Archive for the ‘secrecy’ Category

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Bush and the Prime Directive

July 4, 2007

For three solid years, Bush, Cheney, Rove, McClellan, Snow have recited one mantra every single time there was a question about the Plame affair: “It would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation.” The thought that even the most feather-light touch by anyone in the Administration might weigh down the scales of justice and skew the outcome horrified them into a state of permanent lockjaw. The courts were sacrosanct, to be approached, if at all, on the same eggshell tiptoe with which the crew of the Starship Enterprise approached each vulnerable culture when they made planetfall.

Now we find that, all along, if things didn’t go their way, they were planning to throw away the scales altogether, bypass their own appointed prosecutors and judges, and determine the outcome of the case by fiat. That feather-light touch transforms in a wink into an elephant’s foot.

Next time they trot out their “ongoing investigation” line, the Washington Press Corps had better not stand for it. When these jokers build a wall of silence around the sanctity of the legal process, it always stands just where they need a stonewall to ward off the prying eyes of the press, the Congress, and the voters.

Can the press please stop pretending that’s a coincidence? If it suits his purposes, this Kowboy Kirk is always happy to blow up the planet on his way out the door.

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The Decider as The Fixer?

May 16, 2007

The source here, Arnaud de Borchgrave of UPI, is a George W. booster and not particularly trustworthy. (This throwaway tidbit appears in an article which makes the patently silly claim that Bush outdid Karl Rove in a book-reading contest, in which he polished off more than two books a week for a year.) But he certainly does have sources close to the White House so for what it’s worth:

When a recent visitor asked him what assurance he could give about his successor in 2009, President Bush replied, “we’ll fix it so he’ll be locked in.” The visitor left perplexed and wondered whether that might mean the United States would be in a wider war in the region by then. In any event, it didn’t sound like twilight time for Bush.

In the last few months, there have been more and more signs that, however dearly President Shooter and Junior would like to pull a McCain and Bomb-bomb-Iran, it is growing steadily less likely. Condi, the Secretary of Defense, and a large phalanx of top generals appear lined up against it. But over the same period that cocky I’m-getting-away-with-it grin has been virtually welded onto Junior’s face. So I dunno.

It’s disconcerting when the only way to find out what your own government is up to is to hire Kremlinologists thrust out of work in the early nineties. Last fall the electorate finally hired Congress to find out for them. But in the six years since Congress last attempted any such effrontery, a Great Wall of Shinola has been erected around the entire executive branch, and to date, no polite request for information nor brassy subpoena has been able to scale it.

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My, these MREs are tasty all of a sudden

May 15, 2007

I’m a few days late mentioning it, but the brass has clamped down on blogs and emails home from soldiers in Iraq. Every syllable must now be cleared with the boys upstairs. (A later decree blocks Youtube and MySpace altogether, except for those grunts rich enough to afford and maintain their own laptops and ISP connections.)

It’s bad enough that all those libruls and Senator Reid are bitching about the war, boldfacing our enemies or whatever, and demoralizing the troops. But they’ll be damned if they let our troops start demoralizing our troops. That’s just giving way too much away to the enemies of freedom.

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Gonzales downfall predicted in the Bible

April 25, 2007

Unspared Rod
The blogosphere in its terseness has taken lately to referring to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as AGAG. It had been tickling something in the back of my brain, something which finally surfaced this afternoon.

No doubt the reason it took so long is the exceeding cuddliness of the man. Yes, he stood at Dubya’s side, ruthlessly railroading God knows how many Texas innocents into the death chamber; yes, he strove manfully to help maximize the number of shattered souls driven to madness in Cheney’s secret oubliettes around the world; and yes, he has dedicated himself more single-mindedly than any AG in history to replacing the rule of law throughout the precincts of Justice with the rule of lackies. But, hey. Not for nothing has he been the runner-up for three years straight in the national Pillsbury Doughboy Lookalike Contest.

But his doom has been prefigured in holy writ. There, in I Samuel 15, we learn of another government official (a king of the Amalekites, in this instance) whose merciless and lawless ways deeply offended God. And his name was AGAG. The chief executive of the country (King Saul) wanted to shield this AGAG because of his royal blood – basically on grounds of executive privilege. Saul’s instinct cut no ice with God, who directed His prophet to deal with the matter:

I Samuel 15:32 Then said Samuel, bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.
15:33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord.

Last week Gonzales came delicately (both mincingly and carefully) unto the Judiciary Committee. And God had no need to raise a prophet, because Alberto proceeded to hew himself to pieces before the committee more effectively than anyone else could have.

Nothing now remains to be done except to gather up the hacked limbs and give them a decent burial. As fine as they’ve been diced up, though, collecting and identifying them all will probably require some months of intensive labor.

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Serving at the pleasure

April 19, 2007

The papers have been telling us that our esteemed Attorney General, Alberto “Abu” Gonzales, has done nothing for two weeks except prep intensively for today’s Senate hearing. Nevertheless, within minutes, he was swimming in flop sweat. It was as if he had been introduced to the game of chess three weeks ago, and spent the last two of them being coached, interminably and exasperatedly, in the basics of the Russian Defense, the French Defense, and the Ruy Lopez, a little of which he finally retained. And sure enough, four moves into the match, the poor lunk’s out of his book.

He was quick to assure the Senators that he had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with deciding which US Attorneys would be fired; knew nothing about the decisions except that the reasons, whatever they may have been, were entirely proper. And of course, neither did Karl Rove help decide, and certainly not the President. Or at least, if they did, he wanted the Senators to rest entirely assured that the fact has by now slipped his memory. (As a precautionary measure, Gonzales, like Scooter Libby, recently had his limbic system replaced with cuttings from Spongebob Squarepants. Seahorses, clownfish, and colorful nudibranches flutter gaily through its pores.)

No individual made these decisions, his testimony reveals. They were made, Abu G. is forced to assume, although of course not having been even slightly involved he can’t be absolutely certain he remembers, by “the consensus” of “senior officials” in the DoJ.

(Did any Senator have the presence of mind to ask for the names of those senior officials? If so, the certainty that Abu G. would answer “I don’t recall” apparently drained his or her will to pose the question.)

Shorter Alberto Gonzales:

“Nothing improper took place here. Senators, you have to understand: By law, the US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of a faceless, indeterminate group of Justice Department ‘senior officials’, who may fire them for any reason. I would tell you their names, but the same law authorizes them to train forgetfulness rays on the Attorney General, in order to protect their identities.

Anyway, no one among even them knows why these USAs were fired; that would be a holographic piece of knowledge held only by their joint consensus. Holographs can be fuzzy. Sort of like my testimony today, and, as you may recall, every other day I’ve sat before this committee.

If I were you, Senators, and wanted to get to the bottom oI all this, I would subpoena their consensus to come testify. Good luck serving the papers. “

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Barney’s incipient medical problem

April 12, 2007

Glenn Greenwald notes a recurring pattern, in which exactly the Bush Administration records most interesting to investigators tend to be accidentally lost, erased, misplaced, or shuttled off to Venus on UFOs.

All the DoJ emails about the US Attorney firings, for just the two weeks before they got fired. All Rove’s emails about, well, everything. The videotape of the interrogation session in which Jose Padilla “confessed”. The transcript of the daily FEMA conference for just the day when Katrina happened to hit. And on and on.

The SPCA needs to perform an intervention on the White House pooch. The poor beast must be choking to death on all that homework.

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Return of the blue dress

January 5, 2007

Last May 17th the Bush administration announced that the President has taken a mistress.

Well, strictly speaking, there was no announcement. Rather, the White House quietly issued a memorandum of understanding with the Secret Service, in which the Service agreed to prevent anyone from learning when the President’s mistresses came and went from the Oval Office.

Ever since the Secret Service was instituted, it has been responsible for clearing and tracking visitors to the White House. The records of those visits, being records of a government agency (to wit, the Secret Service), were subject to FOIA requests. That’s how the comings and goings of Monica, Betty Curry, and a passel of other relevant figures and witnesses in l’affaire de cigarre became general knowledge; it was how the misadventures of the Clinton willy became, as it were, exposed to the public.

The memorandum of understanding states that from now on, the records in question will be presidential records. Not subject to FOIA, and presumably colorably covered by claims of executive privilege.

What’s that you say? Bush didn’t want to cover up hanky panky with young female aides? He wanted to cover up numerous visits by sleazy Abramoffic purveyors and receivers of bribes? For shame! Those would be illegal favors. Our Glorious Leader would surely never stoop to favors lower than the merely immoral.

So, in defense of his character, we must insist: he’s been having trollops carted in. One at a time, or in threesomes? Once a day, or in shifts? Would it be irresponsible to speculate? The alternative being to fan suspicions of high crimes and misdemeanors, it would be defamatory not to.