Archives for: June 2009, 01
The birthday card to my friend was light hearted. The front urged the recipient to do something different, "Do something you would never do on other days!" Open it, and the card urged her to "Run With Scissors!" At the bottom, a cartoon character precariously scampers with the sharp blades pointing from her hands. "I'm running with scissors! I'm running with scissors!"
President Bush went to southwestern Michigan to make his first major domestic policy speech since leaving office. He defended his policy of torturing terrorism suspects. "I vowed to take whatever steps that were necessary to protect you."
I made the decision, within the law, to get information so I can say to myself, "I've done what it takes to do my duty to protect the American people.
Condoleezza Rice paints an enhanced picture, one of a White House struggling with stress approaching panic. "Unless you were there, in a position of responsibility after September 11th, you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that you faced in trying to protect Americans."
The trauma defense is disputed by an eye witness. Richard Clarke is the only Bush administration official to apologize to the families of 9/11 victims for not preventing the attacks. "The Bush administration's response actually undermined the principles and values America has always stood for in the world," says Clarke, "values that should have survived this traumatic event."
Both President Bush and Secretary Rice present as an unarguable premise the idea that torture made us safe, both deny that it was torture, both insist that it was legal. President Bush says it was legal because his lawyers said it was. Former Secretary Rice maintained it was legal because anything the President does is legal.
Both are accompanied by a backup chorus of former associates who sing in unison that, say what you will, President Bush kept us safe after 9/11.
This last has intrigued me. Nothing is said by these folks about the failure to protect us before 9/11, except to blame it on President Clinton. Little is said about the administration's decision to allow the remaining 9/11 murderers to escape at the battle of Tora Bora. Nothing is mentioned about torture that produced a mountain of false leads that tied up investigators running down dead ends. The invasion of Iraq that swelled the ranks of the followers of the escaped bin Laden is dismissed with bumper sticker reasoning: We fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here.
And I imagine the little cartoon character at the end of the birthday card insisting that running with scissors kept her safe.
On the murder of Dr. George Tiller, killed while attending
the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas
George Tiller was a mass murderer and we cannot stop saying that. He was an evil man — his hands were covered with blood.
- - Randall Terry, anti-abortion activist
More generally, anti-abortion groups denounced the shooting and stressed that they support only nonviolent protest.