“You know, just when I think you're the shallowest man I know, you somehow manage to drain a little bit more out of the pool.”—Seinfeld, Episode #59, “The Implant”
As bad as things are right now—with the willful debacle that is Iraq, with the warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens, and the general perversion of the Justice Department—beyond all of that subterranean, Nixon-on-steroids level evil, if you can believe it, a new nadir has been reached by the Bush administration in the last week.
Seriously. We know that we've surpassed Watergate's levels of chicanery a long time ago. What took place this past week involving the cover-up of the cover-up of Army Corporal Pat Tillman's "friendly fire" death, via the citing of "Executive Privilege”, goes miles past being merely impeachment-worthy.
It's worthy of any evil—any imaginable evil you can wish upon its perpetrators. Get out your garlic and Holy Water:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The White House has refused to give Congress documents about the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman, with White House counsel Fred Fielding saying that certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting "implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests."
Get your wooden stake too:
“Two influential lawmakers investigating how and when the Bush administration learned the circumstances of Pat Tillman's friendly-fire death and how those details were disclosed accused the White House and Pentagon on Friday of withholding key documents and renewed their demand for the material.
The White House and Defense Department have turned over nearly 10,000 pages of papers mostly press clippings but the White House cited "executive branch confidentiality interests" in refusing to provide other documents.”
“Although Pentagon investigators determined quickly that he was killed by his own troops, five weeks passed before the circumstances of his death were made public. During that time, the Army claimed he was killed by enemy fire.
Tillman's family and others have said they believe the erroneous information peddled by the Pentagon was part of a deliberate cover-up that may have reached all the way to President Bush and then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. The committee said Friday it had scheduled a second hearing on Tillman's death for Aug. 1, this time to probe what senior Pentagon officials knew and when.”
And pray that someone can use whatever weapons they have at their disposal to defeat the beasts:
On Friday, July 13, Chairman Waxman and Ranking Minority Member Tom Davis sent letters to the White House and the Department of Defense objecting to the withholding of documents related to the death of Corporal Tillman, who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004. Chairman Waxman also wrote the Republican National Committee to request communications about Corporal Tillman’s death by White House officials using e-mail accounts controlled by the RNC.
• The Honorable Donald Rumsfeld Former Secretary of Defense
• Gen. Richard B. Myers (Retired) Former Chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff
• Gen. John P. Abizaid (Retired) Former Commander, U.S. Central Command
• Gen. Bryan Douglas Brown (Retired) Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
• Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger, Jr. (Retired) Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
• Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal Commander, Joint Special Operations Command
Because that's what we're dealing with here—beasts.
When I think of Watergate, and I do quite often with the myriad scandals this administration is mired in this Summer, I remember how evil, and republic-threatening it seemed at the time. There was a break-in at opposition headquarters, an illegal campaign slush-fund, and a failed attempt to subvert the Justice Department.
It all seems so very small when you look at what's going on now. Leaking CIA agents, a patently illegal war, successful subverting of the Justice Department, and so on, and so on, and scooby-dooby-doo.
This situation with the declaring of “Executive Privilege” in the Pat Tillman incident, though....if you really look at it, trumps almost anything in Watergate's sordid mudpile of misdeeds.
Tillman was killed in Afghanistan is the Spring of '04 after having walked away from his lucrative NFL career and contract to sign up with the Army to fight in the single sane prong of the so-called "War on Terror”. He was killed in a "friendly fire" incident while on patrol, and that fact was known to his superiors almost immediately, but for five weeks the military and the government spun his death as coming at the hands of faceless Taliban attackers—ostensibly to put a good gloss on the unfortunate mishap, and rather obviously, to rally folks 'round the flag via the lionizing of a "tragic" hero.
His uniform was burned and his body armor was destroyed almost immediately after his death to cover up the nature of how he died. Military superiors ordered witnesses to lie about how Tillman died, under threat of official punishment. But eventually, it got out those many weeks later about just what happened in that deadly mountain pass—as did the tale of the low-level portion of the cover-up.
It's the high-level—no, let me get it right.—highest, pinnacle, desperately hidden levels of the cover -up that has brought this administration down to common decency levels that would damn near make a Manson blush. It is APPARENT...BRUTALLY APPARENT that the order to turn Tillman's death into a P.R. football (pun not intended) came from the very highest levels of the government. The order to lie to the family, lie to the country and world, and even create a "manufactured narrative" came...from the very top echelons of U.S. government. And we know this because White House Counsel Fred Fielding has cited "Executive Privilege" as the reason for blocking the release of information pertaining to the government's immediate handling of Cpl. Tillman's death.
Ask yourself WHY? Why would they stonewall the release of those documents?
What could there possibly be to cover up?
We know lies were told. One could almost understand the need to manage the P.R. on the death delicately. Some massaging of the facts can almost be excused to put a better face on the then nascent war effort. But this wasn't just "massaging". It was a whole-cloth, made-up, LIE. What was the need for that? And since we know what actually happened, and already know the fact that lies were told—what else could there possibly be to cover up?
Here's what: The exposure OF THE FACT that for all the mealy-mouthed, wet-eyed platitudes about support for American troops, this government—IN THE HIGHEST ECHELONS OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH DO NOT GIVE SO MUCH AS A RAT'S ASS ABOUT IT'S FIGHTING FORCES. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
The troops are literally pawns in Bush's hands. Chips to gamble. Non-entities. And this government not only considers them to be such, but evidently discusses them as such in privileged communications.
Living, breathing people. With families, who if you're not going to give them the unvarnished, soul-wounding truth, deserve at the least, common, human respect. And these documents that this government will not release, I'm sure detail the callousness and craven levels of manipulation used to further the administration's goals. They don't want it to get out that they are willing to absolutely wipe their asses with those of us who make the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Because once that depth of their utter unfeeling and cheap skullduggery becomes fully known, there is no reason for anyone to believe a single word they'd say on anything.
Nothing on Nixon's tapes is as ugly as that. For all his personal hatred, and recorded dirty-tricks-ism, and paranoia, there is nothing in those tapes or "expletive deleted" documents that is as raw a "fuck you" as what those Tillman documents would inadvertently expose. That they ("they" meaning the administration, safe in Washington D.C. with access to fallout bunkers and all manner perks you the citizens will NEVER have) will use, and manipulate, and lie about you (the public/non-connected populace) in any way they deem fit, so long as it aids in the implementation of whatever the plan/policy-of-the-day is.
It is so close to a “Manchurian Candidate” type of hierarchical structure that it would make the blood run cold of anyone who ever found out about it. Which is why they don't want anyone to find out about it.
It is in a word, criminal.
And people at the very least see their careers end over self-serving lying like this.
"YPSILANTI, Mich., July 16 — Six months after a female student was raped and killed in her dormitory room, Eastern Michigan University said today that it had fired three administrators, including its president, who are accused of covering up the fact that a crime had been committed.
The president, John A. Fallon III, was ousted exactly two years into his five-year contract with the university. The board of regents also dismissed the vice president for student affairs, James Vick, and the campus police chief, Cindy Hall, and reprimanded the general counsel, Kenneth McKanders.
The actions follow lengthy reports by the Department of Education and investigators at a local law firm that said school officials had violated federal law by not disclosing campus security information after waiting more than two months to tell other students that Laura Dickinson, 22, had been killed. The university had insisted that foul play was not suspected, even as the authorities investigated several suspects, and it revealed the true circumstances of Ms. Dickinson’s Dec. 12 death only after another student was arrested in February.
A high-profile death. A self-serving lie and cover/up. Utter disregard of the family and public. Putting spin and damage control ahead of truth and simple humanity. The same Goddamned ingredients—except in the Eastern Michigan case, the truth eventually came out. In the Tillman case, the government is actively blocking the truth's coming out. The revulsion people feel upon hearing about the University's evil ass-covering, should be equally imparted to the Bush administration for its EQUAL level of duplicity.
This is a big deal.
Contact your local Congressperson and tell that person that YOU WILL NOT TOLERATE the Administration's stonewalling the facts on this cover-up, NO MATTER HOW HIGH UP IT GOES.
Here's the House of Representatives switchboard number: 202-225-3121, and here's how to reach them by e-mail
And get on the Senate's ass as well. Here's their switchboard number: 202-224-3121, and e-mail contact info.
They are playing with the death of a U.S. Army soldier. They said "fuck you” to his family, and threatened anyone who told the truth with punishment. His life meant nothing to them—his demise was a P.R. element to be twisted, puffed full of air, and then floated before our eyes to distract and manipulate.
These are not regular people we're dealing with. They are devils. Beasts. Literal Death-Eaters .
And they make Nixon, bad as he was—look like a fucking piker.
Take. Them. Down.