by Charley James --
Where is a pair of dirty, old shoes when I need them?
I want to hurl a pair after it became official yesterday when reality was confirmed by no less a reliable White House source than the president himself. George Bush summed up his view of how his policies affected the world over the last eight years in two words, “So what?”
The confirmation – we always knew it was true but our suspicions couldn’t be proven – came in an interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz, also a regular on Washington Week In Review:
BUSH: One of the major theaters against al-Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al-Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al-Qaeda was hoping to take –
RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.
BUSH: Yeah, that’s right. So what?
So what? So what!
Coupled with Dick Cheney’s confession in a separate interview that he would invade Iraq all over again even if he knew – which, by the way, he did – there were no WMDs or nukes anywhere to be found, we finally grasp the disdain with which The Current Occupant and his pals view the people of the United States and the rest of the planet. So what, indeed.
Ignore pre 9/11 intelligence about a coming al Qaeda attack on the United States: So what?
Let Osama bin Laden slip away when he was within sight of Army Rangers in Tora Bora? So what?
Cook the intelligence on Iraq WMDs and lie the country into war: So what?
Change the justification for the war five times: So what?
Kill 4,000+ Americans, wound another 50,000, and be responsible for the deaths or injuries to more than 650,000 Iraqis: So what?
Wordsmith the meaning of international treaties and US law to allow such intense torture the SS would be proud: So what?
Destroy America’s standing, moral authority and reputation in the world: So what?
The Never-Ending List
The legacy of the Bush Administration will be a depressing, never-ending list of “So what’s?” And not just its foreign policy; Bush’s domestic triumphs are filled with as many “so what’s?”
The economy. Energy policy. The environment. Science. Medicine. Education. Civil rights. Civil liberties. Health care. The poor, working poor and needy. The elderly. Children. Fraud, waste and corruption. Converting fringe religious ideas into public policy. Soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen. Veterans. Destroying the middle class. Federal law. International law. An ideologue judiciary. Shredding the Bill of Righs.
So bloody what.
The day before Bush’s ABC interview, a Pentagon inspector general’s report revealed that former Defense Secy. Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Tommy Franks, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and other high ranking officials were personally responsible for authorizing using torture on al Qaeda, Iraq and Afghan prisoners. There were bad apples alright, but they weren’t corporals at the bottom of the barrel as Rummy insisted when the Abu Ghraib disgrace became public. Remember how Rumsfeld sat before a Congressional committee claiming to be “disgusted” and “sickened” when he saw the photos? I guess Donald forgot to mention that he signed the memos that came to mean Abu Ghraib and Gitmo would forever represent crimes against humanity.
And don’t forget the co-conspirators. Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby who were cheerleading John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, Condaleeza Rice and John Yoo as they created the convoluted legal logic and twisted rationale saying the president can do anything he wants to do, anywhere in the world, simply because he’s president and is above the law.
Believing “if the President does it, it is legal” got Dick Nixon tossed out of the White House on his ass, and it ought to land the entire upper echelon of the outgoing administration before judges of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Legal scholars have come up with a long list of possible charges against Senior Loyal Bushies. Now they can add in the crime of “So what?” which, hopefully, carries a mandatory life sentence upon conviction.
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