Saturday, April 28, 2007

Old Bessie

George Tenet's book, "At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the C.I.A." will be released on April 30.

Previews of the book emphasize its revelatory chapters and its provision of further proof (as if we needed any) that the country was deliberately lied into war in 2003. David Ignatius of the Washington Post, who apparently got an advance copy, writes that "George Tenet has been doing a slow burn ever since he left the CIA. He's been angrier and angrier as he saw himself being essentially made the fall guy on WMD in Iraq. And he's gonna come back saying he and his agency, the CIA, were pushed, again and again, by Cheney and Cheney's people to give him the answers that they wanted. And he's got chapter and verse on that."

So, Tenet is pissed about having been a tool.

Nobody made him do it.

Isn't it wonderful that guys like him game the system, climb the ladder to the top of the bureaucracy, dutifully follow orders, do and say what they're told, and then grow consciences after they've retired?

I guess under the rule of a military dictatorship, that's the way it has to be. The decider decides the rules for the wise ones and the fools, and everybody follows orders.

But keep in mind, the U.S. as a military dictatorship didn't start with Bush. He's just the most flagrant and obvious one so far.

The Emperor Lyndon Johnson liked to tell stories. The reporters found him very amusing and entertaining. Here's a story old down-home Lyndon, one of our emperors from 40 years ago, told about the problems of working with the dictator's private army, a.k.a. the C.I.A.

"Let me tell you about these intelligence guys," Johnson said, in his best "just folks" down-home twang. "When I was growing up in Texas we had a cow named Bessie. I'd get her in the stanchion, seat myself and squeeze out a pail of fresh milk. One day I'd worked hard and gotten a full pail of milk, but I wasn't paying attention, and old Bessie swung her shit-smeared tail through that bucket of milk. Now, you know, that's what these intelligence guys do. You work hard and get a good program or policy going, and they swing a shit-smeared tail through it."

Johnson said a mouthful about the U.S. and its foreign policy in modern times with that humble parable. When our leaders regard the truth as the equivalent of shit, it shows how deeply in trouble we are. And we've been in deep trouble for a long time before Bush and Cheney took us over the precipice.

Fast forward to 2003, and Tenet trying to tell Bush and Cheney that the truth is, Saddam is weaponless and defenceless. They tell him to shut up and say what they tell him to say. It'll all be in the book.

And of course, they already knew Saddam was weaponless and defenceless. Cowards and fascist liars like them would never attack someone capable of defending himself.

Freedom from war, freedom from fear, freedom from the insanity of military-industrial imperialism, these are things I've never known in my long life, and never will. But future generations will know them, provided they still have an earth to live on.

(Lyndon Johnson quoted by Chalmers Johnson in his book "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic," page 90.)

No comments: