Texas -- As I.F. Stone used to say, "All governments
lie," so that's no shockeroo. What's peculiar
is the reaction in the media.
-- You may recall that when even the administration
finally admitted Saddam Hussein had no weapons
of mass destruction (with that adorable video
of President Bush on his hands and knees searching
under sofas in the Oval Office for the missing
WMD -- oh, it was so amusing. Eight hundred American
dead.), we were treated to the following rationales:
1) Didn't make any difference because Saddam Hussein
was a really, really bad guy anyway.
He was, of course, and it was always the only
decent rationale for getting rid of him. It was
the argument made by Tony Blair but specifically
rejected by the Bush administration. Paul Wolfowitz
explained in Vanity Fair that human rights violations
were not a sufficient consideration for invasion.
2) It was all Saddam's fault that we thought he
had WMD. The wily coot fooled us by repeatedly
denying that he had any, a fiendishly clever ploy.
3) He probably shipped them all to Syria just
before we got there.
4) Get over it. We've heard enough from you people.
-- Torture at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere?
1) No worse than fraternity hazing.
2) Just some low-level, white-trash morons.
3) We haven't tortured nearly as many people as
4) Al Qaeda never signed no stinkin' Geneva Conventions,
so we have a right to torture them.
5) Shut up, they explained.
-- Torture was explicitly authorized at the highest
levels of government.
1-5) See above, plus:
6) Did not.
7) So what?
8) "I'm going to say it one more time. The instructions
went out to our people to adhere to the law. That
ought to comfort you. We're a nation of laws.
We adhere to laws. We have laws on the books.
You might look at those laws, and that might comfort
Problem is the administration looked at the laws
and decided to ignore them.
-- Ahmad Chalabi is not just a liar, con man,
thief and faker of intelligence, but also apparently
a spy for Iran.
1) Chalabi? Ahmad who? Never heard of him.
2) We cut off all ties with Chalabi some time
ago. (Last week.)
-- The 9-11 Commission reports there is no evidence
of collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Al
Qaeda, and in fact Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia
were all much bigger players with Al Qaeda.
1) The 9-11 Commission didn't say that.
2) The media are overplaying the story and are
also lazy and outrageous. (Never mind that it's
the media's fault as much as the administration's
that 69 percent of the American people were under
the misimpression that Saddam Hussein was directly
tied to 9-11.)
3) We never claimed he was behind 9-11. No, we
never did -- we may have implied it, we may have
hinted, we may have suggested, insinuated, intimated,
connoted, alluded to and said it between the lines,
but we never said it, and you can't prove we did
and we have no idea how the great majority of
Americans ever got that silly idea in the first
place. So stop reporting that it's not true.
4) We are tired of hearing from you people, this
has been going on for almost 24 hours now and
only Dead Reagan gets a week's worth of our undivided
attention. Back to Kobe Bryant and Laci Peterson.
All in all, I'd say these folks have their act
down now. Dick Cheney gets bonus points for Best
Lying With a Straight Face.
On June 8, John Ashcroft was driven to the old
Nixon defense -- stonewalling. He not only refused
to provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with
Justice Department memos justifying torture, he
refused to explain why he refused. The Washington
Post then helpfully posted the memo on its website
so we could all enjoy reading how our "Justice
Department" explains why the president is above
the law and above the Constitution, and does not
need to observe any treaties.
Also, we learned it is not torture unless it is
"equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying
serious physical injury, such as organ failure,
impaired bodily function or even death."
Water torture (that's the one they politely refer
to as "stressful conditions") was a particular
favorite of the Gestapo against the French Resistance
in World War II. Anal rape and shoving broken
light bulbs up the rear end don't count at all.
I'm so glad George W. Bush has restored honor
and integrity to the White House. And I appreciate
all his defenders in the media more than I can
say. They are truly distinguishing themselves
as patriots in this hour of need.
To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists,
visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2004 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Posted: June 28, 2004