Sunday, May 22, 2005

It's Fun To Investigate Yourself!!!

Did the Bush Administration cook up the intelligence in the lead up to war with Iraq, as the Downing Street Memo alleges? What did the Administration know about a possible Al Qaeda attack in the summer of 2001? Who was really responsible for the atrocities at Abu Ghraib and why were only low-level army personnel punished for the abuse? Did the Bush Administration unofficially condone torture and abuse of prisoners in their so-called "War on Terror" by excluding "terror suspects" from the Geneva Conventions? What atrocities have taken place at prisoner camps in Guatanamo Bay, Cuba and Afghanistan? What happened at Al Qua Qa and other Iraqi ammunition dumps that were looted in the first weeks after Saddam's overthrow? Why did the administration not hold members of the Coalition Provisional Authority accountable when $8.8 billion dollars disappeared from Iraq during the first fourteen months of reconstruction?

Lots and lots of questions about the conduct of Bush Administration officials, Pentagon officials, military personnel, and the preznit himself. And yet, with Republicans controlling all three branches of government, we get no real investigations into these scandals or incidents of potential wrong-doing. Instead we get whitewashes (the Pentagon absolves itself of any wrongdoing in the Abu Ghraib scandal and scapegoats the low-level military personnel arrested in the case), stonewalling (the Pentagon insists Koran abuse never happened in any of its prison facilities despite hundreds of allegations made by former "terror suspects" who have since been freed), or scapegoating (when Newsweek retracted their allegation that a military interrogator flushed a Koran down the toilet, the Bush Administration said this proved that no Koran abuse has ever taken place).

We don't get any real investigations into administration wrongdoing. Before the 2004 election, Senator Pat Roberts promised an investigation into the possible political manipulation of pre-war intelligence. Now that the election is over, we get no investigation. The Downing Street Memo, which seems to document that the Blair and Bush governments knew their case for war with Saddam was horseshit and decided to manipulate intelligence to bolster their flimsy case, has gotten little play in the U.S. media or in Washington. The Bush Administration sticks to its rote line that Abu Ghraib was an isolated incident perpetrated by a few "bad apples" and totes out a few Pentagon investigations to bolster their claim. Wrongdoing (prisoner abuse, Koran abuse, murder) by American military personnel at Bagram, Afghanistan was either ignored by the army or investigated without any charges being filed.

In case after case, the Bush Administration gets to investigate and absolve itself in a plethora of scandals that would have been broken open had the opposition party held one seat of power in this government. The press has played along for the most part, either unwilling to take on the Administration lest what happened to CBS and Newsweek happen to them, or because the press has become an extension of the Republican Party (FOX, NY Post, Wash Times, etc.)

My fear is that this preznit, who is the most murderous, evil, arrogant, fanatical thug to ever sit in the White House, is going to get away with at all. I waver between thinking there's no way Rove can keep quashing all of the scandals before one of them breaks and touches the preznit to feeling like nothing will ever touch any of these depraved bastards. When you get an incident like the Newsweek thing, where the press parrots the administration line that Koran abuse did not happen in any American military prison because we say it did not happen, I despair that we will ever get a fair and honest investigation of any misconduct or scandal.

I also despair of what will happen to this nation in the next three-and-a-half years. We are already witnessing world-wide protests against the United States by Muslims. We already know that most people in the world in poll after poll hold a very low opinion of the U.S. We know our military is stretched dangerously thin because of the never-ending war in Iraq that is far from "accomplished". We know that some crazies in this government would like to pick a fight with Iran and Korea if possible. We know that at home, Bush wants to load up the federal judiciary and the Supreme Court with judges and justices who follow a higher law than the Constitution - the law of Jesus Christ and the New Testament. We know that Bush wants to destroy what is left of the social safety net by bankrupting Medicare and Medicaid and privatizing Social Security. We know that Bush wants to eliminate public education by having all public schools in the United States declared "failing" by 2015. We know that Bush wants an "ownership society" in which employers will pay third-world wages and cover no pension or health benefits for employees while workers are forced to compete with overseas labor and subject to the unforgiving vagaries of the global marketplace. We know that Bush wants to end all taxation on investment and place it all on labor.

We know Bush wants to do these things I have listed above. I suspect Bush also is setting up the world for the coming "Rapture" by sowing as much discord in the Middle East as possible to create the elements needed for the "Second Coming". Don't kid yourself. That Bush is trying to create as much chaos in the world as possible is not beyond the pale. Bush and Rove are both evangelical nutcases who believe in this Rapture business. Bush and Rove work very closely with Rapture Christians. For example, Pastor Robert G. Upton, head of the Apostolic Congress, a Rapture group, once bragged "I'm briefed at least once a week via telephone briefings" and according to an August 13, 2003 Jeannette Walls article on, Condi Rice's office contacted Apocalyptic Preacher Jack Van Impe, author of Israel's Final Holocaust and The Great Escape: Preparing for the Rapture, the Next Event on God's Prophetic Clock, for a timeline on the end of the world. So why wouldn't two Rapture believers, with the guidance of fellow Rapturists, create the conditions needed for the Great Rapture? Looking at Bush's Mideast policy, North Korea policy, environmental policy, and economic policies, it sure does look like he's preparing for the end of the world. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan sees a connection between Rapturists and Bush policy. He wrote on on April 22, 2004 that:

We are bringing fire and destruction to the Middle East. And to ourselves.

This is exactly what American evangelical Christians desire, according to George Monbiot. In The Guardian (April 20), Monbiot describes the strong support Christian fundamentalists provide for BushÂ’s Middle Eastern war. "True believers" actively seek to provoke a final battle with the Muslim world. They believe this will usher in the Rapture, and they will be wafted up to heaven, where they will sit at the right hand of God and watch the rest of us endure the Years of Tribulation.

According to Monbiot, "American pollsters believe that 15-18% of US voters belong to churches or movements which subscribe to these teachings. A survey in 1999 suggested that this figure included 33% of Republicans. The best-selling contemporary books in the US are the 12 volumes of the Left Behind series, which provide a fictionalized account of the Rapture."

In 2002 when the US foreign policy community still had a say (it no longer does), Bush asked Sharon to pull his tanks out of Jenin. Angry emails from 100,000 Christian fundamentalists flooded the White House, and Bush never mentioned the matter again.

With the public inattentive, there is no check on the Christian-Zionist agitation to escalate the Middle Eastern conflict. Prepare to sacrifice your sons to Christian fundamentalist delusion and to a Greater Israel.

I'd say let's call for an investigation into the connection between Apocalyptic Christians and Bush administration policy, but they'd probably put Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson or Pope Benedict Panzer the I in charge of the whitewash. The only hope we actually have of getting any fair and honest investigations into Bush Administration crimes is a Republican ballot box whacking in 2006. But short of that, I guess we just get more self-exonerations.

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