June 24, 2004

Reality is unravelling for Bush

The LNS has often spoken about the utter lack of CONTEXT and
CONTINUITY that the "US mainstream news media" provides in
regard to the Bush abomination. We know it is disarming for you to see the major network news organizations covering individual aspects of the Bush
abomination, for example, Abu Ghraib or Plame or Chalabi (hey, what happened to this outrageous story of Chalabi's betrayal of US intel secrets to the Iranians and who was it that spilled those secrets to him after too many drinks?) or Niger cake and the otherWMD lies. BUT it is the overall CONTEXT itself and the CONTINUITY over four years that tell the real story of the Bush abomination. The major network news organizations (e.g., SeeNotNews, SeeBS, NotBeSeen, AnythingButSee and PrettyBlandStuff) and the major
city newspapers (e.g., WASHPS and NYTwits) have been slapping themselves on the back for "independent reporting" lately on Abu Ghraib in particular, BUT
they wholly disregard the CONTEXT and CONTINUITY demanded in this current state of national emergency...Forced by an event-driven unraveling, the
"US mainstream news media" is still trying to avoid the real story, and along with it the most vital responsibility of a free press in a democratic
society...Abu Ghraib, Plame, Chalabi, the WMD lies, Hallburton, Enron and California's phoney energy crisis, Fraudida itself, Medifraud, the prostitution of the EPA, the missing pages of the increasingly unhinged and incredibly shrinking _resident's "service records" for the Alabama National Guard, the Bush cabal's pre-9/11 negligence and especially the post-9/11 blunders articulated by Richard Clarke, etc., taken together bring the real story into focus -- i.e., the CREDIBILITY, COMPETENCE and CHRACTER of the
increasingly unhinged and incredibly shrinking _resident and the Bush abomination in particular his "national security team." Furthermore, the "US
mainstream news media" has failed to provide CONTEXT
and CONTINUITY by aggregating the UNPRECENDENTED
opposition of the Bush abomination, led by Republicans
and former officials of both his father's
administration and his own's abomination (i.e. Paul
O'Neill, Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson) as well as
numerous others, Roger Cressy and Greg Thielman
notably, and in the military, including Zinni, Crowe,
Shinseki and others, as well as "Diplomats and
Military Commanders for Change," as well as 450 law
professors and 48 Noble prize winning scientists, as
well as the families of the 9/11 victims, well as Pope
John Paul and radio shock jocks Don Imus and Howard
Stern. This UNPRECEDENTED, BROAD-BASED, BI-PARTISAN
opposition constitues a resounding REBUKE of an
utterly failed regime...

Sydney Blumenthal, Guardian: The urgency of Bush's
credibility crisis surfaced in the latest Washington
Post-ABC News poll showing the collapse of Bush's
standing on terrorism, losing 13 points since April,
putting Kerry even on the issue and one point ahead in
the contest. But even more worrying was Bush's rating
on trust. By a margin of 52% to 39%, Kerry is seen as
more honest and trustworthy.

Restore the Timeline, Show Up for Democracy in 2004:
Defeat Bush (again!)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1245877,00.html

Reality is unravelling for Bush

Even negative attacks on Kerry no longer seem to be
working

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday June 24, 2004
The Guardian

At the Pentagon, on June 10, while business in
Washington had officially halted as the body of Ronald
Reagan lay in state, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld
convened an emergency meeting on the Abu Ghraib
scandal, according to a reliable source privy to its
proceedings. Rumsfeld began the extraordinary session
by saying that certain documents needed to "get out"
that would show that there was no policy approving of
torture and that what had happened in Iraq and
Afghanistan was aberrant.
The Senate armed services committee had been
conducting hearings whose corrosive impact needed to
be countered. Rumsfeld complained about "serial
requests" for information from Congress. Yet he was
even more upset by subpoenas of defence officials
issued by the special prosecutor in the case of
Valerie Plame. The Pentagon, Rumsfeld said, was nearly
"at a stop" because of them. Rumsfeld admitted he was
startled by the uproar over Abu Ghraib: "There are so
many international organisations."

On June 22, the White House released documents on
policy on torture, including a directive signed on
February 7 2002 by Bush stating that he has "the
authority under the constitution" to abrogate the
Geneva conventions, that the Taliban and al-Qaida as
non-signatories were not covered by them, and that
consequently Bush "declines to exercise that authority
at this time". Rumsfeld's damage control was simply
one front in the expanding Bush administration war for
credibility.

Vice-president Dick Cheney staged a preemptive strike
last week by reiterating that Saddam Hussein and
al-Qaida had a relationship and insinuating that they
were in league. His intended target was the 9/11
commission, which is dangerously independent. Its
Republican co-chairman, Thomas Kean, replied that
there was "no credible evidence" that Saddam and
al-Qaida had collaborated. Bush entered the battle,
repeating that there was indeed a "relationship". Then
the Democratic co-chairman of the commission, Lee
Hamilton, explained that al-Qaida had in fact
approached Saddam seeking his help, but that it had
been rebuffed. The rejection was the relationship. But
Bush and Cheney's affirmative assertions made it seem
that the "relationship" was affirmative.

The urgency of Bush's credibility crisis surfaced in
the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll showing the
collapse of Bush's standing on terrorism, losing 13
points since April, putting Kerry even on the issue
and one point ahead in the contest. But even more
worrying was Bush's rating on trust. By a margin of
52% to 39%, Kerry is seen as more honest and
trustworthy.

Since March 3, the Bush-Cheney campaign has spent an
estimated $80m on mostly negative advertising, to
eliminate Kerry at the starting gate. The strategy was
the acceleration of the lesson of Bush's father's
victorious effort in the 1988 campaign when, 17 points
behind in mid-summer, he shattered Michael Dukakis
with a withering negative attack.

Now, Bush's opponent is not only moving ahead, but the
failed assault may insulate Kerry against future
offensives. Bush had every reason to believe that his
attack on Kerry's image would succeed. After September
11, he was able to impose his explanations on the
public almost without resistance and to taint anyone
who contradicted them as somehow unpatriotic.

With Congress in Republican hands, checks and balances
were effectively removed. Most of the media was on the
bandwagon or intimidated. Cheney himself called the
president of the corporation that owned one of the
networks to complain about an errant commentator.
Political aides directed by Karl Rove ceaselessly
called editors and producers with veiled threats about
access that was not granted in any case. The press
would not bite the hand that would not feed it.

But Bush's projection of images can only faintly be
seen on the screen, which is overwhelmed with Bush's
past images of triumph unreeling in reverse. The
majority of the people had supported the war in Iraq
because they believed that Saddam was involved in the
terrorist attacks of September 11. Bush envisioned the
Iraqi war unfolding into a new world order: the
liberation of Iraq resembling the liberation of
France, democracy flowering throughout the Middle
East, and the Palestinians submitting quietly to
Sharon's fait accompli .

But the neoconservative prophesies had been advanced
by suppressing the scepticism of the US intelligence
agencies, the military and the state department.
Without deranging and dismissing the professionalism
of the basic institutions of national security, Bush
would not have been able to sustain his reasons.
Bush's battle is not with image, but with the
unravelling of his reality.

Sidney Blumenthal is former senior adviser to
President Clinton and Washington bureau chief of
salon.com

sidney _ blumenthal @yahoo.com

Posted by richard at June 24, 2004 09:33 AM