This Modern World - (Tom Tomorrow) “Of course…”One of Cheney/Bush's more remarkable achievements was to revise the tinfoil hat standards. What was once absurd and silly became, for eight years, well worth consideration.
Olbermann’s guest, the NSA whistleblower, got me to thinking: what other things that we already pretty much understand to be true will be confirmed as fact in the weeks and months ahead? This is the list that I’ve come up with so far. (Spoiler alert: this feels like something that will probably turn into a cartoon in the next week or two, so if you prefer to be surprised there, you might want to skip this one.)
1. The aforementioned spying on journalists. Of course they were spying on journalists. And there was that oddly specific moment where Andrea Mitchell, in the course of interviewing New York Times reporter James Risen about his reporting on the NSA and government wiretapping, asked if he knew anything about the administration spying on Christiane Amanpour — a question the network promptly scrubbed from the transcription.
2. Of course Cheney was running everything, at least for the first term.
3. Of course they made backroom deals with their pals at Halliburton, Enron, etc.
4. Of course they were lying about Iraq from the start.
5. Of course torture was sanctioned at the highest levels.
6. Of course Valerie Plame was deliberately outed in retaliation for Joe Wilson’s op-ed debunking the yellowcake uranium story.
7. Of course male prostitute turned fake journalist Jeff Gannon was having an affair with someone in the White House.
8. Of course we came close to war with Iran.
9. Of course someone was feeding Bush answers during that presidential debate where you could clearly see a square shape under the back of his jacket — a camera angle that the administration had specifically demanded the network not use. And there’s the point where he interrupts his own answer to chastise someone no one else can see — of course he was wearing a wire.
10. I’m not sure if this one counts as an “of course,” but I’ve long suspected that Bush has some sort of neurological disorder which worsened over the course of the past eight years. If you go back and look at clips from his days as governor, it’s almost shocking how articulate and quick he seems. I mean, yes, we can all chuckle, ha ha those wacky malapropisms, in the way that you might have had a good natured chuckle about Ronald Reagan’s absent mindedness, until years later when you realize with dawning horror that the man with his finger on the button probably had early stage Alzheimers. Bush was inarticulate eight years ago but these days he can barely string a sentence together.
11. And maybe an overall generic entry: of course the truth will turn out to be much, much worse than we ever suspected...
… of course I go out and run a few errands, and am swamped with reader suggestions when I get back. Most of these came in repeatedly, including many suggestions that my “neurological disorder” theory might more easily be formulated as “of course George Bush was drinking again.”
– Of course Alberto Gonzales fired those attorneys for political reasons.
– Of course the White House emails were deliberately deleted.
– Of course more than two hundred thousand Iraqis were killed and more than a million displaced.
– Of course there were plans to suspend elections in the event of another terrorist attack.
– Of course Bush decided to invade Iraq in October, 2002.
– Of course the administration leaked important details of ongoing investigations by federal agencies before the completion of the investigation for purely politically expedient reasons, thus compromising the security of the cases, alerting accessories, and endangering Americans.
– Of course Whittington’s shooting involved a criminal coverup.
It will be quite interesting, 10 years from now, to review this list. I suspect about 80% it will be found to be correct, and none will be considered absurd. Given the surprising accuracy of the loony gas station tabloids over the past few years, I have wondered about their persistent claims that Bush was drinking again.
I've also wondered about the neurologic disorder.
As bad as we now think the Bush regime was, it's possible it was even worse.