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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

 

Connecting The Dots
By Larry Kelley

"Washington doesn't respect a president for telling the truth. They think he has to lie because the American people are too immature for the truth."-Eric Alderman, "When Presidents Lie."
"The fact is, we are terrified of the truth."-Todd Rundgren, "Liars."
* * *
The world was stunned by the news. As president, George W. Bush had never done such a thing. But on March 20 (Palm Sunday) the president actually interrupted his vacation, flying from his ranch in
Crawford, Texas to Washington, D.C. to sign unprecedented legislation designed by Congressional Republicans for one person, Terri Schiavo.
Never mind that he could have signed the bill at his ranch. This was a photo-op and he was "defending life," even if it was just one life and one that had been in a "persistent vegetative state" for 15 years. Bush's Christian conservatives were determined to persuade some court, any court, to re-connect her feeding tubes.
Some examples of how important the president's vacations are to him:
August 2001. Bush is given a President's Daily Brief titled, Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US." George goes fishing.
September 11, 2001. Bush is told the US is under attack. After staring into space for 14 minutes, George returns to reading aloud "My Pet Goat" to a class of 2nd graders. Does he fly to Washington to take control of the government? No. He is flown from air base to air base to keep him safe from terrorists.
December 26, 2004. The president is told a massive Tsunami has caused "unimaginable devastation" all around the Indian Ocean. He continues his vacation in Crawford and it takes him three days to finally make a public announcement about the tragedy.
* * *
So what would cause the president to interrupt his precious vacation? One clue may be the strategy memo distributed to Republican Senators that day describing the Schiavo matter as a "great political issue," one that would score big points with Christian fundamentalists and at the same time embarrass the Democrats, especially Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida who had argued against the bill and faces re-election next year. An ABC News poll reported that 63% of
America feels that the Republicans acted for "political purposes." Compassionate Conservatism at its best.
* * *
United Press International recently reported that Saddam Hussein was NOT found hiding in a hole on Saturday Dec. 13, 2003, as announced by the Bush Administration, but actually had been firing a gun at his attackers from the window of "a modest house in a small village" on Friday Dec. 12. It couldn't be that news of his capture was delayed one day for the Sunday TV talk shows, could it?
"Later on, a military production team fabricated the film of Saddam" capture in a hole, which was, in fact, a deserted well," UPI reported. The 67-year-old former friend of
Washington was denied legal representation for more than a year after his capture.
* * *
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Christopher Cox, chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, recently told a group of conservatives that "We continue to discover biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction and the facilities to make them in
Iraq." When Bush was "re-elected" last November, 60% of those who voted for him believed that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, that Saddam was involved in 9-11 and that he was in close league with al Qaeda.
* * *
During the election campaign, John Kerry lambasted Bush for his failure to capture Osama bin Laden when he was trapped at Tora Bora in Dec. 2001. Bush and Cheney denied it and Tommy Franks, then commander of
US forces in Afghanistan wrote in the New York Times that Osama was "never within our grasp." Now, the Associated Press has reported that the terrorist leader indeed was in Tora Bora and escaped when the US sent Afghani soldiers after him instead of going in themselves.
* * *
The "Coalition of the Willing" is diminishing faster than corporate taxes. Fourteen countries already have pulled out of
Iraq and three others will do so soon, according to AP. The US has 150,000 troops there, Great Britain, 8,000 and South Korea, 3,600. Of the remaining 19 countries, six have under 100 soldiers, the rest under 1,000.
* * *
According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the war will create 50,000 homeless vets in
America. (Perhaps they could take advantage of Iraq's depressed real estate market.) Thirty percent of the returning soldiers will require psychiatric services, according to the Pentagon.
* * *
During the president's European trip a few months ago, a Bush spokesman described proposed "town hall" meetings with citizens as the "cornerstone" of his trip to
Germany. The meetings were cancelled, however, when the president learned that the questions from the audience would not be scripted, according to ABC. American democracy in action.

 

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