The cynical depths to which this postmodern presidency has descended has long ceased to shock or surprise me, but the extent to which pure propaganda has been it's first, second and third string option, and how well that has worked should probably trouble us a lot more than it does in our current depths of accommodation to the increasing awfulness of our current circumstances.
As it becomes clearer and clearer that every effort was indeed to reduce us - the American people - to a panicked dependency upon the good faith of our leaders, we are starting to realize that not only has our trust been abused, but the very institutions and mechanisms that ensure trust and our collective security have been deliberately subverted and those who dedicated their lives and honor to those institutions have themselves been duped and betrayed.
The shocking part of this story is not so much the manipulation of the media by the Pentagon, but the despicable and duplicitous use of it's own to manufacture trust out of the fabric of their own credibility and conviction. They spoke - in the main, I hope - sincerely enough. Retired military members remain in touch, but of course are not current and they can be reliably expected to assume conditions and assumptions about standard doctrines and procedure that clearly turned out to be incorrect.
The use of partisan hot-buttons and the peddling of panic over threats that are, objectively speaking, routinely and quietly managed by other nations without subverting their own internal stability tends to lead one to the more or less reluctant conclusion that the currently shrill and divisive partisan climate is exactly what our would-be lords and masters desire.
George Bush was quite correct when he stood on that aircraft carrier and stated "Mission Accomplished."
The misson was not Iraq, saddam, or "tur'ism."
The mission was to scare the smart out of the American people, and we have been stuck on stupid for some time now. In order to succeed in that effort they have managed to scare, stupify, co-opt or otherwise utilize a lot of people who - had they been a little more cynical, a little less trusting of Authority they had been trained to believe actually is acting in the interest of and within the boundaries of The Constitution - would have been less willing to collaborate.
But, then, they were trained to expect that trust in order to do a job that requires such a level of trust.
If a military man is given what is termed "Actionable Intelligence," they may or may not take it with a grain of salt, but they would never assume that the intelligence itself was selected, slanted, doctored or even completely fabricated.
Because of course it's not the body armor that matters - it's the PERCEPTION of body armor that's critical to administration planning.
Beginning with the buildup to the Iraq War, the Bush administration created this "media Trojan horse" to counter any and all criticism. At times, they manipulated the networks' own military experts, spoon-feeding them talking points on everything from Iraq to Rumsfeld's handling of the war to Guantanamo. Here's a quote from the Times:
"Again and again, records show, the administration has enlisted analysts as a rapid reaction force to rebut what it viewed as critical news coverage, some of it by the networks’ own Pentagon correspondents. For example, when news articles revealed that troops in Iraq were dying because of inadequate body armor, a senior Pentagon official wrote to his colleagues: 'I think our analysts — properly armed — can push back in that arena.'"
As the video reveals, at least one former "military expert" is using blunt words indeed to describe the depth of betrayal that he feels.
Nor is he alone among current and former military personnel who are increasingly upset at the squandering of morale, military fitness and equipment for no obvious strategic or tactical gain.
It only really makes sense if the objective of "the mission" is to subvert the military itself and either turn it into the direct arm of an oppressive state, or render it unfit to oppose the emergent "private" military organizations. Groups such as Blackwater, with their ties both to powerful corporate energy interests and via those ties, the Bush Clan, have gained greatly in both funds and operational experience at taxpayer expense, without even having to pay lip-service to concepts such as "duty, honor or country," much less Geneva conventions, international law or that "Scrap of Paper," the Constitution.
I doubt that there has been any great outbreak of flaming liberalism within the military, so whatever the "official response is," one seriously doubts that military criticism of the emergent results of the "Project For a New American Century" is due to any wide indulgence in socialist thought, marijuana or even "squeamish" Liberal concern for the consequences of war upon the unfortunate. The military - and most properly so - is concerned with the integrity and survival of the Military itself, and struggling to come to terms with a situation in which the entire doctrine of civilian control of military force is - or should be - questioned.
That is to say, what is the proper response when the civilian leadership is clearly unfit, clearly corrupt, clearly incompetent or worse yet, hostile, and increasingly in direct command of alternate force options who are loyal to none but their paymasters? These are circumstances that try men's souls; that make them question the very foundations of their duty and their loyalties. If the military cannot trust the current leadership, to whom may it turn? This becomes even more complex when one realizes that the loyalties of ranking military leaders themselves may be open to substantial question under the circumstances.
Had I wished to create the circumstances, military, social and economic wherein I could declare a civil war and prosecute it against the elements of the Citizenry I considered "disloyal," "surplus" or "unreliable" - well, I'd have acted fairly much exactly as the Bush Administration has done. It generally takes the commitment of about 30 percent of a population to succeed in such an aim, given the current advantages the Bushistas have, and they may, I repeat, may, have achieved that state of affairs by polarizing the politics of the nation around the war and a number of other issues, to a state wherein the irrational hatreds of the fringes are no longer confined to the fringes.
If I'd wanted to commit an act of aggression in order to secure a reliable energy supply and control the crossroads of the middle east - I do believe that would have been possible, if prosecuted both ruthlessly and with the best military and civilian intelligence available, in both senses of the word. It would have been wrong, and it would have been the exact wrong the Left assumes that the Bushes intended - but I do not believe the failure is entirely due to mis-management. Rather, the placement of the mismanagers was as precise and deliberate as the seeding of landmines, or the spraying of chemical agents to degrade the effectiveness of "the enemy."
I do believe that if I'd wanted Bin Ladin hanging from a gibbet at Ground Zero as the proper result of a fair and public trial, I could have achieved that with the available might of the United States coupled with the enthusiastic co-operation of the world.
But despite the expenditure of irreplaceable faith, credit, blood, innocence, lives and the economic security of nearly every citizen of these united states, no such result is evident. This leads to the conclusion that such a result is a matter of policy - or at least, that it would be wise to operate under that assumption that Bin Ladin is either directly or effectively on the same side as Bush.
"Three times is enemy action."
If that is true, what does three to the power of three suggest to you? I don't doubt that the sheer number of deceptions, lies and subversions would be far from that particular mark.
They have met the enemy, and it is us. Your politics are irrelevant. Left, right or middle of the road, when was the last time anything happened that even resembled a result you could reasonably expect based on your understanding of the issues as they were represented to you?
The disconnection between words and deeds is stark and quite obviously independent of the stated politics and agendas of the majority of persons in Washington.
It may well be that your vote will be made irrelevant. It may well be that the existence of the United States as a Constitutional Republic as we have known it is in question. Strike that. It most certainly is in question - the only question is whether that question will be resolved by a peaceful and legitimate political process.
The other question, of course, is where you stand, where your real interests lie; Bush, or your family, friends and neighbors.
It all boils down to ethics, and each of us choosing to act from our most basic understanding of justice, duty, honor and, yes, righteousness.