Friday, October 02, 2009

We’ll Never Know; Just How Much We’ll Never Know


Last year, I wrote a three part post focused on the significance of an October 23, 2001 Justice Department legal memo. It was a legal opinion penned by John C. Yoo in response to the Bush Administration’s need for clarification on just what they could and couldn’t do in the days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

What John C. Yoo did, in a duplicitous violation of every Conservative ethic and philosophical tenet that George W. Bush and his cadre claimed to believe in, -was not address the Constitution as it was, but as the Bush Administration would have liked it to be. Yoo made rationalizations for circumventing Constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure and later attempted to define torture so narrowly that Rom Saxon’s Fu Manchu might well have found himself within legal limits in any of his gory exploitation movies.

We’ll never know; just how much we’ll never know, about the Bush administration’s backroom, nighttime attack on our Republic because too many of us were reduced to unquestioning, gullible, submissive fools in fear of what else some religious fundamentalist billionaire hiding in caves would do to us after the towers fell and 2,740 people were murdered. We Americans, driven by a paralyzing fear of the unknown, looked to the incompetent dysfunctional leaders in the White House who let us down in the first place.

How a President who was on vacation for nearly a month prior to the attack on the World Trade Center inspired blind loyalty that bordered on worship by American citizens is something that will never be understood or explained fully by anyone. Just as baffling was the climate we endured; in which no person could raise any questions about the obvious incompetence of the Bush Administration despite their increasingly ridiculous track record. We spent eight years hoping for the best and enduring the worst.

Now there is more evidence coming in the declassified words of our former Vice President himself.

Yesterday Emmet G. Sullivan of Federal District Court ruled that the FBI must reveal “much” of its notes the 2004 voluntary interview with Vice President Dick Cheney during the investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity; -that small criminal matter concerning Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife, a CIA agent who became a target of the Bush administration because Wilson wouldn’t stop pointing out that Cheney, Rumsfeld and others were lying about intelligence concerning Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. “Much” is what they are offering Americans in the place of the whole truth, instead of the facts in the matter.

We’ll never know; just how much we’ll never know about what the Bush White House did under the cover and privilege of national security and the pretense of defending the nation. The Obama Administration refuses to let the Justice Department do its job, -if it will lead to scandal… but all crime is scandal my friends, and so certain avenues to the facts and the truth will remain closed to us until they become inconsequential. Too many of us are relieved at this. Too many Americans are content to not know the extent, the horror of the Bush Administration’s abuses fearing that a condemnation of them is an indictment on all of us… The roads to sober, honest redemption are often paved with regrets and the broken glass of our fragile ideals.

We’ll just have to be tougher than that.

We must never be afraid of the facts, because when we are, opportunists are free to bend reality and recreate the world according to their own self-interests. Preferring to argue about imaginary Communists in our midst, instead of the power hungry elites who operate beyond the reaches of the laws we insist protect and bind us as a country. We become fodder for them all, big and small when we fear what they tell us to fear, and see only what they tell us to see.

So I’ll leave you this Friday afternoon with the poignant words of a man who I trust is keeping company with Blake, Whitman, Poe, Yeats, Keats, Tennyson, Twain and Jimi Hendrix.

In 1993, Bill Hicks said to us:

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly colored and it’s very loud and it’s very fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, -or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “Hey – don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride.”

And we… kill those people!

“Shut him up.”

“We have a lot invested in this ride.
Shut him up.
Look at my furrows of worry.
Look at my big bank account and my family.
This just has to be real.”


It’s just a ride.

But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, did you ever notice that? -And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter because: It’s just a ride.

And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice.
No effort,
-no work,
-no job,
-no savings and money.
A choice, right now, between fear and love.

The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one.

Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride: Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defense each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world,
--which it would many times over, -not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in
peace.”

***


Have a great weekend. Remember to speak the truth if you know it and are able. Silence is not honesty my friends. Sometimes it's downright suicidal.

-SJ

13 comments:

Beach Bum said...

Still suffering from my visit to the dentist today but this quote from Billy Shakespeare comes to mine.

“The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves if we are underlings.”

But in this case maybe it should saying something to the effect: The fault does not lie with our leaders but those who elected them.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I'm definitely pissed at Bush, SJ. But I'm also more than a little peaved at those 27 Democratic senators who voted to give this neophyte a pass/blank check. And, yes, as bad as the waterboarding was, I have to tell you. I'm almost as disgusted at Cheney's smugness, after the fact. I mean, how do they know that they were getting useful information? Was KSM just corraborating what they already knew (and, yes, wanted to hear)? Or was it verified later (in which they wouldn't have known that it was useful AT THE TIME!)? The whole thing is frigging nuts, in my opinion.

SJ said...

@Beach Bum,
sorry to hear about your current Dental odyssey/torture... Once had three wisdom teeth out at once in a very long surgery. Luckily they gave me enough meds to ride out the 4-day hell.
As for Cassius' admonishing Brutus... I wonder what he'd say about today's media and its role in today's society.

SJ said...

@Will,
it's not knowing all the details that worries me.
Historically everytime there's been a veil of secrecy surrounding an administration, the ultimate revelations are criminal to say the least. As for Cheney and the others, it's clear they had no respect for the Constitution or the people of the nation and the world.
-SJ

Jack Jodell said...

SJ,
You make a good point about how it will be nearly impossible to know all we really should know about the operations of the Bush/Cheney regime. For they were liars and sneaks who managed to cover up almost all of their sordid activities. To say they were diabolical and evil is being kind.

Now, 8 1/2 months removed from their constant bullshit, I think I'm finally starting to sort them out.
1. They were corporatist, big government conservatives who believed in and practiced socialism for corporations and the rich, but capitalism for everyone else.
2. From day one, they had the goal of occupying Iraq partly to get revenge against Saddam Hussein, but mostly to get their hands on and be in close proximity to, Iraqi oil.
3. They were asleep at the wheel on 9/11, but once it happened, they saw a golden opportunity to pass both their corporatist domestic agenda as well as obtain their foreign policy objectives via preemptive military action. For they knew that, in times of outside attack, this nation always rallies around its President.
4. They utilized fear to maintain electoral power and pass questionable legislation like the Patriot Act and other such nonsense which they used to further consolidate their power. They vastly exaggerated the strength and organization of Al Qaeda to make it seem as a powerful monolithic enemy akin to the Soviet Union in the Cold War.
5. They had no clear exit strategy from Iraq, and actually wanted to maintain a permanent military foothold there in the Middle East.Doing so would make easier a regional domination and would also provide ongoing massive corporate welfare to the military/industrial complex.
6. Like all gangsters, they were secretive and conducted their operations on the sly.

We must never again allow such an administration, but we may be doomed to have one if Obama doesn't get smart and INVESTIGATE and PROSECUTE!

SJ said...

@Jack,
Right on, especially number 3.
Yours might be the most comprehensive and clear assessment of their modus operandi:
-Too often people read deep conspiracies into everything the Bush administration did but the truth of it all is: it just wasn't that complicated. They just lied a lot and went as far as they could and as Will "take no prisoners" Hart pointed out -they had help from Democrats, -Democrats who were too scared of having drawn-out, public assinine arguments about "who loved their country more?" -when those same Democrats should've pointed out that those greedy elitists weren't fit to lead.
A friend and fellow filmmaker Mark Cassar recently said that if the cancer hadn't gotten him back in 1994, the last eight years would've killed Bill Hicks. I still would've liked to have had him around to hear his take on it all. He would've have loved the "Lord of the Rings" trology in any case so at least there's that.
-SJ

MadMike said...

I really think Jack has reflected my current thinking with his brilliant analysis, however:

I am of two minds on this issue. The fact is the Congress has a lot to do these days in order to complete the president's most worthy and forward thinking agenda. Do we need to have them debating this issue ad infinitum? It will be the health care bill redux, but with more vitriol. It will occupy the news cycles to the exclusion of all else. The Congress, already doing as little as possible, will be refocused and nothing will get done.

Secondly, as Will so aptly pointed out this was not a partisan issue. There were plenty of Democrats who knew what was going on.

Finally, SJ, you are right. It was not a masterful conspiracy, otherwise it could not have been unraveled. It was just a bunch of power brokers hungry for more power. They lied and lied a lot. They lied so much others had to call their dogs. Sadly, but not surprisingly, they did it in the name of heaven and thought themselves crusaders, with Bush leading the charge on his big white horse.

That being said I loved Lord of the Rings. I have watched it a dozen times. Pure and absolute escapism with the good guys winning, but not without a really hard fight.

In conclusion SJ I would be honored if you would become a contributor over at my place. It is a "post when the mood strikes you" environment. The same goes for Jack. Beach is already a contributor and Will never comes by anymore....

SJ said...

@Mad Mike,
I hear that. I really do. You're pointing out a reality I can't ignore or dispute convincingly.
--But I'd hate to think that Cheney and others are slipping by just because the Obama administration and much of the Congress and Senate is now fighting over, or dealing with many of the problems the Bush administration created or ignored for eight years.
I mean, how lucky can these crooks keep on getting?:
--Are their failures so huge that we have to focus on the effects of their criminal ineptude and corruption without prosecuting the Bush administration itself?
It's like if I caused a car pile up so huge on the interstate that the cops on the scene have to say: "Forget it kid, we have to use our handcuffs to pull everybody to safety, just get the hell out of the way and try not to kill anybody else."
I concede the reality you point out. I just really hate it, Mad Mike.

"The Lord of Rings" was the last book Bill Hicks (re-)read before passing back into the fabric of the Universe. I watched the trilogy again recently (and will return to the actual books again someday)and this many years later I came away with the following message or moral from Tolkien:
"It's a sin not to hope."
Mad Mike, I'm honored at the invitation and humbly accept.
-SJ

MadMike said...

Wonderful SJ!! If you don't already have one you will need a Google G-Mail account. It is simple to open and you don't have to use it after I extend the invite to you. Just go to Google and follow the directions. Here is my email address:

madmikes1@gmail.com

Just send me a note when you get your Google mail and you will then receive a formal invite from blogger. I am excited that you have agreed to join our team. We have a diverse and interesting group. I am sure you will have fun.

SJ said...

@Mad Mike,
excellent. I just emailed and I'll check both email accounts for the gmail notice/invite.
-SJ

Jack Jodell said...

Mad Mike, you have some very valid points about the Dems having contributed to the Bush mess with their fearful compliance. And yes, Congress has plenty of other important stuff to tackle. But at some point, the investigation and prosecution of the Bush squad MUST occur!

I, too, am humbled and honored to be invited to contribute to your site. Give me a couple of days and I'll be in touch. My plate is pretty full for the next 3-4 days, but I WILL contact you. Thank you, sir, you are a gentleman and a scholar!

Manifesto Joe said...

My compliments on using a quote from a fellow Texan, the late Mr. Bill Hicks. This place, Texas, has actually spawned some odd, hip ones here and there. I think places like this can actually do that in mysterious ways, sort of like saints somehow surfacing from the muck of Czarist Russia.

SJ said...

@Manifesto Joe.
Very true. Bill Hicks was with us far too briefly.
-SJ