The APJ Mailbag
Re: Nixon & Watergate vs. Bu$h II, Bush I & Iran-Contra....
Date: June 17, 2002
As I listen to people recounting Richard Nixon, I am struck by how very similar George W. Bu$h is to this crook.
The Watergate alumni talk of how secretive, paranoid, hatefilled, fearful, uncertain, Nixon was. They talk of the enemy list he maintained, how he trampled the Constitution with his secret police and how he used government agencies to spy on those he thought were against him.
If we hadn't had the tapes, Nixon would have probably manipulated his way out of the mess he created. You know, like Bu$h used others to take the fall for the Iran/Contra scandal, saying they were "out of the loop" or they knew absolutely nothing about what Ollie North, John Pondexiter, McFarlane, and others were doing as they sold arms to Iran and allowed drugs to be sold on the streets of L.A. to fund the Contras.
Now, we have George W. Bu$h "deciding" that we are going to overthrow Saddam -- without any approval from the Congress. He just wrote an executive order to have this done. Bu$h operates just like Nixon, who didn't want any other branch of government to know or interfere with what he was doing -- no checks and balances for them, they want to rule the country like a dictatorship. Who was it on the news today that said only Bu$h and no one else could decide who was unlawful combatant, as he did in the case of John Lindh?
At least Nixon didn't have us going to war with 60 different countries at one time the way Bu$h is intent on doing. He is taking all the taxpayers' money to support his many wars on terrorism and to hell with the rest of the country's needs. Now, all of a sudden, Saddam is the greatest threat to America. Just a few months ago bin Laden was the greatest threat. We haven't even caught him yet and Bu$h wants go off half cocked and attack Iraq. When is this idiot going to realize he is in way over his head? He keeps listen to those old cold warriors from his daddy's day and they are leading him and the country down the garden path.
What is truly pathetic is that none of these reich wing Republicans can seem to see that Bu$h is leading this country into total disaster!
TO: The Washington Press Corps
Re: Karl Rove / Operation Distract & Divert
Date: June 16, 2002
The pattern behind White House "News" becomes more and more evident every day. The louder and more distracting the story lines coming out of the Bush Administration.
The greater the White House fear -- the greater the threat from stories that are being drowned out.
All of this is part of Karl Rove's strategy for management of the news:
Operation Distract & Divert -- O.D.D.
ALL of the current news that is White House related is designed to eclipse stories related to the big questions the Bush Administration desperately wants to avoid!
What did the Bush White House know about the September 11th Attacks? And when did they know it? And more important -- What information did they ignore?
And MOST important -- WHY did they ignore the warnings they received?
The simple answer to this question is probably the most damning indictment of all:
Un-Curious George just wasn't interested in warnings about terrorist attacks. Anti-Terrorism wasn't on the Bush Administration's "to do" list.
On May 17th, Barton Gellman wrote in the Washington Post:
Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet had been "nearly frantic" with concern since June 22, according to one frequent interlocutor, and a written intelligence summary for national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said on June 28: "It is highly likely that a significant al Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks." By late summer, one senior political appointee said, Tenet had "repeated this so often that people got tired of hearing it.
The Bush White House was tired of Terror Warnings -- according to a senior political appointee.
In other words, the number one job of any Commander in Chief -- to protect and defend the United States of America -- was BORING to the Bush White House.
Question: was the "senior political appointee" quoted here -- Karl Rove?
Remember -- part of what made the August 6th briefing remarkable -- is that it was delivered by a junior CIA staffer, instead of the normal briefer -- George Tenet, Director of the CIA.
SO -- if George Tenet had been "Nearly Frantic" since June 22nd; and he gave Condi Rice a written intelligence summary on June 28, stating that a significant al Qaeda attack is in the near future was highly likely; and George Tenet was personally briefing George Bush EVERY DAY -- how is it that none of his concerns, or any of the other warnings of impending terrorist attacks -- prompted the Bush Administration to take ANY action -- to protect the American People?
These are questions that Karl Rove and the Bush White House will go to ANY lengths to suppress -- even going so far as to "leak" an apparently classified power point analysis of the Fall Election.
Other stories fit the pattern. Consider the Ashcroft announcement of capture of Jose Padilla, timed to eclipse the Congressional testimony of Richard Clarke -- the Anti-Terrorism Czar who chaired the Anti-Terrorism conference -- on July 5, 2001.
At a briefing convened BY THE WHITE HOUSE, and held in the WHITE HOUSE Situation Room -- it was Clarke who warned "something spectacular" was going to happen.
What did Condi Rice know about this conference? Did she attand? If not -- why not?
What did Mr Bush know about this conference?
And if they plead ignorance -- what does that say about their competence?
What I find most incredible about this week's news -- I haven't seen one report on the testimony of Richard Clarke --
Which in itself, is mute testimony to the effectiveness of Karl Rove's strategy.
Consider the news we have seen this week -- Ashcroft announces the arrest of Padilla -- Wolfowitz criticizes Ashcroft for grandstanding -- the press buzzes about the breakdown of the vaunted White House control of information -- and by week's end, the political class -- especially the Democrats -- are all abuzz about the carelessness of the Rove Mehlman team for losing a "sensitive" political data file (a data file that is more revealing for it's spin that the secret strategies it contains.)
On this so-called "lost" file -- it's time to walk back the cat. Compare the arc of the story (when -- where -- and how -- it was revealed) with the content of the file --
And compare that -- with the stories that were not covered in the same news cycles.
Does Maureen Dowd "get" it? In her Sunday column, she writes of the "too-good-to-be-true" luck of a Democratic Senate Staffer finding the disk in Lafayette Park -- and the lame content and lack of sophistication of this data.
Well -- guess what, Maureen?
It IS too-good-to-be-true -- the question is, does the media have the sophistication and analytical skills -- to notice?
Anytime the media is talking about an inside the beltway political story -- be it Ashcroft; or Wolfowitz; or the amazing dexterity of the White House news management -- or the apparent breakdown of said news management dexterity --
Anytime this happens -- anytime the chattering class is chattering about beltway buzz --
The oxygen has effectively been sucked out of the room, and REAL stories are being ignored.
Dan Schorr -- on NPR's Saturday Weekend Edition -- obviously "gets" it. From this perspective, there are not many others who share his insight. The past 10 days have been a triumph of "change the subject" news management for the Bush White House.
But it's just another day at the office -- a small series of O.D.D. moments -- for Karl Rove.
Karl Rove is widely regarded as a political genius -- A chess master, who plans at least ten moves ahead. If this is so -- what is his strategy?
With the May 15th eruption of the "Bush Knew" story -- that Bush was briefed by the CIA on August 6th about the threats from Al Qaeda -- Karl Rove and the Bush White House effectively lost control of the news.
The current buzz about their all too human failings is a small price to pay -- to distract and divert the attention of the media.
What is the payoff -- in this rook sacrifice gambit?
For the press -- it's juicy gossip about Karl Rove and the Bushies --
For Karl Rove -- it's small, effective, ODD moments -- in a very long process.
Of course, it's not only 9/11 questions the Bush Rove team wants to avoid -- the list is almost too long to enumerate.
Some are being investigated. *
Some have been reported, but generally ignored by the mainstream media. **
And some have been completely ignored. ***
* Enron's influence on Cheney's Energy Task Force --
** Enron's influence in Pre 9/11 negotiations with the Taliban for a Trans-Afghan Oil Pipeline --
* Enron's manipulation of the energy markets in the year 2000;
*** in order to benefit the candidacy of George W Bush --
** Ashcroft's whitewash of Republican Election Fraud in Florida
*** Karl Rove's Texas blueprint for the Florida False Felons List Voter Purge Scandal --
** Ashcroft's foot dragging in the Anthrax Investigation --
** The Bush Administration's cover up of the crash of Flight 93
...and all of the other Bush Administration Policies that serve the interests of corporations and the ultra rich -- to the detriment of the American People.
In light of all this -- when the media pays attention to anything else -- even the foibles of the Bush Administration -- it's good news, from Karl Rove's point of view.
In light of all this, it's good to remember: the news you hear from the White House is Karl Rove playing the Mighty Wurlitzer for all it's worth.
Date: June 16, 2002
I'm damn well certain that Padilla was taken at the point of maximum value to the Bush administration.
He was probably faltering and they picked him up before he could turn himself in -- and no, I'm not likely to believe what I'm told by the "administration" about the guy.
I'm not stupid enough to think our "rule of law, freedom and democracy" extend to the foreign countries we wander in to.
I already know by experience that our rule of law, freedom and democracy don't even encompass America itself (children in America are as brainwashed as those anywhere). What I'm trying to say is that one can be held against one's will and forced into temporary (self preservative) compliance with just about any scheme in the absence of ALTERNATIVES.