Monday, November 05, 2007

The Origins of America's World Wide Image Problem in Bush's Embrace of the 'Science of Lying'

Successful lying has become a science. Highly paid consultants taught Bush officials the new science of effective lying at the outset of Bush's new regime. The cost, however, will be picked up by US taxpayers; it is no coincidence that new studies show US prestige declining as the world learns the truth about Bush's hidden agenda.

Typically, the US responds with promises of more spin and PR, more ludicrous attempts to put a smiley face on torture, lies, and aggressive war. The US will try to spread the guilt around and "reframe" the issue.

They've wasted no time. As I write this, Colleen Graffy, of the US State Department, is telling Stephen Sackur, of BBC's Hard Talk, that other nations maintained GITMO-like facilities where people are held indefinitely in legal limbo. She failed to name one. It's unfortunate, she says, that some people ought not be afforded what Americans have always called Due Process of Law.

Because the GOP often thinks backward from conclusions to premises, GOP types have failed to grasp the essential nature of "Due Process of Law", that is, either it applies to everyone or it doesn't apply at all. Any exception is arbitary and no one may be presumed guilty in advance of Due Process. It just doesn't work that way. The GOP has apparently institutionalized post hoc ergo propter hoc.

America has an "image problem" because the rest of the world knows America by the lies Bush tells the world.
A new report by an influential policy group in America says the US Government needs an urgent public relations overhaul to improve its image in the international community.

The report by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations says the Bush administration has significantly under-performed in its efforts to capture the hearts and minds of non-Americans.

The report says that in trying to sell its foreign policy and values, the administration needs to much more, and it needs to do it fast.

The report says that although negative attitudes about US policy are particularly pervasive in the Muslim world, America's image problem is truly global.

--US 'suffers global image problem'

Bush's lies are designed to conceal a hidden agenda that lurks behind America's failing image abroad. The rest of the world knows that Bush's "War on Terror" is both a lie and a red herring if the American people do not. Another transparent PR campaign is the last thing the US needs.
So why not go down, meet with the doctors, with the guards, with the interrogators, and still put in the report but we would have liked to have spoken with the detainees. But frankly what would we have learned from that? If the detainee said we're being tortured, you'd say well there's OK there's the Al Qaeda manual, chapter 18 that the British police discovered in Manchester saying if you're detained claim you were tortured. Or if they're not told they're tortured then they'll say well you detainees were specially chosen.

--Colleen Graffy, US State Department, Guantanamo Bay, Sunday 12 March 2006 Andrew Marr interview with Colleen Graffy,

Thus is summed up the danger any "war on terrorism" poses to Due Process of Law. Bush officials can be relied upon to come up with a circulus en probando rationalization designed to legitimatize any outrage. At a time when some 70% of Iraqis believe security has deteriorated in those "areas covered by the US military 'surge'", Bush efforts to define those thrown into any US facility as "terrorist" is absurd. An arbitrary exception to Due Process is thus made for people "accused" of being terrorist, though they are never formally "accused" or charged. They just "are". Bush says so.

Terrorism is whatever Bush says it is. Terrorism should be dealt with by intelligence personnel and law enforcement. "Terrorism" as consisting of specific, prosecutable crimes should be treated like any other intelligence and law enforcement problem. It is understandable that Bush would not want to do so. To so treat those crimes robs him of the power he seeks. It deprives him of the various pre-texts he needs to wage war on the world. Free of "terrorist" distractions, the utterly failed and corrupt nature of Bush's miserable regime would become apparent even to his corrupt GOP base.

Tragically, thousands have been robbed of "personhood" because Bush assumes arbitrary powers --powers that our founders never intended him to assume and wage. Bush opposes Due Process of Law because he is in violation of it. Of course he would oppose the Geneva Convention and US Codes binding us to them because there is probable cause to bring charges against Bush for violations. Due Process of Law was articulated and espoused by our founders to prevent what Bush is doing in fact.

Bush's failed "surge" leaves in its wake a giant sucking sound --Bush's BS rhetoric played backward. The surge failed because it was the wrong war against the wrong target for the wrong reasons at the wrong time. Nothing about it was right but then Bush has never been right about anything at any time for any reason.

For political purposes, Bush proposed to wage a war on terror against everyone but terrorists. Certainly, Saddam had nothing to do with 911 and most certainly never supported al Qaeda. If Iraq is now an al Qaeda "base", it is Bush's fault --not Saddam's.

Bush failed because, by definition, no government propped up by US forces is legitimate. Having failed the fundamentals, Bush had hoped to paper over them with "fresh meat". He would not hesitate to throw US troops into the grinder. Tragically, he may never be held to account for the lives he so eagerly and gleefully sacrificed. The lies he has told about the nature of their sacrifice and the nature of his criminal fraud upon the American people is enough in itself to try him for high treason. If all the war criminals in his administration should ever hang for the capital crimes for which they are culpable, it will be ironic that it will be for the foreign troops killed in his wars of aggression. It will be a tragic injustice if Bush himself should escape charges for the lives ofUS troops that Bush so eagerly sacrificed.
Less than 12 hours after the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush proclaimed the start of a global war on terror. Ever since, there has been a vigorous debate about how to win it. Bush and his supporters stress the need to go on the offensive against terrorists, deploy US military force, promote democracy in the Middle East, and give the commander in chief expansive wartime powers. His critics either challenge the very notion of a "war on terror" or focus on the need to fight it differently. Most leading Democrats accept the need to use force in some cases but argue that success will come through reestablishing the United States' moral authority and ideological appeal, conducting more and smarter diplomacy, and intensifying cooperation with key allies. They argue that Bush's approach to the war on terror has created more terrorists than it has eliminated -- and that it will continue to do so unless the United States radically changes course.

--Philip H. Gordon, Can the War on Terror Be Won? Foreign Affairs

Both parties miss the point. As any idiot will tell you: you cannot wage a war on terrorism upon everyone but terrorists and expect to win. What was originally called "Operation Iraqi Liberation" [OIL] failed to achieve the publicized objectives because those were not the real objectives. Bush either lied or he is stupid or both! Iraq had nothing to do with 911 and, until the US arrived in Baghdad, there were no "terrorists" in that nation. Even now, the point is debatable. Initially, the US deliberately mislabeled a "resistance" to US occupation "terrorist" or "insurgent".
In the long run, the United States and its allies are far more likely to win this war than al Qaeda, not only because liberty is ultimately more appealing than a narrow and extremist interpretation of Islam but also because they learn from mistakes, while al Qaeda's increasingly desperate efforts will alienate even its potential supporters.

But victory in the war on terror will not mean the end of terrorism, the end of tyranny, or the end of evil, Utopian goals that have all been articulated at one time or another. Terrorism, after all (to say nothing of tyranny and evil), has been around for a long time and will never go away entirely.

From the Zealots in the first century AD to the Red Brigades, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Irish Republican Army, the Tamil Tigers, and others in more recent times, terrorism has been a tactic used by the weak in an effort to produce political change. Like violent crime, deadly disease, and other scourges, it can be reduced and contained. But it cannot be totally eliminated.

--Philip H. Gordon, Can the War on Terror Be Won? Foreign Affairs

What Gordon hasn't told you is that "wars" on tyranny or terrorism are not won by becoming tyrants or terrorists. By arrogating unto himself powers never bestowed upon the Presidency by our founders, Bush has become both a tyrant and a terrorist himself. Thus, the war against Iraq is lost and the fraudulent nature of the "war on terrorism" is exposed.

A city of some 7 million people remains a city without legitimate government, effective leadership, security, or viable economic progress. This is a war that Bush waged upon a civilian population. GITMO detainees would never have wound up there had the US not committed a war crime. [See: Lessons Bush Learned From Hitler ] Yet --the victims of Bush's crimes and incompetence are blamed for both.

What remains in Bush's wake is a disaster of almost unimaginable proportions and, as yet realized consequences. At some point, something will fill the vacuum left by an inevitable US withdrawal. With lies and failure, Bush will have denied America a voice in whatever "government" may evolve in the Middle East. He may have triggered America's ultimate fall which the recent "PR Problem" is but a portent.

The Bush administration are war criminals at the very highest levels, in violation of Nuremberg Principles, Geneva Convention, and US Codes; Section 2441 and others. It is no coincidence that Bush and Cheney will place themselves above the only law that might have brought real terrorists and real war criminals to justice. This regime has placed itself above the only laws by which war criminals and terrorists might be restrained. It should hardly be surprising then, that terrorism is worse under Bush's regime, as, indeed, terrorism has been under every GOP regime.

The real terrorists, therefore, are Bush and Cheney. By placing themselves above the law, they have made of America a lawless state. The Rule of Law is the thin veneer separating civilization and chaos. As Rome fell, the Western World descended into barbarism. At Adrianople, the Emperor Valens could not raise an army of Romans. Most were mercenaries, the Blackwater of their day.

I am saddened by my country's descent into a surveillance state, a police state. Just as Karl Rove spoke wistfully of a "permanent Republican majority", Hitler planned to establish a "permanent" majority of Nazis in the Reichstag, a body that would become Hitler's rubber stamp, passing whatever laws he desired, making legal the crimes he planned to commit.

Until Tony Blair, England was almost alone among nations which emerged more democratic in the wake of violent revolution. It is significant that though he was a dictator in deed, Oliver Cromwell eschewed titles like King, Dictator et al. Instead, he chose "Lord Protector". He might have demanded and gotten a crown for his efforts. Despite his atrocities (I have in mind the slaughters in Ireland), Cromwell may very well have been uncomfortable with the potential to rule England despotically. Though many believe he did, his rule might have worse. At last, what had become Great Britain would be more comfortable with a tamed monarchy than a benevolent dictator. Alas, however, America may never regain the will to restore the Constitution. We might not be as fortunate as England had been following its Civil War.


How the GOP Embraced the New Science of Lying

An update provides an example of stuff "Bushies" have just made up and lied about:

Paul Krugman: "There's no such thing as Islamofascism."

"It’s not an ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination. The term came into vogue only because it was a way for Iraq hawks to gloss over the awkward transition from pursuing Osama bin Laden, who attacked America, to Saddam Hussein, who didn’t. And Iran had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11" ...
Krugman is more charitable. I would not attribute "Islamofascism" to Neocon imagination; rather, it was crafted and tested by a focus group. It is a deliberate attempt to link "fascism" with Islam. It deliberately exploits the fact that Americans still identify with WWII, a time when we were the good guys and "fascists" and "Nazis" were the bad guys. It's a tactic designed by consultants intended to turn US opinion against all Islam --not just terrorists. The term is bigoted and, as such, typical of the GOP!







Bush Corruption



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