The Top Ten Conservative
Idiots (No. 160)
June 21, 2004
No Collaborative Relationship Edition
The 9/11 report was finally released last week, and one of its most interesting revelations is something people who haven't been watching Fox News have known all along - there was no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and al-Qaeda. But Our Great Leader immediately hit back: despite the fact that Osama bin Laden has in the past called Saddam Hussein an "infidel," Bush said last week, "There was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda." Uh, never mind the conclusions of that bipartisan commission which has been studying the issue day in and day out for the last year - pay attention to The Man You Can Trust, George W. Bush. He also said, "This Administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaeda." But on May 1, 2003 he did say, "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September 11th, 2001, and still goes on." And according to the Christian Science Monitor, in a March 2003 press conference "which focused almost solely on Iraq, President Bush mentioned Sept. 11 eight times." And in February 2003, Colin Powell did say, "We've learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September 11, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America." And in September 2003, Dick Cheney did say that Iraq was "the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11." And... well, you get the picture.
Not only is the Bush administration still asserting a link between Iraq and al Qaeda, but Dick Cheney announced last week that he "probably" has information which the 9/11 Commission didn't see. In an interview on CNBC, Cheney continued to refute the Commission's findings and repeated the debunked story that Mohammed Atta had met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in 2000. Later, the Commission's Republican chairman, Thomas Kean, said, "It sounds like the White House has evidence that we didn't have. I would like to see the evidence that Mr. Cheney is talking about." The Democratic vice chairman, Lee Hamilton, said, he would be "very disappointed" if the White House had withheld information from the Commission. So the question remains - if Cheney is so sure that al Qaeda was working with Iraq because he "probably" has information that the 9/11 Commission doesn't, why didn't he give that information to the Commission? After all, surely the vice president of the United States wouldn't want to sit on information which could assist the people investigating the worst terrorist attack in history. Especially if that information proved beyond all doubt that the administration had a good reason for going to war with Iraq. Oh - wait a minute. He's just making it up, isn't he.
So no weapons of destruction have been found, and now we learn that there's no connection between 9/11 and Iraq. Seeing his justifications for invasion disappearing before his eyes, Our Great Leader has started grasping at straws. The latest boogeyman in Bush's closet is Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist who apparently beheaded Nick Berg and has been behind some of the post-invasion bombings in Iraq. al-Zarqawi is Bush's last best hope to claim that Iraq and al-Qaeda were in cahoots, despite the fact that there is no evidence to prove that al-Zarqawi had anything to do with Saddam Hussein. Not only that, but last week Donald Rumsfeld even went so far as to say that al-Zarqawi "may very well not have sworn allegiance to UBL," and, "Now, therefore, someone could legitimately say he's not al-Qaeda." So let me get this straight - al-Zarqawi is not connected to al-Qaeda or Saddam Hussein, and this is their proof that there's a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq? Bizarre. I mean, al-Zarqawi is clearly a dangerous, murderous bastard, but perhaps the administration should have thought of that before they turned down the opportunity to capture him THREE TIMES. Unless they thought they might need him if they ever had to come up with a bogus link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, of course.
What's the best way to take America forward? Why, by preventing people from seeing Michael Moore's new movie, dummy! Because you see, some people's idea of the best way to "Move America Forward" is for everyone to bury their heads in the sand and repeat to themselves "Bush is perfect. America never makes a mistake." Actually Move America Forward is a new "non-partisan" group (made up entirely of conservative Bush supporters) who are attempting to prevent movie theaters across the country from screening "Fahrenheit 9/11" (tickets available now). Executive Directory Siobhan Guiney (a former Republican lobbyist) said, "(Moore) is critical of what's happening right now, and there's no problem with being critical - but his movie is not a documentary, it's a piece of propaganda." Guiney's dire warning to beware of propaganda was of course dutifully broadcast across the nation 24 hours a day last week by conservative talk radio. I dunno, perhaps they should rename their group Move America Forward At A Steady Jog Towards The Edge Of A Cliff With Our Fingers In Our Ears And Our Eyes Closed. Yep, sounds about right.
Rounding off the recent orgy of Reagan hypocrisy, Bill Kristol had this to say on Fox News back in October of 2002: "Look, Paul Wellstone was a very political guy, and I suspect he would have liked his own memorial service, if I can put it that way. And the fact it was a little over the top, and some of us maybe found it a little distasteful and a little too partisan... There's a big tradition on the left of turning funeral services into political rallies. If you go back and look at the early days of the, you know, Socialist Party here, and of course, abroad, as well..." Hmmm. And here's what he had to say on Fox News Sunday last weekend: "I think [Ronald Reagan] could have an impact if the Bush campaign has the nerve to make it have an impact... No one wants to politicize the death of a recent president. But you know what? The Bush campaign should. And they should, in my view, they should go up with an ad next week..." What a jackass.
Here's an interesting story from two weeks ago that got brushed aside in the wake of the Reagasm: it appears that "The physician nominated nearly a year ago to the nation's top-ranking health policy post has yet to receive a Senate hearing - and may not be considered for confirmation - amid questions about whether she fabricated or inflated portions of her résumé," according to the Washington Post. Cristina V. Beato was nominated last July, but according to the Post, "officials said they could find no evidence of her service" at several institutions listed on her résumé," while "former colleagues at the University of New Mexico and an affiliated hospital in Albuquerque disputed assertions she made, saying at a minimum she had puffed up her role in several projects." Yes, Bush's nomination for the post assistant secretary of health in the Department of Health and Human Services appears to be a liar and a cheat. They should give her the job - she'd be a perfect fit for this administration.
If you need any more proof of Bush's inability to manage the nation's finances, check out what he's doing to his campaign. According to the Associated Press, Bush has spent "seven of every $10 he has raised for his re-election" so far, and is now hitting his supporters up for more money. Despite raising at least $218 million so far - blowing away the previous fundraising record - Bush is spending himself into the ground for very little gain. And now he's sending emails to his supporters whining about how Kerry "has certainly got his liberal allies all stirred up to attack me." Awwww. Poor George. Oh well, perhaps if the last four years haven't proven beyond all doubt that Bush's talent for running companies into the ground extends to his presidency, at least his supporters might now start wondering what they're getting for all their vanishing cash.
Bill Clinton has been out of office for nearly four years, but conservative Clinton-haters just can't move on. In anticipation of this week's release of Clinton's book, My Life, Citizens United unveiled a new attack ad called "My Fault." (Funny, huh?) Since things aren't going so well now that their own guy is in charge, desperate conservatives are trying to deflect the blame using the only trick they know: bashing Clinton. But listen closely to the ad (if you can stand to waste 30 seconds of your life on this trash) and you'll notice something interesting: They don't actually say anything about Clinton's record on terrorism, and instead just ask "What did Clinton do?" Presumably they asked themselves that question, and decided it would be better for them if they don't actually answer it. I suppose we could give them credit that they didn't resort to outright lying, for once.
Last week we noted that the Bush administration spent the past several months bragging about a reduction in world terrorism, before one of their own reports conclusively proved them wrong. This week, the Bushies are at it again. In the wake of John Kerry's recent criticism of Our Great Leader's Great Economic Toilet Flush, Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman released a written statement saying, "[John] Kerry's political attacks are not supported by reality, which shows rising employment and higher wages." Not so fast! Preliminary data revealed last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, indicates that "Real average weekly earnings decreased by 0.4 percent from April to May after seasonal adjustment." So... Ken Mehlman is just making shit up. Sounds like the ideal guy to run Bush's campaign.
And finally, much has been made of John Kerry's alleged $1000 haircut, but whether it's true or not, at least he paid for it himself. That's not the policy of George W. Bush, who, it was revealed last week, had a $100,000 platform erected for his entry into a U.S. military cemetery during his recent visit to France. That platform will of course be paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, all because Our Great Leader wanted to "walk in style" to a memorial ceremony. I should probably mention that Team Bush also had several rows of bleachers torn down because they weren't "esthetically pleasing," thus preventing several thousand spectators from attending the event. Always there for the common man, that's our George. See you next week!