It's well past time to say it. Despite the weaseling and finger-pointing--in fact, because of it--the Forged Niger letter is indeed the smoking gun, and the chips have yet to stop falling. Who wrote the damn thing, and on whose orders? Who cares whether Tenet, his job on the line, acquiesced to including a literal truth that actually amounts to one of the great frauds of the century? The sheer audacity and cynicism of this coterie of hacks and hustlers is simply astounding. As a teacher, I won't let six-year-olds get away with such transparent sophistry. The bottom line is that Bush knew the information was bogus, and used it anyway to convince millions to go along with his phony war.
For that alone, for the memory of the thousands of dead Iraqis and Americans, he deserves the il Duce treatment (figuratively speaking, Mr. Ashcroft-no need to start tapping my phone or putting me on no-fly lists). The criminal enterprise called the Bush administration is (Helen Thomas was right) the worst ever. Their campaign in furtherance of the conspiracy to defraud the public into buying the Iraq war is one of the the most cynical abuses of power in U.S. history. It deserves to be treated as such.
Alarmist? You bet. This guy already thinks (and occasionally tells foreign leaders) that he gets his orders from God. If these radical extremists can get away with this, then the dumbing down of America will be complete, and the stage will be set for the next wave of the nascent fascism. La Cosa Bush (apologies to the mafia) is, like all crime families, violent, arrogant, and beyond the reach of the law--so far. Bush's handlers no longer even have the decency, courage or self-restraint to prevent his criminally stupid comments from wreaking havoc around the globe. Was last week's pseudo-macho invitation to "Bring 'em on" even a mistake? Or was it another calculated ploy to make him look "tough" to the American people, playing to the ugliest side of the American psyche while once again enraging thinking people the world over. No matter--he must be stopped. This cabal has been lying, cheating, and manipulating national tragedy to force their right wing agenda down our throats long enough.
And half-measures won't do any more. None of this vague safe rhetoric about "misleading" or cautious calls for those who "know who they are" to step down. WE know who they are, the junta that has hijacked our government and our national agenda. The cartel must go: Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle should all resign, be fired or impeached immediately, before their conspiracy of lies and their mutual pact of self-protection is allowed to further endanger the country and the world. Cornered criminals, especially stupid ones, are a dangerous lot, and there is no telling to what lengths they will go to cover their own behinds.
On a mission from God, installed by a viciously partisan Supreme Court, the skids are greased for a further slide into misadventure, bankruptcy and ruin. With the addition of Congress on their side, they are acting with particularly reckless abandon--and impeachment is not in the cards as long as the GOP circles the wagons. None will have the courage or integrity Goldwater showed when he told Nixon the jig was up. Power corrupts, and the Republicans are so drunk with it they won't turn on their Lord Fauntleroy until he robs a bank on camera in broad daylight.
But that is no reason not to tell the truth: whatever their chances, some of the braver souls in congress should introduce impeachment legislation immediately: Conyers, Kucinich, Lee, Paul? The media has already shown they will not help; moneyed interests overwhelmingly favor the right. A campaign based on the old game of raising oodles of money and buying ads is a sure failure. The only thing that can save us now is a grassroots, velvet revolution, the principled, impassioned movement calling for these people's head on a spike.
And maybe, just maybe, this one isn't an impeachable offense, but I'm just plain getting sick of Rumsfeld's smug, arrogant grin on the tube. What the hell is he smiling at all the time? Is it funny, somehow, that thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead after his "precision" bombing? It is ironic, admittedly, another fraud, to be sure-but hardly amusing. Maybe it's just part of what you do when you think you can get away with anything.
Senate Intelligence Chair Pat Roberts foreshadowed just how twisted the logic is going to get when he said that what concerns him most "is what appears to be a campaign of press leaks by the CIA in an effort to discredit the president," Yeah, right. The black bag set, whose penchant for secrecy and service verges on pathology, are the real problem here--not the curious fact that even some of them have finally decided that things are so bad that someone, somewhere has to speak out.
It's time to close the curtain on this Bizarro World. Saddam loyalists--not nationalist resistance to occupation--are the real problem in Iraq. Protesters are terrorists, but we are fighting for our freedoms. Bush's popularity remains robust, yet huge shows of force and repressive rules on free speech are needed to keep the viewing public from seeing that he is dogged by prostest at every turn. War is peace, freedom is slavery, and some animals are more equal than others. The lies won't stop until we fire the liars.
Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, USA, with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School. He has appeared on radio [interview available here] Past articles, translations are available at danielpwelch. We would appreciate your linking to us.