A National Disgrace

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A National Disgrace

By Alan Bisbort

Published 05/30/02

So many outrages. So little time. Now I know how the millions of decent, trusting American Catholics must feel about the crimes of their priests and the cover-ups of their cardinals. Now I know because the president of the United States may have the blood of his own citizens on his hands.

Up until now, I admit that I've disliked George W. Bush. I've disliked him for the shady way he gained power, for his pretense of being "a uniter, not a divider" even as he pushed an agenda that, arguably, 75 percent of the American people do not share. For his secrecy, smugness and sheer laziness. For being a pampered frat boy accustomed to having others do his bidding. For calling to mind what F. Scott Fitzgerald (through Nick Carroway) said about Tom and Daisy Buchanan: "They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people come in and clean up the mess they had made."

But now I loathe George W. Bush. It does not feel good to loathe the leader of the country you love. It is no consolation to know that, as bad as I thought Bush would be as president before the election, he's much worse than my most pessimistic fantasies.

I'd like my fellow citizens to be angry. I'd like them to demand answers. I'd like them to take back their government from people who did not earn it and who've disgraced it with their actions and inactions (or, to use a Catholic metaphor, for their sins of commission and omission).

Yes, of course, it's an outrage that the president had advanced warning of the terrorist acts that occurred on Sept. 11 and either chose to do nothing or was just pathetically ineffectual. Or, worse, he couldn't be bothered because he was on one of his several unearned vacations. How does it make you feel, for example, to know that, even if he couldn't fathom these creeps would fly planes into buildings -- and I'm bending over backwards to give him the benefit of this doubt -- he did not choose, as the Boston Globe reported, to share with Logan Airport the intelligence that hijackings at American airports, as of August 2001, were imminent. I've flown out of Logan; my wife and child have flown out of Logan; you have no doubt flown out of Logan. We could, any of us, have been on those planes. And yet, George W. Bush did not share information with Logan that might have saved thousands of lives.

Conspiracy theorists will have a field day with Bush's reasons. But one does not need to be of a conspiratorial bent of mind, or even a genius, to see through George W. Bush, his posse of Enron felons and right-wing zealots. They are so transparently, gallingly open about everything they do. Indeed, the real George W. Bush has been hidden in plain sight for two years. Now the American people have gotten a whiff of him. My hope is that this horrific whiff will work as a stimulant -- it seems to have briefly revived the press -- and not an intoxicant.

Here's a telling aspect about Bush: Just as he did on Sept. 11, he's run the other way during this crisis. Instead of quickly coming before the American people and having an honest, open exchange with reporters, he sent flacks like Condi Rice and Ari Fleischer to tame the beasts -- with disastrous results.

Indeed, his goal of appearing candid only revealed how much more they're trying to hide. First, Rice and Fleischer say they had no advanced warning. Then, when that proves a lie, they say they had no advanced warning that planes would be used as missiles. Then, when that proves a lie, they make veiled threats against the press and any Democrats rightfully demanding a probe of the attacks. Pretty soon, the "Blame Clinton" strategy will be in full panic mode.

Ari Fleischer said recently: "Any time anybody suggests or implies to the American people that this president had specific information that could have prevented the attacks on our country on Sept. 11, that crosses the line."

And, which line might that be, Ari? The line in the sand? Or the line of Bush staffers who'll soon be forming to leap from this sinking ship of state? The line to the impeachment chamber?

Leave it at this: The biggest outrage is not that, as the ultra-conservative New York Post put it in typically subtle relief on its cover, "BUSH KNEW." The biggest outrage is: "WE KNEW ALL ALONG THAT HE KNEW."


Or, simply, "WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE?"

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 31, 2002


Cherri, why don't you reference the LINK?

"Bush knew"? Hey, let's go the whole nine yards (where does that expression come from I wonder) and claim that Bush/CIA masterminded the attack? WOW, then we could really be outraged!

Don't forget to check-out the NYT column that I just posted below where the civil libertarian acknowledges that the FBI (ie, Clinton's FBI) was operating under PC constraints that made detection of terrorists very difficult.

Sorry, the "blame it on Bush" dog won't hunt. "You people" have been beating this drum for weeks and his popularity only increases.

You embarrass yourselves.

-- (lars@indy.net), May 31, 2002.

Cherri, this article only proves the absolute hatred you and the author have for Bush. I could care less though; you have the freedom in this country to spew it.

"Instead of quickly coming before the American people and having an honest, open exchange with reporters" I assume he's comparing that with the way Clinton came clean with his doings. Yeah right, instead *he* put his wife on a morning talk show to shout, "Right-wing conspiracy!" Come to think of it, this author must a conspiracy theorist himself.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), May 31, 2002.

Maria, I am puzzled. You point out that Clinton did not engage in an honest and open exchange with reporters about Monica Lewinsky. For this failure you show your open contempt of Clinton. Yet, when Bush exhibits a similar failure you display your loyalty.

It seems such a weak defense to say, your guy wrongly acted craven, so when my guy acts craven it's not wrong.

-- Little Nipper (canis@minor.net), May 31, 2002.

A BJ is more criminal than thousands of lives?

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 31, 2002.

The Clintonian FBI

-- (roland@hatemail.com), May 31, 2002.

LOL! Rolly boy will never admit that his idol Dumbya is running a corrupt, incompetent, and deceptive government. As usual, he immediately points a finger at Clinton, as if that will fix the problem with Dumbya!

-- hee haaaw (what@jack.ass!), May 31, 2002.

What exactly did Bush know? Please tell me specifics, and how his personal knowledge would have saved thousands of lives.

-- dr. pibb (drpibb@new.formula), June 01, 2002.

Bush's Secret Service knew and knows that troll-boy is a psychopath given to maltreating children and animals. He likes to start fires. His profile is classic John Hinkley. So far he has not done more than verbally abuse the President. But he is being closely watched.

Funny, Clinton's Secret Service also had him on watch.

-- (roland@hatemail.com), June 01, 2002.

Thanks for the laugh Roland. I'm still waiting for an answer from the Bush haters though.

-- dr. pibb (drpibb@new.formula), June 02, 2002.

They don't have any answers dr. pibb, all they have is "Dumbya evil, pugs bad" over and over and over again. They're worse than a child who has learned a new word and cannot stop saying it.

At least the Clinton bashers were able to string together coherent thoughts.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), June 02, 2002.

"At least the Clinton bashers were able to string together coherent thoughts."

LOL! You mean like "Rapist" "Communist" "Satan" "Traitot" "Hitler" ??

Oh, that's right! I do remember 4 coherent words strung together... "He killed Vince Foster". Too bad it was just another outright lie by the repugs!

-- bwahahaha! (you gotta @ be. kidding), June 02, 2002.

Actually, "you gotta", I agree with you 100%! Thanks for reminding me!

There were some really stupid people making insane statements about Bill "Klintoon" during his presidency. Not to mention some of the especially stupid things said about his plans for Y2K, such as him declaring himself "Benevolent Dictator for Life". Yep, a bunch of dumb-assed statements.

Likewise there are some really stupid people who are now saying some really dumb things about George Bush.

The shoe fits you.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), June 02, 2002.

To "you gotta":

Two questions for you:

What part of the word "liar" do you not understand?

What part of the word "coward" do you not understand?

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), June 02, 2002.

Uncle Deedah, that was a good analogy.

-- dr. pibb (drpibb@new.formula), June 02, 2002.

LOL Unk! Glad SOMEONE finally figured out how stupid it is! That's the whole point! We put up with their shit for 8 years, now they can put up with ours for 4. Unfortunately Dumbya won't make it past that, so we'll have to lay it on twice as thick.

Funny though, how a "Libertarian" like you is always running to the defense of the Repugs and Bush. I don't recall you sticking your nose out to defend "Klintoon". In fact, I seem to recall you were one of the bashers.

-- payback's a bitch (lol.get@over.it), June 02, 2002.

"What part of the word "liar" do you not understand?

What part of the word "coward" do you not understand?"

I understand them quite well, thank you. It's very easy actually... all I have to do is look at a picture of George W. Bush Jr.

-- a picture tells a thousand words (dumbya @ filthy. rotten scum), June 02, 2002.

That's the whole point!

Aaaah...now that's really nice to see...an idiot who takes pride in his work.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), June 03, 2002.

Lars, I just notice your comment on the whole nine yards. It comes from the military. I think nine yards was the length of the rounds of 30 mm (?) amunitions. Maybe a search on goggle will turn up something.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), June 03, 2002.

Funny, I was told the phrase came from the furniture bidness. Supposedly from the number of yards of material it took to make a quality sofa. But what do I know.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeeD@yahoo.com), June 03, 2002.

You're right Unk, Maria don't know shit.

-- (maria@full.of.baloney), June 03, 2002.

In doing some research, our first stop, Wilton's Word and Phrase Origins, did indeed have an entry devoted to "the whole nine yards," but it offers only theories, no conclusions. Some of the suggested possibilities include: nine yards as the length of cloth needed for a particular garment, nine yards as the length of a machine-gun ammunition belt, and nine yards as the amount of cement held in a typical cement-mixer. Unfortunately, Wilton also notes that these theories are chock full of holes.

In essence, the origins of this well-worn phrase remain a mystery.

-- Fact (finders@r.us), June 03, 2002.

Yep, we don't mind looking crazy just to get back at Dumbya. Many of us aren't bathing until he gets voted out of office.

-- (dumbya@not.president), June 03, 2002.

Thank you phrasemeisters. Apparently the origin of "The Whole Nine Yards" is lost in history's ether. I opt for the tailor origin since it connects with the phrase "dressed to the nines". One thing, this expression must be unique to English since only English countries use (used) yards.

I wonder if there is an obscure sports origin. Cricket, rugby, croquet, polo, etc?

-- (lars@indy.net), June 03, 2002.

"I wonder if there is an obscure sports origin."

Football of course. After the team gets a first down the quarterback hands the ball to the running back and tells him to "go the whole 9 yards" to get another first down.

-- Bo Jackson (Bo @ Knows. Football), June 04, 2002.

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