October 21, 2005

A Whole Lot of Chatter Going On

Bush: "There's some background noise here, a lot of chatter, a lot of speculation and opining."

So said a besieged President Bush to reporters at a Rose Garden News Conference when they brought up the almost certain indictments ready to be handed down by Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald, the recent arrest of House majority leader Tom DeLay, and the strong criticisms swirling around Washington concerning his nomination of his personal friend and White House counsel Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court.

If the president sounds a bit paranoid, perhaps he has good reason to be. Tom Delay has been arrested. His chief advisor Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis Libby are about to be indicted for their role in outing a covert CIA agent. And his nomination of Miers for the Supreme Court drew more fire from his conservative base than it did from Democrats.

The deliberate outing of Valery Plame's covert CIA identity was clearly orchestrated at the highest levels by Cheney and Rove. In some quarters this has been viewed as an act of treason and it clearly violated federal laws forbiding the release of such information. The outing was purported to be retaliation for her husband's New York Times Op-Ed piece which exposed the fact that Bush lied on national television about Saddam attempting to acquire uranium from Niger -- a lie that was instrumental in creating the climate of fear necessary to sway public opinion into supporting an invasion of Iraq.

However, it was the president's use of the word "chatter" which is drawing the most attention from this writer. "Chatter" has been the Bush administration's code word for conjuring up fearful visions of sleazy Al-Qaeda terrorists plotting the death and destruction of Westerners on their cell phones. Time and time again after 9/11 the White House has issued bogus terror warnings allegedly based on the listening devices of various intelligence services detecting "an increase in Al-Qaeda chatter."

Judging by the scripted nature of Bush's Rose Garden remarks, there is little doubt that the use of the word was intentional, indicating that the White House equates criticism of the emperor and his minions with the machinations of Al-Qaeda terrorists.

McClellan: "We don't know what all the facts are."

This little pearl of wisdom was offered by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, who has apparently forgotten that ignorance of the facts is the normal state of affairs in the land of fantasy known as the White House.

McClellan: "All of us would like to . . . get to the bottom of this."

What McClellan really means is that so far the White House has failed to get to Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald or mount an effective disinformation campaign against him. Which in fairness would be a bit difficult considering the fact that Bush himself originally appointed the guy to his post as a U.S. Attorney, and when your own former attorney general appointed him as special prosecutor, an appointment the president publically praised and endorsed.

Bush: "The American people expect me to do my job, and I'm going to."

The president has already done quite a job on America, which is why his approval ratings are falling as rapidly as the ratings for Fox News. What we really expect from Bush in terms of "doing his job" is a major attempt to "wag the dog" in the coming weeks to distract the public's attention.

Your guess is as good as mine as far as what type of dog they are looking to wag. Afterall, this is a president who is master of the Freudian slip, and once said, "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."


Bush vows not to be distracted by political problems.