Friday, November 18, 2005

Somewhere Nixon Is Laughing

Okay, we know that most of us, including our heroes in the sixties and seventies, sold out to the establishment eventually. Look at the 'Chicago Seven'. The defiant defenders on trial for inciting a riot actually started by police at the '68 Democratic Convention. Years later you would find Jerry Rubin on Wall Street, Rennie Davis a venture capitalist and John Froines at OSHA.

We Thought He Helped Us Change The World

Still, for those of us coming of age during the Watergate Era, Woodward and Bernstein epitomized the huge change that had occurred. In those days, politicians and other people of stature had their 'protections'. Reporters and newspapers avoided discussing their private lives. There was an assumption in the air that a certain level of corruption in government would probably occur. It was accepted as 'business as usual' the 'boys will be boys' mentality. But it was assumed that despite their little 'deviances' for the most part these people were working for our greater good.

Originally The Watergate Break-In Sounded Like A Silly Prank

The War and ensuing protests had changed a lot of this. But still, accusing the Republicans of masterminding a break-in? It seemed both pointless and ridiculous to ponder such a thing. It took a while as revelation after revelation hit the news for the full impact of the dirty tricks and manipulations to hit. Woodward and Bernstein led the world of journalism and government idealists into a new era of demanding truth, justice and the American way.

I Thought Maybe He Took Too Many Drugs In The Sixties

So here we are a generation later. An aging Woodward startled me when he began penning sycophantic books about the W administration and their paths to war. Yet, even I, in the cynicism of middle age, couldn't have imagined this big of a sellout. That any man who accomplished so much could become this great of a traitor to his younger self.

It Was Like Sex, Lies and Videotape But Without The Sex

Which is worse? His concealing knowledge about the Valerie Plame outing that was under investigation? His appearing on television spinning for the administration--without telling anyone he had a secret AND a private agenda regarding this topic?

In July '05, on NPR's Fresh Air he dared to say: "When I think all of the facts come out in this case, it's going to be laughable because the consequences are not that great."

I Guess He Never Thought Anyone Would Check What He Said

When he appeared on Larry King Live in that same month, he offered to serve part of Judith Miller's jail sentence. Here is a quote from the transcript of 7/11:

“WOODWARD: No. Clearly, we're not above the law. But frequently, people disobey the law. And when you do so, you have to be willing to accept the consequences. And in this case, the consequences, I guess, are a four-month jail sentence, and Judy Miller's willing to do that, to stand on this principle of trust. You know, I...
I would have done it; came to mind. If the judge would permit it, I would go serve some of her jail time, because I think the principle is that important, and it should be underscored. It's not a casual idea that we have confidential sources. It is absolutely vital. And I'll bet there are all kinds of reporters out there, if we could divvy up this four-month jail sentence -- I suspect the judge would not permit that, but if he would, I'll be first in line. It's that important to our business….”

He Only Wanted People To THINK That He Would Go To Jail To Make A Point

Now let me just point out a few of the ironies here. He claims he didn't tell his editor or the special prosecutor of his knowledge because he didn't want to be subpoenaed, didn't want to reveal his sources. But he was already offering to do jail time with Judy, so why not bring his knowledge out in the open and serve at her side? That would have been a dignified and powerful statement.

The second is that it has been reported that before testifying with Fitzgerald last week he wanted a 'release' from being placed in jail. From July to November he certainly changed his tune. He went from wanting to be first in line to wanting to stay out of the building.

He also stated that actions have consequences and reporters aren’t above the law although he has yet to apply that to himself.

It Might Be Partly His Fault That 'W' Is President

In his news conference Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald (the guy Woodward liked to call a junkyard dog) mentioned that the investigation was delayed because of Judith Miller's refusal to provide the necessary information. Fitzgerald even mentioned that his lack of information and ensuing delays might have affected the outcome of the ‘04 presidential election. Not only is that probable, Woodward's silence was one more way of making a Bush victory possible.

Was Woodward's behavior a reflection of his real self? Was the Watergate investigation a crass move to skyrocket his career? Or did his idealism die so hard that he became the ultimate part of the problem, betraying both himself and his readers?

Nixon May Be Dead But That Doesn't Mean That He Lost His Sense of Humor

Woodward (and Bernstein) became famous by bringing down a man who was known for keeping secrets. He was famous for manipulating people and information for his own agenda. How ironic that Woodward did the same thing. Somewhere, Nixon is laughing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Morning to Mourning In America

You have to be a certain age to remember what it was like. After Viet Nam, after the upheaval of the sixties, after the scandal of Nixon resigning--we as a country had lost faith in ourselves.

Our Teflon President, Trouble Just Slid Right Away From Him

When Reagan was elected so many people thought that it was a disaster. That WWIII was almost inevitable. That didn't happen. In the hubris of history, he was President at a time when the world was ripe for peace. He ended up presiding over the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Although I think a lot of it was just timing, he still deserves credit for not messing up the possibility.

What I give him the most credit for is his "Morning in America" campaign promise fulfilled. Despite the corniness, despite the scandals of his own administration, Reagan did make us believe in ourselves again. Believe in a brighter future. Believe that we could be the America, the people that we loved to see portrayed in movies. A place opens to all possibilities, of high ideals and an example for so much of the rest of the world.

Battered Country Syndrome, We Had Lost Our National Self-Confidence

When Bush1 was rumbling towards war with Iraq--and creating his brilliant coalition---did any of us think we would win so easily? I didn't and I know that I wasn't alone. Remember the national elation when our hockey team beat the Soviets in the Olympics? It was like the first thing that had gone right in a long time.

Well, circumstances gave our confidence a needed shot in the arm. We were the America we portrayed in John Wayne movies. Whether or not the war was necessary, or if Bush1 should have continued to Baghdad--is not for this article. But we did it, and we did it right, and maybe there was hope for us after all.

Republicans Don't Like Oral Sex, Maybe They Would Be Nicer If They Got Some

I'll skip through the glorious and bewildering Clinton years. I never understood how he was hounded and hounded by the Repugs here. I do now--they were laying the groundwork for their culture of fear. They were practicing the use of twisted words and half truths to promote their agenda.

The Bush Boys Pretend Like We Are Having A Third World Country Election and Pull It Off For Pappy

Before we knew what happened---an election was stolen. Here, in the land of the free and home of the brave. Then 9/11 and the country's emotional roller coaster ride began. The crass manipulations afterwards, the lies and half-truths overcame us so quickly we were blindsided and bewildered. It took quite a while to step back and really comprehend that it never should have happened. If the system we thought we had in place had worked, warnings listened to, fighters scrambled earlier, fewer people might have died. If we had a more vigilant president, a vice president who was less adept at promoting his own agenda and a better system in the FBI things might have been different that day.

Our President Was So Excited That He Had Found A Book That He Could Read He Forgot That He Was Commander In Chief

Remember the bizarre clip that quickly zoomed over the internet in the months that followed--showing the "Leader of the Free World" frozen in a chair in a classroom in Florida? It was chilling to hear later that Cheney was immediately taken to a bunker for his safety. Guess they weren't as worried about W's.

It was agonizing to see how many minutes he sat there after being told a second plane had hit. To listen to his ludicrous excuses of not wanting to leave because it would scare the schoolchildren. Talk about not being able to prioritize!

A Bunch Of Frat Boys and Draft Defer/Dodgerees Decide They Know More Than Anybody In The Whole Wide World

Before we had stopped reeling and had any idea what had really happened that day we were at war with Afghanistan. Then Iraq.

I believe that we hit our point of no return in Iraq right around the time the Administration was declaring 'Mission Accomplished'. To me, it all started with Fallujah. W and Cheney and Rumsfeld reacted so harshly to some minor insurgency they lit a fuse in a room full of combustibles. It has only escalated from there.

Our Holy President And His Cronies Show That They Are Like The Early Settlers Where They Forget About "Doing Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You" Concept

Now we are hated around the world. Our administration is drowning in its lies and cover-ups. They are PUSHING to torture prisoners. Imagine John Wayne defending these new ideals.

Did you ever think that we could change so quickly from being the light, the standard of freedom and fairness--even if flawed---to a country killing and maiming people BEFORE they have been found guilty of anything? Where the Executive branch is full of leaders so contemptuous of the American way they not only lie with impunity---they feel they are justified in doing so?

We Finally Got Over Viet Nam But We Will Never Get Over This Mess

Thousands of Americans have died or been permanently handicapped in a senseless war. Our military have been not been given the right equipment. They are living amid a mad world of suicide bombers. The Iraquis themselves, those people we went to help--their way of life and standard of living has been destroyed by our aid.

We Need A Young Luke Skywalker

If I remember my Star Wars details correctly, part of the Sith Code is that 'peace is a lie'. Right now it seems like the Dark Sith is in the places of power in the USA.