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The Gross National Debt

Thursday, October 05, 2006

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos, My Left Wing and ePluribus Media)

I have a pretty intense schedule.  I'm constantly here and there - going from my office to a meeting, from a meeting to home, from home to gig.  My Sirius satellite radio is a boon, because I can listen to cable news coverage (CNN) even though I can't watch it.  It helps me feel pretty current on what's dominating the headlines.

CNN cut into coverage of the White House Press Briefing by Tony Snow given earlier today.  At the time that I was driving, a woman's voice asked a question and then engaged in an exchange that literally had me pumping my fist and yelling "YES!!" in my car.  I was getting really strange looks from the cars around me, but I couldn't contain myself.

Follow me.

The question was this:

Q Okay. Does the President agree that the leaders should be under oath, to say everything that they knew?

Doesn't seem like much?  Well, if you ask me, it was a setup.  Because here is the answer and the series of questions that followed:

MR. SNOW: The President is not flyspecking. I'll tell you, you can decide whether you think people need to be put under oath. What I've said is, you need to find out all the facts. So you figure out the appropriate way to do it. But we're just not going to get into procedural stuff like that. It's not appropriate.

Q The President is very aggressive in calling for thorough investigations of things like leaks or --

MR. SNOW: And that's what we've called on.

Ha!!!  Tony started to talk over this reporter's question, but it continued:

Q But when it comes to something that affected actual people's lives in a demonstrable way, he won't get into the details of how it should be pursued?

This was when Tony started to sound a tad PO'd.

MR. SNOW: Now, wait a minute. Number one, I don't believe that the President has ever gotten into saying, well, we need to get to the bottom of this, and we need to have people testifying under oath -- I don't believe he's ever gotten into that level of detail, walking through these things. What the President says, you've got to find the truth. The Justice Department is conducting an investigation. Presumably, they will do what they think is necessary to get the truth. The Ethics Committee is committing an investigation. Presumably they're going to do what they think is necessary

Q So from the podium, on the President's behalf, would you call for all the leadership to say everything that they know, come forward --

MR. SNOW: I would -- what we say is, you've got to get the facts out. And that's it. So you can figure out exactly --

Q Publicly?

MR. SNOW: I just said it -- I believe -- yes, we're public.

Woo hoo!!  Such a fabulous question that literally connects the dots of this administration's selective use of investigations, laws, morals, values etc.  That reporter simply called the administration on its bullshit and pointed out, in stark relief, the sheer hypocrisy.  It was a beautiful thing.

And Tony Snow is really full of shit when he said, in his I'm-Tony-Snow-and-I'm-better-than-you peevish kind of way, that the President has not selectively asked for investigations or that people be placed under oath.  Of course the President and the administration have used investigations or the threat of investigations to ensure that people remain "in line".  Let's take just a cursory look at that whopper of a nose-grower, and when and where this pressure has been applied.

From a March 5, 2006 Washington Post article:

The Bush administration, seeking to limit leaks of classified information, has launched initiatives targeting journalists and their possible government sources. The efforts include several FBI probes, a polygraph investigation inside the CIA and a warning from the Justice Department that reporters could be prosecuted under espionage laws.


President Bush has called the NSA leak "a shameful act" that was "helping the enemy," and said in December that he was hopeful the Justice Department would conduct a full investigation into the disclosure.


Bush administration officials -- who complain that reports about detainee abuse, clandestine surveillance and other topics have endangered the nation during a time of war -- have arguably taken a more aggressive approach than other recent administrations, including a clear willingness to take on journalists more directly if necessary.

Target?  The media, really.  This was intended to put them on notice that if they reported leaked information, they would be the target of a Grand Jury.  Beneficiary?  BUSH.  Even a mild seed of concern planted by the administration and its willingness to push these investigations would cause, at a minimum, greater caution on the part of journalists and, at worst, a total squelching of the free press.

A May 16, 2006 article on the ABC Blotter reinforces the investigatory willingness of Bush and his lackeys:

FBI Acknowledges: Journalists' Phone Records are Fair Game

Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly  seeking reporters' phone records in leak investigations.

"It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration," said a senior federal official.


...FBI officials did not deny that phone records of ABC News, the New York Times and the Washington Post had been sought as part of a investigation of leaks at the CIA.

Target?  The media again - a stronger signal this time.  Beneficiary?  BUSH.

Every time one of Bush's illegal actions has turned up in the press, Bush "welcomes" investigations.  What better way to continue breaking the law than to put those who would call you on it in front of a Grand Jury and/or in jail?

Here are the issues where Bush has not directly called for an investigation:

The events leading up to 9/11, 2001

Remember the teeth pulling it took to get an investigation into this?  The administration would have you believe that they were all for the truth and their eventual (so they claim) exoneration from fault.  But those who remember know that Bush fought the 9/11 investigation tooth and nail.  Only the public and very emotional demands of the Jersey Girls brought any investigation at all.

Target? Government past and present; terrorists.  Beneficiary?  Everybody.  The point is and was to learn who did what and who didn't do what so that the same mistakes would not be repeated.

The monumental failed response to Hurricane Katrina.

As people continued to be found, dehydrated and trapped in their homes in the days and weeks following Hurricane Katrina, Bush loudly and strongly decried the practice of "finger pointing".  From Talking oints Memo:

MCCLELLAN: As I have indicated, this is not a time for politics. This is a time for the nation to come together for those in the Gulf Coast region and that's where our focus is. This is not a time for finger-pointing or politics. And I think the last thing that the people who have been displaced or the people who have been affected need is people seeking partisan gain in Washington.

Fingere-pointing would, apparently, include an investigation.  None have been called for by the Bush administration to this date, 13 months after the hurricane struck.

Target?  Bush administration, State of Louisiana's government, local New Orleans government.  Beneficiary?  Everybody.  Lessons learned that led to the loss of life in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina would and still could go a long way to better equipping America to respond to emergencies and disasters.

The Mark Foley scandal

What?  What's that you say?  This is a legislative and not an executive issue?  Go pick your nits elsewhere.  This Congress has been nothing more than an extension of this administration, and the hubris has leaked over.  Like a child does from a parent, Congress has learned its behavior from the Bush administration.  The failure to call for immediate, meaningful and independent investigations is imperative.  None of those things have truly happened.

Target?  Congress.  Beneficiaries?  Everybody.  Keeping our young people safe isn't politics - it's just the right thing to do.

posted by RenaRF at 5:41 PM 1 comments links to this post


Blogger Jolly Roger said...

The Chimperor only "welcomes" his style of investigation-which goes something along the lines of "you're so right, Mr. President."

1:01 AM  

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