Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Chance for Peace; Eisenhower Speech, April 16, 1953

The Chance for Peace
by Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 16, 1953
Washington, D.C.

President Bryan, distinguished guests of this Association, and ladies and gentlemen: I am happy to be here. I say this and I mean it very sincerely for a number of reasons. Not the least of these is the number of friends I am honored to count among you. Over the years we have seen, tanked, agreed, and argued with one another on a vast variety of subjects, under circumstances no less varied. We have met at home and in distant lands. We have been together at times when war seemed endless, at times when peace seemed near, at times when peace seemed to have eluded us again. We have met in times of battle, both military and electoral, and all these occasions mean to me memories of enduring friendships.

I am happy to be here for another reason. This occasion calls for my first formal address to the American people since assuming the office of the presidency just twelve weeks ago. It is fitting, I think, that I speak to you the editors of America. You are, in such a vital way, both representatives of and responsible to the people of our country. In great part upon you -- upon your intelligence, your integrity, your devotion to the ideals of freedom and justice themselves -- depend the understanding and the knowledge with which our people must meet the facts of twentieth-century life. Without such understanding and knowledge our people would be incapable of promoting justice; without them, they would be incapable of defending freedom.

Finally, I am happy to be here at this time before this audience because I must speak of that issue that comes first of all in the hearts and minds of all of us -- that issue which most urgently challenges and summons the wisdom and the courage of our whole people. This issue is peace.

In this spring of 1953 the free world weighs one question above all others: the chances for a just peace for all peoples. To weigh this chance is to summon instantly to mind another recent moment of great decision. It came with that yet more hopeful spring of 1945, bright with the promise of victory and of freedom. The hopes of all just men in that moment too was a just and lasting peace.

The 8 years that have passed have seen that hope waver, grow dim, and almost die. And the shadow of fear again has darkly lengthened across the world. Today the hope of free men remains stubborn and brave, but it is sternly disciplined by experience. It shuns not only all crude counsel of despair but also the self-deceit of easy illusion. It weighs the chances for peace with sure, clear knowledge of what happened to the vain hopes of 1945.

In that spring of victory the soldiers of the Western Allies met the soldiers of Russia in the center of Europe. They were triumphant comrades in arms. Their peoples shared the joyous prospect of building, in honor of their dead, the only fitting monument -- an age of just peace. All these war-weary peoples shared too this concrete, decent purpose: to guard vigilantly against the domination ever again of any part of the world by a single, unbridled aggressive power.

This common purpose lasted an instant and perished. The nations of the world divided to follow two distinct roads.

The leaders of the Soviet Union chose another.

The way chosen by the United States was plainly marked by a few clear precepts, which govern its conduct in world affairs. First: No people on earth can be held, as a people, to be an enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice.

Second: No nation's security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation but only in effective cooperation with fellow-nations.

Third: Every nation's right to a form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable.

Fourth: Any nation's attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.

And fifth: A nation's hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations.

In the light of these principles the citizens of the United States defined the way they proposed to follow, through the aftermath of war, toward true peace.

This way was faithful to the spirit that inspired the United Nations: to prohibit strife, to relieve tensions, to banish fears. This way was to control and to reduce armaments. This way was to allow all nations to devote their energies and resources to the great and good tasks of healing the war's wounds, of clothing and feeding and housing the needy, of perfecting a just political life, of enjoying the fruits of their own toil.

The Soviet government held a vastly different vision of the future. In the world of its design, security was to be found, not in mutual trust and mutual aid but in force: huge armies, subversion, rule of neighbor nations. The goal was power superiority at all cost. Security was to be sought by denying it to all others.

The result has been tragic for the world and, for the Soviet Union, it has also been ironic.

The amassing of Soviet power alerted free nations to a new danger of aggression. It compelled them in self-defense to spend unprecedented money and energy for armaments. It forced them to develop weapons of war now capable of inflicting instant and terrible punishment upon any aggressor.

It instilled in the free nations -- and let none doubt this -- the unshakable conviction that, as long as there persists a threat to freedom, they must, at any cost, remain armed, strong, and ready for the risk of war.

It inspired them -- and let none doubt this -- to attain a unity of purpose and will beyond the power of propaganda or pressure to break, now or ever.

There remained, however, one thing essentially unchanged and unaffected by Soviet conduct. This unchanged thing was the readiness of the free world to welcome sincerely any genuine evidence of peaceful purpose enabling all peoples again to resume their common quest of just peace. And the free world still holds to that purpose.

The free nations, most solemnly and repeatedly, have assured the Soviet Union that their firm association has never had any aggressive purpose whatsoever. Soviet leaders, however, have seemed to persuade themselves, or tried to persuade their people, otherwise.

And so it has come to pass that the Soviet Union itself has shared and suffered the very fears it has fostered in the rest of the world.

This has been the way of life forged by 8 years of fear and force.

What can the world, or any nation in it, hope for if no turning is found on this dread road?

The worst to be feared and the best to be expected can be simply stated.

The worst is atomic war.

The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealth and the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or the Soviet system or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point the hope that come with this spring of 1953.

This is one of those times in the affairs of nations when the gravest choices must be made, if there is to be a turning toward a just and lasting peace.

It is a moment that calls upon the governments of the world to speak their intentions with simplicity and with honesty.

It calls upon them to answer the question that stirs the hearts of all sane men: is there no other way the world may live?

The world knows that an era ended with the death of Joseph Stalin. The extraordinary 30-year span of his rule saw the Soviet Empire expand to reach from the Baltic Sea to the Sea of Japan, finally to dominate 800 million souls.

The Soviet system shaped by Stalin and his predecessors was born of one World War. It survived with stubborn and often amazing courage a second World War. It has lived to threaten a third.

Now a new leadership has assumed power in the Soviet Union. Its links to the past, however strong, cannot bind it completely. Its future is, in great part, its own to make.

This new leadership confronts a free world aroused, as rarely in its history, by the will to stay free.

The free world knows, out of the bitter wisdom of experience, that vigilance and sacrifice are the price of liberty.

It knows that the peace and defense of Western Europe imperatively demands the unity of purpose and action made possible by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, embracing a European Defense Community.

It knows that Western Germany deserves to be a free and equal partner in this community and that this, for Germany, is the only safe way to full, final unity.

It knows that aggression in Korea and in southeast Asia are threats to the whole free community to be met only through united action.

This is the kind of free world which the new Soviet leadership confronts. It is a world that demands and expects the fullest respect of its rights and interests. It is a world that will always accord the same respect to all others. So the new Soviet leadership now has a precious opportunity to awaken, with the rest of the world, to the point of peril reached and to help turn the tide of history.

Will it do this?

We do not yet know. Recent statements and gestures of Soviet leaders give some evidence that they may recognize this critical moment.

We welcome every honest act of peace.

We care nothing for mere rhetoric.

We care only for sincerity of peaceful purpose attested by deeds. The opportunities for such deeds are many. The performance of a great number of them waits upon no complex protocol but only upon the simple will to do them. Even a few such clear and specific acts, such as Soviet Union's signature upon an Austrian treaty or its release of thousands of prisoners still held from World War II, would be impressive signs of sincere intent. They would carry a power of persuasion not to be matched by any amount of oratory.

This we do know: a world that begins to witness the rebirth of trust among nations can find its way to a peace that is neither partial nor punitive.

With all who will work in good faith toward such a peace, we are ready, with renewed resolve, to strive to redeem the near-lost hopes of our day.

The first great step along this way must be the conclusion of an honorable armistice in Korea.

This means the immediate cessation of hostilities and the prompt initiation of political discussions leading to the holding of free elections in a united Korea.

It should mean, no less importantly, an end to the direct and indirect attacks upon the security of Indochina and Malaya. For any armistice in Korea that merely released aggressive armies to attack elsewhere would be a fraud. We seek, throughout Asia as throughout the world, a peace that is true and total.

Out of this can grow a still wider task -- the achieving of just political settlements for the other serious and specific issues between the free world and the Soviet Union.

None of these issues, great or small, is insoluble -- given only the will to respect the rights of all nations. Again we say: the United States is ready to assume its just part.

We have already done all within our power to speed conclusion of a treaty with Austria, which will free that country from economic exploitation and from occupation by foreign troops.

We are ready not only to press forward with the present plans for closer unity of the nations of Western Europe but also, upon that foundation, to strive to foster a broader European community, conducive to the free movement of persons, of trade, and of ideas.

This community would include a free and united Germany, with a government based upon free and secret ballot. This free community and the full independence of the East European nations could mean the end of the present unnatural division of Europe.

As progress in all these areas strengthens world trust, we could proceed concurrently with the next great work -- the reduction of the burden of armaments now weighing upon the world. To this end we would welcome and enter into the most solemn agreements. These could properly include:

1. The limitation, by absolute numbers or by an agreed international ratio, of the sizes of the military and security forces of all nations.

2. A commitment by all nations to set an agreed limit upon that proportion of total production of certain strategic materials to be devoted to military purposes.

3. International control of atomic energy to promote its use for peaceful purposes only and to insure the prohibition of atomic weapons.

4. A limitation or prohibition of other categories of weapons of great destructiveness.

5. The enforcement of all these agreed limitations and prohibitions by adequate safeguards, including a practical system of inspection under the United Nations.

The details of such disarmament programs are manifestly critical and complex.

Neither the United States nor any other nation can properly claim to possess a perfect, immutable formula. But the formula matters less than the faith -- the good faith without which no formula can work justly and effectively.

The fruit of success in all these tasks would present the world with the greatest task, and the greatest opportunity, of all. It is this: the dedication of the energies, the resources, and the imaginations of all peaceful nations to a new kind of war. This would be a declared total war, not upon any human enemy but upon the brute forces of poverty and need.

The peace we seek, founded upon decent trust and cooperative effort among nations, can be fortified, not by weapons of war but by wheat and by cotton, by milk and by wool, by meat and timber and rice. These are words that translate into every language on earth. These are the needs that challenge this world in arms.

This idea of a just and peaceful world is not new or strange to us. It inspired the people of the United States to initiate the European Recovery Program in 1947. That program was prepared to treat, with equal concern, the needs of Eastern and Western Europe.

We are prepared to reaffirm, with the most concrete evidence, our readiness to help build a world in which all peoples can be productive and prosperous.

This Government is ready to ask its people to join with all nations in devoting a substantial percentage of any savings achieved by real disarmament to a fund for world aid and reconstruction. The purposes of this great work would be to help other peoples to develop the undeveloped areas of the world, to stimulate profitable and fair world trade, to assist all peoples to know the blessings of productive freedom.

The monuments to this new war would be roads and schools, hospitals and homes, food and health.

We are ready, in short, to dedicate our strength to serving the needs, rather than the fears, of the world.

I know of nothing I can add to make plainer the sincere purposes of the United States.

I know of no course, other than that marked by these and similar actions, that can be called the highway of peace.

I know of only one question upon which progress waits. It is this: What is the Soviet Union ready to do?

Whatever the answer is, let it be plainly spoken.

Again we say: the hunger for peace is too great, the hour in history too late, for any government to mock men's hopes with mere words and promises and gestures.

Is the new leadership of the Soviet Union prepared to use its decisive influence in the Communist world, including control of the flow of arms, to bring not merely an expedient truce in Korea but genuine peace in Asia?

Is it prepared to allow other nations, including those in Eastern Europe, the free choice of their own form of government?

Is it prepared to act in concert with others upon serious disarmament proposals?

If not, where then is the concrete evidence of the Soviet Union's concern for peace?

There is, before all peoples, a precarious chance to turn the black tide of events.

If we failed to strive to seize this chance, the judgment of future ages will be harsh and just.

If we strive but fail and the world remains armed against itself, it at least would need be divided no longer in its clear knowledge of who has condemned humankind to this fate.

The purpose of the United States, in stating these proposals, is simple. These proposals spring, without ulterior motive or political passion, from our calm conviction that the hunger for peace is in the hearts of all people -- those of Russia and of China no less than of our own country.

They conform to our firm faith that God created man to enjoy, not destroy, the fruits of the earth and of their own toil.

They aspire to this: the lifting, from the backs and from the hearts of men, of their burden of arms and of fears, so that they may find before them a golden age of freedom and of peace.

Thank you.

Imperialism, Boot Camp and Cognitive Dissonance

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Imperialism, Boot Camp and Cognitive Dissonance

copyright 2007 by Jim Craven/Omahkohkiaayo i'poyi

I am convinced that cognitive dissonance explains a whole lot of human behavior. I might even buy it as a central component of a meta-theory of human history. Examples: What is a conservative? Answer: A Liberal that has been mugged. What is a Liberal? Answer: A Conservative that has been outsourced or downsized.

Cognition comes from the Latin root "cognoscere" or becoming acquainted with something or "knowing". And dissonance refers to disharmony. Put the two together you get cognitive dissonance. Those, who seek to create human robots, build empires on the blood and obedience of innocents, cover-up crimes, create advertising, in military psyops and those who design curricula and cultures of military boot camps understand it well.

We have different ways of thinking about things and we have different things we think about. There are "facts" we discover or are presented with which we may or may not bother to discover, think about or accept as facts. We have beliefs about ourselves, those closest to us, about where we live and what we do that come from and are modified by a variety of sources. We have emotions or passions about things that often correspond to our interests or what we think are our interests.

Cognitive dissonance arises when certain purported FACTS come into conflict with certain BELIEFS; when certain BELIEFS come into conflict with certain EMOTIONS; when certain EMOTIONS come into conflict with certain FACTS. Something has to give lest a potentially physiologically and psychologically disturbing, sometimes even life threatening, dissonance or contradiction develops.

I still remember my first day of Boot Camp (Basic) at Fort Ord, California as if it was yesterday. I was seventeen years old, a few days after my seventeenth birthday, kicked out of high school an! d decla red an "incorrigible delinquent" (for going off on a high school vice-principal that truly deserved it and for telling a school district administrator who had taunted my poor mother to go fuck himself and his whole school system), alone and totally unsure of what awaited me. But I knew that without a high school diploma, whatever "credentials" for future jobs, along with my present job, I would get would come from the U.S. Army--my new "home" and "family".

It was early 1963, just five months after the so-called "Cuban Missile Crisis,during which we came right on the edge of World War III and the likely total annihilation of the planet. Even without knowing what we know now about just how close we had come to World War III during October 1962, even in those days we knew it was close.

But even with all of that, and coming from a very left-leaning political family (who were in despair about my choice to go into the Army) I had no ideas about "killing Commies for Jesus ". I had no ideas about "defending American Democracy" (especially as the son of a Blackfoot mother who talked about genocide against Indigenous Peoples in the Americas often). I had no idea about the imperative of destroying the lives of others in distant places--"we've got to fight the Commies and terrorists OVER THERE instead of here on OUR soil..." I certainly had no idea about the U.S. military and the global missions of that military being consisitent with WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?).

And in the first days of boot camp, when we were getting to "know" each other, I never heard even one fellow soldier recruit express even one "patriotic" sentiment or rationale for going in. They all gave various reasons but those reasons were all very self-centered and even opportunistic--no transcendent causes for sure.

I heard stuff like the following ["voice" included]: "I knocked-up some bitch and had to get out of town before her three very nasty brothers beat the living shit out of me"; "I got busted doing a sort of prank and the judge gave me the choice of here or the joint."; "I am from this nowhere podunk town and wanted the fuck out before winding up in that same mill my dad's been working in and that has been killing him slowly for the last twenty years."; "I dropped out of a very boring high school and wanted some adventure.";"My dad was in Europe after the war and said it was the best time of his life so I'm headed where he was..."; "I just came in to get a trade and get paid while I am getting it and then I am getting the fuck out."

Now I never heard anyone openly say something like: "Damn, this is great, I used to torture small animals and always wanted to kill people, up-close-and-personal would be the best, but the thought/threat of jail or the death penalty kept me in line; but now, here they will pay me, send me to exotic places and give me medals for doing the killings I've always dreamed of doing?--Sign me up". But I'm sure some of my fellow recruits were thinking that as evidenced by the naked psychopathic and sociopathic proclivities they demonstrated in boot camp and after.

Now the first taste of what lay ahead for me besides the Drill Instructors (DIs) screaming all sorts of racist epithets, threats and who were allowed to physically kick the shit out of us in those days, came when I got my dog tags. Your dog tags give your name, serial number, blood type and religion. When I was asked my religion I answered none. Right then and then the DI went off: "What the fuck do you mean no religion? No religion? Are you some kind of special person, some kind of royalty, asshole? OK, you are now what I am--a Lutheran; now move the fuck out NOW and I'm going to be watching you carefully boy..."

Later, when I learned about cognitive dissonance, I wondered why they would want us to be so "religious" and/or at least express a religious preference when what they had planned for us to be doing in the service of U.S. Imperialism would clearly and nakedly violate the most basic tenets of almost all known faiths: murder; cover-ups and lying; complicity in planning and launching and executing illegal wars [what they hanged criminals at Nuremberg for]; war crimes; actions involving planned or highly likely massive collateral damage; etc.

The answer was that they knew we brought with us certain ideas and values from our families and faiths, or just from mass culture, in conflict (dissonance) with the values and missions they wanted to accept and carry out. And often it is easier, from a cognitive-dissonance-point-of-view, and in terms of classic propaganda techniques, to try to show our given and highly entrenched values are "in reality" quite consistent with their values, missions and notions of what our faiths are really about and what they allow or don't allow, than it is to try to immediately disabuse us of our own values, faiths or notions of what our faiths and values would or would not allow us to do or think or say. They had it down to a science for sure. Like the Emperor Constantine, converting the Roman Empire to Christianity, they understood is is easier to start with and co-opt existing sacreds (symbols, ideas, values, rituals, sacred dates and festivals) than to try to wipe out all of the old and introduce a whole new set of ideas, taboos, sacreds and values.

Right from the beginning, the racism and use of racist epithets was common. "Hey Chief" as all Natives were called; and the name "Chief" got to be confusing. Even the "N-word" for African-Americans was common; but in those days, African-Americans were not calling each other "Nigga Please". Poor Whites were all "Crackers" etc. And since most of the DI's were Korean War vets, with a few World War II vets, reference to Asians as "Slopes", "Dinks" and "Gooks" was common. This was also part of the cognitive dissonance reduction: "When you go to Vietnam or somewhere else where the people are non-white, then you will not really be killing human beings like yourself or your family; they are "commies" [now "terrorists"] and not really "human" like us anyway...". "And besides, the Bible says "Thou Shalt Not Murder" not "Thou Shall Not Kill" and in defense of freedom, killing commies is not "Murder" it is self-defense which the Bible allows"... No kidding, we got all of this including from the Chaplains.

Now here is some more potential cognitive dissonance: Someone, perhaps Native or African-American, in a racist military machine being taught to use racist terms that work and slander even against the group from which he came? They had an answer for that too. For Natives, they made continual reference to being part of the "Way of the Warrior" or reference to famous Native heroes like Ira Hamilton Hayes on Iwo Jima. Never mind being Native in the U.S. military, serving genocidal U.S. Imperialism, was like being one of Custer's Scouts. And for African-Americans, the reference was either of getting out of the ghetto and getting a trade, for which they should be grateful, or sometimes references to "Buffalo Soldiers" or African American heroes of the past. And of course there was always divide-and-rule by shades of color or "darkness" among African-Americans and/or by "blood-quantum" or how much Indian one "looks" among Natives.

Right away I noticed something interesting. Although we had not yet taken our tests (I eventually took and passed cold the GED test for my high school and also took and passed cold the OCT test for Officer's Candidate School) so we didn't know what our eventual MOSs [military occupational specialties] would be, but I noticed that a lot of my fellow recruits who were short in physical stature (height) as was Audie Murphy (hence the term "Audie Murphy Syndrome"),as are a lot of macho action movie stars like Jimmy Cagne, expressed that they specifically signed up for infantry and combat arms. The military u nderstood this very well and understood how to use some apparent insecurities about height (often exacerbated by those short in height often being taunted and bullied) to overcome any cognitive dissonance problems arising from any previously-held values conflicting with the kinds of missions and activities they would likely face and the values they would likely have to internalize to carry out those missions.

For those driven to enlist by the Audie Murphy Syndrome, the military had a way to hook them early and keep them going: medals and ribbons and patches. For marksmanship--everybody gets some kind from basic to sharpshooter to expert--and other unit competitions and awards start almost from day one. So even when you go home on leave after Basic, and you want to show that "bitch" Muffy who dumped you for Biff the quarterback at the high school you dropped out of, that NOW you are a "somebody", you have at least some kind of medals, patches and ribbons to show off.

Now you are required to go to "Chapel". And even if you are say Jewish, "Chapel" in those days was only some kind of amorphous "Christian" service. There is no concept of "Freedom of religion" means--and even demands--"freedom FROM religion". There is no notion of any kind of fundamental contradiction between putting your life on the line on the one hand, to serve and protect the U.S. Constitution, while having your basic and most elementary Constitutional rights spit and shit on right off the bat on the other hand.

And paradoxically, it was at "Chapel", with the Chaplain wearing his robes and not his rank, that we got our first taste of "Killing Commies for Jesus". No, not only were we NOT violating the basic tenets of our faith in training for and eventually carrying out our murderous missions for U.S. Imperialism, actually, we were, as the hymn says, "Onward Christian Soldiers" doing the Lord's work on earth in unique ways. And they went even further: "If you hesitate, get weak, start expressing qualms and reservations, while the forces of Satan, who wears many masks, and Communism is but one of them, does not sleep or hesitate or equivocate, then YOU are not only betraying your faith and all those before you martyred for the faith, you are an agent of the enemy and therefore of Satan." They actually said stuff like that in addition to the supposed distinction between "killing" and "murder".

What about those psychopaths and sociopaths drawn into the military? And trust me there are many. By definition, the psychopath has no allegiance to any kinds of transcendent values and the sociopath has any allegiance only to a very narrow range of anything transcendent outside of himself. Everything is about them. They are narcissistic, predatory, self-absorbed, shallow in affect, able to wear and pass-off masks, calculating and ultra-individualistic. They are "Homo Oeconomicus" [Economic Man]--what capitalism tries to create and celebrate--incarnate. This is indeed one of the central contradictions of capitalism as a system: the very types of "individuals" who make good and profitable consumers and markets, and thus are necessary for the expanded reproduction of capitalism and capital (self-absorbed, greedy, narcissistic, ultra-individualistic, fad driven, unable to delay gratification, competitive, egoistic, no conscience, no transcendent values), do not make good military unit or team members (there is no "team" in "I"), informed voters, neighbors during a crisis, sons-in-law, husbands etc etc.

Since military operations may be quite dangerous to the most precious thing a psychopath or sociopath has--himself and his life--and since psychopaths and sociopaths can be dangerous to a military mission, as well as quite effective instruments for it, the military has something to overcome any potential cognitive dissonance along these lines: unit and team bonding. Various exercises are carefully calculated to build unit cohesion, bonding and allegiances based not on "esprit de corps" (that again would require some kind of allegiance to or reward from a cause beyond ones self-absorbed self) but based on mutual reciprocity and survival.

You learn early, through team building and unit cohesion exercises in Basic, along with blanket parties for "deadbeats", the "weak" and "whiners", that everybody is in the same boat, including fellow psychopaths and sociopaths who give as much a shit about you as you give about them. Your only chance of survival is to join the team and pull together and that "I" and "Team" can be mutually complimentary and not contradictory; in fact, it is the only way out and for any chance of your own survival. During basic training, in addition to blanket parties, you get a real taste, from the DI's, how the "weak" and "ultra-indivualistic" will likely fare in combat with references to and "real stories" about, fragging, weakened static lines, poisonous snakes in the sleeping bag, poisoned K-rations, bullets in the head (from "snipers in the bush") of "chickenshit" or "glory-boy" second lieutenants just out of OCS putting your asson the line for their own glory and promotions.

What about those not religious or political, not psychopaths or sociopaths or not on an Audie Murphy trip? Well some of them came in for the "family" they never had on the outside. For those they have a whole new alternate kind of "family" in mind. One thing is that since all military bases look basically the same, and have the same basic services, then when one rotates to a new post, you will immediately be in familiar territory and with your new "family" who will not only take care of your basic needs, but they will tell you what you need to know and do to not only "survive" but to actually prosper and get promoted. Your squad, platoon and company are your most immediate family. Your divisional and army unit patches you wear are sort of like the extended family. And your branch of service, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, that is your broadest "family" or allegiance against other services that are clearly inferior to the one you are in. Just as cognitive dissonance dictates that your old Alma mater could only have been the most rigorous and best anyone could have attended (who wants to admit to having a degree from a useless paper mill and having got a degree while totally wasted on dope for four years?), and just as cognitive dissonance leads to the syndrome of "the older I get the more heroic I used to be", so it is that my service (Army) was/is "the best". And you even have jokes disparaging other services and/or units within services to build bonding, allegiances and "family ties"--allegiances that will cause you to overcome any reservations about being part of a "family" doing some war crimes in the service of U.S. Imperialism. We had jokes like: "How do the Marines really separate the men from the boys? Answer: With a crowbar?"; "Wha! t is th e secret of the Silent (Submarine) Service? Answer: A Hundred guys go down, fifty couples come up"; "What falls from the sky? Answer: Birdshit and fools".

Not everyone can be an Audie Murphy and come home with a blue cord for infantry, a beret, a neck scarf, jump boots, paratrooper wings etc. Here the military produces some of the cognitive dissonance it has to later reduce. If you focus on the "glory" associated with certain specialties, combat arms, then where is the "glory" in the others that also need to be staffed?

What about the cognitive dissonance associated with winding up in "non-glory" MOSs: Supply, a Cook, a Clerk etc "in the rear with the gear" (and thus often only eligible for American Legion instead of VFW when coming home). The military has an answer for that. In Basic when pulling duties like KP (kitchen police), loading, police call (garbage pickup) they drill it into you that EVERY job is part of an indivisible whole and that no one job can! be don e without the others being done also; and you learn how shitty and nasty some of those jobs are and how grateful you are and should be, to those doing them and grateful that you are not doing them as an MOS. The Green Beret or LRRP deep in the bush in Vietnam did not make his own clothes or bullets and cannot even begin to do what he does without logistics support, intel, air transport and support, food, rest, entertainment, etc and, without force deployments in other places, yes, less hostile and more safe, but, nonetheless, where those forces are also critically needed (and no one really "chooses" where one serves and thus is not responsible for where one winds up serving and in what MOS). Thus everyone is a vital part of "The Green Machine" thus freeing the Green Berets and LRRPS, who get the glory, to do what they do where they do it.

And for those who just came in for job training, planning to get out, they have something for them to overcome any cognitive dissonance angst. For example, if someone is a "best fit" as a sniper, and yet came in only for "job training", unless one is planning a career as a Mafia hit man or Merc, there is a definite disconnect in terms of post-military career prospects. The answer, from the perspective of the military, is that in all MOSs, Military Occupational Specialties, whether a sniper or cook, one acquires secondary skills and capabilities (discipline, focus, cooperation/team work, patriotism, physical fitness, etc) that prepare one for a variety of jobs and management positions, the hiring for which by the way, will likely be done by fellow vets more in tune with hiring fellow vets.

And finally what about the cognitive-dissonance-producing disconnects between, on the one hand, the beliefs and emotions as associated with one supposedly being a part and an instrument of, "Fighting for Democracy", "Protecting U.S. National Security", "Stopping Godless Communism", etc and even "all for Jesus" on the! one ha nd, versus, on the other hand, the clear FACTS of being part of installing and/or working for and/or propping up ugly despotic, fascist, genocidal, corrupt, militaristic, brutal, Satanic regimes that no American would ever want to live under?

They have some cognitive-dissonance-reducing answers for this problem. "Those are all lies". "You simply do not see the big picture". "We do not live in a perfect world, and the perfect is often the enemy of the good". "If we are not as ruthless as our enemies, they will win and decency will be lost". "Who told you or where did you read/hear about these supposed "FACTS" about our friends; did you not know you are prohibited from messing in politics or having access to prohibited stuff?" "For the sake of the mission and indeed for the sake of your own safety and that of your comrades, we need you to do what you are told to do and when you are told to do it and not to question why; that is way above your pay grade". "What makes you think you are so fucking special when none of your teammates asks these kinds of questions that can only give aid and comfort to our enemies-- the same ones that will kill you and your friends without a moment's hesitation and do not ask their superiors why they do what they do..."

And all of these techniques are not only used in conscious and calculating ways on new recruits, they are also used on the mass public as well (manufacturing consent) with often the same effects. But once one understands what is going on, why, by whom it is calculated and orchestrated, with what instruments and in whose interests, those who rule lose some of their force and effects.

As I was thrown out of high school, I had this history teacher, a wonderful man and teacher who gave me a copy of "The Negro in America" by Arnold Rose, a condensation of "An American Dilemma" by Gunnar Myrdal. This teacher told me as I was going into the Army that he had five questions for me to think about; he sa id after I posed and answered the first three questions I would be lead inexorably to the next two. Those questions were:

1. Who are the rulers?
2. Who are the ruled?
3. In which class am I?
4. How do the rulers rule?
5. How do WE take them out of power?

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On Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term which describes the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs. More precisely, it is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where "cognition" is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions. Experiments have attempted to quantify this hypothetical drive. Some of these examined how beliefs often change to match behavior when beliefs and behavior are in conflict.

Social psychologist Leon Festinger first proposed the theory in 1957 after the publication of his book When Prophecy Fails, observing the counterintuitive belief persistence of members of a UFO doomsday cult and their increased proselytization after the leader's prophecy failed. The failed message of earth's destruction, purportedly sent by aliens to a woman in 1956, became a disconfirmed expectancy that increased dissonance between cognitions, thereby causing most members of the impromptu cult to lessen the dissonance by accepting a new prophecy: that the aliens had instead spared the planet for their sake.[1]

Studies have not so far detected any gender or cross-cultural differences.[1]

Contents [hide]
1 Justification
1.1 Overjustification
1.2 Insufficient justification
2 Empirical research into cognitive dissonance
2.1 Induced compliance studies
2.1.1 Origins and one of the first experiments testing the theory
2.1.2 Forbidden Toy Study
2.2 Postdecisional dissonance studies
3 Basic theory
4 Challenges and qualifications
5 References
6 See also
7 External links
8 Further reading

Justification is the result of acting against set beliefs. The relative strengths of the forces, external and internal, play a large role in whether or not belief change is experienced. This is done in order to dampen the side effects of cognitive dissonance.

The phenomena of not experiencing a belief change when forced to act against one's beliefs with high external justification.

Insufficient justification
The phenomena of experiencing a belief change when forced to act against one's beliefs with low external justification.

Empirical research into cognitive dissonance
Several experimental methods were used as evidence for cognitive dissonance. These were:

Induced compliance studies, where people are asked to act in ways contrary to their attitudes (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959; Harmon-Jones, Brehm, Greenberg, Simon, & Nelson, 1996);

Postdecisional studies, where opinions of rejected alternatives after a decision are studied (Brehm, 1956; Harmon-Jones & Harmon-Jones, 2002);

Studies of how people seek out information that is consonant rather than dissonant with their own views, so as to avoid cognitive dissonance (Frey, 1986);

Studies of how people respond to information that is inconsistent with their firmly-held beliefs, attitudes, or commitments (Festinger, Riecken, & Schachter, 1956; Batson, 1975; Burris, Harmon-Jones, Tarpley, 1997).

Induced compliance studies

Origins and one of the first experiments testing the theory

In Festinger and Carlsmith's classic 1959 experiment, students were made to perform tedious and meaningless tasks, consisting of turning pegs quarter-turns and, another one, putting spools onto a tray, emptying the tray, refilling it with spools, and so on. Participants rated these tasks very negatively. After a long period of doing this, students were told the experiment was over and they could leave. This is an example of an induced compliance study.

However, the experimenter then asked the subject for a small favor. They were told that a needed research assistant was not able to make it to the experiment, and the participant was asked to fill in and try to persuade another subject (who was actually a confederate) that the dull, boring tasks the subject had just completed were actually interesting and engaging. Some participants were paid $20 for the favor, another group was paid $1, and a control group was not requested to perform the favor.

When asked to rate the peg-turning tasks later, those in the $1 group rated them more positively than those in the $20 group and control group. This was explained by Festinger and Carlsmith as evidence for cognitive dissonance. Experimenters theorized that people experienced dissonance between the conflicting cognitions "I told someone that the task was interesting", and "I actually found it boring". When paid only $1, students were forced to internalize the attitude they were induced to express, because they had no other justification. Those in the $20 condition, it is argued, had an obvious external justification for their behavior. Behavior internalization is only one way to explain the subject's ratings of the task. The research has been extended in later years. It is now believed that there is a conflict between the belief that "I am not a liar", and the recognition that "I lied". Therefore, the truth is brought closer to the lie, so to speak, and the rating of the task goes up.

The researchers further speculated that with only $1, subjects faced insufficient justification and therefore "cognitive dissonance", so when they were asked to lie about the tasks, they sought to relieve this hypothetical stress by changing their attitude. This process allows the subject to genuinely believe that the tasks were enjoyable.

Put simply, the experimenters concluded that many human beings, when persuaded to lie without being given sufficient justification, will carry out the task by convincing themselves of the falsehood, rather than telling a bald lie.

This study has been criticized, on the grounds that being paid twenty dollars may have aroused the suspicion of some participants. In subsequent experiments, two common alternative methods of "inducing dissonance were used". In one, experimenters used counter-attitudinal essay-writing, in which people were paid varying amounts of money (e.g., one or ten dollars) for writing essays expressing opinions contrary to their own. The other method was to ask subjects to rate a number of different objects according to their desirability. The subject is then offered a choice between two objects s/he had rated equally, with the knowledge that choosing any one of the two would mean "missing out" on the possible positive features of the unchosen object, thus inducing dissonance.

[edit] Forbidden Toy Study
In a later experiment Aronson and Carlsmith (1963) viewed cognitive justification to forced compliance in children.

The experimenter would question the child on a set of toys to gauge which toys the children liked the most and which they found the least tempting. The experimenter then chose a toy that the child really liked, put them in a room with said toy and left the room. Upon leaving the room the experimenter told half the children that there would be a severe punishment if they played with the toy and told the other half that there would be a moderate punishment.

Later, when the punishment, whether severe or moderate, was removed, the children in the moderate punishment condition were less likely to play with the toy, even though now it had no repercussion.

When questioned, the children in the moderate condition expressed more of a disinterest in the toy than would be expected towards a toy that they had initially ranked high in interest. Alternatively, the desirability of the toy went up for the children in the severe punishment condition.

This study laid out the effect of overjustification and insufficient justification on cognition.

In overjustification, the personal beliefs and attitudes of the person do not change because they have a good external reason for their actions. The children threatened with the severe punishment had a good external reasoning for not playing with the toy because they knew that they would be badly punished for it. However, they still wanted the toy, so once the punishment was removed they were more likely to play with it. Conversely, the children who would get the moderate punishment displayed insufficient justification because they had to justify to themselves why they did not want to play with the toy since the external motivator, the degree of punishment, was not strong enough by itself. As a result, they convinced themselves that the toy was not worth playing with, which is why even when the punishment was removed they still did not play with the toy.

[edit] Postdecisional dissonance studies
Jack Brehm's famous experiment looked at how 225 female students, after making a decision, favoured the alternatives which they had selected more strongly (Brehm, 1956). This can be explained in dissonance terms — to go on wishing for rejected alternatives would arouse dissonance between the cognitions "I chose something else" and "I preferred that option".

[edit] Basic theory
Cognitions which contradict each other are said to be "dissonant," while cognitions which agree with each other are said to be "consonant." Cognitions which neither agree nor disagree with each other are said to be "irrelevant." (Festinger, 1957).

The introduction of a new cognition that is dissonant with a currently held cognition creates a state of "dissonance," the magnitude of which relates to the relative importance of the involved cognitions. Dissonance can be reduced either by eliminating dissonant cognitions, or by adding new consonant cognitions. The maximum possible dissonance is equal to the resistance to change of the less resistant cognition; therefore, once dissonance reaches a level that overcomes the resistance of one of the cognitions involved, that cognition will be changed or eliminated, and dissonance will be reduced.[citations needed]

This leads some peoples who feel dissonance to seek information that will reduce dissonance and avoid information that will increase dissonance. People who are involuntarily exposed to information that increases dissonance are likely to discount that information, either by ignoring it, misinterpreting it, or denying it.[citations needed]

Challenges and qualifications
Elliot Aronson (1969) challenged the basic theory by linking it to the self-concept. He said that cognitive dissonance did not arise because people experience dissonance between conflicting cognitions; rather, it surfaced when people saw their actions as conflicting with their self-concept. Thus, in the Festinger and Carlsmith study, Aronson would interpret the dissonance as between "I am an honest person" and "I lied to some one about finding a task interesting". Thus, according to Aronson, people would not experience dissonance in this situation if their self-concept involved perception of the self as a liar.

It should be noted however, that Festinger did acknowledge the powerful impact of central, self-relevant cognitions. He did imply that in spite of the strong drive to seek consistency between cognitions and behavior, there may be situations where the original cognitions are so central to the person's self-concept that they may be resistant to change towards greater consistency. Indeed, several scientists in the literature have shown how individuals who are provided with performance feedback that is discrepant from original beliefs about the self, will tend to strengthen their original beliefs and attitudes further through other behaviors when given the opportunity to do so (BDG, 2007).

More recently, Tedeschi has argued that maintaining cognitive consistency is a way to protect public self-image (Tedeschi, Schlenker & Bonoma, 1971). From 1965, Daryl Bem (1965; 1967) has proposed self-perception theory as an alternative to cognitive dissonance theory. This states that people do not have inner access to their own attitudes - let alone whether they are in conflict. Bem interpreted people in the Festinger and Carlsmith study as inferring their attitudes from their behaviour. Thus, when asked "Did you find that task interesting?" they would judge that, as they told some one they did, they must have done. This self-perception theory was based largely on the behaviourism of B.F. Skinner. Bem interprets those paid twenty dollars in the Festinger and Carlsmith study as being able to interpret their vocal behaviour as an example of what behaviourists such as B.F. Skinner call "mands" - that is, elements of speech that are commands and demands rather than mere statements. Consequently, these people would have not seen their vocal behaviour as an utterance describing their behaviour.

In many experimental situations, Bem's theory and Festinger's theory make similar predictions, and so it has been very difficult for experimental social psychologists to design a conclusive experiment that will provide more evidence for one rather than the other of these two theories. However, advocates of dissonance theory sometimes argue that of these two theories, only Festinger's theory predicts that certain processes in social cognition will increase arousal, although there is some dispute about how much Festinger's original theory really did imply that cognitive dissonance increased arousal. Therefore, from 1970 onwards, some psychologists have investigated whether being faced with situations where one's cognitions are likely to conflict, arousal is likely to increase, and have found experimental evidence that this is the case.


The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking.

Aronson, E. (1969). The theory of cognitive dissonance: A current perspective. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.). Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 4, pp1-34. New York: Academic Press.

Aronson, E. and Carlsmith, J. M. (1963) Effects of severity of threat in the devaluation of forbidden behavior, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66, 584-588

Bem, D.J. (1965). An experimental analysis of self-persuasion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1, 199-218

Bem, D.J. (1967). Self-perception: An alternative interpretation of cognitive dissonance phenomena. Psychological Review, 74, 183-200

Brehm, J. (1956). Post-decision changes in desirability of alternatives. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 52, 384-389

Burris, C. T., Harmon-Jones, E., Tarpley, W. R. (1997). “By faith alone”: Religious agitation and cognitive dissonance. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 19, 17-31.
Festinger, Leon; co-authors Henry W. Riecken and Stanley Schachter When Prophecy fails a Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World (1956)

Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Festinger, L. and Carlsmith, J. M. (1959). "Cognitive consequences of forced compliance". Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 58, 203-211. Full text.
Festinger, L., Riecken, H. W., & Schachter, S. (1956). When prophecy fails. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Harmon-Jones, E., Brehm, J. W., Greenberg, J., Simon, L., & Nelson, D. E. (1996). Evidence that the production of aversive consequences is not necessary to create cognitive dissonance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 5-16.
Harmon-Jones, E., & Mills, J. (1999). Cognitive Dissonance: Progress on a pivotal theory in social psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Hendricks, John Allen. (2000, May). “Dissonance Theory: Selective Exposure to Political TV Ads during the 1996 Presidential Campaign.” Southwestern Mass Communication Journal, Volume 15, Number 2.

Sherman, S. J., & Gorkin, R. B. (1980). "Attitude bolstering when behavior is inconsistent with central attitudes". Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 16, 388-403.

Knox, R. E., & Inkster, J. A. (1968). "Postdecision dissonance at post time". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 319-323.

Tedeschi, J.T., Schlenker, B.R. & Bonoma, T.V. (1971). Cognitive dissonance: Private ratiocination or public spectacle? American Psychologist, 26, 685-695

See also

The Great Disappointment of 1844 as an example of cognitive dissonance in a religious context

Groupthink, lacking in cognitive process

Self-perception theory, a competing theory of attitude change

Choice-supportive bias, memory distortion that makes past choices seem better than they actually were.

Supernaturalization for a description of another explanation of causal belief
The Fox and the Grapes for an example in fiction

Dialectics, is an exchange of propositions resulting in a synthesis of the opposing assertions

Does not compute, a phrase common in popular science fiction to indicate the theme of cognitive dissonance in an artificial intelligence

Double bind, is a communicative situation where a person receives different or contradictory messages.

Doublethink, is the act of holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously and fervently believing both.

Denial as a related defense mechanism.

False dilemma, involves a situation in which two alternative statements are held to be the only options...

Paradox, paradox is an apparently true statement or group of statements that leads to a contradiction

True believer syndrome as an example of immunity to cognitive dissonance.

Hostility (in the psychological sense) as a psychological response to cognitive dissonance
Cultural dissonance
Buyer's remorse

External links
Introduction at
Introduction to Cognitive Dissonance: Progress on a Pivotal Theory in Social Psychology
Paper: Cognitive dissonance in decision making
Festinger and Carlsmith's original paper
Encyclopedia of Religion and Society William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor: Refers to Jehovah's Witnesses and the problem of the "millennial delay"

Further reading
Mistakes were made (but not by ME): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts by Elliot Aronson. (ISBN 978-0-15-101098-1)

Stan Goff's Insurgent American

Please visit and support the needed work and voice of Stan Goff at Insurgent American.

The link is:

See also The Feral Scholar Website:

On the Real Nature and Hidden History of Zionism

Immortality--For Our Loved Ones


Do not stand at my grave and weep …
I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift upflinging rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starshine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry …
I am not there. I did not die.

--Unknown Author

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bush Told Biographer He Went AWOL in guard and Planned to Invade Iraq Before Being Selected by the Supremes

Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Bush Told Biographer He Went AWOL in Alabama and Planned to Invade Iraq (If "Elected" or "Selected")

Bush Told Biographer He Went AWOL in Alabama - and Planned to Invade Iraq
By Bob Fertik
Created 2004-10-28 11:16
Investigative reporter Russ Baker has written a bombshell!
It turns out George W. Bush was a little too honest with his campaign biographer - so Karen Hughes fired him and rewrote the book herself.
What did Hughes leave on the cutting room floor? Plenty!
While the headline - Bush's 1999 plan to invade Iraq - is something every American should learn, there is much more here. In fact, this article may contain more revelations about Bush's shocking plans for his Presidency than anything yet written.
Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq If Elected in 2000Wed, 27 Oct 2004 15:59:47 -0700By Russ Baker
Two years before 9/11, candidate Bush was already talking privately about attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer.
Houston: Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.
Of course, this contradicts Bush's Big Lie that his decision to invade Iraq was the result of 9-11. (Of course, there was never any connection between 9-11 and Iraq, but Bush and Cheney adamantly refuse to admit it.)
"He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999," said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. "It was on his mind. He said to me: 'One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he said, 'My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.' He said, 'If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency."
Hold on - this short paragraph contains a road map to the entire Bush presidency!
1. Way back in 1999, Bush wanted to be "seen as a great leader." What the f***? At that point in his life, his only accomplishment was being elected Governor of Texas, which is arguably the weakest governor's office in the nation. He had failed as a Guardsman, as a businessman, and even as General Manager of the Texas Rangers, trading away Sammy Sosa. So where did he suddenly get the delusion he could be a "great leader"? Did he have a conversation with God - or with the bottle? Or was he on a personal quest to succeed where his father had failed: in rising to the level of a "great leader"?
2. Way back in 1999, Bush realized the best way to be "seen as a great leader" was "to be seen as a commander-in-chief." In other words, long before he was even the Republican nominee, Bush lusted for a war - so he could be "seen as a commander-in-chief." Bush didn't care for a minute about the reality of war - namely the death, devastation, and cost - all he cared about was the glory that would shine upon the commander-in-chief. It is essential to contrast this with Bush's empty statements about how difficult it was for him to send troops into battle and to console the families of those who died following his orders. Someone needs to ask the families of the soldiers who died how they feel about Bush's scheme to start a war for his personal glory!
3. Bush wanted a war, but where? The country that immediately came to Bush's mind was Iraq. This is confirmed further down by the Boston Globe's David Nyhan, who reported in December 1999 on Bush's "offhand declaration of war" at a campaign appearance in New Hampshire.
4. Bush was obsessed with his father's failed presidency. "My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it." That's a pretty harsh judgment - although it's not clear whether that's a judgment about his father as a person or as a politician.
5. Bush was determined to succeed where his father failed. "If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it."
6. Bush's dream was greater than personal glory - he wanted to enact his political agenda. "I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency." The only thing left unstated is what he "want[ed] to get passed" in Congress - but we've since learned what that was: tax cuts for the rich, plus contract and regulatory giveaways to big corporations.
Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father's shadow.
We're now in the realm of psychology. Does W have a serious problem with his father - one that subconsciously governs his decisions on crucial issues of national policy? We'll leave this to Dr. Justin Frank - or Maureen Dowd.
The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. "Suddenly, he's at 91 percent in the polls, and he'd barely crawled out of the bunker."
That President Bush and his advisers had Iraq on their minds long before weapons inspectors had finished their work – and long before alleged Iraqi ties with terrorists became a central rationale for war – has been raised elsewhere, including in a book based on recollections of former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.
O'Neill's recollections received media coverage for about one day - until Karl Rove counterattacked. When he was interviewed by 60 Minutes, O'Neill said he had nothing to fear because he was telling the truth. But O'Neill soon learned the truth wasn't enough! He soon found himself being threatened in various ways, and quickly backed off from the more shocking revelations in the book about him, "The Price of Loyalty." Interestingly, the relatively low-profile author of that book was Ron Suskind, who made headlines last week with his eye-opening article in the New York Times Magazine about Bush's blind "faith."
However, Herskowitz was in a unique position to hear Bush's unguarded and unfiltered views on Iraq, war and other matters – well before he became president.
In 1999, Herskowitz struck a deal with the campaign of George W. Bush about a ghost-written autobiography, which was ultimately titled "A Charge to Keep: My Journey to the White House," and he and Bush signed a contract in which the two would split the proceeds. The publisher was William Morrow. Herskowitz was given unimpeded access to Bush, and the two met approximately 20 times so Bush could share his thoughts. Herskowitz began working on the book in May, 1999, and says that within two months he had completed and submitted some 10 chapters, with a remaining 4-6 chapters still on his computer. Herskowitz was replaced as Bush's ghostwriter after Bush's handlers concluded that the candidate's views and life experiences were not being cast in a sufficiently positive light.
LoL! We know what that means - the book dared to resemble the truth, which is the only reason anyone hired by the Bush family ever gets fired.
According to Herskowitz, who has authored more than 30 books, many of them jointly written autobiographies of famous Americans in politics, sports and media (including that of Reagan adviser Michael Deaver), Bush and his advisers were sold on the idea that it was difficult for a president to accomplish an electoral agenda without the record-high approval numbers that accompany successful if modest wars.
The revelations on Bush's attitude toward Iraq emerged recently during two taped interviews of Herskowitz, which included a discussion of a variety of matters, including his continued closeness with the Bush family, indicated by his subsequent selection to pen an authorized biography of Bush's grandfather, written and published last year with the assistance and blessing of the Bush family.
Herskowitz also revealed the following:
-In 2003, Bush's father indicated to him that he disagreed with his son's invasion of Iraq.
-Bush admitted that he failed to fulfill his Vietnam-era domestic National Guard service obligation, but claimed that he had been "excused."
-Bush revealed that after he left his Texas National Guard unit in 1972 under murky circumstances, he never piloted a plane again. That casts doubt on the carefully-choreographed moment of Bush emerging in pilot's garb from a jet on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in 2003 to celebrate "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq. The image, instantly telegraphed around the globe, and subsequent hazy White House statements about his capacity in the cockpit, created the impression that a heroic Bush had played a role in landing the craft.
-Bush described his own business ventures as "floundering" before campaign officials insisted on recasting them in a positive light.
Throughout the interviews for this article and in subsequent conversations, Herskowitz indicated he was conflicted over revealing information provided by a family with which he has longtime connections, and by how his candor could comport with the undefined operating principles of the as-told-to genre. Well after the interviews-in which he expressed consternation that Bush's true views, experience and basic essence had eluded the American people -Herskowitz communicated growing concern about the consequences for himself of the publication of his remarks, and said that he had been under the impression he would not be quoted by name. However, when conversations began, it was made clear to him that the material was intended for publication and attribution. A tape recorder was present and visible at all times.
Several people who know Herskowitz well addressed his character and the veracity of his recollections. "I don't know anybody that's ever said a bad word about Mickey," said Barry Silverman, a well-known Houston executive and civic figure who worked with him on another book project. An informal survey of Texas journalists turned up uniform confidence that Herskowitz's account as contained in this article could be considered accurate.
One noted Texas journalist who spoke with Herskowitz about the book in 1999 recalls how the author mentioned to him at the time that Bush had revealed things the campaign found embarrassing and did not want in print. He requested anonymity because of the political climate in the state. "I can't go near this," he said.
According to Herskowitz, George W. Bush's beliefs on Iraq were based in part on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House – ascribed in part to now-vice president Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee under Reagan. "Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade."
Bush's circle of pre-election advisers had a fixation on the political capital that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher collected from the Falklands War. Said Herskowitz: "They were just absolutely blown away, just enthralled by the scenes of the troops coming back, of the boats, people throwing flowers at [Thatcher] and her getting these standing ovations in Parliament and making these magnificent speeches."
Republicans, Herskowitz said, felt that Jimmy Carter's political downfall could be attributed largely to his failure to wage a war. He noted that President Reagan and President Bush's father himself had (besides the narrowly-focused Gulf War I) successfully waged limited wars against tiny opponents – Grenada and Panama – and gained politically. But there were successful small wars, and then there were quagmires, and apparently George H.W. Bush and his son did not see eye to eye.
"I know [Bush senior] would not admit this now, but he was opposed to it. I asked him if he had talked to W about invading Iraq. "He said, 'No I haven't, and I won't, but Brent [Scowcroft] has.'
It's very disturbing that GWB would not discuss Iraq with his father, who had a lifetime's worth of experience in foreign policy - including intensive experience with Saddam Hussein during Gulf War I. As Bob Woodward discovered, GWB's problem with seeking advice from his father is profound:
Did Mr. Bush ask his father for any advice? “I asked the president about this. And President Bush said, ‘Well, no,’ and then he got defensive about it,” says Woodward. “Then he said something that really struck me. He said of his father, ‘He is the wrong father to appeal to for advice. The wrong father to go to, to appeal to in terms of strength.’ And then he said, ‘There's a higher Father that I appeal to.’" (CBS 60 Minutes, 4-18-04)
Brent would not have talked to him without the old man's okaying it." Scowcroft, national security adviser in the elder Bush's administration, penned a highly publicized warning to George W. Bush about the perils of an invasion.
Herskowitz's revelations are not the sole indicator of Bush's pre-election thinking on Iraq. In December 1999, some six months after his talks with Herskowitz, Bush surprised veteran political chroniclers, including the Boston Globe's David Nyhan, with his blunt pronouncements about Saddam at a six-way New Hampshire primary event that got little notice: "It was a gaffe-free evening for the rookie front-runner, till he was asked about Saddam's weapons stash," wrote Nyhan. 'I'd take 'em out,' [Bush] grinned cavalierly, 'take out the weapons of mass destruction…I'm surprised he's still there," said Bush of the despot who remains in power after losing the Gulf War to Bush Jr.'s father…It remains to be seen if that offhand declaration of war was just Texas talk, a sort of locker room braggadocio, or whether it was Bush's first big clinker. "
The notion that President Bush held unrealistic or naïve views about the consequences of war was further advanced recently by a Bush supporter, the evangelist Pat Robertson, who revealed that Bush had told him the Iraq invasion would yield no casualties. In addition, in recent days, high-ranking US military officials have complained that the White House did not provide them with adequate resources for the task at hand.
Herskowitz considers himself a friend of the Bush family, and has been a guest at the family vacation home in Kennebunkport. In the late 1960s, Herskowitz, a longtime Houston Chronicle sports columnist designated President Bush's father, then-Congressman George HW Bush, to replace him as a guest columnist, and the two have remained close since then. (Herskowitz was suspended briefly in April without pay for reusing material from one of his own columns, about legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.)
In 1999, when Herskowitz turned in his chapters for Charge to Keep, Bush's staff expressed displeasure -often over Herskowitz's use of language provided by Bush himself. In a chapter on the oil business, Herskowitz included Bush's own words to describe the Texan's unprofitable business ventures, writing: "the companies were floundering". "I got a call from one of the campaign lawyers, he was kind of angry, and he said, 'You've got some wrong information.' I didn't bother to say, 'Well you know where it came from.' [The lawyer] said, 'We do not consider that the governor struggled or floundered in the oil business. We consider him a successful oilman who started up at least two new businesses.' "
In the end, campaign officials decided not to go with Herskowitz's account, and, moreover, demanded everything back. "The lawyer called me and said, 'Delete it. Shred it. Just do it.' "
"They took it and [communications director] Karen [Hughes] rewrote it," he said. A campaign official arrived at his home at seven a.m. on a Monday morning and took his notes and computer files. However, Herskowitz, who is known for his memory of anecdotes from his long history in journalism and book publishing, says he is confident about his recollections.
According to Herskowitz, Bush was reluctant to discuss his time in the Texas Air National Guard – and inconsistent when he did so. Bush, he said, provided conflicting explanations of how he came to bypass a waiting list and obtain a coveted Guard slot as a domestic alternative to being sent to Vietnam. Herskowitz also said that Bush told him that after transferring from his Texas Guard unit two-thirds through his six-year military obligation to work on an Alabama political campaign, he did not attend any Alabama National Guard drills at all, because he was "excused." This directly contradicts his public statements that he participated in obligatory training with the Alabama National Guard. Bush's claim to have fulfilled his military duty has been subject to intense scrutiny; he has insisted in the past that he did show up for monthly drills in Alabama – though commanding officers say they never saw him, and no Guardsmen have come forward to accept substantial "rewards" for anyone who can claim to have seen Bush on base.
Herskowitz said he asked Bush if he ever flew a plane again after leaving the Texas Air National Guard in 1972 – which was two years prior to his contractual obligation to fly jets was due to expire. He said Bush told him he never flew any plane – military or civilian – again. That would contradict published accounts in which Bush talks about his days in 1973 working with inner-city children, when he claimed to have taken some of the children up in a plane.
In 2002, three years after he had been pulled off the George W. Bush biography, Herskowitz was asked by Bush's father to write a book about the current president's grandfather, Prescott Bush, after getting a message that the senior Bush wanted to see him. "Former President Bush just handed it to me. We were sitting there one day, and I was visiting him there in his office…He said, 'I wish somebody would do a book about my dad.' "
"He said to me, 'I know this has been a disappointing time for you, but it's amazing how many times something good will come out of it.' I passed it on to my agent, he jumped all over it. I asked [Bush senior], 'Would you support it and would you give me access to the rest of family?' He said yes."
That book, Duty, Honor, Country: The Life and Legacy of Prescott Bush, was published in 2003 by Routledge. If anything, the book has been criticized for its over-reliance on the Bush family's perspective and rosy interpretation of events. Herskowitz himself is considered the ultimate "as-told-to" author, lending credibility to his account of what George W. Bush told him. Herskowitz's other books run the gamut of public figures, and include the memoirs of Reagan aide Deaver, former Texas Governor and Nixon Treasury Secretary John Connally, newsman Dan Rather, astronaut Walter Cunningham, and baseball greats Mickey Mantle and Nolan Ryan.
After Herskowitz was pulled from the Bush book project, the biographer learned that a scenario was being prepared to explain his departure. "I got a phone call from someone in the Bush campaign, confidentially, saying 'Watch your back.' "
Reporters covering Bush say that when they inquired as to why Herskowitz was no longer on the project, Hughes intimated that Herskowitz had personal habits that interfered with his writing – a claim Herskowitz said is unfounded. Later, the campaign put out the word that Herskowitz had been removed for missing a deadline. Hughes subsequently finished the book herself – it received largely critical reviews for its self-serving qualities and lack of spontaneity or introspection.
So, said Herskowitz, the best material was left on the cutting room floor, including Bush's true feelings.
"He told me that as a leader, you can never admit to a mistake," Herskowitz said. "That was one of the keys to being a leader."
Research support for this article was provided by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute.
Russ Baker is an award-winning independent journalist who has been published in The New York Times, The Nation, Washington Post, The Telegraph (UK), Sydney Morning-Herald, and Der Spiegel, among many others.
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Republican Porn and Hypocrisy

Friday, November 25, 2005

From Scooter "the Bear" Libby:
For even more difficult prose, however, one must revisit an earlier work. “The Apprentice”—Libby’s 1996 entry in the long and distinguished annals of the right-wing dirty novel—tells the tale of Setsuo, a courageous virgin innkeeper who finds himself on the brink of love and war.
Libby has a lot to live up to as a conservative author of erotic fiction. As an article in SPY magazine pointed out in 1988, from Safire (“[She] finally came to him in the bed and shouted ‘Arragghrrorwr!’ in his ear, bit his neck, plunged her head between his legs and devoured him”) to Buckley (“I’d rather do this with you than play cards”) to Liddy (“T’sa Li froze, her lips still enclosing Rand’s glans . . .”) to Ehrlichman (“ ‘It felt like a little tongue’ ”) to O’Reilly (“Okay, Shannon Michaels, off with those pants”), extracurricular creative writing has long been an outlet for ideas that might not fly at, say, the National Prayer Breakfast. In one of Lynne Cheney’s books, a Republican vice-president dies of a heart attack while having sex with his mistress.
It took Libby more than twenty years to write “The Apprentice,” which is set in a remote Japanese province in the winter of 1903. The book is brimming with quasi-political intrigue and antique locutions—“The girl who wore the cloak of yellow fur”; “one wore backward a European hat”—that make the phrase a “former Hill staffer,” by comparison, seem straightforward.
Like his predecessors, Libby does not shy from the scatological. The narrative makes generous mention of lice, snot, drunkenness, bad breath, torture, urine, “turds,” armpits, arm hair, neck hair, pubic hair, pus, boils, and blood (regular and menstrual). One passage goes, “At length he walked around to the deer’s head and, reaching into his pants, struggled for a moment and then pulled out his penis. He began to piss in the snow just in front of the deer’s nostrils.”
Homoeroticism and incest also figure as themes. The main female character, Yukiko, draws hair on the “mound” of a little girl. The brothers of a dead samurai have sex with his daughter. Many things glisten (mouths, hair, evergreens), quiver (a “pink underlip,” arm muscles, legs), and are sniffed (floorboards, sheets, fingers). The cast includes a dwarf, and an “assistant headman” who comes to restore order after a crime at the inn. (Might this character be autobiographical And, if so, would that have made Libby the assistant headman or the assistant headman’s assistant?)
When it comes to depicting scenes of romance, however, Libby can evoke a sort of musty sweetness; while one critic deemed “The Apprentice” “reminiscent of Rembrandt,” certain passages can better be described as reminiscent of Penthouse Forum. There is, for example, Yukiko’s seduction of the inexperienced apprentice:
He could feel her heart beneath his hands. He moved his hands slowly lower still and she arched her back to help him and her lower leg came against his. He held her breasts in his hands. Oddly, he thought, the lower one might be larger. . . . One of her breasts now hung loosely in his hand near his face and he knew not how best to touch her.
Other sex scenes are less conventional. Where his Republican predecessors can seem embarrassingly awkward—the written equivalent of trying to cop a feel while pinning on a corsage—Libby is unabashed:
At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest.
And, finally:
He asked if they should fuck the deer.
The answer, reader, is yes.
So, how does Libby stack up against the competition? This question was put to Nancy Sladek, the editor of Britain’s Literary Review, which, each year, holds a contest for bad sex writing in fiction. (In 1998, someone nominated the Starr Report.) Sladek agreed to review a few passages from Libby. “That’s a bit depraved, isn’t it, this kind of thing about bears and young girls? That’s particularly nasty, and the other ones are just boring,” she said. “God, they’re an odd bunch, these Republicans.” Unlike their American counterparts, she said, Tories haven’t taken much to sex writing. “They usually just get caught,” she said.
— Lauren Collins (New Yorker)
Libbys lurid book in demand - The World - Breaking News 24/7 -
Suggester says: Why are high profile right-wingers writing novels laden with sexual content and why are the novels in high demand at absurd prices First Lynn Cheney's racy tale reportedly depicting whorehouses, attempted rape and lesbian love, and now we learn that Scooter Libby has penned his own "lurid" novel described by one reviewer as containing "lavish dollops of voyeurism, bestiality, pedophilia and corpse robbery."
Not just bizarre - but extremely violent acts of depravity, to say the least. What kind of mind conceives this sort of trash It flies in the face of the family values rhetoric often touted by the right and almost begs the question - do right wingers prefer fantasizing and writing about sex to actually having it Perhaps this would explain the perverse obsession with Clinton's crotch and Ken Starr's porn report. On the other hand, perhaps it is simply a case of capitalizing on the idea that sex sells - and of course no good neocon would allow morality to stand in the way of making a buck.
November 23, 2005
Just another immoral Republican - Scooter Libby writes a book about bears raping 10 year old girls and people paying to watch.
What a sicko. The author leaves out Bill O'Reilly's pornographic "novel" about a crack addict and her pimp. From Richard Bradley at Tom Paine:
The Republican party's most powerful members live by a double-standard of personal vice and ill-gotten gain. I don't normally associate bestiality with Republicans, but in Scooter Libby's case, one has to make an exception. Consider this excerpt from Libby's 1996 novel, The Apprentice, which chronicles the depraved training of a Japanese prostitute:
The young samurai's mother had the child sold to a brothel, where she swept the floors and oiled the men and watched the secret ways. At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest. Groups of men paid to watch. Like other girls who have been trained this way, she learned to handle many men in a single night and her skin turned a milky-white.
This is a curious passage, and not just because of the less-than-obvious connection between milky-white skin and sex with a bear. It's strange because the author is a conservative Republican, a member (well, until recently) of an administration which considers sex even sex between two humans a bad, bad thing. John Ashcroft, for example, clothed a statue's bare breast; the FCC tried to cover up Janet Jackson's; and two months ago, the FBI launched an anti-obscenity squad. (Would Scooter Libby's book fit the bill?) So the fact that Dick Cheney's closest confidante scripted a work featuring bestiality, rape and general licentiousness would seem to constitute hypocrisy in the GOP's war against immorality lashing out against others?
Attacking smut and sin while profiting off them yourself. But then, it's hardly the only such example. Here are a few more.
* Despite years of speaking out against gambling, Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, recently admitted that he had taken more than $1 million in fees from lobbyists representing Indian casinos.
* Back in his days as a Texas state legislator, Tom DeLay earned the nickname Hot Tub Tom, for his talents at water sports.
* Conservative White House reporter Jeff Gannon turned out to be a former gay hooker.
* Rupert Murdoch, the owner of conservative Fox News and the New York Post , is also part-owner of DirecTV, which makes millions distributing pornography.
* Illinois GOP candidate Jack Ryan dropped out of a race for U.S. Senate after disclosures that he had pressured his former wife, the actress Jeri Ryan, to go to sex clubs with him.
* Newt Gingrich cheated on two wives. His short-lived successor as House speaker, Louisiana congressman Bob Livingston, stepped down from the post after admitting to his own marital infidelities.
* Lynne Cheney is the author of Sisters, a 1981 potboiler described by USA Today as including brothels, attempted rapes, and a lesbian love affair. Earlier this year, plans by publisher New American Library to reprint the book were abandoned after Cheney protested; her agent explained that she did not think the book was her best work. With lines like and then we shall go to bed, our bed, my dearest girl, let us hope he was telling the truth.
* GOP consultant Roger Stone allegedly advertised himself and his wife in a magazine for swingers. (Stone claimed that he had been framed.)
The list could go on (Strom Thurmond, anyone), but as fun and titillating as that would be, there is a larger point here. The GOP bills itself as the party of family values, and in a hundred different ways imposes its moralistic judgments about sex and reproduction on the American people. It tries to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage; it subverts the FDA's science to ban the morning-after pill; it attaches anti-birth control restrictions to foreign aid. Et cetera. And all the while the party's most powerful members live by a double-standard of personal vice and ill-gotten gain.
Of course, hypocrisy on the part of individuals doesn't entirely negate a morality platform. But at the least, it does suggest that some of the most powerful proponents of family values are deeply cynical about that aspect of the Republican agenda. They feel free to impose these values on others even while making a mockery of them in their own lives.
Moreover, in this coming campaign year there's an opportunity for Democrats here not to excoriate Republicans for their personal failings, which is a dangerous game, but to remind Americans that government isn't suited to the promotion of sexual morality upon its citizens. That's really the work of community groups, churches, schools and other grassroots organizations. Instead, citizens should demand morality in government e.g., sending the nation into war as a last resort and on the basis of sound intelligence; protecting the identities of CIA agents; promoting high-quality public broadcasting free from partisan influence; awarding federal contracts competitively with no favoritism shown for administration officials former companies.
Government shouldn't dictate morality to citizens, but citizens should expect morality in government. It's the kind of thing that Republicans used to say. That they no longer do provides an opening for Democrats to make their case.
The Jeff Gannon Affair:

New York Daily News -
Bush press pal quitsover gay prostie link
Thursday, February 10th, 2005 WASHINGTON -
A conservative ringer who was given a press pass to the White House and lobbed softball questions at President Bush quit yesterday after left-leaning Internet bloggers discovered possible ties to gay prostitution.
"The voice goes silent," Jeff Gannon wrote on his Web site. "In consideration of the welfare of me and my family, I have decided to return to private life."
Gannon began covering the White House two years ago for an obscure Republican Web site ( He was known for his friendly questions, including asking Bush at last month's news conference how he could work with Democrats "who seem to have divorced themselves from reality."
Gannon was also given a classified CIA memo that named agent Valerie Plame, leading to his grilling by the grand jury investigating her outing.
He came under lefty scrutiny after revelations that the administration was paying conservative pundits to talk up Bush's proposals. By examining Internet records, online sleuths at figured out that his real name was Jim Guckert and he owned various Web sites, including, and
"The issue here is whether someone with connections to male prostitution was given unfettered access to the White House and copies of internal CIA documents. For a family values administration, that's pretty creepy," said John Aravosis, one of the bloggers chasing the story.
The White House didn't return a call asking how someone using an alias was given daily clearance to enter the White House.
On his Talon News Web site, Gannon had written that liberals were out to get him because he's a white conservative man who owns a gun, drives a sport-utility vehicle and is a born-again Christian.
Yesterday, however, he abruptly quit, and all of the stories he wrote were erased from the Web site. A great many were on gay issues, including one detailing John Kerry's "pro-homosexual platform" that was headlined mockingly, "Kerry Could Become First Gay President."
Must see also: [Please use this URL to link to this story, sorry, it kept changing with blogger:
March 11, 2006
Another Bush 'Family Values' Hypocrite: CLAUDE ALLEN ARRESTED FOR THEFT AND FRAUD
Former Bush domestic policy czar Claude Allen (right) has been arrested in Maryland on charges of swindling at least $5000 out of Targets and Hecht's stores in a refund scam, the Washington Post reports this morning. When Allen was named by Bush as his White House domestic counselor a year ago, I wrote a profile of Allen for the L.A. Weekly detailing how Allen was "a notorious homophobe, a ferocious enemy of abortion and an opponent of safe-sex education who for years has been one of the AIDS community’s principal enemies," and explaining why his appointment was was "a huge victory for the social reactionaries of the Christian right."
To take just one example from Allen's repulsive resume, when he was Deputy Secretary of HHS: "Known as Karl Rove’s enforcer Allen wielded a heavy, censorious and punitive hand at HHS. In November 2001, [HHS Secretary Tommy] Thompson loyally toed the Rove-Bush line when he put Allen in charge of supervising HHS’s audit of HIV-prevention spending. Allen led an HHS witch-hunt that investigated all of the AIDS service organizations (ASOs) receiving any federal funding (like New York City’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis) whose staff members had disrupted Tommy Thompson’s speech to the 14th Annual International AIDS Conference in Barcelona; they were there to protest Bush’s lethal do-nothingism about the AIDS pandemic. These audits were designed to intimidate ASOs into abandoning AIDS advocacy. A number of ASOs, like San Francisco’s Stop AIDS Project and half a dozen other California AIDS-fighting groups, were ultimately purged from receiving U.S. funding by the Allen-led witch-hunt because Allen didn’t like their science-based sex-education programs. Allen ordered Advocates for Youth, the leading national coalition for safe-sex ed, audited half a dozen times...." There's a lot more in my L.A. Weekly profile of Claude Allen, which you can read in its entirety by clicking here. (Left, Claude Allen's police mugshot accompanying the report of his arrest on the website of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Police Department's website.)
The New York Times report this morning on Allen's arrest this past Thursday says that the White House knew of Allen's legal problems in January, but kept him on to work on the State of the Union address. In the sanitized chronology provided by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, as relayed by the Times:
"On Jan. 3, Mr. Allen discussed the incident with Harriet E. Miers, the White House counsel, and told her that he had been returning merchandise and there was confusion with his credit cards because he had moved many times. He assured Ms. Miers that the matter would be cleared up.Mr. McClellan said the White House gave Mr. Allen "the benefit of the doubt" because he had gone through extensive background checks before his judicial nomination.Within a few days of the incident, Mr. McClellan said, Mr. Allen told Mr. Card and Ms. Miers that he was thinking of leaving the White House to spend time with his family. But Mr. Allen decided to stay for a while because he was working on domestic initiatives for the State of the Union address, which Mr. Bush delivered on Jan. 31."
So, once again the White House's internal procedures are revealed as having all the efficiency of the Keystone Kops-- if McClellan's version can be believed, the Bushies took this bigoted religious right darling at his word, instead of immediately launching an investigation to see whether Allen was telling the truth or not. So here we have a guy who was stealing from chain stores while he was working on Bush's State of the Union address. A rather remarkable admission of Bush administration incompetence, I'd say.
Now that Allen has been arrested as a petty criminal and a thief, it's another example of the hypocrisy of the religious right and of Bush's pea-brained judgement in making this fraud his chief domestic policy advisor. And to think that Bush actually named this criminal to a federal court judgeship in 2003! (The nomination was blocked by the Democrats.) It's also worth noting that neither the WashPost nor the Times this morning has any of the detail on Allen's anti-safe-sex, anti-abortion, anti-poor past that my L.A. Weekly profile of Allen reported over a year ago.
Posted by Doug Ireland at 05:54 AM Permalink
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Bush Shocked, Just Shocked, by Arrest of Former Adviser from DEALSDAQNobody is more shocked and outraged by the arrest of Claude Allen that the president himself. Allen, for those who do not know, was arrested after receiving refunds for more than $5,000 worth of merchandise he did not buy. President Bush was just outr... [Read More]
Tracked on Mar 11, 2006 7:09:27 PM
It's Hard out Here for a Black GOPer from Anderson@LargeThe arrest of President Bush's former domestic policy adviser Claude Allen (here and here) for allegedly scamming Target and Hecht’s department stores is another blow to Bush who’s still reeling from the Dubai ports deal debacle (here and here). Until [Read More]