Friday, July 27

Tinhold Hat, Size 7-3/4

I ADMIT that when I heard the Olbermann teaser about Tillman being fragged I was downright dismissive. He was a Ranger, fer chrissakes. These aren't draftees. Okay, somebody still might have wanted him dead, but...people overreact. Surgeons aren't forensic pathologists (this seems a difficult lesson to learn in the US of A, where "doctor" means either "wise man" or "right-wing schlub with a mail order degree in Religious Education and a jumbo box of business cards."

But, then, holy shit. There wasn't any enemy fire to mistake. As far as we can ever know the truth of something printed in the newspaper, that's exactly what it sounds like happened.

Like the man said, an army is paid to break things and kill people. That must never be forgotten in a democracy, though it's been well-camouflaged since Vietnam, another piece of the post-war cabbala: everyone in uniform is a hero, no one in service to his country could commit an atrocity, and if he does, well, it wasn't really an atrocity. The only people who can talk like that either never served or are psychopaths themselves. Guns, and badges, and uniforms will be used as weapons of personal diplomacy. The unfettered ability to spy or wiretap will be abused. The brass will cover its ass. It's hard to believe anyone who's ever even worked in a large corporation can miss that point.

Two days ago I watched both local and national news breathlessly report on the DHS Dry Run Memo. Last night I watched it get stomped, reduced to a leaky ice pack and a couple of cheese logs. Quelle surprise! The original report conceded no one had been arrested, or even connected--which in LE parlance would have meant "in any way this side of so remote it could not be described in English". None of those stories had made The News when they occurred, in an era where abandoned toiletries in an airport restroom merit a CNN wall-to-wall. But they wound up reported as fact, meaning they wound up reported without anyone bothering to check. If we haven't learned to suspect every word coming from the vicinity of the Bush administration by this point, what hope is there?

Of course, I'm old enough to remember the same experiences with the Nixon and Reagan administrations, though in those days I usually attributed the "Whoa, the ground floor of Reality has collapsed into the basement!" feeling to something else. It astonishes me that anything could make Reagan seem relatively benign, or that when I read a headline (erroneous) that Tony Snow said comparing Nixon and Bush was a stretch, I have to ask "Which direction did he mean?" Still, I wonder when, if, and what will eventually be found out about this administration, and what they tried to lock away about the previous two Republican presidents. Just as the Army brass stood at Pat Tillman's funeral while knowing the whole thing was fabricated, I'm all but convinced--to use just one example--that the administration knew who sent the anthrax bombs, probably within days of the attack on the Capitol, and the big question is: Which of the possible explanations is the right one? There's an XL roll of tinfoil in the kitchen cabinets a box in the dining room somewhere. It's still unopened.


D. Sidhe said...

I was never sold on tinfoil anyway. It just makes the voices in my head louder.

Candy said...

I first got into politics at the age of twelve, watching Watergate on TV day after day, with my mom. Later, when Reagan came to power, I kept thinking, my God, he's worse than Nixon. How is that possible? When Iran-Contra broke, I thought, that's it, Reagan and Bush the Elder are going DOWN! (Didn't happen.) And now... well, I'd actually be pleased if Bush Sr. could take over, or even Rotten Ronnie, and if Nixon could come back from the dead and take over from the Boy King, I'd be positively overjoyed.

That's not a sign of a healthy republic, is it?

Jay B. said...


I feel that pain. It's like there's no bottom. Even during Iran-Contra, it seemed that at least other politicians and a number of the media gave a shit. Sure, some of the Democrats are stirring about the Bush Unitard Executive Misadministration or whatever he wants to call dictatorship, but after six long years of getting their necks stepped on, there's only so much they can do.

The systemic breakdown between the media, the political culture and, especially, the GOP has made this failure so acute, so total, it feels difficult to know where to go from here.

When you think even Nixon had the 'decency' to resign (which, at the very, very least is accountability) and Robert MacFarland had the honor to at least try and kill himself (an attempt Hunter Thompson said would be embarrassing for a broken-hearted teenager) over shame.

Accountability. Shame. Honor. These things have become anachronistic to a political party that has lost its mind.

candy said...

jay b.,

I'm somewhat consoled by the fact that the people seem to be waking up. It took a mere drubbing over the head, but the polls are encouraging. Still, I fear it would only take one scary event to push a lot of them back into the "security" fold. But, yeah, every time you think, well, that's so terrible (whatever awful thing this administration does) that it just can't get any worse, it does...

Hattie said...

How can the appalling amount of wrongdoing not eventually bring us down?
I feel very weary at this point. It's been nothing but lies and war, all my life. And your life, too. Everyone's life.
It seems unbearable at times to me.
But your cat photos help.