Friday, August 11, 2006

Absolute Executive Powers Forever

By now, plenty of voices in the info-sphere have picked up on the remarkable timing of yesterday's announcement of the foiled terrorist plot originating in Britain. It gave Dick Cheney, Tony Snow and other Bush echo chamberlains just enough time to condemn Joe Lieberman's defeat in Connecticut as a blow to the "war on terror" so they could turn around and say "See?"

But the latest administration stratagem is about a lot more than just defeating Ned Lamont in November. The right wing feeding frenzy between Pat Buchanan and Michael Smerconish on MSNBC yesterday was a first volley in the GOP message we'll be hearing until Election Day. Torture is necessary. Unwarranted domestic electronic surveillance is necessary. Profiling is necessary. Extraordinary rendition is necessary. Big honking walls at the border are necessary. Guantanamo Bay is necessary. Unlimited executive powers are necessary for Mister Bush to protect America.

And if you vote the Democrats into power come fall, they're going to take away Mister Bush's unlimited powers, and he won't be able to protect you.

See, we're in a war. You don't believe it, just try and get onboard a commercial flight with a bottle of spring water. That's how you know you're in a war, when you have to drink the airlines' water.

And you know those terrorists Bush's pal Tony Blair had arrested in Britain? They were Pakistani. That tells you just how big of a war we're in. It isn't just Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Lebanon, or Palestine. It's all over the darn place. Initial punditry has pointed at al Qaeda as being behind the British plot with little evidence to support the claim. (Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff said it "could" be al Qaeda.) But just wait and see: it shouldn't be long before we start hearing "mumble-mumble-Syria" and "Hamina-hamin-Iran."

We're hearing now that the two young Muslim men arrested in Ohio for buying too many cell phones (also conveniently announced yesterday) are part of a larger network within the United States. Shudder!

I'm not sure how the Rovewellians will keep this scary campfire story on the radar for the next two and a half months, but I'm confident they'll find a way. I can't wait to hear the next installment.


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.


  1. We haven't heard much lately about those guys in Florida - bigger fish to fry now. It's easy to slip into cynicism, to the point that if a real threat presents itself, I'll groan and roll my eyes and look for the intent of the release based upon whatever else is in the news, especially in the poll numbers, but who can blame me? We're living in the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" age, and truth was the first casualty. It didn't have to be that way, but my tolerance for liars is vanishingly low.

    The MSM has identified the Iraq War as the impetus for Lamont's victory, but as always, they're oversimplifying. What about Lieberman's stance on Social Security privatization, emergency contraception for rape victims ("they can just go to a different hospital"), and pretty much every important issue facing the Senate in the last 5 years? There is a difference between modeling yourself as a bipartisan and abandoning the Democratic party philosophically and morphing into a wannabe Republican.

    If we needed any more proof about Lieberman's opportunism in bowing and scraping to the party in power (and we don't), his choice to run a three-way election and possibly hand the seat to a Republican more than suffices. And regardless of the veracity of this latest terrorism report, using it to trash Lamont and his principled stand on ending the Iraqi occupation (it's no longer a 'war' - we won that, and it's not "cut-and-running" to end an occupation) is simply beneath contempt. Connecting Lamont to the terrorism arrests is one more demonstration that they believe the US populace to be incredibly stupid.

  2. We're not hearing much about Padilla either.

    "Cut and run" was never more than propaganda nonesense.

    How incredibly stupid the US populace is we'll see in a couple months.;-)

  3. Anonymous8:35 AM

    Then there is the history of the "Zinoviev Letter" incident when the British security services are strongly believed to have forged a documented that implied that a vote for a particular party was a vote for terrorism and anarchy. This letter did indeed topple a government they didn't like....

  4. Am I correct that it wasn't determined to be a forgery until sometime in the 90s?

  5. Anonymous7:56 AM

    Yes and no.

    The astute had already caught on to rather unlikely terminological inexactitudes when they made their appearance. But it was not until the era of Tony Blair that an official panel found that they were, indeed, forged.

    A question for you.

    Harry Houdini and many jailbirds are / were masters of stowing objects in their bodily cavities.

    Given the apparent extreme importance of keeping certain fluids out of certain airplanes, and the extreme precautions taken to ensure that this doesn't happen, why are all passengers not subjected to body cavity searches, and not frisked to ensure that they do not have pouches taped to their torsos?

    Am I just being paranoid, or are the paranoids not being adequately paranoid?