Thursday, November 17, 2005

Woodward, Libby, Big Oil, and Tamiflu

What do they have in common? Lies, misleading information, and official investigations...and, of course the impact on your life coupled with the connection to the corruption of the Bush Administration.

How? Glad you asked.

First, Bob Woodward, you really disappoint me. I really love your books, and admire your role in the Watergate investigation...but finding out you were up to your eyeballs in the Plame scandal is causing me to re-evaluate my admiration.

I have been convinced from the beginning, loyal readers know, that George W. Bush is the original "leaker". I have no evidence, only my suspicion based on his vindictive nature, his past history of such reprisals on critics, and his wanton disregard for the rule of law or parameters of his office. Now to hear that Woodward came into this information while working on Plan of Attack and that it is a "Senior White House Official" I'm even more convinced. You don't get more senior than the President and if you have read Plan of Attack you know how comfortable Bush was in talking to Bob has stated that his source was not Libby or Rove and the number of Senior White House Officials gets pretty small after you eliminate those two.

Conservatives were crowing that this "bombshell" was going to vindicate Libby. Only an idiot would think that, since the indictments are limited to obstructing justice and lying. Woodward's confession doesn't prove that Libby cooperated with the investigation to the extent to which cooperation was expected, nor does it prove that his lies were not actually lies. Libby is still in a pickle...and I think there are going to be a lot more people joining him in the jar. You can tell how nervous the Senior White House Officials are by how vigorously they have suddenly started to attack their critics.

They have a lot to be nervous about. Did you hear that this newly liberated and independent country called Iraq is now calling for investigations into the use of chemical weapons by the United States in Iraq? Wowser...investigations, by the way, which the Pentagon refused to conduct. Check it out. Darned old Iraqi democracy biting the hand that tortures it. Ingrates. And again with that pesky irony thing.

And, to be fair, remember that parsing is the President's favorite new sport. He's said that everything he's doing is legal. He's not denying that they are doing the things we're accusing him of...just that currently those things are outsourcing our torture to nations who commit torture legally...and while we signed an accord on conventional weapons that came into force in 1983 forbidding the use of incendiary weapons against civilians...we didn't ratify the incendiary weapons part or the part about using blinding laser, technically, using them isn't illegal.

Morally indefensible, but we'll keep our comments focused on the legality of our use of chemical weapons and the unavoidable collateral damage they cause to civilians...and of course, the insurgents are technically civilians because they are not part of an organized army belonging to a sovereign nation...but that is kind of a grey area that will be cleared up after we've burned to death anybody who might actually take issue with the fact that we're burning people alive with chemical weapons like the ones we didn't want Saddam to use.

Pass me the asprin, my brain is hurting again.

The other story causing me ulcers today is the way the Republicans made such a to-do (angering their base in the process) of dragging in the Big Oil Barons to testify about their windfall profits, but refusing to allow the indignity of making them testify under oath. I have to presume, in light of the fact we know today that they flat out lied to Congress when specifically asked if they were part of the secret meeting on energy policy with Cheney, that they knew how awkward those photos of them with hands in the air and lying through their teeth would be...indignity aside.

And here you have the great irony of the same Republicans covering their asses by saying that lying to Congress, whether under oath or not, is a serious crime....also playing down the seriousness of Scooter lying to Congress and Fitzgerald as ridiculous if there wasn't any reason to lie because everybody and their brother knew Plame worked for the Agency and she wasn't a covert agent so there wasn't a crime.

I really can't tell...are these people idiots or do they think we're idiots...or both? Hey, first--he obstructed justice so we can't tell what other crimes were committed. Second, why lie if you don't need to? Here's my advice. Tell the truth. No matter what, it is always safer and less embarrassing.

But, gentle readers...there's still more to stir my ire today.

The Bush Public Manipulation Machine were starting to get tired of moderating public opinion with terror threats (remember all those we had before election day?), so they fanned the flames of our fear with "bird flu" and a push for stockpiling of Tamiflu.

Did you know that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld owned Gilead (the company making Tamiflu) shares valued at $5 million to $25 million? Rumsfeld was also on Gilead's board for 12 years and was chairman from 1997 to 2001, when he joined the Bush administration. Sure, he recused himself from matters that could affect his financial interest in Gilead but...why do anything yourself when the President is more than willing to drive up your stock as high as he did Haliburton's?

It's good to be the king, but almost as good to work at his side. And what a windfall for a drug whose effectiveness isn't known in regards to a pandemic that hasn't happened yet. I'm suprised the slogan isn't "An ounce of pre-emption...."

But, wait! What's this dark cloud on the horizon? Tamiflu might make you crazy? It might cause hallucinations? It might drive you to thoughts of suicide?

Not good news. I suppose it is also ticking old Rummy off that his fellow Republicans aren't going to buy butt loads of Tamiflu with taxpayer money unless the funds to pay for it come from cuts in other government programs. Drat! What a time to pick for fiscal responsibility!

What a pickle! If there isn't a pandemic, then people will be mad George manipulated their fears to the profit of his pal Rummy. If there is a pandemic people will be mad at Republicans for not getting bird flu medicine stockpiled because they tried to use it as a tool to kill government programs they don't like.

Well, they will be mad if their lungs don't collapse and they drown in their own blood.

Too bad we didn't save that nice Clinton surplus for a rainy day, cause baby, I don't like the look of them clouds.

In the gathering gloom of the coming storm, it is pretty hard to see the Republicans in a good light.

So, please, America...stop voting for them. It's bad for you.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Archie now you're dissapointed in Bob Woodward because he isn't pointing a finger at a republican?
I like the way you pick your battles.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Archie Levine said...

VET, unfortunately we don't pick our disappoinments. They are gifts given us when we least expect them.

And...since he hasn't named his source...but his source is in the White House...I think it is pretty safe to say when the finger he is still refusing to point is pointed it will be at a Republican.

I just can't figure out what passes for brain activity for you, sir.

What the heck are you talking about?

12:28 PM  

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