Throat to Kerry: Don't Torture Bush, Just Abuse Him
By Bernard Weiner, The
Those who have followed my conversations over the years
with "Shallow Throat" - the high-ranking GOP mole in
the Bush Administration - know that ST has been paranoid about
being discovered by his employer. Wigs, dark glasses, scarves
- all have been used to disguise ST's identity when meeting
with me in smoky taverns, out-of-the-way parks, and so on.
But this time, no mask, no shades, no costume embellishments.
Just Shallow Throat with a real face. ST still insists on
anonymity, so I do not reveal gender or current department
of employment in Washington, D.C. But let me tell you: ST's
straight-out appearance threw me back a bit. I asked why no
"See me smiling?" said Shallow Throat. "For the first time
since this crew took power, it looks more and more clear that
they are going down. Big time. And they're so bogged down
in the chaos and backbiting and battling to contain the scandal
revelations inside their own closed circles right now that
they have no time or interest in bothering about 'little'
officials like me.
"And I'm in good, public, unafraid company - all those diplomats
several weeks ago that denounced Bush&Co. policy, and then
last week all those generals and other elite officials and
office-holders that have urged voters not to cast their ballots
for Bush. The GOP heart, represented by many former heavies
from the Reagan and Bush I administrations, are making plain
that it's OK, indeed desirable, to get the younger Bush and
his crowd out of the White House.
"But I don't know why you looked so shocked when I came
in the door. You know what the symbology of no-disguise represents."
"No, I really don't," I said.
"You must have missed a lot of hostage and terrorist movies,"
said ST. "It's the old kidnap/hostage rule. Beware when the
captors take off their masks: They no longer have to hide
their faces in fear that you'll tell the cops what they look
like. Nope, you're not going to be released, you're doomed.
In my case, it's something similar. They're toast."
GOP DEFECTIONS GROWING DAILY
"But the polls have Bush and Kerry in a statistical dead
heat. How can you be so confident?"
"It's not just the polls, many of which are manipulated
to make Bush seem more popular than he really is. It's the
combination of exploding scandals, the increasing defections
of so many of the GOP power elite - along with more and more
ordinary Republican voters - and the desperation and utter
'lostness' inside the Bush camp.
"Consider: In the past several months, they spend nearly
$100 million on bashing Kerry. Doesn't work. They arrange
the establishment of something resembling an interim government
to 'hand off' to in Iraq. Doesn't help. The economy, in certain
areas, is starting to do a little better. Doesn't matter.
Put simply, the public has seen enough to make a final judgment
on Bush - and they've decided a big fat No."
"So Kerry will walk into the White House?"
"No," Shallow Throat replied, "'I'm-not-Bush' will walk
into the Oval Office. Few voters give a rat's ass whether
it's Kerry or McCain or the Pumpkin Fairy. All they care about
is getting rid of this crowd of arrogant, bullyboy extremists
that are ruining our country and endangering the job-security
and well-being of so many American citizens.
"They realize that the current occupants of the White House
are bringing ruin to our long-term national interests, are
engaged in extremist experiments at home and abroad that tend
to benefit the already well-off rather than the squeezed middle
class, are spending us into massive deficits for as far into
the future as the eye can see, are cutting popular social
service programs because of the hundreds of billions of dollars
going to imperial wars, are shredding our Constitutional guarantees
of due process of law, are trying to set up a kind of legal
dictatorship at the top, and on and on. In short, more and
more Americans are willing, indeed eager, to get to November
2 and get these vicious, incompetent radicals out of the White
ROVE'S DESPARATE STRATEGY
"Well," I replied. "If that's true, and Karl Rove and his
planners know that Bush is going to lose in a landslide in
a fair election, what's to prevent them from all kinds of
devilment and chicanery between now and November? You know
what I mean: Purging the election rolls of more Democrat voters,
especially minorities; encouraging fiddled-with software programs
for the computer-voting machines in the toss-up states; starting
another war in the Middle East, and/or looking the other way
again as Al Qaida launches another major terrorist attack
inside the U.S. - you know, to try to obtain the rally-'round-the-President
support in a time of fright and confusion."
"You've been doing your homework, I see," said ST, with
a grin. "We can expect any or all of those, depending on how
Rove and Cheney and the rest of the boys interpret their election
prospects in the next several months. They're not without
resources, you know. They probably can depend on the fundamentalist
base staying with them through thin and through thin; no matter
what the Bushies say or do, there's that solid 30-35% they
can count on. Then they go for the electoral vote-rich states,
sliming their opponent, advertising out the wazoo to tear
him down with lies, inciting some dirty tricks, getting ready
to exploit the major terrorist attack that is coming, probably
in late-October, etc. - and see if they can raise the Bush
numbers just high enough to eke out enough victories to capture
"Or," I popped in, "hope for a tie vote and another Supreme
"I'm not even sure the Court would be so amenable these
days. The justices don't like to be told that their work and
authority are irrelevant, which is what Bush&Co. are claiming
in the torture-memos that give Bush sole authority to make
and interpret the law. Anyway, all the signs point to a Kerry
victory. But your Dem friends can't risk a slim victory, because
those close elections are easy to fix. Unless Kerry takes
him down in a landslide, it's risky.
"So, I guess the point I'm making is for the Dems to stop
gloating over Bush's scandals and the deteriorating situation
in Iraq dragging down his numbers, and to quit thinking it's
going to be easy to win a landslide. You, we, all have to
work our butts off between now and November, and be willing
to spend the necessary money to do so, if we want to send
this vicious crowd packing. We may not be able to electorally
torture Bush during the campaign, but we sure need to abuse
the hell out of him with the final returns in November."
STOPPING AT NOTHING TO HOLD ONTO POWER
"OK," I said. "But I've got a question for you. Could you
envision a scenario between now and November where Bush&Co.
see the electoral handwriting on the wall, that they're going
to lose big time, and declare martial law and call off the
election? Or, lose the election on November 2 and then declare
martial law and indefinitely postpone the transfer of power
to a new president?"
"Ordinarily," said Shallow Throat, "I'd chide you about
your overly conspiratorial frame of mind. But, as I've said
before, these are not good people. They will stop at nothing
to remain in power. There are billions of dollars of potential
profit at stake here, not to mention the ideological goals
these fruitcakes have set for America to control the world
and all its energy resources, and bring democracy and free
markets to the rest of the globe - even at the barrel of a
"But I think the Bushies know that doing something as outrageously
fascist as what you're suggesting - interrupting the time-honored
electoral process - would invite a civil war. And I don't
think they're confident that large parts of the U.S. military
establishment would obey their commands in such a situation.
But, who knows? Rove may just be desperate enough to consider
"On the other hand, Bush&Co. may be loony but they ain't
crazy. They see what's happening, and if they ever want another
chance to rule, they can't go off completely half-cocked.
"They look around and see that even many conservative leaders,
who once bought into the BushCheney Grand Game, are now having
second thoughts. The world simply doesn't operate according
to the simplistic theories these neocon zealots hammered out
in their ivory-tower think tanks. Iraq is the best example.
The situation there is even more desparate and hopeless that
the American public is aware of. To stay is to continue sending
our young men and women into the bloody jaws of hell. No good
will come of that quagmire.
THE ELECTION RULES ALL DECISIONS
"Bush's entire Iraq policy now, and for the next four months,
is his U.S. re-election campaign policy. Install a puppet-government,
or at least a U.S.-friendly Iraqi government, into power.
Put them in the forefront, the U.S. pulls the strings in the
background. Do whatever is necessary to get the American death
and injury tolls out of the daily news cycle. Try to drag
out all major moves until after November, but, if things keep
deteriorating there, indicate that the U.S. will make whatever
concessions are necessary to the Iraqis - including re-constituting
the Iraqi Army with Ba'athist leaders, letting Al Sadr join
the political free-for-all, even seeing an Islamist theocracy
"BushCheney figure that if they're lucky, as a result of
a potentially 'improving' situation in Iraq, they can stumble
their way across November's electoral finish line as victors.
After that, the gloves can come off in Iraq and elsewhere,
the neocons (none of whom have been fired and all of whom
remain in place) can re-emerge from hiding, and the conquest/control
game can begin anew. In this theory, the American public will
acquiesce, especially if there's another huge terror attack
inside the U.S., and all will be well in Bushland."
"But, as you say," I replied, "the real world will intervene
to dash those plans. The U.S. would be involved in far too
many wars outside our borders, too many American troops will
be killed and wounded, the -
"You still don't get it, do you?" said ST. "This crowd believes
that since there is no superpower to oppose them anywhere
in the world, and since fear is a great crowd-controller domestically,
they don't have to worry.
PLAYING STEALTH POLITICS
"They believe that a few more shock-and-awe invasions - including
the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons, and backed up
with the re-starting of the draft to get the troops required
for such global policing - should finally get the message
out to those who would oppose American power. Domestically,
more prosecutions and 'disappearances' into the military-gulags
should silence those harboring rebellious tendencies at home."
"Do you really believe what you're telling me or are you
just pulling my proverbial?" I asked.
"It's not a question of what I believe," Shallow Throat
replied. "I have no authority. But these guys figure they
control all the levers of essential power and can do and get
what they want. If they have to play stealth political games
for awhile, they're quite willing to do so in order to snow
the public and remain in control. After that, watch out. The
restraints will be off."
"You came in here so chipper," I said, "almost happy. And
you've done nothing but lay gloom and doom all over me ever
since. What happened to the smile of hope?"
"I still believe it is possible to wrest control from these
guys. They are such blunderers, and so reckless - even in
their crimes and scandals, as if they can do or say anything
and not have to pay a price for their actions. Abroad, they
have brought America into disrepute, bankrupted the treasury
and social programs to finance their wars of choice, made
the U.S. feared but not respected, created more terrorists
by their actions.
"Bush&Co. will go down, and I'll watch the inevitable nasty
fall of this crowd with this giant grin you see on my face.
Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we'll be free
Bernard Weiner, a poet and playwright and former writer
for the San Francisco Chronicle, is co-editor of The
Crisis Papers, where you can read more of his conversations
with Shallow Throat. He is a contributing author to the just-released
book Big Bush Lies, available through Barnes & Noble,
Amazon.com and other book outlets.