Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Bush Administration-Year One

Americans knew they were in for a long road back in January of 2001. Having just been through a grueling election that ended with the Supreme Court packed with friends of his father appointing him to be President of the United States, George Bush's official motorcade was forced to speed to the inauguration through throngs of angry, egg throwing protesters. Protesters that the U.S. media never showed us, and made seem as though all had gone well as George W. Bush was sworn into office.

The inaugural speech was riddled with references to God, angels leading the nation and how we, as Americans, were responsible to care for the poor. He said "Many in our country do not know the pain of poverty, but we can listen to those who do. I can pledge our nation to a goal. When we see that wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, we will not pass to the other side."

Alas, although making for good sound bites during that speech and his State of the Union address the following week, Bush set to work right from the outset to do all he could to screw the poor, and then set his sights on the middle class. Slashing budgets for social safety net programs almost with the lazze faire of a butcher chopping meat in his shop, the Bush Doctrine of giveaways to his rich friends and corporations was underway. Quietly signing legislation passed by the Republican controlled Congress to privatize Medicaid, the program designed to provide the poor with medical coverage, the Republicans, with Bush leading the charge, managed to make it impossible for the poor to go to their doctors, while at the same time adding more middlemen in the form of insurance companies now being in charge of all decision making for the program itself.

Wielding that pen while the media, being exhausted from having to cover the stolen election, decided to take some time off and not report on the programs the Bushies were tearing apart, nor the corporate welfare increases going into effect, tired Bush himself out so much that vacations became the norm. He vacationed 54 days before August of 2001, when USA Today questioned whether or not his next vacation, a month long jaunt to Crawford, Texas was a wise decision.

And vacation the President did. On August 6th, 2001, Bush received the Presidential Daily Briefing report entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike inside U.S.". The report was the result of a crescendo of reports from intelligence sources all over the world. Sources from Israel, who arguably has the very best apparatus for garnering intelligence in the entire world, the Russians, the Syrians, and the European intelligence community. Despite the fact that the PDB was the end result of blaring warnings being issued from all over the world since may of 2001, the Bush administration saw fit to ignore them all and continued to fish in Texas, while Cheney vacationed in Wyoming.

No one needs to be reminded as to the horrible events of 9/11. The images of bodies falling or people jumping to escape the flames are forever seared into our souls. Buildings falling, screams and wails echoing off of New York's concrete canyons, and the sobering pictures of a mayor of a major American city running the streets because he had no where else to go will haunt us forever, and be the rallying cry against the Republican Party for eternity. Almost immediately after the events of 9/11, the Republicans desperately attempted to lay the blame at the feet of the previous administration, knowing full well that the outgoing Clinton people gave the incoming Bush administration so much information on the Bin Laden threat, that Bush CHOSE TO IGNORE, that the lewdness of their failure to act became a rallying cry to those who believed the only possible explanation was complicity on the part of Bush and his people.

9/11 happened after the Bush administration had been in power for eight months, twenty per cent through their first term, and yet, to this day, they admit no responsibility. But at every turn, they try to claim the events of that day as their own personal rallying cry for war, for the stripping of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution to all Americans, and the excuse to close all government oversight off from the public.

In the aftermath of 9/11, we now know that the Bush administration had plans already drawn up for a war with Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with the events of that day. John McCain blatantly connected Iraq to the Anthrax attacks, saying that Iraq was the second phase of operations after Afghanistan, whom we invaded in reply to the Taliban's refusal to hand over Bin Laden without evidence. To this day, no evidence has been offered, and Bin Laden is on no FBI most wanted list due to lack of that evidence.

While Bush was busy laying out plans for the Iraqi invasion, John McCain was busy running around the country saying things like the U.S. Congress should bring out their dead after the Anthrax scare, that after we got done with the Middle East, the people there could go back to selling camels or whatever it is they do over there, and that the world would know who was boss after we had taken over Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. He also promised that Bin Laden would be dead by Halloween of that year.

But what should really scare the hell out of everyone about John McCain and Sarah Palin was McCain's support for the last minute changes that Bush sought to insert into Congress's use of force authorization back in 2001. Just seconds before the Congress was to vote, Bush sought to add wording to the bill that said he had authority to use the military within the borders of the United States, against U.S. citizens! Tom Daschle, the former Democratic Leader said : "Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote, the administration sought to add the words 'in the United States and' after 'appropriate force' in the agreed-upon text. This last-minute change would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas -- where we all understood he wanted authority to act -- but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens. I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority. I refused." ...

In November of 2001, Bush was absolutely gleeful because of the new acquiescence of the media. Not daring to question anything the monster in chief did, Bush began to issue a series of Presidential Directives. Cloaking them carefully at first to be directed against only non citizens, we all know about the later tossing out of Habeus Corpus, the Posse Comitatus, the declaration in the Patriot Acts that U.S. citizens could now be charged with domestic terrorism for attending or planning protest marches, and all manner of expansions of police powers in direct violation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. No one said anything, because of the Rove campaign to paint anyone who dared to question the President as an enemy of the state. They backed up their words by getting well known and respected journalists fired for asking too many questions.

In December of 2001, Bush restarted the Cold War with Russia by announcing that the United States was pulling out of the ABM Treaty. And then making it seem as though the Russians were the bad guys. Ten years of glasnost and gains wiped out by a neo-fascist group of people determined to feed the military/industrial complex no matter what.

But the most egregious statement that has ever left the lying mouth of George Bush came when he was asked by a reporter at a Christmas party the Bushes were at in 2001. Expecting to get a solemn response from the Commander In Chief, who had just been witness to the events of 9/11, the aftermath and the invasion of Afghanistan. A reaction to the suffering of the entire American nation and the fears and worries of a people unsure what the future was going to hold. Asking the Bushes how they were feeling that Christmas season, George W. Bush did not hesitate to answer that he was feeling fantastic and having the time of his life.

Still want more of the same? Or does beating your head against the wall appeal to you? The above is only a taste of what our country will endure under a McCain/Palin administration. Those two will make Bush and Cheney seem like Alvin and the Chip Monks when they bomb bomb bomb Iran, destroy all domestic social safety net programs, drill baby drill everywhere that they suspect may have oil, and if the 'executive privilege' claims being made not two months before the election are any indication, we're in for a hellish nightmare. Forget the die hard neo-cons and fascists who will back McCain.Palin no matter what, much the same way they still claim Bush/Cheney was the greatest Presidency of all time. These people don't care about you, the country, or the rule of law. They care about ripping off the nation for every last dime it has, then getting out, leaving the corporations in charge and Americans living like the paupers during the time of their other hero, Herbert Hoover.

Just as Bush did during his first year in office, McCain would completely eviscerate the remaining Bill Of Rights, since McCain agreed with Bush that Americans had too many rights and voted along with Bush not 90%, but 95% of the time, and 100% of the time in 2008. Don't fall for their lies and smear campaigns yet again. They speak of being religious, but bear in mind that the devil's greatest trick was to make you believe that he did not exist. The Republicans' greatest trick and in particular the new Karl Rove driven campaign of the hiding from the media McCain/Palin campaign is that they aren't really corporate shills and lobbyists, but reformers.

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