|Bad News for Dubya|
by Tamara Baker
Monday, June 14, 1999 -- ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA -- What do the following stories have in common? Item: Anti-Clinton CIA insiders plant bogus Serb troop morale story in the New York Times Item: Bush's top strategist behind Internet domain name flap Item: Christian Coalition not a tax-exempt organization, says IRSAnswer: They all are bad news for George W. Bush.Unless you follow Brill's Content, you might not know about the first item -- yet. But if you thought that Brill's "Pressgate" piece was a world-shaker, this little ditty, in the upcoming July/August issue of Brill's Content, makes "Pressgate" look like a minor ground tremor in comparison.Here's an excerpt from the Brill's Content press release announcing the story: In an April 30 front-page story about the effects of the bombing in Kosovo, The New York Times used anonymous "government, military, and intelligence" sources to claim that NATO's efforts were actually strengthening Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. In the same article, headlined "Bombing Unites Serb Army As It Debilitates Economy; Yugoslav Rift Heals, NATO Admits," NATO Commander General Wesley Clark was quoted as acknowledging the strengthened forces. However, the quote was not from an interview Clark gave to the two Times reporters, but was actually lifted from a transcript of a press conference Clark conducted in Brussels three days earlier when answering a wholly different question.
A spokesman for Clark, Captain Steve Warren said, "we were all surprised by the quote, and I can tell you the General was very unhappy." (The complete transcript of the Clark press conference containing the actual question he was asked and the complete answer that included the quote in question can be found at www.brillscontent.com.)
The only other person quoted by name in the article was James Gow, a professor at Kings College in London, who was described by the Times as an expert on the Yugoslav army. Gow recalls that "when the two New York Times reporters came to see me, they said that they had had a briefing from people in the CIA, who were telling them that morale in the army was up since the bombing." Gow said that he is in contact with people in Yugoslavia and monitors Yugoslav military publications in which he had just read an article about "triumph over stress." He said "I told the Times that that meant there was trouble... I told them there was big, big trouble... my sense is there are real problems... I know there are thousands of desertions... I told them that... I told them I am in contact with people in Yugoslavia who tell me that."
But, Gow's only quote, at the very end of the Times article, was that "The NATO campaign had put the army in first place in the institutional command for the first time this decade." But Gow tells Brill that although that quote was accurate, it referred to the fact that "because the country is under attack, the army, which had been playing second fiddle to the police, is now in a better position...It had nothing to do with the thrust of their article."
In an interview with Brill, one of The New York Times reporters, Blaine Harden, confirms that Gow did, indeed, say he disagreed completely with the premise of their story and that he spent most of the interview saying so. In other words, the CIA planted a story damaging to Clinton's Kosova strategy in the New York Times.You know, the CIA and Bill Clinton have never really gotten along very well -- the CIA being chock-full of Reagan-Bush holdovers and all -- and their relationship hit a low point in February when Clinton released long-secret CIA information to the British on the CIA's successful efforts in the 1970's to replace democratically-elected Chilean President Salvador Allende with Augusto Pinochet -- the bloody-handed fellow the UK is holding for war crimes (click here for more).Suggestive, isn't it?Chew on this for size, too: it was the CIA's mission to tell the NATO pilots which targets in Kosova and Serbia to bomb -- and which not to bomb.The CIA were the ones who had NATO pilots bombing the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade -- which the spooks tried to blow off as a "mistake".Oh, yes: Dubya's dad ran the CIA during part of the 1970's, and has been associated with the outfit for many, many years.Speaking of Dubya, let's go to Item #2:I found this little passage in an article on Dubya by Dan Balz in the 06/11/99 Washington Post: "The question is, do we have to change the Republican Party?" said Karl Rove, Bush's top strategist. "The answer is 'yes,' but it is a fundamentally different task than the Democrats [had]." Did you catch this?!??!Karl Rove is the same guy who bought up all the "bushsux.com" domains so nasty Bush critics couldn't use them, remember?Rove's been billed -- up till now -- as just this li'l ole Texas bidnessman with no official connection to the Bush campaign. And now we find that he's Shrub's top strategist.This distancing of Shrub from Rove was especially evident when it was announced that Rove was reserving domain names like BushPataki.com and BushWhitman.com. Domain names, in other words, showing Bush's surname coupled with those of potential running mates: all of whom were GOP moderates.Why the big official distancing from Rove concerning Internet issues on the part of the Bush campaign?Because, at a time when Dubya is trying to make nice with the rabid right wing of the GOP -- whose support is critical if he hopes to win the Republican nomination, much less the election -- the news that George W. Bush is going to totally stiff the right-wingers in favor of one of those Commie GOP moderates would not go over very at all with the John Bircher types that make up the bulk of the GOP's primary voters.That's why there was this big pretense that Rove acted alone and on his own initiative, without checking with the Shrub.And you know what? That last bit may have a grain of truth to it.Rove, the power behind the throne, may very well NOT have checked with the Shrub! Does the puppermaster ask the puppet for permission to pull his strings? As Dubya's top strategist, it isn't a question of whether Rove was "only following orders": he was the guy issuing the orders in the first place!Poor Shrub. This little revelation couldn't have come at a worse time in his attempts to triangulate the right wing... and this is where Item #3 comes in:Pat Robertson, his point man with the religious right, the man whose word once caused millions to open their pocketbooks for the GOP, was forced to admit that his attempt to appeal the IRS's stripping of tax-exempt status from his Christian Coalition was doomed to failure.At the very minimum, this means that the Christian Coalition's program of using churches to pass out voter guides is dead. And it also means that the Christian Coalition's funds -- which have been shrinking over the years anyway -- are now going to be cut further, as the political arm won't have access to the coffers of the religious arm.Some folks are wary about the Christian Coalition's decision to split in two in order to keep up their political activities. One of my friends wrote me: "As much as I would like to share in your optimism, I do not believe it is warranted.... now we have a two-headed monster which is sidestepping responsibility for its wrongdoing."But this two-headed monster's political wing will be very cash-poor.It was supposed to support itself with the Bank of Scotland phone-bamking deal and Laura Ashley takeover, without needing any help from the religious arm (which can't financially support it for much longer anyway, IRS or no: see the next paragraph). When both those entities pulled out, Robertson was left high and dry.Remember also that the Christian Coalition routinely overstates its strength by a factor of about threefold. He's claimed a current membership of around 2 million, but in today's USA Today article on the Christian Coalition, it was mentioned that only around 600,000 Christian Coalition membership forms were actually printed and mailed for the Christian Coalition's most recent membership drive. The Christian Coalition's strength has been on the wane for years, and they don't have anywhere near the sort of funds to which they've been accustomed. Why else do you think Robertson sold off his Family Channel TV network to FOX? All it was doing was costing him a few tens of millions each year.And with Mr. Lynn and the IRS watching both foundations closely, they don't dare try anything sneaky, or they'll be just greasing the skids on their slide to oblivion. They won't be able to stump for the Shrub, because they'll have a tough enough time staying afloat.There you have it: Three stories, all breaking within the past few weeks, all of which are bad news for Bush Baby #1.Hey, Tipper: Need any help picking out White House china patterns?
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