I'm tired of talking about George W. Bush. I used to think he was simply the puppet of Dick Cheney; then someone convinced me that he did have a brain and was not Dick's puppet. I don't know and don't, any longer, care who ran the mechanism of whom. The fact is, the two of them brought such ignominy to the White House and its environs that it would seem that Washington, DC., is no more than salted earth today, unable to support life or nourish those who depend on it.
I often--for example, day in and day out--try not to think of the disaster those two miscreants left behind. I am beginning to learn something about British politics, which is only sensible since I live in the UK now. But this morning, BBC4 radio broadcast an interview with Valerie Plame Wilson, former CIA clandestine agent outed in a fit of pique by Deadeye Dick's well-exercised right hand, "Scooter" (perfect name for Dick's right hand, no?) Libby.
Amazingly, Libby served time for his unconscionable engagement in payback. Payback? For what?
Truth. In the Bush administration, any breath of truth allowed to exit the compound would have to be dealt with severely, rendered a body blow until it was not longer recognizable as truth, and their lies could supplant it.
Just so, Bush and Cheney and Libby and countless others mantracized the lie of the hour. One of those lies, according to Valerie Plame Wilson was that Iraq had WMDs and that Niger had supplied the essential "yellow cake." Not. Her husband, a retired Ambassador with first-hand knowledge, said Not. So they paid him back for his disloyalty, never mind his telling of truth, by ruining his wife's career. (Which of course leads to certain assumptions about the regard of the Bush-Cheney administration for the female gender.)
A subseequent lie was that the Wilson family was not in any mortal danger after Libby outed Valerie Plame Wilson, or at least they used that excuse when the CIA denied her request for protection. Unbelievable. Is this, then, the same government that believed the entire nation was in mortal danger because some Muslims had wreaked havoc and taken 3000 lives in New York City just a couple of years before? Is this the administration that was throwing money, ordnance and lives of young military personnel against countries that might be harboring that sort of terrorist? The entire nation was supposed to be at risk from deadly forces from overseas, but there was no reason to think anyone might want to harm Valerie Plame Wilson or her family after it had been made clear that her job was collecting information about national enemies for years. Is that right? No, it's clearly wrong.
It would be natural to ask, How stupid were Bush and Cheney, and how stupid did they think Americans are?
Two wildly different answers to those two question.
Bush and Cheney weren't stupid at all; they knew exactly what they were doing in engineering precisely what has come to pass; a nation deeply divided along ideological lines, or, more succintly, divided between those who drank the Bush KoolAid and chose to be frightened and therefore malleable to those who would force them into ignorant servitude, and those who were not afraid because they were educated, intelligent or wise. Those who were not afraid because they knew:
The world was always thus, fraught with dangers
It is not impossible that 9/11 was either and inside job or done with inside foreknowledge
It is tantamount to becoming serfs to trade personal and civic freedom for putative protection, especially from shadowy forces.
Considering the hubris and self-referential activities of the Bush-CHeney cabal, it is easy to believe that there never was a real threat from Middle Eastern terrorists, even if one accepts the Twin Towers as a bona fide case of two towers, built to withstand almost anything, collapsing although the fire did not engulf them and was still localized on the upper floors when the buildings fell like a house of cards with the LOWER decks kicked out by an unseen hand.
But let's leave that possibility. In the past ten years or so, most of the horrific acts in the US were carried out by US citizens and not even Muslim ones at that. I cite, most recently, the shooting of Rep. Gabriele Gifford, the killing of a judge and a little girl, and the wounding of many others. Where were the Muslims then? Living on the inhospitable alient landscape of Afghanistan, a nation that has been no more than rocks and camels and donkeys and men who would make other men and and all women into chattel for centuries, and whose land--despite having been fought for by superpowers from Alexander the Great to the USSR to America--is virtually pile of rocks and dust useful mainly to separate other places where there is a culture that depends on more than vicious subsistence.
So, Valerie Plame Wilson got no protection. She left government, although she claims she still encourages students to enter government service. The woman must be an eternal optimist, thinking that there will never be another government as unethical in its conduct and inimical in its intent toward the American people as was the execrable government of George W. Bush. Or else, it's one way to protect her hide from those inside who would do her harm. It is certain, the government that dumped her out of the boat is not going to wet its slimy hands helping her get to shore.
It was an interesting interview. The interviewer asked her is she might have been over-reacting to threats against her and her family. Her answer was clear, succinct and unemotional, precisely as one woud expect from someone who had worked within the stress of clandestine ops for years. Valerie Plame Wilson, I have concluded, is good indeed at what she does, not least of which is surviving a several-pronged attack by the government she was proud to serve, and emerging with her mind intact.
Bush and Cheney have so much to answer for, I and an army of bloggers could point out their misdeeds daily for the next decade and barely scatch the surface. Plame Wilson said she tells college students to study hard and graduate with the best education they can get because the nation will need brainy people who are well educated to solve the problems created in the past decade.
Plame Wilson is apparently an optimist. The problems created by Bush-Cheney include both the virtual destruction of primary education via No Child Left Behind, and the systematic dismantling of the US economic system via a wealth shift of major proportions away from the middle class and to the top 400, and the concurrent rendering of a great deal of America's population homeless or jobless, or both.
I wonder if that interview with the thoughful and well-spoken Valerie Plame Wilson would ever have happened on a US radio station. I think not. I think a Limbaugh or Hannity would have been employed to tear her limb from limb, to prove to the baggers of the nation that this patriotic woman is in fact a traitor despite her years of service, and because she shouldered her betrayal by her superiors better than almost any soldier might.
I would like to think that the absence of an American demand for accountability by Bush-Cheney is also a mass shouldering of betrayal in the upright manner of Valerie Plame Wilson. But I think it is not. I think it is the craven simpering of a nation of peasants convinced by their masters that, if they speak out, they will be denied even the scraps of dignity shown to them, as well as all means to live.
In short, America does not need to become the USSR. It already is. The peasants refuse to revolt. Sooner or later, there's going to be a gulag, and not for enemy combatants only, but for those patriots labelled as traitors by the traitors in a deadly real-life version of Mad Magazine's prescient Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy.