Saturday, February 17, 2007

Carl Bernstein on George W. Bush

I watched Douglas Feith on Charlie Rose tonight as the former Pentagon official told Charlie one whopper after another. Feith implied that the CIA is responsible for exaggerating the WMD and al Qaida connection with Saddam Hussein as if he had played no part in the Bush Administration's disastrous case for war; in fact, Feith was doing his best at the time to help the Bush inner circle exaggerate things way beyond what the CIA was willing to say.

We're in a strange era since President Bush gives us almost no reason to trust him anymore (I say almost because I believe him when he says he wants more tax cuts that we can't afford to give away) but Republicans are still rubber stamping the president. I think it's always useful to hear journalists who have been around for a long time who aren't dependent on sources in the Bush Administration. The Raw Story has a post on famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein:
Comparing the Nixon administration's press relations to those of Bush, Bernstein says, "Nixon's relationship to the press was consistent with his relationship to many institutions and people. He saw himself as a victim. We now understand the psyche of Richard Nixon, that his was a self-destructive act and presidency.

"The Bush administration," Bernstein continues, "is a far different matter in which disinformation, misinformation and unwillingness to tell the truth -- a willingness to lie both in the Oval Office, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, in the office of the vice president, the vice president himself -- is something that I have never witnessed before on this scale."

The Bush Administration isn't the only part of the fiasco that has been unfolding before our eyes, of course. There was the unwillingness of Congress to hold Bush accountable in the post-9/11 era until just recently. And the media gave Bush a free pass for the longest time, merely laughing when the administration lied or yawning when scandals were revealed (how many times have we heard, "that's an old story"?).

We've seen several movies now where a ship is heading towards a port and there's no way to stop it even though the people on shore watch the ship tear through rows of small boats. The Bush presidency is very much like that—in slow motion. Bush is on the bridge twiddling his fingers, pretending he has nothing to do with the disaster that is clearly of his own making. And there's a smirk on his face because a helicopter is coming to take him off the ship before January 20, 2009. Americans need to understand that without help from the Republicans now, so that Bush can't use his veto to override some very necessary accountability, the next president will find it very difficult to stop that ship before it hits shore.

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