You are herecontent / THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING PRESIDENCY

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING PRESIDENCY


By Mel Goodman
U.S. Tour of Duty
September 10, 2005
www.ustourofduty.org

Mel Goodman, co-author of "Bush League Diplomacy: How the Neoconservatives Are Putting the World at Risk," is senior fellow at the Center for International Policy.

______________

Over the past three years, we have been watching the gradual unraveling of the integrity and credibility of President Bush and his entire administration. In the winter of 2002-2003, there was the calculated misuse of intelligence collection and analysis to justify the invasion of Iraq, the first preemptive war in the history of the United State. Then, there was the war itself with President Bush donning a flight suit on the USS Abraham Lincoln to make a premature declaration of ³mission accomplished.² The post-war period revealed the absence of any coherent plan, let alone strategy, for U.S. forces in Iraq. Finally, we have the tragic events of the past two weeks on America¹s Gulf Coast, marked by the loss of a great American city and thousands of lives in the poorest and most powerless reaches of New Orleans. The president actually defended the government¹s response to Hurricane Katrina, and his mother declared it a success for the evacuees who ³were underprivileged anyway, so this is working well for them.²

Over the past three years, we have witnessed the results of the libertarian policies of the Bush administration, which includes reduced spending on social programs and even medical programs for U.S. veterans and exploiting the tragedy and terror of 9/11 to provide huge sums of money to the richest and most powerful bureaucracies in the American system of government. The Pentagon¹s budget is climbing toward $450 billion, which does not include the $5 billion monthly stipend for Iraq and Afghanistan. The intelligence community has a budget of nearly $45 billion, which is more than the rest of the world spends on intelligence activities. And the gargantuan Department of Homeland Security, which was unprepared for the devastation of a major American city, has a budget of nearly $40 billion for its 180,000 personnel.

These three agencies have conducted themselves in an inept and even wanton fashion in the past three years. The Pentagon is not up to the task of the post-war period and the war itself was marked by the greatest stain ever inflicted on the American military, the terrible tortures of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and other U.S. military facilities in Guantanamo and Afghanistan. We have been spared the worst of the pictures and films from those places. The intelligence community provided no strategic warning of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and no strategic assessment of the decrepit Iraqi society, which would have anticipated the post-war chaos that enveloped Iraq after the U.S. invasion. The politicization of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq War marked the greatest intelligence scandal in American history, which didn¹t stand in the way of giving CIA director George Tenet the nation¹s highest award for civilians, the Presidential Freedom Medal. Amtrak and the nation¹s airlines canceled service to New Orleans three days before the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Katrina, but the Department of Homeland Security couldn¹t get its decision-making command up-to-speed until three days after.

Typically the Bush administration has summoned Karl Rove to blame the consequences of the hurricane on the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans, while the president himself is posturing that he wants no part of any blame game. Actually, there is much blame to go around, but Governor Kathleen Blanco declared a state of emergency before the hurricane, which should have triggered the government¹s National Response Plan to coordinate all federal capabilities and resources. At least Rove¹s maneuverings are out in the open, unlike his behind-the-scenes role in outing the CIA¹s clandestine operative Valerie Plame because her husband had exposed the president¹s fabrications regarding Iraq¹s nuclear capabilities in his state-of-the-union speech prior to the war.

The president also looked beyond his tight decision-making circle to find responsibility for the Iraqi decisions that went awry. He blamed his decision to go to war on faulty intelligence from the CIA and charged that the post-war chaos in Iraq was due to the appearance of foreign forces from neighboring countries, which actually represent a very small part of the insurgency. In fact, much of the chaos in Iraq was assured by the inadequate numbers of American forces in Iraq, due to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld¹s arrogant and even brutal disregard for the opinions of his professional military advisers regarding troop strength. Inadequate troop strength is forcing the same young servicemen and women to perform two and even three tours of duty in Iraq.

Thus far, the American people, along with the Congress and the American media, have been incredibly complacent in responding to the brutalities of Abu Ghraib, the horrors of the war in Iraq, and even the criminal negligence in New Orleans. There is still no anti-war movement in this country and the few attempts to rally opponents of the war have been disappointing. Such voices of conscience as Cindy Sheehan in Crawford and Senator Robert C. Byrd in the Congress have been largely ignored or marginalized. Fortunately, we the people have one more chance to demonstrate our opposition to the policies of the Bush administration. On September 24, 2005, there will be a series of anti-war rallies in Washington, D.C. and other American cities. If we cannot assemble hundreds of thousands of citizens on that day, then our silence will have established that the American people have the government that they want and even deserve. For the sake of the nearly 1,900 lives that have been lost in Iraq and the untold thousands that have died on the Gulf Coast, it is time for the American people to speak with the only voice left to tell truth to power.

Tags

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

“In a Democracy, the people get the government they deserve

DEAR MEL,
YOU ARE RIGHT ON EVERYTHING YOU SAID. I AGREE THAT BUSH & CO. MUST GO!!! BUT, WHERE DO WE BEGIN? WHERE ARE OUR SO-CALLED DEMOCTATIC LEADERS? BUSH HAS COMMITTED SO MANY CRIMES & I DON'T SEE ANYONE WITH ANY POWER OPPOSING HIM. THE MEDIA IS OWNED & CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT. ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD BUY INTO ALL THE BS THEY SPOUT EVERY TIME THEY OPEN THEIR MOUTHES. I AM STILL AMAZED AT ALL THE REPORTERS & PEOPLE IN THE NEWS BIZ, THAT HAVE SOLD THEIR OWN COUNTRY OUT, & CHOOSE TO GO WITH THE POPULAR OPINIONS OF ALL THE OTHER NEWS STATIONS. I JUST WONDER WHAT THE GOING PRICE IS TO SELL OUT YOUR COUNTRY IS. AS FOR MYSELF, MY LOYALTY TO MY COUNTRY IS NOT FOR SALE, NEVER HAS BEEN, NEVER WILL BE. IT BLOWS ME AWAY WHENEVER I SEE PREVIOUS OPPONENTS OF BUSH CHANGING THEIR MINDS OVER PAST DIFFERENCES WITH BUSH, ( FOR EX: BILL CLINTON & JOHN MCLAIN). I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHY BUSH'S ENEMEIES ARE DOING A 360 & HUGGING HIM ON STAGE. I AM EMBARRASSED FOR CLINTON & MCAIN. WHAT ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH IS BUSH DOING TO GET SO MANY DEMOCRATS TO SUDDENLY GO FROM THEIR PREVIOUS BELIEFS, TO BEING ALL CHUMMEY CHUMMEY WITH HIM??? IS IT MONEY, BLACKMAIL, OR WHAT??? IF ANYONE KNOWS, PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME.
KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!!!
SINCERELY,
KAREN KNIGHT

As citizens of The United States of America, we, The People, hereby place under citizen's arrest one George W. Bush for acts of treason against the United States, for criminal neglect of its citizens, and for war crimes against humanity.

Repeat for Cheney, Rove, Rice, and Rumsfeld...for starters.

Dear Karen, I WANT TO HUG YOU. I spent the last night with friends trying to explane how this government is criminal. They get it but get mad at me because I bring truth to them and they do not like it.

Any credibility you thought he had was a product of media hype and the plain old wishful thinking. What we're seeing now is the spell being broken by some the most criminal and arrogant behavior ever exhibited by an American administration! Bush has not changed one bit, he just got a bit too comfortable showing the nation his ass! The public is suddenly realizing how stupid they've been.

Nothing is more important,(other than helping the victims of the hurricane in the Gulf), than removeing BUsh/Cheny from office. KEep the pressure on our elected officials to do their jobs. America deserves better

Nothing is more important,(other than helping the victims of the hurricane in the Gulf), than removeing BUsh/Cheny from office. KEep the pressure on our elected officials to do their jobs. America deserves better

Nothing is more important,(other than helping the victims of the hurricane in the Gulf), than removeing BUsh/Cheny from office. KEep the pressure on our elected officials to do their jobs. America deserves better

Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan
Strategy Includes Preemptive Use Against Banned Weapons

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 11, 2005; Page A01

The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

The document, written by the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs staff but not yet finally approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, would update rules and procedures governing use of nuclear weapons to reflect a preemption strategy first announced by the Bush White House in December 2002. The strategy was outlined in more detail at the time in classified national security directives.

Who's Blogging?
Read what bloggers are saying about this article.
Vault-C0
Scruffy Dan???s ???Words to the Wise???
Accidental Deliberations

Full List of Blogs (18 links) »

At a White House briefing that year, a spokesman said the United States would "respond with overwhelming force" to the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, its forces or allies, and said "all options" would be available to the president.

The draft, dated March 15, would provide authoritative guidance for commanders to request presidential approval for using nuclear weapons, and represents the Pentagon's first attempt to revise procedures to reflect the Bush preemption doctrine. A previous version, completed in 1995 during the Clinton administration, contains no mention of using nuclear weapons preemptively or specifically against threats from weapons of mass destruction.

Titled "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" and written under the direction of Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the draft document is unclassified and available on a Pentagon Web site. It is expected to be signed within a few weeks by Air Force Lt. Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, director of the Joint Staff, according to Navy Cmdr. Dawn Cutler, a public affairs officer in Myers's office. Meanwhile, the draft is going through final coordination with the military services, the combatant commanders, Pentagon legal authorities and Rumsfeld's office, Cutler said in a written statement.

A "summary of changes" included in the draft identifies differences from the 1995 doctrine, and says the new document "revises the discussion of nuclear weapons use across the range of military operations."

The first example for potential nuclear weapon use listed in the draft is against an enemy that is using "or intending to use WMD" against U.S. or allied, multinational military forces or civilian populations.

Another scenario for a possible nuclear preemptive strike is in case of an "imminent attack from adversary biological weapons that only effects from nuclear weapons can safely destroy."

That and other provisions in the document appear to refer to nuclear initiatives proposed by the administration that Congress has thus far declined to fully support.

Last year, for example, Congress refused to fund research toward development of nuclear weapons that could destroy biological or chemical weapons materials without dispersing them into the atmosphere.

The draft document also envisions the use of atomic weapons for "attacks on adversary installations including WMD, deep, hardened bunkers containing chemical or biological weapons."

But Congress last year halted funding of a study to determine the viability of the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator warhead (RNEP) -- commonly called the bunker buster -- that the Pentagon has said is needed to attack hardened, deeply buried weapons sites.

CONTINUED 1 2 Next

"Over the past three years, we have witnessed the results of the libertarian policies of the Bush administration".

It wasn't bad enough that you lefties keep refering to to bush and company as conservatives or neocons, now you are trying to pretend he is a libertarian, your stupidity is showing! You lefties are just as good at spinning the truth as Karl Rove.

I am a conservative and a Libertarian, little George Stupid does not represent anything that I and fellow Libertarians believe in. George Bush and his fellow criminals are fascists,in every meaning of that word, they might as well break out there swastikas.

The truth is that people were begging for help. They were dying and whatever people say about Fema, or local governments, People were Dying. IF THIS HAD HAPPENED IN BEVERLY HILLS YOU CAN BET THE CALVERY WOULD HAVE BEEN THERE ON DAY ONE! We no longer take the bullshit! SO F OFF

I think he is an idiot and fucked up, I do not endorse what he said about Bush and company being libertarian.

Do not catergorize the left by what this reporter made statements of. I think most progressives would disagree with this reporter's bad terminology.

You know exactly what I know, that they are fascists and callous aristocrats. Now we must get them out of here and drive them from power, starting with Bush, Cheney. Help by flooding congress and getting things done and damn well demand their resignations.

There is one thing I will say, based on the newsweek report. Bush does not live in the same reality as anyone else and therefore thinks he is doing good when he does whatever his masters tell him. He's just a callous man with no reality.

DOug E.

WE HAVE TO BE STRONG AND GET RID OF THIS BASTARD! The right is comming to our side , because the truth and history have been recorded. You can't deny history!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Store:



















Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.