El Jefe

It is difficult even for news hounds to keep up with the repeated and new prevarications of President George W. Bush. When he told his council of advisors a while back that he did not have to explain because he was the President, El Jefe was not kidding.
It is difficult even for news hounds to keep up with the repeated and new prevarications of President George W. Bush. When he told his council of advisors a while back that he did not have to explain because he was the President, El Jefe was not kidding.

The remarkable characteristics about Bush’s false statements, lies and deep deceptions are that they are contradicted again and again by people within his own Administration or former officials who were involved or had observed the situations described. The refutations come from knowledgeable men and women who have no axe to grind for speaking the truth. Their statements are often what lawyers call “admissions against interest.”

In late January, President Bush gave an interview with the New York Times in which he made this assertion: “Torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.”

On page after page, Jane Mayer, writing in the February 14th issue of The New Yorker, amasses the evidence to the contrary. So varied, credible and attributed is the documentation that Bush presides over a costly and secretive program called “extraordinary rendition,” that either Bush is a knowing liar or doesn’t know what is going on in his name. Taking alleged suspects, declining to charge them with any crimes, and quickly flying them in a Gulfstream V jet, registered with a dummy American corporation, to countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Syria and Jordan for torture has become part of Bush’s foreign policy. Not surprisingly, some of these suspects turn out to be so innocent they are allowed to go back to their country be it Australia, Canada, Afghanistan or Pakistan. What happens to the uncounted others is unknown.

What is known is that most prominent anti-terrorist specialists reject torture on the grounds that it does not work to produce accurate information and can backfire in numerous ways, as described by Mayer’s interviewees.

Outsourcing torture, instead of subjecting suspects to the courts and due process of law in this country, deeply sullies our country’s reputation and invites retaliation that invokes what Bush does as legitimization.

Bush’s list of falsehoods keeps growing. Adding to the fully discredited claims that invading Iraq was necessary because the tottering dictator, Saddam Hussein, had weapons of mass destruction, ties with Al Qaeda, connections with 9/11 and presented a threat to his neighbors are new refutations with cumulative regularity.

Bush’s new CIA director, Porter J. Goss, told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 16 about some of the unintended consequences of the Iraq war. They include the irony of tragic ironies. Bush invaded Iraq illegally and unconstitutionally to fight terrorists; now Director Goss has testified that the Iraqi conflict is actually recruiting and training “new anti-U.S. jihadists.” Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the same Senate committee that “our policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment,” and that the insurgency has grown “in size and complexity over the past year.”

This is amazing testimony given that it stands against the rosy picture painted by their bosses Bush and Cheney, especially regarding the 120,000 Iraqi soldiers trained by the U.S. to go after the resistance there. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) has been one of several recent official visitors to Baghdad who has punctured that particular balloon.

Another bottomless pit that Bush is trying to camouflage compromises the corruption, waste and rife bribery inside and outside the corporate contractors swarming in and around Iraq. The President frequently touts the frugal expenditure of taxpayer dollars, while the Government Accountability Office of Congress, internal Administration reports, and Inspector General revelations document the contrary. Fully nine billion dollars in early spending by the Bush regime in Iraq cannot be accounted for. Swish. It has disappeared.

Lots of struggling health clinics, schools, drinking water systems and local libraries in American would like a piece of those tax dollars.

The seamy offenses to truth and accuracy pour out of Bush’s mouth on social security, on the tort law system of justice, on the environment, on tax cuts, on civil liberties or ignoring the medical malpractice casualties, to name a few subjects.

On the rare occasions when the White House press corps can ask him questions, the reporters either stick to the headline stories with banality or decline to irritate him with honest, tough inquiries. The fawning, pre-selected crowds or audiences that are invited to his event are just that.

Even a lonely dissenter quietly holding a sign or wearing a T-shirt with words critical of Bush is expelled from Bush’s speaking engagements by police. Anyone striving to rebut the President, whether from a labor union, citizen group, or Congress, gets a paragraph, at best, or more likely, is shut out. The Bully Pulpit can exude bull with impunity. The Pulpit is in a bubble.

A short article cannot do justice to Bush’s war on veracity. Readers who want more can read The Book on Bush by Mark Green and Eric Alterman, The Lies of George W. Bush by David Corn, or go to websites such as http://www.ctj.org or http://www.americanprogressaction.org

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