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.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Your worst suspicions are (probably) true

It's funny how some stories go from wild-eyed conspiracy theories, to suspicions with no proof, to certainties, to fact, sometimes in a short period of time.

For example, there were stories that came out shortly after Bush was handed the presidency by Scalia, in which American citizens' right to assemble and protest the President peacefully on public property was being curtailed by the Secret Service. "Surely that can't be true," I thought. "Even if it were, people will recognize how ugly and unconstitutional that is and stop it." But the stories kept coming, and quickly turned into fact. By the 2004 election, even the Democratic party was sequestering protesters in chain-link fenced "first amendment zones" for the national convention. Conspiracy theory had turned to nightmarish norm in less than four years.

After 9/11, there were wild conspiracy theories that Bush had warning about the attacks and didn't do anything. Vague rumors to that effect came out slowly. Eventually, George Tennant confirmed it. And then the proof was revealed in the President's daily brief of August 6, 2001 (released to the world about 3 years later). Once again, our awful, laughable suspicions proved only too correct.

Then, in the run-up to war, there was the suspicion that Bush had planned to go to war with Iraq all along, that war in Iraq was one of the reasons it was so important that the war profiteers made sure he got installed as president. It surely seemed that way watching him warmonger and lie to get us into Iraq. Those vaguely uneasy feelings were confirmed by Richard Clarke and Paul O’Neill (both after they had left the administration, conveniently). On top of that, there is the stated invasion plans for Iraq published by the Project for a New American Century from 1998. Also their statement that what this country really needed was a “new Pearl Harbor” (which has since been removed from their “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” report – even they seem to have some kind of sense of shame or at least bad publicity – but you can read all about it at Wikipedia), which proves that while there is still doubt that this administration directly caused 9/11, there is ample proof that many of them didn’t think it would be such a bad thing. Most of the authors of that report had or have high positions in the Bush administration.

Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN on scary Iraq was initially hailed as a great success, with only small, nagging suspicions that he was talking out of his hat. Three years later, this speech is roundly considered Powell’s lowest moment (even lower than covering up the My Lai massacre or his involvement with Iran-Contra), filled with untruths and mendacity that he knew to be false at the time.

For a long while, people suspected that this administration was using the PATRIOT act to spy on Americans, and probably without a warrant. At first Bush denied this, then the NY Times found out it wasn’t true and sat on the story for a year (wouldn’t want to hurt Bushy’s re-election chances by revealing blatant law-breaking now, would we, NYT?) while Bush continued to tell bald-face lie after bald face lie about it. Finally, the suspicions became accusations which were denied until they couldn’t be denied any longer. And now the administration declares that yes, of course, they were breaking the law for our own good, and what are we going to do about it? Suspicion becomes truth.

At every turn, we find that our worst, most far flung, suspicions do not give these mendacious thieves enough credit for the depths they will sink to.

Finally, we come to the war itself. For a long time, it was suspected that Bush was driving us into a war that he himself knew was unnecessary, illegal, and avaricious. Since that time, it has certainly been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he knew he was lying. We know now that he suggested ways to provoke Saddam into providing a justification for a war against Iraq. And we know now that Bush’s main excuses for war, uranium ore and aluminum tubes, were both known by this administration to be bogus. Joe Wilson’s NY Times op-ed piece, and the controversy that grew out of it, forced Bush to back off his yellowcake claims. And now it seems there is documentary evidence that this government knew that the aluminum tube claims they were making were completely bogus as well. And that protecting the existence of that document until the 2004 elections were safely over explains why Rove and Libby would risk perjury charges to hide what was going on.

. . . according to Waas, since October 2002 there has existed a smoking-gun that proved Bush had been told that some intelligence officials thought the tubes were for conventional weapons, not nukes -- well before he repeated the tale in his 2003 speech.

That leads to the second, equally important point. Waas also reports that Rove thought as early as the summer of 2003 that the document was radioactive enough to potentially destroy Bush's re-election chances. Waas adds that Bush advisers thought that if doubts about the tubes came out, it would be much harder to shield Bush from criticism for them than it was for the uranium tale -- because there apparently existed hard evidence that the president had been told of those doubts.

Thanks to Waas, for the first time, we may now know for a fact that Rove and other Bush advisers viewed the truth about the run-up to war as something that could destroy his re-election prospects. It is entirely plausible that Bush advisers calculated that if it came out that they’d outed Plame, Congress would have been forced by the resulting firestorm to run a far more aggressive investigation of Bush’s pre-war deceptions – and possibly uncover the smoking gun Waas reports on, among other things. Remember, Libby and Rove testified in early 2004, during the heat of a presidential campaign which Rove himself had apparently concluded was at risk if existing hard evidence of Bush’s deceptions surfaced.

So it seems plausible that Libby and Rove sought to minimize the chance of the aggressive congressional oversight that might have resulted if it became known that they’d outed Plame. In short, misleading the grand jury about Plame may simply have been a key piece of a broader effort to get past the election before the truth about the run-up to the war surfaced to sink his campaign.
White House officials, including Bush himself, withheld critical information it had about doubts over supposed evidence of Saddam's nuke ambitions in order to better make the case for war. Then they subsequently discovered that hard evidence existed of that duplicity. Then, anxious that this evidence might surface before the 2004 reelection, they engaged in a relentless campaign to cover up what really happened during the Iraq run-up and to prevent an aggressive congressional investigation until after the election. They relied on Pat Roberts to run a pseudo-investigation; they withheld the daily briefs; they leaned on Hill allies not to talk to the press. And they obscured their role in the outing of Plame to prevent an outcry that would have certainly forced Congress and the press to probe far more aggressively than they did. And they succeeded: If Congress and the press had been more aggressive -- and this may be the real significance of Waas's story -- it's perfectly possible that John Kerry would now be president.

When every bad motivation you speculate about these guys turns out to be true in spades, you begin to notice a pattern. If the pattern holds, it’s only a matter of time before we get the memos that show how the deliberate theft of the elections in 2000 and 2004 were conceived and carried out.


Anonymous file83 said...

Very good op/ed! Not only might we learn how past other actions were very deliberate - what NEW actions will this administration take that sets a landmark of rolling back our civil liberties?

4/05/2006 10:01 PM  

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