The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Traitorgate too complicated to figure out

Complexity Watch

It is actually kind of amazing for our national journalists to be in so much denial about events that are happening right in front of their noses. They are unwilling or unable to actually process events which clearly happen, and instead look around for other mysterious "explanations" which fit their worldview better. But all of that doublethink is hard work. I'm reminded of a passage from a childhood book, "The Last Battle" by C.S. Lewis, in which a group of dwarfs are saved from destruction and end up in a kind of promised land. They are surrounded by delicious fruits and cool breezes on a green lawn. However, their last memory was of being locked in a lightless barn, and they refuse to believe that they have escaped the barn. Their minds control their senses, and so when they are offered something good to eat, they think it is a cow pat. The protagonists eventually leave them, trapped by their own disbelief. Our national press corps is like that, only in reverse. They would have us all eat the foul things we are given by this administration, all the while extolling their wholesome goodness. As a less genteel friend once said, "You're shitting in my mouth and telling me it's a sundae".

This press corps saw a witch hunt for a democratically elected president masquerading as a search for impropriety. They saw an impeachment of one of the least corrupt presidents we've had for decades. They watched an election stolen. They saw an honest public servant smeared as the most vicious of liars. They saw someone uniquely unqualified assume the mantle of the most powerful man on the planet. They saw corrupt officials installed in the highest halls of government.

They've seen jingoism and nationalism (and dare we say fascism) shoved down our throats to stifle dissent. They've seen a foreign country which was not a threat invaded and innocent people killed over dozens of lies. They've seen our rights torn down based on a stack of lies and fear. Every day there is a torrent of lies coming from this administration.

And now, when they are faced with what are obviously acts of felonious treason, they scratch their heads and wonder what really went on. It couldn't be so simple as that this administration is full of traitors(?!). Heaven forfend, it couldn't be that! It must be something else. There must be something much more complicated and twisted and absolving for the Bush administration out there. They must have had a good, patriotic reason for exposing a CIA agent. A great reason, one that those evil liberals just don't get. It must be complicated.

But faced with something that looks, walks, and sounds like a duck, they are looking for chickens. Sometimes however, it really is just that simple: Bush's people committed a felony, and he doesn't care one bit. As Ahnold said, "Where there is smoke there is fire". The case is explained eloquently by Paul Krugman in "Slime and Defend":
In any case, Mr. Wilson's views and character are irrelevant. Someone high in the administration committed a felony and, in the view of the elder Mr. Bush, treason. End of story.

The hypocrisy here is breathtaking. Republicans have repeatedly impugned their opponents' patriotism. Last year Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, said Democrats "don't want to protect the American people. . . . They will do anything, spend all the time and resources they can, to avoid confronting evil."

But the true test of patriotism isn't whether you are willing to wave the flag, or agree with whatever the president says. It's whether you are willing to take risks and make sacrifices, including political sacrifices, for the sake of your country. This episode is a test for Mr. Bush and his inner circle: a true patriot wouldn't hesitate about doing the right thing in the Plame affair, whatever the political costs.

Mr. Bush is failing that test.
Also weighing in is Josh Marshall (here - the entry that starts "It's amazing how quickly people . . . "):
All of it is beside the point.

For the last ten days we've known that two senior administration officials blew the cover of an undercover CIA employee for some mix of retribution and political gamesmanship.

It's next to certain that the president --- like the rest of those who read Novak's original column or heard about it --- knew this in mid-July. But it's absolutely certain he's known about it since September 27th.

And what has he done about it? Nothing.

All mumbo-jumbo to the contrary, the universe of possible culprits is quite small. I suspect the identity of the two is already well-known in the White House. But even if that's not the case, the president could quickly figure out who they are --- probably by demanding that they come forward, and certainly by reviewing phone logs and emails. Yet he has done neither.

We now have the farcical spectacle of the Justice Department initiating a massive investigation --- with the net thrown almost comically wide --- in order to find out what the president could find out in a few hours, tops.

That's the whole story right there.
Finally, this summary from the Daily Kos:
Plame Affair primer

For those who argue it is complicated.

  • Plame is an undercover CIA agent.
  • She was outed by senior administration officials in the White House.
  • Outing a CIA agent is a felony.

Hmm, not so complicated, after all...

What was the motive? Her husband, Ambassador Wilson, criticized the administration for Yellowcake lies.

But wasn't he a partisan Democrat? No. He donated money to Bush's presidential campaign in 2000. But even if he was James Carville, see numbers 1 and 2 above.

Period. Everything else is chaff.
It really is that simple. They have committed treason and Bush, Cheney, and Ashcroft are covering it up and obstructing justice. That's the duck. That's the cow pat. That's the reality. And the press refuses to see it. Welcome to the see no evil era of journalism.

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