Friday, June 03, 2005

Hail To The Chimp

Okay, it's now official. George W. Bush is a fucking moron. Period, end of sentence. The latest evidence comes by way of a brief clip on The Daily Show, easily a more informative news program than any of the official nightly wankfests. [emphasis mine]

Q Thank you, sir. Mr. President, recently, Amnesty International said you have established "a new gulag" of prisons around the world, beyond the reach of the law and decency. I'd like your reaction to that, and also your assessment of how it came to this, that that is a view not just held by extremists and anti-Americans, but by groups that have allied themselves with the United States government in the past -- and what the strategic impact is that in many places of the world, the United States these days, under your leadership, is no longer seen as the good guy.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that is -- promotes freedom around the world. When there's accusations made about certain actions by our people, they're fully investigated in a transparent way. It's just an absurd allegation.

In terms of the detainees, we've had thousands of people detained. We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of -- and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is. And, you know -- yes, sir.

Wow. The guy's not just a moron -- and a dissembling moron at that -- but there's like layers of stupidity and contrivance here.

First the obvious: that not only doesn't he know the difference between "disassemble" and "dissemble", he doesn't even realize that he doesn't know the difference, so he stupidly tried to act like he was using a fifty-cent word on us rubes. What the fuck did you do in college for seven years, Harvard -- eat your boogers and bring home gold stars to put on Mommy's refrigerator?

Then you have the confusion between "decisions" and "allegations"; the larding of the "promoting freedom" boilerplate that accompanies every verbal dump he takes; the stubbed-toe grammatical construction of the whole thing.

And apparently today's word on our word-of-the-day calendar is "absurd". Sweet. Tomorrow's word is "ligament", which can be hard to work into lumped-together clauses about the spreading and mulching of freedom and godliness, but no doubt he'll find a way to shoehorn it into his next meeting. "Say there, Vladmer, that's a nice sock comin' down from yer ligament. Is it a Freedom Sock™?"

One can have a field day parsing those two paragraphs alone -- not to mention the entire rest of the text -- for either coherence or honesty. Bush's assertion is a flat-out lie, or ignorance of the word "absurd"; the allegations are not absurd -- these people have been detained without charge, without legal counsel, without any recourse, without trial, for two to three years now. Dozens of them have died under US interrogation, in Afghanistan, in Guantanamo, in Iraq. Other indecent methods, such as that of extraordinary rendition, have been rather openly and brazenly employed.

So again, the allegations are either true or they are false, but they are not absurd. Absurd, as Bush's calendar should have told him, means irrational or ridiculous. If you've demonstrated a willingness to beat a man to death, torture him to death, put him in a naked human dogpile for your amusement, force him to suck his friend's cock so you can blackmail him with photos, flushing his holy book down the toilet seems pretty low on the list of abusive interrogation methods, comparatively speaking. Just going by what we know has been happening, there is nothing irrational or ridiculous about the claims being made. They are either true or untrue.

Which brings us to the second lie -- that the investigations have been "transparent". Nothing has been transparent about any of the conduct at these facilities -- not the interrogation techniques employed, not the supposedly blatant crimes that all these supposed terrorists have never been charged with, and certainly not the investigative process in finding out the truth behind all the allegations. So far it's been a few low-level scrubs at Abu Ghraib taking the fall for what may or may not have been a policy winked and nodded at from the top of the dung heap. That is not "transparency", that is typical bureaucratic foot-dragging and ass-covering.

Notice also that Bush, in his rush to get to his final answer of "It just is", completely blew off the second, more critical part of the reporter's question -- what all these allegations, true or not, will do to our international reputation among our friends. This is crucial.

For our European allies, it's just thinly-veiled contempt -- if it weren't for our military might, they'd write us off altogether. Europeans like Americans, in my experience, but they've never had much patience with the more militaristic aspects of our economic and political hegemony. (Of course, after what they did to Africa during the colonial era, they're not in much position to point fingers.)

For our relative equals, like China and Russia, where we have a couple decades of entente with each, the perception can be even more critical. Both these countries are engaged in long-standing campaigns of brutal domestic repression, and both have taken our wink-and-a-nod approach as a "go" signal. We don't say anything about Chechens or Uighurs, and they don't interfere with Himself's little ham-fisted idiot experiment in remaking the world.

And Bush was so busy stumbling toward the finish line of this, yet another miserable public exhortation to clap our hands and say that we do believe in fairies, he probably didn't even think about it.


vonKreedon said...

A couple more things:
- I liked the circular logic of Bush's dismissal of the AI report; it's absurd to allege that the US is engaged in Gulag like behavior because we are a nation that promotes freedom.
- And yet more circular logic regarding where the allegations originate; people who were in Gitmo, after being released with not charges ever brought against, allege that they were unfairly imprisioned and witnesses/experienced abuse while there. But, since they WERE in Gitmo they can obviously be dismissed as America hating terrorists and professional liars.

Kitchen Window Woman said...

The transparent part of Bush's latest blundering, babbling blurb bothers me too. Nothing this administration has done has been transparent. Everything is bundled in layers of deceit then bound with knots of propaganda. What is transparent is the process. The rest of the world sees through what this administration does quite clearly It is only the ignorant and lazy in the states who bullieve The Bush Tales .

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