Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bush's Orwellian campaign of deception, distraction, and linguistic legerdemain

Right out of George Orwell's 1984, George Bush comes up with another Orwellian corker: torture is no longer torture; it's an "alternative set of procedures".

Bush is a coward —afraid to call torture what it is: torture. Bush talks about torture obliquely, in language reminiscent of his state of the union address of 2003 when he talked about the treatment and, quite possibly, the deliberate murder, of thousands of detainees presumably captured in Afghanistan. At the time, Bush said:

"Many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way —they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies".

—George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 2003

Bush is back in that newspeak mode referring not to a "different fate" (murder?) but calling torture an "alternative set of procedures".
We knew that Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking. As his questioning proceeded, it became clear that he had received training on how to resist interrogation. And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures. These procedures were designed to be safe, to comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Department of Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively and determined them to be lawful. I cannot describe the specific methods used--I think you understand why--if I did, it would help the terrorists learn how to resist questioning, and to keep information from us that we need to prevent new attacks on our country. But I can say the procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary.

George W. Bush, Text of President Bush's speech, September 07, 2006

In other words: torture! Let me address the following comment directly to George W. Bush. NO, Bush, torture procedures DO NOT comply with our laws, our constitution, or our treaty obligations. In fact, torture itself blatantly violates ALL of the above. Torture is repugnant to American values, decency, morality and civilization. Civilized nations do not torture. Legitimate administrations do not torture. Barbaric, cruel nations do. Torture, which you have not the courage to call by name, is an offense, an affront to our very basic "American" values.

As Spencer Ackerman wrote, Bush continues to exploit the ignorance of the American people. The truth of the matter is this: there is no need to torture anyone; nor is it effective. Intelligence gathered by torture is notoriously inaccurate and often misleading. As Bush said of evil, I say of Bush's un-American program of torture: if it is not evil then what is?

Bush wants to continue his program of torture and wants the congress to change the laws so that he can. Bush had already broken the law; his torture program was denounced by a federal court. In the face of laws, morality, and American values, Bush urges Congress to pass a terrorist surveillance act. It will give Bush the authority he wants to try what Bush expects us to believe are "al-Qaeda detainees" currently held in secret CIA facilities throughout Eastern Europe. The existence of this gulag archipelago was denied vociferously but now it is openly admitted because Bush holds out hope for an ex post facto law. Bush had to admit his crime but only because it was the only way he could get congress to make legal the crimes he's already committed. I read the Constitution. Congress has not the power to pass ex post facto laws of any sort.

When Bush is not playing Orwellian language games to hide the truth, he is telling bald faced lies:

Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons, and to stop all support for terrorist groups. The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations.

George W. Bush, Remarks by the President on Iraq Cincinnati Museum Center - Cincinnati Union Terminal, Cincinnati, Ohio, White

Here's yet another corker from the same speech:
Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.
And this absurdity from his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September, 2002:
And al Qaeda terrorists escaped from Afghanistan and are known to be in Iraq.

—George W. Bush, UN Speech

Events have proven those statements untrue. Bush found it necessary to link Iraq with terrorism for several reasons. Members of his own administration had already identified Al Qaeda as responsible for 911. From the get go, Bush wanted to attack Iraq where the terrorists weren't; he needed to figure out a way to pin 911 on Saddam. It was a problem for Bush that almost no terrorists exist in the United States. [See: Foreign Affairs, Is There Still a Terrorist Threat?, John Mueller] Bush needed a fall guy!

At last, even members of Congress will allow that Bush deliberately hoaxed the Congress and the public. If this is not treasonable and impeachable, what is? Must Bush solicit oral sex that this nation might be saved two more years in which Bush wages dangerous, heedless, reckless war upon the entire world?

At last, Bush has employed every evil to achieve his goal of global domination. Most pernicious among these evils is the right wing debasement of language to obscure, to distort, to pervert. No one can be free when language is defiled. Language is liberty.

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.

—William Hazlett, 1778

Rockefeller: Bush Duped Public On Iraq

CBS News Exclusive: W.Va. Senator Says Iraq Would Be Better Off With Saddam In Power

Sept. 9, 2006

(CBS) When the Senate Intelligence Committee released a declassified version of its findings this past week, the Republican chairman of the committee, Pat Roberts, left town without doing interviews, calling the report a rehash of unfounded partisan allegations.

Its statements like this one, made Feb. 5, 2003, by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell that have become so controversial, implying Iraq was linked to terror attacks."Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an associated collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda lieutenants," Powell said.

But after 2 1/2 years of reviewing pre-war intelligence behind closed doors, the lead Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia, who voted for the Iraq War, says the Bush administration pulled the wool over everyone's eyes.

"The absolute cynical manipulation, deliberately cynical manipulation, to shape American public opinion and 69 percent of the people, at that time, it worked, they said 'we want to go to war,'" Rockefeller told CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. "Including me. The difference is after I began to learn about some of that intelligence I went down to the Senate floor and I said 'my vote was wrong.'"

Rockefeller went a step further. He says the world would be better off today if the United States had never invaded Iraq — even if it means Saddam Hussein would still be running Iraq.

He said he sees that as a better scenario, and a safer scenario, "because it is called the 'war on terror.'"
Because Bush exploits fear with lies, his entire administration has taken on an hysterical tinge of late, born, no doubt, of Bush's own knowledge that he is a fraud.

In a Pivotal Year, GOP Plans to Get Personal

Millions to Go to Digging Up Dirt on Democrats

By Jim VandeHei and Chris Cillizza

Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 10, 2006; Page A01

Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads. ...

Just in time for elections, Bush campaigns on fear

September 10, 2006


Five years after the 9/11 tragedy, the kingpin of Abraham Lincoln's party is still dead set on fooling most of the people most of the time.

President Bush and his chorus of Republican pols, Cabinet members and neo-con sycophants would have us believe we're safer or, depending on political expediencies, not that safe. According to the president's pre-9/11 anniversary speeches on the progress of the war on terror, we're safer than we were before the attacks but not yet safe enough to steer clear of his failed stay-the-course strategy. As Bush explains it, al-Qaeda's leadership is decimated but remains dangerous enough to destroy the entire civilized world.

There he goes again. ...

We best observe the anniversary of 911 by reflecting upon the fraudulent nature of Bush's various "wars" —his war of deception, distraction, and Orwellian legerdemain. Just how great is the so-called terrorist threat? I am confident that you will find many authoritative sources for the following fact: your chances of getting killed by a terrorist are about point 0000001%. And we gave up our freedom for that?

The Existentialist Cowboy
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