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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, October 07, 2005

There you go again

The one unfailing truism of the Bush administration is that whenever they are in trouble, the word terrorism enters the playbook. Katrina, Rita, Miers, soaring gasoline and heating fuel prices means it's time to play the terrorism card.

In his speech to the National Endowment for Democracy, W touted the administration's success in beating back 10 terrorist plots and repeated his newest claim that we need to stop terrorism in Iraq before it spreads to Cheyenne or Crawford. (Of course in the past the Bush Boys offered a reverse domino theory -- democracy in Iraq will result in democracy flourishing throughout the Mideast).

Let's assume for the sake of discussion that this claim unlike other administration claims regarding terrorism and WMD, is true. You want praise for doing your job? Congratulations on the "hard work" George and the fact you have finally learned to interpret intelligence better than Condi did in August 2001.

Let's also sidestep the strange situation where the New York City Police Department has different intelligence information than the Department of Homeland Security. You know, that federal agency that could not or did not get the word from the National Hurricane Center about a dangerous hurricane and learned that the New Orleans Convention Center was a shelter from CNN.

Rather, let's look at what one senior Bush administration official says was an effort to change the subject after a "lot of distractions." Yeah, I guess it is a distraction when FEMA and DHS could not do what it was charged to do -- prevent the loss of nearly 1,000 lives and the destruction of billions of dollars of property as an agency. Hey it was only a campaign promise and you know how that goes.

When times are rough, the Bush Administration makes like its favorite TV show "The Fear Factor." As George proclaimed the 10 terrorist plots I could not stop thinking of ol' "Tailgunner Joe," who exploited American fears by proclaimeing he had a list of 205 communists in the State Department.

The problem? There isn't an Edward R. Murrow today to expose the lies and distortions. Nor are there many people willing to remember the words of George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."


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