you noticed the Bush Bandwagon has thundered right past "Wag the Dog," and
is headed straight on toward "Screw the Pooch?" The White House image folks
can usually out "Riefenstahl" any reality, but a rush of 'good news' from
Iraq has them re-reading "Sun Tzu for Dummies."
The Bush "Truth on the Cheap" policy is still evolving.
Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice spent a few reluctant hours Thursday under oath before the members of the independent National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.
Dr. Rice's Republican version of 9/11 is so utterly compelling she makes you wish the Bush Administration had been in office when the Twin Towers fell so they could have protected us.
Dr. Rice was all smiles, but fought the appearance to the last. She began with a dry, wistful 20 minute academic briefing that was equally evasive and patronizing, like Omarosa on the "The Apprentice" doing a fair Henry Kissinger imitation. How can Amnesty International allow rhetoric to be so tortured right there live on Fox News?
A dozen macho staff Chicken Hawks who sold us the Iraq War are hiding behind this dapper 49 year old woman's answers. These are the same warriors scared to call on veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas.
She didn't really 'answer' most Commission questions, she 'addressed' them. 'Condi Time' was pretty tense, but they really never laid a glove on her. Dr. Rice's carefully pre-rehearsed lyrics flowed from her moving lips, in the same way Britney Spears sings, ‘LIVE!'
Apparently what killed all those poor 9/11 folks wasn't hijacked planes at all; it was "structural and legal impediments that prevented the collection and sharing of information by our law enforcement and intelligence agencies."
Welcome to National Security-Lite. Less filling. Less bothersome. Hey, just go put a hundred bucks worth of gas in your new SUV. Sleep well. Everything is Fair and Balanced. Stay the course! Feel the PRIDE!!!
When Candidate Bush first ran, he said he wouldn't be a 'nation builder,' and he's sure proved that in Iraq.
Polls taken since Dr. Rice spoke indicate a large majority of Americans think the Bush people are lying.
As political theater, Dr. Rice's testimony was stodgy, but as political farce, it was priceless. Reality was spun, fluffed, and fully redacted for daytime TV. She's a crafty insider who landed in the second S-3B Viking aboard the carrier Abraham Lincoln on May 1st, 2003, to help declare 'Mission Accomplished.' She owns a big chunk of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom.'
Her Commission performance was a perfect wonk-murmur, a skillful verbal disappearing act that made nervous Republicans swoon. Ask Dr. Rice for a simple one-word answer, and she'll give you the history of anvils starting in 3206 B.C., v-e-r-y slowly. It's as if she almost 'meant' to run down the Commissioner's question time.
Almost forgotten were the 9/11 families present who are still trying to find out why the Feds let everybody die. Many applauded openly when tough questions were asked. The proud 9/11 survivors who made Mr. Bush seat this Commission are some of the few, that unhappy few, that band of brothers and sisters now bonded forever by an act of madness on a crystal clear Indian Summer day. They won't be put off. They demand serious answers, and the Bush people seem to really fear them.
The Sons of Nixon have come a long way since the old man did the 'Checkers Speech.'
Given Bush-era ethics, is anything really a 'lie' anymore? The Neocons 'own' the White House, both sides of Congress, the law firm of Scalia & Thomas, PLC, and can easily intimidate 90% of the working press.
1st Lt. Bush will explain it all for you, or maybe not. We decide. You Report.
August 6, 2001 - "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."
April 8, 2004 - "Rice Determined to Clear Bush of All Possible Responsibility"
Per Dr. Rice, on 9/11/01 and before and after, the Bush people were fully in charge, but blameless. They underestimated but could not have known. Clear terror warnings were ‘historic.' They did everything, but nothing could have helped. They've cooperated fully, but they will decide what's relevant. They look forward to a full, honest, and impartial hearing...which they've quietly stonewalled at every turn.
To put Dr. Rice's testimony in exact perspective, imagine this Commission were looking into the attack on Pearl Harbor, and FDR defiantly wouldn't share a file marked:
November 12, 1941 - "Japan Determined to Attack United States Possessions."
Let's put aside the media distraction of the evolving Iraq Civil War as Dr. Rice spoke, and admit she's obviously very studious and we ARE judging her with 20/20 hindsight. Give the administration full credit for finding a high post for a woman of color.
Note that the Republicans had to be shamed into approving an honest, bi-partisan 9/11 investigation, and they continue playing games by not releasing public documents. The Bush people even brokered 'creative control' and will vet the 'final' Commission report. This most secretive Administration EVER, is still dancing around the full release of the Presidential Briefing material "Bin Laden Determined..." It must be really bad.
They also won't release the full draft of Dr. Rice's National Security talk scheduled for the evening of 9/11. Journalist Robin Wright broke the ‘speech' story last week in the Washington Post and the White House confirmed the published text excerpts. The speech reportedly sells the flawed Bush anti-missile defense, with slight mention of terrorism. It's said to be a good snapshot of their thinking in the days just before the attack.
The stark world Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have secretly created for us all, is a very noisy, dangerous, and unforgiving place. A lot of very bad people hate us. A lot of good people who liked us, have stopped. Watching Dr. Rice on TV, it's hard to know what she really thinks, but it's painfully clear what she believes.
The White House has openly mocked the Commission, the 9/11 survivors, and the country. Over at Fox News, they're all tap dancing as fast as they can. The terrified Neocons are starting to scare even the Republicans.
...Bush to Rapture, "Bring it on!"
Maybe it's just a plot to get us nostalgic for Watergate. At least Watergate didn't get anybody killed. You have to wonder what else they're sitting on.
Why can't any of them ever just admit they were terribly wrong?
Republican Spin Doctors got angry when Iraq was compared to Vietnam this week. We agree. Compared to this Old Time Neocon Traveling Revival Tent Show now playing in Iraq, Vietnam was a walk in the sun.
The good work of the 9/11 Commission continues next week with the FBI and CIA. You can check in on them at http://www.9-11commission.gov/.
There's probably quite a story behind all this Bushwa; pity we won't know for about fifty years.
If all this ‘good news' from Washington and Iraq has you down, just relax, have some wine or warm tea, turn on Fox News, dump their audio, and play some Gilbert and Sullivan real loud on the Victrola.
Other Articles by Douglas O'Rourke