Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 149)
Those Weapons Of Mass Destruction Have Got
To Be Somewhere Edition
oh boy, last week was a bad week for the Bush administration
(1,4). After Richard Clarke testified that Bush and Co. had
their heads up their arses prior to 9/11, it was up to Condoleezza
Rice (2,3) to stem the tide of bad publicity. And to be fair,
she was about as good at that as she was at protecting the
nation against terrorist attacks. Meanwhile George W. Bush
(5) didn't help matters much by making jokes about not finding
any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Good one, Dubya.
But of course, there were also conservative idiots to be found
outside the Bush administration last week. Take Zell Miller
(6), for example, who appears to have started having wet dreams
about Our Great Leader. Or Tom DeLay (7), who could be on
the brink of a wonderful comeuppance. And then there's the
Pentagon (8), who just realized that awarding no-bid contracts
to companies without an oversight process isn't working as
well as they thought it would. Enjoy, and as usual, don't
forget the key!
Shit, meet fan. Richard Clarke's recent interview on 60 Minutes
and subsequent bombshell
testimony before the 9/11 Commission had Bush administration
officials scrambling to play defense last week. Basically
it all came down to this - if you can't refute the charges,
shoot the messenger. Dick Cheney appeared on Rush Limbaugh's
radio show to make the absurd
suggestion that Richard Clarke "wasn't in the loop"
and allowed Rush to infer that Clarke was disgruntled because
he had been "demoted" (actually Clarke testified
that he requested a transfer to cyber-security because he
was frustrated with the Bush team's inaction on al Qaeda).
Meanwhile White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan and
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice made some extraordinarily
coordinated statements in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy
Clarke's credibility. It was a little strange to watch senior
administration officials falling over each other to personally
attack a man with thirty years of government service under
his belt, a man who worked for Ronald Reagan, George H.W.
Bush, Bill Clinton, and who was retained by George W. Bush.
But I guess "the truth" is not a pleasant concept
for the Bush administration, and when putting your hands over
your ears and singing "la-la-la!" doesn't work any
more, you'd better take those damn truth-tellers down.
Condoleezza Rice led the charge to discredit former counterterrorism
czar Richard Clarke last week, and only ended up making things
worse for herself. Rice appeared on countless TV shows to
give interviews about Clarke's lack of credibility and consistency,
but continued to resist
pressure to appear under oath before the 9/11 commission
- I guess her opinions are good enough for Fox News but not
good enough for the bipartisan panel investigating the world's
worst terrorist attack. But as Rice attempted to undermine
Clarke's credibility, it became clear that it is her own credibility
which is in serious jeopardy. There are so
many contradictions in Condi's media interviews that it's
no surprise the White House doesn't want her to testify. For
example, just days after September 11, she said, "I don't
think anybody could have predicted that those people could
have taken an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center...
that they would try to use an airplane as a missile." But
Rice recently told the 9/11 Commission in private that she
"misspoke" (ah, that old standby) - apparently
there were plenty
of warnings about al Qaeda crashing planes into buildings.
And in the Washington Post last week, Rice wrote, "through
the spring and summer of 2001, the national security team
developed a strategy to eliminate al Qaeda" that included
"sufficient military options to remove the Taliban regime"
- except Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage contradicted
that statement during his testimony to the 9/11 Commission
last week. Rice also said last week that "Bush told her
on Sept. 16, 2001, that 'Iraq is to the side'" - except
Bush ordered the Pentagon to start drawing up plans for an
invasion of Iraq on September 17. In fact, it seems that almost
everything Condoleezza Rice says is either a contradiction,
or is subsequently contradicted. You could even say that our
National Security Advisor is a compulsive
liar. Come on, put her under oath! She'll perjure herself
five seconds after opening her mouth.
Rice, Tom Ridge, Et Al
to rub it in... Condoleezza Rice, October 9, 2001:
"Dick Clarke will be the President's Special Advisor
for Cyber security, and General Wayne Downing will serve as
the National Director and Deputy National Security Advisor
for Combating Terrorism. Both these individuals will report
to both Tom Ridge and to me. And we are pleased and gratified
that both have agreed to serve." Tom Ridge, October
9, 2001: "Dick Clarke is the right man for the job.
He is one of our nation's leading experts on cyber security,
appointed as the first national coordinator for security,
infrastructure protection and counter-terrorism in May of
1998. In his long career of government service, he has served
as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence under
President Reagan, and as Assistant Secretary of State for
Political Military Affairs under President George Herbert
Walker Bush.... You know Dr. Rice and I are anxious to be
working with him in our capacities as well..."
Various members of the Bush administration were banging on
last week about how as soon as they arrived in the White House
they were super-committed to stopping al Qaeda and Osama bin
Laden. Funny then that an old
CNN report reveals the State Department actually downgraded
the importance of Osama bin Laden soon after Bush came to
power. The first terrorism report to come out of the Bush
administration does mention that the Taliban "continued to
provide safe haven for intentional terrorists, particularly
Saudi exile Osama bin Laden and his network." But according
to the CNN article, "Unlike last year's report, bin Laden's
al Qaeda organization is mentioned, but the 2000 report does
not contain a photograph of bin Laden or a lengthy description
of him and the group. A senior State Department official told
CNN that the U.S. government made a mistake last year by focusing
too tightly on bin Laden and 'personalizing terrorism.'"
Look, ever since entering the White House, the Bush administration
has clearly been far more concerned about Iraq - it's no wonder
Richard Clarke felt like he was banging his head against a
wall. In fact, the Bush administration were only really interested
in bin Laden for about five months immediately following 9/11.
Not long after 9/11 USA Today reported
that "President Bush pledged anew Friday that Osama bin
Laden will be taken 'dead or alive,' no matter how long it
takes." A few months later, on March 13, 2002, Bush was
reporters that "I don't know where he is. I - I'll
repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."
So to recap - that's not concerned about bin Laden right up
until 9/11, then get bin Laden dead or alive for a few months,
then not concerned about bin Laden again. Good job, guys.
Fortunately Our Great Leader didn't seem particularly worried
as the main pillar of his (re?)election campaign started to
slowly disintegrate - he was far too busy making jokes at
the expense of the hundreds of American soldiers and thousands
of Iraqi civilians who have died in the past year. During
a speech at a press dinner last week, Dubya presented a slideshow
of photographs, over which he provided commentary. When a
picture of Bush on all fours in his office flashed up, he
"Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere!"
How amusing. I guess it is pretty funny to joke about
sending hundreds of young men and women to their deaths, creating
a quagmire in Iraq from which there is no escape, and wasting
hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money, after lying
to the nation about Saddam Hussein using his vast stockpiles
of WMDs against America at a moment's notice. Actually, no
it isn't. It's a fucking
interrupt this Top Ten Conservative Idiots for a
Bush administration hypocrisy flashback. Click
here and prepare to spew.
Zell Miller called John Kerry "an authentic hero"
two years ago, but now he's changed his tune. Last week Miller
Kerry at "Democrats for Bush" rally, saying that,
"John Kerryís spending and tax plan would stifle our
economy and stall our recovery at the worst possible time,"
(recovery, Zell?) and that Kerry must have been "spending
too much time around Howard Dean." Zell, kiss my ass.
There are no "Democrats for Bush." Why don't
you tell the truth and call your organization "Phony
Right-Wing Idiots Who Call Themselves Democrats for Bush"?
Ha ha - looks like "The Hammer" has finally been
nailed. House Majority Leader Tom Delay has apparently begun
talking quietly about stepping down from his leadership position.
Why? Because, according
to the Houston Chronicle, "a Travis County
grand jury may indict him on charges of violating state campaign
finance laws." What? Surely some mistake! Tom Delay is
one of the most honest, trustworthy politicians I've ever
seen! According to the Chronicle, "Delay and a
committee he founded, Texans for a Republican Majority, are
the subject of a grand jury investigation being led by Travis
County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a Democrat. The investigation
focuses on whether TRM spent corporate money to influence
the 2002 state House races in violation of Texas law."
DeLay's response is certainly in line with the rest of the
Republican machine this week - he's blaming Ronnie Earle for
creating a partisan "political witch hunt." Blah
blah blah - never mind the truth of the charges, let's just
blame it all on partisan politics. Christ, if Tom Delay murdered
someone he'd probably blame it on the Democrats. Oh, by the
way, this is a separate story to the one about Tom Delay being
linked to a fraudulent
children's charity which has apparently been raising "huge
sums from interest groups and supporters to host lavish parties
at this summer's Republican National Convention." I just
want to make sure you don't get this week's criminal allegations
against Tom Delay mixed up.
Surprise, surprise, surprise. It was revealed last week that
the Pentagon has discovered "major problems" with
most of the early contracts awarded to companies profiting
from the invasion of Iraq, "including poor planning,
pricing and a lack of oversight." According
to Reuters, "procurement rules were not followed
in 22 of 24 deals awarded by the military" and, "
Many of these contracts, the biggest of which was to create
an Iraqi media network, were not competitively bid."
Whoa, really? You mean that the Pentagon just, like, handed
a bunch of contracts to companies and then looked the other
way while the companies screwed the pooch? Actually, it's
worse than that - it appears that the Pentagon held the pooch
down while the companies screwed it. According to Reuters,
"In one example, a contractor was paid even though he
was on vacation. In another, vehicles were airlifted into
Iraq at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars without
proper approval. And in a third, a media contractor was used
to organize garbage removal." Sheer genius.
Now that the terror of Janet's Breast has started to fade
into history, the self-appointed protectors of public morality
have again returned their attention to their favorite pastime:
books. At a recent meeting of the Bartow County, Georgia,
Board of Education, Rev. Dwight Holcomb of the group Crusaders
for Christ requested that a number of books be removed from
the local schools' reading list. Among the books that the
group wants banned are Of Mice And Men, the story of
a retarded man and his caretaker friend during the Great Depression,
and To Kill a Mockingbird, about a small-town girl
and her father, a white lawyer defending a falsely accused
black man in the Jim Crow South. Clearly, these books represent
a serious threat to the very fabric of American society. Holcomb
told the board of ed, "You're going to answer to God Almighty
for your decision." Hey, that goes for you, too, pal. Next
time you feel like ramming your values down someone else's
throat, consider this: If you don't like a book, don't
And finally: You'd think that Colin Powell would know better
by now, but apparently
not. While describing efforts to bring Pakistan's leader
Gen. Musharraf on board the anti-terror bandwagon, Powell
said, "We need your answer now. We need you as part of
this campaign, this crusade." Doh! George W. Bush learned
the hard way that tossing around the word "crusade"
isn't considered particularly diplomatic when discussing the
war on terror. It has this unpleasant way of making people
think about Christian invaders hell-bent on conquering the
Muslim hordes, see. Powell didn't tell reporters what Gen.
Musharraf said in response to his demand, but one can imagine
that it wasn't something along the lines of "Hang on
a minute, I'll just get my helmet." See you next week!
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