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"the greatest American that ever lived, President and General George Washington, urged our government to stay focused ...and avoid entangling alliances"



Posted June 9, 2004 thepeoplesvoice.org

By: Ted Lang

Our system of government is an open system of government. That is so because it exists only to protect the individual freedoms of its citizens and to protect that system from all threats both foreign and domestic. It is in this spirit that the greatest American that ever lived, President and General George Washington, urged our government to stay focused on this purpose and to avoid entangling alliances.

And now we have another George for president, one with far more educational credentials, one with an MBA and impressive diplomas from prestigious schools, and one whose mediocre academics conjures up the strong suspicion that Daddy's checkbook made graduation possible, irrespective of the level of scholastic achievement.

An open government such as ours does not allow for the arbitrary arrest and incarceration of citizens without their being allowed one phone call; and requires the reading to the accused of his or her rights; and requires a statement of the charges being made against them as well; and permits of them the right to seek legal counsel for a defense against such charges, as well as the right to face accusers; and provides them a day in court and a trial by a jury of their peers.

An open government does not conduct random sweeps in nations where our superior military might is used to invade and arbitrarily arrest and detain the civilians of that nation, and then to employ torture, beatings, rape and murder against defenseless prisoners. These crimes are far more sinister than mere entangling alliances.

An open government does not maintain a secret police, or employ "mental" torture, or cause those arrested to "disappear" and suspend citizens' rights. An open government does not favor one class of citizens over another - it does not discriminate based upon race, religion, national origin or any other basis to deprive one class of citizens their rights while favoring those of another.

An open government is an honest government, and as such, does not keep secrets from the people it was created to serve.

All of these basic, simple, concepts have been lost on President George Bush and his administration. Not only are they lost but they've been arrogantly relegated as being totally unimportant. And the administration has punctuated this arrogance by the obvious sneer: The people can all go to hell - we're in charge!

On the heels of almost concrete evidence that President George Bush helped, or at least knew about and supported Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's plans for prisoner torture, in deliberate violation of the Geneva Convention, as well as every other modicum of human decency, and as evidenced by White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales' memo to him, information is now surfacing that Bush was intimately involved in the criminal act of exposing a CIA operative.

On Thursday, June 3rd, the first news tidbit in the morning involved a report that President George W. Bush engaged the services of an outside attorney, one James Sharp. Around lunchtime, CIA Director George Tenet "resigned." Then, in an article posted by Capital Hill Blue entitled, "Bush Knew About Leak of CIA Operative's Name," a report was released offering that a grand jury was looking into the deliberate exposure, termed "outing," of CIA operative [spy] Valerie Plame, wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. It may be recalled that it was Wilson who called attention to the Niger yellowcake fraud used by Bush in his 2003 State of the Union Address.

Additionally, the CIA and the Bush administration relied heavily on "intelligence" supplied by Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress, a political adversary of Saddam's. Chalabi is an international political manipulator, and took advantage of the secret, and therefore easily fooled, government of President George Bush. Chalabi deliberately provided false intelligence to George Tenet's CIA that helped justify our illegal and unjust invasion of Iraq. Chalabi then earned some additional payoffs from the government of Iran, warning them that our CIA had broken their code. The Bush administration has funneled over $27 million of our hard-earned tax money to this despicable crook, another former big favorite of the Bush family and the Republican Party and its war hawks.

Bush, in seeking outside counsel, is preparing to respond to an outside criminal investigation. The White House Counsel cannot be used in a criminal matter that falls outside his constitutionally sanctioned duties. Bush could easily have ordered the leak stopped - these are his people, as are the Vice President and his staff. This is very damaging testimony indeed, and as usual, G. Bush's timing is precious! If the grand jury that is now in receipt of sworn testimony indicating Bush's complicity in outing a CIA operative, a very serious charge, hands up an indictment, Bush may face a similar situation that was faced by former President Bill Clinton, who was impeached for having committed perjury in a civil suit. This would be a criminal trial at the outset and a much more serious blow to the administration.

George Tenet's resignation is a classic case of "too little-too late." And by the way, Tenet did not resign; he was asked to leave. Considering that Bush and Tenet are good friends, it is obvious that Bush's handlers thought it best for the upcoming election. In the words of Tony Soprano - fahgedaboudit! Remember 1973 and Dick Nixon? This is much worse!

In an article entitled, "Report Blames Agencies Over Prewar Intelligence," New York Times reporter Douglas Jehl offers in his June 4th report, "George J. Tenet's resignation may have been hastened by a critical, 400-page report from the Senate Intelligence Committee that was presented to the Central Intelligence Agency for comment last month. Government officials and people close to Mr. Tenet said the classified report was a detailed account of mistakes and miscalculations by American intelligence agencies on whether Iraq possessed illicit weapons before the United States invaded last year. An unclassified version of the report is to be made public this month. Some close to Mr. Tenet said the report was among the factors that led him to resign from a post he had considered leaving for several years."

It is clear that criticism from the mildly effectual 9-11 Commission, combined with the Valerie Plame outing, combined with the Chalabi mess, and now the Senate report, that the CIA mess is boiling over. Bush isn't bright enough to distance himself from failure - he usually fires his good people and keeps the incompetent "yes" people on board. I have long offered that Tenet, as well as the FBI's Mueller, should have been fired long ago. And that was when I was still a Republican, culminating in 40 years of loyalty, and still holding out hope for Bush.

It's far too late now; and in fact, I take the same tack as many other dedicated Americans who were Republicans - we have now come to that irreversible conclusion: Anybody But Bush!


THEODORE E. LANG 6/6/04 All rights reserved. Ted Lang is a political analyst and a freelance writer.



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