All the President's Men in Trouble
All the President's Men in Trouble
by Bill Gallagher | May 22 2007 - 9:02am | permalink
— from Niagara Falls Reporter (posted with permission)
DETROIT -- Wolfie is walking the plank with a dagger in his ribs as Gonzo stays afloat, shoving his top officers overboard. That's the way it is on the sinking, stinking ship of state with master Dick Cheney at the helm and commander George W. Bush mapping the battle plan.
Paul Wolfowitz belatedly got sacked as president of the World Bank for his unethical behavior in getting his girlfriend a fat raise and then covering his tracks, lying about his dirty deed. Wolfowitz got the World Bank job after serving as deputy defense secretary. He was the intellectual guru for the neoconservatives who wanted to invade Iraq long before the Sept. 11 attacks, which they used as the pretext for spreading democracy in the Middle East, protecting Israel and grabbing a little oil in the process.
Wolfowitz, along with his boss Donald Rumsfeld, tried out the wacky ideas, naked aggression and imperialism the deluded nation-builders from the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) had long advocated.
The PNAC white paper became a river of red blood in Iraq. It was the worst foreign policy blunder in American history. Wolfowitz promised liberation, freedom and prosperity for the Iraqi people. They got carnage, torture and squalor. Wolfowitz has been so wrong, so often and on so many critical decisions, the only job he is now fit for is to become president of the Detroit Lions, the most poorly managed sports franchise on earth.
William Clay Ford, owner of the Lions, rewards failure and incompetence. His lasting legacy in his family's auto company is as the patron of the Edsel, the 1950s model that tanked as badly as Wolfie's war plans.
The comb-licking Wolfowitz (see Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11") is a career ideologue whose neocon dogma brought the horrors in Iraq, made America despised around the world and gave al-Qaeda recruitment opportunities Osama bin Laden could only dream would come his way.
Wolfowitz brought the same arrogance and bullying he honed at the Pentagon to the World Bank, an international institution where consensus and bridge-building are most important.
Consultation and collegiality have no place in Wolfie World, and he brought with him to the bank some of the same ideological hacks and political thugs he used at the Pentagon to manufacture lies to sell the invasion of Iraq.
In the runup to the war, Wolfowitz publicly debunked and helped fire Gen. Eric Shinseki, then Army chief of staff, who said a much larger troop force would be needed to stabilize Iraq. Wolfowitz then made the wild claim that Iraq's oil revenue would pay for the nation's reconstruction.
After four years and $500 billion from the American taxpayers, Iraq remains a shattered nation on the verge of "collapse and fragmentation," according to study done by Chatham House, the respected British foreign policy think tank.
Wolfowitz flunked in both international policy and financing -- in Bush World, perfect credentials for a promotion. At the bank, he clamped down on corruption in African nations receiving loans.
In the meantime, Wolfowitz cooked up a cozy little deal, engineering a fat pay raise for his girlfriend, who worked at the bank when he took over. Since he could no longer be her supervisor, Wolfowitz arranged for his honey, Shaha Riza, to be transferred to the State Department but still collect a salary from the World Bank. Wolfowitz handled the negotiations that resulted in Riza's salary jumping from $130,000 to $180,000. Mind you, that's all tax-free. The bank pays the national income taxes for its employees. Thus, Riza was paid more than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Wolfowitz got caught and then blamed others for the sweetheart deal. Come June when his resignation takes effect, he'll be gone. But the bank board weaseled, giving Wolfowitz an undeserved dignified departure. In a prepared statement, the bank directors declared, "He assured us that he acted ethically and in good faith in what he believed were the best interests of the institution, and we accept that. We also accept that others involved acted ethically and in good faith."
What cowardly crap! Wolfowitz broke the bank's rules, got caught, tried to cover up and then attacked those who investigated his egregious conduct. Now we are supposed to believe Wolfowitz and the people who wanted him out are equally ethical.
For bringing chaos and dissension to the World Bank and being the architect of the mess in Iraq, Wolfowitz deserves to be banished to Crawford, Texas, where the entire colony of Bushevik political lepers should dwell and rot in infamy, forced to listen to Barbra Streisand music and eat cold French food.
Instead, he will probably end up with a big book deal, an endowed academic chair, seats on the numerous corporate boards he's served so well and a commentator's job at the Fox News Channel, where being consistently wrong is worn as a badge of honor.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will not go gentle into that good night. The worst and most corrupt attorney general in American history is holding on even as more and more Republicans want him out. For now, he has the only supporter he needs -- President George W. Bush.
Gonzales' entire public career has depended on being the malleable house legal whore giving the OK to anything Bush wants. As legal counsel for Gov. Bush in Texas, as White House counsel and as attorney general, Gonzales has seen his job as serving Bush's interests first; the law and public good are quaint afterthoughts.
Beneath Gonzales' thin veneer of syrupy sanctimony is a ruthless apparatchik who has consistently trampled on the Constitution, laws and human rights to serve his master. Think of Vito Corleone's foster son and lawyer, Tom Hayden, in "The Godfather" -- smooth-talking, ostensibly polite but willing to arrange whacking off a horse's head to make a point.
The testimony of former deputy attorney general James Comey before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week underscored just how ruthless Gonzales is and provided evidence of another act of perjury he committed.
Comey was before the committee as part of its investigation into Gonzales' role in the political firings of federal prosecutors. Gonzales' own testimony that the dismissals were not political and that he had not participated in the decisions to carry them out are demonstrable lies. His "I don't recall" defense is another lie.
Comey added details to an episode that demonstrates just how low and vile the Busheviks are and how Gonzales willingly broke the law to please Bush.
Comey recalled for the senators how he refused to sign off on the National Security Agency's surveillance program while he was acting attorney general in 2004. Comey's boss, John Ashcroft, was critically ill with acute pancreatitis and was hospitalized in the intensive care unit.
When Gonzales, then White House counsel, and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card learned Comey would not sign off on the required reauthorization of the secret NSA spy program, they showed up in Ashcroft's hospital room trying to get him to sign the document certifying the program's legality.
Ashcroft deferred to Comey, who again refused to sign. Comey told the Senate committee, "I had witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man."
With Gonzales' blessing, Bush then proceeded to illegally order the program to continue. Last year, in sworn testimony before Congress, Gonzales claimed there "has not been any serious disagreement" about the warrantless wiretapping program. That, folks, was perjury.
Senate Democrats now want a vote of "no confidence" in Gonzales. In fact, he should be impeached, disbarred, indicted and frog marched to The Hague to be tried as a war criminal for approving torture, kidnappings and detention camps.
As noted by Media Matters, an excellent Web site, NBC and ABC made no mention of Comey's testimony on their evening and morning newscasts. But ABC's "Good Morning America" did find time for an entire segment marking the 15th anniversary of "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher shooting her boyfriend Joey Buttafuoco's wife in the face. The dumbing of America well serves the Busheviks.
I watch a lot of television I don't enjoy as a service to my loyal readers -- State of the Union addresses, Bush news conferences and presidential debates. I endure them to keep track of the lies.
Last week, however, I did skip the second debate for the Republican presidential candidates. Spring in Detroit brings sports delights, and on that evening the Pistons and Red Wings had playoff games and the Tigers were playing the Red Sox in Fenway Park, all on TV. I chose wisely
The next day, I saw summaries of the hollow, stuffed men, the all-white jury that are the GOP crop this year. First, they all paid homage to the departed Jerry Falwell, the crypto-Christian who preached hate and intolerance and worshiped war.
My favorite Falwell moment was the debate he had with my friend Bishop Thomas Gumbleton on Phil Donahue's show, then on MSNBC. It was shortly before the invasion of Iraq, and Gumbleton coolly and rationally argued against the war and warned of disastrous consequences.
Falwell fulminated about Saddam Hussein being Satan and said Bush was anointed by God to fight evil. At one point, Falwell, with the veins in his face bulging, called Gumbleton -- a Christ-like man of peace -- a "blasphemer." The studio audience roared in laughter at Falwell's rant. Donohue's show was canceled shortly afterwards.
A leaked memo showed network executives claimed Donohue's show presented "a difficult public face for NBC in time of war. He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives."
The debate did offer an insight into the sick minds of the two front-runners -- Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. Both are unfit for the presidency.
Giuliani -- who is certifiably nuts, by the way -- came out forthrightly for torture, especially water-boarding. He wants people interrogating suspected terrorists "to use every method they could think of."
Romney wants "to double Guantanamo" and deny uncharged detainees any access to lawyers.
These two Bush wannabes will bring the nation more Wolfies and Gonzos. God spare us.
About author Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.