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Scott McClellan, enabler

Added: Thursday, June 5th 2008 at 5:15am by robertflynn
Related Tags: legal, politics


It required former White House spokesman and Bush toady Scott McClellan to shatter the near-sacred Big Lie of a “liberal” media.” He revealed conservative, even right wing, unpatriotic, “deferential, complicit enablers” of George W. Bush. If you’re “complicit” in an illegal war, torture, rendition, spying on US citizens and other crimes don’t dare call yourself a patriot. It doesn’t matter how many times you dodged the draft or how fervently you have encouraged your children to duck the military or how earnestly you begged them to serve their country by shopping and fudging on taxes like their role models. If you are complicit in crimes against the American people you are not a patriot. 


As governor, Bush was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice to conceal influence peddling when he stopped the legal investigation of a major donor. To avoid a deposition, how that man fears answering questions under oath, he gave a sworn statement denying he interfered in the investigation for political reasons and later contradicted it in front of reporters. His attorney general, now senator John Cornyn, settled the charges and a charge of influence peddling against himself out of court using taxpayer money. A self-proclaimed champion of “open” government, Cornyn sealed the records so taxpayers couldn’t know what they covered up or how much they paid to do it. That story remains beyond the pale of the US media, allowing Bush to pave the road to future disasters with lies. No reporter has asked Bush why he stopped the legal investigation or why he contradicted his sworndenial that he had done so.  


US intelligence learned in 1998 of a plot to attack the World Trade Center with hijacked airliners and in 1999 of a plot to attack the Pentagon and other government buildings in the same manner. Yet, no reporter has asked Bush why he did not put national defense on alert when he was told on August 6 that there would be a terrorist attack in the US in the next few weeks, why when the first hijacked airplane hit the WTC he did not order national defense into action, why after the second airplane hit the WTC and he was told the nation was under attack he did he not order national defense into action. Or, why he lied on 9/11 that there had been no warning and no one imagined airliners being used as bombs although he repeated the lies as late as 2004. 


While other media, particularly radio and television news, parroted the party line on Iraq’s imminent threat to the US, Knight-Ridder checked Bush’s evidence and found it lacking. Their stories received little attention. When leaked British documents, the Downing Street memos, disclosed that Bush “fixed” the facts to support his claims, the news went unreported for a month by US media that then claimed it was old news. The “liberal” New York Times would not permit its reporters and columnists to write that Bush lied. No reporter has asked Bush why he lied to start a war that Pope John Paul II called immoral and “a crime against peace.” 


A later leaked British document revealed that in an emergency meeting two months before his war on Iraq, Bush and Blair acknowledged that WMD would not be found because the UN had found none. Bush said they needed another pretext because he was making war anyway. Blair said he would go along. That disclosure, acknowledged by the British government, forced Blair out of office but in the US it remains a closely guarded secret allowing the administration and media pundits to lie that “everyone” believed Iraq had WMD when not even Bush and Blair believed it. No reporter has asked Bush why he knowingly started a war of aggression supported only by lies and a “deferential, complicit media.” According to the UN Charter a war of aggression is a crime and Bush and Blair knowingly committed it. No reporter has asked why Bush made America a criminal nation? Or, why the price of oil has goneup since we, or at least Halliburton, control the second largest oil pool in the world. Wasn’t that Cheney’s oil policy?


The United Methodist Church, the denomination to which Bush belongs, wrote an open letter asking him to repent of redemptive violence, the heresy that if you allow someone to kill 10 people, or 10,000 people or 10 million “evil” people the world will be a better place. But what if two or more people who believe in redemptive violence don’t target the same people? Maybe that’s why it’s a heresy. Or, maybe it’s because the Bible says you reap what you sow. But the Bible may have been wrong about that because when Rev. Jeremiah Wright said that he was called a radical fanatic. Just as Jesus was. Maybe that’s why no newspaper would publish the letter and when the Methodist Church placed it as an ad in The Christian Century it was as invisible to reporters as it was to the Christian Right that believes in redemptive violence. At least spokesmen like John Hagee and Pat Robertsondo.   


Bush required carrier-qualified Navy pilots to fly him to an aircraft carrier so he could preen as “The Accomplisher” in a borrowed flight suit. He had thrown his flight suit in the garbage, along with his manhood, when he ducked out of the Texas Air National Guard. He never put the flight suit back on because he never obeyed a written order to report for a flight physical that may have required a drug test. But George Bush ignored orders, even written orders, the way he ignored the Constitution, the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention, and the military had begun required drug testing. As Scott McClellan revealed, Bush confessed he couldn’t remember whether he used drugs or not. Sounds like a confession to me but no reporter has asked Bush about it. 


The media swooned at Bush in a grownup uniform. Hearts palpitating reporters gushed that he had “landed on the carrier.” Sadly, the media are so little acquainted with the military that they think all military pilots are carrier-qualified or at least all Navy pilots. That is a highly exacting skill and you have to be current, meaning you have to make a specific number of carrier landings within a specific length of time or re-qualify. The media’s military analysts, retired generals and colonels, were selected, vetted and briefed by the Pentagon. They knew that Bush “landed” on a carrier the same way I landed in Paris, as a passenger, but they shamefully kept quiet to keep their job.  


I asked Col. Hackworth to request the names of the Navy pilots who flew Bush to the carrier. Their names are highly classified for “national” security. It might frighten Americans, encourage the enemy and confuse the media if the carrier pilots talked about their selection and preparation for what must have been a memorable flight. They weren’t Air Force One pilots and they didn’t have a two mile runway.


Hillary Clinton flew to Afghanistan, met with Aghan and military officials, flew to Baghdad, walked the streets and met with Iraqi officials. That required Bush to sneak out of Crawford in the middle of the night because he told Rove that if anyone saw him leave he was going to cancel his flight to Iraq. Apparently, terrorists had followed us home and were camped outside Crawford or Fort Hood. He arrived at a tightly secured base in darkness, and wearing the uniform required for a photo op, posed with a plastic turkey as though serving Thanksgiving dinner before breakfast. The troops had been screened to be sure no one asked why they were fighting in Iraq when they had volunteered to fight terrorists. He left before daylight.


Note: Hillary did not have to dodge sniper fire in Bosnia. The media got that right but forgot to report that she had to fly in a military aircraft that could make a quick corkscrew landing and everyone on the airplane, including her, was required to wear a flak jacket because they expected enemy fire. She also took a military helicopter to two military bases. If you’ve never flown in a helicopter over territory where the enemy is known to hide, don’t smirk. Bush hasn’t.  


The “liberal” New York Times concealed its evidence of illegal spying on US citizens by the administration for more than a year in order not to negatively influence an election. Informed voters might not liked the government spying on them. The Times released the story only because one of its own reporters, unable to report it in the newspaper for which he worked, had disclosed it in a book. No reporter has asked Bush why he spied on US citizens and what he was looking for. Something with which to blackmail those who opposed his policies? Or, contributed less to his campaign funds than they should? According to the LA Times, “The number of Americans being secretly wiretapped or having their financial and other records reviewed by the government has continued to increase” but prosecutions for terrorism are down, “declining 19% last year alone.” Either it’s not working or terroristsare not what Bush is after. Perhaps Bush is more fearful of unfrightened citizens than he was of drug testing.  


The deliberate outing of a CIA agent had only a few years earlier been declared “the most insidious kind of treason” by a president, and that characterizes his devious son, but to the media it was, yawn, the usual underhanded politics of personal destruction. Rather than asking Bush why he sacrificed national security for the personal pleasure of punishing a truth-teller some in the media denied that Valerie Plame was undercover. The CIA said she was and had asked the FBI to investigate her exposure. Some pundits criticized her husband for reporting the truth because it exposed the lie that Bush had knowing told to Congress and We, the people in a State of the Union address. And what was his answer as to why he lied? George Tenet had failed to tell him again that it was a lie.


No reporter has asked Bush why he lied that we don’t torture when he approved of torture. No reporter has asked why opium production in Afghanistan is at a record high and US Marines are ordered not to destroy the poppy fields. Why the VA refuses to obey a 14-year old presidential directive requiring them to help vets register to vote? Does Baghdad Bush fear those who volunteered to fight for their country rather than hiding behind yellow ribbons and lapel flags?


Veterans for Common Sense (veteransforcommonsense.org) has discovered that more than 43,000 soldiers declared “medically unfit” for combat by doctors have been sent back to Iraq or Afghanistan. More than 58,300 soldiers are involuntarily enlisted because of stop-loss; 500,000 have been deployed twice or more into combat, which increases the risk of PTSD by 50%. About one half of one percent of Americans have served in Bush’s war on terror, yet, Bush was reelected in 2004 by those who approved of the war. How can you, like Bush and Cheney, support a war and refuse to fight in it or pay for it? No reporter has asked Bush why his family, including his daughters, or the family members of those in his administration and congress and family members of the millions who supported his war on Iraq refuse to serve in it. Is it because he and Cheney are their role models? No reporter has askedwhy the US paid $135 million to soldiers of other nations who either willingly or unwillingly fight the war that not even Bush’s daughters believe is as important as shopping.


I’d like to ask members of the media, especially the corporate moguls who control the media outlets, why do you claim 30,000 US casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan when Veterans for Common Sense forced the Pentagon to reveal that there are more than 72,000 casualties, 300,000 have been treated at VA hospitals, 288,000 have filed claims for military-related disabilities? Why do you claim there may be as many as 100,000 civilian casualties in Iraq when two years ago a study that the British government reluctantly accepted reported more than 500,0000 and a recent UN survey of Iraqis reported more than a million. Okay, let’s say it’s wrong by 50%, 75% and only 250,000 civilians have been killed. Is that old news? 


Did it seem ethical to you that NBC and MSNBC advocated war when their corporate owner, General Electric, is a major defense contractor? Was it patriotism that motivated you to prop up George Bush when you saw his inadequacy, incompetence and inability to act that was a precursor of Katrina? Did you really believe that the heroes who fought in World War II, stood by their guns during the Cold War, and fought the hot wars of Korea and Vietnam were terrified by nineteen hijackers or was it only the chicken vultures in the White House and Pentagon? Did you really believe they were afraid of Saddam Hussein who had no air force, no navy and a degraded army with obsolete equipment or was it only Bush and Cheney and perhaps yourselves.


Scott McClellan is being criticized, chastised, castigated, as he should be, but not by the “deferential, complicit enablers” in the administration, congress and the media trying to cover their rears for being accomplices to crimes. Yes, McClellan should have resigned when he first learned Bush was lying and revealed the truth then, but when he accepted the job how could he not know he would be chief enabler of Bush’s lies? 


But better to bash McClellan than Bush. McClellan did a prostate self-examination and grew the necessary equipment. He became a man. Clarke, Shinseki, O’Neill, Fallon were already men and couldn’t bear Bush’s repeated bluster, blither, bluff and blink. McClellan has put his duty to the nation over his loyalty to The Decider. He has taken responsibility for some of his errors. Not all of them, but then he doesn’t have the blinkered media to fight his battles. Or snarling, mouth-frothing, obscenity-shouting Dick Cheney doing his impersonation of the Christian Right. 


Why didn’t the other members of the administration resign rather than being confederates in crimes against the nation? Why weren’t the media saying that Bush was a liar and demanding that he be impeached for starting an illegal war, for rendition, for torture, for illegal spying on American citizens? Why weren’t Republican and Democratic members of congress impeaching him? Talk about dishonoring the flag, the Bush administration is a blot on the honor of a once honorable country. And although George Bush is never likely to be punished for his crimes, or even admit them, this dishonor will not disappear from world memory or our national identity. God bless America? We can only pray that God will not damn us for our crimes. Or pray that God instead will destroy us for a gay parade. www.robert-flynn.net

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