A Culture of Distortion, Fear and Attack

 

The Bush Administration has engaged in a pattern of distortion, fear and attack, that is so pervasive, they probably don’t even realize how much they do it.  Sadly, the media seldom challenges their distortions. 

 

The most obvious is the 237 misleading statements made by this Administration prior to invading Iraq.  (See “Iraq on the Record” at: http://www.house.gov/reform/min/pdfs_108_2/pdfs_inves/pdf_admin_iraq_on_the_record_rep.pdf )  The mainstream media doesn’t touch this congressional document. 

 

A lengthy NY Times article dated 10/3/2004 tells how the Administration ignored evidence that aluminum tubes were not part of a nuclear weapons program.  Condoleeza Rice publicly stated on 9/2/2002 that they were most likely part of a nuclear weapons program, when a year earlier her staff were advised that the aluminum tubes were most definitely for small artillary rockets.  Once again, they cherry-picked the intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq.  The weapons inspectors could not find a nuclear program before the war.  The October 2, 2002, Congressional Resolution authorizing the President to use force, if necessary, was a pre-mid term election vote, and no one would want to look like they are soft on national defense just before an election.  This was also a year after 9-11, when citizens and the media thought they should support the President, no one questioned it until now.  The article refers to the Senate investigation,  

as its source. 

 

Go to   http://pencandle.tripod.com/Reclaim/nuclearwmdfraud.htm  for full details. 

 

But Iraq is just the cap of the ice berg of distortion, how about this one:  

 

Condoleeza Rice trying to say the August 6, 2001 Presidential briefing memo saying “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the USwas a historical document, when it was obviously an wake up call that this Administration either ignored or to which it responded too slowly. 

 

How about the 9-11 commission, that found no Iraq - Al Qaeda connection.  How about the Administration’s own weapons inspectors regarding WMD’s in Iraq.  How about the Schlessinger Commission on Prisoner Abuse, that states insufficient preparation for “post war” Iraq, led to (among other things) the prisoner abuse.  Most recent intelligence reports show a more pessimistic outlook for Iraq then the Bush Administration will admit. 

 

Then there is the domestic agenda.  A “Clear Skies” initiative that allows polluters to pollute more, or a “Secure Forests” plan that gives loggers free run on previously protected forests. 

 

Then there are plenty of cuts in domestic programs, that benefit the middle class and the vulnerable, to help pay for tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest more than anyone else.  This is sold to us as giving us more of our own money.  But we are losing more than we gain, with increased health care costs, taking on a greater percent of the tax burden from the wealthy, while they get wealthier, and we get squeezed financially, while many of us are losing jobs.  What about the growing deficit, and us approaching our legal debt ceiling.

 

Then there is the fear factor, like how we will be attacked if Bush isn’t elected for 4 more years.  This is an underlying theme, woven into the distortions and attacks. 

 

How about, the attacks against opponents and dissenters?

 

We all know about the attacks against Dukakis, Ann Richards, John McCain, Max Cleland and others.  The only way the Bush family seems to be able to win an election is to vilify their opponents.  All they have to do is cause enough doubt about a decent opponent who campaigns clean and fairly, and they can win by default, no matter how flawed their record, decisions or plans.  They are doing it again with Kerry, but we will not allow them to get away with it.  

 

Then there are former members of his Administration, that are raked over the coals on Fox News and other media, once they courageously exercise their right to be a whistle blower on this Administration.  Remember former Treasurer Paul O’Neil, and Counter –terrorist specialist, Richard Clarke for several  Presidents (the only one to officially apologize to those  who lost loved ones on 9-11), both were subject to an attack campaign by this Administration and its friends in the media.   

 

But when people likes Rudy Guliani, Arnold Shwarzenegger, Orin Hatch and George Pataki adopt the same distortion talking points, the credibility of the entire Republican Party is called to question.  

 

When the chair of the Republican National Committee is a former Enron lobbyist, a company that told its employees to hang onto their company stock, while the company executives sold theirs, before the company fell, you have to wonder, what has happened to the once Grand Old Party? 

 

When associates of the House Majority Leader, Tom Delay, are indicted for illegally spending corporate money on Texas state elections, we have to ask, why are these folks still in power.  These folks have championed a redistricting of Texas, so that it is almost impossible for an Republican not to be elected.  Remember how Democratic members of the Texas State legislature left Texas, rather than provide a quorum for this redistricting to be adopted? 

 

They seem to be pushing for a one party system, with a friendly media, similar to what Putin has orchestrated in Russia.  He was part of the KGB, Bush Sr headed the CIA.  Is this similarity a coincidence? 

 

We know there are many decent Republicans, but the GOP leadership has been coopted by corporate wealthy special interests, neo-conservatives and religious right fanatics.  Their 2004 platform largely praises Bush, but manages some policy statements, including a pro-life amendment, restricting a woman’s right to choose, even when there is rape or incest.   There is another proposed amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions for same sex relationships.  Since when are our constitutional amendments, which normally define our rights (like the first 10 known as the bill of rights), meant to restrict the rights of Americans. 

 

The Bush Administration has acquiesced to the end of the ban on assault weapons, and now has presided over end of the community cops program, at a time when we are concerned about terrorists attacking within our borders.  Bush agrees to more guns and less police on our streets during a war on terrorism.  That doesn’t make any sense.  They are so confident in winning the election, that they are not even being careful about what they are supporting.  Is it arrogance? 

 

These issues transcend party loyalty, partisan preference or religious affiliation.  These issues are about the well-being of a country, that we all love, regardless of our differences. 

 

When speaking of the Viet Nam war with Tim Russert last winter, George W Bush said he “supported our government.”   Interestingly, Mark Twain once said something like, “Patriotism is something you give your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”  John Kerry loved this country enough to question its government in 1971.  He questioned a failed war policy then, as he is doing now.   He questions it now, because he can plainly see that fighting the wrong war makes us weaker, not stronger.  He questions it now, because this war has also weakened us morally, when we have invaded another nation, unnecessarily, and perpetrated abuse on prisoners.  It has weakened our image abroad, and weakened the alliances that would have helped us fight a more effective war on terrorism, not just in the military sense, but in being able to isolate those who would perpetrate violence against non-combatants. 

 

Shawn Hannity wrote two books, one titled “Let Freedom Ring” and “Deliver Us from Evil”.  Of course, He favors Bush, and blames liberals.  But those labels like conservative and liberal seem less important now.  Ralph Nader says this President has brought liberals and conservatives together, against his radical agenda.  Conservatives and liberals have voiced protest against the Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, perhaps, for different reasons.   I even saw Dick Cheney quoted in a full page ad to our Congressman, against this amendment. 

 

Bush is fundamentally misguided, and once misguided, he can’t help but mislead.  A majority believe we are going in the wrong direction.  A majority of those supporting Bush hope he will be different In a second term.  They will be sadly disappointed. 

 

The decision making process for this Administration is fundamentally flawed.  We have no choice but to vote for John Kerry and John Edwards, and a Democratic majority in Congress.  

 

The corporate co-opted media tends to feature Republican talking points as balanced reporting.  What is happening to our freedom?  Don’t be demoralized or fooled by their rhetoric.  We have truth on our side, and we can win.