by Ralph Nader
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007’s Washington Post was another day of well-supported headlines chronicling the lawless, incompetent, wasteful, negligent, bumbling and multiple perils to our nation’s security and safety caused by the Bush-Cheney regime.
One headline reads: “U.S. Warns of Stronger Al-Qaeda.” The report by the Bush Administration’s National Counterterrorism Center was titled “Al-Qaida Better Positioned to Strike the West.” Safe havens are being established in remote tribal areas of western Pakistan.
In recent days, George W. Bush has told audiences of the growing menace of Al-Qaeda inside Iraq.
There was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq before Bush’s invasion.
Five hundred billion dollars (and vast bloodshed) later and we are left with the Bush government’s own assessment of Al-Qaeda’s resurgence and spread!
Officials inside and retired generals, diplomats and intelligence specialists outside the Bush government have warned before and after the Iraq invasion of the disastrous consequences of this maneuver. Inside the Pentagon, the U.S. Army personnel, up to four-star Generals, have warned against the invasion but have been muzzled.
Bush’s own CIA director—Porter J. Goss—, General William Casey and others declared that the U.S. military presence was fueling the insurgency in Iraq and Goss added that our presence in Iraq is a magnet attracting more people from other countries to learn the skills of sabotage and terror.
Bush’s own counter-terrorism advisor in the White House, Richard Clarke, wrote in his book, Against All Enemies, that Osama bin Laden must be beseeching Bush to invade Iraq to inflame the Muslim world and generate new recruits.
Nothing—facts, judgment, the destruction of Iraq, the U.S. casualties, the massive drain on the taxpayers, the distraction from the needs of the American people affect this obsessively-compulsed duo in the White House.
Another headline in the Post that day was an assessment by Bush’s CIA chief, Michael V. Hayden that the U.S. installed Iraqi government was unable to govern and that the situation seems irreversible. He added that he could not “point to any milestone or checkpoint where we can turn this thing around.” Those words were conveyed to the Iraq study group on the same day (November 13, 2006) that the Group heard Mr. Bush give an upbeat assessment of that same government.
Bush has been chronically detached from the reality of his own advisors.
Also on page one was this stunner of a sting: “Undercover congressional investigators posing as West Virginia businessmen obtained a license with almost no scrutiny from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that enabled them to buy enough radioactive material from U.S. suppliers to build a “dirty bomb,” a new government [GAO] report says.”
How about that for the Bush’s agency that is supposed to keep the atom in safe hands!
Inside on the Business Page is “Armored Vehicles Chronically Late.” This latest chapter in the Bush’s management by criminal negligence leaving soldiers without adequate body armor for many, many months of preventable fatalities.
The reporter, Renae Merle, writes: “The Pentagon inspector general’s office has found that a program to deliver special armored vehicles to protect military personnel in Iraq from roadside bombs has been marred by delays and questionable contracting practices that may have endangered troops.” “May have”? When such vehicles are not shipped out, soldiers lose their lives and limbs.
If George W. Bush’s daughters, Jenna and Barbara were on those Iraqi roads, wanna bet how fast Laura Bush would get George to focus?
Day after day in the papers and on the television news, the endemic mismanagement of corrupt corporate contracts, flouting of civil liberties, due process of law and inability to get anything done, even in widespread post-Katrina emergencies, produces no accountability, no compelling changes from the Congress, no impeachment proceedings.
Poll after poll shows Bush-Cheney approval ratings below thirty percent. About 70 percent of the people want out of Iraq. And many polls show the public wants the Bush regime to end, believes that Bush does not care for the people like themselves, and that corporations have too much control over their lives.
And not only conservatives are appalled by the gigantic deficits Bush is piling up for future generations of Americans.
This government leaves Americans defenseless when it comes to occupational diseases, medical malpractice, air and water pollution. Bush can’t even police defective or contaminated products pouring into this country from communist China.
Because it has no quorum, his Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is just about powerless to impose civil penalties or otherwise regulate or recall defective products, domestic or imported.
As reported in the useful Loyola Consumer Law Review (http://www.luc.edu/law/activities/publications/consumer.html), Bush has not filled the third Commissioner’s position for over a year which prevents the CPSC from exercising its authority over dangerous products. The agency is in limbo, while injuries mount.