Archive - Jun 2005

June 1st

He Almost Bashes Himself

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Memo to President Bush: YOUR TURN AGAIN.

I hate to harp on this Gitmo shit again, really I do. I'm almost as sick of writing about it as you are of reading about it. But they let the chimp out of his cage again, after two days of prepping the audience for his message, and Dubya gave the kind of command performance that usually comes out of a door in the wall on "Laugh In".

And this was, like I said, after the Dick Twins, Myers and Cheney, had carefully paved the road so that George's tricycle wouldn't hit any bumps. You see, the administration had a bit of a political problem. Amnesty International called Gitmo a "gulag". Gulag's a strong word, and we all have pretty fond memories of Amnesty International from the 80's, the last time most people paid attention to the human rights group. Hell, if it weren't for Amnesty International, the administration would have had to make shit up about how nasty Saddam Hussein was.

But now Amnesty was using the "G" word, and unlike the Downing Street Memo, the gulag line was getting some press. So first Myers (Gen. Richard, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), headed to friendly Fox News Sunday, and started throwing out some words - "absolutely irresponsible", with a nice chunk of the everyone-we-captured-is-a-barbaric-terrorist-who-would-behead-us-all-given-the-chance argument thrown in for good measure.

That didn't play great, so out came Dick Cheney, to pretend to be "offended" by the report. Which we covered yesterday. And here's also where we saw the official release of the replacement for "a few bad apples": "In nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who had been inside and released to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated." - There's a really important verb here, by the way. See if you can spot it. We'll get to it in a bit. The line is now officially that anybody who says they were abused is lying.

Then Condi Rice, in an interview threw out "I think it's absurd language" in an interview on Sunday. So let's put the pieces together, and see where George went in his news conference today, shall we? ACTUAL CHIMP TIME!

"I'm aware of the Amnesty International report and it's absurd, it's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world. When there's accusations made about certain actions by our people, they're fully investigated in a transparent way. It's just an absurd allegation."

There's a fourth "absurd" later on. That's the word they wanted everyone to take away. They started with "irresponsible", but I bet they realized that's what they used on Newsweek all last week, so it was played out. Cheney went with "just don't take them seriously", but that's five words, and thus screws with headlines. But "absurd" is the fucking gold at the end of the thesaurus rainbow. And as for "fully investigated in a transparent way", how, exactly, does that jibe with tribunal transcripts, which the press finally got hold of after several years of FOIA requests, which include the allegations of abuse but no mention of investigation? Is that really "transparent"? Does Bush know what "transparent" means? I'll give you a hint. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

Because Amnesty based its report on released prisoners, they listened to "people who hate America, people that have been trained in some instances to disassemble, that means not tell the truth." Bush got a little extra "ass" in his "dissemble" there... you would think, if there's one subject he'd know the terminology of intimately, it'd be lying. Well, lying or skeebal.

But the thing that really perplexes me about this whole thing (other than, once again, how so many people could vote for a man who, time and time again, shows that he does not actually know what the fuck he is saying) is this. These people making the allegation. These trained disassemblers who hate America. These are the guys we let go. So either we released trained, America-hating disassemblers into the wild, OR, these are the people we picked up for doing nothing, held for two or more years, tortured, said "Sorry", and sent home. And if they didn't hate America before that, I bet they do now.

And just to hammer the point home that our President's brain would make excellent fertilizer, let me pull this bit from later in the news conference. Bush was asked if his particular diplomatic approach had led to North Korea developing nuclear weapons. I know Bush tried his diplomatic approach, and then North Korea had nuclear weapons, so I'd guess the answer is "yes", but here's what Bush said.

"It's either diplomacy or military. And I am for the diplomacy approach. And so for those who say that we ought to be using our military to solve the problem, I would say that while all options are on the table, we've got a ways to go to solve this diplomatically."

I leave it to the longtime astute reader to count the number of things that are deeply and fundamentally wrong with that statement. After the first half-dozen, my medulla oblongata ended up in a steaming puddle on the floor.