Democratic Underground

The Age of Innocence

August 12, 2005
By Nancy Greggs

We were only a matter of days into the debacle that has become the war in Iraq when our esteemed leader, George W. Bush, had a meeting with Kofi Annan at the White House. A few reporters were herded in to ask their questions (no more than three and, for God's sake, keep 'em simple), and one reporter asked Bush why it was necessary to invade Iraq at this point.

The answer, delivered with Bush's usual if-I-only-had-a-brain non-charm, was astounding: "Because Saddam wouldn't let the inspectors in."

I saw this historic event on CNN (back in the day when they were still a news network) and unfortunately the camera moved from a wide-shot to a close-up of Bush's face, thus forever dashing my hopes of seeing Mr. Annan's jaw hit the floor right there on national TV.

We had just witnessed weeks of political wrangling over the issue of the inspectors. Can they get an extension and stay? Must they leave now? Is their work finished? What will we learn if the inspections are allowed to continue?

We'd all seen this played out on the airwaves and in the press, ad nauseam - but, as usual, Bush seemed to be the only person on the planet who wasn't aware of the fact.

You might think the point of this missive is yet another example of Bush's ineptitude – but honestly, folks, if an article about GWB's stupidity was published every time he mis-spoke, lied, or displayed his Herculean ignorance, even the vast capacity of the Internet would have been overloaded years ago.

No, my point is not what Bush said about the inspectors; it is the statement that followed – still fresh in my mind, because it was the first, last, and only time this idiot said something that I actually agreed with.

After making the statement about Saddam's refusal to allow inspectors into Iraq, Bush went on to say that as far as he was concerned, that fact was proof positive that Saddam Hussein was hiding WMDs. "Ya see, an innocent man has nothing to hide. An innocent man says, 'Come on in, look at whatever you want to look at.' An innocent man has nothing to hide."

Well, let's put that theory to the test.

To this day, Dick Cheney has steadfastly refused to produce any minutes or notes of his Energy Task Force meetings – you know, the ones that included such illustrious Americans as the ever-indictable 'Kenny Boy' Lay, late of Enron fame. One can only wonder what business the vice president was doing on behalf of the American people that the American people are not allowed to know about.

An innocent man has nothing to hide.

After Bush and his cronies finally lost the PR battle to ensure that no such investigation was ever undertaken, the 9/11 Commission got underway. The Commission found it as easy to wrangle relevant documents out of the White House about events leading up to the September 2001 attacks as it was for others to get their hands on Bush's military records, or the SEC documentation on his insider trade deals before bailing from Harken Energy.

An innocent man says, "Look at whatever you want to look at."

Leading up to the recent confirmation processes involving John Bolton and his ambassadorship to the U.N., and now John Roberts' appointment to the Supreme Court, this administration has consistently refused to turn over documents pertaining to the past professional records of these two men.

An innocent man has nothing to hide.

Over the last four plus years, George W. Bush and his administration have attempted to hide, divert attention from and/or bury facts, documents, testimony, etc., with sleight-of-hand tactics that Houdini himself would applaud. And the above-mentioned are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the information that has been danced around, shouted about, and ultimately denied to the American people.

But again, let me quote the man himself: "That's the past. It's time to look forward, time to move on."

So let's do just that. Let's fast-forward to today, the eve of what may prove to be the day we witness the arrest of Cindy Sheehan, an American citizen whose only crime has been to ask for an answer to the one question no mother should ever have to ask: "Why did my son have to die?"

While our fearless leader hides in his spider-hole (aka Crawford Ranch), this peaceful, articulate, grieving woman is, we are told, presenting a threat to our National Security. She is peaceable, she is unarmed, and she has made no threats. Her only request is a simple one: give me a few minutes of your time, sir.

As of this writing, Bush has refused to go out and speak to Ms. Sheehan, or to invite her into his home to attempt to dispel her heart-rending belief that her own child, along with the children of others, died as the result of lies, half-truths, distortions of fact and manipulated intelligence.

An innocent man says, "Come on in…"

Indeed.

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