Some who complain only about the Bush administration, also suspect that much more is wrong, but worry that dwelling on something overwhelming would just make themselves and others feel hopeless. There are ways to get around feeling overwhelmed that will let us learn from important history.
Cheney wants to be proud of it instead of hiding from it. So we are forced to finally come face with a dark history. If torture to some becomes acceptable, we will drift into a world where the police use torture on an unruly drunk. Some day people will tire of Democrats and if the Cheney wing is still involved in the opposition things could get totally out of hand.
I believe I can talk with insight, without fear-mongering, about a serious problem that touches on the troubling World II policy of working with the Mafia against Hitler, Contra-gate or money from drugs to support the Contras, without making readers feel hopelessly overwhelmed. Something that touches on Lyndon Johnson’s secret, and on supporters of Reagan, Bush Sr., and supporters of Cheney’s confident claims that a new terror attack will exonerate him.
Dick Cheney and others talk about the need to break the rules in a dire emergency. However historically the rules were broken in a dire emergency, then were broken for less and less reasons. The Mafia was during the desperate World War II years part of the Allied effort against Hitler. Then, out of habit, gangsters were used for less pressing reasons.
Dick Cheney’s statements that there will be another terror attack, unless the torturing of dangerous suspects is allowed, had amazingly high press coverage. Who is suggesting other reasons there might be a terror attack? Instead of, if it happens, Cheney’s logic being on everyone’s mind. Cheney is arguing from an isolated corner, but a corner with extended clandestine strings. Since I fear he represents a lot of those with clandestine power, I would like to encourage a broad response to Cheney’s interpretation of why a new terror attack might happen. People like Colin Powell are asking Cheney to cool it, and at some point even President Bush Jr. might as well.
To me, it seems we almost totally lost our freedoms after the JFK Assassination. But Johnson, after Kennedy was shot, turned around and became progressive, despite Johnson’s extremely reactionary past.
Cheney said things that I think need to be answered not ridiculed. Cheney claims enhanced interrogation techniques stopped another terror attack, it would be easier to refute if other reasons were suggested for bin Laden to be unable, or choose not to, attack again while Bush was President. Bin Laden vowed that there will be a huge second attack that will drive US troops out of Saudi Arabia. Maybe rather than enhanced interrogation, just removing US troops from Saudi territory, in 2003, made bin Laden delay an attack. Then Bush began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan to send them to Iraq. Bin Laden being much more concerned with his comrades in Afghanistan then with Shiite Iraq, maybe decided to wait some more. Since bin Laden was slowly succeeding in making the Muslim world militant what would his hurry be to schedule a wild card attack on the US? Bush W’s policy was a mix of appeasement and aggression starting out with ending the boycott of China over human rights, while ranting and raving about the “Axis of Evil” clearly avoided conflict with Russia and China, and I contend his cautions policy toward al Qaeda put off a terror attack against the US.
As far as torture goes, Khalid Mohammed’s seven and 9-year-old kids were terrorized to reveal where their father was,
An incident where a hardened terrorist has details that could find a ticking atomic bomb is far less likely, than a troubled witness coming forward voluntarily with vague information, but who doesn’t want to say too much for fear al Qaeda would then guess who told the US government. In a real life Jack Bauer drama sequel, as the bomb ticked, Bauer would be torturing a friendly witness to tell the rest of what he knows, as any sort of witness protection program becomes a thing of the past. Horrible things done in the desperate moment end up becoming routine — arrested drunk drivers should watch out if US foreign policy ever in the future officially sanctions torture.
To understand what Cheney’s confidence that history is on his side, it would be useful to go back not only to the Kennedy assassination, but to Eisenhower’s warning of the Military-Industrial-Complex, after Gary Powers was shot down in the middle of US and USSR peace efforts, due it seems to hawks, in the US, giving the U2 high attitude flight plan to the USSR to stop the peace process. Then further back to World War II where the Mafia was an integral part of the Allied efforts. The Mafia exposed Hitler’s agents who tried to infiltrate the docks where mostly Italians worked. See, the Mafia and World War II,
Cheney’s claim of doing things wrong for good reason has a rich history. In Europe the anti-German underground used to dump anti-Nazi slogans in school stairwells, similar to the Nazis in this country scrawling “Don’t fight a Jewish War” on the NY and Philadelphia subway walls. When Britain sent, the OSS, to infiltrated Europe, the underground began to sabotage.
Likewise, the first thing Hitler’s agents would have told US Nazis, would be to stop painting slogans and start slashing tires since there was a phony gas shortage with convenient Mafia fake gas-ration coupons covered up a very real rubber shortage.
During World War II, people who once opposed fighting Hitler but later became gung-ho became media stars. The Communists opposed fighting Hitler back during the Stalin-Hitler Pack days, and former pacifist Woody Guthrie. Woody Guthrie once sang rewritten antiwar songs the words changed to support the war songs on all three networks at once.
During World War II, the Internationalist Teamsters Union was threatening to call a wartime strike. So the government invited Jimmy Hoffa and the Mafia to seize total control. Then when the war ended, without thinking about long term consequence, the Mafia was invited to take over the entertainment industry, and then Joe McCarthy chased all the rest of the World War II supporting radicals out of the entertainment industry.
Thus a desperate necessity during World War II, working with the Mafia to stop Hitler, became a very destructive habit, national security people working with criminals. So in the future if a witness needs to be tortured to stop a ticking atomic bomb, the bad habits from that incident will be very destructive. During World War II lies were made up against Japanese-Americans to enhance the war effort. American Nazis were upset that Hitler signed a pack with what they saw as yellow savages, the Japanese. Charles Lindbergh tried to join the Air Force on the condition that he would only be sent to the Japanese theater. The more the war propaganda was racist against Japan, the more American Nazi’s would join the war effort. Making up lies about Japanese-Americans during the War made it convenient to lie about leftist infiltration during the McCarthy period.
Under Kennedy the Mafia felt betrayed that it was hired to kill Castro, then had it’s members hounded for arrest under Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Lee Harvey Oswald the accused lone assassin had an amazing number of both right-wing and Fair Play for Cuba contacts and many dealings with both the US and Russian governments. The Miami Cuban community was screaming that Castro killed Kennedy. Cuba put it’s armed forces of full alert for a US attack as all of Oswald’s left-wing contacts was about to become public, but after Jack Ruby shot him, Arlen Specter then a prosecutor, now a senator, suddenly came out with the single bullet theory, that covered up the false leads in the direction of Castro. See, tension with Cuba after Kennedy was shot,
Fear of war with Russia might have explained why Chief Justice Earl Warren and the Warren Commission and several close friends of Kennedy didn’t challenge the Single-Bullet-Theory,
Back during the Cold War many believed all kinds of garbage about communists. People would have been shown pictures of Oswald at rallies in support of the Cuban Revolution, and when he lived in the Soviet Union which could have got many mad at Castro and Communists. The Single-Bullet-Theory prevented that but the real conspiracy should have been persuaded long ago. But the American people, believing that secrets protect us, got in the way.
Senator Arlen Specter May 14, came out with some far reaching proposals on preserving our Democracy, such as Congress asking that ACLU appeals go directly to the Supreme Court bypassing the in-between courts, like it once did with the flag burning issue,
Senator Specter might have good reason to believe he can help perverse our Democracy. He seems to me to have amazing insight on what needs to happen, but perhaps he can help others understand his insights if he talked about what he knows about the Kennedy assassination history,
E. Howard Hunt on his death bed confession talked of Lyndon Johnson involvement, but had it all came out just before or after the US was about to go to war with Cuba then perhaps Russia as well, the right-wing coup might have been completely in charge of this country instead of joining Cheney in waiting for another terror attack with a possible future government that openly espouses wrong doing, instead of secretly doing it. See, E. Howard Hunt’s deathbed statement,
George W. in my mind was confused instead of part of the Kennedy Assassination, Reagan and Bush Sr. lingering conspiracy. He refused to take advise from his father, and instead said he’d listen to his father in heaven, and times took good advise from George Tenet and Colin Powell before Cheney and the neocons sabotaged them out of office, even helped Colin Powel stop a potentially nuclear war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. I opposed Bush’s war with Iraq, but had Bush not urged people not to deface Muslim businesses, or humbly visited a mosque there could have been even more tension between moderate Muslims and the US. It is possible for Bush W. to condemn Cheney’s explanation of why a future terror attack will happen.
Now back to discussing the present and some dreaming of al Qaeda inadvertently helping an anger at the enemy culture to return. What I fear is the criticizing of Cheney’s logic getting delegated to people like Colin Powell, while war protesters start criticizing Obama as a hypocrite. Then with, or without al Qaeda’s help, Cheney’s predictions come true.
Anyway it is possible that with Cheney’s and bin Laden’s help or that of the anthrax terrorists help, again pretending to be Muslim militants, our grandchildren will never hear of Jefferson or Thomas Paine, and know as much about the Constitution as today’s kids know of the Magna Carta, where there is compulsory prayer at every sports event, and even secular private schools, and women will have to tastefully wear an Amish head scarf when out in public, where the police will be as goonie as in Mexico, and of course jail or fines for insults against Christ or Jehovah, in a world somewhat like bin Laden had been hoped for.