"The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."
--Journalist Seymour Hersh
"I was misled," now says Johnny "Day Late and a Dollah Short" Edwards of the hype leading up to the mess we've made. I don't know about y'all, but it isn't exactly reassuring to know a man who would be a heartbeat away from the presidency and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is such a chump. Even Lil Walter Jones, a Republican and no genius, had the stones to own up and use the "L" word; he showed actual courage by breaking ranks with the Bush crazies. Misled, huh? Mr. Edwards, are you telling me a man established as a top tort lawyer couldn't sniff out mendacity better than you did? That you were so thoroughly suckered by a two-bit Texas hustler with a thin resume, a shady past and some truly sketchy pals? Suuuure.
The lies now "uncovered " by the complicit U.S. press were debunked by an Intelligence Analysis Team right here in Raleigh, your hometown. It turned out to have a better grasp of the depth and breadth of the situation than did Edwards, as well as most of Congress and the major U.S. media. Perhaps you ought to have dropped on by for a brewski before following the Lil Dictator into the quagmire like a puppy.
In this case, there is no satisfaction in I-told-you-so. See, the team was us, a handful of down-on-their-heels living in sub-standard housing in a dusty Southern city. Armed with a measure of skepticism, modest investigative skills and a library card, we got the prewar dead-nuts: the mythical threat of Hussein's nonexistent stock of WMDs, refuted by Mohamed El Baradei and Scott Ritter's UNSCOM team; that the connection between Osama bin Laden and Hussein, touted by mercifully retired Noo Yawk Times columnist William Safire among others, was a total load of crap; that the Yellow-cake Niger paper, dismissed out of the blocks by responsible intel people, was nothing more than a crude forgery; not to mention the wild miscalculations about what was likely to happen after the Mission Accomplished banner was furled and landfilled. The Blue House posse knew all well enough to require a much, much stronger case for war, instead of falling for the old "mushroom cloud" gimmick.
How did we do it? Simple: research. Anyone remember how to learn? What the hell happened? What's the excuse? Laziness? Fear?
Yo, Johnny. What's a trial lawyer's job? To make the prosecutor prove their case to a jury. In this case I would have to say your failure was unusual, given your experience.
With the reaction of the United States government to a natural disaster like the Gulf Coast as half-assed as it was, why would anyone believe the Bushies about the rosy predictions and fairy tales about Iraq? Judging from the failure (or refusal) to get drinking water to a major U.S. city, apparently these morons couldn't (or wouldn't) find their way out of a phone booth with instructions tacked to their foreheads. The only good news is that they have lost so much support by way of their hubris and plain old pig-headed stupidity that the planned co-invasions of Syria and Iran are now likely on the back burner.
Thank God. Any more victories like Iraq and we're done.
"We can't leave Iraq now, it'd be chaos!" How could it get worse? How about a significant portion of the nation at risk from substances such as depleted uranium, a generation of children increasingly bearing the burden of psychological trauma, disease, malnutrition--a whole generation living in a broken land. And now, a new addition to the hearts and minds campaign, the reported use of "Shake and Bake," white phosphorus that can evaporate bodies. Lower body counts! Cool! Things really couldn't get much worse--a fact pointed out by recent polls indicating that 85 percent of Iraqis want the coalition gone. Oh, silly brown ones, what do they know? Mesopotamia (named Iraq by Brits, who, lest we forget, got their asses handed to them on a plate), the Cradle of Civilization? A 7,000-year history compared to our 230? Bosh. What do those wogs know about running a nation? Why change? Look at what a bang-up job we are doing.
The universal reaction seems to be to blame the press now, the finger-pointers forgetting that there is nothing new about the press omitting all sorts of scandalous information that might scare the horses, like the U.S. Torture Inc. scandal--a story that has been mostly dropped except for the ritual Monday Morning Quarterbacking.
At times like this, I feel the need to pinch myself and make sure I am not asleep. Amid credible, repeated reports of the worst sorts of atrocities committed by U.S., coalition and our Iraqi lackies, up to the rape of children, I find it hallucinatory that our reaction to the facts is not just a full independent inquiry and charges (if applicable) but soul searching about what constitutes ongoing torture. If one had told me five years ago that we would be having this debate, I would have told them they had lost their minds.
Torture? Forget it. Old news. We have bigger and better outrages now. For you still blissfully ignorant, I suggest you download (or try to--it has been hacked) the lovely trophy video clip gleaned off the Aegis Defence Services that shows employees of the group racing merrily down a highway in Iraq, machine gunning random motorists, Elvis' Mystery Train heard eerily over muffled British accents www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/11/27/wirq27.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/11/27/ixworld.html, www.frogstylebiscuit.com/index.php?articles_function=show_detail&name=articles&id=163&PHPSESSID=9364ba52d711623d0739b9797d9c56be). Nice.
The citizenry's blind spot is truly frightening. It is as if some force has taken control of the minds of millions. I actually encounter justification of torture as a response to "they chop heads off!" Great. Lets show 'em how superior our morals are by machine gunning daddies heading off to work and raping their women and children. I was under the impression that our intended actions were meant to somehow change something (www.sundayherald.com/41905).
What do we do? I really don't know. We have seen what the unquestioning bland malleability of Americans has gotten us. I keep waiting for a sign of outrage, a hint of accountability, some breeze from the body politic, but after the meek acceptance of the disemboweling of democracy by W and his band of merry brigands, I am not encouraged. It is as if we are asleep. I personally have done just about all a reasonable person can do to be the asshole in the back of the class that asks the fucked-up questions--how about the rest of y'all? Johnny? Heck, Pat Buchanan is making sense now (www.theamericancause.org/www.theamericancause.org/patatimefortruth.htm).
For cryin' out loud, will somebody give the guy a blow-job so we can get on with the impeachment? How many counts do we need? I don't just want an impeachment though. I want murder charges for every dead U.S. soldier, every dead Iraqi. Finally, I want to attach the expenses incurred by the attack on an innocent people and the costs to the U.S. treasury to come right out of the Bush family trust, so we can finish 'em off for good, the lousy creeps. Hangin's to good fer the varmints.
Forget it. We have really gone over the edge now. We are in the compliancy mode--total moo-cow--apparently so in disbelief how things have gone so badly, so quickly that we are unable to do anything except sit placidly in front of the tube, instantly tuning it all out. In the face of multiple crimes/disasters each too large to reasonably contemplate, we apparently choose now to let it become little more than background hiss. It has become a choice to ignore what we have become instead of confronting it. We have become what we have professed to be opposed to in 50 short years, since the Nuremberg trials and the first baby-steps toward international law were taken.
Nuremberg has been shattered by another doomed empire. In this new topsy-turvy world, torture and murder are becoming policy. In the future, it may be ourselves who are on trial.