Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My Life in the Ghost of Bush

It would seem easy to write something condemning the NSA secret wiretaps given there's a perfectly open and legal way to get the court approval for any wiretap the White House might need. In fact, so many people (to pick just one) have written so well on the topic, it's kept me from saying more, saying the same, saying the obvious. (Which somehow isn't obvious to rightwingers who seem to think secret and illegal government activities are just dandy, as long as they keep us free from attack. Keeping us free, and all the good things we supposedly cherish in this country, that's not so important to the rightwingers.)

But the new NSA story dug up this story again: "President Bush and other top officials in his administration used the National Security Agency to secretly wiretap the home and office telephones and monitor private email accounts of members of the United Nations Security Council in early 2003 to determine how foreign delegates would vote on a U.N. resolution that paved the way for the U.S.-led war in Iraq, NSA documents show."

So I guess we're to assume that all delegates to the U.N. are spies? Terrorists? Or maybe they just don't agree with the U.S., so therefore need to be spied on. Which means anyone who doesn't agree with the U.S.--heck, it spells us, and whose side are you on, buddy?--can get wiretapped.

If only having the government against us was enough, it seems the press is, too. You see, the U.S. media decided to ignore the UN wiretapping back in 2003, despite it being a big story in the UK, where the story originally broke. Only the Baltimore Sun did much about it, while papers like the New York Times barely mentioned it. Months before President Bush was re-elected. And the Times was also onto the wider NSA wiretapping problems, too, we now know, but held back on that story at the President's request. (Note in Great Britian the woman who broke the NSA/UN story was immediately arrested for leaking the memo that proved what the U.S. was up to. So maybe the folks at the Times figured keeping quiet was in their own best interest? Why couldn't Judith Miller got to jail for something like this?)

So, our government isn't governed by its own laws. The media knows two different ways this is true. The media says nothing.

Oh, and in case you don't recall, and I didn't till I fell into a Google-induced rabbit hole looking all this stuff up, but President Bush used Iraq's bugging of weapons inspectors as one reason we had to take Sadam out. Go re-read Bush's speech to the nation on March 17, 2003, accurately enough entitled "Denial and Deception," even if the White House meant Iraq was doing that D&D. But that wiretap irnoy is just one of many, for here are some choice Bush quotes from that night, prior to 2,000+ U.S. military dead, 30,000+ Iraqis dead, all the new terrorists created, all the good will spent, all the shock and awe...

"Over the years, U.N. weapon inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged, and systematically deceived." (the U.S. was known to bug Hans Blix, of all people)

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." (no comment)

"The regime...has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda." (just ask our discredited informers)

"The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat." (Is that how the Palestinians see it? Those next to U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, our "friend," who happens to be one of the most repressive states in the Middle East?)

"Today, no nation can possibly claim that Iraq has disarmed. And it will not disarm so long as Saddam Hussein holds power." (oops)

"A broad coalition is now gathering to enforce the just demands of the world." (And things that gather disperse, too--but don't forget Poland!)

If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you." (Well, even we will have collateral damage--sorry, Pat Tillman.)

"In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms." (Bush continued under his breath: "I didn't say when it would be a free Iraq.")

"The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed." (Just ask people in London and Barcelona.)

"Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent." (And let's face it, there's no better way to unite against the violent than by bashing them with big sticks.)

Part of me almost hopes that it's true that Rove and Friends had the fix on in Ohio. How, how could we have re-elected this man? Not that the press did its job to help.


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