Friday, April 02, 2004

Can You Spell "Arrogance"? - The White House Staff Can

Today's NYT today gives us another sterling example of the unbelievable arrogance of this Administration:

"Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said some Clinton administration documents had been withheld because they were "duplicative or unrelated," while others were withheld because they were "highly sensitive" and the information in them could be relayed to the commission in other ways. "We are providing the commission with access to all the information they need to do their job," Mr. McClellan said

Let me repeat McClellan's most poignant phrase from that little gem: "We are providing the commission with access to all the information they need to do their job." Clearly independent commissions, congressional committes, agency investigators, members of the press, and the pubilc all have at least this in common, Bush and his plutocrats know what it is we need to know. Got that? We can save billions! We ought to be able to dispense with most executive branch agencies, all congressional committees and subcommittees, possibly with Congress itself. We can sleep soundly at night knowing that the most secretive and manipulative Administration in modern American history is telling us just what we need to know.

Everyone in this country should feel visceral disgust at McClellan's condscending arrogance--especially as it is undoubtedly a clear reflection of the attitude at the very top. Don't ask questions and don't doubt what we say--we will tell you what you need to know (and ONLY what we think you need to know).

Well, among other things, I think we NEED to know who revealed that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative. The White House staff has not told us that. In fact, since whoever did it is guilty of a FELONY, you would think that the FBI would need to know. Someone (or more than just someone) inside George W. Bush's White House knows the answer to that question--but the FBI doesn't, Congress doesn't, the CIA doesn't, and the American people don't.

No. This statement is wonderfully revealing. The struggle for political control of the Congress and the Presidency in 2004 will turn on several issues, but at the core, we are facing a choice between arrogance, secrecy, arm-twisting, deception, and abrogation of responsibiilty and a chance to do some serious housecleaning (and senate cleaning). The saying "all politicians lie" must be as old as human civilization and no less true today than it undoubtedly was in ancient Egypt. But it is incredibly dangerous to believe that all lies are the same and that the evil that results is the same no matter what the liars are lying about.

War costs a great deal more than... What was it the Bill Clinton's heinous crimes were supposed to be "costing" the American people? Oh yes, he was GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY of one great sin and one great crime: he lied to the American people under oath. By choosing not to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about his personal life, President Clinton had to be impeached to protect the integrity of the Office of the President of the United States. Since January 2001, we have all been playing a different game. The cost of one part of that game is over $100 billion and lives of more than 580 US citizens and the lives of thousands of non-combatant, unarmed foreign nationals. And the game we are playing now is a semantic shell game.

The fact that so many citizens of this nation seem to prefer deception and arrogance in the service of war and killing just to get even with "them" (without knowing very clearly who "they" are) to honesty, integrity, and truth is the most frightening aspect of this whole sad time in America.

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