Monday, May 12, 2003

Dr. Germ versus the Card Deck of Justice

Here’s a report that tries to discover exactly what Bush knew and when he knew it on 9/11/01. Evidently, there are many contradictory details and 7 different versions--several told by Bush himself--including whether Bush was told about the hijackings before or after he started reading to the kiddies, and who told him. If we believe what the White House has said, Bush heard about the World Trade Center a full 10 minutes after CNN reported it. This article suggests that Bush was told, before the event at the school, but simply didn’t grasp what had happened, and the White House then had to cover this up, putting out the story that he was informed while reading to the kids about goats. I said at the time that it was criminally negligent of Bush, once he knew that more than one airplane had been hijacked, not to break off the event immediately, because the president was (then) the only person authorized to order civilian aircraft over the US to be shot down, and he should have been finding out what was going on in case he had to make such an order, but he chose the photo op over intel. Something I missed: on several occasions Bush himself has said that he saw the footage of the plane hitting the WTC on a tv before he went into the school--except no such footage was available until the next day. The article is long and incredibly detailed, but it asks a lot of interesting questions about what precisely was going on that day. A must-read.

With all these movies based on Marvel comics coming out, do you think it’s a coincidence that the US media have given recently arrested Iraqis nicknames like “Dr. Germ”? Note that the good doctor was not captured but surrendered, as have most of the Deck of Card (TM).

Bush judicial nominee Charles Pickering has lied about his racist past in Mississippi.

I have no idea what’s going on in Iraq, except that Jay Garner seems to have been deposed in a much less bloody regime change than the last one. Barbara Bodine, who was supposed to be running the Baghdad region, is also sent home. She was asked some time back by the press about the incident in Fallajuh (which was within her jurisdiction) in which US soldiers killed 13 (or so) protesters, but she hadn’t even heard about it. The new crop of proconsuls are avoiding such embarrassment by not talking to the press at all, including Margaret Tutweiler, who is in charge of communications--communications with whom is not entirely clear.

Two months ago, Putin said that his fake elections in Chechnya made the rebels irrelevant. Today they blow up 40 people. Hopefully a lot of them were KGB. Putin says this was intended to disrupt the “normalization process” in Chechnya. Good. As a bumper sticker I saw in Berkeley said, “Normal people worry me.” Normalization in Chechnya especially worries me.

Israel promises Colin Powell to ease restrictions on Palestinian movement. And then promptly seals off Gaza again.

Almost all the Democratic Texas state legislators are hiding in Oklahoma to prevent a quorum. The remaining legislators have been locked in, and troopers were sent to arrest legislators, but there aren’t enough to conduct business (which is the redistricting I mentioned a few days ago). I predict a rip-snorting Molly Ivins column. Until then, this from the WashPost:
Today, New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid said lawyers for Perry asked her if Texas Rangers might be allowed to make arrests in New Mexico. Madrid, a Democrat, said no. "Nonetheless," she added in a statement, "I have put out an all-points bulletin for law enforcement to be on the lookout for politicians in favor of health care for the needy and against tax cuts for the wealthy."

Indonesia restarts the war in Acheh.

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