liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Secrets of Success

As Sidney Blumenthal so eloquently opines in reference to Bush's foreign policy in The Guardian:
The North Korea debacle shows that Bush's ruinous approach began before the Iraq invasion, indeed before 9/11. His latest pantomimes of policies recall Gertrude Stein's description of Oakland, California: "there is no there there".

Of course, what's puzzling is not that Bush's team has flubbed again. We've all grown to expect failures from G-man. The bigger the undertaking, the bigger the flop.

What's particularly unsettling about these affairs is the underlying void. BushCo operates in a culture of secrecy unknown in American government since the end of the Second World War.

Just today I drafted a letter to a local newspaper complaining about the phony compromise legislation on the Bush-Cheney illegal eavesdropping program.
To the Editor,

Daytime Phone: 646-508-9647
Evening Phone: 845-

Arlen Specter has been around Washington long enough to know how to spin a bad idea so that it looks good to us outsiders.

That's what he's doing with his so-called, "compromise" proposal on the illegal domestic eavesdropping program secretly authorized by President Bush to spy on listen to and track telephone calls.

Specter calls it a matter of the White House "submitting" to review, but the truth is different, and worse.

The Cheney-Specter bill grants immunity and approval to the president's (and Cheney's) illegal spying. The bill seeks to broaden the incidence of spying on Americans, eliminating the mandatory judicial check required by federal law to protect constitutional rights.

In other words, Cheney has prevailed upon Specter to join him in hoodwinking the public while secretly gutting the Fourth Amendment.

Call and complain. Senator Specter's office: 202-224-4254; vice president Cheney's office: 202-456-1111; email:

David C. Vladeck, in Bush Does It In the Dark, at, eloquently describes the hyper-secretive culture surrounding BushCo with an invisible shield.

But the interested citizen has to ask, "Why?" If it isn't helping us fight our enemies, conduct diplomacy, or even run the government, what's the value of all the secrecy?

The answer is, "Ask Enron." What Ken Lay did to benefit his friends at the expense of his stockholders was a secret until his company tanked.

"Ask Valerie Plame." The phony intelligence cooked up about Iraq was secret until after we invaded.

"Ask Tom Kean." The 9/11 Commission Report is more outspoken in what it doesn't contain that in what it actually says.

The secrecy throws us off the trail of whatever these crooks are doing, and that's why they're getting away with it. They make everything look like some national peril, global war on terror, or epic battle between good and evil. That's what we're supposed to believe.

Meanwhile, behind a wall of secrecy, our country and the world is being savaged by carpet baggers.

And that's what Bush's presidency has really been about all along, hasn't it? Everybody just hasn't found it out yet.


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