Century. He was not himself a signatory to the infamous PNAC letter to President Clinton dated Jan 26, 1998. Indeed, look at the letter and see how many names became important people in the new administration (or worked in or for past ones): His long-time friend, Donald Rumsfeld, for whom he used to work in the Ford Administration, Elliott Abrams, Richard L. Armitage, William J. Bennett, Jeffrey Bergner, John Bolton, Paula Dobriansky, Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Peter W. Rodman, William Schneider, Jr., Vin Weber, Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey, and Robert B. Zoellick. (See list here of where many of them were, or went to, inside or outside government .) Now see what it said in the opening paragraph:
In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.
And look how many of them did just that. It was almost as if there was some kind of plan in place so that when the opportunity arose, they would put as many PNAC members as possible in positions of enormous influence and power and carry out what they felt needed to be done whether anyone else thought it was a good idea or not. At least it seems that way. To me. Maybe to you? I mean, it did kind of, sort of turn out that way. Didn't it? It's not just me. Someone at Crisis Papers wrote a PNAC Primer:
Cheney is Vice President, Rumsfeld is Defense Secretary, Wolfowitz is Deputy Defense Secretary, I. Lewis Libby is Cheney's Chief of Staff, Elliot Abrams is in charge of Middle East policy at the National Security Council, Dov Zakheim is comptroller for the Defense Department, John Bolton is Undersecretary of State, Richard Perle is chair of the Defense Policy advisory board at the Pentagon, former CIA director James Woolsey is on that panel as well, etc. etc. (PNAC's chairman, Bill Kristol, is the editor of The Weekly Standard.) In short, PNAC had a lock on military policy-creation in the Bush Administration.
And what did they do with it? Destroyed Iraq, killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens and displaced millions more, wasted hundreds of billions of dollars, and, oh yeah, killed more than 3,600 of our brave men and women in uniform. And for what? The market for oil hasn't been glutted to the point where gasoline is affordable, nor is home heating oil. In fact, oil production out of Iraq is actually down by about two million barrels a day (more). Gee, high demand and a low supply. Now I wonder who would benefit from a scenario like that? Still think it's just a coincidence? Still think it's just a bunch of men who took advantage of an opportunity to make themselves rich "the good old-fashioned American way"? Remember, these people did not all do this from a position of private enterprise. They used the federal government to enact these plans. Your federal government. With your tax money. As far as I'm concerned, Vice President Dick Cheney should be immediately impeached, tried and removed from office; and then, before he even has a chance to leave his office from where he would be watching his trial, he should be arrested and hauled off to jail along with each and every person who was member of the Project for a New American Century. I would not be surprised if RICO statutes applied to what they have done. Let's tell our representation in Congress to investigate just that, and no more bullshit "Executive Privilege"! Demand accountability! See also.
And when we are finally rid of that criminal cabal, we must immediately turn our attention to President George W. Bush and, if he hasn't already done the honorable thing and resigned by that point, impeach him, try him, and remove him from office. Without further delay. I ask you, seriously. To anyone who honestly supports the president and who reads this blog (all two of you), do you truly believe that he has done nothing to warrant being impeached, convicted and removed from office, before how many more thousands of humans have to die because of his, and only his, belief system?
The run-up to the war, which was driven by Dick Cheney, was an exercise in obsfucation and deliberate manipulation of intelligence.Words were carefully chosen and positioned in speeches so as to give the listener the false impression that he has heard something he hasn't. As a result, a majority of Americans believed that Iraq was somehow connected to the attacks of 9/11. But, as Bush himself admitted, they were "very careful not to say that Iraq and 9/11 were connected." This, in itself, was a admission that they were aware of how they were phrasing things. They wanted this war to happen. They did not want a diplomatic solution. And they sure as hell didn't want Saddam to suddenly start complying with everything the U.S. and the World were telling him to do. They were not going to let anyone stop them. It was something they talked about doing since one of their first cabinet meetings.
They decided to tell the world that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and that the world couldn't wait for him to disarm because he might pass those weapons off to the terrorists. Of course, all the while they're saying this, they're bringing up al Qaeda. Then they start passing along a bogus report that Saddam tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger. The Office of the Vice President sent a request to the CIA to verify that story (though the documents alleged to back that claim up were already proven to be forgeries.) The CIA sends former Ambassador Joe Wilson to Africa to check out the story. He comes back and give an oral report that there is no way in hell that this sale could have happened and, furthermore, it's highly unlikely that Saddam really tried because there are too many safeguards in place with the sale of yellowcake uranium down there, and too many other countries watching everything going on. In short, the report is completely false and the administration should stop saying it.
The war hawks, led by Dick Cheney, are furious at Wilson. Cheney decides to start putting out the word that Wilson's wife works at the CIA, and she's the one who sent him. It's totally false, but how often did you hear it before it was proven so? They start picking reporters who will listen and try to tell them Wilson's wife was covert and worked in non-proliferation. (This was both true and classified at that time. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise because they are lying.) After talking to Richard Armitage, Novak learns about Valerie Plame Wilson's covert CIA status. Although he at first tells everyone that this exchange was inadvertent and off the cuff, Novak will put out a book soon in which he will reveal that the way in which Armitage discussed it gave, what seemed to him, a clear sign that Armitage expected Novak to publish this information. When Novak tried to get confirmation from the CIA, he is told that he should not go ahead and print that story although the exact reason is never given (because it was classified.) Novak then claims that the man simply did not try hard enough to stop him, so Novak took that as confirmation. (I'll have more to say about that whole thing in another post.)
The CIA officially asks the Justice Dept (then under John Ashcroft) to investigate how a covert operative's name ended up in the press. Many people naturally suspect Karl Rove though no outward evidence exists. Ashcroft, shortly after the FBI started asking questions, recused himself from further involvement because, and this was the reason given, Karl Rove had worked on one of his campaigns. (Of course, if Rove was never involved, there would have been no conflict of interest to worry about.) When asked by reporters what he would do if one of his staff was involved in the leak, Bush said "If anyone in my administration was involved in leaking classified information, that person will no longer be a part of this administration." Of course, that was before the person John Ashcroft turned the investigation over to appointed Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was hailed by both Democrats and Republicans as a perfect choice to get to the bottom of this. Little did anybody know at the time that Bush and Cheney had no intention of letting anyone get to the bottom of anything.
Bush has finally admitted that someone in his administration was involved in the leak, but that he intends to "move on." Not so fast Mr. President. Just because you later changed it to "if someone did something illegal, then that peson will no longer be in my administration" does not absolve you of your first promise. But I guess what you really meant was your third version, and that was that anyone "involved in any wrongdoing would be taken care of." And that's the promise you kept, wasn't it? Scooter Libby was involved, and he was certainly taken care of. (WELL taken care of.) Richard Armitage admitted he was Novak's original source, but because Fitzgerald was told that it was "inadvertent", he was given a pass (for now). And everyone, including the jurors at Libby's trial, knows that Karl Rove was "involved". Why hasn't he been fired? Libby obstructed the investigation, so it was hard to tell if Rove did anyting "illegal". Or are you skipping right to "taking care of" Rove by shielding him from having to raise his hand and take an oath to tell the truth (and risk bursting into flame on the spot) or go to prison for lying.
Do you honestly believe that anyone in the world is safe from this man and the people in his administration? If you have any lingering doubts (and I hope there can't possibly be many), get a load of this. A policy statement regarding Bush's demands for the new Defense Authorization Bill for 2008. Among other things, Bush will veto any bill that contains language that prohibits him from taking military action against Iran. The problem is that Bush thinks he already has the constitutional authority to attack anyone he wants because he's the "Commander-in-Chief". He doesn't understand that he has it backwards. The Congress decides if we need to use our military, and when that decision is made, the president becomes the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces. He doesn't get to go deploy them at his whim and then claim he has extra-constitutional powers through his role as C-in-C. This president is very, very dangerous, because he does not believe that there is any limit to his authority, that he is not answerable to the Congress if he chooses to ignore them, and that he can ignore the Supreme Court if he wants to. He is not supporting and defending the constitution of the United States, as per his oath of office. And through his notorious signing statements, he clearly is not "taking care that the laws be faithfully executed." He must be impeached, tried, convicted (I don't see how he could be acquitted) and removed from office. He has sent an unmistakable message on what he thinks of the constitution, the law, and the wishes of the American people, and that message is this: