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The Last Days of the 2+2=5 Administration

Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 3:57 AM

No less than President Bush and Vice-President Cheney hit the media circuit this weekend to defend their directives on enhanced interrogation torture, claiming that such provided actionable intelligence and, well, the CIA only really did it to three people, anyway.

Never mind that the actionable intelligence was part of the Saddam-has-WMDs comedy routine, and not information on Osama bin Laden's whereabouts, any extensive network of operatives within our borders, or even terrorist incidents in other countries.

Never mind that no matter what you call it, both American and international law define waterboarding as torture.

And to wrap it all up with more fearmongering about how we need to protect ourselves from these horrible, evil people who want to do us harm?


This morning brought us Bush's 'final' press conference, during which he stammered and rambled through mostly meaningless, contradictory, and fundamentally dishonest answers on everything. We were treated to thirty-plus minutes of head bobbling, shrugs, eye-rolling, and disjointed chuckling.

Among the highlights were strawmen about the Israel-Palestine conflict, touting that he'd proposed a two-state solution, but ignoring that experts warned that Hamas would (and did) win the election. Suddenly, we break off diplomatic relations with Palestine - yeah, that's working hard on peaceful solutions.

Bush lauded the nations who took Joint Resolution 1441 seriously, because it spoke to 'disclose, disarm, or face serious consequences,' ignoring that they cherry-picked intelligence and were ultimately proven wrong. But, you know, all those other countries, they're just elitist whiners.

Bush indirectly admitted that they were responsible for the Mission Accomplished banner - even though the original spin was to blame it on unnamed sailors. But he still couldn't be honest about it, saying he meant one thing, and it was taken as meaning another.

Katrina was the same story. Bush threw out a strawman about 'If I'd flown Air Force One in, they'd be complaining about my drawing away resources to handle my plane.' No, Sir, we're talking about the fact that you had an inexperienced hack in charge of FEMA, that you, yourself, seemed to be drunk and confused - unable to remember the word HURRICANE - and that none of your administration could be arsed to return to Washington.

Round Two of his excuse for Katrina was, that, hey, chopper pilots pulled 30,000 people off rooftops after the storm. Again, which has Not A Damn Thing To Do with pre-storm response - evacuation plans that weren't followed and requests from governors that were ignored.

Bush gave his usual pitch about making tough decisions and sticking with them. It's a difficult and dangerous world, but, somehow, Bush and his masterful intellect can pare it down to making a decision and never ever worry about listening to critics or adapting. (Remember the spin as they tried to shed their 'stay the course' image?)

And then there's the question of the morality of torture. Bush says the only people who have issue with it are elitists. Why am I an elitist? Because I expect high standards from my country and its government and you're a slobbering, lackadaisacal bastard with the moral fiber of a wet noodle?

History, of course, can't be determined short-term, Bush told one reporter. History won't be able to judge the real accomplishments of Bushtopia until many years from now, so y'all are unqualified to judge me and mine, you ungrateful peasants. Pfffbtbbbtbtbttbtbaackpfft. (And the sick thing is, the people who usually trot out the 'history will be my judge' are the tyrants and murderers, not the people who have made intelligent decisions.)

In closing, Bush spoke of how moving and stirring it was to see our first Black president be elected, and how he has a front-row seat. Which must explain why he's supposed to be leaving town the morning of the inauguration, and that someone else had to suggest the luncheon with Bush Sr., Clinton, and Carter.

I expect to be duly ashamed, in turn, by the media coverage of the press conference. I've already heard CBS' Bob Schieffer wax poetic about what a great job Bush has done. Now, I understand Schieffer is conservative, and I respect his opinion ... but let's report the facts. Let's look at the rambling, nonsensical answers the man gave, and wonder why we let him drive the country into the ditch. Sucking up to someone for access when all you're getting is a kick in the teeth is not smart anything, least of all smart journalism.


The BART Board of Directors held another community forum over the weekend and will host a third this afternoon.

I hate to tell Rev. Amos Brown that charging Officer Mehserle with murder will require proof of malice aforethought. We're more likely to see a charge of manslaughter and criminal negligence.

At the same time, why, exactly, is this taking so long? Mehserle has stonewalled, but what of the other officers on the platform? And if Mehserle is claiming he isn't answerable to the BART Police, then he should be treated as any other suspect in a shooting. We have a victim, we have preliminary evidence showing his direct involvement, we know where he lives.

Arrest Johannes Mehserle and bring him in for questioning. Or are we to believe that you're going to 'investigate' for two weeks without talking to him?


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