Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part V, Public Opinion Becomes Irrelevant

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

If one could graph the degree to which Bush has arrogated unto himself the powers of a dictator, the so-called 'unitary executive', the upward curve of such a graph is the mirror image of his 'popularity' --at its greatest in the minutes and hours following 911.

Bush's plunging popularity has had no effect on his ruthless power grab. Public opinion is irrelevant. Bush himself said: "This would be a whole lot easier if this was a dictatorship!" And so it has been for Bush. Any other President committing the same crimes, telling the same lies would have already been impeached, removed, and indicted. Public opinion means nothing to a man who was also heard to say: "Who cares what you think?" Clearly, Bush doesn't care and proves it daily.

Most recently, Bush's approval rating has fallen to 28 percent. Some comments about that chosen at random on the Drudge Report:
The first President in US history who is a complete Dipshit. And 28% of Americans according to this poll still support him. Right !

Then 28% of America is dumber than a bag of hair.


Are you shittin' me man? There has never ever, been anyone who was more destructive to the spirit and the letter of the law of the constitution. Never, not even in other countries (except for hitler and stalin and we all know how that turned out). And to tell the truth I don't believe it's because he is a megolamaniac or evil or something like that. I believe he is a lethal combination of low intelligence coupled with a strong need to feather his and his friends nests with dollars. to be honest I would prefer the megolamaniac, at least you would know where he is coming from.
The level of frustration is palpable. In the weeks following 911, Bush would not have found it necessary to shut down 'free speech' immediately or completely. A repugnant brigade of incipient 'brownshirts' were doing that for him. The "Dixie Chicks" were victims of it! The SUV-driving, flag waving, gas guzzling idiots in Houston were 'self-appointed' enforcers of the cult of Bush. Certainly, a militant, belligerent mentality would choose a time of national tragedy and mourning to display to the world the behavior of 'brownshirts'.

If the Bush administration maintained even a pretense of accountability —Bush would have already been impeached, resigned, or investigated. Instead, Bush has consolidated his power on several fronts and he has done so in the face of vehement, widespread opposition and revulsion. He has done so despite the fact that most people think he's a liar and a fraud.

Bush holds several trump cards, not the least of which is how he dictates the agenda through the mainstream media. Big media means big corporations. They will pay lip service to equal time even when equal times means balancing truth with more lies. Big corporations spend billions to outshout the independent voice. The assault on "net neutrality" is just one example, but, perhaps, the most pernicious and catastrophic in the longer term. A successful attack on "net neutrality" will most probably bring to an end the existence of blogs like "The Existentialist Cowboy" or, at the very least, it will marginalize them.

Media no longer plays the role of the 'Fourth Estate'; it no longer plays the traditional role of watchdog. Media no longer keeps 'them' honest. Some outlets, most notably the Fox network, are no more than the 'propaganda ministry' for the administration. More insidious are PBS, CBS, NBC and ABC where the reporting and analysis simply misses the point. Election and campaign reporting, never good, has never been worse. Intelligent reporting and issues analysis are replaced with punditry and other shallow instances of 'who is ahead' and why.
When Barack Obama met Hillary Clinton for another televised Democratic candidates' debate last night, it was more than a step forward in the 2008 presidential election. It was another step downward for network news -- in particular ABC News, which hosted the debate from Philadelphia and whose usually dependable anchors, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, turned in shoddy, despicable performances..

For the first 52 minutes of the two-hour, commercial-crammed show, Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with. ...

--In Pa. Debate, The Clear Loser Is ABC
The Pew Research Center for People and the Press reports that the public shares my sense of disaffection and outrage. Seventy-seven percent against 17 percent want more coverage of issues and less punditry. Fifty-seven percent want real debates. Only 42 percent want more news about which candidate is leading in the polls du jour while fifty five percent want more news about candidates that are not deemed by big media to be "front-runners". Among other findings from the PEJ-Shorenstein study:

  • Just five candidates have been the focus of more than half of all the coverage. Hillary Clinton received the most (17% of stories), though she can thank the overwhelming and largely negative attention of conservative talk radio hosts for much of the edge in total volume. Barack Obama was next (14%), with Republicans Giuliani, McCain, and Romney measurably behind (9% and 7% and 5% respectively). As for the rest of the pack, Elizabeth Edwards, a candidate spouse, received more attention than 10 of them, and nearly as much as her husband.
  • Democrats generally got more coverage than Republicans, (49% of stories vs. 31%.) One reason was that major Democratic candidates began announcing their candidacies a month earlier than key Republicans, but that alone does not fully explain the discrepancy.
  • Overall, Democrats also have received more positive coverage than Republicans (35% of stories vs. 26%), while Republicans received more negative coverage than Democrats (35% vs. 26%). For both parties, a plurality of stories, 39%, were neutral or balanced.
  • Most of that difference in tone, however, can be attributed to the friendly coverage of Obama (47% positive) and the critical coverage of McCain (just 12% positive.) When those two candidates are removed from the field, the tone of coverage for the two parties is virtually identical.
  • There were also distinct coverage differences in different media. Newspapers were more positive than other media about Democrats and more citizen-oriented in framing stories. Talk radio was more negative about almost every candidate than any other outlet. Network television was more focused than other media on the personal backgrounds of candidates. For all sectors, however, strategy and horse race were front and center.
Media fixation with every aspect of politics but issues is evidence of insidious media cynicism, an entrenched belief that Americans will not read or understand a story unless it has star quality and celebrity in it. Media fixation with every aspect of politics but issues is also evidence of media that is either out of touch or under the control of the corporate establishment. In the end, public opinion will have literally missed the point and will not matter.

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Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership, Global Issues, Updated: January 02, 2009




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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part IV, the state forces an 'existential' choice

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

Political "evil" allows people to assuage their consciences in numbers. A person who might never hang a man, might do so in a mob. Lynchings and torchings of black people were most often done by groups -not by individuals. While psychologists may diagnose individuals as 'psychotic', the more harmful effects are sustained when the group as a whole exhibits such symptoms and acts upon them. A 'mob' can be, in the vernacular, crazy! Can the same be said of an entire nation? Is America, under Bush, nuts?

A person who might never condone the slaughter of over a million civilians in a war of aggression might go along if his leaders have told him it was an act of war! Bush put to the American people a false choice: 'you are either for me or you are for the terrorists'!

I recently debated the issue of "character" with a PhD, a Shakespeare scholar with credentials in psychology. My position is that, while one's life is the sum of every choice, one cannot make an unmotivated choice. In existentialist terms, existence precedes essence. The threat posed by fascism is an 'existential' one! Indeed, one can only act, in good faith, upon what is believed to be true; others, however, will act upon a proposition known to be false, or worse, a lie. Millions were willing to go to war against Iraq believing Bush had told the truth about Saddam Hussein and 'weapons of mass destruction'. Others didn't care. They just did it for the money.

Millions made a bad choice when Bush put the alternatives before them: you are for me or you are for the 'terrorists'. Many supported the war in good faith because they believed his lie! Others knew it to be a lie but supported him anyway. What is to be said of these people? What is to be said of someone who acts upon something known to be untrue? In this case, the pretext for war --WMD and Saddam's alleged links to 'terrorism' --were not the real reasons for war. There are, in cases like this, two motives: a 'hidden truth' that is acted upon in bad faith, and the 'lie' that is publicly professed. It is this "second" motive, the lie the "actor" tells himself, in order to commit the "crime" -and to the world when he/she is caught that is a source of evil itself.

Bush has not bothered to convince himself of the truth of his own lies. Bush knows but doesn't care that his lies are habitual and harmful. He represents the textbook example of 'bad faith'; he is the archetypical liar, the manipulative sociopath, in literary terms --an arch villain.

The second lie is often called a "cover story", used typically to 'sell' a crime to the masses. Hitler was practiced at it! Among Republicans, "trickle down theory" is just such a lie. It is a rare culprit who accepts his/her own villainy. Therefore, even among the GOP, it is often necessary for the 'ruling elite' to maintain the facade, the rationalization that tax cuts benefiting only rich folk would eventually 'trickle down'. It was Republicans of this type at the GOP convention in Houston, 1992, who said of Ronald Reagan: "he made us feel good about ourselves!" I suppressed a puke when I heard that. Some people --notably Republicans --ought not feel good about themselves!

It is possible, therefore, to convince millions of people to act upon lies if there is something in it for them. True villains will hold out for material gain --booty! This is where you will find the corporate establishment and the Military/Industrial complex. Others, like rank and file Republicans at the 1992 convention, are less expensive: they need only a plausible cover story in order to 'feel good about themselves'. In Faustian terms, it's all just a business deal. The difference is the price that is paid for a soul. Rank and file Republicans come cheap --a transparent lie will do the trick. The crooks of the MIC hold out for billions and get it!

"Republicanism" is a gestalt of lies. Republicans embrace "trickle down theory" not because it is true but because it conveniently justifies piggish, criminal behavior. At that point, the good doctor conceded the debate. There are perhaps two kinds of people in this corrupt White House --those who really believe the lies behind the "occupancy's" actions and policies and those who know them to be lies but cite them disingenuously in order to promote the agenda to which they subscribe for reasons known only to them. I find it hard to believe that motives so assiduously disguised are benign.

It is too easy to conclude that if Bush had been honest and upfront about the many ways in which his cronies would be enriched by war with Iraq, the nation would never have backed the war. In fact, many would have backed the war and would have espoused the same specious arguments and for the same reasons. Therefore, 'evil' goes deeper; greed, hypocrisy and mass psychoses are only the mechanisms by which it is achieved. Dr. Gustav Gilbert, the American psychologist charged with keeping the Nuremberg criminals alive until they could be hanged, said that evil was an "utter lack of empathy". In the absence of empathy, an "evil" person is free to justify any hideous crime from vote theft to genocide.

In one of the early scenes of a late '90's movie entitled "Tea With Mussolini", a character described the current age, the years preceding World War II, as an age of "great dictators". The reference was, of course, to Benito Mussolini in Italy, Adolf Hitler in Germany, Josef Stalin in the Soviet Union. Those who saw the movie may recall that it was, in turns, tragic and light-hearted. It was, in fact, the story of director Franco Zefirelli's childhood in Italy during World War II. Its poignant story is not unlike that of Boris Pasternak's novel Dr. Zhivago. In both stories, we witness a monolithic state crushing dreams, hopes, life itself.
Both Hitler and Stalin came to realize that it was possible to eradicate the unpredictability of human affairs in "the true central institution of totalitarian organizational power": the concentration camp. What Arendt saw is that eradicating unpredictability requires altering the nature of human beings. In the camps the internees' deprivation of all rights, even of the ability to make a conscientious choice, does away with the dynamic conflict between the legality of particular positive laws and the idea of justice on which, in constitutional governments, an open and unpredictable future depends. On the one hand, in Arendt's concept of totalitarianism, human freedom is seen as inconsequential to "the undeniable automatism" of natural and historical processes, or at most as an impediment to their freedom. On the other, when "the iron band of terror" destroys human diversity, so totally dominating human beings that they cease to be individuals and become a mere mass of identical, interchangeable specimens "of the animal-species man," those processes are provided with "an incomparable instrument" of acceleration.

--[Hannah] Arendt's concept and description of totalitarianism

A "state" wishing to eradicate "unpredictability of human affairs" must make of its own apparatus an inhuman machine utterly lacking empathy. SS members become mere interchangeable parts in a killing machine. Master and slave alike cease to be entirely human. This is the state as machine. If this 'state' were a 'person', it would be called sociopathic, evil! Such a state requires its Auschwitz, its Abu Ghraib.
In World War I enemy aliens were regularly interned "as a temporary emergency measure," (see "Memo: Research Project on Concentration Camps") but later, in the period between World Wars I and II, camps were set up in France for non-enemy aliens, in this case stateless and unwanted refugees from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Arendt also noted that in World War II internment camps for potential enemies of democratic states differed in one important respect from those of World War I. In the United States, for instance, not only citizens of Japan but "American citizens of Japanese origin" were interned, the former maintaining their rights of citizenship under the Geneva Conventions while the latter, uprooted on ethnic grounds alone, were deprived of theirs by executive order and without due process.

--Evil: The Crime against Humanity, Jerome Kohn, Director, Hannah Arendt Center, New School University

Ed Murrow Reporting from Buchenwald

From "Good Night and Good Luck", Murrow's "McCarthy" Broadcast

Hannah Arendt's famous phrase, the banality of evil is in harmony with the work of Dr. Gustav Gilbert whose job it was to interview the Nazi war criminals on trial at Nuremberg. Gilbert may have found in those interviews the psychological nature of evil, an utter lack of empathy.
From that moment on Arendt said she "felt responsible." But responsible for what? She meant that she, unlike many others, could no longer be "simply a bystander" but must in her own voice and person respond to the criminality rampant in her native land.

--Evil: The Crime against Humanity, Jerome Kohn, Director, Hannah Arendt Center, New School University

The issue of "responsibility" is central to the philosophy of existentialism. Responsibility must be addressed if individuals are to be free and if "evil" is to be dealt with effectively from both a philosophical and a psychological standpoint. Responsibility is the very essence of morality, or more precisely, the essence of any attempt to base morality upon something other than commandment.
They consciously sought to articulate and construct a Nazi modernity and heralded their institutions and technological systems with no less enthusiasm than Jünger, even if they did so in much worse prose.

--The Business of Genocide: The SS, Slave Labor, and the Concentration Camps

Purely philosophical approaches are clearly inadequate. Most philosophical systems are concerned with "good actions" or "bad actions". Greek epicureans, for example, measure the good against an ideal good life in which both are associated in some way with pleasure. Yet, for some, those responsible for setting up Abu Ghraib for example, evil itself is pleasurable. These people are commonly called perverts. Topcliffe was one. Torquemada was most certainly another. Epicureanism must not exculpate sadists. Pleasure as a measure of goodness is therefore inadequate and violates Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative: "Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."

Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative demands behavior that is necessary unconditionally. By contrast, a situational ethic involves choices or behavior conditioned upon a desired result. For example: you must pay your bills and maintain a good credit rating if you wish to get a mortgage. But merely 'paying your bills' cannot be considered to be 'good' in and of itself. There may times in which it is better not to pay your bills. If your utility company is knowingly engaged in the support of a totalitarian regime waging aggressive war upon an innocent civilian population, it can be argued that unless you withdraw your financial support of them, you too are guilty of murder, war crimes or genocide. In the US consider the many ways in which you may have aided and abetted Dow Chemical or Exxon/Mobil, as examples.

A. J. Bahm made a distinction between good and bad intentions. At last, one feels that qualities of goodness or badness are literally put upon the individual as if some non-spatial, non-temporal Platonic ideal had been simply imposed upon pure existence. A "good" intention does not define good; rather, it presupposes a knowledge of it.

Arendt might not discount efforts to separate good actions from bad actions but seems more interested in good intentions and finds in the individual his/her response to others, the connections with one person to another, indeed, humanity as a whole to be the basis by which evil is distinguished from good. As an ethic, it was a new approach.

What are the psychological differences between one who feels responsible for his/her country compared to those who are indifferent? Clearly, an evil person cannot be expected to feel badly or guilty about being evil. Likewise, one would not have expected committed Nazis to have felt "responsible" for the direction of Germany under Hitler. One wonders how those who made Auschwitz run felt about their jobs, themselves. Likewise, one observes this in the American GOP.

In my own case, having loved what I thought my own country to be, I felt responsible when, over a period of some four years, I saw every cherished principle attacked, eschewed, subverted and, in other ways, rejected or trashed! Many of my feelings were less than noble and still are, though my choices have been made.

In a sense, we are all corrupted by the system upon which we depend for a livelihood. My interests in this system were attacked and put in jeopardy. But these were legitimate interests for which I make no apology. In other cases, I was surprised to learn about myself that I could not, would not live with or compromise the subversion of the rule of law, due process of law, the basic rights that I believe are not only our birthright but, in fact, belong to everyone. With Bush's usurpation of the US government, those ideals are all but gone. Like Arendt, I felt responsible, as an American, for what Bush had done in my name! All that remained to be seen was how Bush would bring about a "state" wishing to eradicate the "unpredictability of human affairs". We have over some seven years witnessed astounding progress toward that goal. What remains for Bush when it becomes clear that his increasingly dictatorial policies inspire, in turn, increasingly desperate resistance not merely among the hard pressed people of Iraq, but, likewise the increasingly hard pressed people of the US?

Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership, Global Issues, Updated: January 02, 2009




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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part III, In Fascist Dictatorships Telling the truth becomes a crime

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Had we wanted a monarchy, we had one! It didn't work out! Moreover, the one we had —King George III —was better than the cretinous would-be King who now arrogates unto himself powers he doesn't have and doesn't deserve. King George III was wrong and mad, but George Jr, a shrub, a lesser Bush, is merely ludicrous and slow witted.

The truly intelligent are not threatened; in fact, they are found among Democracy's most staunch defenders. Rather, it is the dull of wit who are threatened by truth. Unable to win with reason, the Bush regime wages war on truth with lies and propaganda. Failing even that, Bush has made truth itself illegal. He need only 'deem' you a terrorist to shut you up for good.

For the record, it was on May 9, 2007 that Bush gave us a clue that upcoming elections may be canceled and that he has no intention of leaving the White House. It was on that date that Bush signed a National Security Declaration granting him the power to declare a national emergency in case of war, suspend Congress and dismiss the Supreme Court.

It was Margaret Atwood who called George W. Bush, the greatest threat to world peace. What Atwood didn't mention was that Bush derives his power from a deliberate and well-planned attack on truth by way of language. George Orwell predicted it and his works remain the textbook example of how governments manipulate people by first manipulating their language.

If all else fails, a totalitarian regime can merely make the telling of truth a crime. Traditionally, the names given those truths which threaten a corrupt or tyrannical state are treason or sedition. A young United States experimented with the Alien and Sedition Acts which gave President John Adams the power to imprison or deport aliens upon the mere suspicion that their activities posed a threat to the new national government.

To his credit, Adams made no use of them but neither did he rebuke the Congress for having passed them. George W. Bush has done worse. He has simply arrogated unto himself the power to 'define' one a terrorist upon any criteria. It need not be an overt act. It need not be treason as defined in the Constitution or some 400 years of common law. It is a criterion overly broad and on its face ludicrous: Bush need only 'deem' you a 'terrorist' and you are one.

Orwell's classic cautionary tale, 1984, describes a fascist, totalitarian government spying on its own citizens, denying reality, exploiting a fictional enemy in a perpetual war. Orwell's Big Brother tried and succeeded in re-writing History itself.

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, in It Can't Happen Here described the dictatorship of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip who resembles George Bush.

In both fascist states, all was done in order to maintain the regime in absolute power.

The lesson of 1984 is less about the state itself than it is about the individual. When state's are absolutely powerful, the individual ceases to exist as an autonomous entity. Philosophically, individuals robbed of the ability to exercise free will are denied person hood; theologically, those individuals are thus robbed of their very souls.
In order to acknowledge the collapse of Soviet Communism and the failure of fascism to reemerge as a potent political force, I ditched Orwell's oppressive totalitarian state in favor of an entertainment-fueled nihilism in which dimwitted citizens frittered away their lives watching web TV and working at slightly overpaid jobs to buy worthless junk ... on web TV, natch. Where Orwell envisioned endless rows of soldiers marching in perfect unison to the strains of the Two-Minute Hate, I saw a world where nations had been replaced by trading blocs and the objects of hatred were the immigrants in our midst.

--Ted Rall, Why Bush Is Addicted To Perpetual War

The images from 1984 are seared into our memories --big brother, the telescreen, the grotty bedroom, the cubicle, the memory hole, the drab gray existence, the rat cage. But 1984 is as much about language. It is more than a mere sub-text. Language, in 1984, is the means by which Big Brother creates an alternate reality. It is only in the 'alternate reality' that Big Brother has power. Big Brother is really the Wizard of Oz, an illusion, an image on smoke. If millions suddenly deny the illusion, the lies, the bullshit, Big Bro is finished. The bad news is that, like the cowardly lion, we dare not challenge the great and powerful Oz.

The "official language" is Newspeak, remembered for its slogans: war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is Strength. A classic newspeak word is "doublespeak" which describes how both the Bush administration and the sycophantic news media have empowered Bush by perverting language. Homeland Security for the unlawful and omnipresence of Big Brother itself, operation Iraqi freedom (originally called Operation Iraqi Liberation, or OIL) for a war of naked aggression, war on terrorism for a perpetual war which, on its face and by definition, cannot be won. Wars are fought between armies representing nations. There is, therefore, NO war terrorism. Nor was there a war on drugs, a war on crime, a war on porn, a war on annoying gum chewers, a war on drunks, a war on sin, bestiality, queers, or any number of annoying things against which a military, an army is completely and utterly useless. The War on Terrorism is GOP code for global police state or police action. Like Reagan's War on Drugs or the war on porn, the war will take just as long as the GOP finds it necessary to maintain themselves in power.

The most glaring use of Newspeak is the invention of what I have chosen to call "focus group phrases" because they are invented, full cloth, in a focus group. "Al Qaeda in Iraq" is just such a phrase. "911 Deniers" is another. "Al Qaeda in Iraq" is designed make a lazy populace forget that the war was begun upon blackhearted lies about WMD. "911 Denier" is designed to shift the burden of proof from Bush to prove his own stupid 911 theory for which there is not a shred of evidence or proof. The Bush administration has used up several ex post facto war rationales --none of them true! "Al Qaeda in Iraq" is merely the latest in a string of such nonsense. They use it because it tests well and saves the news media the trouble of describing the real situation which defies summation simple or simple-minded words.

Indeed, Orwell understood as few have the power of language and in, 1984 the "tool of power" is language. Language empowers the all-powerful party which dictates the nature and use of language. The institutions of state maintain their power by exploiting the power of language to shape the nature of thought itself. That is, in fact, the protagonist, Winston Smith's, job.

Examples abound in the Bush administration. The Bush regime's use of the phrase "Total Information Awareness" very nearly gave the game away. In response to criticism, the regime stopped using the name "Total Information Awareness" to denote their program of widespread domestic surveillance. But that does not mean Bush stopped spying on you, invading your privacy, violating your Constitutional right to be safe and secure in your own home. "Total Information Awareness" is no doubt called something else, a name designed not to attract the attention of the media, a less scary name to lull the "folk".

Orwell is, of course, most famous for 1984 but his great essay on politics should also be required reading. [See: Orwell: Politics and the English Language.] Orwell explores how politicians explore language to accrue absolute power.
As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier -- even quicker, once you have the habit -- to say In my opinion it is not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think. If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don't have to hunt about for the words; you also don't have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious.

--George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

All who have read Orwell's essay on how easily politicians debase the language for nefarious purposes have recognized in the Bush administration the very techniques that Orwell warned us about.
The White House saw September 11 as a golden opportunity. The first catastrophic terrorist attack on American soil sparked an unprecedented case of leadership projection: desperate for protection and answers (why do they hate us? can we kill them before they kill us?), Americans wishfully compared Bush to FDR and Churchill. Approval ratings hit 92 percent. But Bush's political advisors knew that peaking early wouldn't guarantee reelection in 2004. Bush's father had been turned out of office just 20 months after the Gulf War ratcheted his score up to 91.

The Bushies have lifted their reelection strategy straight out of "1984," and not just by creating ominous-sounding agencies like the Office of Homeland Security, the supposedly-closed Office of Strategic Information, and a "Shadow Government." As in "1984," the Bush regime tolerates zero dissent --a two-party system in name only has been distilled to one in which only Republicans express acceptable opinions. And an absence of follow-up attacks has been met by endless alerts, advisors and empty hysterics in the name of security, most recently culminating with Tom Ridge's much-mocked color-code warning system.

--Ted Rall, Why Bush Is Addicted To Perpetual War

To be fair, it is not only politicians but bullshit artists who have made us vulnerable to tyranny. This has been done by dumbing down the language and, thus, our ability to think critically. Until Bush, even Republican "Presidents" paid lip service to the Constitution.
“"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."”

—Sinclair Lewis, author of "It Can't Happen here!

Sinclair Lewis wrote It Can't Happen Here and, in it proceded to show just how it might and, perhaps, has and in pretty much the way both Lewis and Orwell predicted. The characteristics of the fascist state so vividly described by both authors are to be found in abundance in Bush's fascist regime. That millions are in denial is merely evidence of the truth that is denied.

A quote from Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here":
"Senator Windrip has got an excellent chance to be elected President, next November, and if he is, probably his gang of buzzards will get us into some war, just to grease their insane vanity and show the world that we’re the huskiest nation going." – page 20, It Can't Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis
Clearly —Orwell and Lewis not only warned us, they predicted very precisely how it would be done. As Shakespeare would have said: "All is true!"

So --why didn't we listen? Because this nation has a fierce anti-intellectual streak which at its best make us independent but at its worst makes us stupid!

Here's the searchable version in its entirety:

George Orwell: 1984

"V" Speech: 'There is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?'

Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership, Global Issues, Updated: January 02, 2009




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Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part II, A Climate of Fear is Maintained

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Fascist dictatorships assume and keep power by maintaining or encouraging a climate of fear, an atmosphere of near panic but short of closing down the government entirely, just short of bringing the engines of industry to a grinding halt. Thus, every budding fascist, totalitarian state walks a tight rope stretched between Democracy left behind and the absolute, Hegelian state ahead. On either side of the rope are the consequences that accrue to failed coups d'etat! It is the people's responsibility to ensure that 'state absolutists' like Bush fail and fail utterly! The 'absolute state' which assumes supremacy over people, over the sovereignty of one's person, is an artificial and illogical construct subscribed to by the likes of Bush, the Skull and Bones, and Adolf Hitler.

Never innovative, the Bush administration follows the old Nazi play book. Because Americans were in a state of shock and fear already, it was easy for Bush to maintain the climate of fear essential to effect a dictatorship. In the wake of 911, Bush exploited a climate of fear, appointing Tom Ridge to preside over the administration's new propaganda arm: a Department of Homeland Security, 'homeland' being Herr Bush's unimaginative re-write for 'fatherland'.
"If we simply go to red ... it basically shuts down the country," (Tom Ridge) [meaning that civilian government bodies would be closed down and taken over by an Emergency Administration.]

"What a lot of Americans suspected all along turns out to be true. The color-coded alert system for terrorist attacks was a fraud." (
The Bush use of 'color codes' was obvious and heavy-handed. The 'alerts' become increasingly counter-productive, as Americans eventually recovered. A history of the use of color codes to maintain an atmosphere of panic can be found at: Fabricating Intelligence for Political Gain.

The Department of Homeland Security was a Frankenstein from its horrific beginnings. Like the famous monster, it was cobbled of bits and pieces, a hodgepodge of unmanageable scope owing in part to its dubious and unspoken mission: maintain the state of fear and panic upon which Bush's incipient dictatorship absolutely depends.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), commonly known in the United States as "Homeland Security", is a Cabinet department of the federal government of the United States with the responsibility of protecting the territory of the United States from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters.

Whereas the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders. Its goal is to prepare for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism. On March 1, 2003, the DHS absorbed the now defunct United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, and assumed its duties. In doing so, it divided the enforcement and services functions into two separate and new agencies -- US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

With over 200,000 employees, DHS is the third largest cabinet department in the US federal government, after the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. Homeland security policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council. Other agencies with significant homeland security responsibilities include the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Energy.

--Department of Homeland Security, Wikipedia

From the 'monster' department's own website is found the following mission statement:
A six-point agenda for the Department of Homeland Security was developed and announced in July 2005, by Secretary Chertoff to ensure that the Department's policies, operations, and structures are aligned in the best way to address the potential threats – both present and future – that face our nation. The six-point agenda is structured to guide the department in the near term and result in changes that will:

  1. Increase overall preparedness, particularly for catastrophic events
  2. Create better transportation security systems to move people and cargo more securely and efficiently
  3. Strengthen border security and interior enforcement and reform immigration processes;
  4. Enhance information sharing with our partners
  5. Improve DHS financial management, human resource development, procurement and information technology
  6. Realign the DHS organization to maximize mission performance.
The higher the Threat Condition, the greater the risk of a terrorist attack. Risk includes both the probability of an attack occurring and its potential gravity. Threat Conditions shall be assigned by the Attorney General in consultation with the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. Except in exigent circumstances, the Attorney General shall seek the views of the appropriate Homeland Security Principals or their subordinates, and other parties as appropriate, on the Threat Condition to be assigned. Threat Conditions may be assigned for the entire Nation, or they may be set for a particular geographic area or industrial sector. Assigned Threat Conditions shall be reviewed at regular intervals to determine whether adjustments are warranted.

--Department of Homeland Security

The system of color codes was always absurd, even assuming 911 had not been an inside job. No hard evidence was ever put forward at any time in support of 'alleged threats'. Nor was a method put into place to measure or monitor the effectiveness of such a system, immeasurable in any case. It was and remains a boondoggle, a complete waste of tax payer money, premised upon an attack --911 --about which it is increasingly apparent that it was an inside job. The DHS, itself, is therefore a taxpayer funded propaganda apparatus with which an illegitimate Bush administration maintains the desired level of fear and terror. Is this how you wish your tax dollars wasted?

DHS is not, itself, a terrorist organization. That designation is better applied to the Bush administration and the CIA, a fascist organization responsible for deaths of some 12 to 20 million people world wide since its creation. [See: CIA Holocaust Claims Twenty Million Victims]

The color codes, in fact, get ahead of the story. The color codes, it was hoped, would train us like Pavlov's dogs to fear and quake at the mere TV image of 'Code Red'. We were expected to associate a color --red --with the lies Bush had hoped we would believe: 1) Saddam had WMD, possibly a nuke 2) Muslim terrorists were planning another attack; 3) that they just hated freedom! Past that point, the lies spun out of control. Condo Rice raised the specter of a mushroom cloud. Saddam, we were led to believe, was conspiring with Bin Laden to wage war on Americans. It was and remains bullshit! Saddam never had WMD and Bin Laden, said by Benazir Bhutto to have been murdered years ago, was, in fact, a Bush family friend and business partner. It is no coincidence that terrorism is always worse under GOP regimes.

How convenient for Bush to be able to summon up the specter of 911 with but one word, one color: red! Bush's job seemed easy. After all, it was believed, Americans are conditioned from birth to give greater weight to right wing theories of all sorts.

It's not only the phantom, external threats Bush summons up to terrorize us. It is the administration, itself, arrogating unto itself unprecedented and unjustified powers to intrude into your private lives, spy on you, and crush your opinions should you disagree with its lies.
Imagine a world of streets lined with video cameras that alert authorities to any suspicious activity. A world where police officers can read the minds of potential criminals and arrest them before they commit any crimes. A world in which a suspect who lies under questioning gets nabbed immediately because his brain has given him away.

---The Government Is Trying to Wrap Its Mind Around Yours, Nita Farahany, Washington Post

One is right to be afraid. The real terrorists have taken over the White House which now threatens not only the world but the American people themselves. A nightmare has come true: psychopaths now control the world's largest nuclear arsenal, the largest military apparatus that the world has ever seen. Be afraid. Be very afraid!

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part I, Police States Begin With False Flag Attacks

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

It was David Hume’s 1758 Of the First Principles of Government that stated:
Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few, and the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers.

When we inquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find that, as force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is, therefore, on opinion only that government is founded, and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments as well as to the most free and most popular.

—David Hume, Of the First Principles of Government
Hume was not alone in associating military governments with despotic governments. When any person puts himself both above and against the law, then the people are entitled lawfully to rise up —violently if necessary —to overthrow the tyrant, the self-proclaimed dictator. In our own Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said that "...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it". Che Guevara spoke of such 'governments' when he said:
When the forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law, peace is considered already broken

Che Guevara, Chapter I: General Principles of Guerrilla Warfare

John Dean makes this chilling point. Nixon, at the height of the Watergate scandal, toyed with the idea of defying the high court, but, in the end thought better of it and resigned. Bush/Cheney won't budge amid declarations that whatever may be alleged against them, they can, themselves "authorize" it and make it legal –even after the fact. This is, of course, utter bullshit, a violation of the Constitutional prohibition of ex post facto laws1. But powerful men with nukes and paid thugs believe it.

Sinclair Lewis wrote a now famous book entitled: It Can't Happen Here! But, in fact, it has and in a manner that closely resembles the fictional rise to power of one "Buzz" Windrip. We should not be surprised. George W. Bush's grandfather had, in fact, plotted with fellow Nazis to overthrow the government of FDR and establish, in America, a fascist dictatorship. Too late now I'm afraid, have we learned the lessons of history, how almost all dictatorships begin and grow.
  1. Police States Begin With False Flag Attacks
  2. A Climate of Fear is Maintained.
  3. Telling the truth becomes a crime
  4. The state forces an 'existential' choice
  5. Public Opinion Becomes Irrelevant
  6. A 'dictator' places himself above the law; denies 'Due Process of Law'
  7. Atrocities are justified with lies, myths or propaganda
  8. Dissent is crushed with arbitrary power
  9. War is begun upon a pack of lies
  10. The 'state' becomes 'absolute' and absurdly self-justifying'
Over the next several posts, I propose to take each point in turn. Story tellers since Aristotle have told us that every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Bush's story is the story of how he and the GOP leadership conspired to create a police state of America.

The Police State Always Follows a False-Flag Terrorist Attack

Hitler never got more than 37 percent of the vote in several elections called over a short period of time ending with an act of terrorism that Hitler would exploit to consolidate his dictatorship. That act was the Reichstag Fire, Hitler's 911.

It's hard to imagine that anyone would dare go back to the well given the press "Reichstag" gets. Nevertheless, the tactic, having proved successful for Nazis, would be tried again. No one ever accused Bush of being imaginative. His gang would simply repeat a tired, old Nazi tactic and expect the people to go along. And, for the most part, the people did precisely that.

On February 27, 1937, Hitler was having dinner with Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels when the phone rang to inform the future Fuhrer: "The Reichstag is on fire!" At the scene, Hitler and Goebbels, found Hermann Goring, later Hitler’s air minister, shouting "at the top of his lungs", blaming communists for an act of terrorism.

How Hitler became a dictator is recounted in many sources but William Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is still among the very best.
From Goring's Reichstag President's Palace an underground passage, built to carry the central heating system, ran to the Reichstag building. Through this tunnel Karl Ernst, a former hotel bellhop who had become the Berlin S.A. leader, led a small detachment of storm troopers on the night of February 27 to the Reichstag, where they quickly scattered gasoline and self-igniting chemicals and then made their way quickly back to the palace the way they had come. At the same time a half-witted Dutch Communist with a passion for arson, Marinus van der Lubbe, had made his way into the huge, darkened and to him unfamiliar building and set some small fires of his own. This feeble-minded pyromaniac was a godsend to the Nazis. He had been picked up by the S.A. a few days before after having been overheard in a bar boasting that he had attempted to set fire to several public buildings and that he was going to try the Reichstag next.

The coincidence that the Nazis had found a demented Communist arsonist who was out to do exactly what they themselves had determined to do seems incredible but is nevertheless supported by the evidence. The idea for the fire almost certainly originated at the top with Goebbels and Goring. Hans Gisevius, an official in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior at the time, testified at Nuremberg that 'it was Goebbels who first thought of setting the Reichstag on fire' and Rudolph Diels, the Gestapo chief, added in an affidavit that 'Goring knew exactly how the fire was to be started' and had ordered him 'to prepare, prior to the fire, a list of people who were to be arrested immediately after it.' General Franz Halder, Chief of the German General Staff during the early part of World War II, recalled at Nuremberg how on one occasion Goring had boasted of his deed.
At a luncheon on the birthday of the Fuehrer in 1942 the conversation turned to the topic of the Reichstag building and its artistic value. I heard with my own ears when Goring interrupted the conversation and shouted: "The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!" With that he slapped his thigh with the flat of his hand.
The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich (Touchstone Edition, 1990, p. 192-)
Hitler ordered a round up of the usual suspects, in other words, his opposition, consisting largely of communists whom the Nazis could, with but a shred of credibility, blame for an act of bloody terrorism.

Nazis knew what goppers know now --that frightened and anxious people will willingly surrender the blessings of liberty. From Hitler's experience, Bush learned how to use a "Patriot Act" to crack down on dissent.

Hitler wasted no time. The very next day, he was in President Hindenburg's office urging the aging statesman to issue a patriot act, a decree entitled, “For the Protection of the People and the State.” Justified as a “defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state,” the decree suspended constitutional guarantees of civil liberties.

Upon 911 and claims that he is waging a great "war on terror" in Iraq, Bush cites a principle unheard of since King Charles I dared to place himself above Parliament. Called a 'unitary executive', it is, in fact, an American police state. Briefly, a terrorist is whomever Bush says is a terrorist. Anyone --political opposition, dissidents, advocates of free speech, peaceful demonstrators --is a terrorist if Bush 'deems' them so. You can be arrested and detained indefinitely. You don't get a phone call. You don't get a lawyer. You don't get a trial.
Bush claims powers that had accrued to Hitler in 1933. His Federalist Society apologists and Department of Justice appointees claim that President Bush has the same power to interpret the Constitution as the Supreme Court. An Alito Court is likely to agree with this false claim. This is the great issue that is before the country.

—Paul Craig Roberts, Bush Has Crossed the Rubicon
Most often, Bush assumes a power and exercises it. He dares anyone to stop him. Congress is spooked.

In other cases, he calls upon a legion of toadies who will confirm his version of reality. They will tell him that the illegal is legal and that, if he does it, it's legal even though he is sworn to uphold the laws that apply to everyone else. These toadies include former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and California law professor John Yoo. Both men support torture, domestic wiretapping and surveillance; both men have tortured logic itself to come up with their idiotic, cockamamie schemes.

Both men are practitioners of Nixon logic: it's not illegal if the President does it! Both men work backward from desired conclusions to premises however false! Both men, like Merlin, work backward from Bush's hellish future, cooking up evil schemes in the present to make it all come true and 'legal' when it does. Both men remind one of the Nazi bureaucrats who convened at Wannsee in order to make legal the campaign of genocide that Hitler had already begun.

Bush has arrogated unto himself the power to interpret the laws, powers never assigned him in the Constitution, powers that have been reserved to the High Court since Marbury v Madison. If Bush is correct, then over 200 years of American history and at least some 400 years of English common law is wrong. Bush alone is right. Quite an achievement for a moron challenged to put a noun and verb together meaningfully. For Bush the law means nothing if it does not mean his power to issue decrees.

The Supreme Court and the Congress might as well pack it up an go home. Bush is the all powerful poohbah, the absolute dictator of the world. Now --if you believe that, go bow down to Bush. If you do not believe that, then you have no choice but to resist Bush by refusing to recognize the legality of his decrees, the 'legitimacy' of his stolen regime, the legality of his overt attempts to subvert the Constitution, the independent judiciary, the Congress. It is time to take up the gauntlet and throw down one of our own with a strong message to Bush attached:
  • your 'Presidency' is illegitimate
  • 911 was an inside job
  • War against Iraq violated international laws and our own Constitution; it is a war crime, an act of mass murder begun upon a pack of deliberate, treasonous lies
  • no decree or 'signing statement' issued by your office is legal
  • you are in violation of US Codes which you tried to 'change' only ex post facto after you had already committed the crime.
  • At last, there is probable cause right now to try you for capital crimes under the US Codes that you tried --unlawfully --to change but only after you had already perpetrated the crime of mass murder in a war of naked aggression!
False-Flag Terrorist Attack

FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted that the FBI had no evidence to link the 19 'Muslim men' who have apparently disappeared --neither on the autopsy list or the original 'official flight manifests' --to the events of 911. In speech to the Common Wealth Club in San Francisco on April 19, 2003, Mueller stated that the purported hijackers 'left no paper trial'. "In our investigation", he said: "we have not uncovered a single piece of paper - either here in the United States or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere - that mentioned any aspect of the Sept. 11 plot." Indeed, there are no 'Arab names', no names of 'hijackers' on the official pathologist's report. Several news organizations, most prominently the BBC, reported several of the 19 still alive and interviewed them. The Washington Post said that Hani Hanjour, the alleged 'pilot' of Flight 77. was still alive. Briefly, the official 911 theory is utter crap.

Certainly, Bushco opposed the creation of the 911 Commission, having already ordered the destruction of evidence at the Pentagon and 'ground zero'. Since, Bush interfered with the work of the 911 Commission.

These are not the actions of an innocent man. Had Bush wanted the truth out, he would have supported a complete, fair, and impartial investigation. He would not have ordered the destruction of forensic evidence. He would not have shipped WTC steel to China and elsewhere. If Bush wanted the truth out, he could have released hundreds of photos taken of whatever it was that crashed the Pentagon. But he did not! We must, therefore, conclude that he did not want a complete, fair, and impartial investigation. He did not want you to know what really crashed into the Pentagon. He did not want experts to examine WTC wreckage. Therefore, if Bush did not want a complete, fair, and impartial investigation, then there is every valid reason to suspect that it is his own guilt and complicity that he actively seeks to hide.

A single body might have gone along way in supporting Bush. The identified and autopsied body of Hani Hanjour, for example, might have supported the Bush/Cheney theory that Hani piloted an aircraft that he most certainly could never have piloted. Some physical evidence might have overcome serious objections, but --alas --there are no bodies! There are no hijacker names on the pathologists report. There is no evidence that Hanjour's remains were buried. There is no evidence that Hani Hanjour was ever on any of the Flights in Question! The Washington Post even reported that Hanjour was not on Flight 77 because he did not have a ticket. It's hard to imagine Hanjour forcing his way on board and, after having done so, taking control in the cockpit and taking off! I just don't think that ever happened. Wasn't it Bush who warned us not to tolerate wild or outlandish conspiracy theories? Bush's 'official theory' is not only wild and outlandish, it is shot through with holes and inconsistencies. It's baloney!

It's not enough that the Bush administration actively covered up evidence even as it sought to quash every attempt to investigate 911, Bush and Condoleeza Rice would lie about the event after the fact, specifically, both Bush and Condo stated that the crashing of airliners into buildings could not have been foreseen. [Bush: No evidence that US could avoid 9/11] Bush lied! And so did Condo Rice:
Today's Sydney Morning Herald prints an extract from Shenon's book which provides further details about Rice's incompetence. "Emails from the National Security Council's counter-terrorism director, Richard Clarke, showed that he had bombarded Rice with messages about terrorist threats" before 9/11, Shenon writes.
In fact, just such a 'scenario' was the basis for security when Bush attended the G8 Summit in Italy, July 23, 2001 [See: "Italy: Bush Targeted at G8." New York Newsday 19 Sept 2001, unsigned; "Extremists 'Planned Genoa Attack on Bush'", BBC News, 27 Sept 2001]. Secondly, Dick Cheney supervised precisely that scenario on the very day that it happened in fact --a highly improbable coincidence' that would repeat later in Britain on 7/7. Cheney supervised what are called 'exercises' within a bunker --the Presidential Emergency Operations Center --located under the White House. There is damning testimony against Cheney from former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta who contradicts 9/11 Commission Report's Account of Dick Cheney's timetable.

The Probable Cause to Charge Dick Cheney With Mass Murder, Terrorism, and High Treason

That's not all. Cheney had already been put in charge of a 'domestic terrorism study group' [See: 911 Coincidences], a clever cover from which to commit high treason and mass murder.

Since those events, the Bush administration has worked overtly, assiduously to quash and interfere with every effort to investigate fully the events of 911.

# Scot J. Paltrow, "Government Accounts of 9/11 Reveal Gaps, Inconsistencies. Questions Arise About Who Put Nation on High Alert; A Threat to Air Force One? Panel Assembles Timeline," --Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2004.

Condoleezza Rice, "9/11: For The Record," Washington Times, March 22, 2004: "Despite what some have suggested, we received no intelligence that terrorists were preparing to attack the homeland using airplanes as missiles, though some analysts speculated that terrorists might hijack airplanes to try to free US-held terrorists." Also see "Promoting Icon Condi" in the August 4, 2003, Daily Howler.

--National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States - SourceWatch
Rice's statements were bald faced lies.

Only the guilty try to cover up their crimes.
If the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated or at least deliberately allowed by the Bush- Cheney administration and the Pentagon, then the motivation to cover up this murderous and treasonous act would be unlimited. No expenditure of time and money would be considered too great."

--Professor David Ray Griffin [4], The True Story of 9/11: Part IV
The Bush administration and accomplices in other government offices would have you believe an absurd coincidence theory that on the very day, the very moment that Dick Cheney was supervising an exercise in which terrorists would attack the Pentagon and WTC, a rag tag gang of 'terrorists' would do precisely that!

Our 'government' thus declared war on the people of the United States and wages it! As Che would have put it: the peace is already considered to be broken. Thomas Jefferson would have already declared 'our' independence of a cabal that has, in effect, already destroyed the 'legitimate' government of the United States.
Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

--Article III, US Constitution
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and other officials of the Bush administration have conspired to wage war upon the American people and have subsequently done so. Having broken the peace, the social contract, the government itself, is and continues to be illegitimate! I might remind that when King Charles I presumed to put himself above the parliament, he got his head chopped off for his efforts! What punishment then, by precedent, is due those, not even 'royalty', who have conspired under the cover of 'government' itself to perpetrate the crimes of mass murder upon an innocent and unsuspecting population? One day, there must be justice.

A recent related development: Bush confirms that he personally approved the US program of torture.
A Friday ABC interview confirms: Bush "approved" of the torture techniques ABC's Wednesday story detailed. But ABC fails to mention even more severe torture techniques that were implemented by Don Rumsfeld and Stephen Cambone - did George W. Bush give Rumsfeld the authority to implement what became known as "Copper Green" ?

Did George Bush sign an NSC document authorizing sexual torture methods, then delegate to Rumsfeld authority to implement those sex-torture methods ?

That's the real question, this new ABC story is only the prologue...

ABC news has developed a new component of the torture story almost in perfect sync with my Thursday post on torture which stressed that because Bush is head, as president, of the National Security Council, of course he would have known of the overall gist of the "NSC Principals" White House meetings on torture policy because, regardless of whether Bush sat in on all meetings or not, all major NSC decisions and policy formulations have go to Bush's desk for final approval, his signature. Bush is, indeed the "decider"

Once again, ABC News has pushed the White House torture program scandal further along and once again the story is embedded in a false frame.

And, the techniques discussed by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Powell, Rice and Ashcroft were not the worst of the torture techniques in question. ABC's story discussed on level of torture severity but there was another level expressed through a secret program implemented by Don Rumsfeld and his operative Stephen Cambone: "Copper Green". That program resulted in, as After Downing Street details, child rape.

So here's the REAL question ABC's story fails to confront and which was raised almost four years ago in the New Yorker by Sy Hersh's may 15, 2004 story "The Gray Zone" : Did George W. Bush delegate authority to Rumsfeld to implement a second, even more severe torture regime ?

Did George W. Bush delegate to Donald Rumsfeld the authority to implement psycho-sexual torture at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere ?

As Sy Hersh's story described:

The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld's decision embittered the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of élite combat units, and hurt America's prospects in the war on terror.

According to interviews with several past and present American intelligence officials, the Pentagon's operation, known inside the intelligence community by several code words, including Copper Green, encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq. A senior C.I.A. official, in confirming the details of this account last week, said that the operation stemmed from Rumsfeld's long-standing desire to wrest control of America's clandestine and paramilitary operations from the CIA. ...

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